II Corinthians 2:1-11

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Text: II Corinthians 2:1-11

THE HEART OF PAUL

INTRODUCTION:

Everyone who is saved has a Christian ministry with someone. It is not just the pastors and missionaries. This ministry might be a ladies Bible study, it might be a Sunday School class, it might be a children's church, it might be training your own children, or it might be discipling someone you have just led to the Lord.

Paul made a decision that he would not make another painful or sorrowful visit to the Corinthians (2:1). He knew that if he were to make them sorry, they would not be able to make him glad (2:2). For this reason, he had written a stern letter to them in order that they might straighten things out with the Lord (2:3); and his purpose in writing was that they might know how much he loved them (2:4). Although someone had grieved Paul (2:5), the church in Corinth had taken steps to correct this person (2:6) with the result that they should now forgive him and confirm their love to him (2:7-8). One of Paul's reasons for writing this stern letter was to see if the Corinthian believers would obey him (2:9). If they forgive someone, he likewise will forgive this person in order that Satan not outwit them (2:10-11).

In II Corinthians 2:1-11 as Paul bares his soul to the believers in Corinth, we see something of the heart of Paul, the sort of heart we also need to have.

We see that -

I. PAUL REALIZES HE HAS NEEDS WHICH CAN ONLY BE MET BY THE PEOPLE TO WHOM HE MINISTERS - 2:1-3

II Corinthians 2:1-3 - 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.

In verse 1 Paul indicates that he had made up his mind that he would never return to Corinth in sorrow. At some time prior to writing II Corinthians, Paul had come to the Corinthian believers in heaviness. When this visit occurred is not clear, but it seems to be after he wrote I Corinthians.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast with Paul's statement in 1:23 that to spare the Corinthian believers he had not yet come back to Corinth.

I determined suggests, I came to a conclusion after thinking about it in the sense of I reached a decision, I decided, or I intended. It indicates that Paul had reached a settled conclusion in contrast to contemplating two visits on the same trip. It was not a matter of whim.

Whereas in 1:15 he was minded (i.e. intending, planning, willing, wishing, or desiring) to come, in this verse he was determined not to come again . . . in heaviness. What Paul determined or decided is this, the content of which is that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

Within myself suggests that Paul consulted with himself and came to his own conclusion.

What Paul decided is that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

Again has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, which reads literally, Not again to come. Its placement suggests that he had previously come to them in heaviness.

The tense of would not come to you suggests would never come or never to come to you Corinthian believers.

In heaviness suggests how he would never again come to see the Corinthian believers. Heaviness suggests pain of mind or spirit in the sense of grief, sorrow, or affliction. The Greek word translated heaviness in this verse is translated sorrow in verses 3 and 7. Its verb form is translated make . . . sorry, and is made sorry in verse 2, should be grieved in verse 4, and have caused grief and hath . . . grieved in verse 5.

Paul's determination never again to come to them in sorrow suggests that he had made a second visit to Corinth after spending eighteen months in Corinth on his initial visit. This visit is not recorded in Scripture. Such a visit is also suggested by II Corinthians 12:14 and 13:1.

II Corinthians 12:14 - Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

II Corinthians 13:1 - This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Although both of these verses refer to his next visit as his third visit, the Scripture only records his initial visit to Corinth as being prior to his intended visit. This second visit, which is not mentioned in Scripture, is known as the sorrowful or painful visit.

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

In verse 2 Paul explains why he had determined never again to come to the Corinthian believers in sorrow.

The structure of the question in verse 2 is that of a conditional statement whose condition, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

The condition is if I make you sorry, and the conclusion is, Who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

If introduces the condition. Although, for sake of discussion, the condition is assumed to be true, it is not necessarily true; so if should be understood in the sense of assuming that.

I make you sorry, where I is emphatic, suggests, I cause you severe mental or emotional distress in the sense of I vex you, I irritate you, I offend you, or I insult you.

The word translated make . . . sorry is also translated is made sorry in this verse. In verse 4 it is translated should be grieved and in verse 5 have caused grief and hath . . . grieved. Its noun form is translated heaviness in verse 1 and sorrow in verses 3 and 7.

Who is he . . . that maketh me glad is, Who is the one who gladdens me? or, Who is the one who cheers me up?

Then is the translation of the word ordinarily translated and, even, or also. Here it is used to introduce an abrupt question which expresses wonder. It is understood in the sense of who then, and who, who indeed, or who in fact.

But is the translation of a pair of words which are understood in the sense of unless or except.

The same which is made sorry by me (i.e. by Paul) is the one who is made sorry (i.e. the one who is saddened, the one who is grieved, or the one who is distressed) by me. Paul is questioning how he can be cheered up by those whom he saddens or grieves.

II Corinthians 2:3 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.

In verse 3 Paul indicates that he wrote this stern letter (rather than making another trip to Corinth) so that he might express himself fully and clearly without coming and dealing harshly with them. He did not want to grieve them or make them sorrowful and they, as a result, grieve him or make him sorrowful; but he had confidence that they would straighten out their difficulties with the Lord as a result of this letter. If he grieves them, it will make him sorrowful.

And I wrote this same unto you is, And I wrote this same thing to you. The reference of this same thing is to the stern letter the Holy Spirit did not preserve.

Lest introduces a negative purpose clause and is connected with I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice. It is understood in the sense of in order that . . . not or for the purpose that . . . not.

When I came is having come, and its tense indicates that its time of action occurs before the action of should have sorrow.

I should have sorrow is I have sorrow; and its translation suggests that this is a possibility, perhaps even a probability.

Sorrow, which also appears in verse 7, is the same word translated heaviness in verse 1; and its verb form is translated make . . . sorry and is made sorry in verse 2, should be grieved in verse 4, and have caused grief and hath . . . grieved in verse 5. It speaks of pain of mind or spirit in the sense of grief, sorrow, or affliction.

From them of whom I ought to rejoice indicates the ones who ought to bring joy to Paul.

I ought to rejoice is (It) was necessary that I rejoice (i.e. it was necessary that I be rejoicing or it was necessary that I be glad).

Having confidence in you all suggests because (or since) I have confidence toward you, because I depend on you, or because I trust in you. Its tense indicates that it is referring to a state of being.

I am confident in you all suggests I am confident toward you all.

That my joy is the joy of you all expresses Paul's confidence. It is literally, That my joy is your all's joy.

Joy, which suggests the experience of gladness, is the opposite of the word translated sorrow in this verse and in verse 7 and translated heaviness in verse 1. Paul is confident that what makes him glad will also make the Corinthian believers glad.

We also see that -

II. PAUL LOVES THE PEOPLE TO WHOM HE MINISTERS - 2:4

II Corinthians 2:4 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.

In verse 4 Paul expresses his desire that those to whom he is writing this letter realize his love for them.

For introduces Paul's thoughts as he wrote this stern letter, which has not been preserved as part of the Scriptures, which he wrote out of much affliction and anguish of heart.

Much describes both affliction and anguish.

Affliction speaks of an inward experience of distress in the sense of trouble.

And anguish is and distress or dismay.

Of heart suggests that both his affliction and anguish came from deep within him. It is used as the center and source of his whole inner life with its thinking, feeling, and volition and expresses his emotions, wishes, and desires. Paul was deeply and genuinely concerned that they would realize that he genuinely loved them and was not trying to hurt them with his stern letter.

I wrote to you refers to his writing of the stern letter which is now lost.

With many tears is with much weeping and indicates that Paul was very concerned over the effect his letter would have on the Corinthians.

Not that ye should be grieved is not in order that you should be grieved (or made sorry).

Should be grieved is the same word translated make sorry and is made sorry in verse 2. It is also translated caused grief and hath . . . grieved in verse 5. Its noun form is translated heaviness in verse 1 and sorrow in verses 3 and 7. It suggests to experience sadness or distress; and here it is passive and understood in the sense of become sad, become sorrowful, or become distressed.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to not that ye should be grieved. It provides the positive reason for Paul's writing this letter to which he is referring.

That is in order that or for the purpose that.

Ye might know suggests that you might arrive at a knowledge of something in the sense that you might know about.

What Paul wants them to know is the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

Love is the sort of love which gives itself completely on behalf of someone else without expecting anything in return. It is the sort of love which God demonstrated toward the unsaved when Christ died for them.

Which refers to love.

I have speaks of a present possession.

More abundantly is more especially or all the more.

Unto you suggests that Paul genuinely loved the Corinthian believers in spite of their many faults.

In addition, we see that -

III. PAUL WANTS TO SEE PEOPLE GET STRAIGHTENED OUT - 2:5-8

II Corinthians 2:5-8 - 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.

The identity of this man in verses 6-8 is not clear. If the stern letter is I Corinthians, this would seem to be the incestuous man in I Corinthians 5 ; but if the stern letter is an epistle not preserved by the Holy Spirit, then the identity of this individual would likely be someone other than the incestuous man in I Corinthians 5 .

In verse 5 Paul indicates that although he has experienced some grief, he has not been overwhelmed by grief.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to his statement in verse 4 that out of much affliction and anguish of heart he wrote to the Corinthians.

The structure of the first half of verse 5 is a conditional statement. The condition is if any have caused grief; and its structure indicates that, for sake of discussion, it is assumed to be true. The conclusion is he hath not grieved me, but in part. If the condition is true, the conclusion will also be true. If the condition is false, the conclusion will likewise be false. Someone had grieved Paul, but it is not clear who it was. Therefore, if may be understood in the sense of since or inasmuch as. Its reference is to an unnamed individual who upset Paul when Paul visited Corinth the second time. Inasmuch as Paul does not identify the individual or the incident more precisely, it is impossible for someone living in the twenty-first century to do so.

Any is anyone, anybody, someone, or somebody.

Have caused grief suggests has caused severe mental or emotional distress in the sense of has vexed, has irritated, has offended, or has insulted. Its tense indicates action which has been completed in the past whose result has continued to the present. It will also be used in this sense in the next phrase. The same word translated make . . . sorry and is made sorry in verse 2 and should be grieved in verse 4, and its noun form was translated heaviness in verse 1 and sorrow in verses 3 and 7.

He hath not grieved me is the same word translated have caused grief in this verse and is used with the same meaning.

But in part, where but is used to introduce a statement in strong contrast, suggests that Paul has been somewhat or partially grieved but not completely grieved or overwhelmed by grief.

That introduces a negative purpose clause and is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that. The word translated that, when combined with not, is often rendered lest = lest I overcharge you all.

In order that I may not overcharge you all is in order that I may not weigh you all down, in order that I may not burden you all, lest I weigh you all down, or lest I burden you all.

II Corinthians 2:6 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

In verse 6 Paul makes it clear that whatever action the church took against the person mentioned in verse 5 has been more than adequate.

Sufficient suggests severe enough.

To such a man is to one such as this, and its reference is to the individual mentioned in verse 5.

Is this punishment which was inflicted of many speaks of some disciplinary action enacted by the church.

Which was inflicted of many is the one (i.e. the punishment) by the many.

The many refers to the believers in the church at Corinth.

II Corinthians 2:7 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.

In verse 7 Paul indicates the next step the church should take in dealing with this person referred to in verses 5-6.

So that is understood in the sense of with the result that.

Contrariwise is on the other hand.

Ye (i.e. you Corinthian believers) ought to forgive him, and comfort him suggests you ought to show yourselves gracious by forgiving wrongdoing in the sense of you ought to pardon him and encourage him (or you ought to pardon him and cheer him up).

Lest perhaps expresses misgiving in the sense of lest somehow or lest in some way.

Such an one is the one such as this.

Should be swallowed up with is understood in the sense of should be devoured with or in a figurative sense as should be overwhelmed by.

Overmuch is greater or more, and sorrow speaks of pain of mind or spirit in the sense of grief or affliction. Overmuch sorrow is excessive grief. The word translated sorrow has been translated heaviness in verse 1 and sorrow in verse 3. Its verb form has been translated make . . . sorry and is made sorry in verse 2, should be grieved in verse 4, and have caused grief and hath . . . grieved in verse 5.

II Corinthians 2:8 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

In verse 8 Paul urges the Corinthian believers to confirm their love for their erring member.

Wherefore is therefore or for this reason and introduces a strong inference drawn from verse 7.

I beseech you is the same phrase used in Romans 12:1 ,

Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

I beseech you suggests, I strongly urge you in the sense of, I appeal to you, I urge you, I exhort you, or, I encourage you.

What Paul urges them to do is that ye would confirm your love toward him. That ye would confirm is simply to confirm, which suggests to decide in favor of.

Your love toward him or (your) love unto him, i.e. toward the erring individual from verses 5-6. The implication from the context is that this would be done by restoring this person to full fellowship in the local church. It is the sort of love which gives itself completely on behalf of another without expecting anything in return. It is the sort of love which God demonstrated for lost humanity when He sent Christ to die on the cross to pay for their sins.

Moreover, we see that -

IV. PAUL WANTS TO SEE HIS PEOPLE BE OBEDIENT TO THE WORD OF GOD - 2:9

II Corinthians 2:9 9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

In verse 9 Paul provides another reason for his having written the letter referred to in verse 3. It is understood as referring to the strong letter Paul wrote after he wrote I Corinthians, a letter which the Holy Spirit has not preserved. It was in order to see how far the Corinthian believers would go in their obedience to him.

For to this end also is for unto this also; and its content is indicated by that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

Also suggests in addition to his writing that the Corinthian believers might know the love which he has more abundantly unto them (verse 4).

That I might know suggests in order that (or for the purpose that) I might acquire information in the sense of I might learn, I might ascertain, or I might find out. Furthermore, might know suggests that Paul was not certain if they would be obedient in all things.

What Paul wanted to know was the proof of you, which suggests the character of you. Proof necessitates the experience of going through a test with special reference to its result and is understood in the sense of standing a test. It implies the process of enduring a test which promotes and validates the character of the person going through the test.

Whether is used to introduce an indirect question: ye be obedient in all things. The direct question would be, Will you be obedient in all things?

Ye be obedient is you are obedient.

In all things is in every respect. Paul wanted to know how far they would go in their obedience to him as an apostle.

We furthermore see that -

V. PAUL RECOGNIZES THAT CHRIST WORKS THROUGH HIM - 2:10

II Corinthians 2:10 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.

Paul advises the Corinthian believers in verse 10 that if they forgive the erring individual, he will likewise forgive him.

To whom ye (i.e. you Corinthian believers) forgive anything, suggests to whom you show yourselves gracious by forgiving wrongdoing in the sense of forgive or pardon.

Anything makes this very broad and general and is all inclusive - whatever has been done or whatever sin has been committed.

I forgive also, where I is emphatic, is simply I also. Forgive has been supplied by the translators because it is implied by the context. Its tense likewise indicates action completed in the past whose result has continued to the time of the writing of II Corinthians.

For if I forgave any thing is the condition in a conditional statement; and its structure indicates that, for sake of discussion, it is assumed to be true. Inasmuch it is not clear that Paul has forgiven anyone, if should be understood in the sense of assuming that.

I forgave, where I is again emphatic, is I have forgiven; and its tense indicates action which has been completed in the past whose result has continued to the present.

Any thing is something.

To whom I forgave it is to whom I have forgiven (it).

For your sakes is because of you.

Forgave I it has been supplied by the translators and is understood in the sense of I have forgiven it.

In the person of Christ is literally in (the) face of Christ and suggests before the face of Christ (Who looks down with approval), in the presence of Christ, or in relation to Christ, suggesting as a Christian.

VI. PAUL RECOGNIZES THAT SATAN WOULD DESTROY HIM - 2:11

II Corinthians 2:11 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

The Corinthian believers must confirm their love toward the individual who had grieved Paul in verse 5 because he had apparently repented. Verse 11 indicates something that might happen to the church as well as to the individual whom they must forgive.

Lest introduces a negative purpose clause and is understood in the sense of in order that (Satan) should not or for the purpose that (Satan) should not.

Satan is literally the adversary and is the name of the enemy of God and of all that belong to God. Satan is the archenemy of God and of those who belong to God. He is the devil.

Satan should get an advantage of us is literally, We be taken advantage of (i.e. outwitted by, defrauded by, cheated by, or robbed by) Satan.

For we are not ignorant of his devices.

We are not ignorant of suggests we know, we recognize, or we are well aware of.

His devices is his purposes, his designs, or his plots. The appears before devices in the Greek text in order to indicate the sum total of his devices.

CONCLUSION:

How can I be more like Paul? God can and will make more like this as I continually submit my heart and mind to the Word of God.

Romans 12:1-2 - 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

II Timothy 3:16-17 - 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Galatians 5:22-23 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.