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Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Paul’s Joy at the Church’s Repentance

Accept us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, and we have defrauded no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts, so that we would die or live with you. Great is my boldness of speech toward you; great is my boasting of you. I am filled with comfort, and I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

For when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, and we were troubled on every side. On the outside were conflicts; on the inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us through the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, when he told us about your sincere desire, your mourning, and your zeal toward me, so that I rejoiced even more.

Though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it. For I perceive that this same letter has caused you sorrow, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorrowful in a godly way, that you might not suffer loss in any way through us. 10 Godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, which you sorrowed in a godly way: What carefulness it produced in you, what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what intense desire, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In all things you have proven yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So though I wrote to you, I did it not because of him who had done the wrong, nor because of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might be evident to you. 13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort.

Yes, and we were exceedingly the more joyful for the sake of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. 14 So I am not ashamed if I have boasted of anything to him regarding you. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even our boasting in the presence of Titus is found to be true. 15 Now his affection abounds all the more toward you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. 16 Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.