Updated 5 Aug 2020
- Mark 12 - The Widow's Offering
- Mark 11 - The Triumphal Entry
- Mark 10 - The Rich Young Ruler
- Mark 9 - The Transfiguration
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2 Corinthians 6
In this chapter, Paul continues to urge us to embrace the grace of God and to live the new life, which enables us to be ambassadors for Christ. He appeals for his Corinthian brothers and sisters to open wide their hearts, to receive the ministry that God has given him for them. There is also strong advice about the need for us to avoid idolatry and not to be entangled by the world.
The Day of Salvation
God’s call is timely. He has reached out to save us in His time and plan and, right now, we live in a time of God's favour, when the door to receive Christ is wide open. Now is the time to respond to the gospel and we dare not let anyone put off acceptance of Christ, because we don't know when that door will close!
Paul was deeply concerned for the Corinthians and shares in much the same way as in his letter to the Galatians. He was committed to ministry that had integrity and he describes the trials and difficulties that he has faced. He and his fellow-workers had suffered much for faithfully preaching the gospel and he strongly refutes any idea that his ministry was about personal gain or glory. He talks about beatings, imprisonment and getting caught up in riots, as well as about hard work, sleepless nights and hunger. Humbly, he says that they have sought to exercise purity, understanding, patience and kindness, seeking the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to witness to Christ in truth and love. He describes this as warfare, where he uses God's weapons of righteousness in both hands. He knows that some will give a bad report but this does not dissuade him from serving Christ. These are incredibly difficult times but despite everything, he rejoices in Christ and knows that, in Christ, he has all that he really needs.
Paul speaks plainly about the coldness of the Corinthians towards himself and his fellow-workers. He declares their genuine affection for the Corinthians and pleads for the Corinthians to respond with open hearts towards them. It is likely that Paul speaks so strongly about the sacrificial challenges of his ministry, because he knows that there is a form of ministry which is self-centred, lazy and seeks a comfortable life focused upon self-interest, rather than selflessly caring for those who Christ loves.
In the final part of this chapter, Paul addresses the sensitive issue of relationships between believers and unbelievers. The values of the world in which he lived would have been in very stark contrast to the lifestyle, morals and beliefs of a Christian. That is also true for us today. The Bible calls for us to be different to the world because, if a believer or a church is under the control or influence of an unbeliever or an organisation with worldly standards of behaviour, there is a risk that their faith and witness may be crushed. However, we must also remember that Jesus encourages us to be salt and light in our world, so we must exercise wisdom to develop healthy relationships with unbelievers, knowing that the light of Christ in us can bring them to Christ!
Points to Consider:
- How much do we appreciate the grace of God and realise that today is the day of salvation?
- What are the values that are evident from our life and ministry?
- To what extent is our ministry motivated by our love for Jesus and His church, rather than our own self-interest?
- How clearly do we teach that someone coming to Christ must abandon their old beliefs and lifestyle?
- How careful are we to prevent our relationships in this world from crushing our faith in Christ?
God bless you!
Bible Study: 2 Corinthians 6
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