What does 2 Corinthians 2:9 mean?
ESV: For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.
NIV: Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.
NASB: For to this end I also wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.
CSB: I wrote for this purpose: to test your character to see if you are obedient in everything.
NLT: I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions.
KJV: For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
Verse Commentary:
This refers to the painful letter Paul sent previously to the church in Corinth, sometime after the writing of what we now call 1 Corinthians. The text of that letter is lost to us, meaning God never intended it to be part of the preserved Scriptures. Instead, it served a very specific purpose in this relationship between Paul and the Corinthians and between them and the man who had wronged Paul.

We can see why this was a tricky letter for Paul to write. He had been wronged by a single individual, apparently; that's something he might have normally overlooked. In this case, it seems the offending man was a believer and influential in the church at Corinth. Also, this man's sin seems to have involved challenging Paul's God-given authority as an apostle over the church. In that way, the man was challenging God's authority over the church, as well. Such a sin could not be allowed to stand, especially if any others in the church might follow the man's lead.

Paul says here that he wrote the letter telling the church to correct and discipline this man in order to see if they would be obedient or not. Ultimately, it was a test of their obedience to God's authority, though it was Paul issuing the instructions. The Corinthians passed that test, and now Paul wanted them to pass the next one by forgiving and restoring the repentant sinner.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 2:5–11 contains Paul's agreement that a sinful man's offense was serious. Now that this man has repented in sorrow, however, Paul tells the Corinthians to stop his punishment and to forgive, comfort, and affirm their love for him. Paul knows now that they remain obedient. Forgiveness among Christians is essential in order to not be outwitted by the designs of Satan.
Chapter Summary:
Paul explains why he delayed coming to visit the Corinthians. In great anguish, he had written a painful letter to tell them they must correct a man among them. This person may have challenged Paul's authority as an apostle of Jesus. The Corinthians disciplined the man, and he repented. Paul told them to forgive him. He tells of Titus failing to show up in Troas with news about the Corinthians, then transitions into teaching that Christians are the aroma of Christ on earth to everyone they know.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians continues uninterrupted from the previous chapter. Paul is explaining why he waited to come to Corinth. He wanted to see if they would side with him, or with the man who challenged his authority. They disciplined the man. He repented. Paul commands restoration and forgiveness. He then tells of failing to find Titus in Troas with news about them before transitioning into teaching that Christians are the aroma of Christ on earth, smelling of death to the perishing and life to those being saved. This brings Paul back to the subject of his own authority in chapter 3.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 2/25/2024 11:04:00 AM
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