SUMMARY.--Paul's Freedom of Speech to the Corinthians.
His Anxiety Until Titus Came.
The Consolation of the News from Corinth.
His Letter Produced Sorrow; Then Repentance.
His Severe Words not Due to Ill-Will for the Offender, nor for Them,
but to Lead Them to Clearing Themselves.
1. Having therefore these promises. Those named in the
17th and 18th verses
of the preceding chapter.
This verse is properly in that connection, and should not have been
separated by the chapter division.
Let us cleanse ourselves. See
From all filthiness of the flesh. All sensual sins, such as
those to which the Corinthians were addicted.
And of the spirit. The spirit of a man is defiled by such sins
as those named in
Perfecting holiness. Every Christian in purifying himself should
strive for greater holiness and constantly seek to attain to the ideal
of which Christ is the example.
2-4. Receive us. Make room in your hearts for us and our
We wronged no man. In the severe charges of his first letter.
We corrupted no man. Probably this is an answer to the vile
insinuations of his adversaries at Corinth.
3. I say not this to condemn you. I do not accuse you of
making these charges against me. Yet he knew well that they had been
made by Judaizers and others at Corinth.
I have said before. See
What follows is an expression of undying affection.
4. Great is my boldness of speech, etc. This verse declares that
he is overflowing with joyful feeling. The next section explains its
5-7. For when we were come into Macedonia. He first came from
Ephesus to Troas
and expected to meet Titus there with word from Corinth concerning the
effect of his first letter. Not meeting him, he went on to Macedonia
in great distress of mind.
Our flesh had no rest. Compare with this
Without were fightings. Conflicts with enemies of Christ.
Within were fears. Lest the church at Corinth might make
6. Nevertheless God . . . comforted us by the coming of Titus.
Titus brought to him the joyful news of repentance and reformation at
Corinth. This news turned his affliction to joy.
7. Not by his coming only. He rejoiced to meet again a
well-beloved fellow laborer, but rejoiced still more over the news
which he brought.
Your earnest desire. To cleanse themselves from fault.
Your mourning. Over the reproof of their sins.
Your fervent mind toward me. Affection for and zeal to please
8-11. I do not repent. "Regret," as in the Revision. The Greek
rendered repent in this verse, is not the one
rendered repentance in
verses 9 and 10.
The Revision preserves the distinction throughout. His first letter
made them sorry, and at one time he regretted sending it, because he
feared it would not work the result he wished, but since it had, he did
not regret that he sent it.
9. Now I rejoice. Not because they were made sorry, but that
their sorrow brought repentance. Observe, (1) that regret is not
repentance; (2) that sorrow is not repentance; (3) that godly sorrow
works repentance, or, in other words, repentance results from godly
sorrow, or sorrowing in a way pleasing to God.
10. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented
of. The steps are (1) godly sorrow; (2) repentance as a result of
godly sorrow; (3) salvation secured by repentance; (4) this effect of
repentance is never regretted. See Revision. The difference of
repentance from sorrow and regret is seen when we bear in mind that it
means the change of mind and heart wrought by godly sorrow for sin. The
state implied by repentance always leads to a change of life. The
Common Version here and elsewhere has made confusion by translating two
Greek words which mean different things by the same English term. One,
rendered by the Revision "regret," is found in
Matt. 27:3, 5;
properly rendered "repent," is found in
The sorrow of the world. Not godly sorrow, but remorse. The
sorrow of Judas was remorse. In the case of many besides Judas, it has
resulted in despair, which has led to destruction of life, or to
11. For behold this self-same thing. Here is proof that they
"sorrowed after a godly sort." They repented and brought forth the
fruits of repentance.
What earnest care. No indifference 
What clearing of yourselves. From all responsibility for the
sins of the incestuous person
(1 Cor. 5:1, 2; 2 Cor. 2:6-8).
What indignation. Against the deed that disgraced the church.
What revenge. What punishment of the offense committed.
12-16. Though I wrote unto you, etc. The language that follows
in this verse has caused some confusion. Paul evidently means to say
that he did not write his stern charge, in
1 Corinthians, chapter 5,
so much on account of the wrong doer, the incestuous person, nor on
account of the person he had injured (his father), as to manifest his
earnest care for the welfare of the church.
13. Therefore we were comforted in your comfort. He still pours
forth his joy over the happy change in the church, a joy due to his
great affection for it.
14. For if I have boasted anything to him of you. If he had
done so, their prompt repentance showed that his boasting was well
15. And his inward affection, etc. He had not been received with
distrust or coldness or stubborn disobedience, but in a humble and
repentant Christian spirit, which had greatly increased his
16. I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you. Rather,
that I am greatly encouraged concerning you.