7:5-11 There were fightings without, or continual contentions with, and opposition from Jews and Gentiles; and there were fears within, and great concern for such as had embraced the Christian faith. But God comforts those who are cast down. We should look above and beyond all means and instruments, to God, as the author of all the consolation and good we enjoy. Sorrow according to the will of God, tending to the glory of God, and wrought by the Spirit of God, renders the heart humble, contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walk in newness of life. And this repentance is connected with saving faith in Christ, and an interest in his atonement. There is a great difference between this sorrow of a godly sort, and the sorrow of the world. The happy fruits of true repentance are mentioned. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions will be changed. It wrought indignation at sin, at themselves, at the tempter and his instruments. It wrought a fear of watchfulness, and a cautious fear of sin. It wrought desire to be reconciled with God. It wrought zeal for duty, and against sin. It wrought revenge against sin and their own folly, by endeavours to make satisfaction for injuries done thereby. Deep humility before God, hatred of all sin, with faith in Christ, a new heart and a new life, make repentance unto salvation. May the Lord bestow it on every one of us.
11. Confirmation of 2Co 7:10 from the Corinthians' own experience.
carefulness—solicitude, literally, "diligence"; opposed to their past negligence in the matter.
in you—Greek "for you."
yea—not only "carefulness" or diligence, but also "clearing of yourselves," namely, to me by Titus: anxiety to show you disapproved of the deed.
indignation—against the offender.
fear—of the wrath of God, and of sinning any more [Sclater and Calvin]; fear of Paul [Grotius], (1Co 4:2, 19-21).
vehement desire—longing for restoration to Paul's approval [Conybeare and Howson]. "Fear" is in spite of one's self. "Longing desire" is spontaneous, and implies strong love and an aspiration for correction [Calvin]. "Desire" for the presence of Paul, as he had given them the hope of it (1Co 4:19; 16:5) [Grotius and Estius].
zeal—for right and for God's honor against what is wrong. Or, "for the good of the soul of the offender" [Bengel].
revenge—Translate, "Exacting of punishment" (1Co 5:2, 3). Their "carefulness" was exhibited in the six points just specified: "clearing of themselves," and "indignation" in relation to themselves; "fear" and "vehement desire" in respect to the apostle; "zeal" and "revenge" in respect to the offender [Bengel]; (compare 2Co 7:7).
In all—the respects just stated.
clear—Greek, "pure," namely, from complicity in the guilty deed. "Approved yourselves," Greek, "commended yourselves." Whatever suspicion of complicity rested on you (1Co 5:2, 6) through your former remissness, you have cleared off by your present strenuousness in reprobating the deed.