Join us as we study through 2 Corinthians verse by verse. Our discussion questions, teaching points, and applications can help you or your small group get the most out of this book as you grow in understanding and obedience.

2 Corinthians 7:1-5 – Free Online Inductive Bible Study Lesson

Outline

I. Being set apart for God (1)
II. Acting joyfully with pure motives (2-5)
III. Godly grief brought about repentance (6-11)
IV. Paul’s confidence in the Corinthians (12-16)

I. Being set apart for God (1)

Discussion Questions

  • What promises is Paul referring to?
  • Based on the context, what defilement is in mind here?
  • Why is it important to know that physical defilement also affects the spirit?
  • How can the fear of God motivate you to holy living?

Cross-References

Titus 3:5 – He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Galatians 5:24 – And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Teaching Points

1. Since we have these promises – The promises are at the end of chapter 6.

2 Corinthians 6:18 – And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.

The person who separates himself from the world and lives a holy life has God as a father. He has been adopted as a child of God. That knowledge should motivate believers to live that holy and blameless life.

God’s grace is not a license to sin. A true believer would not say, “Because I am forgiven, I can sin!” No, a true believer would say, “God has cleansed me. I should serve Him and strive to be holy like Him.”

2. Let us cleanse ourselves – The washing away of our sin is a work of God. He washes our hearts. He renews us with the Holy Spirit. He regenerates us.

Romans 8:29-30 – For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

See who God is and what He is doing. He chose us. He took the initiative. In Ephesians 1:4 it says, “even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”

God didn’t look ahead and see what a good person you will be and then say, “I choose you.” God’s predestination is a pre-determined choice to love and save individual sinners, sinners who were not lovely and were not good.

When you look at all the things that are happening here, you see that God is the one at work. He predestines. He conforms. He calls. He justifies. He glorifies. He is sovereign. He is taking the initiative.

Your salvation is a result of His work, not your own. And your sanctification is also through Him.

Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

What He started, He is going to finish. This is very important. By your own strength or will power you cannot overcome sin. You cannot wake up one day and decide, “I am not going to sin. I am not going to drink that alcohol. I am not going to lust. I am not going to lose my temper.” Your own will power is not enough to change you.

How can you overcome these things? It is through Christ. He is the one changing you. The Holy Spirit regenerates your heart. God’s role is the Savior, the justifier, the sanctifier.

So what is our role? Can we just kick our feet back and relax? We are the ones being conformed. We are the clay and He is the potter. So we must be cooperative clay. We cooperate with Him as He works in our lives. We do this by submitting our will to His. We come to Him and say “We want to be changed by you. Have your way in my life.” Instead of resisting His will, we embrace His will.

Our role is not passive. We are to be active in turning to God and asking Him to change us. We are called to cooperate with God’s sanctifying work in our lives. God wants us to be be zealous for Him and diligent to apply His word.

Application: What are you defiled with? What sin may you be entangled in? Take it to God right now. Confess your sin. Ask Him to cleanse you and help you overcome it.

II. Acting joyfully with pure motives (2-5)

Discussion Questions

  • What can we learn from Paul about how to conduct Christian ministry?
  • How did Paul feel about the Corinthians?
  • What do you think filled Paul with comfort?
  • Why is love so important in ministry?

Cross-References

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Teaching Points

1. Make room in your hearts for us – Paul once again appeals to them to open up their hearts to him. You can see throughout the letter that he sincerely desires to have a good relationship with them.

This is an important lesson we can learn from Paul about ministry. He wasn’t using these people to gain a following or a position. Neither did he just view them as numbers. Each person was important to him. He valued them. All the things he did for them were out of love.

Love is the key. Without it, a minister will get burnt out and view service as an annoyance rather than a blessing.

2. We have wronged no one – Paul goes on to defend his actions toward them, reminding them of his pure motives. Instead of using his position to take advantage, he acted out of concern for their interests. In other words, he was innocent of any ill charge toward him!

Application: There is a time when it is necessary to offer a defense of one self. When the credibility of the gospel or God’s word is at stake, one should defend himself. The principle then is “all things for the gospel.” If the gospel is furthered by remaining silent, remain silent. If the gospel is furthered by speaking to defend your actions, then speak out.

3. To die together and to live together – Believers are all part of the same body. We are in the same family, going in the same direction. Comrades in arms, we are to look out for one another. There should be no division, for how can a body be divided against itself?

4. I have great pride in you – Paul was comforted by the fact that they responded well to his previous letter. Though he himself had been afflicted in many ways, their repentance in response to his rebukes filled him with joy.

Once again we see that joy is not dependent on circumstances. Paul’s circumstances were challenging. His joy came from seeing people do well and grow spiritually.

Application: One test of your priorities is to consider what things excite you the most. What is it that makes you happy? If you get excited about materials, then maybe that is where your heart is. But if you get excited when people hear and respond to God’s word, that is a good sign you are on the right track!

2 Corinthians 7:6-16

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