II Corinthians 2

When a brother is truly penitent for his sin we should not be too rigid or severe with him, lest it give Satan an advantage by driving him to despair, but we should confirm our love to him by forgiving him and showing that our reproofs proceeded from love to his person rather than design to ruin him.

1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:23 – 2:11 – ​Tender-hearted and Forgiving

   In these opening words Paul evidently refers to the sin mentioned in I Corinthians 5. His judgment had been strong and stringent, the Corinthian church had acted upon it, and the offender had suffered severely in consequence. But the result had been more than satisfactory. He had repented with great brokenness of spirit. Indeed, it seemed as if he would be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow, II Corinthians 2:7.
   The Apostle desires the Corinthians to understand that he also had shed many tears over the case, II Corinthians 2:4. His was a very affectionate and tender disposition, which shrank from inflicting pain, and yet was resolute at all costs to maintain truth. We get a sidelight here as to the heart of God. May we not believe that whenever He chastens us, it is with profound pity? Whom He loves He chastens; and whom He receives, He scourges. But when there is full and frank repentance, there should be forgiveness. The penitent offender was to be restored to church fellowship and received with brotherly welcome. The Savior Himself speaks through forgiveness. It is His love that moves, His voice that declares; while an unforgiving spirit sets an open door to the entrance of Satan. —Through the Bible Day by Day

2 Corinthians 2:12-17 – ​The Savor of the Knowledge of Christ

   Paul, in II Corinthians 2:14-16, imagines himself as part of his Master’s procession passing through the world. First he is a captive in Christ’s conquering train; then he is one of the incense-bearers, scattering fragrant perfume; then he conceives of his life as being in itself that perfume. As the captives in a triumphal procession would be divided into two bodies, of which one company was doomed to die while the other was spared, so inevitably all who come in contact with Christ, either directly in the preaching of the gospel or indirectly in the lives of His people, are influenced either for evil or for good. —Through the Bible Day by Day

II Corinthians 2:15—We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.

​   The idea is borrowed from an ancient Roman triumph, which to the eyes of the world of that day was the most glorious spectacle which the imagination could conceive. The apostle compares himself first to one of the prisoners led in long chains behind the conquerors chariot; then to a servant bearing incense; and lastly to the incense itself that rose all along the line of the procession.
   Nothing touches the sense more quickly than sweet odors, unless it be noxious ones; and they almost instantly recall some scene of the past with which they were indissolubly associated. For instance, the scent of new-mown hay will carry us off to merry scenes in the far away days of childhood. Thus the apostle wished that his life might be a sweet perfume, floating on the air, reminding men, and above all reminding God, of Christ. It was as though he said, “I desire so to live that I may perpetually remind God of the obedience, sacrifice, and devotion of the Lord Jesus, so that my words and deeds may recall to His heart similar ones in the earthly life of Jesus.”
   A sweet savor of Christ! It does not consist so much in what we do, but in our manner of doing it; not so much in our words or deeds, as in an indefinable sweetness, tenderness, courtesy, unselfishness, and desire to please others to their edification. It is the breath and fragrance of a life hidden with Christ in God, and deriving its aroma from fellowship with Him. Wrap the habits of your soul in the sweet lavender of your Lord’s character.
   The secret of abounding joy in self-sacrifice is the happy consciousness, such as Enoch had, that we have pleased God. To have this is to secure deliverance from self-consciousness. —Our Daily Homily