Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Corinthians
Book: 2 Corinthians
Chapter: 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.