Now Is The Day Of Salvation
- Second Corinthians Six -
Paul used a beautiful idea for Christians as being "workers together." He felt that each Christian was a partner and should be helping in God"s work. He pleaded with the brethren at Corinthians not to receive the grace of God in vain. Grace alone does not save. It must produce the correct actions on our part. "In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee" is a quote from Isaiah 49:8. Now is the time of salvation. There may not be a more convenient time than this. (Acts 24:25) Paul tried to do his work for God in such a way as not to offend or cause anyone to stumble. He did not want the work of the Lord to be discredited in any way. Our actions are a reflection upon the Lord, either good or bad.
Our life, in everything, must prove that we are a servant of the Lord. Others should see that we are true Christians, serving God with our hearts. In all kinds of situations we must be God"s faithful ministers, even through persecution and hardships. When Paul spoke of being a minister of Christ the first thing on his list was "patience." Patience is needed both in dealing with people and in dealing with afflictions. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12) Christ controlled Paul"s life. He would not allow circumstances to be in control. Victory in Christ kept Paul from being distressed in life. He faced prison and all kinds of difficulties for the sake of Christ. He often faced stripes, imprisonments, tumults, beatings, sleeplessness and fastings in his ministry.
Paul"s ministry was with love that was genuine, sincere, and without hypocrisy. He realized that his righteousness and his defense came from the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 6:8-10 Paul used nine pairs of contrasting terms to describe his ministry. He possessed all spiritual blessings as a minister of Christ. He wanted the Corinthians to know that he had opened his heart to them. The Corinthians had caused many of their own problems because of where their hearts were. They blamed Paul but he was not at fault. He wanted them to open their hearts to him and the message he was sending.
Paul taught these brethren to shun any relationship that would influence then in a negative way toward Christianity. Christians must not align themselves with those that are unfaithful, faithless, unbelieving and that cannot be trusted. Christians are the Temple of God both as individuals and as the church. He wants to make his abode with us. God"s promise is that He will receive us if we separate ourselves from the pollution of the world.
Workers together for God - 2 Corinthians 6:1-5 : Let us make good use of the opportunities that are ours by the grace of God as we labor together in the kingdom of Christ. Our salvation and the salvation of others depends upon what we do with these opportunities. Paul quoted from Isaiah 49:8 to show the Corinthians that now is the time for salvation. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2) One must never pass up the opportunity to be saved and to serve in the kingdom. Paul realized that preachers and others that call themselves Christians should never set such bad examples that they cause others to stumble. Those that wear the name of Christ must live in such a way that others are able to see that they are true ministers and servants of God. God"s ministers must patiently serve through all the difficulties and perplexities of this life. Paul was forced to undergo many difficulties, yet his desire was to be a faithful minister of God.
Conduct that brings glory to God - 2 Corinthians 6:6-10 : The statements in these verses show what Paul had done to have God"s approval as a faithful minister of Christ. Paul lived a holy life. He consecrated himself to the cause of God. His life was devoted to being an honor to the Creator. He endeavored to lead a life unspotted from the world, marked by patience, kindness and gentleness. His heart and life was filled with genuine love that was not pretended. His actions were guided by the word of truth. Paul"s work was a great success because of the power of God. He armed himself with the righteousness of God and stood firm in the faith. With nine contrasting expressions Paul showed that he had made wise choices in his ministry. "By honour and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." (2 Corinthians 6:8-10) The desire of Paul was that his conduct would bring glory to God.
An open heart of love - 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 : Paul and his fellow preachers had freely spoken the gospel to the Corinthians. He had used the same kind of openness and freedom as he discussed problems that needed to be corrected at Corinth. Paul"s heart was enlarged to love, encourage, embrace and help all the brethren at Corinth, even those that had opposed his work. He had deep feeling of love for these brethren as he had taught many of them the gospel and had lived among them. Paul wanted it understood that if there was any lack of love or affection it was not on his part toward them. His heart was large and filled with love for them. If there was any lack of love it was because somehow the hearts of the Corinthians were restricted by their own choice. Paul desired that these brethren love him as he had loved them. There was no lack of love form Paul toward the Corinthians.
Be not unequally yoked - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 : Obviously it is a very unwise choice for a Christian to marry a non-Christian. But the thing that Paul forbids here is for Christians to have close association with idolaters. Christians cannot take on teachings or practices that would fall into the category of unrighteousness. "For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" In spiritual matters truth and error simply cannot go together. Paul asked five questions to prove that Christians cannot be unequally joined to idolaters. He asked, (1) what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteous-ness? (2) What communion hath light with darkness? (3) What concord hath Christ with Belial? (4) What part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And (5) what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? Christians are to come out of idolatry or any unscriptural religion. God promised, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17) Those that come out from the ungodly world become sons and daughters of God, His Temple!
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany