2:1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you
2:2 For if I make you sorry, then who will make me glad but he who
is made sorry by me?
2:3 And I wrote this very thing to you, so that, when I came,
I wouldn't have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice;
having confidence in you all, that my joy would be shared by all of
2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you
with many tears,
not that you should be made sorry, but that you might know the love
that I have so abundantly for you.
2:5 But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow,
not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all.
2:6 Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted
2:7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and
lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his
2:8 Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him.
2:9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might know the proof of
whether you are obedient in all things.
2:10 Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything.
For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for
your sakes in the presence of Christ,
2:11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are
ignorant of his schemes.
Ministering with Peace of Mind
2:12 Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ,
and when a door was opened to me in the Lord,
2:13 I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn't find Titus, my
but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia.
Ministering the Aroma of Christ
2:14 Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ,
and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every
2:15 For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are
and in those who perish;
2:16 to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet
aroma from life to life.
Who is sufficient for these things?
Ministering Free of Charge
2:17 For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God.
But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in
vs 1-5 Can you give examples when it is appropriate to make
feel bad or grieve?
When should we grieve over the sinfulness of other Christians or
we simply ignore such sinfulness so as to promote an artificial
vs 6-11 Who might the "him" be? (1Cor 5:1-5)
What might satan's scheme be?
vs 12-13 Why did he have no peace of mind and why was he
for Titus? (2Cor 7:6,7)
vs 14-16 In what way may Christ be the smell of death to
When you have presented Christ, has anyone ever reacted as if they
Do people treat you as if you have the aroma of death?
In what way are Christians the aroma of life to you?
vs 17 Who peddles the Word of God for profit today?
Why does Paul distant himself from such people?
In what ways might the Word of God have been corrupted so as to make
Rebuke Shows Love
2Cor 2:1-4 So I made up my mind that I would
make another painful visit to you. For if I grieve you, who is
make me glad but you whom I have grieved? I wrote as I did so that
I came I should not be distressed by those who ought to make me
rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share
joy. For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart
with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth
love for you.
27:5 "Better is open
than hidden love." But imagine you had to confront
love with harsh words due to
serious sin in their life. Now imagine they repented. What would
best thing to do next. This was Paul's dilemma. Perhaps he was
best to stay away for now and let things cool off for their wounds
heal. For revisiting them immediately may cause them grief in
them of their wounds and possibly reopening wounds. But while his
presence may have been too intense for them to handle at this
nonetheless writes them to show he is not dispassionate about them
has them in his heart.
Communicating a message face to face can have the greatest
But there is such a thing as too much impact when it comes to
correction. Paul himself writes, "Fathers,
children, or they will become discouraged."Col 3:21 and "Fathers, do not exasperate your
children" Eph 6:4a
person has repented then you only cause them grief in showing your
distrust by micromanaging them. But do feel free to share your
Restore the Repentant
2Cor 2:5-8If anyone has caused grief, he
so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—
put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by
majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to
comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive
sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for
The one he is referring to is the one he spoke of in 1Corinthians
chapter 5 who was involved in a sexually immoral relationship and
whom he said, "Shouldn’t you
rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your
the man who did this?" 1Cor
5:2band "Hand this man over to Satan, so
the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the
the Lord." 1Cor 5:5 The
should have been. Just as Jesus said, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and
if he repents, forgive him." Luke
17:3, sinning Christians are to be rebuke, and
contingent upon their repentance. However when they do repent,
they must be forgiven. And Paul sets the example here. Despite his
former harsh words he shows tenderness here, holding no grudge or
distrust of the man.
Encourage those who repent. The repentant just as much are an
example to follow as those who rebuked them. Rebuke, repent,
That's how God deals with each of us. "My son, do not make light of the
Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he
accepts as a son." Heb
Aware of Satan's Schemes
2Cor 2:9-11The reason I wrote you was to see
you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you
anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven— if there was
anything to forgive— I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for
sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not
of his schemes.
Obedience is not really in play unless it regards something of which
one would be reluctant to do. Thus for example it was only when he
incarnate into sinful flesh that it could be said of Jesus, "Although he was a son, he learned
obedience from what he suffered"Heb 5:8, such as in his prayer, "Take this cup from me. Yet not
will, but what you will."
22:42 Likewise of the parable of the two sons of Matt 21:28-32, the one who
exercised obedience reluctantly was commended. In this case they
challenged with confronting sinful Christians. Ever been reluctant
confront fellow Christians who are sinning overtly? A large element
such fear is simply one's own sinful nature afraid to take it in the
manner in which one dishes it out. For you know that it is human
that if you scrutinize others, they will scrutinize you. That is one
the costs - or benefits depending on your perspective - of obeying
Jesus. For Jesus said, "If your
brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."Luke
Forgiveness itself, with again is an act of obedience, can be as
challenging as confront people with sin, especially in the case of
Christians you might not particularly like. Grudges are not to be
against Christians who repent of sin. And if you take on the
responsibility of confronting someone with sin, then you also take
the responsibility of restoring that person and fellowshipping with
after they repent. Common for people who upon deciding to part with
someone takes a parting shot criticizing that person without having
intention of restoring fellowship with them upon their repentance.
notice in this case the man was restored to fellowship, and even
through Paul was away he made sure to let him know that all was
One is reminded of Peter who denied Christ three times, but later,
having repented, the Lord made sure to speak to him personally
him that he was forgiven and restored, being given authority to
for the kingdom.
Avoid being naive about Satan's schemes. It's not that such schemes
allusive, but Christians are often gullible, forgetting that we all
have a sinful nature subject to temptation of which the devil plays
upon. Thus the devil drives Christians to the extremes of either
merciless legalism, like in the case John Calvin who said, "Whoever
that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will
and willingly incur their very guilt.", or to free grace
licentiousness in which there is no scrutinizing at all.
of Mind Guides
2Cor 2:12-13Now when I went to Troas to preach
gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,
still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother
there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia.
The situation with Titus will be mentioned a number of times -
7,8,12 - indicating that Paul had sent Titus to them and here he is
alluding to a time when he expected Titus to return from Corinth to
give him news of the Corinthian's response to his former letter. He
waiting in anticipation. Now much as even Paul himself commands us
be anxious for nothing (Php 4:6),
(John 14:27), yet
it is not inappropriate to be anxious about the unpredictable
to correction of those we love, if indeed our love is genuine. And
that's what Paul wanted to communicate.
Also with regards to this open door, one should not be guided soley
circumstances. Though God opens a door, one should not necessarily
through it. One should also have peace of mind. Though lack of peace
mind should not be an excuse for doing nothing. If one does not have
peace of mind, then find out why and fix it. Then go through the
Thirdly notice that Paul's priority concerned those already in the
faith, as he himself said, "As
have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to
belong to the family of believers." Gal 6:10 Evangelism is secondary
discipleship. And the weaker link, the feeble sheep, the bruised
is to be the priority, and those who are eager to learn are more a
priority than those who are reluctant to do so.
Aroma of Christ
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession
Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the
of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are
saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of
death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to
Fragrant aroma is an allusion to the sacrifices made under the
Law. "Burn the entire ram on
altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, an
offering made to the LORD by fire." Ex 29:18 And this was likewise
case with Christ's sacrifice. "Walk
as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an
offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."Eph 5:2 I'm reminded of two
different reactions some had to Mel Gibson's movie, "The
Passion of the Christ". The Christians generally found it moving.
some others thought it degrading, being just about a man being
tortured. Likewise to the unbeliever the gospel may stink. But that
says more about them than it does the gospel message.
To the unbelievers, not only does Christ smell of death, but we
Christians are also perceived that way, seeing as our message is
preparing people to die and face judgement. For "man is destined to die once, and
after that to face judgment"Heb 9:27
But to those
who are being saved, "as for
saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is
my delight."Ps 16:3
There is no greater calling than to spread the aroma of Christ, be
the stench of death or the aroma of life.
2Cor 2:17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle
word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before
with sincerity, like men sent from God.
There are so many people who peddle the word of God for profit. And
few take a genuine interest in those to whom they allegedly
Paul spoke of Timothy in Php
saying, "I have no one else
him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone
out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ." Has
statistic among Christian leadership really changed since then?
Paul advised the Ephesian elders,
"I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You
know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the
of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this
of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord
Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"Acts 20:33-35
But so few take Paul's advice. And again Paul says in 1Corinthians
chapter 9 that while he and Barnabus have a right to get paid, they
have not used any of these rights."
1Cor 9:15 so to offer the gospel free of charge. That's the
it should be. But few who preach the gospel have the generosity to
offer their services free of charge. For it's an act of generosity
preachers to work for a living and offer their services free of
as Paul said, "What then is my
reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it
isn't the gospel about generosity. Furthermore peddling the word of
for profit calls into question one's motives as even Paul here calls
into question such people's motives. And there are in fact "those think that godliness is a
to financial gain."1Tim
Peter commands shepherds of God's flock to be "not greedy for money, but eager to
why does he say that if that weren't an issue.
To the Thessalonians he again pointed out his example. "You yourselves know how you ought
follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor
eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary,
we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not
burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the
to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to
follow." 2Thess 3:7-9
Rare to find Christian leadership today which has not chosen to be a
financial burden to those to whom they are ministering. What kind of
example is that? Peddlers are also in the habit of adulterating
the sake of gain. There are those who distort the Word of God or
presentation of Christ in order to simply make more money. There are
ministers who may not even realize the hold that money has on them,
unconsciously distort the Word so as to make more of it. They
so as to make it more "Popular" or to simply make people feel good
themselves. "They will gather
around them a great number of
to say what their itching ears want to hear." 2Tim 4:3
Christianity seldom represents Biblical Christianity. If something
there's usually something wrong with it. And true believers are
not the majority, but the remnant of Christendom.