Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 1st, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "We then as workers together with Him," (sunergountes de) "moreover (as) ones working together," fellow-workers, or fellow-laborers, 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Acts 15:4.

2) "Beseech you also," (kai parakaloumen) "We also beseech or entreat you," call alongside us, to motivate you in your labors in God, to share with us and others, Romans 1:14-16.

3) "That ye receive not the grace of God in vain," (me eis kenon ten charin tou theou deksasthai humas) "not to receive the grace of God to no purpose," or without a real objective purpose. For we are in Christ Jesus for or unto good works, Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11-12; 2 Corinthians 8:1; 2 Corinthians 8:6-7; 2 Corinthians 8:19; Romans 6:1; 2 Peter 3:18.

Verse 2

1) "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted," (legei gar kairo dekto epekousa soul "For he says, "I heard thee in a time accepted," Isaiah 49:8. As He heard Israel in Egypt; David in the horrible pit, and the prodigal in the hog-pen, He still heeds the cry of the needy.

2) "And in the day of salvation have I succored thee," (kai en hemera soterias eboethesa soil "and in a day of salvation (deliverance) I helped thee;" as He saves the penitent who cry to Him for salvation, so He helps His needy children, His fallen children who call to Him in penitence and faith, Psalms 40:1-3; Romans 10:13; Luke 18:13-14; James 5:16; 1 John 1:8-9.

3) "Behold, now is the accepted time," (idou nun kairos euprosdektos) "Behold now (is) an acceptable time," now and hereafter continually, in this life, day by day, one day at a time, Proverbs 1:22-28; Hebrews 3:7-8; Hebrews 4:7; Revelation 22:17.

4) "Behold, now is the day of salvation," (idou nun hemerea soterias) "Behold now is the day of salvation," or deliverance, Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:28; John 6:37; Hebrews 4:7; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:9-13.


There is a story told in ancient history of a certain king who lighted a lamp, and had it hung in his palace; he then sent heralds forth to bring every criminal and rebel to his presence, that they might obtain pardon. Those who came while the lamp was burning were set free; but those who delayed till the lamp had gone out, or who altogether neglected the invitation, met with a terrible death.



An artist solicited permission to paint a portrait of the queen: the favor was granted; and the favor was great, for it would make the fortune of the man. A place was fixed and time; at the fixed place and time the queen appeared, but the artist was not there; he was not ready yet. When he did arrive, a message was communicated to him that her Majesty had departed and would not return. Such is the tale. The King Eternal consented to meet man. He fixed in His covenant and promised in His Word the object, place, and time of the meeting; it is for salvation; it is in Christ, it is now. He has been true to His own appointment; but how often is it otherwise with man.


Verse 3

1) "Give no offence in anything," (medemian en medni didontes proskopen) "give no one an occasion (a cause) of stumbling," in any thing, Matthew 10:16-20.

2) "That the ministry be not blamed," (hina me momethe he diakonia) "in order that the common ministry be not blamed," the ministry of the gospel through the church be not blamed or spoken against; and the ministration of the alms gifts Paul and companion helpers were soliciting for the needy saints in Jerusalem. Conduct of all saints in all churches should be such that neither the work or workers of the Lord should be occasion for scandal, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2. Stewards of God must be found to be faithful.


Doctor Brockmand, Bishop of Zealand, was once present at a wedding, which was attended by a large promiscuous company of all ranks. At table, the conversation turned upon the conduct of a certain disorderly clergyman; some of the company reprobated, and others pitied him. But a lady of rank, no doubt one of those who take the lead where busy scandal feasts her votaries, gave a new turn to the subject, and with a scornful mien added, "What a pretty set of creatures our clergy are!" It grieved Brockmand to hear the whole clergy thus vilified, yet he did not think proper to offer a serious reply. But shortly after, he related an anecdote of a noble lady, notorious for ill-conduct, concluding with these words - "It does not follow, however, that all our noble ladies should resemble her."


Verse 4

1) "But in all things," (all’ en panti) "but in everything," every kind of behavior, conduct, such as is stated, as follows:

2) "Approving ourselves as the ministers of God," (sunistanontes heautous hos theou diakonoi) "commending ourselves as ministers or common workers of God; "That others-may see Christ, the true light and life through us, Matthew 5:15; Matthew 5:14; Romans 12:1-2 - The true minister commends himself in four ways: 1) In outward hardships, 2 Corinthians 6:4-5; 2 Corinthians 2) In inward graces, 2 Corinthians 6:6-7; 2 Corinthians 3) by the armor of righteousness, 2 Corinthians 6:7-8; 2 Corinthians , 4) true character, 2 Corinthians 6:8-10.

3) "In much patience," (en hupomone polle) "In much endurance," or patient perseverance, which both ministers and laymen need abundantly, 2 Corinthians 12:12; James 1:2-4.

4) "In afflictions," (en thlipsesin) "In afflictions, troubles, or tribulations," including oppressions, Psalms 119:134.

5) "In necessities," (en anagkais) "in things necessary," necessities, wants unsupplied, Acts 20:34.

6) "In distresses," (en stenochoriais) "in straits," distresses, or hard circumstances, Acts 16:23; Acts 23:35. Paul’s afflictions, necessities, and distresses seem to have come to him thru sickness, loss of friends, and numerous normal perplexities of life, Acts 9:16; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Timothy 4:10.

Verse 5

1) "In stripes," (en plegais) "In stripes," lashes, Acts 16:23; Acts 22:24.

2) "In imprisonments," (en phulakais) "in prisons," or "imprisonment experiences," Acts 23:25.

3) "In tumults," (en akatastasiais) "In commotions," unsettled experiences," publicly popular opposition, Acts 17:5-9; Acts 10:26-29.

4) "In labours," (en kopois) "in labours," tedious toil, work of many kinds, 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; Including tent making, travel, fundraising, writing, teaching and preaching the gospel; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 4:11.

5) "In watchings," (en agrupniais) "in watchings," for the souls of others, by anxieties of nights and urgency of prayers, day and night for others, Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 13:17; Ezekiel 3:17; Jeremiah 6:17.

6) "In fastings," (en nesteiais) "in times of fasting," self-denial and mortification, putting to death, or keeping the flesh unfruitful, Colossians 3:5-6; because of toil, sleeplessness, no food, at times Paul too was often in fastings, 1 Corinthians 4:11; Philippians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 11:27.

Verse 6

1) "By pureness," (en agnoteti) "in a state of purity," chaste behavior, commending ourselves; purity of intent and thought, life, speech, motive, and chastity, 1 Thessalonians 2:10; James 3:17; 1 John 3:3.

2) "By knowledge," (en gnosei) "In knowledge," commending ourselves; by right views of God, Ephesians 3:4; Perhaps by the gift of knowledge that then continued, 1 Corinthians 12:8.

3) "By longsuffering," (en makrothumia) In longsuffering," forbearance, commending ourselves; Even under ill-treatment, God’s servants must be long-suffering, 2 Timothy 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:2.

4) "By kindness " (en chrestoteti) "In kindness," commending ourselves: This is a divine attribute, to be reflected in and through ministers and servants of Christ, a Christian virtue, Romans 2:4; Romans 11:22; Ephesians 2:7; 2 Peter 1:7.


If there be one virtue which most commends Christians, it is that of kindness: it is to love the people of God, to love the Church, to love poor sinners, to love all. But how many have we in our churches of crabtree Christians, who have mixed such a vast amount of vinegar, and such a tremendous quantity of gall in their constitutions, that they can scarcely speak one good word to you. They imagine it impossible to defend religion except by passionate ablutions, they cannot speak for their dishonored Master without being angry with their opponent; and if anything is awry, whether it be in the house, the church, or anywhere else, they conceive it to be their duty to set their faces like flint, and to defy everybody. They are like isolated icebergs, no one cares to go near them. Imitate Christ in your loving spirits; speak kindly, act kindly, and think kindly, that men may say of you," He has been with Jesus."

-C. H. Spurgeon

5) "By the Holy Ghost," (en pneumati hagio) "in a holy (sanctified) Spirit," or disposition, commending ourselves; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:25.

6) "By love unfeigned," (en agape anupokrito) "in love unfeigned (unpretentious)," without pretence, commending ourselves. This refers to love for men, without pretence, or shame, or hypocrisy; 2 Corinthians 12:15; John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:14; 1 John 3:17; 1 John 4:7.

Verse 7

1) "By the word of truth," (en logo aletheias) "in a word (or expression) of truth," by being, or in being truthful, commending ourselves. The preaching of the Gospel is that word or declaration of truth, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 1:4-12; 2 Corinthians 7:14.

2) "By the power of God," (en dunamei theou) "in the power of God," in the realm of God’s power, commending ourselves; thru the preaching of the gospel of power, manifested in and through us. Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 2:4.

3) "By the armour of righteousness," (dia ton hoplon tes dikaiosunes) "Through the weapons of righteousness," commending ourselves, 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:11; Ephesians 6:13.

4) "On the right hand and on the left," (ton deksion kai aristeron) "Of the right (hand) and of the left (hand);" "with both hands sheathed with the armor or righteousness," with a shield in one hand and a sword in the other with both offensive and defensive weapons; Romans 12:12-13; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

Verse 8

1) "By honour and dishonor," (dia dokses kai atimias) "Through glory and dishonor," commending ourselves. Paul especially defends himself against the slander of his opponents; whether he were praised or harassed, he did not give up; Hebrews 12:13.

2) "By ill report and good report," (dia duaphemias kai euphemias) "through ill report and good report," commending ourselves; In spite of evil, slander, calumny Paul had hurled against him, like Job of old, he kept on for God; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

3) "As deceivers, and yet true," (hos planoi kai aletheis) "as deceivers and (yet) true men," truthful men, commending ourselves; Though they were charged as being deceivers, as was their Lord; yet they kept on doing good, John 7:12; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2.

Verse 9

1) "As being unknown," (hos agnooumenoi) "as being unknown," yet commending ourselves, by keeping on, never giving up, Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58. Unknown to the world, in our true character, 1 Corinthians 2:14.

2) "And yet well known," (kai epiginoskomenoi) "and (yet) well known," commending ourselves; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 11:16. Well known to God and His people.

3) "As dying " (hos apothneskontes) "as dying," continually, yet commending ourselves, 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 4:11; constantly in danger of death, and keeping the old body under control, mortifying it, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; Colossians 3:3.

4) "And yet we live," (kai idou zomen) "and behold we live (on)," commending ourselves; Mark 8:35; and "to live is Christ;" Galatians 5:20; Philippians 1:21.

5) "As chastened," (hos paideuomenoi) "as being chastened ones," yet commending ourselves; God chastens, prunes, or purges every servant that he may bear more fruit, Psalms 118:18; John 15:2; Hebrews 12:6; Hebrews 12:11.

6) "And not killed," (kai me thanatoumenoi) "and not being put to death;" commending ourselves. They learned lessons thru chastening, short of death, a matter some at Corinth had not done, 1 Corinthians 11:29-32; Hebrews 12:7-10.

Verse 10

1) "As sorrowful," (hos lupoumenoi) "as being grieved," (yet) commending ourselves, going on in the work of the Lord, in spite of trials of sorrow, Hebrews 4:15-16.

2) "Yet always rejoicing " (aei de chairontes) "but always rejoicing," commending ourselves; as they instructed others in obedience to their Lord, John 16:22; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 2 Corinthians 7:4; Philippians 4:4.

3) "As poor " (hos prochoi) "as poor, a pauper or impoverished," in worldly possessions, yet commending ourselves, as they sought first the kingdom of God, Proverbs 13:7, Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

4) "Yet making many rich," (pollous de ploutizontes) "But making many enriched," in hope, peace, joy etc., enriching many, commending ourselves, heavenly riches mean so much, Matthew 5:3; 1 Corinthians 1:5; James 2:5.

5) "As having nothing " (hos meden echontes) "as having or holding nothing," not even one thing, no home, no wealth, (yet) commending ourselves.

6) "And yet possessing all things," (kai panta katechontes) "And (yet) as possessing all things," commending ourselves; Having all needful in this life and an inheritance in heaven, 1 Corinthians 3:21-22; Philippians 4:13; Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:33. Christians should scatter and share, not hoard, either material or spiritual things. He serves God who spends money in employing laborers, as surely as he who gives to charity.

Verse 11


1) "0 ye Corinthians," (Korinthioi) 0 Corinthians, This is one of few cases of direct address and affectionate appeal Paul made to brethren addressed in the midst of his letter, as in 1 Corinthians 16:9 when an open door caused an open heart in him.

2) "Our mouth is opened to you" (to stoma hemon anegen pros humas) "our mouth has opened to you all," to speak freely, plainly, openly or candidly to brethren addressed, as also Galatians 3:11; Philippians 4:15.

3) "Our heart is enlarged," (he kardia hemon peplatuntai) "our heart has been enlarged," has swollen, which is the reason for his liberty in writing, it is out of both sympathy for their cares and troubles and out of joy for their laboring on for God, 2 Corinthians 7:3; Matthew 12:34.

Verse 12

1) "Ye are not straitened in us," (ou stenochoreisthe en hemin) "Ye are not restrained (hardened) in us;" There was no lack of room for the Corinthians in Paul’s love for them, 2 Corinthians 12:16.

2) "But ye are straitened," (stenochoreisthe de) "But ye are restrained or hardened;- The more Paul loved them it appears that the less he was loved of them, the less they responded to his affections because of their love of the world, 2 Corinthians 12:15; 1 John 2:15-17.

3) "In your own bowels," (en tois splagchnois humon) "in your bowels or emotions," center of your affections, and upper viscera, heart, lungs and liver. These were considered, down to the bowels, to be the center of all affections, first by the Jews, later and lower by the Greeks. The capacity to love and to hate have been attributed to the heart, viscera, and bowels, as to hate with the guts or to have a "gut" feeling; Matthew 22:37; Philemon 1:7; Philemon 1:12; Philemon 1:20.

Verse 13

1) "Now for a recompence in the same." (ten de auten antimisthian) "but for the same recompence," in like kind of love, affection. Paul yearned for a return of their love for his largeness of heart and affection to them, 2 John 1:5; John 13:34; John 15:12; 1 John 3:23.

2) "I speak as unto my children," (hos teknois lego) "I speak (talk) as to very small children,” who should love, respect, and imitate or reciprocate their parents’ love and affections, 1 Corinthians 4:14-15. This especially speaks of the deep and yearning love of a father for the care of his children.

3) "Be ye also enlarged," (platunthete kai humeis) "Be ye also enlarged," swollen up with holy pride, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12. Let your love flow out toward us, toward me.

Verse 14

1) "Be ye not" (me ginesthe) "Become ye not," or "you all do not become;" come to a state of attachment to worldliness, Romans 12:1-2.

2) "Unequally yoked together with unbelievers," (heterozugountes apistois) "unequally or discordantly yoked (hooked up with or tied to) unbelievers," or unfaithful, faithless ones. No covenant attachment is to be entered between the saved and unsaved, the profane and the holy; such brings discord, disharmony. Deuteronomy 7:2-4.

3) "For what fellowship," (tis gar metoche) "For what kind of share," or part. The Corinthians’ enlargement of heart and affection was not to be so broadly interpreted as to ignore the Divine principle of separation from sin to fellowship in truth, Ephesians 5:6-11.

4) "Hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" (dikaiosune kai anomia) "have righteousness and lawlessness?" what reciprocating interests have these two? None! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

5) "And what communion, ’ (e tis koinonia) "or what fellowship," common communion; or "how can two walk together," in harmony and accord, except they be agree, of like kind in affections? 1 Kings 18:21; Amos 3:3.

6) "Hath light with darkness?" (photi pros skotos) "has light with darkness?" Ephesians 5:8; John 8:12; John 12:48. The life of God’s is to be one of light, Matthew 5:15-16. True saints are not to be discordantly yoked with unbelievers in friendship, marriage, trade, or married life. This is the Christian, Bible standard. All should try to pursue, for harmony in life, with God.

Verse 15

1) "And what concord " (tis de sumphonesis) "and what symphony, harmony, or agreement;" The answer is "none", 1 Samuel 5:2-4. There is no concord between the two.

2) "Hath Christ with Belial?" (Christou pros Beliar) "Does Christ hold with Belial?" Belial means "good for nothing," or "without usefulness;" Such is sin and Satan, as they relate to God and righteousness, 1 Corinthians 10:21; The cup of the Lord and the devil no more orchestrate than oil and water.

3) "Or what part," (e tis meris) "or what part (fragment) of agreement or harmony," Deuteronomy 32:30; Deuteronomy 31; Acts 16:1-5.

4) "Hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (pisto meta apistou) "has or holds a believer with an unbeliever?" or an infidel? none can serve or have cordial fellowship with two masters. Such as try are chameleons, turncoats, hypocrites, Mark 7:6-13; Matthew 6-24; Luke 16:13.

Verse 16

1) "And what agreement," (tis de sugkatathesis) "and what (kind of union;" concord, harmony, or symphony?

2) "Hath the temple of God with idols?" (mao theou meta eidolon) "has a shrine of God (the triune God) with (shrines of) idols?" The answer is "none," 1 Corinthians 10:19-22; Colossians 3:5; 1 John 5:21. Even pious ecumenism, attempted outward show of communion with the false in religions, is evil, Hebrews 13:10.

3) "For ye are the temple of the living God," (hemeis gar naos theou esmen zontos) "For we are a shrine of a living God;" The "we" that constitute this shrine is the "church we;" in Ephesians 2:21-22; Hebrews 3:6; whom He in dwells through the vice-gerency of the Holy Spirit. Others can not scripturally take of her communion, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 10:21; Hebrews 13:10.

4) "And God hath said," (kathos eipen ho theos) "Even as God has said;" in ancient times so He says to his church today.

5) "I will dwell in them, and walk in them," (hoti enoikeso en autois kai emperipateso) I will dwell among them and walk among them," Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:12.

6) "And I will be their God," (kai esomai auton theos) "and I will be their God," Exodus 6:7; Revelation 21:7.

7) "And they shall be my people," (kai autoi esontai mou laos) "and my people shall they be;" Mark 13:34-35; 1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 28:20; John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:2-3; Revelation 21:9; Ephesians 3:21; John 14:16-17.

Verse 17

1) "Wherefore come out from among them." (dio ekselthate ek mesou auton) "wherefore come ye out from the midst of them," the fellowship of the unbelieving, infidel company, Revelation 18:4; turn your back upon the unbelieving, Christ rebelling world of religious and irreligious; stand aloof, Ephesians 6:13-18.

2) "And be ye separate," (kai aphoristhete) "and be ye separated," in a state of separation of fellowship from them, in your code of conduct socially, morally, ethically, and in worship. Be aloof from union with, approval of all ungodliness, Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:21.

3) "Saith the Lord," (legei kurios) "says the Lord," actively, daily, till today, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

4) "And touch not the unclean thing " (kai akathartou me haptesthe) "and to not touch an unclean thing," signifying that intimate believer association with unbelievers was as surely unclean as touching of unclean things under the law, Isaiah 52:11.

5) "And I will receive you." (kago eisdeksomai humas)

and I will receive or welcome you all," into my fellowship communion, to avoid, shun the appearance of evil, is to be received into the daily fellowship of the Lord. James 4:7-8; James 4:10.

Verse 18

1) "And will be a Father unto you," (kai esomai humin eis Patera) "and I will be to you all (for) a father," with affectionate care, Jeremiah 31:1; Jeremiah 31:9; Revelation 21:7; Romans 8:15. As led by the Spirit we can affectionately say, "Abba (our) Father," Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; Romans 8:26-27; Mark 14:36.

2) "And ye shall be my sons and daughters " (kai humeis esesthe moi eis huious kai thugateras) "and you all shall be to me (for) sons and daughters," of a loving father’s care, Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2-13; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 13:3-5.

3) "Saith the Lord Almighty," (legei kurios pantokrator) "Says (the) Lord, (the) Almighty," as he speaks on today, calling for separated living on the part of all believers, especially those claiming to constitute His church. Our heavenly father will not only care for His own thru life but also give to His own discretionary rewards and heritage positions of future honor and service, as they separate themselves from the immoral.

1) Each shall receive his own reward.

2) Some shall have salvation, without rewards, as if by fire, 1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 John 1:8.

3) Some shall have "abundant" entrance, 2 Peter 1:1

4) The separated, dedicated, committed to the Church, His bride, shall have the greater honor, reward, and glory to offer Jesus at His coming, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 19:5-9.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1985.
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