2 Corinthians 7* An exhortation to holiness, and the whole church entreated tobear affection to the apostle. (1-4) He rejoiced in theirsorrowing to repentance. (5-11) And in the comfort they andTitus had together. (12-16)1-4 The promises of God are strong reasons for us to followafter holiness; we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness offlesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seekto 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. Ifthe ministers of the gospel are thought contemptible, there isdanger lest the gospel itself be despised also; and thoughministers must flatter none, yet they must be gentle towardsall. Ministers may look for esteem and favour, when they cansafely appeal to the people, that they have corrupted no man byfalse doctrines or flattering speeches; that they have defraudedno man; nor sought to promote their own interests so as to hurtany. It was affection to them made the apostle speak so freelyto them, and caused him to glory of them, in all places, andupon all occasions. 5-11 There were fightings without, or continual contentionswith, and opposition from Jews and Gentiles; and there werefears within, and great concern for such as had embraced theChristian faith. But God comforts those who are cast down. Weshould look above and beyond all means and instruments, to God,as the author of all the consolation and good we enjoy. Sorrowaccording to the will of God, tending to the glory of God, andwrought by the Spirit of God, renders the heart humble,contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walkin newness of life. And this repentance is connected with savingfaith in Christ, and an interest in his atonement. There is agreat difference between this sorrow of a godly sort, and thesorrow of the world. The happy fruits of true repentance arementioned. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions willbe changed. It wrought indignation at sin, at themselves, at thetempter and his instruments. It wrought a fear of watchfulness,and a cautious fear of sin. It wrought desire to be reconciledwith God. It wrought zeal for duty, and against sin. It wroughtrevenge against sin and their own folly, by endeavours to makesatisfaction for injuries done thereby. Deep humility beforeGod, hatred of all sin, with faith in Christ, a new heart and anew life, make repentance unto salvation. May the Lord bestow iton every one of us. 12-16 The apostle was not disappointed concerning them, whichhe signified to Titus; and he could with joy declare theconfidence he had in them for the time to come. Here see theduties of a pastor and of his flock; the latter must lighten thetroubles of the pastoral office, by respect and obedience; theformer make a due return by his care of them, and cherish theflock by testimonies of satisfaction, joy, and tenderness.
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