GOD’S FORGIVENESS ALSO COMFORTS
"Lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow" 2 Cor. 2:7
It is generally agreed that here Paul was referring to the man whom he had charged the Corinthian church in his former letter to exclude from its fellowship, in order that his SPIRIT MIGHT BE SAVED. It would seem that they had acted in accordance with his directions, and that the punishment had produced in him A TRUE SENSE OF HIS SIN, AND GENUINE SORROW FOR THE SAME. In such an hour as this, that man was open to a new and strange device of Satan, that of the suggestion that for such as he THERE COULD BE NO MERCY. Therefore the duty of the church was clear. They were to FORGIVE HIM, and COMFORT HIM. If discipline is largely lacking in the Church of today, so also is the grace of FORGIVING and COMFORTING those who, having done wrong, are truly REPENTANT. Way too often, unfortunately! Souls have been indeed swallowed up with disproportionate sorrow because of the harshness and suspicion of Christian people toward them in view of some wrong which they have done. It is true that there should be no toleration of evil out of a false charity; but it is equally true that there should be no reluctant giving and delights in forgiveness. LOVE NEVER SLIGHTS HOLINESS; but HOLINESS NEVER ELIMINATES LOVE. Notice, moreover, Paul charged them NOT TO FORGIVE ONLY, BUT ALSO TO COMFORT. There may be a judicial FORGIVENESS which is hard, and leaves the soul always conscious of the past. COMFORT takes the soul to the heart, and FORGETS. THAT IS HOW GOD FORGIVES, and so should we who are His children.