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“Godly Sorrow, Comfort out of Conflict” –2 Corinthians 7:8-11 NASB1995
Paul Reveals His Heart
At some point in the not-too distant past, Paul had visited the Corinthian church. It ended up being a painful visit. While there in Corinth, someone publicly insulted him and demanded that he give proof of his apostleship (2 Cor. 13:3, “…proof that Christ is speaking through me…”). What ws particularly hurtful for Paul was that the church sat by and did nothing to support him. After issuing a strong word or warning (2 Cor. 13:2), he returned to Ephesus and, instead of a promised return visit, Paul wrote a letter (known as the “Severe Letter”) in which he rebuked the church for not coming to his aid (2 Cor. 7:8-12), demanded that the individual who had challenged his authority be punished (2 Cor. 2:5-11) and expressed deep sorrow over the church’s lack of support (2: Cor. 2:3; 7:12-13).
Paul Reveals His Heart – ‘5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more. 8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while— 9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leadingto salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God.’ 2 Corinthians 7:5-11 NASB1995