These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:16: Good Grief

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of 2 Corinthians.

A great theologian once said, "To be a sinner is our distress, but to know it, is our hope!" Paul would say "Amen." We have nothing to lose and everything to gain if we are in Christ and walking into the light. But the Corinthians were tempted to cover up a scandal and not to call it sin. In response, Paul patiently and effectively ministered to the Corinthians, urging them not to cover up the problem. The result was what Paul calls godly sorrow.

Warming Up to God

Recall an experience of deep sorrow, possibly a significant loss, hurt or disappointment. What were some of the good things, if any, that came after the sorrow had passed? Praise God for what you learned from that experience.

Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:16

Discovering the Word

  • This passage is usually understood to apply to marriages between believers and unbelievers. However, what other types of close relationships or partnerships might Paul have in mind?
  • What reasons does Paul give for avoiding such unions (6:14-16)?
  • Although we may forfeit certain relationships, what positive promises does the Lord give us (6:16—7:1)?
  • What difference should our relationship with God make when we contemplate marriage or other close relationships (6:17; 7:1)?
  • In 7:2-6 Paul recalls how comforted he was when he met Titus in Macedonia and heard news of the Corinthians. What makes Paul so "confident," "proud" and "encouraged" (7:4) about the Corinthians?
  • Referring to their response to his "sorrowful letter" (7:8), Paul compares worldly sorrow with godly sorrow (7:9-10). What are the positive indications and constructive results of godly sorrow (7:10-11)?

Applying the Word

  • It is often counterproductive to try to persuade someone not to marry a person they deeply love, even if the intended partner is unsuitable. What clues does this passage give us for ministering to someone who is tempted to marry outside the faith?
  • If godly sorrow is so beneficial, why do you think most Christians shrink from the relational work, discipline and tough love that are required to bring it about in others?
  • In what areas of your life are you most in need of godly sorrow?

Responding in Prayer

Ask Christ to teach you more about godly sorrow.

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