2 Corinthians 2:7-12
2 Cor 2:7 (KJB)
So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Swallowed - Devoured or consumed
With overmuch - Abundant or profuse
Whatever the penalty or the judgment of the congregation was, the man deserved the correction but that correction must never go beyond what is reasonable. (Deu 25:3 KJV) Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. Even under the law when a person deserved to be flogged for some type of infraction, there was a set limit to the amount of lashes. How much more under grace should those who have been forgiven of all their sins, forgive another brother or sister for a sin repented of. If a correction is done beyond a reasonable limit, the person may not return to the church or he or she may hold the assembly in contempt. Correction should always be done with the desire for repentance on the part of the perpetrator and not for the puffing up of some in the congregation who somehow think they can never sin.
2 Cor 2:8 (KJB)
Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
Confirm - Ratify or validate
As the congregation was ready to discipline the man, they now need to confirm their love for him by accepting him back into fellowship and never bringing that sin up again. A major principle applies in never bringing up a personís past sin. (Heb 8:12 KJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. This is one verse among several where God states that he will remove, blot out, and forget our sins. This means that because of Christ, we are not to hold anyoneís past sins against them. God does not hold our past sins against us and therefore we must never do it to others. This does not mean we do not hold to discipline because when we get out of order, God disciplines us, but He also knows when to stop when the designated sin is expunged.
2 Cor 2:9 (KJB)
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
The proof - Approved character
To what end was Paul writing? Paul wrote to them to try or prove their character. Paul wanted to confirm that the congregation was being obedient by accepting this repentant man back into fellowship. Paul did not want these people going beyond what was needed for correction. He wanted the congregation to extend mercy to this man just as willingly as they disciplined him. Sometimes, when a person sins, it is not only a testing program for the person committing the sin, but is a testing program for those around him. Sometimes a person in a congregation may have financial difficulties and it may be a test for that person but it is also a test for the Christians around him to see if they will help or if they will shirk their duty.
2 Cor 2:10 (KJB)
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
Here Paul states that if the congregation has forgiven this man, he also forgives him. Of course, the statement here is of wider usage in that this could apply to any situation which may arise in the church. Paul not only forgives the person but he does it for their sakes too. That is, he does it for the sake of the congregation that there be unity on the matter. Many held Paul in high regard and if he forgave someone of some sin, then the congregation needed to do the same so the church would not suffer from a split. It is only because of the mercy of Christ that forgives Paul and the Christian, that we are able to forgive someone who has committed an offense. Ultimately, when a person sins, even if it seems like it is against us, it is really against God they sin and that is the reason that we must never hold a grudge or hold a personís sin against them.
2 Cor 2:11 (KJB)
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Should get an advantage of us - Defrauded or we should be taken advantage of
Ignorant - Not to understand or comprehend
Devices - Thoughts or purposes
If a person commits a sin and is disciplined and repents of that sin, if they are not forgiven by the congregation, that would cause a great problem in the church and this is what Satan desires. He wants to see as much division and confusion in the church as possible. This way Satan can take advantage of us by not only building on the unforgivingness, but he will inject other things to make sure the fighting continues until the congregation is destroyed or split. As Christians, we are given some insight, from the Scriptures, into how Satan operates to divide and conquer the Christians. The main thoughts that Satan has is to try and defeat the Christians any way he can. That is why we must stay in the Scriptures so we continue to be strengthened against his desires to destroy, so we may cut them off the moment we see them cropping up in the church.
2 Cor 2:12 (KJB)
Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
Now Paul returns to his reasons why he was unable to come to Corinth. He went to Troas to preach the Gospel because a door was opened to him and he did not want to miss the opportunity. When God opens a door for ministry, we never go in the opposite direction because if God is opening that door for us, He is opening it for us and not somebody else. Jonah is a good example of someone making an attempt to avoid an open door of ministry. Jonah could have saved himself a lot of trouble by going the first time. This is important because many Christians seem to be having troubles in their life and maybe at some point God wanted them to perform a ministry and they refused and the result is that God will not allow them to disobey. Troas was in the province of Mysia and was across the Aegean Sea from Corinth, to the east. It was part of modern day Turkey. Paul could have rationalized that he needed to be in Corinth but when a Christian is spiritually sensitive to the leading of the Lord, they will recognize that God sets the priorities and not them.