What does 2 Corinthians 7 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
The first verse of this chapter—chapter divisions were not part of the original writing—concludes Paul's teaching from the previous chapter. That discussion was about not being "yoked" or harnessed to unbelievers in binding relationships, especially when it comes to issues of idol worship. In short, Christians should cleanse themselves from every physical and spiritual thing that is opposed to God. In that way, believers participate with God in completing His work of bringing them to holiness. (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Paul begins the main theme of this chapter by returning to his plea with the Corinthians to make room in their hearts for him and his co-workers for the gospel. He declares again their innocence from any false accusations that they have wronged, corrupted, or taken advantage of those they minister to in Christ's name. Paul is quick to say, though, that he is not condemning the Corinthians. He has so much affection for them that he is ready to both die with or live with them (2 Corinthians 7:2–3).

The reason for his abundant affection is that he has heard back from Titus about their response to his letter of rebuke to them. That has given him great boldness to write to them in this way, because he has been so comforted by Titus' report of his time with the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7:4–9).

Paul picks up the thread of a story he left hanging in chapter 2. After a difficult visit with the Corinthians, Paul had written a severe letter of rebuke to them. They had either sided with a man among them in the church against Paul or they had simply not responded to this man's opposition to Paul, who represented Christ. Paul corrected them and instructed them to discipline the man (2 Corinthians 2:3–10).

He gave this difficult letter, now lost to us, to Titus to deliver to the church in Corinth. Then he waited, not sure how they would respond. Would they get angry and reject his role as an apostle of Jesus? Would they be unkind to Titus in their anger? Paul's concern grew when Titus failed to appear at an arranged meeting in Troas. Paul returned to Macedonia and faced even more affliction.

Finally, though, Titus arrived with news from Corinth. They had received Paul's letter with great sorrow that provoked them to repentance—as godly grief over sin always does. The Corinthians did punish the man for his sin and eagerly did everything they could to make things right between Paul and themselves. Paul's relief at this news is obvious in this chapter. He rejoices still more that Titus was so impressed and encouraged by the Corinthians' obedience and humility (2 Corinthians 7:11–16).

The chapter concludes with Paul's declaration that he now has complete confidence in the Corinthians. Still, there will be difficult issues to discuss in the following chapters.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 6:14—7:1 begins with Paul's command to the Corinthians not to be ''unequally yoked'' with unbelievers. Light and darkness cannot be in fellowship. Christ and Satan cannot work together. Christians are God's temples on earth since His Spirit lives in them. That's why they must separate themselves from any kind of formal, binding relationship with unbelievers. Paul references several Old Testament Scriptures to show that believers in Jesus must separate themselves from being ''yoked'' to unbelievers since God is their Father and lives among them.
Second Corinthians 7:2–16 begins with Paul urging the Corinthians to make room in their hearts for him and his co-workers for the gospel. He then describes the great affliction they were under until Titus returned from a visit to Corinth. Titus' report that the Corinthians had responded to a severe rebuke from Paul with sadness and repentance brought Paul great comfort and caused him to rejoice. Titus, too, expressed affection for the Corinthians after seeing their obedience and humility. Paul concludes by declaring his complete confidence in the Corinthians, though he will discuss other difficult issues in the following chapters.
Chapter Summary:
Verse 1 concludes the previous chapter's declaration that believers, as God's holy people, must cleanse their lives of defilement. Next, Paul urges the Corinthians once more to make room in their hearts for him and his co-workers. He expresses his great comfort and joy over Titus' report that they received a letter of rebuke from him with sorrow and repentance, eager to make things right. He is glad to hear that Titus was impressed with their obedience and humble attitude. This hasn't resolved all the issues between Paul and the Corinthians, but he expresses his complete confidence in them.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians 7 begins with a single verse concluding Paul's teaching about what it means for Christians not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. He then urges the Corinthians once more to make room in their hearts for him and his fellow ministers. He expresses enormous comfort at hearing that they have received a letter of rebuke from him with an eagerness to make things right with him. Titus, too, is impressed with their obedience and humility. Paul declares that he now has complete confidence in them. Following chapters will continue to address spiritual problems within that church.
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.
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