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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
2 Corinthians 6

 

 

Verses 1-10

2 Corinthians 5:20 to 2 Corinthians 6:10. Paul proceeds to expound and apply the relationship between himself and his converts based upon this ministry. He acts in Christ's stead when he beseeches men to allow themselves to be reconciled to God. And what Paul did for Christ, God did through Christ. Once more he points to the supreme illustration and proof of God's will to reconcile men. He had treated Christ, the "Son of His love," though He had no experimental knowledge of sin, as though He had sinned and deserved the punishment of death. And He had done this for man's sake, in order that he might participate in the Divine righteousness. The strange expression "made him to be sin" is probably due to Paul's shrinking from saying "made him a sinner," which would also have been open to misconception; for the same reason, in Galatians 3:13 he says, "Christ was made a curse," when "cursed" would have been in accordance with the citation from Deuteronomy which follows.

It is the grace, the undeserved mercy, of God that is offered in this message of reconciliation, and while Christ's ambassadors, as fellow-workers with God and Christ, entreat the world to accept that grace, they entreat those who have already accepted it ("you") to ensure that their acceptance be fruitful. (In a parenthesis he illustrates by a quotation from Isaiah 49 the blessed character of the moment.) Accordingly the apostles so shape their conduct that they may approve themselves to men as nothing less than the agents and emissaries of God. The quality of endurance is exhibited in severe experiences arranged in three triplets, with which we should compare the list in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; then follows the enumeration of many other qualities of the ministry. It is further distinguished by a message which springs from truthfulness, and by the use of "weapons of righteousness" alike for offence and defence. In the antitheses that follow (2 Corinthians 6:8 f.) the injurious representations are to be understood as the opinion of Paul's opponents. It is they who regard him as "obscure," as "moribund," as chastised" by God. In 2 Corinthians 6:10 both members of each antithesis probably represent the genuine experience of the apostle.


Verses 11-13

2 Corinthians 6:11 to 2 Corinthians 7:16. The Restored Relationship between Paul and the Corinthians must be Sealed by Proof of their Loyalty.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13. The openness of his speech is an indication of the largeness of his heart towards them. It is not true that they are "shut up in a corner" by him; any constraint that they feel is really due to the narrowness of their own affection. He therefore appeals to them to meet and reward his overflowing confidence and affection by a corresponding widening of their hearts towards him.


Verses 14-18

2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1. These verses appear plainly out of place. They break what is otherwise a close connexion between 2 Corinthians 6:13 and 2 Corinthians 7:2 : they introduce a new and very different subject, and they have a very different tone from what precedes and follows. They are best regarded as a scrap from another letter written by Paul to Corinth, possibly a fragment of the letter referred to in 1 Corinthians 5:9, which has accidentally crept into the sheets on which our letter was preserved. They contain an urgent, even passionate, demand for complete separation from the heathen, especially in their idolatrous practices. In a series of sharp questions Paul flashes scorn on every attempt to serve two masters, Christ and "Belial," that is the devil (or, possibly, Antichrist, Proverbs 6:12*). The last of these questions reminds him that Christians are meant to be God's temple; and he exposes the source and the significance of that conception by means of a series of quotations from OT, the first being freely reproduced from Ezekiel 37:27, the rest combined from Isaiah 52:11, Ex. 20:34, and 2 Kings 7:14. The description of God as "the Almighty" occurs in NT only here and in Rev. Men who rest in these promises seek to purify themselves (cf. 1 John 3:3) in "flesh and spirit"—these words being used in the simple untechnical sense, as in 1 Corinthians 7:34 ("body and spirit").

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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