|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-11 The apostle desires them to receive the person who had done wrong, again into their communion; for he was aware of his fault, and much afflicted under his punishment. Even sorrow for sin should not unfit for other duties, and drive to despair. Not only was there danger last Satan should get advantage, by tempting the penitent to hard thoughts of God and religion, and so drive him to despair; but against the churches and the ministers of Christ, by bringing an evil report upon Christians as unforgiving; thus making divisions, and hindering the success of the ministry. In this, as in other things, wisdom is to be used, that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging sin on the one hand, or for too great severity towards sinners on the other hand. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes.
Verse 9. - For to this end also did I write. This is another reason which he gives for the severe tone of his First Epistle. It was written
(1) to avoid the necessity for a painful visit (ver. 3);
(2) to show his special love for them (ver. 4); and
(3) to test their obedience. The proof of you. Your proved faithfulness (2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 13:3; Romans 5:4); your capacity to stand a test.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For to this end also did I write,.... Or "I have written", both in this and in his former epistle to them, and in both with this view,
that I might know the proof of you; that he might try, prove, and know them:
whether ye be obedient in all things; he wrote unto them in his former epistle, to put away that wicked man from them; which he did not do, merely to reproach the man, and fix a brand of infamy on him; nor merely to grieve and afflict their minds; nor only to show his own power and authority, which he as an apostle had received from Christ, but to make trial of their obedience; and he had had a proof of it in their rejection of him; and now he writes unto them, that since this man was truly humbled for his sin, and had repentance unto life not to be repented of, that they would as cheerfully receive him, and restore him to his place; that as the apostle had a proof of their obedience in the one, he might also have in the other, and so in all things: hence it appears, that though it belongs to the whole church, and that only, to reject or receive members, yet as ministers of the Gospel are set over the churches, to govern, guide, direct, and go before in matters of discipline; so whatever they propose, according to the rule of God's word, ought to be carefully attended to and obeyed.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. For—Additional reason why they should restore the offender, namely, as a "proof" of their obedience "in all things"; now in love, as previously in punishing (2Co 2:6), at the apostle's desire. Besides his other reasons for deferring his visit, he had the further view, though, perhaps, unperceived by them, of making an experiment of their fidelity. This accounts for his deferring to give, in his Epistle, the reason for his change of plan (resolved on before writing it). This full discovery of his motive comes naturally from him now, in the second Epistle, after he had seen the success of his measures, but would not have been a seasonable communication before. All this accords with reality, and is as remote as possible from imposture [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. The interchange of feeling is marked (2Co 2:4), "I wrote … that ye might know the love," &c.: here, "I did write, that I might know the proof of you."
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