Aug. 16. Instructions for Dealing with Penitent Sinner

II Cor. 2:1-17

If Paul had returned to Corinth too soon, they would have still been involved in the sins that he had condemned. He explained that their reunion would not be the happy occasion that he was now expecting. The sadness he felt when he wrote the first letter was now replaced with joy because of their repentance.

Paul had received word from Titus that the incestuous man whom he had condemned in his first letter had repented of this grievous sin. He urged the church to forgive and receive this man back into the fellowship because he had been punished enough. To continually isolate the man could discourage him and cause him to go back to his old life.

As Paul continued his letter, he reported how anxious he had been to meet Titus in Troas and how disappointed he was when they missed this meeting. Even though he had a great opportunity to preach at Troas, Paul was so concerned about the Corinthians, he departed and went into Macedonia.

Paul used an allegory of a triumphant king marching home with his captives to express his thanks for hearing of the repentance of the Corinthians. He was happy because of their triumph over this evil.

Preaching of the gospel was compared to the diffusion of the aroma of incense. The aroma became the aroma of death to those who rejected the gospel and the aroma of life to those who obeyed.

Paul stated that his preaching was not like those who “peddled” a false doctrine for personal gain, but that it was sincere as from God.