1 Corinthians 7
1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7

2 Corinthians 7:1-16

1  Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2  Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.

3  I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.

4  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

5  For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.

6  Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,

7  and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.

8  For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.

9  Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.

10  For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

11  For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

12  Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.

13  Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.

14  For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true.

15  And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.

16  Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.

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8 months ago

There is a sustaining joy that enables endurance of any challenge from the outside. This comes from the Lord in the fellowship of His body members as choices are made from grace-empowered open hearts to embrace and restore in love rather than reject and separate in strife. When corrections are made and discipline applied, there is an opportunity to be divided and conquered or united and strengthened. Again, Paul is referring to the incestuous man in Chapter 5 and his strong rebuke that was given for their protection and perfection. Rather than closing up their hearts in rebellion to this correction, they had received and complied with it, even though the confrontation threatened relationships. This softness of heart produced Godly sorrow and the repentance that would yield God-pleasing holiness in fear of Him over dominance of the flesh. It wasn’t sorrow alone that was productive, though, but rejoicing in the greater purpose fulfilled that would turn what the devil had intended to bring destruction into a perfection of holiness. Sorrowing alone will only magnify the error over the power of restoration in reconciliation.

Preserving and protecting the body as a whole is a rising priority in the open heart of those who have matured in their representation of God’s heart. Individual stories of wrongs committed and offenses taken will always threaten this unity, while love’s mending of those conflicts will strengthen bonds through the greatest of personal failures. Everything about our personal growth in Christ will be reflected in strengthened relationships with those who give cause to offend. It’s from the joy that manifests in forgiveness and mercy that there will be power to deflect the enemy’s threats and grow stronger in the beauty of holiness.

8 months ago

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