2 Corinthians chapter 2

Why Paul had to change his plans. They are to forgive a repentant offender. Paul’s visit to Troas and Macedonia. We are in a triumphal procession of Christ.





VERSE 1. But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you again in sorrow.

come to you again in sorrow. If Paul had visited them, he would have needed to correct the many faults in their community. That would have put them in a state of sorrow.

For that reason, Paul did NOT visit them.


VERSE 2. For if I make you grieve, then who will make me glad but he who is made to grieve by me?


VERSE 3. And I wrote this very thing to you, so that, when I came, I wouldn’t have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy would be shared by all of you.

I wrote this very thing to you. Instead of correcting their many faults through a personal visit, Paul did it by writing his First Letter to the Corinthians.


VERSE 4. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you should be made to grieve, but that you might know the love that I have so abundantly for you.

of much affliction and anguish of heart. Paul was stunned by the many faults in their community.

I wrote to you with many tears. When Paul wrote them to correct their many faults, he grieved for them. He was a sensitive person.



SUMMARY: This section probably concerns a Christian believer in Corinth who was having sex with his stepmother. In Paul’s previous letter to Corinth, he directed them to kick that man out of the church. Since then, the man repented. Now Paul tells them to welcome the man back.


VERSE 5. But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all.

in part … to you all. The situation of the incestuous Christian believer required that Paul step in and correct the situation. That prompted Paul to write his  First Letter to the Corinthians.

Upon reading it, the whole community felt great sorrow.


VERSE 6. This punishment which was inflicted by the many is sufficient for such a one;


VERSE 7. so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his excessive sorrow.

forgive him and comfort him.  We are to forgive and comfort those who repent of their sin.

swallowed up. That is, overwhelmed.

with his excessive sorrow. When they realize the gravity of their sin, some people have excessive pain. We do not want them to persist like that.


VERSE 8. Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him.

confirm your love toward him. A community must not shun a person who repents of sin.


VERSE 9. For to this end I also wrote, that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient in all things.


VERSE 10. Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

I also forgive whomever you forgive. This is similar to what the Lord Jesus said:

John 20:23. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained.”


VERSE 11. that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.




VERSE 12. Now when I came to Troas for the Good News of Christ, and when a door was opened to me in the Lord,


VERSE 13. I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia.

Macedonia. This was a Roman province in northern Greece.




VERSE 14. Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place.

NIV translation: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from Second Corinthians.

always leads us in triumph. Paul envisions a festive parade in honor of a conquering military hero. In this context, the hero is Jesus Christ, who conquered sin and death. We Christian believers get to be a part of that festive parade.

sweet aroma. We are to be the “sweet aroma” of Christ.

What sort of aroma are you? Does your presence fill the room with a sweet aroma? Or a nasty stench? How does your presence affect others?


VERSE 15. For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved and in those who perish:

a sweet aroma. We believers are to be a sweet aroma of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we live our faith in a winsome way, people will want what we have to offer them:

Zechariah 8:23. Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. (NAB translation)

saved … perish. The aroma of incense gradually diffuses to the whole community. Similarly, the knowledge of God gradually propagates to all people, through the Ministry of Evangelism.

Wisdom 3:6. He tested them like gold in the furnace, and he accepted them as a whole burnt offering.


VERSE 16. to the one a stench from death to death, to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

Who is sufficient. That is, “who is qualified.” Paul probably has in mind the false apostles who had taken control of the believers in Corinth. They were not qualified.


VERSE 17. For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.

peddling the word of God. The false apostles made a lucrative income by selling their services.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.