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Bible Commentaries

James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary
2 Corinthians 6

 

 

Verses 1-16

HIS APPEAL TO THE CHURCH

NOT TO RECEIVE THE GRACE OF GOD IN VAIN (2 Corinthians 6:1-10)

These Corinthians as believers on Jesus Christ, had received the grace of God in their justification and all which it implied; but they would have received it “in vain” did it not bring forth the proper fruit in their lives. That such is the meaning is evident by 2 Corinthians 6:3 : “Giving no occasion of stumbling that our ministration be not blamed,” which is the negative side. And by 2 Corinthians 6:4 : “In everything commending ourselves as ministers of God,” which is the positive side. Now follows a flight of eloquence in praise of Christian ministration (2 Corinthians 6:4-10). We use “ministration” rather than “ministry” because while Paul has himself in the foreground, he is not limiting what he says to “ordained ministers,” but includes all Christians. Notice the rhetorical device in the grouping of the experiences by the use of the words “in,” “by,” “as” (Greek, en, dia, hos). The first touches environment (2 Corinthians 6:4-5). The second, conduct (2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Corinthians 6:8). It was in the midst of such untoward environment that Paul found the graces of the heart to grow like orchids on the wild rocks. In this second group of experiences there is progress over the first. “By” suggests aggressive conflict in the spiritual sense the atmosphere of conflict, the swing of victory. The third group is one of paradoxes (2 Corinthians 6:9-10). Light and shadow interplay. One can get a double report on almost any man’s life unless he has been a nonentity. This is particularly true of a Christian, and in a good sense, since he must almost of necessity appear as one thing to the world and another to the household of God able to appreciate spiritual things.

NOT TO BE UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER (2 Corinthians 6:7 to 2 Corinthians 7:1)

This division is a continuation of the foregoing about receiving the grace of God in vain, and the great New Testament classic on Christian separation. To quote the Scofield Bible: Separation in Scripture is twofold; “from” whatever is contrary to the mind of God; and “unto” God Himself. The unequal yoke is anything which unites a child of God and an unbeliever in a common purpose (Deuteronomy 22:10). Separation from evil implies (1) separation in desire, motive, and act, from the world, in the ethically bad sense of this present world-system (see Revelation 13:8); and (2) separation from believers, especially false teachers, who are “vessels unto dishonour” (2 Timothy 2:20-21; 2 John 1:9-10). Separation is not from contact with evil in the world or the church, but from complicity with and conformity to it (John 17:15; 1 Corinthians 6:14-18; Galatians 6:1). The reward of separation is the full manifestation of the divine fatherhood (2 Corinthians 6:17-18); unhindered communion and worship (see Hebrews 13:13-15), and fruitful service (2 Timothy 2:21), as world-conformity involves the loss of these, though not of salvation.

NOT TO REJECT THE APOSTLE HIMSELF AND HIS TEACHINGS (2 Corinthians 7:2-16)

Note the seven reasons for this: For the first, see 2 Corinthians 7:2; for the second, 2 Corinthians 7:3; for the third, 2 Corinthians 7:4; 2 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Corinthians 7:16; for the fourth, 2 Corinthians 7:5; for the fifth, 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:13; for the sixth, 2 Corinthians 7:8-11; for the seventh, 2 Corinthians 7:15.

A brief word on 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 : Paul regretted his previous letter because it had made them sorry; but now he did not regret it because it had made them sorry in the right way, “after a godly manner.” They had sorrowed with a sorrow never to be regretted. 2 Corinthians 7:11 shows in what manner this was true.

QUESTIONS

1. For what three things did Paul appeal?

2. What is meant by receiving “the grace of God in vain”?

3. Why do we use the word ministration?

4. What rhetorical device is here used?

5. What does separation from evil imply?

6. Name the seven reasons for Paul’s personal appeal.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:4". The James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jgc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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