2 Corinthians 7:16
I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
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(16) I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.—Most of the better MSS. omit “therefore,” which may have been inserted for the sake of connecting the verse. “I have confidence in you,” though, in one sense, a literal translation of the Greek, fails to give its exact meaning. He does not mean, “I trust you,” but “I am of good cheer, I take courage in you, being what you are.” With this expression of thankfulness he leaves the painful subject of which he had been compelled to speak, and passes, probably after a pause of greater or less length, to another.

7:12-16 The apostle was not disappointed concerning them, which he signified to Titus; and he could with joy declare the confidence he had in them for the time to come. Here see the duties of a pastor and of his flock; the latter must lighten the troubles of the pastoral office, by respect and obedience; the former make a due return by his care of them, and cherish the flock by testimonies of satisfaction, joy, and tenderness.I rejoice, therefore, that I have confidence ... - I have had the most ample proof that you are disposed to obey God, and to put away everything that is offensive to him. The address of this part of the Epistle, says Doddridge, is wonderful. It is designed, evidently, not merely to commend them for what they had done, and to show them the deep attachment which he had for them, but in a special manner to prepare them for what he he was about to say in the following chapter, respecting the collection which he had so much at heart for the poor saints at Jerusalem. What he here says was admirably adapted to introduce that subject. They had thus far showed the deepest regard for him. They had complied with all his directions. All that he had said of them had proved to be true. And as he had boasted of them to Titus 2 1 Corinthians 7:14, and expressed his entire confidence that they would comply with his requisitions, so he had also boasted of them to the churches of Macedonia and expressed the utmost confidence that they would be liberal in their benefactions, 2 Corinthians 9:2. All that Paul here says in their favor, therefore, was eminently adapted to excite them to liberality, and prepare them to comply with his wishes in regard to that contribution.


1. Christians are bound by every solemn and sacred consideration to endeavor to purify themselves, 2 Corinthians 7:1. They who have the promises of eternal life, and the assurance that God will be to them a father, and evidence that they are his sons and daughters, should not indulge in the filthiness of the flesh and spirit.

2. Every true Christian will aim at perfection, 2 Corinthians 7:1. He will desire to be perfect; he will strive for it; he will make it a subject of unceasing and constant prayer. No man can be a Christian to whom it would not be a pleasure to be at once as perfect as God. And if any man is conscious that the idea of being made at once perfectly holy would be unpleasant or painful, he may set it down as certain evidence that he is a stranger to religion.

3. No man can be a Christian who voluntarily indulges in sin, or in what he knows to be wrong, 2 Corinthians 7:1. A man who does that cannot be aiming at perfection. A man who does that shows that he has no real desire to be perfect.

4. How blessed will be heaven, 2 Corinthians 7:1. There we shall be perfect. And the crowning glory of heaven is not that we shall be happy, but that we shall be holy. Whatever there is in the heart that is good shall there be perfectly developed; whatever there is that is evil shall be removed, and the whole soul will be like God. The Christian desires heaven because he will be there perfect. He desires no other heaven. He could be induced to accept no other if it were offered to him. He blesses God day by day that there is such a heaven, and that there is no other: that there is one world which sin does not enter, and where evil shall be unknown.

5. What a change will take place at death, 2 Corinthians 7:1. The Christian will be there made perfect. How this change will be there produced we do not know. Whether it will be by some extraordinary influence of the Spirit of God on the heart, or by the mere removal from the body, and from a sinful world to a world of glory, we know not. The fact seems to be clear, that at death the Christian will be made at once as holy as God is holy, and that he will ever continue to be in the future world.

6. What a desirable thing it is to die, 2 Corinthians 7:1. Here, should we attain to the age of the patriarchs, like them we should continue to be imperfect. Death only will secure our perfection; and death, therefore, is a desirable event. The perfection of our being could not be attained but for death; and every Christian should rejoice that he is to die. It is better to be in heaven than on earth; better to be with God than to be away from him; better to be made perfect than to be contending here with internal corruption, and to struggle with our sins. "I would not live always," was the language of holy Job; "I desire to depart and to be with Christ," was the language of holy Paul.

7. It is often painful to be compelled to use the language of reproof, 2 Corinthians 7:8. Paul deeply regretted the necessity of doing it in the case of the Corinthians, and expressed the deepest anxiety in regard to it. No man, no minister, parent, or friend can use it but with deep regret that it is necessary. But the painfulness of it should not prevent our doing it. It should be done tenderly but faithfully. If done with the deep feeling, with the tender affection of Paul, it will be done right; and when so done, it will produce the desired effect, and do good. No man should use the language of reproof with a hard heart, or with severity of feeling. If he is, like Paul, ready to weep when he does it, it will do good. If he does it because he delights in it, it will do evil.

8. It is a subject of rejoicing where a people exercise repentance, 2 Corinthians 7:8. A minister has pleasure not in the pain which his reproofs cause; not in the deep anxiety and distress of the sinner, and not in the pain which Christians feel under his reproofs, but he has joy in the happy results or the fruits which follow from it. It is only from the belief that those tears will produce abundant joy that he has pleasure in causing them, or in witnessing them.

9. The way to bring people to repentance is to present to them the simple and unvarnished truth, 2 Corinthians 7:8-9. Paul stated simple and plain truths to the Corinthians. He did not abuse them; he did not censure them in general terms; he stated things just as they were, and specified the things on account of which there was occasion for repentance. So if ministers wish to excite repentance in others, they must specify the sins over which others should weep; if we wish, as individuals, to feel regret for our sins, and to have true repentance toward God, we must dwell on those particular sins which we have committed, and should endeavor so to reflect on them that they may make an appropriate impression on the heart. No man will truly repent by general reflections on his sin; no one who does not endeavor so to dwell on his sins as that they shall make the proper impression which each one is suited to produce on the soul. Repentance is that state of mind which a view of the truth in regard to our own depravity is suited to produce.

10. There is a great difference between godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world, 2 Corinthians 7:10. All people feel sorrow. All people, at some period of their lives, grieve over their past conduct. Some in their sorrow are pained because they have offended God, and go to God, and find pardon and peace in him. That sorrow is unto salvation. But the mass do not look to God. They turn away from him even in their disappointments, and in their sorrows, and in the bitter consciousness of sin. They seek to alleviate their sorrows in worldly company, in pleasure, in the intoxicating bowl; and such sorrow works death. It produces additional distress, and deeper gloom here, and eternal woe hereafter.

11. We may learn what constitutes true repentance, 2 Corinthians 7:11. There should be. and there will be, deep feeling. There will be "carefulness," deep anxiety to be freed from the sin; there will be a desire to remove it; "indignation" against it; "fear" of offending God; "earnest desire" that all that has been wrong should be corrected; "zeal" that the reformation should be entire; and a wish that the appropriate "revenge," or expression of displeasure, should be excited against it. The true penitent hates nothing so cordially as he does his sin. He hates nothing but sin. And his warfare with that is decided, uncompromising, inexorable, and eternal.

12. It is an evidence of mercy and goodness in God that the sorrow which is felt about sin may be made to terminate in our good, and to promote our salvation, 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. If sorrow for sin had been suffered to take its own course, and had proceeded unchecked, it would in all cases have produced death. If it had not been for the merciful interposition of Christianity, by which even sorrow might be turned to joy, this world would have been everywhere a world of sadness and of death. Man would have suffered. Sin always produces, sooner or later, woe. Christianity has done nothing to make people wretched, but it has done everything to bind up broken hearts. It has revealed a way by which sorrow may be turned into joy, and the bitterness of grief may be followed by the sweet calm and sunshine of peace.


16. therefore—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The conclusion is more emphatical without it.

that I have confidence in you in all things—rather, as Greek, "that in everything I am of good courage concerning (literally, 'in the case of') you," as contrasted with my former doubts concerning you.

That I can write and speak to you with confidence that you will hearken to my admonitions and exhortations, and that I can confidently boast and glory concerning you.

I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things. That I can speak freely and boldly to you, reprove, admonish, and advise you, since you take it all in good part, as I design it; that I can confidently speak in your favour, boast of your love and obedience, which is found upon trial and by experience to be truth; and that I can promise myself every good thing from you, that is proper to ask of you, and lies in your power to perform; which he says partly to commend them for their past conduct, and partly to pave the way for what he had to say to them, concerning making a collection for the poor saints. I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
2 Corinthians 7:16. Concluding result of the whole section, introduced vividly (without οὖν, comp. 2 Corinthians 7:12): I am glad that in every respect I have confidence on you.

ἐν ὑμῖν] not as to you, which would have been expressed prepositionally by περί, ὑπέρ, ἐπί, πρός, ἕνεκα (εἰς, 2 Corinthians 10:1, is in an adverse sense), but Paul knows his consolation as closely resting on the readers; that is the causal nexus, in which his joyous frame of mind depends on them. Comp. Winer, p. 218 [E. T. 291 f.]; Soph. Aj. 1294: ἐν ἐμοὶ θρασύς,1071: ἐν θανοῦσιν ὑβριστὴς γένῃ, Eurip. Or. 754: ἐν γυναιξὶν ἄλκιμος, Sir 38:23; Matthew 3:17.

2 Corinthians 7:16. χαίρω ὅτι κ.τ.λ.: I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage (not as A.V. “I have confidence,” which would be πέποιθα) concerning you.

11. The Collection for the Judæan Christians (2 Corinthians 8:1 to 2 Corinthians 9:15). We have now come to the second main topic of the Epistle, viz., the collection to be made at Corinth, as in all the Christian communities which the Apostle had founded, on behalf of the poor Christians at Judæa (chaps. 8 and 9). We first hear of this great undertaking at 1 Corinthians 16:1, but it is plain from that passage as well as from 2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 9:2, that it had been organised some time before 1 Cor. was written. (See Introd., p. 6.) The poverty of the Christians at Jerusalem, however caused, was evidently acute; and when St. Paul first parted from the Twelve on his mission to the Gentiles, one of the stipulations made with him was that he should “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). This stipulation he faithfully observed, and it was to convey the money thus entrusted to him to its proper recipients that he paid his last visit to Jerusalem (Acts 24:17). See further the excellent discussion in Stanley’s note on 1 Corinthians 16:1.

16. I rejoice therefore] Our translation follows the Geneva version here. There is no ‘therefore’ in the best MSS. and versions. It is found neither in Wiclif, Tyndale, nor Cranmer. And the somewhat abrupt conclusion is in harmony with St Paul’s style. Cf. 1 Corinthians 5:13, where a similar attempt has been made by some copyist to soften down the abruptness.

that I have confidence in you] Tyndale and Cranmer translate that I may be bolde over you. Our version here again follows the Geneva Bible. Wiclif renders trist. But the word is not that usually rendered ‘have confidence’ in the N. T. The Apostle’s meaning is rather, that in every thing I am of good courage in consequence of your conduct. From this chapter, says Robertson, we learn “the value of explanations. Had St Paul left the matter unsettled, or only half settled, there never could have been a hearty understanding between him and the Corinthians. Whenever there is a misunderstanding between man and man, the true remedy is a direct and open request for explanation.” Cf. Matthew 18:15-17.

2 Corinthians 7:16. Ἐν παντὶ, in every thing) This is applicable in the antecedent and consequent [in the context which precedes and that which follows]. He says, if I reprove you, you take it well; if I promise for you, you perform what is promised. So he prepares a way for himself with a view to what follows in 2 Corinthians 8:1 and 2 Corinthians 10:1, where the very word θαῤῥῶ, I have confidence, is resumed.—ἐν ὑμῖν, in you) on your account.

Verse 16. - I rejoice therefore. The "therefore" concludes the whole paragraph, but is omitted in many manuscripts. I have confidence in you; literally, I am bold in you; i.e. I feel courage about you. The phrase in 2 Thessalonians 3:4 expresses a calmer and less hazardous trust.

2 Corinthians 7:16I have confidence in you (θαῤῥῶ ἐν ὑμῖν)

Wrong. Rev., correctly, I am of good courage. In you expresses the ground of his encouragement as lying in them.

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