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2 Corinthians 7

Therefore beloved, having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Paul’s sufferings
2 Open your hearts to us. We wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. 3 I say it not to condemn you. For as I have said before, you are in our hearts, to die together and live together. 4 Great is my confidence in you. Great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort, in all our affliction I am overflowing with joy!
   5 For even when we went into Macedonia, our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side. Without were conflicts, within were fears. 6 Nevertheless God that comforts the lowly comforted us by the coming of Titus. 7 And not by his coming only, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, while he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me. So that I rejoiced yet more.

Godly sorrow
   8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it, for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though only for a time. 9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a Godly way, that you might suffer harm from us in nothing. 10 For Godly sorrow works repentance to salvation, it brings no regret; but the sorrow of the world works death. 11 For observe this very thing: you sorrowed in a Godly manner, and what diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be pure in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, I wrote not for his cause that did the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered the wrong; but that your earnest care for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore we have been comforted, and in our comfort we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
   14 For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. 16 I rejoice that in everything I can have perfect confidence in you.


7:3 Paul usually speaks of dying together and living together in the context of sharing in the death and resurrection of Christ, a process which begins with baptism (Rom. 6:3-5). But our brothers and sisters in Christ are also part of His body, and therefore we should think in terms of dying and living with them too- even with those like the Corinthian believers who were aggresive to Paul (12:16 etc.) and who were weak in their understanding and behaviour.

7:7 Elsewhere in 2 Corinthians it's clear that the Corinthians were aggresive to Paul; and yet he tried to be as positive about them as he could, believing their kind words as far as possible without being naieve.

7:10 Our salvation involves repentance, and this comes from "Godly sorrow". How often do we experience this as we reflect upon our failures?

7:13 If we are unselfish, then the joy of others becomes our joy. Joy is not only to be experienced in terms of things which make us personally joyful.