2 Corinthians 6
I. PERSONAL DEFENSE 1,
15 -- 7, 16 (continued)
The Apostle Defends His Sincerity 5, 11 - 7, 1 (continued)
20 -- 6, 13: Ambassadors of Christ (continued). 6, 1.
Working together: i.e., the Apostles, working together with God, entreat that the faithful remember their obligation
to the grace which God has given them in converting them to Christianity. 2. The
Apostle now cites the prophet Isaias (49, 8) to show why the Corinthians should heed his exhortation without delay.
The prophet represents God as addressing His Servant, the Messias, and through Him His people, assuring Him that His prayers
and labors for the salvation of mankind have been heard. Now St. Paul here means that the Messianic time spoken of by
the prophet has come, and that therefore everyone should profit by the graces now given, because, if they are abused, there
will be no hope of salvation, since another Messias shall not come. 3. To anyone: The
Greek has, "In nothing." After the parenthesis in 2 the thought goes back to 1. The meaning is that the apostles,
St. Paul and his companions, give offense in nothing, i.e., they avoid everything in the exercise of their ministry, and in
their dealings with men, that might bring any blemish on their profession and thus keep people from the gospel. If a
preacher or a Christian leads a life that is out of harmony with his profession, he gives occasion to men of despising his
faith. 4. Let us conduct ourselves, etc.: in the Greek it is, "But in everything
commending ourselves," etc. In much patience, etc.: the Apostle here begins an enumeration of nine classes
of things that tried his patience and the patience of his companions.
St. Paul now mentions nine other practices by which he and his fellow-workers commended themselves in their ministry.
8-10. In a series of antitheses St. Paul now shows how, under all conditions of life, he and his companions
conducted themselves as became their high office and ministry. Dishonor, evil report, deceivers, etc.: referring
to things done and said by enemies of the apostles. 11-13. St. Paul explains why
he has spoken so freely to the Corinthians; it is because he loves them.
6, 14 --
7, 1: Avoid Marriage with Unbelievers. 14. Some critics find a break in the
thought from this verse to 7, 1, which they feel warrants the opinion that we have here an interpolation belonging
to some other letter of St. Paul, perhaps to the lost letter spoken of in 1 Cor. 5, 9. But the interruption
in the line of thought here is not too much for a writer like St. Paul, and hence the argument against its integrity is without
sufficient grounds. The Apostle is warning in 14 against sharing pagan ideas and practices in general and especially
in marriage. 15. Belial: or Beliar---a Hebrew word meaning "nothingness,"
"uselessness"; in a secondary sense it means extreme wickedness, and it was commonly understood by the Fathers as a designation
for the devil, or Satan. 16-18. These verses from the Old Testament are cited to
show God's paternal care for all His faithful children. [Commentary on this section is continued at the beginning of
the next chapter.]
1 Yes, working together with him we entreat
you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2* For he says,
"In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee."
Behold now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the
day of salvation! 3 We give no offense to anyone, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 On the contrary, let
us conduct ourselves in all circumstances as God's ministers, in much patience; in tribulations, in hardships, in distresses;
5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults; in labors, in sleepless nights, in fastings; 6 in innocence, in knowledge, in
long-sufferings; in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in unaffected love; 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; with the
armor of justice on the right hand and on the left; 8 in honor and dishonor, in evil report and good report; as deceivers
and yet truthful, as unknown and yet well known, 9 as dying and behold, we live, as chastised but not killed, 10 as sorrowful
yet always rejoicing, as poor yet enriching many, as having nothing yet possessing all things.
11 We are frank with you, O Corinthians; our
heart is wide open to you. 12 In us there is no lack of room for you, but in your heart there is no room for us.
13 Now as having a recompense in like kind---I speak as to my children---be you also open wide to us.
Avoid Marriage with
Unbelievers 14* Do not bear the yoke with unbelievers. For what has justice in common with iniquity?
Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15* What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what part
has the believer with the unbeliever? 16* And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the
temple of the living God, as God says,
"I will dwell and move among them, I will be their God and they shall be my people."
"Come out from among them, be separated, says the Lord, and touch not an unclean thing;
18* And I will welcome you in,
and will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord almighty."
2: Isa. 49, 8.
14: Bear the yoke: the reference is to marriage, though the principle has application
to all relations of Christians and pagans.
15: Belial, or Beliar: a Hebrew word meaning "nothingness," "uselessness."
In a secondary sense it means extreme wickedness, and it was commonly understood by the Fathers as a designation for the devil,
Lev. 26, 12.
18: Jer. 31, 9.