1. Paul’s concern and relief over the Corinthians. 5 – 7
- The purpose of 2 Corinthians is to answer questions about his first letter.
- In 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul was talking to them about a man that was living in sin by sleeping with his father’s wife
- He then went on a digression about the glory of being a minister for God.
- Now he returns to the subject at hand
- Paul returns to the hardship that he is going through for the ministry Vs 5
- External fighting (remember persecution has now started)
- Internal fears (Paul struggled with fear)
- Worry over how the church is doing during these trials.
- Paul was comforted by the good news Titus brought.Vs
- Paul was overwhelmed until Titus came (See 2 Corinthians 2: 13)
- The is a reference to 2 Corinthians 1: 3, 4
- The Corinthians were excited to see Paul
- They were also open to his coming.
- This had limits because they were just rebuked for not opening up their hearts to Paul
2. Genuine love does not stay silent when there is danger. Vs 8 – 12
1. Confrontation is never easy, but if there is danger, then action is needed.
2. Notice the emotion that Paul had over his rebuke.
1. If feels regret for causing sorrow
2. This sorrow was temporary and the end was beneficial
3. Regret then gives place to rejoicing because of their repentance
3. The difference between vindictiveness and correction
1. Godly sorrow leads to repentance Vs 10
2. Paul speaks of writing them in a letter (a letter between 1 and 2 Corinthians) to tell them they should be ashamed of the way are calling themselves spiritual while this sin is happening in their body.
It helps if we remember the sequence of events. Things were going badly among the Christians in Corinth, and in an attempt to get them on track, Paul made a quick, unplanned visit that only seemed to make things worse (the “sorrowful visit” mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:1). After the failure of this visit, Paul decided not to visit Corinth again in person at the time but instead sent Titus to them with a strong letter of rebuke. Paul was very worried about how the Corinthians would receive the letter and whether it would turn them to Jesus or just make them angry. When Titus came back with good news from the Corinthian Christians, Paul was greatly relieved.
3. Godly reproof brings godly sorrow which leads to repentance-unto-salvation.
1. More than just sorrow
2. Sorrow which leads to behavioral change
Notice the pattern. Sorrow before change. We cannot change enough to be made right in God’s sight. We need to repent and allow Christ to change us.
EXAMPLE: Real repentance acts. “If thou repent with a contradiction (saith Tertullian) God will pardon thee with a contradiction. Thou repentest, and yet continuest in thy sin. God will pardon thee, and yet send thee to hell. There is pardon with a contradiction.” (John Trapp wrote these hard and striking words)
4. Worldly sorrow
1. Not based on the seriousness of sin
2. it recognizes failure, but not sin
3. It also recognizes consequences but no sin as sin
4. This leads to spiritual death (EXAMPLE: Judas)
5. Godly sorrow Honest account of themselves before God
1. indignation – they cannot believe that they allowed this go on among them
2. Alarm – Fear of the judgement of leaving this to go unchecked.
3. longing – desire to be reunited; a desire to bring about the relationship with Paul they
4. Zeal – to honor Paul’s Apostolic authority. They recognize the authority of the person
who is talking to them and rejecting false teachers.
5. Punish – they are putting the person under discipline for what they did to the body of
This could be referring to the man who slept with his father’s wife or the lawsuit that is happening between the believers.
6. Paul does not really mention what the real problem is because the goal of
this discipline is not to bring up the past and rehash it again, but to bring glory
to God for what has happened. THERE WAS NO POINT IN BRINGING IT UP
AGAIN. NOTHING COULD BE GAINED BY IT.
7. It is important how you look in the sight of God. Vs 12.
“Godly sorrow that leads to repentance, therefore, is a sorrow that leads to a change of purpose, of intention, and of action. It is not the sorrow of idle tears; it is not crying by your bedside because once again you have failed; nor is it vain regret, wishing things had never happened, wishing you could live the moments again. No, it is not that. It is a change of purpose and intentions, a change of direction and action.” (Redpath)
3. Joy of Titus report Vs 13 – 16
1. Paul is excited about how they treated Titus.
1. Compare this to how they treated Timothy (1 Corinthians 16: 10)
2. Titus may have went to Corinth skeptical
1. Knew how they received Timothy
2. Knew the problems that were happening
3. Knew that Paul sent a scathing letter to them
3. Titus was surprised to see the result of the letter.
4. There is a great difference in what can happen spiritually when people are receptive to the word given to them.
1. Jesus could only do a few miracles in his home town.Matthew 13: 53 – 58
2. Our openness to the word of correction can make us open to the miracles of God.His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas: Jesus plainly had many brothers and sisters; the Roman Catholic idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary is in contradiction to the plain meaning of the Bible.
“It is the very ordinariness of Jesus’ home background that causes the astonishment (cf. John 6:42).” (France)
“This insulting question seems to intimate that our Lord’s family was a very obscure one; and that they were of small repute among their neighbours, except for their piety.” Clarke)
2. (57-58) A prophet without honor.
So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
So they were offended at Him: When we think of how strongly Jesus is identified with Nazareth (see at Matthew 2:23), it is even more surprising to note that the people of Nazareth did not appreciate it. The success and glory of Jesus seemed only to make them more resentful towards Him.
A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, and in his own house: We often have wrong ideas about what it means to be spiritual. We often think that spiritual people will be much more strange than normal. Therefore, those closest to truly spiritual people see just how normal they are and sometimes think that they aren’t spiritual because they are normal.
He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief: It is truly remarkable that Jesus was, in some manner, limited by their unbelief. As long as God chooses to work in concert with human agency, developing our ability to partner with Him, our unbelief can and may hinder the work of God.
The old Puritan commentator John Trapp here remarked that unbelief was “A sin of that venomous nature, that it transfuseth, as it were, a dead palsy into the hands of omnipotency.”