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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
2 Corinthians 7

 

 

Verse 14

6:14-7:16 CONCERNING PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE

The Christian in ungodly society (6:14-7:1)

Apparently the Corinthians still misunderstood what Paul was trying to teach them about relationships with unbelievers (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11). Previously they thought it meant cutting themselves off from unbelievers completely. Now they go to the other extreme and think their relationships can be as close as they like, even to marriage. Not so, says Paul. There must be no permanent and binding relations with unbelievers. The new life of Christians is as different from the life of non-Christians as light is from darkness or as Christ is from Satan (14-15).

The church is the temple of God, and so is the individual Christian (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19). God dwells within his people, and his dwelling place must be holy. Being united with idol worshippers is the same as bringing a heathen idol into God's temple (16). Christians can have no part in the ungodliness of the sinful society in which they live. They are now members of the family of God, and their relationship with their heavenly Father is more important than all their physical and earthly relationships (17-18). In view of this, they must make sure they are cleansed from the impurities of the ungodly world, so that they might be holy before God (7:1).


Verses 2-16

Joy at the Corinthians' repentance (7:2-16)

Again Paul appeals to the Corinthians to open their hearts to him, and not to feel hesitant because of the accusations his enemies have made. Nothing in life or death can separate him from them. He assures them that he is overjoyed at the news he has just heard concerning them (2-4).

Paul recalls the restlessness he felt in Macedonia as he awaited Titus' return with news from Corinth. He recalls also the joy he experienced when Titus recounted how he had been comforted when he saw the Corinthians' changed attitude towards Paul. That severe letter had been worthwhile. Titus' visit had been fruitful (5-7).

At first Paul had felt sorry for writing as he did, but now he is glad to see that the sorrow which the letter brought them was the means of bringing them to repentance (8-9). This is because their sorrow was not just shame at wrongdoing, but real sorrow and repentance before God. They acknowledged their sin to God and asked him to forgive them. Because they saw themselves from God's point of view, they spared no effort in clearing up the wrongdoing that was among them (10-11). Paul is satisfied that the letter has achieved its purpose. That purpose was not to hurt people, but to help them view matters under the searching eye of God (12).

Before Paul sent Titus with that severe letter, he boasted to Titus of his confidence that the Corinthians would see their wrongdoing and repent. He therefore has added joy to know that not only did Titus find them repentant, but he was also filled with love for them (13-16).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/2-corinthians-7.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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