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Two Corinthians Six

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

For he saith. Cited from Isaiah 49:8. This application stresses the urgency of accepting God's grace and salvation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20-21) without delay. Note also Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13, 14.

2 Corinthians 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

all things. The “all things” which Paul enumerates in these verses as characteristic of true ministers (that is, “servants”) of Christ comprise a remarkable complex of three nine-fold descriptors. First (2 Corinthians 6:4-5) are listed nine “negative” experiences which the servant must be willing to endure graciously. Then there are nine “positive” attributes which he should exhibit (2 Corinthians 6:6-7). Finally, there are nine paradoxes that characterize such a minister (2 Corinthians 6:8-10), displaying simultaneously the joys of life in Christ and the exigencies of living in the world as His servant.

2 Corinthians 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

2 Corinthians 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

2 Corinthians 6:8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;

honor and dishonor. Compare this list in 2 Corinthians 6:8-10 to that in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.

2 Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

2 Corinthians 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

2 Corinthians 6:11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

2 Corinthians 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

bowels. Paul assured the Corinthians that their failings had not lessened his love for them or concern for their spiritual welfare. He was concerned, however, that there still existed internal divisions and strained “affections” (the connotation intended by the reference to “bowels”) among them.

2 Corinthians 6:13 Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

enlarged. As their spiritual father, Paul urged the Corinthians to respond with appropriate filial love, which should be exhibited by the same largeness of heart which he himself showed for them. This was all he asked by way of recompense.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

yoked together. Paul is using a metaphor here based on Deuteronomy 22:10 and Leviticus 19:19, which forbade plowing with an ox and ass yoked together, or attempting to interbreed animals of different kinds. The clear inference is that believers and unbelievers are so different in character and interests (as well as ultimate destiny) that they should never be “yoked” together in situations requiring strong agreement of attitudes and goals (e.g., marriage, churches, business partnerships, lodges or other organizations with religious overtones). The prohibition is not intended to require complete repudiation of all secular or charitable organizations (note 1 Corinthians 5:10) or friendships. When one's Christian faith is in jeopardy, or his Christian conduct and influence is endangered, then such connections should be severed. One can witness to unbelievers without partaking of their beliefs or sinful behavior.

2 Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

concord. The Greek word for “concord” (sumphonesis) is the word from which we get “symphony.”

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

God hath said. See Leviticus 26:11-12 and Ezekiel 37:26-27.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

saith the Lord. See Isaiah 52:11. Note also the command to come out of “Babylon” Jeremiah 51:45; Revelation 18:4).

2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

my sons and daughters. This promise is not quoted explicitly from any Old Testament passage, though the sense of it can often be detected. There are also many explicit New Testament passages that do assert that those who receive Christ become children of God (e.g., John 1:12; Romans 8:16). By direct inspiration, if nothing else, Paul could assure his readers that being separated unto God from the world, through receiving Christ, would indeed assure them that He would receive them as His sons and daughters.