To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

It is a grievous aspect of church life when the occurrence of sin in the church leads to someone being excluded from the fellowship. To have undertaken this and dealt with the matter can be seen as the necessary completion of church discipline. However, church discipline that is just left in such a situation is always a failure. Church discipline is only really fully successful when there has been the necessary repentance and restoration. Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 is working through, with the Corinthians, the need to restore a repentant offender who had been disciplined for his sinful actions. This man is most likely the man who has had an affair with his stepmother in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.

The Corinthians seem to have taken the matter too far and were reluctant to restore such a man. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow (2 Cor. 2:7) is Paul’s word to them. If they do not do this then there would be a danger of Satan making inroads in the church and the repentant man’s life. Paul says they must receive the broken man back in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Cor 2;11).

Church discipline is always very sad; we should never be satisfied until there is full restoration. When people are out of fellowship through unrepented of sin then there should be grief about such a situation.

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