“Repentance, Restoration and Forgiveness”
I. Apostle Paul Urges Forgiveness (Verses 1-2)
A. Paul made up his mind concerning the “wayward” church (vs.1)
"I didn’t want to come to you in “heaviness!” (grief and sorrow)
B. If I (through this letter) made you grieved enough to stop the sins, then you make me glad.. (vs. 2)
"I wanted to rejoice with you when I came to Corinth raher then come there grieved and correcting the gross and sinful behaviors that has continued in the lives of many of you since your conversion from "heathenism" to "Christianity!""
Note: Paul said he made up his mind that he wasn’t coming back to Corinth, if he had to deal with the same things that corrupted the church, those things which brought grief him as pastor and them as a "wayward" Christian fellowship. Paul was heartbroken and grieved when he got the news of all of the sinful drama that infiltrated and corrupted the membership. It pained him as pastor to have to handle the corruption and corrupt members in the church with such severity to resort to acts of severe discipline, knowing when he did so, it would (and did) also grieve the whole Paul hoped that they would have gotten themselves straight and freed themselves from the bondage the sin by repentance, So before he would visit them again, he hoped they would endeavor to remove these evils before I came, that when I did come, my visit might be mutually agreeable to us both.
II. Forgiving the Offenders ( Incest between a man and his mother(or mother in law) (verses 3-11)
A. When I come. I hoped you would have corrected the incestuous behavior so I would not have to take strong disciplinary action against the guilty and make you sorry for not having ‘nipped ‘ this in the bud . (Put the incestuous man out of the church.) (vs.3)
B. I wrote out of anguish and my eyes full of tears. The hardest part of a pastor’s ministry is when a member must be disciplined for their behavior, especially when that member (leader or lay member must be silenced or asked to leave the church fellowship. Paul wanted to come to them in love and show them how much he loved them, and not come as a disciplinarian bringing more grief upon the church. (vs.4)
C.If any has caused grief, they cause you more grief than they cause me (Paul) it’s not fair for me to blame the whole church for the actions of the few wayward members among the fellowship. ( in reference to the those engaged in fornication (the man guilty of incest) (vs.5)
Note: The Corinthian church actually dealt with this matter concerning the man guilty of an incestrous and inapproppiate relationship with his mother in law. and set the correct punishment against him (put him out of the church) that ultimately compelled him to repent. A new problem arose when members of the Corinthian church refused to accept his apology and were balking at restoring his membership and restoring all the rights and privledges due him to proper fellowship relations with the church..
III. Restoration: the Result of Forgiveness (Matthew 18:15-19) (verses 6-8)
A. Paul reminded the Corinthians that the punishment handed this man was sufficient because it caused him to respond in the right way by repenting of his gross sin and ask for forgiveness. What did they do? (v.6)
1. They withdrew the right hand of fellowship.
2. They rescinded his rights as a member (took away his voice and his vote)
3. He was banished from the fellowship and treated as a heathen and a publican.
Note: The church acted in the integrity of what the church was founded for and handed out a discipline that sent the correct message concerning what should not be tolerated among the church fellowship. (the church has to be discrete in how it handles these types of situations, yet stand firm according the God’s mandate for the church).
A. Forgive and restore him to the fellowship (He showed true repentance)(vs. 7)
B. Confirm your love toward them…show them in"loving" action that all is forgiven. (vs.8)
Note:` According to Matthew 18:15-17, the purpose of any church discipline is to bring that person or persons to repentance and turning them away from the behavior(s) that put them at odds with a person, people,the church in general and with God . It’s important that the committee that is designated to act in behalf of the integrity of church understands the importance of following tghe leading of the Holoy Spirit and the scriptural basis for their actions against the accused.
If we fail to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit "scriptural protocol" concerning repentance and forgiveness and fail to forgive a truly repentant member and restore the right hand of fellowship to them, as well as restore every right and privilege granted to them according to scriptural protocol, and by the church bylaws to them and fully embrace them, we could endanger the repentant and cause that person to go on a life path that will ultimately destroy their lives, simply because we didn’t follow scripture protocol thus revealing that there may have been personal bias in the disciplinary actions taken against the accused.. And the church will have to give in account of it is some way.
D. Your obedience to pastoral instruction: I wrote this to see if you would do this.
“If you forgive him, I forgive him” Jesus said if we will not forgive those who trespass against us , neither will His father in Heaven (Jehovah) forgive us. (vs.9-10)
E. Do it so Satan can’t use this act of unforgiveness against you. Satan looks to use any mess ups against us any way he can to try to cause our downfall. (vs.11) Here, he could cause the hardhearted church to do harm to the overall ministry of the church and the cause of Christ.
IV. Distress over Titus (2 Corinthians 7:5-6) (verses 12-13)
Paul went to Troas to preach the gospel ( an opportunity presented itself)
Paul had hoped to see Titus to get a progress report on the progress of the Corinthian church. Wanting to stay and finish the work, but having to leave and not getting the chance to meet with Titus, Paul left Troas and went to Macedonia.
V. Triumph in Christ (vs.14-17)
This meant to triumph through the aid of Christ, or in promoting the cause of Christ. Paul didn't possess any joy which was not connected with Christ.As a result, Paul never claimed any success in which he did not trace to Him. Paul saw every soul saved on his missionary journey especially in Troas and Macedonia as triumphing over the principalities and powers which he had spoiled, or plundered; which means that Christ led them in triumph in the same manner of a conqueror who had a sucessful conquest.
A. Thanks Be unto God (vs. 14)
Thanks be unto God which always giveth us the victory in Christ." Paul refers here to a victory which he had, and a triumph with which he was favored by the Redeemer. It was a victory over the enemies of the gospel; it was success in advancing the interests of the kingdom of Christ; and he rejoiced in that victory, and in that success, with more solid and substantial joy than a Roman victor ever felt on returning from his conquests over nations, even when attended with the richest spoils of victory, and by humbled princes and kings in chains, and when the assembled thousands shouted Io triumph!
Note: Paul also recieved some great news concerning the Corinthain church when Titus met with him in Macedonia.Titus told Paul that the Corinthian Church took heed to his first letter and started their turn from idolatry and debauchery. Paul experienced evangelistic success in Macedonia also.
B. 2 Aspects of a “New Testament Ministry (Chapter 2:24 to Chapter 7:16) (vs.15-17)
1. New Testament Ministry is both “soul saving” and “soul damning” (vs. 15-16) (The Minister)
a. The Minister is seen as a sweet savor of Christ unto God the Father whenever a person gives ther life to Jesus Christ as a result of hearing the gospel from the preacher. Roman'10:15 : How can they hear weithout a preacher? and how can they preach,except they have been sent(vs. 15)
b. We are the odor of death unto death and to the other (unsaved) the odor of life unto life. (to everyone that believes the gospel of Jesus Christ.