Paul is writing to the Corinthians in this passage about repentance. He is writing them to explain a previous letter of rebuke he had written to them earlier in 2 Corinthians 2: 3, 4. Paul starts this passage off telling the Corinthians how much he loves them. In verse 3, He says “I do not say this to condemn you”, and in verse 4, he says “I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowed with joy.” He then goes on to say in verse 8-9 that even though the letter caused grief, he did not regret it because they were grieved into repenting. Verse 10 says “for godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
This difference between godly grief and worldly grief is very similar to difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction is issued by the Holy Spirit and brings repentance, whereas condemnation is issued by satan and it leads to guilt and shame. The order of events in this passage is really important for our understanding. The first thing Paul does, is assure the Corinthians of his love for them, and how proud he is of them. Once he has done that he explains why the letter was written. It was important to Paul that they know of his love before leading them into repentance. It is necessary that we understand God’s love for us first. When we are rooted in the foundation of Christ’s love, then can we trust in Him fully.
This starts by spending time with God. When we spend time with God we get to know Him better, and when we know God better we learn His character and become more rooted in who He is.
Author | Kourtney Axelberg