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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 6

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

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Verses 1-13

The power of love (5:11-6:13)

Because Paul knows that he is accountable to Christ, he knows what it means to fear the Lord, and this makes him more diligent in his service. God knows that his motives are pure and he trusts that the Corinthians know also (11).
In making these statements, Paul is not trying to write a recommendation for himself. He is trying to give his supporters reason to be bold in defending him against those who criticize him (12). They may have seen him display his feelings in different ways at various times, but they know he never acted out of self-interest (13). His constant awareness of Christ’s love was the inner spiritual power that guided his actions. Christ died the death that sinners should have died, firstly to bear the penalty of their sins, and secondly to put an end to living for self. From now on they should live for him (14-15).
Before he became a Christian, Paul had judged Jesus by the standards of the ordinary person of the world, and in so doing had judged him wrongly. Now he no longer judges Jesus, or anyone else, from a merely human standpoint, because in Christ he sees everything in a new light. Old attitudes go and new attitudes replace them (16-17).
This changing from the old to the new is done by God through Jesus Christ. It is part of the total work that God does as he reconciles people to himself, and turns sinners into his friends. Having reconciled them, God then sends them out to preach the message of reconciliation to others, so that other sinners might be brought to God (18-20). The basis of this message is the death of Christ. Through the judgment of sin in Christ, God is able to forgive repentant sinners and give them a righteous standing before him (21).
Some at Corinth had heard this message but not responded to it. They were still spiritually dead. Paul therefore offers salvation to them once again, and they must decide whether to accept it or reject it (6:1-2). They are not to make excuses by trying to find fault with Paul, for he has never given anyone grounds for rejecting the gospel (3). He has had all kinds of difficult experiences (4-5), but through them all he has proved his genuineness by the spiritual quality of his life and the truth and power of his message (6-7). Some people have honoured him, others insulted him, but in all circumstances he has shown by his consistent behaviour that he is a true servant of God (8-10).
The Corinthians have not returned to Paul the open-hearted love that he has shown them. He has room in his heart for them, but they have no room in their hearts for him (11-12). He appeals to them to return his love (13).

Verses 14-18


The Christian in ungodly society (6:14-7:1)

Apparently the Corinthians still misunderstood what Paul was trying to teach them about relationships with unbelievers (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11). Previously they thought it meant cutting themselves off from unbelievers completely. Now they go to the other extreme and think their relationships can be as close as they like, even to marriage. Not so, says Paul. There must be no permanent and binding relations with unbelievers. The new life of Christians is as different from the life of non-Christians as light is from darkness or as Christ is from Satan (14-15).

The church is the temple of God, and so is the individual Christian (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19). God dwells within his people, and his dwelling place must be holy. Being united with idol worshippers is the same as bringing a heathen idol into God’s temple (16). Christians can have no part in the ungodliness of the sinful society in which they live. They are now members of the family of God, and their relationship with their heavenly Father is more important than all their physical and earthly relationships (17-18). In view of this, they must make sure they are cleansed from the impurities of the ungodly world, so that they might be holy before God (7:1).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/2-corinthians-6.html. 2005.
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