2 Corinthians 7

* An exhortation to holiness, and the whole church entreated to

bear affection to the apostle. (1-4) He rejoiced in their

sorrowing to repentance. (5-11) And in the comfort they and

Titus had together. (12-16)

1-4 The promises of God are strong reasons for us to follow

after holiness; we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of

flesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seek

to be holy as he is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven.

His grace, by the influences of his Spirit, alone can purify,

but holiness should be the object of our constant prayers. If

the ministers of the gospel are thought contemptible, there is

danger lest the gospel itself be despised also; and though

ministers must flatter none, yet they must be gentle towards

all. Ministers may look for esteem and favour, when they can

safely appeal to the people, that they have corrupted no man by

false doctrines or flattering speeches; that they have defrauded

no man; nor sought to promote their own interests so as to hurt

any. It was affection to them made the apostle speak so freely

to them, and caused him to glory of them, in all places, and

upon all occasions.
5-11 There were fightings without, or continual contentions

with, and opposition from Jews and Gentiles; and there were

fears within, and great concern for such as had embraced the

Christian faith. But God comforts those who are cast down. We

should look above and beyond all means and instruments, to God,

as the author of all the consolation and good we enjoy. Sorrow

according to the will of God, tending to the glory of God, and

wrought by the Spirit of God, renders the heart humble,

contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walk

in newness of life. And this repentance is connected with saving

faith in Christ, and an interest in his atonement. There is a

great difference between this sorrow of a godly sort, and the

sorrow of the world. The happy fruits of true repentance are

mentioned. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions will

be changed. It wrought indignation at sin, at themselves, at the

tempter and his instruments. It wrought a fear of watchfulness,

and a cautious fear of sin. It wrought desire to be reconciled

with God. It wrought zeal for duty, and against sin. It wrought

revenge against sin and their own folly, by endeavours to make

satisfaction for injuries done thereby. Deep humility before

God, hatred of all sin, with faith in Christ, a new heart and a

new life, make repentance unto salvation. May the Lord bestow it

on every one of us.
12-16 The apostle was not disappointed concerning them, which

he signified to Titus; and he could with joy declare the

confidence he had in them for the time to come. Here see the

duties of a pastor and of his flock; the latter must lighten the

troubles of the pastoral office, by respect and obedience; the

former make a due return by his care of them, and cherish the

flock by testimonies of satisfaction, joy, and tenderness.

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