Scripture Study: 2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 2  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Paul’s anxiety in the First Epistle was to see the Corinthians hating and judging the sin that led to the offender being put away from among them. Now that the sin has been dealt with as it should, his anxiety is, lest they should fail in their love to restore the one put away.
Verses 1, 2. He determined that he would not come to them in heaviness. He wanted to see them happy in the Lord so that they and he could rejoice together again.
Verses 3-8. It was out of great trial and anguish of heart and many tears that he wrote the letter—not to grieve them but a proof of his genuine love to them; and now he shared their grief over their sin, and was anxious that they should confirm their love to the poor repentant one, and to forgive him, lest perhaps he should be swallowed up with over much sorrow.
Verses 9-13. This had proved their obedience, and now he was ready to join in their forgiveness to the man, that he might be restored to his place among them. He, as the ambassador, could speak for his Master’s forgiveness also, lest Satan should gain an advantage over them. The apostle knew the enemy’s ways and thoughts—It was first to keep the man in the assembly with his sin unjudged: but now it was to keep the man out after his sin had been fully judged and confessed, and Satan had been defeated in this effort to divide their hearts from the apostle.
Verse 12. Paul had been so anxious about them that when he came to Troas, where a door was open to him of the Lord, he could not settle down to the work, because Titus had not come; so taking leave of them, he went away to meet him (see his exercises in chap. 7:6, 7), and then he rejoiced to see how grace had wrought in them. There could be no true restoration without self-judgment which here had evidently been accomplished in the offender, and Paul sees also brokenness in them.
Verses 14-16. The best reading is, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in the Christ, and makes manifest the odor of His knowledge through us in every place.” He comforts himself about missing the open door at Corinth, by the thought that after all, God led him in triumph. He was a sweet savor of Christ, to those who are saved, and it was life unto life; but to the Christ rejector, it was a savor of death unto death. This testimony of Christ was pure in his hands. It was not mixed with man’s thoughts. He labored in integrity, and Christian understanding before God. He was a true ambassador, as the Lord Jesus has said in another place, “He that receiveth you receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.” Matthew 10:4040He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. (Matthew 10:40).
Verse 17 (N. T.). “For we do not, as the many, make a trade of the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, before God, speak we in Christ.”