Q. I notice that in commentaries on 2 Cor 2, regarding the shunned incestuous believer, the commentators always insist the man ‘must’ have repented. But to me it seems that Scripture is silent on this point, and that in verses 7-9 it is the shunning believers that are instructed, as a test, to do the repenting, or turning. Is there a verse I am unaware of that indicates the believer repented? Or does God leave this unspoken so that even sinning believers will not be forever cast away from the fellowship of the saints?
A. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 refers to the incident in 1 Corinthians 5 where Paul admonished the people to put a man out of the fellowship for an inappropriate sexual relationship. Although Paul didn’t come right out and say the sinner repented, the fact that he advised them to forgive him and welcome him back leads most commentators to conclude that’s what happened. The man must have repented and sought their forgiveness. Otherwise Paul would have simply been reversing his former position for no reason.