Summary: Paul and his fellow servant Titus are excited that the Corinthians have responded to his letter with such a positive attitude. Paul knew how firm the letter had been, but was grateful that the church responded correctly to his disciplinary epistle - I Co
II Corinthians 7 - A Restored Relationship
The majority of this chapter deals with Paul’s joy over the response of the Corinthians to
the letter that he had sent with Titus. He had been apprehensive, but now was relieved
that the Corinthians responded positively to his letter and treated Titus with respect.
It is important to remember that when Paul wrote this letter there were no chapter
and verse divisions. In fact, punctuation is not really used in the original Greek, it all just
runs together. Verse one is very closely tied to the final verse of chapter 6 in which God
promised if the people will remove themselves from uncleanness that God will receive them
and have a heavenly father relationship with them.
Paul encourages the Corinthian believers to respond positively to the promise of
God to have such a close relationship with them. The promise of relationship with God
encourages Paul to call for ALL involved (himself included) to move away from anything
and everything that would contaminate them in body and in spirit.
Holiness and purity is something we cultivate by laying aside sin. It demonstrates
both our level of commitment AND our respect towards God.
The conflict between Paul and the Corinthian church had gone on long enough.
Paul declares that this conflict is a contaminating element. Paul does his part by asking the
church to continue to demonstrate love to him, but he also declares two important facts.
1) He had not wronged even one of the believers.
no corrupting - no exploitation
The implication is that there were those among the church at Corinth who had
wronged the church. The readers knew instantly that Paul knew the truth that there were
those among the church who had sought to corrupt AND exploit the believers.
2) He was still pleased with them
His statement was not to condemn those who had been corrupted and exploited. He
expressed his pride in them, his confidence in them. His confession is one that indicates his
readiness to see the relationship restored. He was already viewing the problems as behind
them and this brought him great joy.
Paul tells of his heavy heart as he entered Macedonia (a different area). He was facing
opposition, but also had a heavy heart about what was going on at Corinth.
Satan wants to harrass us on every side. He wants to send opposition from outside of us,
and he wants to create fear within us.
The arrival of Titus had helped Paul a great deal. Titus brought the news of the
response of the Corinthian people to Paul’s letter. He no longer had to be concerned about
the safety of Titus, but Titus brought the news of the Corinthians sorrow.
Titus was able to confirm the following:
1) The Corinthians wanted to see Paul (fellowship was restored)
2) The Corinthians were deeply sorry for their actions and attitudes
3) The Corinthians were concerned for Paul’s feelings
Once again, Paul responds in joy.
Paul’s response is that he regretted his letter. He regretted the confrontation. None
of us like confrontation and this must have been really hard for the apostle Paul because it
was long distance confrontation. It was months before he heard the response of these
people and during that time he wondered if he had taken the right action.
After Titus’ arrival with the news of the response, Paul was no longer sorry or
concerned about the hurt the letter had caused because the final end had been restored
Paul contrasts “godly sorrow” with “worldly sorrow.” I believe that godly sorrow
represents a sorrow over what we did and the harm it caused. Worldly sorrow is more
selfish and focuses on sorrow over consequences that we are suffering because of our
actions. I believe Cain is a good example of worldy sorrow that leads to destruction. He
was sorrow that God had rejected his sacrifice, but not sorry over what he had done that
was wrong. When God judges him his concern was over how it affected him and
apparently him alone.
Godly sorrow takes us to repentance, worldly sorrow makes us bitter. Godly sorrow
brings us to a restored relationship with God. Worldly sorrow takes us further from God.
Paul indicates that the Corinthians were innocent in this mess. His letter proved
that they were dupes. Paul’s letter brought them to the place that they could see his love
for them, but also recognize how much they loved and cared about this apostle. They had
been duped by those who attacked him. Their response was a strong encouragement to
Paul was especially delighted over Titus’ joy. Titus was jazzed about the response of
the Corinthians. This helped indicate to Paul the level of restored fellowship. Titus had