Two Corinthians Seven

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Corinthians 7:1 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.

2 Corinthians 7:2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

Receive us. Paul continues his personal appeal to the Corinthians after his parenthetical exhortation on separation from paganism (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). Some expositors have assumed this digression was not part of the original epistle, but there is no external evidence for this assumption. All the manuscripts, as well as all comments by the early church fathers, accepted it just as is. Evidently the false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13) who were trying to discredit Paul with the church were also encouraging them to compromise with the pagan teachings from which they had turned when they accepted Christ, and Paul felt it necessary at this point to speak to that vital issue before concluding his personal appeal.

2 Corinthians 7:3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.

2 Corinthians 7:4 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.

2 Corinthians 7:5 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.

2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

coming of Titus. Titus had evidently brought a letter or other news to Paul from the church at Corinth. He is mentioned no less than nine times in this one epistle. Paul had been anxiously awaiting his return from Corinth with the church's response to his first epistle. He had evidently hoped first that Titus would come to Ephesus, next that he might meet him at Troas, and finally he was waiting for him at Philippi in Macedonia (Acts 20:1, 5). He was very concerned until Titus finally arrived, carrying all the news to which Paul was now responding in his second epistle to the Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 7:7 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.

2 Corinthians 7:8 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.

2 Corinthians 7:9 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.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

godly sorrow. Instead of provoking resentment against Paul by the Corinthians, whom he had rather severely censured in that letter, Paul's first letter had actually produced sorrow for their sins—“godly sorrow,” that is, of sorrow from God—leading to true repentance and correction of the sin which had been particularly rebuked (1 Corinthians 5:1-6; note verse 6, also 2 Corinthians 2:1-10). This response proved the genuineness of their salvation.

sorrow of the world. The “sorrow of the world,” on the other hand, is not sorrow for the sin itself, but sorrow over its consequences (e.g., Luke 13:27-28). This type of sorrow issues only in eternal death, not salvation.

2 Corinthians 7:11 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.

carefulness. That is, “anxiety.”

2 Corinthians 7:12 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.

2 Corinthians 7:13 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.

2 Corinthians 7:14 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.

2 Corinthians 7:15 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.

2 Corinthians 7:16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.