II Cor. Chapter 2
for this week: I Peter 5:10
But the God of all
grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you.
week in the first chapter of II Corinthians,
Paul spoke of how he praised God for his deliverance in all
his trials, and exhorted the church to believe that he had truly
intended to come unto them, but God had not allowed him to yet
visit. Paul was a man
who spoke with yea and nay as God commanded, and had never
purposefully misled them in his promises.
He closed stating that all of the promises of God were truly
YEA promises, and we need to be about putting forth the Gospel which
is truly a great YEA promise that is wholly of God.
Determined Not to Come in Heaviness
1But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you
in heaviness. 2For if I make you sorry, who is he then
that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
begins by explaining more fully why he had not made a second visit
to them there in the church of Corinth.
His first desire was to come to them immediately.
But after thinking on it, Paul decided that he would visit
them at a time when he did not have to come “in heaviness” and
make them sorry by his use of sternness.
I don’t think there is a pastor or evangelist who has a
humble loving heart like God would have him to have, that wants to
bring harshness to the congregation.
But a pastor is commanded to preach the “whole counsel of
the bible”, and this sometimes can be construed as being strict.
Sometimes, when a church has had many problems like this one
had there in Corinth, God specifically directs the pastor to bring a
message that might correct the errors found in the church.
When a pastor is being led by the Spirit, his message is
truly a directive from the Heavenly Father, and we need to realize
that and never be upset with the man of God for doing his job.
We need more men in the pulpit today that worry about what
God thinks rather than what man thinks.
Far too many seek to please man, and God’s whole message
many times is not preached. Paul
was not this way. He
declared the whole counsel of God.
20: 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the
kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26Wherefore I
take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all
men. 27For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the
counsel of God. 28Take heed therefore unto yourselves,
and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you
overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with
his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing
shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also
of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to
draw away disciples after them. 31Therefore watch, and
remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn
every one night and day with tears.
I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow
from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all,
that my joy is the joy of you all. 4For out of much
affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears;
not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which
I have more abundantly unto you.
knew that if he came and expected them to make him glad, it would
never happen if he came to make them feel sorry and grievous. Basically, Paul delayed his coming that the church might get
their act together and not have to face Paul with so many problems
when he arrived. Paul
wanted to come in love, and expressed how much they meant to him
when he wrote about the much affliction and anguish of heart that he
had felt towards them. Paul
was a man who was not afraid to pour out his heart before God with
tears. Paul had
much love for his fellow Christians, and showed this affection in
the way that he wrote to them.
Psalms 126: 5They
that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious
seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his
sheaves with him
Appeal for the
5But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part:
that I may not overcharge you all. 6Sufficient to such a
man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive
him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up
with overmuch sorrow. 8Wherefore I beseech you that ye
would confirm your love toward him.
you remember from our earlier study in I Corinthians, there was a
situation in the church where a man was living openly in sin and
nothing had been done about it.
Paul had admonished the church to bring church discipline
against him due to the seriousness of the offence and the lack of
repentance on the man’s part.
He now is writing to be sure that they realize that they were
not to be too harsh on the man, and fail to forgive him if he
realized his position and approached the church seeking forgiveness.
Just like being born into our earthly family, the child of
God who finds Christ as Savior is born into the family of God. If your son decided one day that he was no longer part of
your family, it would not truly remove him from the family.
The same is true in God’s family.
Once we are born into the family of God, we will always be a
member of the family. But
if we reject God’s ways, we
may lose our life and die an early death, but our soul will still be
Cor 5:4 In the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the
power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one
unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be
saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto
you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10Yet
not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the
covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs
go out of the world. 11But now I have written unto you
not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a
fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard,
or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For
what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye
judge them that are within? 13But
them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among
yourselves that wicked person.
Paul was grieved by the situation, and it
had been a sorrow and hindrance to the whole church.
But now that the offender had repented and was sorry for his
sin, they should acknowledge this and accept him back.
God stands ready to have his child return to him (as in the
case of the prodigal son), and you and I should have this same
spirit of love and forgiveness to those who may have done wrong.
I’m afraid that many Christians can easily point out wrong
in others, but have a hard time forgetting those wrongs and getting
on with the important things of the Lord.
We should love and cherish every member, and be willing to
care for them and listen to their problems and trials.
The bars are full of people who go to look for someone to
listen to their problems. You
and I should be far more willing to listen to someone’s problem
than a bartender who could truly care less.
Many are afraid to confide in Christians for fear of
reprisal. We should not
be people who have a list of do’s and don’ts that everyone has
to live up to. We need
to put for the standard of Jesus Christ, and let that be the
measure. And then help
and encourage those that fall along the way, realizing, that but for
the grace of God, it would be us that had fallen.
5:6 Confess your faults one to
another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and
one convert him; 20Let him know, that he which converteth
the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death,
and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Matthew 6:14-15 For
if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not
men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your
God warns us that unless we forgive others,
He will not forgive us. The
apostle asks the church to confirm their love towards the offending
brother and restore him to fellowship at this time.
When Paul instructed the church to take action against the
man, his intention was to see the man correct the situation and be
restored to full fellowship.
to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you,
whether ye be obedient in all things. 10 To whom ye
forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to
whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of
Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his
promises to forgive anyone of offenses made towards him if they
would forgive the transgressor.
Paul said he would do it as if in the living presence of
Jesus. When we
follow scriptures carefully concerning church discipline and
correction, we don’t give Satan the upper hand. Satan can wreck havoc on a church that does not follow
the teachings that God has laid down.
And you and I can become spiritually bankrupt if we let Satan
tempt us away from the truths of God’s Word.
Paul said we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices.
What are some of his devices?
is to seek to tempt Christians through the lust of the flesh.
If he can get us to fall for fleshly passions, we can lose
our testimony and ruin our families and truly our whole life.
is to start questioning God’s Word.
Just like he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden, when he said
“Hath God said…..”
Satan wants us to question and doubt God’s goodness and
blessings towards us. God did say that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil, in that day they would die.
Satan questions God and declares that they would not die.
But once Adam and Eve did eat of that tree, they died a
spiritual death that day which meant separation from God.
The only way this can be restored is through salvation in
third device Satan uses is to make us feel hopeless in our
situation. If we have
fell away from full fellowship with the Lord, the backslider will
think that he or she has no hope of coming back to God.
That is a lie. God
stands ready to welcome back any sinner who has drifted from God.
device Satan uses is to get Christians to be extremes on one side or
other of tolerance. Some
become so cold that you couldn’t melt them down with a Texas heat
wave. Others are so tolerant that nothing bothers them, and
anything goes. Both of
these extremes are wrong.
The Christian should love the things that God loves (the
truth, the Word of God,
the fellowship of other Christians) and should hate those things
that God hates. (Sin of
any nature.) But while
abhorring sin, we should love the sinner and do all in our power to
reach the lost for Christ. And
when a brother or sister falls, we should be there first to welcome
them back when they get right with the Lord.
As a matter of fact, we should be involved in their lives to
bring them back.
Galatians 6:1-4 Brethren,
if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore
such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest
thou also be tempted. 2
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he
deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then
shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
12Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a
door was opened unto me of the Lord, 13I had no rest in
my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave
of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
verses 12 and 13, Paul is remembering his visit to Troas after
leaving Ephesus. As in
every place that he went, Paul came there to preach the Gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ. There seemed to be excellent opportunities there, but he was
unable to take advantage of all of them due to his sadness in not
having heard from Titus. Perhaps
Titus had intended to come and report to Paul concerning the church
there in Corinth. But
when we are concerned for a family member or another Christian, we
can not be as effective due to this weighing on our mind.
If at all possible, we should turn every care and burden over
to the Lord . Jesus is
not only willing, but will bear our burdens when we get in the
harness and become a committed Christian.
Matthew 11:28-29 Come
unto me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take
my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
The First Characteristic of the True Gospel
14Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every
is God that gives us the great triumphs.
Paul and his companions had come to know the savour or
sweetness that comes with the knowledge of God and the power God
gives when we walk according to the spirit.
Those that reject the Gospel find a savor of death unto
death. But to us, the
Gospel brings life and hope beyond the grave.
Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible
commentary had this to say about verse 14.
In this dramatic picture, Paul is saying
that preaching the gospel is like leading a triumphal entry. The
background is a Roman triumphal entry. One of the great Roman
generals would go out to the frontier—to Europe where my ancestors
were at that time, or down into Africa—where he would have victory
after victory, for Rome was victorious in most campaigns. The
conqueror would then return to Rome, and there would be a big,
triumphal entry into the city. It is said that sometimes the
triumphal entry would begin in the morning and go on far into the
night. The Roman conqueror would be bringing in animals and other
booty which he had captured. In the front of the procession would be
the people who were going to be released. They had been captured but
would be freed and would become Roman citizens. In the back of the
procession would be the captive people who were to be executed.
these triumphal entries there was always the burning of incense.
They would be burning the incense to their gods to whom they gave
credit for the victory. All the way through the procession would be
clouds of smoke from the incense, sometimes even obscuring the
procession as it passed by. With
this as a background, Paul is saying, “Thanks be unto God, which
always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” This is wonderful,
friend. You can’t lose when you are in Christ. You cannot lose!
Paul says that God always
causeth us to triumph. Wait a minute, Paul. Always? In every place?
We know you had wonderful success in Ephesus, but you didn’t do so
well in Athens. Do you feel that you triumphed in both places?
“Yes,” Paul says, “He always causes us to triumph in
15For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved,
and in them that perish: 16To the one we are the savour
of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.
And who is sufficient for these things?
the lives of God’s true witnesses, He makes us know the sweet
savour of knowledge. We
have mentioned many times how that the beginning of knowledge is the
fear of the Lord. Without acknowledging God, we will never be truly wise.
In our own eyes we may think we are wise, but we are only
fooling ourselves. The
fool has said there is no God.
We mentioned earlier that those that reject the Gospel find
it to be a savour of death unto death.
But we that know God’s Word and accept Christ as Savior
know it is the savour of life unto life.
That question if verse 16 should make us ponder… Who is
sufficient for these things? I believe the answer is that none of us in ourselves are
sufficient. Who could
think himself adequate for this responsibility.
But through God, we can do all things the bible says.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
17For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of
sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
shows that many false teachers corrupt the Word of God, but he was
not of that group. May
God help all of us to never be involved in any kind of teaching that
would take away from the awesome power of God.
The bible is important to God, and He wants us to declare its
truths. Those who
speak the Word of God in sincerity, in Christ, are those who are
sufficient to meet God’s requirements.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name
for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified
thy word above all thy name.
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Prov 4:18 But the path
of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto
the perfect day.
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