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Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.


Paul’s Joy at the Church’s Repentance

2 Make room in your hearts for us; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. 3I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4I often boast about you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with consolation; I am overjoyed in all our affliction.

5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—disputes without and fears within. 6But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us by the arrival of Titus, 7and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was consoled about you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. 8For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly). 9Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance; for you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. 10For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. 11For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter. 12So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who was wronged, but in order that your zeal for us might be made known to you before God. 13In this we find comfort.

In addition to our own consolation, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by all of you. 14For if I have been somewhat boastful about you to him, I was not disgraced; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting to Titus has proved true as well. 15And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, and how you welcomed him with fear and trembling. 16I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you.


4. Great is my boldness. Now, as if he had obtained the enlargement of heart that he had desired on the part of the Corinthians, he leaves off complaining, and pours out his heart with cheerfulness. “What need is there that I should expend so much labor upon a matter already accomplished? For I think I have already what I asked. For the things that Titus has reported to me respecting you are not merely sufficient for quieting my mind, but afford me also ground of glorying confidently on your account 637637     “Timothy is despatched” (by Paul) “to Corinth, and after him Titus is sent. In the mean time, ‘a door is opened of the Lord’ to the Apostles to preach Christ’s gospel at Troas; but, strange to relate! he who panted so earnestly for such opportunities, had neither heart nor tongue to improve the present. The expected messenger from Corinth had not arrived — he had ‘no rest in his spirit,’ and abandoning the rich harvest which invited his labors, he wandered into Macedonia. Nor yet did he find ease: ‘For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side — without were fightings; within were fears.’ At last Titus arrives with tidings from Corinth. The Apostle’s letter had been well received; it had produced the intended effects; a spirit of repentance had fallen upon the Church; they had applied themselves vigorously to the correction of abuses; the love which they bore to their spiritual father had revived with additional strength. ‘Now! thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place!’ ‘Great is my boldness of speech towards you, great is my glorying of you; I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.’ (2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 7:4.) What a sudden change! what a wonderful transformation! Formerly we saw him like a soldier, wounded, weak, disabled, dispirited, fallen to the ground; now he is lifted up, victorious, and borne on the triumphant car.” — M’Crie’s Sermons, p. 39.Ed. Nay more, they have effectually dispelled the grief, which many great and heavy afflictions had occasioned me.” He goes on step by step, by way of climax; for glorying is more than being of an easy and quiet mind; and being freed from grief occasioned by many afflictions, is greater than either of those. Chrysostom explains this boldness somewhat differently, in this manner — “If I deal with you the more freely, it is on this account, that, relying on the assurance of your good will towards me, I think I may take so much liberty with you.” I have stated, however, what appeared to me to be the more probable meaning — that the report given by Titus had removed the unfavorable impression, which had previously racked his mind. 638638     La mauuaise opinion ou le souspecon qu’il auoit d’eux, et dont il estoit tourmente en son coeur;” — “The bad opinion or suspicion that he had of them, and with which he had been tormented in his heart.”

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