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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's SECOND letter to the Corinthians

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 FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 6

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.


FRAMEWORKS: 2 Cor 6: Apostolic Hardships & calls to respond


v.1,2 Now if the time of God's favour

v.3-13 The Hardships of the Apostles

v.14-18 Be Distinct from Unbelievers


[Chapter Synopsis: The outworking of all that has gone before is that, in the light of the things that they have had to say about the church, they don't want the church to disqualify themselves by those things. Paul moves into a very personal mode to reassure them that all they have said or done has been for their benefit so they may receive the fulness of their salvation. Indeed the apostles work to ensure they put nothing in their way to hinder them in that. They have put up with all the tough stuff of travelling and often being rejected if not actually persecuted but God has seen them through. As a an outworking of the gospel, he calls them to ensure they remain distinct from unbelievers.]


v.1,2 Now if the time of God's favour


v.1 (as workers with God we urge you not to waste what you've already received) As God's co-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.

v.2 (now is the time of God's favour, the day to receive the fulness of the salvation He offers us) For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” [Isa 49:8] I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation.


[Passage Synopsis: All of this should challenge us not to drift away from what we have received already for He looks with favour on us, wanting us to receive the fulness of His salvation.]



v.3-13 The Hardships of the Apostles


v.3 (we try not to put any obstacle in your way so nothing hinders you receiving this salvation) We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.

v.4 (rather we try to give you reasons for having confidence in us, knowing what we've gone through for you…) Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;

v.5 (knowing the pain we've suffered for it…) in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;

v.6 (… seeking to remain Christlike throughout) in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;

v.7 (… ensuring we speak truthfully with God's power and righteousness) in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;

v.8  (… through good and bad times, holding our integrity despite what others say about us) through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;

v.9 (under threat and yet surviving) known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;

v.10 (sad and happy, rich with nothing and yet in him with everything ) sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

v.11 (we have poured our hearts out to you) We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.

v.12 (we aren't holding back our warmth for you) We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.

v.13 (so please think and act similarly towards us) As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.


[Passage Synopsis: As apostles of Christ they seek to say or do nothing that will hinder the gospel. The put up with everything, both good and bad – and there's lots of both – speaking openly and honestly and maintaining their love for the church, and hope the church can feel the same about them.]



v.14-18 Be Distinct from Unbelievers


v.14 (they ask them to remain separate from unbelievers) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

v.15 (there cannot be harmony between the kingdom of God and the dominion of darkness) What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

v.16 (as the temple of God they cannot be united with idol worshippers) What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them  and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” [Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27]

v.17 (so God calls them to be distinct) Therefore, “Come out from them  and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” [Isa 52:11; Ezek. 20:34,41]

v.18 (so they can truly be part of the family of God) And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” [2 Sam 7:14; 7:8]


[Passage Synopsis: Everything they've been saying might be summed up in the call to be the distinct holy people of God.]


Chapter Brief Summary/Recap:

Ch. 6: Apostolic Hardships & calls to respond

•  realising that produces a call to realise ‘today' is the time of God's favour

•  to maximise that call they seek to avoid any hindrances in themselves

•  he expresses the hardships they've gone through to do that

•  the end result is to be a pure and distinct people



Continue to Chapter 7