II Corinthians 6
The Methods and Conditions of an Apostolic Ministry (vs. 1-10)
1 We then, as workers together with Him” - Continuing the entreaty of ch. 5:20,
Paul adds, “But as [his] fellow workers we also exhort you.” The “also” shows that
he does not rest content with merely entreating them, but adds to the entreaty an
exhortation emphasized by a self-sacrificing ministry. This is a sublime ministry.
“Fellow workers with God” – (I Corinthians 3:9) - “Workers together with Him.”
What is the grand work in which God is engaged and in which we can cooperate?
The work here is evidently the work spoken of in the preceding chapter — the work
of reconciling man to Himself, the work which He does in Christ. Now, all genuine
ministers cooperate with Him in this; their grand endeavour is to bring alienated souls into
friendship with him. Blessed partnership this. “beseech you” - The word parakale>w,
— par-ak-al-eh’-o; is the same as that rendered “beseech” by the Authorized Version
in ch. 5:20, and it should be rendered “exhort:” “God exhorts you by our means; we
therefore entreat you to be reconciled to God; yes, and as Christ’s fellow workers we
exhort you.” – “That ye receive not the grace of God in vain” – The grace of God
here evidently refers to the offer of this reconciliation. Many have the offer of reconciliation
and reject it and to them the offer has been received “in vain”. No greater calamity can
happen to a man than to receive this “grace in vain” –hence the earnestness of the
apostle in ch. 5:11. - This means both passively to receive and actively to accept as a
personal boon. To announce this is the chief aim of the gospel (Acts 13:43; 20:24).
In vain; that is, “without effect.” You must not only accept the teaching of God’s Word,
but must see that it produces adequate moral results. It must not, so to speak, fall “into
a vacuum (eijv keno>n). empty” “He,” says Pelagius, “receives the grace of God in vain
who, in the new covenant, is not himself new.” If you really are in Christ you must show
that you have thereby become “a new creation” (ch. 5:17). The branches of the true
Vine must bear fruit. (For the phrase, “in vain,” see Galatians 2:2; Philippians 2:16.)
What the grace of God is meant to effect is sketched in Titus 2:11-12.
2 (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation
have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
salvation.) The quotation is from the LXX. of Isaiah 49:8, and is meant to express the
necessity for receiving the grace of God, not only efficaciously, but AT ONCE! The
“thee” in Isaiah is the Servant of Jehovah, the type primarily of Christ, and then of all who
are “in Christ.” In a time accepted; literally, in the Hebrew, in a time of favor. It
is the season of grace, before grace has been wilfully rejected, and the time for
judgment begins (Proverbs 1:24-28). The accepted time; literally, the well-accepted
opportunity. Paul in his earnestness strengthens the force of the adjective. The same
word occurs In ch. 8:12; Romans 15:16, 31.
“There is a deep nick in Time’s restless wheel
For each man’s good.”
Now. Compare the stress laid upon the word “today” in Hebrews 3:7-8, and “at
least in this thy day” (Luke 19:42). “There is, so to speak, a ‘now’ running through
the ages. For each Church and nation, for each individual soul, there is a golden
present that may never again recur, and in which lie boundless possibilities for the
3 Giving no offense (proskoph>, — pros-kop-ay’ – a cause of stumbling) – like
a stumbling block in I Corinthians 8:9) - “in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed”
- When any just blame can be attached to the minister, the force of the ministry of
reconciliation is fatally weakened. The evil referred to is bringing blame upon the ministry.
“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed.” So perverse is man
that he often degrades some of the highest offices he is called to sustain. There are
merchants that degrade commerce, doctors that degrade medicine, (especially those
who practice in the abortion industry – CY - 2010) - judges
that degrade justice, (especially those liberal justices on the
Supreme Court who have not represented God, the Judge of all the earth,
Aright! - CY – 2010) statesmen that degrade legislation, whether from personal
beliefs, or political correctness thinking it will keep their position, and there have
been kings that degrade the throne; but, what is worse far, there have been ministers
who have degraded the ministry, and there are such still, ignorant men, intolerant
men, worldly men, unspiritual men, blatant dogmatists. Ah me! how the pulpit is
4 But in all things approving ourselves” -rather, commending ourselves, He is
again referring to the insinuation, which had evidently caused him deep
pain, that he was not authorized to preach, as his Judaic opponents were,
by “letters of commendation” (ch. 3:1-3) from James or from the elders at
Jerusalem. His credentials came from God, who had enabled him to be so
Faithful – How Paul wrought to maintain the honor of the ministry – (vs. 4-10)
“Neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course with joy,
and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of
the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24) - The ministry in these days is too often degraded into
a trade, a profession, a medium for the gratification of the vanity, ambition, and the
greed of men. “as the ministers of God, in much patience” - Christ had
forewarned His apostles that they would have much to endure, and had
strengthened them by the promise that “he that endureth to the end shall be
saved” (Matthew 10:22) – Paul speaks, therefore, at the outset, of “much patience,”
and assuredly he did not mistake the basic position of this great quality. He mentions
nine forms of suffering which have been regarded by some commentators as
constituting three classes, viz.: afflictions or general calamities, necessities, distresses,
the leading idea being pressure, or “narrow straits;” then stripes, imprisonments,
tumults, referrable to the popular excitement against him as a preacher; and lastly,
labors, watchings, fastings, as indicative of ministerial experience: In all these
things patience was exercised, keeping him steadfast, enabling him to endure, and
preserving his mind in the peace of Christ. It is a description of one whose body was
open on all sides the invasions of pain as the infliction of opposition and malice; and
again, of one whose mind had anxieties and sorrows originating in its own sense of
responsibility. Body wrought upon mind, mind upon body. “in afflictions” - This
word, as we have seen, is one of the haunting words ch. 1:4-11 – “in necessities” –
Paul was poor, and was often in want (Acts 20:34) – “in distresses” - The same
word which occurs in ch. 4:8. It means “extreme pressure” (literally, narrowness of
space), and is a climax of the other word.
5 In stripes” - (comp. ch. 11:23-28). The stripes were of two kinds — from Jewish
whips and Roman rods. But of the five scourgings with Jewish whips not one is mentioned
in the Acts, and only one of the three scourgings with Roman rods (Acts 16:23). Nothing,
therefore, is more clear than that the Acts only furnishes us with a fragmentary and incomplete
record, in which, as we gather from the Epistles, either the agonies of Paul’s lifelong
martyrdom are for some reason intentionally minimized, or else (which is, perhaps, mere
probable) Paul was, as his rule and habit, so reticent about his own sufferings in the cause
of Christ that Luke was only vaguely, if at all, aware of many scenes of trial through
which he had passed – “in imprisonments. Paul was frequently in prison, but Luke
only tells us of one of these occasions (Acts 16:24) — at
and that at
normal incident of Paul’s life, both up to this time and for years afterwards (Acts 13:50;
14:19; 16:22; 17:4-5; 18:12; 19:28-29; 21:27-39; 22:22-23; 23:9-10; 27:42) The word
ajkatastasi>a, — ak-at-as-tah-see’-ah; akatastasiai might also mean “insecurities,”
i.e. homelessness, wanderings, uncertainties (comp. I Corinthians 4:11); but New
Testament usage seems decisive in favor of the frowner meaning (ch. 12:20; I Corinthians
14:33; James 3:15) - “in labors” - (ch. 11:28; I Corinthians 4:12; 15:10; Acts 20:34;
I Thessalonians 2:9; II Thessalonians 3:8) – “in watchings” - “Spells of sleeplessness”
were a necessary incident of such a life; and an eminently nervous nature like that of
Paul is rarely capable of the habitual relief of sound sleep. Hence he again refers to this in
ch. 11:27. His “sleeplessness” was sometimes the necessary result of labous “night and
day” (Acts 20:31; I Thessalonians 2:9) – “in fastings.” - Paul never inculcates the
practice of voluntary fasting as a duty (for the reading in I Corinthians 7:5 is more than
dubious); but it is probable that he found it personally useful at times (Acts 13:2-3;
14:23; 9:9). The nine forms of suffering hitherto mentioned — three general, three
specific, and three voluntary — are all physical sufferings borne with “much
6 By pureness” - rather, in pureness, as the preposition is the same. He now gives
six instances of special gifts and virtues. The “pureness” is not only “chastity,” but
absolute sincerity (<1 John 3:3; ch. 4:2; I Thessalonians 2:10) - “by knowledge” –
The knowledge is the true knowledge of the gospel in its fullness (Ephesians 3:4).
In his depth of insight into the truth Paul was specially gifted. The word gnosis had
not yet acquired the fatal connotations which afterwards discredited it – “by long –
suffering” - (II Timothy 3:10; 4:2). The patient endurance of insults, of which Paul
shows a practical specimen in this Epistle, and still more in Philippians 1:15-18 –
“by kindness” - “Love suffereth long, and is kind” (I Corinthians 13:4);
“Long suffering, kindness” (Galatians 5:22) - “By the Holy Ghost” - To the
special gift of the Spirit Paul attributed all his success (I Thessalonians 1:5; Romans
15:18-19) – “by love unfeigned; which is the surest fruit of the Spirit, and the best of
all spiritual gifts (ch. 12:15; I Corinthians 8:1; 13:1-13; Romans 12:9).
7 By the word of truth” - Paul now passes to the more specific endowments of the
true teacher (comp. ch. 2:17; 4:2; I Corinthians 2:4; Galatians 2:5) - He, the co-worker
with God, had spoken of purity, knowledge, long- suffering, kindness, endowments
of the Spirit, sincere love; (v.6) and again, he speaks or the word of truth, how he
worked with God’s power, and fought also with an armor of righteousness, right hand
and left hand engaged in the conflict. Just here the mind of Paul reacts from its
subjective state, the enumeration of his moral virtues is suspended, and the idea of
conflict brings back the “afflictions” alluded to (ver. 4). At the instant when the image
of battle comes before him, the coworker has the doctrine and morality of the gospel
to defend against fierce, vindictive, mighty assailants. The honor of his position and the
glory of Christ as the Captain of his salvation are at stake. Sword and shield are in hand,
and for what is he fighting and how? “by the power of God” - literally, in power of
God (ch. 4:7; I Corinthians 2:4; 4:20). “For the kingdom of God is not [only] in word,
but in power.” – “by the armor of righteousness” - This is very expressive. Armor;
rather, arms – “on the right hand and on the left” - that is, both by offensive weapons
and a defensive panoply (ch. 10:4; Ephesians 6:11-17; I Thessalonians 5:8)
8 By honor and dishonor” – rather, by glory and dishonor. The honor and
dishonor are alike means which contribute to the commendation of the ministry. Of
our Lord some said, “He is a deceiver,” while others said, “He is a good man” –
(John 7:12); and the dispraise of some is the highest praise (Matthew 5:11).
Compare with the whole passage I Corinthians 4:9-13, where we see that “abuse,”
“insult,” and “slander,” constituted no small part of the apostle’s daily trial –
“by evil report and good report” - The beatitude of malediction (Luke 6:22;
I Peter 4:14). Paul had deliberately abandoned the desire to win the suffrages of men
at the cost of undesirable concessions (Galatians 1:10) – “as deceivers. The Jews
called Christ “a deceiver” (mesith, i.e. a deliberate and misleading impostor),
Matthew 27:63; John 7:12 – “and yet true. There is no “yet” in the original, and its
omission gives more force to these eloquent and impassioned contrasts.
9 As unknown” - literally, as being ignored; as those whom no one cares to recognize.
“and yet well known” - “And becoming fully recognized.” “Recognized” by God
(1 Corinthians 13:12), and ultimately by all good men (ch. 11:6), though they might be
contemptuously ignored by men – “as dying” - (ch.1:9; 4:10-11) – “behold, we live” –
calling attention to what seemed like a daily miracle. bThe paradox of the Greek tragedian —
“Who knows if life be death, and death be life?”
which seemed so supremely amusing to Aristophanes and the
a familiar fact to the early Christians (Romans 8:36; I Corinthians 15:31; Ephesians
2:5-6; Colossians 2:13) – “as chastened, and not killed.” The daily Divine education
of suffering (Psalm 118:18).
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing” - The early Christians always insist on “joy”
as one of the fruits of the Spirit (comp. Matthew 5:10-12), and especially joy in the
midst of grief and anguish (Romans 5:3; 14:17; I Thessalonians 5:16, “Rejoice always” –
or as the King James says “Rejoice evermore” - one of my invalid grandmother,
Clara Simpson Yahnig’s favorite verses – CY – 2010). The best proof that this was
no mere phraseology, but an amazing and new charism (gift) granted to the world, may
be seen in the Epistle to the Philippians. It was written when Paul was old, poor, deserted,
imprisoned, in danger of immediate death and apparently in the lowest deeps of
forsaken sorrow; yet the spontaneous keynote of the whole Epistle is, “I rejoice;
rejoice ye” (Philippians 4:6, 12) - “as poor” The word means even “paupers,” and
describes a very literal fact. Paul, for Christ’s sake, had suffered “the loss of all things”
(Philippians 3:8). ). “yet making many rich” – by imparting to them the true riches,
in the form of spiritual gifts, and the teaching of the gospel” (comp. James 2:5) –
“as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” - rather, as having nothing,
and fully having all things. The verb means “possessing all things to the full.” For
“all things are ours” (I Corinthians 3:21-22
Things are often not what they seem! “As unknown, and yet well known,” - Against
misrepresentations and slanders, Paul, in the context, vindicates his apostolic authority,
and proclaims at the same time the unworldly principle which animated both him and
his fellow workers. These words present to us the two opposite sides of a good man’s
life — the secular and the spiritual. The side revealed, as seen by man, and the side in
the sight of God.
WELL KNOWN. “As unknown, and yet well known.” The world has never
yet rightly interpreted and understood the real life of a genuine disciple of
Christ. To the world, Paul appeared an ignominious fanatic. John says,
“The world knoweth us not.” (I John 3:1) - The world does not
understand self-sacrificing love, the animating, shaping, directing principle
of a godly man’s life. It understands ambition, greed, revenge, but not this.
Hence men in every age, so far as they have come under the rule of this
“new commandment,” (John 13:34) have been regarded as monsters
unworthy of life. This explains martyrdom, ay, and the crucifixion of Christ.
But, though thus unknown to men, they are well known to others.
ü They are well known to Christ. “I know my sheep.” (John 10:14)
Christ knows ALL His disciples.
ü They are well known to heavenly spirits. They are famous in heaven.
At their conversion heaven rejoiced, and over every step of their
subsequent history heaven watches with a loving care. (Hebrews
WAS LIVING, “As dying, and, behold, we live.” To worldly men Paul
appeared as mortal as other men; with a frame scourged by persecution,
shattered by perils, wasted by labor and want, he was nothing but a dying
man. His contemporaries knew that he would soon run himself out, and
mingle with the dust of all departed men. But spiritually he was living.
“Behold, we live.” The soul within that dying body of his was living a
wonderful life — a life of Christly inspiration and aims, a life of
communion with heaven; a life destined to become more sunny, vigorous,
and beautiful with every aspiration and act. Living is not body breathing,
but spirit acting, acting according to the Divine laws of our constitution.
SPIRITUAL HE WAS NOT DESTROYED. “Chastened, and not killed.”
The word “chastened” here refers, I think, to his various scourgings,
suffered in the synagogues and elsewhere. To worldly spectators he, with
all his wounds, would appear a dead man; but he was spiritually alive. The
hardships and the strifes did not touch his soul; his spiritual purposes,
enjoyments, and hopes were not killed. Spiritual life is unkillable; like
certain plants in the vegetable kingdom, which have their germs or roots so
deep down in the soil, and so thoroughly mixed up with it, that, though
you cut down the trunk, or pull up the roots from the earth, their life will
break out again.
SPIRITUAL HE WAS ALWAYS REJOICING. “As sorrowful, yet alway
rejoicing.” As if Paul had said, “Under our sufferings, we seem to be very
cast down and sad; dreary, degraded, and wretched does our life seem to
the worldly men around us.” So it often is with the life of a Christian man.
But, on the spiritual side, a truly godly man is “always rejoicing,” rejoicing
in a good conscience, rejoicing in a stream of pure and noble thoughts,
rejoicing in a consciousness of Divine favor.
SPIRITUAL HE WAS WEALTH GIVING. “As poor, yet making many
rich.” Paul and his colleagues were poor; they had suffered the loss of all
things. Yet spiritually they were not only rich, but made others rich.
ü The highest work of man is to impart spiritual riches to his fellow man.
ü Worldly poverty does not disqualify a man for the discharge of this
WAS ENORMOUSLY RICH. “Having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
Nothing of this world’s good, yet “possessing all things,” not legally, but
morally. Christliness gives us an interest in all things. “All things are yours.”
[I Corinthians 3:21-22] - (As Mr. Spurgeon said – The purpose of Christianity
is to sanctify the Secular – CY – 2010) Do not estimate life by appearances —
things are not what they seem. Christliness with poverty, persecution, and suffering,
is infinitely to be preferred to wickedness with the whole world at its command.
Paul’s Appeal to the Corinthians to Reciprocate His Love and to Separate
Themselves From Evil (vs. 11-18)
11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.”
After writing the foregoing majestic appeal, Paul felt that he had unburdened his heart, and
as it were made room in it to receive the Corinthians unreservedly, in spite of all
the wrongs which some of them had done him. This then is genuine Christian love.
Notice some of its effects:
enlarged” The heart means the whole spiritual nature, and this spiritual
nature is capable of indefinite expansion in Christian love, and nothing
else can effect this. A man’s intellect may be expanded by ideas, but his
heart, out of which are “the issues of life,” (Proverbs 4:23) only by love.
What a difference between the heart of a miser or a bigot to the heart of a Paul!
Selfishness contracts the soul into a grub, love expands it into a seraph.
Therefore “covet earnestly the best gift,” that is, love. (I Corinthians 12:31)
large heart is so full of loving sympathies and aims that speech becomes a
necessity. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
(Luke 6:45) – The language of love is the language of nature, the language
of eloquence, the language of inspiration.
but ye are straitened in your own bowels [‘affections,’ or ‘hearts’],” (v. 12) –
Paul states that their hearts towards him were “straitened,” or narrow,
compared with his to them. He entreats them to be “enlarged,” and thus
“recompense” or return his affections. Love, by a necessity of its nature,
hungers for a return of its affections from the object on which it is
bestowed. (God, who is Love – with Him it is no different) Paul did not ask
them for their money, or their patronage or praise, but simply for a return of
the love which he had for them.
12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.” –
It is to be regretted that the Authorized Version adopted the meaningless and often
rather incongruous word “bowels” for the Greek word spla>gcna used in its Hebraic
sense of “feelings,” “affections” (Song of Solomon 5:4; Isaiah 16:11). This literalism
is always out of place, and especially in Philemon 1:7,12,20. Paul is asking them to enlarge
and open their affections, as he had done, and they shall once more love each other aright.
13 Now for a recompence in the same” - Paul begs them to give him “a reward in kind;”
in other words, he wishes them to be as frank with him as he has been to them –
(I speak as unto my children” - And therefore, as a spiritual father, I may surely ask
for sympathy. The apostle uses the same metaphor in I Corinthians 4:14 and
I Thessalonians 2:11 – “Be ye also enlarged.” Treat me as I have treated you (comp.
“Be as I am,” Galatians 4:12).
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
“Unequally yoked” is a metaphor derived from Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:10,
and is the opposite of “true yoke fellow” (Philippians 4:3) – “what fellowship; literally,
participation (Ephesians 5:6-11) - “unrighteousness” from the Greek - ajnomi>a, —
an-om-ee’-ah; - literally, lawlessness (I John 3:4). It was a special mark of heathen life. –
“light with darkness” - This antithesis is specially prominent in Ephesians 5:9-11 and
Colossians 1:12-13, and in the writings of John (John 1:5; 3:19; I John, passim).
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial?” literally, harmony or accord. The
word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament or in the LXX. The adjective
sumfw>nhsiv - soom-fo’-nay-sis; - concord - occurs in I Corinthians 7:5. Christ
with Belial (see I Corinthians 10:21), Belial. Here used in the form Beliar, as a
proper name, because no Greek word ends in the letter r – the English “r”. In the
Old Testament it does not stand for a person, but means “wickedness” or
“worthlessness.” Thus in Proverbs 6:12 “a naughty person” is adam belial.
“A son of Belial” means “a child of wickedness” by a common Hebraism (Deuteronomy
13:13; Judges 19:22). And hence, since Belial only became a proper name in later days:
“To him no temples rose,
No altars smoked.”
Perhaps, as has been conjectured, this clause, which contains two such unusual words,
may be a quotation. It is, however, no ground of objection that Belial does not occur
elsewhere in Paul, for until the pastoral Epistles he only uses diabolos twice (Ephesians
4:27; 6:11) – “or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? - an unconverted
16 And what agreement” - The word means “unity of composition.” This is the fifth s
translated “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?”);
translated “what communion hath light with darkness?”
concord hath Christ with Belial”
he that believeth with an infidel?”
“What agreement hath the
Paul in this chapter shows an almost unwonted command over the Greek language -
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every Christian heart, which is the distinguishing result
of the new covenant, was very prominent in the thoughts of Paul (I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19;
Ephesians 2:21-22; I Timothy 3:15; comp. I Peter 2:5; Hebrews 3:6) – “as God hath said,
I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my
people.” As God hath said. The quotation is altered slightly from the LXX. of
Leviticus 26:12. But in this and the next verses we have “a mosaic of citations” from this
passage and Exodus 29:45-46; Isaiah 53:11; Ezekiel 20:34; II Samuel 7:14; comp. Jeremiah
31:9; Isaiah 43:6. This mode of compressing the essence of various quotations into one
passage was common among the rabbis. In them. In the original Hebrew this means
“among them” (Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:12) since the indwelling of God by
His Holy Spirit belongs only to the new covenant.
17 Wherefore come out from among them” – from among the unbelievers and be ye
separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing” - Leviticus 11:8;
Isaiah 52:11) - “and I will receive you.” (compare again Ezekiel 20:34) - These
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and
daughters” - These reminiscences are very close to II Samuel 7:8-14; Isaiah 43:6;
Jeremiah 31:9 – “saith the Lord Almighty.” The phrase, not elsewhere used by
Paul, is taken from II Samuel 7:8 (LXX.). The epithet indicates the certain fulfillment
of the promises. Pantokrator, pantokra>twr, — pan-tok-rat’-ore for “Almighty,”
“Omnipotent” is used in the LXX. for “Lord of sabaoth,” and in the New Testament
only occurs elsewhere in the Apocalypse. (I would like to say that the mosaic above
mentioned in vs. 16-18 and paraphrased as “ye are the temple of the living God –
God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people……and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be
my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” – is a synopsis of God’s will
for man and the basic teaching of the Bible. Of course, this includes the idea of us
being obedient and, like Job, eschewing evil – Jesus said “But as many as received
Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on His name” – [John 1:12] – CY – 2010)
“Unequally Yoked” – (vs. 14-18)
What does it mean to be “unequally yoked”? Observe here three things:
THOSE WHO ARE TRULY CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY AND
THOSE WHO ARE NOT. The line of demarcation is broad and
conspicuous. The difference is the difference:
ü Between “righteousness and unrighteousness.”
ü Between “light and darkness.”
ü Between Christ and Satan. “What concord hath Christ with Belial?”
ü Between faith and infidelity. “What part hath he that believeth with
Between the “
ü NOTWITHSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL DIFFERENCE, THE
CONVERTED ARE IN DANGER OF BEING ASSOCIATED WITH
THE UNCONVERTED. Hence the command, “Be ye not unequally
yoked together with unbelievers.” (v. 14) - Also the command,
“Come out from among them.” (v. 17) - Alas! we find such
association in almost every department of life — in the matrimonial,
the commercial, the political, etc.
TO EXTRICATE THEMSELVES. “Wherefore come out from among them,”
Observe two things:
ü The nature of the separation. “Come out from among them.” It must be:
Ø Voluntary. Not to be driven out, but you must break away from
all the ties that bind you. Agonize to enter the “strait gate.”
Ø Entire. “Touch not the unclean thing.” (v. 17) - Sin is an
unclean thing — unclean in its essence, its phases, and its
ü The encouragement to the separation. “I will receive you, and will be
a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters saith
the Lord Almighty.” (v. 18) - As a Father, what does God do for His
Ø He loves them. His love is the fountain of all the love in the universe.
All the love that human parents have for their children
is but one drop from the boundless ocean.
Ø He educates them. Who teaches like God? He teaches the best
lesson, in the best way, for the best end. He educates the whole soul,
not for temporal purposes, but for ends spiritual and everlasting.
Ø He guards them. Human parents can only guard the bodies of
their children. (My wife and I baby sat our seven week old
grandson tonight, this being August 6, 2010 – I cannot speak
for my wife but my mind set was a guardian but in this finite
capacity, when compared to my Infinite Heavenly Father’s
guardianship, THERE IS NO COMPARISON – CY –
2010) - This Father guards the soul — the conscience from guilt,
the heart from impurity, the intellect from error, etc.
Ø He provides for them. The best of human parents can only
provide for their children a few supplies for their bodies, and
that for a time only. This Great Father provides for the soul,
and PROVIDES FOR EVER! “He is able to do exceedingly
abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)
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