2 Corinthians 2

1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you again in sorrow. 2 For if I make you sorry, then who will make me glad but he who is made sorry by me? 3 And I wrote this very thing to you, so that, when I came, I wouldn’t have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy would be shared by all of you. 4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you should be made sorry, but that you might know the love that I have so abundantly for you. 5 But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the many is sufficient for such a one; 7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his excessive sorrow. 8 Therefore I beg you to confirm your love towards him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes. 12 Now when I came to Troas for the Good News of Christ, and when a door was opened to me in the Lord, 13 I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia. 14 Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place. 15 For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved, and in those who perish; 16 to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–4

The apostle desired to have a cheerful meeting with them; and he had written in confidence of their doing what was to their benefit and his comfort; and that therefore they would be glad to remove every cause of disquiet from him. We should always give pain unwillingly, even when duty requires that it must be given.

Verses 5–11

The apostle desires them to receive the person who had done wrong, again into their communion; for he was aware of his fault, and much afflicted under his punishment. Even sorrow for sin should not unfit for other duties, and drive to despair. Not only was there danger last Satan should get advantage, by tempting the penitent to hard thoughts of God and religion, and so drive him to despair; but against the churches and the ministers of Christ, by bringing an evil report upon Christians as unforgiving; thus making divisions, and hindering the success of the ministry. In this, as in other things, wisdom is to be used, that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging sin on the one hand, or for too great severity towards sinners on the other hand. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes.

Verses 12–17

A believer’s triumphs are all in Christ. To him be the praise and glory of all, while the success of the gospel is a good reason for a Christian’s joy and rejoicing. In ancient triumphs, abundance of perfumes and sweet odours were used; so the name and salvation of Jesus, as ointment poured out, was a sweet savour diffused in every place. Unto some, the gospel is a savour of death unto death. They reject it to their ruin. Unto others, the gospel is a savour of life unto life: as it quickened them at first when they were dead in trespasses and sins, so it makes them more lively, and will end in eternal life. Observe the awful impressions this matter made upon the apostle, and should also make upon us. The work is great, and of ourselves we have no strength at all; all our sufficiency is of God. But what we do in religion, unless it is done in sincerity, as in the sight of God, is not of God, does not come from him, and will not reach to him. May we carefully watch ourselves in this matter; and seek the testimony of our consciences, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that as of sincerity, so speak we in Christ and of Christ.

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