It is the simple fact that the rebuke which is given with a certain relish will never prove as effective as the rebuke which is obviously unwillingly dragged out and which a man gives only because he can do no other. (i) A godly sorrow produces a true repentance, and a true repentance is one which demonstrates its sorrow by its deeds. Charrington started forward and then he looked up. “People seem to jump into faith very quickly nowadays. Time and time again in the early Church the choice came to a man between the security of his job and his loyalty to Jesus Christ. ii. The first meaning is sadness over things that happen on earth that are not related to our relationship with God, for example, the loss of some sort of advantage, financial troubles, loss of friends, or loss of a job promotion. k. I did not do it for the sake: Paul’s purpose in writing the “sorrowful letter” was not to take sides in a dispute among the Corinthian Christians. It is not your sorrow that cleanses you from sin, but His blood. “I suppose that, the nearer we get to heaven, the more conscious we shall be of our imperfections. When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he told his listeners to repent (Acts 2:38). I am glad that in everything I am in good heart about you. You can win the “battle” yet lose the “war.” Paul wanted to protect his relationship with the Corinthian Christians, so he would only make them sorry in a godly manner. Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. One of the most famous modern examples of this same thing was F. W. Charrington. iii. d. I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything: Is Paul being sarcastic here? We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. Undoubtedly that goes back to the old commandment in Deuteronomy 22:10, "You shall not plough with an ox and an ass together." Paul makes a clear separation between sorrow and repentance. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. v. What vehement desire: Godly sorrow produces, and repentance shows vehement desire. i. Paul’s concern for the Corinthian Christians was evident but amazing. Our website uses cookies to store user preferences. If it got the chance to do the same thing again and thought it could escape the consequences, it would do it. Sadness over earthly troubles leads to suicide and Hell. Paul begins by urging the Corinthians not to be joined to unbelievers in an alien yoke. 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. It helps if we remember the sequence of events. The word translated bowels is the Greek word splagchna (Greek #4698). We all know that can still happen between us and those we love. The idea is that there are certain things which are fundamentally incompatible and were never meant to be brought together. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. (iii) There is the joy of seeing someone you love welcomed and well-treated. We may request cookies to be set on your device. It tells us certain things about Paul's whole method and outlook on rebuke. By proceeding, you consent to our cookie usage. i. Now they hated the sin they had committed, and even hated themselves for committing it, and they laboured to atone for it. ESV For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. In the ancient world, as we saw when studying the section on meat offered to idols, many a heathen feast was held in the temple of a god. The connection of this section really goes as far back as 2 Corinthians 2:12-13, for it is there that Paul tells how in Troas he had no rest because he did not know how the Corinthian situation had developed and how he had set out to Macedonia to meet Titus to get the news as quickly as possible. We put the seat of love in the heart, which, after all, is a physical organ. But he who comforts the lowly comforted us--I mean God--by the arrival of Titus. Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness: This is what we take away. (i) Often it meant that a man had to give up his trade. Cain is one Biblical example of someone who did not feel sadness over a terrible sin against God: the killing of his brother Able. #3: “…that leads to salvation…” Christians who sin must repent to be in a saved condition, and thus in good standing for salvation. His purpose was to demonstrate his concern (that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you). Now it is time to open their hearts to him. If you do not want that we track your visit to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here: We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. No, it is not that. By his rebuke he wished the Corinthians to see the real earnestness they possessed for him in spite of their disobedience and their trouble-making. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:4". So Paul wants them to know that after he saw and reported their repentance, Titus loved them more than ever. There are things in the world with which the Christian cannot and dare not associate himself. Job cursed the day of his birth; but no man was ever heard to curse the day of his new birth.” (Trapp), ii. With one blow of his fist the man felled her. 2:13 (where the apostle said he had no rest in his spirit when he found not Titus at Troas) and the fifth verse of this chapter: and so great was his affection to the Corinthians, and his concern about their behaviour in relation to the incestuous person, that, in his further travels, he still had no rest till he heard from them. It was not the letter of scripture but the message of scripture which mattered to him. That was the word of God that came to Abraham as the King James Version has it. (iii) Further, Paul's sole object in giving rebuke was to enable people to be what they ought to be. It isn’t enough to only cleanse ourselves from all filthiness. I am inclined to think that some men heedlessly pollute their spirits; I mean that they do it willfully.” (Spurgeon). But there was no need to go through the whole mess again. Therefore, having these promises: This is Paul’s natural conclusion to 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. From all filthiness of the flesh and spirit: We often think of purity before the Lord only in terms of cleansing from all filthiness of the flesh, but there is also a filthiness of the… spirit to cleanse ourselves from. In fact, these things (desire… mourning… zeal) proved God really was doing a work in the Corinthian Christians, and knowing that was a comfort to Paul. b. I do not regret it; though I did regret it: When Paul first wrote the “sorrowful letter” carried by Titus, he didn’t enjoy the idea of being so confrontational with the Corinthian Christians, even though they deserved it. God is able to use our sadness over offending Him to help us become morally better people.