Read 2 Cor. 7:1 – Perfecting Holiness

1. In verse 1a, Paul is referring back to 2 Cor. 6:17-18. What are “these promises”?

2. There is the cleansing that God does in our lives (see 1 Jn 1:9), but there is also one that requires our participation. This is not a cleansing we do apart from God, but rather God awaits our effort. “Let us” means we take action or make a choice. According to Guzik, this aspect of cleansing is mostly connected with our intimacy with God and our usefulness for service. How do we “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness”?

3. “Filthiness of the flesh” would be sins the harlot or tax collector engages in. An example of “filthiness of the spirit” could be seen in the Scribes and Pharisees. Describe this type of filthiness. What might be an example of “filthiness of the spirit” today?

4. “Perfecting holiness” is not speaking of sinless perfection. What does it mean? What does “in the fear of God” add to this?

Read 2 Cor. 7:2-7 – Comfort for the Downcast

1. In verse 2a, Paul returns to the idea in 2 Cor. 6:11-13. What do these verses say?

2. (vs 2b-3) Though some had spoken poorly of Paul and had damaged his reputation, he stood by his innocence. Paul confronted the Corinthians, but he didn’t want to condemn them. Is it possible to confront without condemning? Explain.

3. (vs 4) Paul says his intentions are great in two different ways. How can both things be true?

4. (vs 4) Though Paul was struggling, he was filled with comfort because he knew the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). He also was exceedingly joyful in all his tribulations. “I am exceedingly joyful” can be translated “I super-abound in joy” or “I have a joy beyond expression”. This is the opposite of those who face tribulation in fear, frustration, and sadness. Explain this. How does this speak to you in your struggles?

6. In verses 5-7 Paul speaks of the way God had comforted him. What does verse 6 tell us?

a. Comment on this quote: God comforts those that are cast down. But that comfort comes by getting our eyes on the Lord. Getting them off of those troubling things that have disturbed us. You see, our problem is that we so often become so completely involved in our problem that we lose sight of God. The problem becomes overwhelming; we lose perspective. Our problem seems to be greater than God. But God comforts those that are cast down. – C. Smith

b. Verse 5 and going forward complete Paul’s thoughts from Chapter 2. Read 2 Cor. 2:13 and then jump to 2 Cor. 7:5 to complete the thought. Though 2 Cor. 2:14-7:4 is a long digression, it is full of the richness of the scriptures giving us some amazing verses. What verses or understanding do you remember from this digression?

7. (vs 7) What news did Titus bring that comforted Paul and caused him to rejoice?

Read 2 Cor. 7:8-12 – Godly Sorrow

1. The letter Paul speaks of in verse 8 is probably a letter of rebuke that he had sent between 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Consider this quote: It helps if we remember the sequence of events. Things were going badly among the Christians in Corinth, and in an attempt to get them on track, Paul made a
quick, unplanned visit that only seemed to make things worse (the “sorrowful visit” mentioned in 2 Cor. 2:1). After the failure of this visit, Paul decided not to visit Corinth again in person at the time but instead sent Titus to them with a strong letter of rebuke. Paul was very worried about how the Corinthians would receive the letter and whether it would turn them to Jesus or just make them angry. When Titus came back with good news from the Corinthian Christians, Paul was greatly relieved. – Guzik

2. In this section Paul speaks of sorrow and repentance. Though he is speaking to a specific group of people about a specific situation, there is much to learn from these verses. In verses 9 and 10, how is godly sorrow described compared to the world’s sorrow?

3. (vs 11 ) Godly sorrow produced many things in them: Define/explain a few of these things below.

Things produced:                                                                                                           Definitions/Explanations

a. diligence
b. clearing of yourselves
c. indignation
d. fear
e. vehement desire
f. zeal
g. vindication

4. According to verse 12, why had Paul written the letter spoken of here?

Read 2 Cor. 7:13-16 – The Joy of Titus

1. In the closing verses of Chapter 7, Paul shares what Titus thought about the Corinthians after his visit with them. How had Titus been received? (vs 15) And what had been the result? (vs 13)

2. (vs 16) Even though Paul is challenging the Corinthians, he is still sure to encourage them. What does this say about Paul and his ministry?