Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 7

The churchís decision to obey God

2 Corinthians 7:11-12

Probably, Paulís words show us how the church in Corinth dealt with the problem in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. It seems that Paul refers to the same matter in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11. That was one of the most serious problems that affected the church in Corinth.

One of the church members was acting in a manner that was clearly against Godís law. He had taken his fatherís wife, and he was having a sex relationship with her. The other church members had done nothing to deal with this man. Paul had to write to urge them to act in a strict manner at once.

Paul did not really want to upset the Christians in Corinth. However, he knew that his letter would have that effect. He hoped that they would turn back to God as a result. It was very important that they did not allow the church member to act in such an evil manner.

Now, Paul had heard the reports of what they had done. Paulís letter had certainly given them a shock. However, after that, they dealt with the matter in an extremely strong manner. They showed powerfully that they considered the manís behaviour to be totally wrong. They decided to act in a very firm manner. They made an order, probably that the man could not remain a member of the church. They were eager to do what is right.

In the end, that man turned back to God. However, Paul had not written merely for that manís benefit. Nor did he write because of the manís father, who had suffered so much in this matter. Paul wrote in order to test the Christians in Corinth. Before this, they had wrong ideas about personal freedom: they wanted the freedom to do whatever they chose. Paul wanted them to prove that, in the end, they preferred to obey God. That, of course, is what they did. They chose to obey God, and they did it eagerly.

Next part: Paul had urged Titus to go to Corinth (7:13-14)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.