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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 5

Verse 5. If any have caused grief. There is doubtless here an allusion to the incestuous person. But it is very delicately done. He does not mention him by name. There is not anywhere an allusion to his name; nor is it possible now to know it. Is this not a proof that the names of the offending brethren in a church should not be put on the records of sessions, and churches, and presbyteries, to be handed down to posterity? Paul does not here either expressly refer to such a person. He makes his remark general, that it might be as tender and kind to the offending brother as possible. They would know whom he meant, but they had already punished him, as Paul supposed, enough; and now all that he said in regard to him was as tender as possible, and fitted, as much as possible, to conciliate his feelings and allay his grief. He did not harshly charge him with sin; he did not use any abusive or severe epithets; but he gently insinuates that he "had caused grief;" he had pained the hearts of his brethren.

He hath not grieved me, but in part. He has not particularly offended or grieved me. He has grieved me only in common with others, and as apart of the church of Christ. All have common cause of grief; and I have no interest in it which is not common to you all. I am but one of a great number who have felt the deepest concern on account of his conduct.

That I may not overcharge you all. That I may not bear hard (epibarw) on you all; that I may not accuse you all of having caused me grief. The sense is, "Grief has been produced. I, in common with the church, have been pained, and daily pained, with the conduct of the individual referred to; and with that of his abettors and friends. But I would not charge the whole church with it; or seem to bear hard on them, or overcharge them with want of zeal for their purity, or unwillingness to remove the evil." They had shown their willingness to correct the evil by promptly removing the offender when he had directed it. The sense of this verse should be connected with the verse that follows; and the idea is, that they had promptly administered sufficient discipline, and that they were not now to be charged severely with having neglected it. Even while Paul said he had been pained and grieved, he had seen occasions not to bear hard on the whole church, but to be ready to commend them for their promptness in removing the cause of the offence.

{b} "if any" Ga 5:10 {c} "but in part" Ga 4:12

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