2 Corinthians 7:2-16 How To Be Sorry The Right Way

by | Apr 11, 2023 | 2 Corinthians, New Testament

I. Inviting Sinful Brothers Back Into Relationship

A. Paul Defended Himself Vs. 2, 3

1. The cause of their damaged relationship was them being yoked to unbelievers. (6:12)

2. V. 2- Paul was able to speak to them with a clear conscience.

a. We have wronged no one- injured or hurt you in any way

b. We have corrupted no one- to spoil or ruin by influence

c. We have cheated no one- taken advantage of someone.

d. Matthew 7:3-5 3And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

3. We see the fruit of sin. – Disunity, separation, division, lack of affection and love.

4. V. 3- Paul was correcting them, but he wasn’t condemning. We must act the same way.

a. It is easy for people to feel condemned, resulting in them not accepting correction.

b. Proverbs 15:32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.

5. V. 3- for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together & to live together.

a. Because of their sinful hearts, Paul needed repeat himself regarding his love for them.

b. They had become suspicious regarding his motives, intentions, and calling.

B. Explaining & Clarifying

1. V. 4- Great is my boldness of speech toward you,

a. Paul loved them deeply, and said some very straightforward things to them.

b. He took the chance in speaking strongly to them.

2. V. 4- great is my boasting on your behalf.

a. His former letter had brought about much godly fruit. They corrected the sin problem.

b. Because they had repented, He was able to brag about them in a godly fashion.

3. V. 4- I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

a. In the midst of all his suffering and tribulations, they were still a source of joy.

b. Their repentance was a great source of joy for Paul in the midst of tribulation.

4. V. 5- Paul had sent Titus to Corinth with a letter of rebuke. Besides all of the physical dangers and troubles that Paul had, there were the inner fears and struggles.

a. Would the Corinthians receive correction and correct the wrongs in their church?

b. Would they turn away from God, and turn away from Paul also?

5. V. 6- For a time, Paul did not know for sure how things were going to turn out.

a. Regardless of what the Corinthians did, Paul would be comforted by God.

b. That truth helps us bear the burden of having to confront someone about their sin.

c. As it turned out, Titus brought good news, and Paul’s comfort came that way.

6. V. 7- We take tremendous risks when we seek to correct people that we love.

a. The one correcting is the risk taker. The one being corrected is now in control.

b. They might receive the correction & repent, or disregard correction, and turn on you.

c. Matthew 7:6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

d. When Titus returned to Paul, he brought a good report. There was repentance.

7. V. 8- sorry grief, heaviness

a. I do not regret it- I don’t feel bad about it now

b. though I did regret it. Though I did feel bad about it at the time

c. There was heaviness in Paul’s heart regarding the letter. Second guessing himself.

d. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. I realize that the letter I sent you temporarily brought grief and heaviness.

8. V. 9- your sorrow led to repentance– Reversal, turning around, a change.

a. that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.

b. Though it was painful, they did not suffer damage from Paul’s letter.

c. It wasn’t intended to hurt, but to heal. Godly pain and sorrow brings repentance.

d. Sorrow must go beyond feeling bad; it needs to lead us to repentance.

II. The Evidence Of Godly Repentance

A. What Godly Sorrow Looks Like Vs. 10, 11

1. V. 10- When we are confronted with our sins, and with the effects and consequences of our sins, we should feel sorrow and remorse. We should hate what we did.

2. Sorrow describes a feeling, but repentance describes a change of mind and direction.

a. Many people try to avoid feeling guilty at all costs.

b. They never accept responsibility for their sins, they blame shift & think they’re victims

3. V. 10- There are two kinds of sorrow regarding sin.

i. Salvation- soteria- to rescue, bring to safety, to deliver, to bring health.

ii. When this process is completed, the Christian doesn’t regret being made sorrowful

b. Worldly sorrow-sorrow w/o repentance; not recognizing sin, no faith or hope in God.

i. We may be a hurt person who interprets every correction as an attack.

c. Chuck Smith- “Sorrow alone accomplishes nothing. Peter was sorry he denied Christ, and he repented (godly sorrow). Judas was sorry he betrayed Christ but, instead of repenting, he killed himself.” (worldly sorrow)

4. V. 11- Godly sorrow is observable because it is accompanied by repentance

a. What diligence- eagerness, forwardness, haste.

b. produced in you- to do completely, perform, work out.

c. what clearing of yourselves- defense, apologia. No excuses, but zeal to do right.

d. what indignation– to be much displeased, greatly afflicted, greatly moved.

e. what fear- phobos- exceedingly fearful, terror

f. what vehement desire- a strong, intense, craving

g. what zeal, heat

h. what vindication- revenge, getting back, making it right, giving it what it deserves.

i. In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter- nothing skipped over

B. The Godly People That God Uses Vs. 12-16

1. V.12- The NIV and the RSV present this verse in an opposite idea…

a. NIV- …you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.

b. Paul wrote the letter to correct a problem, but more importantly, to reveal hearts.

c. To prove his love for them, or their love for him (and for God)

2. V. 13- The repentance of the Corinthians brought joy to the heart of Titus and to Paul.

3. V. 14- Though they had been very carnal, Paul still hoped for the best from them.

a. He had spoken about his expectation that they would do the right thing.

b. His “boasting” had indeed been appropriate.

4. V. 15- Humility and repentance led to a greater and deeper love between Titus and the Corinthians. Sin separates brethren. Repentance and obedience to God joins us together.

5. V. 16- Their repentance brought more joy to Paul’s heart also.