Understanding 2 Corinthians 7

By Ashwin Samuel, my brother in Christ

Repentance | Unlocking the Bible

I have given only the summary of each verse and you can compare these thoughts after you first read 2 Corithians chapter 7 (given below):

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. 

Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 

and not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. 

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 

10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 

11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 

12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you. 

13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. 

14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. 

15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. 

16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

2 Corinthians 7:1
 Believers must make a clean break with every form of ungodliness -compromise and continuously resist sinful desire of the body          

Romans 8: 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.         

Galatians 5: 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh         

1 Corinthians 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.         

Galatians 4:19 ………… I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you……..

Ultimate Goal of the believer – 1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blamelessly unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ     

Spirit – needs to be born again John 3:6 ; 1 Cor 6:17

Soul– casting down imagination and bring every thought subject to Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5

Body -living sacrifice to God, Romans 12:1

Spirit+Soul+Body= Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:2          

Paul said – We have not done wrong to anyone, nor led anyone astray, nor taken advantage of anyone. Paul’s outstanding testimony before God and men had made him a living testimony .

2 Corinthians 7:3

You are in our hearts to die and live with you 

Paul – describes his love for the Church and both as a strict and tender spiritual father though in his 1st letter to the corinthians he was stern but again that was all done in a heart of love           

1 Corinthians 4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?              

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?             

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends

2 Corinthians 7:4

Great is my boldness…..glorifying of you……joyful in all our tribulation

Philippians 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all        

2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.

Paul was rejoicing after his 1st stern letter to the Corinthians after which the church had repented from all of its ways and there was progress which made him rejoice despite his labour and tribulation for the sake of the gospel.

2 Corinthians 7:5

Troubled every side

Paul faced several hardships both in the natural and spiritual realm for the sake of the gospel.  

2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.   

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith

2 Corinthians 7:6 7 

God that comforts those that are cast down …coming of Titus 

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;          

John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,        

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.                 

Paul rejoiced to hear the good news of Corinth church repentance and strong faith and rejoiced as Titus brought in good tidings about the Corinthian church .

2 Corinthians 7:8

Made you sorry with a letter ,……..though it were but for a season    

2 Corinthians 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you

2 Corinthians 7:9 – 10 

Godly sorrow …..worldly sorrow           

There are indeed two kinds of sorrow:

1) There is genuine sorrow for sin that leads to repentance i.e a change of heart that causes us to turn from sin to God . This type of repentance leads to salvation. For Paul, repentance from sin and faith in Christ are human responsibilities in salvation (Matthew 3:2)

2) In contrast , the unrepentant often become sorry only for the consequences of their sin. Such sorrow results in eternal death and judgement (Matthew 13: 42,50; 25:30; Romans 6 :23).           

Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

2 Corinthians 7:11 – 12 

1st letter to Corithian church ………produced results now and Paul was delighted..
What this godly sorrow produced! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. Corinth showed that they have done everything necessary to make things right.      Purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. Paul wrote so that in the sight of God , could see for yourselves how loyal you are to Paul.      

2 Corinthians 7:13,14
Titus brought the good news indeed that whatever Paul had boasted about Corinth church about their repentance and heed to the corrections and for which the fruit was manifested.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul had planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 

2 Corinthians 7: 15 – 16   

Corinth church Received and obeyed Titus just as they would receive Paul

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Matthew 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward .

Titus cared for Corinth more than ever when he remembered the way Corinth church obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect. Paul became very happy now because he had complete confidence.

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