2 Corinthians 2:5-7

In 2 Corinthians 2:5-7 Paul continues addressing the Corinthian church and why he didn’t visit them. It would take some maturity for the Corinthian Christians to receive Paul’s correction this way. It is easy for us to think a person offering correction is our enemy and sometimes is against us. But usually others bring correction because they love us, as Paul loved the Corinthian Christians. His goal was not to grieve them, but to love them. There was a man in the Corinthian congregation that had sinned against the church. Paul is addressing the pain that has been created in the church.

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure – not to put it too severely – to all of you.” Paul displays real pastoral wisdom and compassion. He refers to a specific person among the Corinthians, but he does not name the man. Certainly, this man is happy his name was not recorded in God’s eternal word. Who is this guy Paul is talking about? He is probably the same one that Paul told the Corinthian Christians to confront in 1 Corinthians 5. The phrase ‘such a man’ is used in both books to describe the man sinning in an incestuous affair. He lived immorally with his stepmother.

He is definitely living in sin and the church knows about it. He was punished by the church. “For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” Apparently, the man was put under the church’s discipline, even as Paul instructed in 1 Corinthians 5. He received this punishment which was inflicted by the majority. After receiving the punishment, the man apparently repented, but the Corinthian Christians would not receive him back! Therefore, Paul tells them to not be too severe, to consider their punishment sufficient, and to forgive and comfort the man.

Sin is a real issue, not only with God, but within the church. It needs to be dealt with in love. Paul had sharply rebuked the Corinthian Christians for their casual attitude towards this man and his sin earlier. Paul told them to put the man outside the spiritual and social protection of the church family until he repented. The church apparently did that, not thinking that he would repent and come back wanting to be part of the church. Now Paul must tell the Corinthian Christians to restore the man after his repentance. They were just as wrong in withholding forgiveness and restoration to the man when he repented as they were to welcome him with open, approving arms when he was in sin. Sin carries a price, but when sin is repented we also need to forgive and love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: