2 Corinthians 2

2cor2.jpgGreetings!

1 So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? 3 I wrote as I did so that when I came I should not be distressed by those who ought to make me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. 4 For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

True love means having someone’s long-term best interests in mind.  Too many times we let false compassion get in the way of real love.  We can rationalize it as being “nice,” but what we are really doing is guarding our popularity.  I know, because I’ve done it too many times myself.

Forgiveness for the Sinner

2     If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

There is another matter-of-fact reference to Satan, our real enemy.  His schemes are for our destruction and/or to minimize our ministry efforts on behalf of God’s kingdom and spreading the Gospel.

Ministers of the New Covenant

12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia.

That is a simple passage that speaks volumes about decision making and the will of God.  Many people sit back as if God is some kind of cosmic Easter Bunny, leaving clues for us so we can discern his will.  But see how God opened a door that Paul elected not to go through!  His personal preference was to go elsewhere, and God gave him ministry opportunities there.   I am not saying that God may not give you clear guidance on some things, just that the Biblical motif is that God gives us moral guidance, wisdom and personal preferences with which to make decisions.  Of course, the moral guidance is always the most important, and we should then exercise wisdom that God grants us if we ask.  But we have a lot of freedom in Christ in how we serve.

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

[1]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

The Gospel will offend many.  We don’t want to add to the offense, but we should not be afraid to speak the truth of God.

Just turn on the TV to see those who peddle the word of God for profit.  They make me nauseous.

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One Response

  1. Visit http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/verse_by_verse.php?book=vbv_2corinthians for a verse by verse study of the book of 2 Corinthians by Zac Poonen

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