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Do Not Let Satan Take Advantage of Us 

Second Corinthians 2.3–11 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 7, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. We should always remember that Satan watches us. 
  2. He looks for weakness. 


  1. 2.3 • Those Who Should Give Us Joy

    3 And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.
    1. What had Paul written in the previous context? 
      1. He avoided going to Corinth because he did not want it to be a time of rebuking but of joy. 
      2. Also, that the very people who brought him sorrow could bring him joy. 
      3. Therefore, he wrote before, 
        1. looking for them to correct their problems, then 
        2. when he did arrive it could be as before when they had joy. 
    2. He now knew that they would correct the problem. 
      1. Therefore, his joy would be their joy. 
      2. He knew that they wanted to experience joy also. 
  2. 2.4 • Motive for Writing

    4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
    1. Was it easy for Paul to write his previous letter? 
      1. No, because he loved those people and 
      2. correcting those whom you love is difficult. 
    2. His purpose was not to grieve them. 
      1. Causing grief was a means to an end. 
      2. It was not the end in itself. 
    3. It was love that motivated all that Paul did. 
      1. He did not seek any personal gain. 
      2. His motives were pure. 
  3. 2.5 • Those Whom We Grieve

    5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe.
    1. Using relative negation, Paul of course was disturbed, but 
      1. he wanted them to know 
      2. that the grieve fell on them because 
        1. they were the ones needing to make the changes. 
        2. It hurt them. 
    2. He was not trying to be severe, but 
      1. to bring them into compliance with the will of God, and 
      2. that sometimes requires correction, 
        1. which can cause grief, but 
        2. only as a tool. 
  4. 2.6–8 • Reaffirm Your Love

    6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.
    1. In my opinion, Paul referred to what we have in First Corinthians 5. 
      1. There does not appear to be any other time in First Corinthians 
      2. where Paul was encouraging the church to exercise punishment. 
    2. Is not all corrective discipline to be measured? 
      1. You do not want to under do it lest nothing change. 
      2. You do not want to over do it and do permanent damage. 
    3. What they did was the right amount. 
      1. Did it have its intended outcome? 
      2. Yes, the brother was moved to sorrow and changed his behavior. 
        1. Therefore, Paul showed them what to do next: 
          1. Forgive him 
          2. Comfort him 
          3. Reaffirm your love to him 
        2. What would happen if they did not do those things? 
          1. The man would have been swallowed up with too much sorrow. 
          2. His sorrow would have overcome him and they would have lost him forever. 
  5. 2.9 • A Test

    9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.
    1. Here Paul revealed yet another reason for his previous writing. 
    2. As all teachers test their students, 
      1. so Paul tested the Corinthian congregation. 
      2. Would they pass the test? 
    3. What was the test? 
      1. Whether they were obedient in all things. 
      2. Are you obedient in all things? 
  6. 2.10–11 • Do Not Let Satan Take Advantage of Us

    10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
    1. If they forgave the sinning brother, 
      1. how could Paul hold a grudge? 
      2. He had to forgive. 
      3. He wanted to forgive. 
    2. Everything was done in the presence of Christ. 
      1. That includes forgiving one another. 
      2. If you forgive someone, I must forgive that person also. 
    3. Why did Paul say we should do this? 
      1. If we do not forgive the penitent, Satan will take advantage of us. 
      2. How would he use something like this? 
    4. What are his devices? 


  1. What roll does forgiveness play in Christianity? 
  2. Do you wish to be forgiven of everything? 
  3. Are you willing to grant forgiveness? 

God Always Leads Us in Triumph 

Second Corinthians 2.12–17 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 7, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. How many struggles have you had in life? 
  2. How many different Christians have you worked with? 


  1. 2.12–13 • An Open Door

    12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
    1. This continues to show how much brethren meant to Paul. 
    2. Paul’s mission was to preach Christ. 
      1. Part of his journey included preaching in Troas, and 
      2. a door was opened to him, 
        1. so he wanted to take it, but 
        2. he also wanted Titus with him. 
    3. What was Paul’s spirit like without Titus? 
      1. He was restless. 
      2. Therefore, he left Troas and went to Macedonia, looking for Titus. 
  2. 2.14–16a • God Always Leads Us in Triumph

    14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16a To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
    1. Think of the magnificence of Paul’s statement in verse 14! 
    2. For what did Paul thank God? 
      1. That He always leads us in Triumph in Christ. 
        1. Once when I was down very low in the early 1980s, 
        2. brother Steve Lloyd sent me a postcard with nothing more than Paul’s sentence from Second Corinthians 2.14. 
          1. I kept it on my bulletin board 
          2. even after moving to Klamath Falls. 
      2. That through Paul and his preaching team God diffused the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 
        1. Why did Paul use the word fragrance to speak of God’s knowledge? 
        2. Fragrance is pleasant to us. 
          1. So is the knowledge of God. 
          2. What is more fragrant than the knowledge of God? 
    3. Note that Paul also said we are a fragrance to God! 
      1. More specifically he said that we are a fragrance of Christ to God. 
      2. It is by Christ that we are now what God wants us to be. 
        1. Christ lives in us. 
        2. We live in Christ. 
      3. God cherishes us even as He cherishes Christ. 
    4. We are this fragrance of Christ to God 
      1. to those who are being saved and 
      2. to those who are perishing. 
        1. The saved love to hear us speak of Christ. 
        2. The perishing but who are turning to Christ, love to hear us speak of Christ. 
    5. What kind of aroma are we to the two different groups of people? 
      1. To one we are death leading to death. 
      2. To the other life leading to life. 
  3. 2.16b–17 • We Do Not Peddle the Word of God

    16b And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
    1. None of us is sufficient for any of these things pertaining to the Gospel of Christ. 
      1. As we continue we will see what Paul says about this sufficiency. 
      2. The whole thing begins and ends with God. 
    2. Paul and his team were not using the word of God, 
      1. the word of God was using them. 
      2. They did not peddle or corrupt the word of God, 
        1. no, they spoke it sincerely, 
        2. receiving the message from God and 
          1. not inventing it themselves. 
          2. They knew that they spoke in the sight of God. 


  1. How much do my brethren mean to me? 
  2. Can you see how God has always led you in triumph in Christ? 
  3. Do you see from where your sufficiency comes?