We are called to be holy. Paul is thrilled that they changed their behavior. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Having therefore these promises, beloved, let’s cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
let’s cleanse ourselves. Paul tells Christian believers to purify themselves. There must have been areas of their lives where they had not yet arrived at the goal.
from all defilement of flesh and spirit. They were to purify themselves from anything that contaminated body or spirit.
Our faith in Jesus Christ calls us to purification not only of “spirit,” but also of “body.” How we treat our physical body is important.
Some Christians feel that “spiritual” things are the only things that matter. “Spiritual” is good; “physical” is bad.
That is dualistic. It stems from neo-platonic philosophy, and not from Christian faith.
VERSE 2. Open your hearts to us. We wronged no one. We corrupted no one. We took advantage of no one.
We wronged no one. The false apostles had grievously wronged the believers in Corinth. And elsewhere. But Paul had not.
We corrupted no one. The false apostles had corrupted some of the believers in Corinth. And elsewhere. But Paul had not.
We took advantage of no one. The false apostles had taken advantage of the believers in Corinth. And elsewhere. But Paul had not.
VERSE 3. I say this not to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and live together.
VERSE 4. Great is my boldness of speech toward you. Great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I overflow with joy in all our affliction.
Great is my boldness of speech toward you. Paul has great confidence in them.
I overflow with joy in all our affliction. Would your own Christian leaders say that YOU cause them to overflow with joy?
VERSE 5. For even when we had come into Macedonia, our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side. Fightings were outside. Fear was inside.
Fightings were outside. That is, external conflicts.
Fear was inside. That is, internal fears. Even the great Paul the Apostle felt the same kinds of fears that we do.
the coming of Titus. Paul was very relieved by the arrival of Titus.
VERSE 7. and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you while he told us of your longing, your mourning, and your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.
he was comforted in you. Titus had been well received by the Corinthians.
your longing. During his visit, Titus learned that the Corinthians loved Paul and longed for him and were concerned for him.
VERSE 8. For though I grieved you with my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it. For I see that my letter made you grieve, though just for a while.
I grieved you with my letter. When they received his First Letter to the Corinthians, they felt deep sorrow over their many failures.
I do not regret it. Paul knew what he wrote was necessary.
though I did regret it. Yet Paul regretted the pain and sorrow they felt upon reading his Letter.
VERSE 9. I now rejoice, not that you were grieved, but that you were grieved to repentance. For you were grieved in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing.
not that you were grieved. Paul did not want them to be sad. He was not a sadist. Rather:
you were grieved to repentance. Paul wanted them to change their behavior. And that is what happened.
VERSE 10. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world produces death.
godly sorrow. Godly sorrow leads us to repentance and a changed life.
sorrow of the world. That is, worldly sorrow. That is, depression.
A spiritual director needs to be able to discern the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow (depression). The outward symptoms might be similar. But the coping strategy is 100% different.
VERSE 11. For behold, this same thing, that you were grieved in a godly way, what earnest care it worked in you. Yes, what defense, indignation, fear, longing, zeal, and vengeance! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be pure in the matter.
VERSE 12. So although I wrote to you, I wrote not for his cause that did the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered the wrong, but that your earnest care for us might be revealed in you in the sight of God.
not for his cause that did the wrong. Paul had written his First Letter to the Corinthians to correct a situation where a Christian man was in an incestuous relationship with his father’s wife.
However, that was not the main point of 1 Corinthians.
VERSE 13. Therefore we have been comforted. In our comfort we rejoiced the more exceedingly for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
VERSE 14. For if in anything I have boasted to him on your behalf, I was not disappointed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, so our glorying also which I made before Titus was found to be truth.
VERSE 15. His affection is more abundantly toward you, while he remembers all of your obedience, how with fear and trembling you received him.
fear and trembling. Titus may have been hesitant to visit the believers in Corinth. But as it turned out, they received him with fear and trembling
VERSE 16. I rejoice that in everything I am confident concerning you.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.