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Verse 1 In verse 20 of chapter 5, Paul had called himself Christ's ambassador. He now says that he and Jesus work together to save the Corinthians. Paul pleaded with them to remain faithful so they would not be turned away from the gospel.
Verse 2 Isa_49:8 is now quoted by the apostle to prove God's continual interest in man's salvation. God is always ready to receive sinful man, but man is limited to the present since it will never happen again and the future is not assured.
Verse 3 In verse 1, Paul said he pleaded with men to accept God's plan of salvation. Now, he says he lived his life in a way that would not cause men to refuse the appeal because of the messenger. He did not want his life to hinder his preaching and its effectiveness.
Verse 4 Paul's life stood as a witness and letter of recommendation. Instead of hindering him, it showed how completely he believed what he said. Paul had quietly suffered knowing that a day of reward would come ( Mat_10:22 ). "Afflictions" may be the general persecution of the church with "necessities" being the want caused by these. "Distresses" would convey the idea of times when one is pushed into a corner where no human help will get him out.
Verse 5 Five times Paul received "stripes" from Jewish whips and three times from Roman rods ( 2Co_11:24-25 ). We know he was imprisoned in Act_16:24 , which would be before this writing. Paul was in "tumults", or "tossed to and fro" so often that we need not mention them all. "Labors" would be working with his hands. On other occasions he watched and labored with the brethren all night. He even missed meals in devotion to his work.
Verse 6 He had remained holy, not allowing trials to cause him to compromise the truth. He quietly suffered all the trials and was kind to his greatest tormentors. The Holy Spirit gave Paul strength and he rose to a true love of Christ and his service.
Verse 7 Paul relied on God's word and power. He was ready to defend with God's righteous armor on the left hand and attack with God's righteousness on the right.
Verse 8 He had been honored by converts and dishonored by Jews and Judaizers. Each side gave a different account of him. Some thought of him as a fraud, but God knew he was a faithful servant.
Verse 9 His enemies refused to recognize him, but God's people knew him well. Some tried to kill him, but God saved him. He had to suffer, yet not more than he could bear.
Verse 10 This life was sorrowful, but he would rejoice in the next. He had no money, but he gave others God's Word. He gave up all here, yet expected rich reward in the hereafter. In Paul's first letter to the Corinthian brethren, the troubles at Corinth had caused him to have a heart narrowed with concern for them. He also had been careful to keep his lips close together because of his determination to say the right things. As he wrote the second letter, the apostle found his heart expanded and his lips freed by the basically good response to his earlier appeals. If there was any guarded approach to their relationship at the time of this writing, it was on their part, not his. He longed for them to open up to his love ( 2Co_6:11-13 ).
Verse 14 This appeal is based on the aforementioned love. All relationships with unbelievers that hinder our service to God should be stopped. So long as we can have peaceful relationships with unbelievers that do not affect our service to God adversely, we may continue in them ( 1Co_5:9-10 ; 1Co_7:12-13 ).
Verse 15 Those trying to force us into a mold of wickedness must be shunned. Belial means worthless fellow (Satan). Christians are buildings, or temples, consecrated to the service of God. In what appears to be a loose quotation from Eze_37:26-27 , Paul indicates God dwells in those who are true believers and controls their actions ( Joh_14:23 ). To allow the wicked to have an evil influence on the inward man thus housing God is unthinkable. In a quote from Isa_52:11 , the apostle demonstrates that God's people must not allow wickedness to be within them. He then goes on to quote from Hos_1:10 and Isa_43:6 to show that those who do purify the inward man will be adopted as God's children. God's followers can allow the wicked to influence them to evil only if they spurn this loving promise of adoption into God's great family ( 2Co_6:16-18 ).
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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany