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HOPE Covenant Sermons


September 29, 2013 Speaker: Series: Be Encouraged

Topic: 2 Corinthians Verse: 2 Corinthians 2:5–2:11

Pastor Duane Cross | 09.29.2013

Read 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (NLT)

I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.

I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.

Principle 1: Forgiveness is commanded by God

Principle 2: Forgiveness is commended by God

Principle 3: Forgiveness confounds Satan

Principle 4: Forgiveness is cooperating with God to redeem the world

What forgiveness is not…

Forgiveness is not approving or diminishing sin.

Forgiveness is not enabling sin.

Forgiveness is not denying a wrongdoing.

Forgiveness is not waiting for an apology.

Forgiveness is not forgetting.

Forgiveness is not ceasing to feel the pain.

Forgiveness is not a one time event.

Forgiveness is not neglecting justice.

Forgiveness is not trusting.

Forgiveness is not reconciliation.


These questions are designed to help you go deeper with the sermon during your week – to take a closer look at the scripture and find fresh ways to live out the main points of the sermon. Going Deeper questions also are used in all of our Grow Groups.

Scripture Reading

2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Colossians 3:12-13

Getting Started

1. In your home, how is forgiveness given and received?

2. Do you believe that forgiveness is the same thing as reconciliation? Why or why not?

3. Should Christians judge outsiders? How about other Christians? Explain.

A Closer Look

1. Read through 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 and then 1 Corinthians 5:1-12. We do not know the specifics of the circumstances that seem to be referred to in 2:5-11. Most likely it was the same person Paul denounced in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. Reflect on the following:

How was the church to discipline this man?

After the man repented, what did Paul want the church to do? What seems to be the goal of church discipline? (read Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11)

How do these two passages illustrate the extent to which the community’s life is bound up together?

Why are both the willingness to deal with sin and a willingness to forgive necessary in the right sequence and in the right balance?

2. Our passage, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, is describing one of the final steps (I.e. community wide forgiveness) in the process of church disciple (see Matthew 18:15-17). What is this process? Why is it needed in the church? Why is it unpopular in many parts of the church?

Digging Deeper

1. Read Colossians 3:12-13. What should be your motivation to forgive others? Why is this so difficult to put into practice?

2. When you refuse to forgive others how are you negatively affected? When you choice to forgive others how are you positively affected? How are they positively affected?

3. There are two dangers for disciples (and churches). First, many believers are so nervous about ever causing anyone sorrow or awkwardness that they steer clear of confrontation and accountability at all cost. The second danger is for believers to be continually judgmental, harsh, and uncharitable with others. Which of these are you more prone to? Why?

4. In there anything you feel like God is calling you to do in response to this sermon? If so, what is it?


More in Be Encouraged

November 17, 2013

Thorn in the Flesh

November 10, 2013

False Apostles

November 3, 2013