2 Corinthians 7:1…
We see the church transformed…
What had been a church filled with competition and strife caused by disregard of sinful conduct in all sorts of ways has now been brought to its knees, so to speak.
Paul here reveals the heart of the servant of God when it comes to his view of others missing God’s best. The church at Corinth was being led astray by the appeal of Judaizers and other critics of the purity, grace and simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ presented by Paul.
Instead of receiving Paul’s presentation of God’s Word with open hearts desiring all God had for them, they instead took a critical view, only enhanced by outsiders presenting another gospel – which was no gospel at all.
The same kind of thing happens all the time today, and we can relate to Paul’s agony.
His great fear had been the direction he had heard they were heading in rejecting his initial teaching. And in his fear and love for them he had written a strong letter of correction which we have today as the Book of 1st Corinthians. Paul knew his letter was a bombshell, and it was intended to be. We can only begin to imagine the fear he had in sending it. He tells us exactly that here.
Sometimes we fear bringing great words of correction because we can never know how they will be received. Paul knew his letter had the power to drive them away from him for good, and his great fear was that it would.
So, he longed for some kind of word about how his letter had been received. As he traveled toward Corinth for a return visit, his heart was heavy and fearful, having no idea what to expect. He had sent Titus to Corinth on advance to see what their response had been…and Titus had not met him in Asia as he had expected, only prolonging his agony for them. (More than for himself.)
But then Titus had come to him as he had crossed over into Macedonia. (Europe.) The news could not have been better! His letter had produced exactly the effect Paul could have desired only in his wildest dreams for them. The fact is Paul’s words of correction for the church at Corinth had not been his but God’s.
And so, the Holy Spirit gave his words of correction the power of God required to bring about a great repentance in the church at Corinth through Godly sorrow over their actions. Paul was overjoyed not for himself, but for the church, because he knew the kind and quality of fruit only Godly sorrow produces.