Verse 1 – But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.
Verse 2 – For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?
Paul had already made one trip to Corinth that had grieved him. He had to correct them in their division over his authority.
Verse 3 – And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all.
Verse 4 – For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
Paul’s Appeal to Forgive
Verse 5 – But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent-not to be too severe.
Verse 6 – This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,
Verse 7 – so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.
The man that was in the church with his father’s wife, had suffered enough punishment. It was time to restore him. The punishment had accomplished what was intended, He had been humbled and repented.
After this punishment of putting this man out of the church, they needed to forgive him and allow him back into their fellowship.
Verse 8 – Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.
Verse 9 – For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.
Verse 10 – Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,
Verse 11 – lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The whole point of church discipline is to correct lovingly and restore that person to fellowship. But when it’s done out of personal anger or hostility, it can cause the person being disciplined to become bitter and leave the church entirely.
Verse 12 – Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,
Verse 13 – I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother, but taking my leave of them, I departed to Macedonia.
Titus was one of the men responsible for collecting the money for Jerusalem., but on Paul’s way to Macedonia, he hoped to meet up with Titus in Troas. When Paul didn’t find Titus in Troas, he worried something had happened to him and went on to Macedonia. Paul found Titus there and sent this letter to Corinth by him.
Christ Causes Us to Triumph
Verse 14 – Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
In the middle of telling them about his trip to Macedonia, Paul thanks God for his ministry and his relationship with the believers in Corinth, despite difficulties.
Verse 15 – For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
Like a sweet fragrance, the laborers were acceptable to God.
Verse 16 – To the one we are the aroma of death to death, and to the other the aroma of life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
Verse 17 – For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
Those who peddle the word of God, were the false apostles in Corinth, whose motive was primarily financial prosperity. Accountability for the message of Christ lays with the One who was the source of the message. If the messenger is truly called by Christ, there will be evidence and results of the lost being truly saved!