Paul Continues to Pour out his Love to these Corinthian Believers and Instructs them to Forgive and Re-Affirm their Love to the Man who sinned sexually with his father’s Wife
2 Corinthians 2:3-5 This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you. But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree--in order not to say too much--to all of you. NKJV
Paul continues the outpouring of his love of these Corinthian believers in his letter as he goes on declaring how he did not want to be made sorrowful or lupe by some of the believers when they should be rejoicing or chairo together being full of cheer, happiness, and gladness. It is the most sincere desire of every true Christian to always be in the state or heartfelt condition of rejoicing or chairo with his or her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Mystical Body. Next to grief and sadness our own personal sin brings to us, the fact of having to say something or write something or do something to rebuke other brothers or sisters in Christ who are “in sin” and not repentant is one of the hardest things we are confronted with in our walk with Jesus Christ and this was what Paul felt here as he continues to express it in 2 Corinthians 2:3. The very thought that he would come to them “in person” and still find many still being adversely affected by the one who offended in sexual immorality with his father’s wife would cause enormous grief to him, especially seeing that before Paul’s first letter (1 Corinthians 5:1-13) the entire congregation turned a blind eye to the sin, even making the man feel comfortable in his sin but now they obeyed Paul and excommunicated or excluded him from the church fellowship and community, some were still slow or reluctant or wary of bringing him back into the fellowship.
Paul details for them how much anguish and anxiety the writing of such a letter brought to him (Paul may be referring to another letter that we don’t have today); even to the point of shedding many tears over the harshness of the language he was compelled by the Holy Spirit to say. Paul was often moved to tears over the brethren because of his great love for those who belonged to our Lord Jesus Christ, case in point when he departed for the last time from the brethren in Ephesus he said, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to warn each one with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). It is true love to another to tell them the truth, even if that truth hurts them in order that it would compel them to repentance, restoration, and refreshing by God the Holy Spirit or guard and protect them from attack by the devil, his demons, or human instruments. Paul proved his love for them not only to them but to himself as he said what was needed while at the same time he wrote many of those words it broke his heart to do so. It was not the entire congregation that grieved the Apostle Paul but some of them. That brought about even more distress to him because it made him stifle or suppress the joy he found in the others because of this man’s sin.
2 Corinthians 2:6-8 Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. NKJV
Paul now declares to them that the man’s punishment (his excommunication from the church) for his transgression is fit or good and they can now restore him back into the fold. Paul must have received some conformation of the man’s repentance, so now he implores them to forgive or charizomai meaning to pardon him or restore him back into fellowship with them in order that the man would not be swallowed up or katapino meaning devoured or destroyed with overwhelming and continual sorrow for what he did. Paul wanted the man’s repentance first to be genuine and then accepted by the entire Corinthian church as such in accordance with the words of our Lord Jesus when He said, “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, “I repent,’ forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). Therefore, Paul implores them to confirm or kuroo their love to this repentant brother meaning to make valid their love for him and to him; to confirm their love to him openly and publicly for even non-believers to see or witness his acceptance and forgiveness and that they would do it solemnly, calmly, soberly, seriously, and with dignity to the restored brother who offended. Paul wanted him to be restored by the entire church with such love and acceptance that it would appear to all outsiders and more importantly to him who sinned, as if he never committed such a transgression.
“The Apostle desires the Corinthians to understand that he also had shed many tears over the case, 2 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.” F. B. Meyer
“They must also confirm their love to him; that is, they should show that their reproofs and censures proceeded from love to his person, as well as hatred to his sin, and that their design was to reform, not to ruin him. Or thus: If his fall had weakened their love to him, that they could not take such satisfaction in him as formerly; yet, now that he was recovered by repentance, they must renew and confirm their love to him.” Matthew Henry
“Paul wanted these Corinthian believers to bear witness in their lives to true forgiveness to this repentant brother who had offended in sexual immorality, restoring him in such a loving manner as if the offense never took place.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…