2 Corinthians 7 - Godly Grief, Confrontation

2 Corinthians 7:1 - Notice he doesn't say "Since God expects us to obey, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God." No, "Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God." We strive to cleanse ourselves & to be holy because of what He has already promised us, not be cause He commands us to.

2 Corinthians 7:2-4 - I had to read verse 3 several times to let it sink in. "I do not say this to condemn you." I naturally take verse 2 as condemnation and criticism. They have failed to open their hearts, shame on them. Repent. But Paul says he is not condemning, rather he is simply calling them higher. Open up.

These days I find that I see condemnation in every criticism, in every less than praising comment. This isn't a failing of those around me, really, it's a failing of me.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 - I like how the ESV uses 'grief' here instead of 'sorrow' in the NIV. Seems to give a more full picture of what they endured.

I like how it also says that Paul rejoiced they it produced in them indignation, fear, longing, seal and punishment. He was glad it produced punishment, wow.

2 Corinthians 7:12-16 - He challenged the sin, not for the sake of the sinner, nor even for the sake of the victim. No, he did so so that they could see their own earnestness to repent. So, he challenged with the full expectation that they would be alarmed at their sin and their reaction to their alarm would then they would see how much they cared. So for Paul, their repentance was assumed when he challenged.

And in doing so, Titus was encouraged by their faith and hearts. You get this idea that Titus was discouraged because of their sin, but Paul had complete faith in their repentance and told Titus so. And when confronted, they came through and everyone - Paul, Titus and the Corinthians - were buoyed in their faith as a result.

How cool is that?

Think about the implications, thought, for you and me. How often do we confront sin that we see? Not often I bet (if you're like me anyway). Why is that? We assume that it'll be hard and that the other party will react negatively. So, it seems a burden, a messy talk to challenge sin, and we avoid it. Paul assumed just the opposite. He assumed that once made aware of their sin (surely they didn't know or they wouldn't be doing it), they would respond earnestly to repent. If that's our mindset, suddenly confronting sin isn't messy or hard, it's simply love. We are telling them what they need - and would want - to know.

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