2 Corinthians 2

1. So I decided that my next visit to you would not be another visit to make you sad.

Paul was waiting for a report from Titus which you can read in 2 Corinthians 7:6 11.

2. If I make you sad, who will make me happy? Only you can make me happy, you whom I made sad.

If you hurt the ones you love then who is left to help you when you need it? The ones you love are the only ones who can cheer you up.

3. I wrote you a letter for this reason: that when I came to you I would not be made sad by the people who should make me happy. I felt sure of all of you. I felt sure that you would share my joy.

Paul is saying, “I want us both to be happy.”

4. When I wrote to you before, I was very troubled and unhappy in my heart. I wrote with many tears. I did not write to make you sad, but to let you know how much I love you.

1 Corinthians was very hard for Paul to write. He did just write whatever came into his mind but what was coming out of his heart.

5 – 6

Someone there among you has caused sadness. He caused this not to me, but to all of you. I mean he caused sadness to all in some way. (I do not want to make it sound worse than it really is.) The punishment that most of you gave him is enough for him.

The church had been split into many groups. The leader of one of the groups was against Paul. Paul is saying that he does not take this personally, but that it did hurt the whole church.

Paul says that most of the people agreed to stop this man from splitting the church.  This shows that there had been a vote to decide if they would stay with Paul’s leadership.

7 – 8

But now you should forgive him and comfort him. This will keep him from having too much sadness and giving up completely. So I beg you to show him that you love him.

It is a serious thing to hold someone sins against them, and they give up on ever being forgiven. They will go through life without Christ and without knowing forgiveness. Do we really want that on our conscience?

If you hold onto someone’s sins, they will be held. John 20:23

If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he turns away from sin, forgive him. Luke 17:3

9. This is why I wrote to you. I wanted to test you and see if you obey in everything.

It is good to test the waters when counseling someone.  Give them a test and see if they can be faithful in a small thing, then move on to bigger things.

10. If you forgive someone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven if I had anything to forgive, I forgave it for you, and Christ was with me.

God’s work in the church was more important to Paul, than worrying about having his feelings hurt. Paul was not a baby.

11. I did this so that Satan would not win anything from us. We know very well what Satan’s plans are.

One of the devil’s ideas is to control what is happening. The devil keeps us hopping from one problem to the next and things start to get out of control if we let him do this.

Here is a secret, if the devil can get you to fight him and people in the physical world, he will always win.  If you see that you need to fight in the spiritual world, you cannot lose.

For we are not fighting against flesh–and–blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

12 – 14
I went to Troas to preach the Gospel of Christ. The Lord gave me a good ministry there.  But I had no peace because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good–bye and went to Macedonia.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ. God uses us to spread His knowledge everywhere like a sweet–smelling perfume.

In 2 Corinthians 7:8 we see that Paul had written another very hard letter and had sent Titus to see what they thought about it.  Even though Paul was having a good ministry in Troas, he could not wait to hear the answer, so he went looking for Titus.  Titus told him that the Corinthians had stopped their fighting and Paul saw this as an offering to God, like a perfume.

15. Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost.

When we bring God’s message, and someone does not want to listen to it, they are bringing death into their life.  It is a very serious thing to bring God’s message.  This is why we are careful not to bring our own opinion.  Be slow to speak, speak the message, and get out of the way, and let God do the rest.

16. To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death. But to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life. So who is able to do this work?

We are only human.  We begin to see this when a situation comes up, and there is no answer.  We search our brain, we search men’s ideas, we search the Bible and we cannot find the answer.  In a situation like this, God is saying, “Let Me have it.  This is too big for you.”

Without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

It is not that we think we are able to do anything on our own. Our ability comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

17. We do not sell the Word of God for a profit as many other people do. But in Christ we speak the truth before God. We speak as men sent from God.

If you are reading the Bible, you will know when someone is twisting God’s words.  If they say something that goes against any part of the Bible then they are saying this from their imagination.  The Bible says that it is very dangerous when a man pretends to speak for God.

Bible translators will tell you that the simple meaning is the best meaning.  How can you know what to think if you do not understand some words in the Bible?  The best answer is to keep on reading. 

If you fill yourself with the truth then your spirit will show you when something is not true.  First, put your attention on the things that you do understand and later ask God to help you see into the things that you do not understand.

The unfolding of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.  Psalm 119:130