1 So, I decided for myself not to make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I caused you sorrow, who can make me glad except the one I have grieved? [See verse 6]. 3 And I wrote you this very thing so that when I did come I might not be grieved by those who should make me happy. I had confidence in all of you, that whatever makes me happy [also] makes you happy. 4 For I wrote to you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not in order to grieve you, but that you people might know how very much I love you.
5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not done it to me [only], but to nearly all of you [or, "only partially to all of you"] for I do not want to overstate the case. 6 The punishment inflicted [on him] by the majority of you was sufficient. [Note: If this is a reference to the incestuous man of I Cor. 5:4ff, then the punishment was removing him from their fellowship]. 7 So instead, you people should [now] forgive and comfort him, in order that such a person does not become overwhelmed with extreme grief. 8 So, I urge you to reassure him of your love for him. 9 For this also was my purpose in writing you, that I might test your willingness to obey everything [I required of you]. 10 Now whomever you forgive [for doing] anything [wrong], I will forgive also. For indeed, whatever I have forgiven, if I have [actually] forgiven anything, has been for your sakes in the sight of Christ. [Note: Paul seems to be saying "Since my forgiveness depends on your forgiveness of the man, I am not sure of my forgiveness because I am not sure of yours"]. 11 [I do this] so that Satan cannot take advantage of us, for we are not unaware of his schemes.
12 Now when I came to Troas [See Acts 16:8], in order to preach the good news about Christ, and when a door [of opportunity] was opened to me in [the service of] the Lord [there], 13 I had no peace of mind because I did not find my brother Titus [there]. So, I said "good-bye" to them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But I offer thanks to God, who always leads us [preachers] to victory in [the service of] Christ, and through us makes known the "fragrant odor" of His knowledge everywhere. 15 For we [i.e., through our preaching] are like a fragrant incense which goes up to God, [and spreads the knowledge] of Christ among both saved and lost people. 16 To lost people [we become] a smell of death [i.e., we bring condemnation to people who reject our message]; to saved people [we become] a fragrance of life [i.e., we bring salvation to people who accept our message]. And who is adequate to [accomplish] such tasks? 17 For we [apostles] are not like so many people, who "peddle" God's message merely for profit [or, "who corrupt God's message"], but in Christ's [service] we proclaim the message from God with sincerity, [realizing we are] in the presence of God.