2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 2  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
CO 2:1-3{Vss. 1-3. Continuing the subject of the closing verses of chapter 1, the apostle expresses the fear that, had he visited them a second time before having heard the effect of his first letter, it would only have been to cause them grief. Normally we should expect to find joy from the saints, and especially from those to whom we may have been a spiritual blessing, as in the case of the apostle and the Corinthians. He therefore writes this second epistle in order that all that might raise a cloud between himself and these believers might be removed.
CO 2:4{Vs. 4. It was indeed with real anguish and distress of heart that he had written his first epistle — a letter watered with many tears. If he had to deal with sin in their midst, it was not in any cold, legal spirit that might have exposed the wrong, pointed out the right course to take in dealing with it, and there left the matter. The fact that he had not come to them might lead to this wrong conclusion, but he writes to assure them that behind his first letter there was "much affliction and anguish of heart", and behind his grief there was deep love for them.
CO 2:5-8{Vss. 5-8. Moreover, this spirit of love that had animated the apostle in writing his first letter he would have the assembly at Corinth show towards the wrong-doer with whom they had dealt in obedience to the apostolic directions. In their zeal in dealing with the evil, let them not overlook love and grace to the wrong-doer who had given evidence of true repentance.
CO 2:9-10{Vss. 9-10. To this end Paul had written this second epistle — to assure them of his love and to awaken their love. The first epistle had, indeed, put them to the test to prove their love by their obedience to the apostle's directions. (Compare John 14:21; 15:1021He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)
10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10)
.) As they had proved their love by obedience, confidence in them had been restored, so that he can say, "To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also". In this way they were acting on behalf of the apostle, even as he, in forgiving any wrong committed against him, represented Christ, thus carrying out his own exhortation, in another epistle, "Forgiving one another... even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Col. 3.13).
CO 2:11{Vs. 11. Thus cultivating a spirit of holy love in his own heart and the hearts of others, the apostle would frustrate the efforts of Satan to sow discord among the saints, not simply by introducing evil amongst them, but by leading them to deal with it in a wrong manner and a wrong spirit. How often the saints may be of one mind as to the evil, and yet discord arise through their not agreeing as to The manner of dealing with it. How important to be on our watch against the devices of the enemy lest he get an advantage over us.
CO 2:12-13{Vss. 12-13. At Troas, where the Lord had opened a door for him to preach the gospel, the apostle had hoped to find Titus bringing him encouraging news of the Corinthians. But not finding him, he had no rest in his spirit; so bidding them adieu, he went on to Macedonia. There, as we know from chapter 7:5-7, he found Titus, who comforted him with the account of the good effect of his first letter.
CO 2:14{Vs. 14. The comfort he had received leads the apostle to break forth in praise, "Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in the Christ". If God leads, it will be in triumph — triumph over the failure of the saints, the opposition of sinners, the devices of the enemy, and the pressure of circumstances. But it will be triumph "in Christ". It is not triumph in the flesh or by human ability or power. Further, in the measure in which difficulties and distresses, of whatever character, are triumphed over in and through Christ, the sweetness and blessedness of the knowledge of Christ will be made manifest in every place.
CO 2:15-16{Vss. 15-16. Thus it is possible to present Christ to the saved and the unsaved. This means, however, to those who reject Christ, death with the anticipation of a worse death; but to those who accept the testimony, life with the anticipation of the fullness of life. But with such mighty issues, as life and death, hanging upon the testimony of Christ, the apostle may well ask, "Who is sufficient for these things?"
CO 2:17{Vs. 17. Paul realized the greatness of the Person that he preached, the deep need of those to whom he preached, and the immensity of the issues involved. He did not, as many even in that day — and how many in this day —"make a trade of the word of God" (JND). The man who has such low thoughts of the word of God as to use it as a means of trade—preaching for a living — will have very little sense of the greatness of the word, the solemnity of the issues involved, or his own insufficiency. He will be in danger of thinking, to his own undoing, that human education, natural ability, and intellectual attainments, will give competency to carry on the work of God. But natural ability and all that comes from man will only give competency in the sight of men. It can neither give sincerity nor competency in the sight of God. The apostle's competency was "of God", and he preached not as a man-pleaser before men, but in sincerity "before God"; and not in the flesh, but "in Christ".