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Verses 2-16

Joy at the Corinthians’ repentance (7:2-16)

Again Paul appeals to the Corinthians to open their hearts to him, and not to feel hesitant because of the accusations his enemies have made. Nothing in life or death can separate him from them. He assures them that he is overjoyed at the news he has just heard concerning them (2-4).Paul recalls the restlessness he felt in Macedonia as he awaited Titus’ return with news from Corinth. He recalls also the joy he experienced when Titus recounted how he had been comforted when he saw the Corinthians’ changed attitude towards Paul. That severe letter had been worthwhile. Titus’ visit had been fruitful (5-7).At first Paul had felt sorry for writing as he did, but now he is glad to see that the sorrow which the letter brought them was the means of bringing them to repentance (8-9). This is because their sorrow was not just shame at wrongdoing, but real sorrow and repentance before God. They acknowledged their sin to God and asked him to forgive them. Because they saw themselves from God’s point of view, they spared no effort in clearing up the wrongdoing that was among them (10-11). Paul is satisfied that the letter has achieved its purpose. That purpose was not to hurt people, but to help them view matters under the searching eye of God (12).Before Paul sent Titus with that severe letter, he boasted to Titus of his confidence that the Corinthians would see their wrongdoing and repent. He therefore has added joy to know that not only did Titus find them repentant, but he was also filled with love for them (13-16).

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