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2 Corinthians 2:11

ESV so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
NIV in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
NASB so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
CSB so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.
NLT so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.
KJV Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
NKJV lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

What does 2 Corinthians 2:11 mean?

Satan is a liar and a schemer, and he has designs for tripping up Christians. Paul has insisted in the previous verse that he is ready and willing to forgive the man who has sinned against him, along with anyone else he needs to, in order to keep them all from being outwitted by Satan. For this reason, the Corinthians must also forgive the man.

Satan cannot steal the souls of true believers in Jesus away from God. In the previous chapter, Paul wrote that God places the seal of the Holy Spirit on every believer, guaranteeing our future with him (2 Corinthians 1:22). Jesus said of those He gives eternal life that nobody can snatch them out of His or His Father's hand (John 10:28–30). Christians are eternally secure from suffering the ultimate fate of Satan (Revelation 20:10).

However, Satan's attacks on believers can result in broken relationships, ineffective ministry, and wasted years on this side of eternity. One of his best strategies is unforgiveness and the longstanding bitterness that follows. That's why Paul always urges quick forgiveness of those who have sinned against us:

"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26–27).


"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:31–32).
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