1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all pollution of the flesh and spirit (put for the whole person), perfecting holiness (See Rom. 1:4) in the fear (or reverence) of God.
2 Make room for us (see John 21:25); we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
3 I speak not this for condemnation: for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to die with and live with you.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying on behalf of you: I am filled with the comfort, I am exceeding joyful upon all our tribulation.
a 5. Troubled exceedingly. b 6. God's comfort. b 7-. His comfort by you. a -7. Rejoiced the more.
5 For, when we were come into Macedonia (this was after leaving Troas [2:12,13], where he was disappointed at not finding Titus), our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings (2 Tim. 2:23. Tit. 3:9. Jas. 4:1), within were fears.
6 Nevertheless God, That comforts the lowly, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation also wherewith he was comforted in you, telling us [as he did] (See Acts 14:27) your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal on behalf of me;
so that I rejoiced the more.
O h 8-. Former Letter. Effect. i -8-11.-. Result. Godly sorrow. k -11. Approving themselves. h 12. Former letter. Cause. i 13-15. Result. Comfort. k 16. Confidence.
8 For though I grieved you by a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: (The meaning is that Paul at first regretted he had written so severely, but afterwards changed his mind when he saw the salutary effect of his letter.)
for I see that that epistle has made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were grieved to repentance (here is the difference between Paul's repentance and that of the Corinthians. The Corinthians were guilty of sin; Paul might have made an error in judgment): for you were made sorry according to God (i.e. God's mind and will), that you might receive damage by us in nothing. (Paul was happy that the Corinthians took his warning to heart. They straightened themselves up and repented. Being sorry is always a big part of repentance.)
10 For grief according to God (cp. Ps. 51. Matt. 26:75) works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. (Cp. Saul [1 Sam. 15:24,30]; Judas [Matt. 27:3-5]. Repentance will bring you salvation. That is irrevocable. That is why Paul was happy. The Corinthians were sorry, they repented, and that brought them to salvation. That brought them irrevocably to eternal life. That also is irrevocable. That is a fact.Going along with the ways of the world brings death.)
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that you were grieved according to God, what diligence it worked in you, yes, what clearing of yourselves (see Acts 22:1), yes, what indignation, yes, what fear, yes, what vehement desire, yes, what zeal, yes, what vindication!
In all things you have commended yourselves to be pure (Phil. 4:8. 1 Tim. 5:22. Tit. 2:6. Jas. 3:171 Pet. 3:2. 1 John 3:3) in the matter. (You can be saved and go so far away from God that your salvation is in danger; however, that is what repentance is for.)
12 Wherefore, though I wrote to you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that has been wronged, but that our care on behalf of you in the sight of God might be manifested toward you.
13 On account of this we were comforted in your comfort: yes, and exceedingly the more joyed we upon the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed (see 1 Cor. 16:18) from you all.
14 For if I have gloried any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so our glorying also, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.
15 And his inward affection is more abundant to you, while he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. (See 1 Cor. 2:3)
16 I rejoice that I have confidence in you in all things.