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.”

(Chapman.)

 

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

future.

 

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 United States

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

often degraded!

 

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 Philippi; the Roman imprisonment

and that at Caesarea were subsequent to this Epistle – “in tumults” - These were a

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

endurance”.

 

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 wits of Athens, became

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.

 

  • TO THE SECULAR EYE HE WAS UNKNOWN; TO THE SPIRITUAL

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

12:1-3)

 

  • TO THE SECULAR EYE HE WAS DYING; TO THE SPIRITUAL HE

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.

 

  • TO THE SECULAR EYE HE WAS MUCH TRIED; TO THE

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.

 

  • TO THE SECULAR EYE HE WAS VERY SORROWFUL; TO THE

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.

 

  • TO THE SECULAR EYE HE WAS VERY POOR; TO THE

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

sublime mission.

 

  • TO THE SECULAR EYE HE WAS DESTITUTE; TO THE SPIRITUAL HE

      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:

 

  • THE POWER OF LOVE.  What does it do? It enlarges the heart. “Our heart is

      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)

 

  • LOVE IN ITS IRREPRESSIBILITY.Our mouth is open unto you.” A

      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.

 

  • LOVE’S HUNGER. What does it hunger for? “Ye are not straitened in us,

            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

Gentile.

 

 

16 And what agreement” - The word means “unity of composition.” This is the fifth s

ynonym which St. Paul has used in this clause:

 

  • In v. 14 -  metoch< - met-okh-ay’; - fellowship, partnership, intercourse –

      translated “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?”);

 

  • In v. 14 - koinwni>a - koy-nohn-ee’-ah; - communion, fellowship –

      translated “what communion hath light with darkness?”

 

  • In v. 15 - sumfw>nhsiv - soom-fo’-nay-sis; - concord – translated “What

      concord hath Christ with Belial”

 

  • In v. meri<v - mer-ece’ – part or portion – translated “What part hath

      he that believeth with an infidel?”

 

  • sugkata>qesiv - soong-kat-ath’-es-is – accord, agreement – translated

     What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?”

    

Paul in this chapter shows an almost unwonted command over the Greek language -  

“hath the temple of God with idols?  for ye are the temple of the living God” –

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

promises to Israel are naturally transferred to the ideal Israel, the Christian Church.

 

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:

 

  • THERE IS AN ESSENTIAL SPIRITUAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

            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

      an infidel?”

ü      Between the temple of God and the “temple of idols.”

 

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.

 

  • FROM SUCH AN ASSOCIATION IT IS THE DUTY OF THE CONVERTED

      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.”

      (Matthew 7:13-14)

 

Ø      Entire. “Touch not the unclean thing.” (v. 17) - Sin is an

      unclean thingunclean in its essence, its phases, and its     

      influences.

 

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           

      children?

 

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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