2 Corinthians Chapter 6
2 Corinthians 6:1 “We then, [as] workers together [with him], beseech [you] also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
Most Corinthians’ were saved but were being hindered by legalistic teaching regarding sanctification. Some were not truly saved but deceived by a gospel of works being taught by false teachers.
This is a plea from Paul for the people of this church at Corinth to realize that he is a messenger (ambassador), for Christ. The message Paul brought, was Christ’s message to them. Then he says, if you received it as I believe you did, tell others so that they may have this message of hope as well. Do not let the gospel message stop with you (be in vain). Paul is calling them to testify of the truth of the gospel to everyone they have opportunity to.
1 Peter 4:10 “As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)”
Paul emphasized his point by quoting (Isaiah 49):
Isaiah 49:8 “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;”
He was passionately concerned that the Corinthians’ adhere to the truth because it was God’s time to save and they were messengers for helping to spread that message.
“Succored”, in this Scripture, means aid or relieve. No one should ever put off salvation to a more convenient time. We are not promised tomorrow. We do not even know whether we will be alive or not tomorrow. The Spirit might even stop drawing you at another time. Today is the day of salvation. Even better, right this minute is the time for salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:3 “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:”
This is the same as saying, do not even give the appearance of evil. The only glimpse of what Christianity is all about is sometimes us Christians. The non-believer does not go to church, or read his Bible, or listen to sermons. He has no way of knowing anything about Christianity, except the life we live before him.
The faithful ambassador of Christ does nothing to discredit his ministry, but everything he can to protect its integrity, the gospel’s integrity, and God’s integrity.
Is your life a testimony for Jesus? If a Christian does something bad, and it makes the news, the unbelieving world thinks all Christians are like that. It drives them away from receiving Christ in their lives. Christianity gets a black eye for what a few fallen Christians do. We must behave (all the time), in a Christ-like manner.
2 Corinthians 6:4 “But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,”
Commend means “introduce,” with the connotation of proving oneself. The most convincing proof is the patient endurance of character reflected in Paul’s hardships and the nature of his ministry.
2 Corinthians 6:5 “In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings;”
Here Paul commended himself to them by mentioning his faithfulness in enduring persecution and citing his diligence in ministry labors, to the point of anguished deprivations when necessary.
Are you a Christian just when everything is going alright, or are you like Job: a Christian in hard times, too? The world is looking on to see how you handle the difficult times in your life. The world has no answer to this type of problem. God will help you, if you stand fast and don’t doubt.
2 Corinthians 6:6 “By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,”
Now we see the standard that we should endure these problems with. We should be honest with God, with our self and with others. Knowledge, you remember, is accumulated learning. The Bible teaches us how to withstand these onslaughts from Satan. We are to put on the whole armor of God. Read the 6th chapter of Ephesians beginning with the 11th verse to see the whole armor.
In time of troubles, we should allow the Spirit of God within us to take over. The Holy Spirit needs to guide us through. We should never stop loving, even the enemy. This too will pass. It is not how many problems you have that are important, but how you handle those problems.
Paul commended himself positively by listing the important elements for the righteousness God had granted to him. Paul lived and walked by the power of the Spirit. It was the central reason that all the other positive elements of his endurance were a reality.
2 Corinthians 6:7 “By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,”
We know that every temptation Satan brought to Jesus, He answered “It is written”. This is a guide to us. We must face each problem, or temptation, with “It is written”. The answers to all of life’s problems are found in the Bible. We must use the Bible as our guide in every situation. The power of God working in us can overcome all obstacles.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Paul never operated beyond the boundaries of the direction and guidance of divine revelation. Nor did he rely on his own strength when he ministered. He did not fight Satan’s kingdom with human resources, but with spiritual virtue such as the sword of the Spirit, and defensive tools, such as the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.
Perhaps, the right and left side means that whether this is coming from the world (left side), or other Christians (right side), it can be overcome with righteousness.
2 Corinthians 6:8 “By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and [yet] true;”
Paul is just saying, that it does not matter where the accusations are coming from. It really does not matter whether they are even true or not. They are still overcome by the Word of God and righteousness.
Just stand in your righteousness and all of the deceivers will finally be embarrassed when they are found out for what they are. Paul’s opponents at Corinth had accused him of being an impostor and a false apostle (John 7:12).
2 Corinthians 6:9 “As unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;”
Problems come from those you know, as well as from strangers. The intentions of those who are bringing the problems may be to cause your death, but they will not succeed.
This scripture has a twofold reference.
1. The fact that Christians did not know him before he began persecuting them;
2. His rejection by the community of leading Jews and Pharisees following his conversion.
He had become unknown to his former world, and well known and well loved by the Christian community.
2 Corinthians 6:10 “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.”
Circumstances around you may be sorrowful, yet unexplainable joy, in the face of these bad circumstances, can be had in Jesus.
Paul said that he had learned to be satisfied in times when he had plenty and in times of want. Whatever state he found himself in, he was content. The spiritual wealth Paul possessed and imparted did much to make his hearers spiritually wealthy.
2 Corinthians 6:11 “O [ye] Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.”
Paul is saying that he has opened his mouth and brought the message of salvation to these Corinthians. He loves them as a parent loves a child. His heart is with them.
To enlarge the heart is to increase its capacity for sympathy and understanding.
The evidence of Paul’s genuine love for the Corinthians was that no matter how some of them had mistreated him, he still loved them and had room for them in his heart.
2 Corinthians 6:12 “Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.”
This is just another way of saying that Paul is not going to straighten them out, they will have to straighten themselves out. He can tell them what is wrong, but they will have to straighten themselves out.
From Wesley’s Notes on the Bible: Our heart is wide enough to receive you all, your hearts are shut up and so not capable of the blessings ye might enjoy.
2 Corinthians 6:13 “Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto [my] children,) be ye also enlarged.”
“Now for a recompence of the same”: Of my parental tenderness. Recompense has numerous meanings such as: Avenge; Pay; Render; Reward; Vengeance.
“I speak as unto my children” I ask nothing hard or grievous.
“Be ye also enlarged”: Open your hearts, first to God, and then to us, (2 Cor 8:5), so that God may dwell in you, (2 Cor 6:16; 7:1), and that ye may receive us (2 Cor 7:2).
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?”
This does not mean that you should not witness to those that are lost. It is saying; don’t get involved in their way of life. There is sin by association. It is strange, but it seems bad rubs off on good more often than good rubs off on bad. This can mean for those who are believers not to intermarry with those of unbelief. It also means for the Christians not to get closely related in friendships with those people of the world.
Christians are not to be bound together with non-Christians in any spiritual enterprise or relationship that would be detrimental to the Christian’s testimony within the body of Christ.
Darkness symbolizes evil.
But this command does not mean believers should end all associations with unbelievers; that would defy the purpose for which God saved believers and left them on earth. The implausibility of such religious alliances is made clear (in verses 14b-17).
2 Corinthians 6:15 “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”
“Belial” means worthlessness, as an epithet of Satan. That is exactly what Satan is, worthless. All the comparisons above are opposites. Christ and Satan are opposites. “Infidel” means disbelieving. The answer is that they have nothing in common.
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.”
Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
We have said so many times in these lessons that the Spirit of the Risen Christ dwells in the Christian. The Holy Spirit of God is in us to teach the truth of God, and to direct our lives pleasing unto God. This is the very reason it is so important that the Christian not get involved in any sin that involves the body. You would be including the Holy Spirit of God in your sin.
The temple of God (true Christianity), and idols (idolatrous, demonic false religions), and totally incompatible.
God is a Spirit. He can dwell in my heart and be in heaven all at the same time. He is omnipresent (everywhere all at the same time). We live in God and He lives in us. You can easily see why it is so important for the Christian to live a life pleasing unto God. We should not go anywhere we could not take God, or do anything that He would not be willing to do.
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,”
Christians have to live in the world, until we go home to heaven, but we must not be entangled with the world or its people. We must spiritually separate ourselves unto holiness and righteousness.
When believers are saved, they are to disengage themselves from all forms of false religion and make a clean break form all sinful habits and old idolatrous patterns.
God said to the believers, “Be ye holy, for I am holy”. We are like an island surrounded by water. We are the island, and the world is the water. We have a hedge of the blood of Jesus which protects us from the world coming too close. We are separated unto God. In other words, we have come over to God’s side. We have left the evil of the world behind.
2 Corinthians 6:18 “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
This is one of the few places that Christian women are spoken of as daughters. We are children of the Father. We have been adopted into the family of God. Jesus is our older brother.
Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
As a result of separating themselves from false doctrine and practice, believers will know the full richness of what it means to be children of God.
2 Corinthians Chapter 6 Questions
1. What is verse one a plea from Paul about?
2. Whose message had Paul brought them?
3. When is the day of salvation?
4. Why is it so important not to put off getting saved?
5. What does “succored” mean?
6. Verse 3 is the same thing as what statement?
7. Name several reasons why the Christian is the only glimpse of Christianity the non-believer has.
8. Is your life a testimony for Jesus?
9. What happens, if one Christian does something bad?
10. What are some of the things we might face proving ourselves?
11. Who, in the Old Testament, was a good example for us in handling problems?
12. What is the standard we should set?
13. Knowledge is ____________ ____________.
14. How can we withstand the onslaught of the devil?
15. Where do we find the instructions on this?
16. It is not important how many problems you have, but in how we _________ _______ problems.
17. How did Jesus answer every temptation Satan placed before Him?
18. Where can we find the answers to all of life’s problems?
19. Accusations are overcome by the ________ of ____.
20. Who do problems come from?
21. When circumstances around you are sorrowful, what should be your attitude?
22. When was Paul content?
23. How does Paul love the Corinthians?
24. What is verse 12 saying, really?
25. What does “recompence”, in verse 13, mean?
26. What is Paul telling them to do in verse 13?
27. What does “unequally yoked” mean?
28. Darkness symbolizes what?
29. What is “Belial” in verse 15?
30. What is the temple of God?
31. What are Christians to do, so they will not get involved in the world’s sins?