What does 2 Corinthians 7:10 mean?
ESV: For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
NIV: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
NASB: For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
CSB: For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.
NLT: For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
KJV: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
NKJV: For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has written about the deep sorrow experienced by the Corinthians in response to his letter to them. They grieved deeply over their sinfulness. Paul has not dismissed that pain, but he has said he rejoices because it led to their repentance from sin. In the end, it was for their good and not their harm.

Now Paul generalizes this idea to every believer. "Godly grief" produces repentance: turning away from the sinful path to go in the right direction. That repentance leads to salvation and leaves no regret. Paul may not have in mind here salvation in the sense of a person's eternal destiny. Those in Christ are securely saved because God's forgiveness for sin is irreversible. He may have in mind salvation from sin's painful consequences.

Godly grief hurts. It hurts us to recognize our sinfulness and our responsibility for bringing pain to others with our sin. If that hurt leads to repentance, though, it is a pain that frees the believer from regret. In the end, a Christian is glad for the grief that brought them back to the path of life.

Worldly grief, on the other hand, leads only to death. Worldly grief is a pain over the consequences of sin that does not lead to repentance. It is only pain followed by more sin followed by more pain. The path of sin always leads to death and destruction and never to life and joyfulness.
Verse Context:
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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