St. Paul speaks about a previous letter he had written to the Corinthians. Although there had been pain and anguish of heart, he had only written out of love for these Christians. Now that the one who had been caught up in sin had been brought to repentant sorrow, the church needed to turn and comfort this man with Christ’s forgiveness, lest Satan outwit God’s people. St. Paul gives thanks to God that He leads His Church in triumphal procession, spreading the aroma of Christ in the world. Although it is a stench among unbelievers, this aroma leads to life for all those who hold onto Christ and His Word in faith.
Rev. Sean Daenzer, director of worship for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and chaplain at the International Center in St. Louis, MO, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 2 Corinthians 2:3-17.
“A Letter of Comfort” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the epistle of 2 Corinthians. St. Paul writes again to the Christians in Corinth to bring them the ongoing comfort of the Gospel in the midst of the attacks of false doctrine from so-called “super apostles.” He seeks to give confidence to the Corinthians—and to us—that the good news of Christ crucified and risen proclaimed by His called ministers will accomplish all that He intends.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
2 Corinthians 2:3-17
3 And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4 For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
Forgive the Sinner
5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Triumph in Christ
12 When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org