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So I decided that my next visit to you would not be another ·one to make you sad [painful/sorrowful one; C Paul’s first visit (1:16; 1 Cor. 16:5) had resulted in conflict, rejection, and hurt feelings]. If I ·make you sad [cause you pain/sorrow], who will make me glad? Only you can make me glad—·particularly the person [or those] whom I made sad [C either the church generally, or a particular opponent (vv. 5–10)]. I wrote you a letter for this reason: that when I came to you I would not be made ·sad [sorrowful] by the people who should ·make me happy [bring me joy; C Paul wrote a severe letter (now lost) after his painful visit (v. 1) to call the church to repentance]. I felt sure of all of you, that you would share my joy. When I wrote to you before [v. 3], I was very ·troubled [distressed] and ·unhappy [anguished] in my heart, and I wrote with many tears. I did not write to make you ·sad [sorrowful], but to let you know how much I love you.

Forgive the Sinner

·Someone [L If someone…; C evidently the ringleader who opposed Paul on his previous visit (v. 1)] there among you has caused sadness, ·not [L …it is not] to me, but to all of you. I mean he caused sadness to all ·in some way [or to some extent]. (I do not want to ·make it sound worse than it really is [exaggerate; put it too severely].) The punishment that ·most of you [the majority] gave him is enough for him [C the church as a whole has now sided with Paul and disciplined this individual]. But now you should forgive him and ·comfort [encourage] him to keep him from ·having too much sadness and giving up completely [being overwhelmed/swallowed up by excessive sorrow/grief]. So I ·beg [urge; encourage] you to ·show [reaffirm] that you love him. I wrote you to test you and to see if you obey in everything [C Paul’s “severe” letter (vv. 1, 3) evidently called the church to submit again to his authority]. 10 If you forgive someone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if I had anything to forgive—I forgave it for you, ·as if Christ were with me [or in the presence of Christ]. 11 I did this so that Satan would not ·win anything from [outwit; take advantage of] us, because we ·know very well [L are not ignorant of] what Satan’s ·plans [schemes; intentions] are.

Paul’s Concern in Troas

12 When I came to Troas [C a city in northwest Asia Minor; Acts 16:8, 11; 20:5–6; 2 Tim. 4:13] to preach the Good News of Christ, ·the Lord gave me a good opportunity there [L a door opened for me by/in the Lord]. 13 But I had no ·peace [L rest in my spirit], because I did not find my brother Titus [Gal. 2:1–3; Titus 1:4–5]. So I said good-bye to them at Troas and went to Macedonia [1:16; Acts 20:1–3]. [C Paul evidently sent his severe letter (vv. 1, 3, 9) with Titus, and now awaited the church’s response. Starting in v. 14 he digresses into a long expression of joy because of their favorable reaction (2:14—7:1). He picks up the story again in 7:5.]

Victory Through Christ

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s victory ·parade [procession; C the image is of a victorious Roman general leading his army and his captives through the streets]. God uses us to spread ·his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume [L the aroma/fragrance of the knowledge of him; C incense or spices were burned during such victory parades]. 15 ·Our offering to God is this: [or For God’s sake; or To God] We are the ·sweet smell [aroma; fragrance] of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are ·being lost [perishing; headed for destruction]. 16 To those who are ·lost [perishing; headed for destruction], we are the ·smell [aroma] of death that brings death, but to those who are being saved, we are the ·smell [aroma] of life that brings life. So who is ·able [qualified; adequate] to do this work? 17 We do not ·sell [peddle] the word of God for a profit as many other people do. But in Christ we speak the truth ·before [in the presence of] God, as ·messengers of [envoys of; L from] God.