II Corinthians 7:2-7

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Text: II Corinthians 7:2-7

OUR TRIALS AS SERVANTS

INTRODUCTION:

The Lord is so good to us. He has provided for our eternal salvation when we really deserved eternal hell.

We need to be living for the Lord at all times.

II Corinthians 5:15 - And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

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.

We need to be living as closely to the Lord as we can at all times.

We also need to be appreciative of what the Lord is doing for us right now. He is controlling circumstances in such a way as to help us to live more fully for Him. He controls circumstances in order to help us be more Christlike in our lives. Of course, he does this by allowing various trials to come into our lives.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

James 1:2-4 - 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I Peter 1:6-7 - 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

I Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

One of the ways He helps us endure trials is that He intersperses them with blessings of various kinds

In II Corinthians 7:2-16 we see what we as servants of the Lord can expect in terms of trials and blessings that go with them.

I. PEOPLE MAY NOT RECEIVE YOU WELL - 7:2A

II Corinthians 7:2 a - Receive us. . . .

In verse 2 Paul urges the Corinthian believers to make room for him in their hearts because, in spite of what his critics have said, he has done no wrong to anyone. Paul returns to the thought of II Corinthians 6:11-13 ,

(11) O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

(12) Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

(13) Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

Receive us, where us refers to Paul, is a command by which Paul entreats the Corinthian believers. Its tense indicates that this should be done at once, and it is understood literally in the sense of have room for us. In this verse it is used figuratively of open-heartedness in the sense of make room for us in your hearts.

Satan would seek to cause divisions between believers. We must be certain that our attitudes are right.

II. PEOPLE MAY MISUNDERSTAND YOU AND FALSELY ACCUSE YOU - 7:2B

II Corinthians 7:2 b - . . . We have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

We have wronged no man is understood in the sense of we have done wrong to no one or we have treated nobody unjustly.

We have corrupted no man is we have destroyed (i.e. ruined, corrupted, or spoiled) nobody.

We have defrauded no man suggests we have taken advantage of (i.e. exploited, outwitted, defrauded, or cheated) nobody.

III. YOU WILL BE BURDENED FOR PEOPLE - 7:3

II Corinthians 7:3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.

In verse 3, because he loves them dearly, Paul advises the Corinthian believers that he is not writing that they receive him to condemn them.

I speak not is I am not saying, I am not speaking, or I am not asserting.

This to condemn you is for condemnation or for the purpose of condemnation. Condemnation speaks of a judicial verdict involving a penalty.

For I have said before is, For I have said beforehand or, For I have said earlier. It refers to II Corinthians 6:11-13 , which we have already referred to.

What Paul has said before is, That ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.

That ye are in our hearts suggests that Paul has a definite and strong emotional attachment to the Corinthian believers. He loves them dearly.

To die and live with you indicates the purpose for which Paul has the Corinthian believers in his heart. Regardless of whether they live or die together, Paul loves them dearly.

IV. YOU MUST SPEAK BOLDLY - 7:4

II Corinthians 7:4 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.

Verse 4 indicates that Paul's speech toward the Corinthian believers is bold, as is his boasting about them. He is greatly encouraged and joyful even though he is experiencing much tribulation.

Great is used to describe boldness and is understood in the sense of strong or profound.

(Is) my boldness refers to a state of boldness and confidence in the sense of (is) my courage, my confidence, or my fearlessness.

Toward you is toward you (Corinthian believers).

Great (is) my glorying of you is great (is) my boasting on behalf of you.

I am filled with comfort, i.e. with consolation.

I am exceeding joyful is I am overflowing with joy.

In all our tribulation is in our every tribulation and is understood in the sense of in all our oppression or in all our affliction.

V. YOU WILL BE TROUBLED - 7:5

II Corinthians 7:5 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.

In verse 5 Paul speaks of his experience when he left Troas and came into Macedonia in search of Titus.

In II Corinthians 2:12-13 Paul mentions this experience,

II Corinthians 2:12-13 - (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.

Following the riot in Ephesus, Paul left Ephesus expecting to meet Titus in Troas; but when he did not find him in Troas, in spite of having a wonderful opportunity for proclaiming the gospel, he continued his search for Titus and went to Macedonia looking for him. His concern was not only for Titus but also for learning how the Corinthians had received the stern letter he had sent them.

For is for also or for even.

When we were come into Macedonia refers to northern Greece where cities such as Philippi, Berea, and Thessalonica were located.

Our flesh speaks of Paul himself. It is an example of a part being used to represent the whole. Of course, it was Paul's physical flesh that needed rest.

Had no rest is had no relief.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to our flesh had no rest and is understood in the sense of on the contrary or rather.

We were troubled is understood in the sense of we were afflicted or we were distressed.

On every side is in every thing.

Without is outside and is used in contrast to within and suggests outside of Paul himself.

In New Testament literature fightings is used only of battles fought without actual weapons and is understood in the sense of quarrels, strifes, disputes, or conflicts. No one knows what these conflicts were.

Within is inside and is used in contrast to without. It suggests inside of Paul himself.

Fears suggests the product of an intimidating or alarming force in the sense of alarms, frights, apprehensions or feelings of anxiety. The context indicates that the fears Paul experienced would have been for how the Corinthians had received his stern letter and how they were doing spiritually.

VI. YOU WILL RECEIVE COMFORT JUST WHEN YOU NEED IT - 7:6-7

II Corinthians 7:6-7 - (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.

Verse 6 indicates that God only allowed these disputes and feelings of anxiety mentioned in verse 5 to go so far. Then He intervened by sending Titus with news from Corinth. No one knows how much time elapsed after Paul arrived in Macedonia before Titus arrived from Corinth.

Nevertheless introduces a statement in strong contrast to verse 5.

Comforteth and comforted mean encourages and encouraged respectively. The tense of comforteth indicates normal or ongoing action. It is a timeless truth, something that God always does.

God is God the Father.

That comforteth those that are cast down is used to describe God.

That comforteth is the One Who comforts, the One Who encourages, or the One Who consoles. It is timeless truth, something that God always does.

Those that are cast down suggests those with an inability to cope with the situation on their own in the sense of the downcast. Paul was apparently discouraged, but God, as He always does, provided the remedy at the right time.

Comforted is the same word translated that comforteth and is understood in the sense of encouraged or consoled; and the one He comforted is us, i.e. Paul himself. If Paul needed occasional encouragement, other believers should not be surprised if they likewise need encouragement from time to time. The tense of comforted refers to action completed in the past as a whole.

By the coming of Titus provides the way in which God encouraged Paul.

Titus came (i.e. arrived or returned) to Paul from Corinth.

II Corinthians 7:7 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.

In verse 7 Paul indicates that he was encouraged, not only by Titus' arrival, but also by the fact that Titus had himself been encouraged by the Corinthian believers' desire, mourning, and attitude toward Paul.

Not by his coming only implies that there was something else which God used to encourage Paul besides Titus' arrival.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to not only by his coming.

Also appears in the Greek text, but it was not translated into the English text.

By the consolation is by the comfort or by the encouragement.

Wherewith is with which.

He (i.e. Titus) was comforted is, He was encouraged or, He was consoled.

In you is among you (Corinthian believers).

When he told suggests when Titus brought back information from Corinth and is understood in the sense of when he reported.

What Titus reported was your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind.

Your earnest desire speaks of your yearning desire for and is understood in the sense of your longing. They had an earnest desire to see Paul.

Your mourning is your lamentation and suggests a genuine regret and sorrow over sin, possibly that their relation with Paul had been strained.

Your fervent mind suggests an intense positive interest in someone and is understood in the sense of your zeal.

Toward me is about me or concerning me. All three terms, earnest desire, mourning, and fervent mind are understood with toward me.

So that is with the result that. The fact that they were zealous toward Paul hints that they were zealous against the false apostles.

I rejoiced suggests that he was in a state of happiness and well-being in the sense of I was glad.

The more is to a greater degree (than before), even more, or now more than ever. The visit to Corinth in heaviness (i.e. the sorrowful or painful visit) and the stern letter had had their desired effect. The Corinthian believers had repented and had taken steps to straighten things out with the Lord. Titus' report brought great relief to Paul.