The true servant of God cannot but be grieved that he must rebuke Christians for sin, nor can he shun to make those sorry for a season whom he would rather make glad. If the offenders will but let their sorrow work true repentance, God’s minister may rejoice in the nature of their sorrow when it is turned again to joy that is durable.
II Corinthians 7
1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
5 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.
6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.
13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.
15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
II Corinthians 7:1 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 7:2-4 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 7:5-9 – J. Vernon McGee
II Corinthians 7:10-16 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Corinthians 7:1-4 – Separate from All Uncleanness
What an incentive to cleanliness not only of flesh but of spirit! Hebrews 10:22. The Apostle concludes by expressing his intense thankfulness that his converts had not misunderstood the urgency of his former letter. —Through the Bible Day by Day
II Corinthians 7:1—Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness.
The closing paragraph of the previous chapter tells us what this defilement stands for; and in the enumeration note the increasing bonds of approximation which each word indicates. An unequal yoke in ill-matched intercourse with unbelievers leads to fellowship, and this to communion, and this again to concord, and this to partnership; the culmination of the entire series is agreement, and the yielding up of the body for the possession and indwelling of idols. Let us beware of the beginning of this awful approximation. It is impossible to stand still; and they who think lightly of marrying an unbeliever may in the end hear words like those which watchers heard spoken in the doomed temple on the night before it fell into the hands of Titus. “There was, as it were, the rushing of wings, and voices were heard saying, Let us depart.”
There is not only defilement of the flesh, but of the spirit. It is not enough to avoid the gross sins of the outward life. Those of the inner temple and disposition are equally abhorrent to the holiness of God. We must come out and be separate from the latter as well as the former, or we shall never realize what God means when He promises to receive us, and to be a Father to us.
The word cleanse is very decisive in the Greek. It calls for sudden, decisive action; and if you answer, that sin is too closely interwoven with your nature to be thus summarily disposed of, remember that God demands our will only. Directly we are perfectly willing and eager, He steps in and does all the rest. At unknown depths the Spirit of God is at work within us; let us work out what He works in. that we may be welcomed to God’s heart. —Our Daily Homily
2 Corinthians 7:5-16 – The Joyous Effect of Godly Sorrow
After dispatching his first Epistle, with the strong words of II Corinthians 5 and elsewhere, Paul’s tender heart had been rent with anxiety lest the Corinthian church should resent its terms and be alienated from his friendship. But when Titus joined him in Macedonia, bringing the assurance of their deep repentance and unabated affection, he was profoundly comforted and gladdened. He felt also that their sorrow was of the true and genuine sort, which does not consist of mere mortification at being found out or of the dread of punishment, but which implies a profound hatred of sin as grieving the Holy Savior and unworthy of His precious blood. This sorrow does not need to be repented of; these tears do not require to be cleansed. Godly sorrow accepts rebuke meekly, puts away the wrong, and with chastened steps comes again into the way of the sacred Cross.
Titus had imbibed much of Paul’s spirit. It is interesting to notice that though he was a companion and messenger of the Apostle, even his spirit could be in need of refreshment, II Corinthians 7:13; and Paul was pleased that his own anticipations had been realized in the response of his friends at Corinth. Here beats the heart of a true pastor, whose whole soul is wrapped up in the interests of his charge! —Through the Bible Day by Day