Paul's Second Letter to the Cornthians
Biblical Forgiveness in Action
2 Corinthians 2:5-11
29 November 2015
The world hails revenge as the only just response to injury. In stark contrast to this stands Jesus Christ, the model of forgiveness. In Second Corinthians 2:5 - 11, Paul looks at four principles of biblical forgiveness.
Biblical forgiveness practises humility and mercy (v. 5 - 6)
In the Corinthian church Paul cared for, a certain somebody caused great pain, and was rightly disciplined. But Paul now writes to the Corinthians to receive him back, for "sufficient to such a one is this punishment" (v. 5). Naturally, man craves revenge and retaliation, but Christ empowers to practice humility and mercy, forgiving instead.
Biblical forgiveness restores joy with love (v. 7 - 8)
The offender having been disciplined, Paul now writes, "I beg you to confirm your love toward him" (v. 8). Sin always causes a rift in fellowship, but never salvation. Those who have received the greatest forgiveness - of our sins, by the Saviour - will never be parted from God's family. With this in view, if we have been forgiven, we must also learn to love and receive others.
Biblical forgiveness is obedience in action (v. 9 - 10)
Regardless what a Christian feels, the biblical command is to forgive. Paul likewise commands the Corinthians to forgive, to see if they would be "obedient in all things" (v. 9), or merely in some.
Biblical forgiveness prevents Satan from having his way (v. 11)
When true forgiveness is not carried out, the rift widens between the offender and the church - and Satan loves this separation. Instead of this, Paul urges restoration, so "no advantage may be gained over us by Satan."
Biblical forgiveness is a world apart from what man naturally craves. Instead of retaliation, let us follow the example of Christ, and forgive.