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Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved," (tautas oun echontes tas epangelias, agapetoi) "Therefore having or holding these promises, beloved," of the Father’s care, 1 John 3:1-3; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; and the gift of His Son as a pledge of their fulfillment.

2) "Let us cleanse ourselves," (katharisomen heautous) "Let us cleanse ourselves," repeatedly, actively, continually, by separation from all known sin, put it away, behind, Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 4:25-31; Ephesians 5:3-8.

3) "From all filthiness of the flesh and spirit," (apo pantos malusmou sarkos kai pneumatos) "From all pollution of flesh and spirit (attitude), or disposition," as in Luke 9:55; and defilement of the flesh as lasciviousness and gluttony and fornication; the cleansing is also to be from the spirit of malice, falsehood, grudges, 2 Peter 1:3-7.

4) "Perfecting holiness," (epitelountes hagiosunen) "perfecting (or maturing) holiness," of life behavior or conduct, Colossians 3:1-3; Galatians 5:13-25. Holiness is a divine attribute to be shown in His children, Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 12:14.

5) "In the fear of God," (en phobo theou) "In (the) fear of God;" 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 1 Peter 2:17.

Verse 2


1) "Receive us," (choresate hemas) "Make room or set apart a time and place for us," in love in your hearts, Matthew 10:40-41; 2 Corinthians 5:20.

2) "We have wronged no man," (oudena edikesamen) "We have wronged no one;" or done injury to no man; apparently charges of wrong, corruption, and fraud had been made against Paul, which he disavows, as even Job and our Lord were slanderously accused, 2 Corinthians 12:16-17.

3) "We have corrupted no man," (oudena ephtheiramen) "We have injured no one," by false teaching or by any other means, Acts 20:33-35.

4) "We have defrauded no man," (oudena epleonektesamen) "We defrauded no one;" 2 Corinthians 11:9; 2 Corinthians 12:13-18. Paul and his helpers did not secure money or property to support them in their labors by any means or method of deceit or dishonesty. He provided things honest, above board, above the table, "In the sight of all men," Romans 12:17.

Verse 3

1) "I speak not this to condemn you," (pros katakrisin ou lego) "I speak not for (to or toward) condemnation," or to blame you all, or to accuse you of mistrusting me.

2) "For I have said before," (proeireka gar) "For I have previously said," 2 Corinthians 6:11.

3) "That ye are in our hearts," (hoti en tais kardiais hemon este) "That you all are in our hearts," or affections, in our practical love, 2 Corinthians 3:2; Philippians 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:8.

4) "To die and live with you " (eis to sunapothanein kai suzen) "For to live and to die with you all," is in our hearts; your image or an image of you (a picture) is in my heart in life and in death. For "love never fails," 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Verse 4

1) "Great is my boldness of speech toward you," (polle moi parresia pros humas) "I have much boldness toward you," or toward interest in and defence of you all. Great is his candor, faithfulness of love, 1 Corinthians 1:4-7

2) "Great is my glorying of you," (polle moi kauchesis huper humon) I have (do) much boasting on behalf of you all;" Philippians 2:17. He gloried upon receiving good news, of their conduct, 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 3:2.

3) "I am filled with comfort," (pepleromai to paraklesei) "I have been filled with comfort," that Titus had brought to Paul, from them, Philippians 2:17-18; 2 Corinthians 1:24.

4) "I am exceeding joyful," (huperperisseuomai te chara) "I overflow with joy."

5) "In all our tribulation," (epi pase te thlipsei hemon "upon occasion of all our affliction;" Paul receive( comfort and joy, in spite of his great pain, upon every report of good news from the church at Corinth where he had invested a good part of his valuable life, Acts 18:11 (1 1/2 years) and again for (3 months) Acts 20:2-3.

Verse 5

1) "For when we were come into Macedonia," (kai ga elthonton hemon eis makedonian) "For even when wt came into Macedonia," The journey was from Ephesus to Troas to Macedonia, Acts 20:1-3; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13.

2) "Our flesh had no rest," (oudemian escheken anesin he sarks hemon) "our flesh had no rest," not finding Titus as they had expected at Troas, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; Acts 20:6. His anxiety remained with him after he went on into Macedonia.

3) "But we were troubled on every side," (all’ en panti thlibomenoi) "But we were being afflicted in every (kind of) way;" on every side; at every turn, as man is "born for trouble as sparks fly upward," Job 5:9; Job 14:1; Psalms 46:1; 2 Corinthians 1:4.

4) "Without were fightings " (eksothen machai) "Without were fightings," contentions were adversaries, without the church, 1 Corinthians 15:32; Acts 19:23-41; Acts 21:27-40.

5) "Within were fears" (esothen phoboi) "within were fears," anxieties which Paul had and felt deeply for the converts at Corinth, 2 Corinthians 11:28. He feared for their welfare, how they may have received his letters; 2 Corinthians 12:19-21.

Verse 6

1) "Nevertheless, God, that comforteth those that are cast down," (all’ ho parakalon tous tapeinous) "But (God) the one comforting the humble," comforting -those who are cast down; Romans 15:4-5; Isaiah 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 1:4.

2) "Comforted us," (parekalesan hemas ho theos) "The (same) God comforted us," lifted us up, 2 Corinthians 1:5; or encouraged us, Hebrews 13:5-6.

3) "By the coming of Titus," (en te parousia Titou) "in or by the body presence (coming) of Titus," whom Paul met in Macedonia, not in Troas, as he had hoped, 2 Corinthians 2:13.


During the ministry of the late Mr. Willison, of Dundee, a serious woman who had been hearing him preach from Psalms 55:22, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain thee," came to his house in the evening, with a broken and oppressed mind, in order to make known to him her perplexed case. The poor woman, as she passed through the house to his room, heard a little girl repeating the text which came with such power to her heart, and effectually dispelled her fears, and set her at liberty. When she was introduced to Mr. W., she told him that she was come to make known her distress: but the Lord, by means of his grandchild repeating the text, as she came through the house, had graciously dispelled her fears, and removed her burden; and now she only desired to give thanks for her spiritual recovery.


Verse 7

1) "And not by his coming only," (ou monon de ente parousia autou) "and not only by his body presence; which did bring some comfort from distress; It helped him thank God and take courage, Acts 28:15.

2) "But by the consolation "’ (alla kai en te paraklesei) "But also by (means of) the comfort," the good news Titus brought from the Corinth church to Paul in Macedonia; Such helps one be of good courage, Joshua 1:6-7; Joshua 1:9; Psalms 27:14.

3) "Wherewith he was comforted in you," (he pareklethe eph’ humin) "with which he was comforted over you all," 1 Thessalonians 3:7.

4) "When he told us your earnest desire," (anangellon hemin ten humon epipothesin) "reporting to us of your earnest longing," or desire.

5) "Your mourning," (ton humon odurmon) "of your mourning," your repentance for wrongs in and among you all, as a result of the rebuke he sent them, Matthew 5:4.

6) "Your fervent mind toward me," (ton humon zelon huper emou) "of your zeal on my behalf," of the gospel cause I represent.

7) "So that I rejoiced the more." (hoste me mallon charenai) "So that I rejoiced (even) more," more than just to see Titus, 2 Corinthians 7:13.

Verse 8

1) "For though I made you. sorry with a letter," (hoti ei kai elupesa humas en te epistole) "Because if indeed I grieved you by the epistle;" The first epistle to the Corinthian brethren, written in tears, 2 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 especially. Paul had only done God’s will in this written reproof, 2 Timothy 4:1-4.

2) "I do not repent," (ou metamelomai) "I do not regret," or retract the strong, truthful correction. "Regret" indicates that he did not know how they would receive the reproof.

3) "Though I did repent," (ei kai metemelomen) "If indeed I regretted," or even regretted writing it.

4) "For I perceive that the same epistle," (blepo hoti he epistole ekeine) "For I recognize that the same epistle, or letter;" The perception was evidently brought to him by the testimony of Titus.

5) "Hath made you sorry," (elupesen humas) "hath grieved you all;- caused you to grieve; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

6) "Though it were but for a season," (ei kai pros horan) "although it was for a short period," sin recognized, confessed, and put away by an individual or a church causes rejoicing in the presence of angels in heaven and men on earth, Luke 15:6-7; Luke 15:9-10; Luke 15:21-24; Luke 15:32.

Verse 9

1) "Now I rejoice," (nun chairo) "Now I progressively rejoice," continue rejoicing, now that Titus has come and I have learned the effect of my letter.

2) "Not that ye were made sorry," (ouch hoti elupethete) "not that you all were grieved;" more regrets and tears for being caught in doing wrong do not mean much. Even Judas Iscariot seemed to have this kind of sorrow, Matthew 27:3-10.

3) "But that ye sorrowed to repentance," (all’ hoti elupethete eis metanoian) "but that you all were grieved unto repentance;" as David did for his sins and as Peter did for denying the Lord, Psalms 51:1-15; Luke 22:62; John 21:17.

4) "For ye were made sorry after a godly manner," (elupethete gar kata theon) "For you all were grieved according to God," or after a manner of reproof that was godly. The rebuke Paul wrote them was of Divine order for their good. Romans 2:4-5.

5) "That ye might receive damage by us in nothing," (hina en medeni zerniothete eks hemon) "In order that you might not suffer a loss in anything by us," or lose not one thing by our neglect to reprove you for wrong, 1 John 1:8-9.

Verse 10

1) "For godly sorrow," (he gar kata theon lupe) "Because godly grief," grief or sorrow that comes from God’s reproof for sin and wrong, sorrow according to God’s conviction, 2 Samuel 12:13; Psalms 51:1-7; Matthew 26:75.

2) "Worketh repentance to salvation," (ergazetai metanoian eis soterian) "activates (energizes) repentance with reference to or toward salvation," toward deliverance, Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Peter 3:15. Repentance means a change of purpose, direction, and course of moral conduct.

3) "Not to be repented of," (ametameleton) "not ever to be regretted," repented of. Genuine repentance leads to salvation and the blotting out of sins, or to life eternal, Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22; Acts 17:30; Acts 20:21.

4) "But the sorrow of the world," (he de tou kosmou lupe) "but the world (kind) of grief," grief of the world order of kind, for failure, or mere regret for being caught or found out for wrong, as Judas Iscariot seemed to have been, not confessing to the Lord.

5) "Worketh death," (thanaton katergazetai) "works out or leads to death," alienation, separation from God, in contrast to repentance to salvation or deliverance, Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:16; Revelation 2:21-22; Cain’s sorrow was of death-kind, Genesis 4:13-15.

Verse 11

1) "For behold this self-same thing " (idou gar auto touto) "For observe (behold) this very thing," consider it and practice it in life. Acknowledge and request forgiveness and turn away from wrong when overtaken in it, 1 John 3:8-9.

2) "That ye sorrowed after a godly sort " (to kata theon lupethenai) "That you all grieved after or according to a godly manner," Proverbs 16:6; Matthew 6:29. Let sorrow for sin be genuine, lead to a change of conduct, a quitting of the sin.

3) "What carefulness it wrought in you " (posen kateirgasato humin spouden) "what earnestness it produced or worked out in you all," to obey God’s instructions to put away the fornicator, 1 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11.

4) "What clearing of yourselves," (alla apologian) "But what defence;" of their name, reputation, and influence upon excluding the erring brother, 1 Corinthians 5:4-5; Galatians 6:1.

5) "Yea, what indignation," (alla aganklesin) "yea, what vexation," for not having rid themselves of the fellowship of the fornicator before they did.

6) "Yea, what fear," (alla, phobon) "yea what fear," reverential or respectful fear, of Paul’s reproof, 1 Timothy 5:20; "rebuke, - that others also may fear."

7) "Yea, what vehement desire, yea what zeal, yea what revenge!" (alla epipothesin alla selon alla ekdikesin) "but eager desire, yea zeal, yea vengeance or revenge," desire for Paul’s presence and zeal on God’s behalf -revenge means "meeting out of justice."

8) "In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter," (en panti suneotesate,heautous hagious einai to pragmati) "in everything you all commended yourselves to be pure (morally clean) in the affair, repudiating the sin.

Verse 12

1) "Wherefore, though I wrote unto you," (ara ei kai egrapsa humin) "Then (even) though I wrote to you all," consequently, "as a consequence desired," I wrote to you all, referring to the 1 Corinthian letter, 1 Corinthians 1:10-11; 2 Corinthians 2:4

2) "I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong " (ouch heneken tou adikesantos) "It was not (simply) for the sake (cause) of him who did wrong," the incestuous son of 1 Corinthians 5:1, nor merely for his father’s sake, or just to secure his punishment. There was the church reputation at stake.

3) "But that our care for you," (all’ ten spouden pros humas) "but that our earnestness (sincere care) for you," (Gk. heneken) "for the sake of," 2 Corinthians 2:4, for the sake of their testimony.

4) "In the sight of God," (enopion tou theou), "Before, or in the face of God," in the sight of God, with God looking on, Isaiah 59:1-2.

5) "Might appear unto you," (phanerothenai pros humas) "Might be manifested to you all," Galatians 6:1.

Verse 13

1) "Therefore we were comforted," (dia touto parakeklemetha) "Therefore we have been comforted;" The rod and staff of the accepted Word and guide of the Holy Spirit always afford comfort, Psalms 23:4.

2) "In your comfort," (epi de te paraklesei hemon) "But as to the comfort of us," it came from your comfort to us in doing the will of God. What comforts one of God’s children should be a joy and comfort to his friends, 1 Thessalonians 3:7.

3) "Yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus," (perissoteros mallon echaremen epi te chara titou) "We rejoiced abundantly (even more) over the joy of Titus;" Titus was going back to Corinth on the business of collecting help (benevolence) for Jerusalem brethren, 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 8:23. Therefore this note of gratitude was sent that he might be well received.

4) "Because his spirit was refreshed," (hoti anapepautai to pneuma autou) "Because his spirit (disposition) has been rested," relaxed or quieted, by your kindness to him and by your practical repentance in so many things made right.

5) "By you all," (apo panton humon) "From you all," from your hospitable and respectful acceptance of him and the message he brought to the church. Not only was Titus well received by the Corinth church but it appears that he also left a good impression upon all of them, 2 Corinthians 12:18.

Verse 14

1) "For if I boasted anything to him of you," (hoti ei ti auto huper humon kekauchemai) "Because if I have boasted anything to him on behalf of you all," since my hopes of you all are fulfilled, and I did boast of you all, 2 Corinthians 9:2.

2) "I am not ashamed," (ou kateschunthen) I am not ashamed," or blushing because my boasting of you has been exposed, for it was not in vain, Romans 1:16; Romans 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:12.

3) "But as we spake all things to you in truth," (all’ hos panta en aletheia elalesamen humin) "But (surely as) we spoke all things in truth to you all;" things proved to be truth, John 8:32; Psalms 119:160.

4) "Even so our boasting," (houtos kai he kauchesis hemon) "Even so also our boasting;" of your fidelity to us and God wilI be rewarded, 2 Corinthians 10:15.

5) "Which I made before Titus," (epi titou) "which I made over you to Titus," of your care for the cause of Christ, Galatians 6:14.

6) "Is found a truth," (alethia egenethe) "became truth,” “was found (to be) truthful, true;" evidence that Paul was a true apostle and prophet of God, Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29.

Verse 15

1) "And his inward affection," (kai ta splagechna autou) "and his affections," heart felt care, also rendered bowels of affection, reciprocated love, gratitude, and tender appreciation for your gracious acceptance of him.

2) "Is more abundant toward you," (perissosteros eis humas estin) "are toward you abundantly," shown or given out, exuberantly. His affection toward them was genuine, without dissimulation or pretence, Romans 12:9; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22.

3) "Whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all," (anamimneskomenou ten panton humon hupakoen) "while (as) he recalls the obedience of you all," to the word of God and letter of Paul, 2 Corinthians 2:9.

4) "How with fear and trembling - (has meta phobou kai tromou) "as with fear and trembling," you received him as my friend and God’s messenger, Hebrews 13:1-2; Matthew 25:35; Romans 12:13. Tho Titus carried Paul’s stern excommunication message to the church they received it in respectful fear and trembling, 1 Corinthians 5:5; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

5) "Ye received him," (edeksasthe auton) "you all received him," as from the Lord. He who receives a servant from the Lord, receives the Lord, Matthew 10:40-41; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48. And he who receives not a messenger of God (is a Diotrephes), rejected, disapproved of God in his selfish conduct, 3 John 1:9.

Verse 16

1) "I rejoice therefore," (chairo) "I rejoice," regarding the matters named. Had Paul not dealt squarely with sins in the Corinth church, the matter may never have been straightened up. Every church should accept and follow this doctrine of Christ, exemplified here, Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1.

2) "That in all things," (hoti en panti) "that in all things," or all matters, about which I wrote you ail in the previous letter of 1Corinthians.

3) "I have confidence in you," (tharro en humin) "I am confident in you all," or have my confidence sustained in you all, because of your obedience to the Word of God. They had been "doers of the Word," and not "hearers only," in this matter, James 1:22; 1 Corinthians 11:1-2.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-corinthians-7.html. 1985.
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