2 Corinthians 7:16


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything. 2 Corinthians 7:16

Paul sums up the thoughts of this chapter with words of relief. Titus had been sent, good things had been relayed back to Paul, and harmony was reestablished between the two parties. Because of this, he says that “I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.” The Greek here is literally telling us that Paul intends, “‘…that in everything I am of good courage concerning (literally, ‘in the case of’) you,’ as contrasted with my former doubts concerning you.” (Jamieson-Faucett-Brown).

Paul doubted if those in Corinth would return to the proper and sound path, but his doubts were ended and he was heartily encouraged once again through the events described in this chapter. Now that this matter is behind him, he will continue on with the epistle in another direction.

Life application: Reading the words of Paul helps us to solidify how we are to conduct our lives in a proper New Testament context. His words are prescriptive and authoritative. But even in his writings are descriptive passages which show us how his theology was expressed towards others. These actually help us to get a better grounding in his prescriptive words as well. Be sure to study Paul for proper doctrine.

Heavenly Father, I know that all Scripture has been breathed out by You and it is useful for doctrine and learning, but I also know that it doesn’t all apply in the same way at the same time. Help me to properly direct my theology to the areas which are intended for me as a believer in the finished work of Christ. Help me to never set aside the grace He has granted to return to futile works which can only distance me from You. Amen.


2 Corinthians 7:15


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.  2 Corinthians 7:15

Because of his visit to the Corinthians and their response to that visit, Titus’ affections towards them grew in the most tender and heartfelt way. There was a true bond forged which included a deep and stirring attachment to them. The word for “affections” here is the same one that he used in verse 6:12 concerning the affections of the Corinthians towards Paul and his associates. Paul is showing that Titus was truly stirred in his love for them during their encounter.

After saying this, he gives the reason for it. Titus, probably sitting there with Paul and explaining all that occurred, surely related how he remembered “the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.” The term “fear and trembling” is a phrase Paul uses several times to convey the deepest sort of feelings. The exact same term is used by him in 1 Corinthians 2:3, Ephesians 6:5, and in Philippians 2:12. Instead of a belligerent attitude, Titus had been welcomed with respect, reverence, and a desire to correct the deficiencies that were highlighted by Paul.

Life application: When reading the Bible, certain phrases are often repeated. Paul’s words “fear and trembling” in this verse can be more fully understood and appreciated by comparing the same phrase elsewhere. Don’t be in a hurry to rush through your Bible studies, but instead take time to refer to other passages or phrases which can help you understand the meaning and intent of what is being relayed.

Heavenly Father, help me to be thorough in my Bible studies and to not rush through passages which are difficult. Instead, help me to think on why they are there and how they ultimately point to Christ. There is a reason for every word You have placed in Scripture and I desire to know and understand it all. Help me to be diligent in my pursuit of Your precious and superior word. Amen.



2 Corinthians 7:14


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true. 2 Corinthians 7:14

From this verse, it is apparent that Paul had boasted in advance that the Corinthians would be receptive to his letter and that things would turn out well in the end. It gives the impression that Titus may have been reticent to be a messenger heading into the lion’s den. But Paul reassured him that all would be fine, boasting of the Corinthian’s ability to correct that which was faulty and to work together in a harmonious manner in the process.

And in his boastings to Titus, the result was that “I am not ashamed.” However, this rendering does not give the correct sense of the tense. It should rather say “I was not shamed” (Ellicott). In other words, the NKJV makes it sound like Paul is currently not ashamed of his boasting. That makes no real sense because the event is past. Rather, Paul was proven to be correct in his boasting and was not put to shame by having things turn out in a manner differently than he had told Titus they would.

As a confirmation of this, he continues with, “But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true.” Paul’s letter of correction was based on that which was truthful. The things that needed to be addressed were correct and right. When the Corinthians read the letter, they took it in that light and worked to correct their deficiencies as appropriate. And so, just as Paul’s letter was in truth, Titus found out that the boasting Paul made concerning the Corinthians was also true. Paul was vindicated in both ways by the words he spoke.

The words of this verse take us all the way back to his words in Chapter 1. In verses 15-18, Paul defended his actions of not coming back to visit the Corinthians as he had originally planned. Because of this, there was the impression that he took their situation lightly. However, his words to them here show that this was not the case. The fact that he boasted to Titus, in advance, of how things would turn out showed that those in Corinth were not only right at the center of Paul’s attention, but that they were there in a positive, not a negative way.

Life application: Paul looked at the Corinthian church with the very best intentions and in the belief that they would do the right thing. In this, he was vindicated in his boasting of them. Although we shouldn’t let ourselves get duped by others, it is right that we give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. When we do, especially when it is done in the presence of others who can substantiate later what we have said, we will then have a firm base on which to work with when dealing with those we have trusted. This can only increase the harmony between the two parties in future dealings.

Lord, sometimes I get so caught up in my dealings with others that I fail to take the time to simply praise You. Today, I just want to tell You how great You are. I praise You for Your faithfulness, goodness, and Your hand of grace upon my life. Even in the darkest valleys I know that You have been there with me. You have never left me; You have never forsaken me. Receive the thanks and praise of Your undeserving servant. All praise, glory, and honor belong to You. Amen.


2 Corinthians 7:13


Monday, 21 September 2015

Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.  2 Corinthians 7:13

In the previous verse, Paul said that the intent of his first letter to the Corinthians was so that “care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.” He had intended to demonstrate his care for them in order to give them soundness and comfort in their congregation. When Titus arrived, his words told them that the letter had its intended effect. Because of this, Paul was in turn comforted in the comfort they received.

Until hearing from Titus, he was certainly anxious about how the letter was received. The good news was that instead of a great battle of words beginning between the two parties, there was comfort. Further, Titus was so overjoyed at how things turned out that Paul says, “…we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus.”

The reason for this is that “his spirit has been refreshed by you all.” The word for “has been refreshed” is in the perfect tense in the Greek. Thus some older translations miss the fullness of the effect it had on him when they translate it “was refreshed.” Titus wasn’t just comforted at the time of his visit, but he remained so even until his coming to Paul. There was a continuance in his state which then was transferred to Paul and his associates.

Paul and everyone with him were overjoyed because things had worked out in a positive light. His words to them now are given to show that he was convinced that there was peace on all sides and that no harm had come to their relationship.

Life application: Written letters and emails can often be misinterpreted because emotions do not carry through these mediums. When there is any chance of such misperceptions, either extra wording or even a follow-up telephone call may be needed to ensure that things are taken in the proper light. Words can truly hurt, so be attentive to sentence structure and the specific words that you use in your communications.

Lord God, how many times have things that I have written to others been taken in the wrong way! Emotions don’t always transfer in letters. And so help me to be careful with how I word things, adding in whatever is necessary to ensure that what I say is received in the way I had intended. And should this not happen, give me wisdom in how I deal with someone who misinterprets my words so that even greater offense doesn’t arise. My heart and goal is to always exalt You, even in the letters I write. So be with me in this Lord. Amen.



2 Corinthians 7:12


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.
2 Corinthians 7:12

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians contains references to a situation of sexual immorality which was so distasteful that it is “not even named among the Gentiles.” In other words, it was something that even Gentiles would consider perverse. From his words to them in that chapter, he makes it clear that his main intent was to cure the entire congregation of reveling in what occurred. In verse 6, he said, “Your glorying is not good.”

It was an overall rebuke to the church. With that in mind, he begins with, “Therefore…” He is referring to the entire chapter so far as a basis for his words now. This is true even from verse 1 which said, “…let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

For the perfecting of such holiness, along with everything else he has spoken of here, he says, “…although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong.” He is clear that the letter wasn’t meant as a rant against the offender or a defense for the offended (although these issues would be handled properly if the congregation took the necessary action he gave). Rather, the overall intent of his words was “that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.”

His concern was for the overall congregation and His care of them in the sight of God. Going back and reading 1 Corinthians 5, this is wholly evident. For Him to say to them “that a little leaven leavens the whole lump” implies that he was concerned about the entire lump of dough, not just one piece of bread broken off from the lump. Paul’s care for the entire body is what was evident, and so this is what he is explaining to them now.

Life application: Misunderstandings arise because people often don’t take the time to thoroughly investigate a matter. When this happens, care needs to be taken in order to resolve the misunderstanding. Don’t be over-excited when responding to others in matters of such difficulty. Instead, think through your response in the life of Christian fraternity.

Lord God, how often offenses are taken because of misunderstandings, especially when people don’t take the time to simply research a matter. At times like this, help me to be a person who can properly evaluate the situation and bring the disaffected parties back to a place of fraternity and love. The last thing we need in this world is more contention and division. Thank You for being with me in such times. Amen.