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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's SECOND letter to the Corinthians

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 FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 7

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.


FRAMEWORKS: 2 Cor 7 : Bridge Building


v.1-4 Paul reaches out to the Church

v.5-7 The Comfort we received

v.8-12 Paul's words created godly sorrow & repentance

v.13-16 He and Titus blessed by them


[Chapter Synopsis: This chapter is obviously a major exercise in bridge-building after the necessary corrective words had been brought. He starts by encouraging them in the light of what he had just been saying about God's promises, asking that such a response would draw them closer. They had had a tough time in Macedonia which was only lightened by the arrival of Titus who told about his time with them. Paul slips in his pleasure at the response of repentance his necessary words had brought, before reiterating how blessed Titus had been by them.]



v.1-4 Paul reaches out to the Church


v.1 (the promises of God being our Father should stir us to ensure we are holy in outlook and living) Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

v.2,3 (he calls for them to be united in heart with him) Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you.

v.4 (he has spoken very honestly to them) I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.


[Passage Synopsis: Paul seeks to reassure the church of his love and concern and desire to be one with them.]



v.5-7 The Comfort we received


v.5 (they had really struggled in Macedonia [see also 1:8]) For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within.

v.6,7 (but God had comforted him with the arrival of Titus who told about them, increasing his joy) But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.


[Passage Synopsis: Moving from concern he reiterates what a tough time they had had in Macedonia but it was the arrival of Titus with his news about Corinth that had really encouraged them.]



v.8-12 Paul's words created godly sorrow & repentance


v.8,9 (he was aware his writing had caused them sorrow but rejoiced that it brought repentance as God intended) Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

v.10 (that sorrow, provoked by God lead to repentance and on to salvation) Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

v.11 (the outworkings of that sorrow were many) See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

v.12 (thus his corrective writing was not so much on behalf of the sinner but so that the whole church could recognise their need and their relationship with Paul as their father-figure) So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.


[Passage Synopsis: Paul's corrective writing had caused upset but it was godly sorrow that grew to repentance, which was seen in a variety of ways, ultimately showing their loyalty to their parent-apostles.]



v.13-16 He and Titus blessed by them


v.13 (Titus had been really blessed by them) By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.

v.14 (Paul had told Titus beforehand about their zeal etc. and Titus confirmed it after his visit) I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well.

v.15 (Titus had felt strongly about them in the way they had received him) And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.

v.16 (which also warmed Paul's heart) I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.


[Passage Synopsis: Paul's ‘bridge-building' continues as he shares about how blessed Titus had been by them.]


Chapter Brief Summary/Recap:

Ch. 7 : Bridge Building

•  as part of that avoiding hindrances, he seeks to build a bridge to their hearts

•  he shares the comfort they have received by hearing of their love for them

•  he realised his previous letter was hard, but it was worth it having brought for repentance and change

•  and further shares how blessed they were by Titus's report



Continue to Chapter 8