The Book of 2 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 6 Part 1

We begin this week by looking at 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Since we are ministers of reconciliation what can we expect when we live in faithful obedience to that call? We need to know this, so that, when these things happen, we are not surprised, confused, or discouraged. 
v1: Workers together: Paul is speaking about himself and those who were working or serving together with him.
·      Plead: Exhort. Encourage
·      Grace: Grace, after salvation, works in a person’s life to produce the will of G-d. We are saved for a purpose – not to live in sin or practice unrighteousness. Grace produces righteousness in our lives. Righteousness and the will of G-d go hand in hand.
·      In vain: This word speaks of having no proper purpose or no good outcome. It hints to that which is worthless, not productive. The implication is that receiving G-d’s grace would not be for nothing, but that it would produce much fruit or good work in our lives in regard to the will of G-d. 
v2: He: The L-rd
·      In an acceptable time: This is a quotation from a very well-known chapter in Judaism: the book of Isaiah 49:8. This chapter is about G-d’s redemption and the significant place that Israel has in G-d’s plan. Israel is G-d’s vessel to bring about a Kingdom change.
·      Acceptable: A word for welcoming something because it’s exactly what was hoped for or desired. Paul is revealing that they had (and we have) a wonderful spiritual opportunity. They were living in a significant time – the gospel was going forth for the first time ever into all of the world and was not only limited to within Israel.  
·      I (G-d) have heard you: The people had been praying for this time of redemption. When it says that G-d, who always hears, has heard them it means He has heard in order to respond. 
·      Salvation: This is a Kingdom word. 
·      I have helped you: G-d has heard but now He is also responding to these petitions for redemption. He has helped the people through the work of Messiah. This was the first generation outside of Israel who had the opportunity to respond to the gospel message of salvation. 
·      Behold: This is a word (in the Old and New Testament) that means that something very significant is about to be said and we need to pay attention to it. In this verse it is used twice – doubly emphasised.
·      Now is the day of salvation: There is an invitation to respond. G-d has acted, and now we need to be faithful to discern what He is up to and respond – participating in what G-d is doing. We need to not only work together with others, but we also need to work together with G-d.
Note: When the time of the Gentiles, the church age, comes to an end so too does the time of the gospel going forth come to an end. The ‘end’ in Matt 24:14 is referring to the end of the church age (see also Luke 21:24 and Roms 11:25). As ministers or servants of the Kingdom we need to expect this. 
v3: Give no offense in anything: It is very important that we live beyond reproach. We need to live in a way that does not discredit our faith. Offenses can be stumbling blocks to others. 
·      Blamed: Literally the word for stained – having a blemish or an unseemly mark upon it. 
v4: In all things: In all behaviours. 
·      Commend ourselves: Show ourselves
·      Ministers of G-d: Being a representative to or for the work of G-d (what He is about). 
·      Patience: Endurance. Perseverance. Some Bibles translate this word as ‘patience’ but this is a word for enduring through suffering. This word is also never used in regard to something joyful or pleasurable. We never endure what we love. The context here is needing to endure through difficult times. 
·      Tribulations: More often than not Biblically, this word ‘tribulation’ is used in regard to believers (Acts 14:22). As we submit to this call to be ministers of reconciliation, ministers of G-d, submitting to His purposes and plans we are going to encounter tribulation (persecution). 
·      Needs: This is a word referring to that which is absolutely necessary for us to do. These are the things that faith compels us to do. They are essential. We are going to persevere in tribulation to accomplish these essential things, but we are going to be met with much opposition from the enemy. 
·      Distresses: This is not a word that speaks of minor suffering but of intense suffering. When a patient is in distress medically it means that the situation they are in is life threatening and action needs to be taken immediately. As believers, we are going to find ourselves in life-threatening situations where action, by means of the Holy Spirit, needs to be taken in order to overcome. 
v5: These are the types of situations that we are going to find ourselves in for our faith. This had great significance and relevance in Paul’s lifetime but will also have great relevance in the near future. 
·      Stripes: Blows. Has to do with being physically harmed, a form of torture or physical pain that comes from receiving blows of some types.
·      Tumults: Riots. Uprisings.
·      Labours: Toils
·      Sleeplessness: Some Bibles translate this word ‘sleeplessness’ but it literally means ‘night watch’. It probably has to do with someone guarding the city, watchman on the walls. Here it is a referral to prayer (Acts 12:5). In times to come we are going to find ourselves in dire situations where true believers are going to realise that they cannot sleep but will be compelled to stay up and offer prayer all night. 
·      Fastings: In the plural. This means not just fasting occasionally but fasting in abundance. 
v6: Note: This verse speaks about how we need to meet these unpleasant things we are going to encounter.
·      Knowledge: Knowledge of the Word of G-d. We do not change our perspective.
·      Long suffering: To suffer long.
·      Sincere (genuine) love: Love is connected to the law of G-d (Matt 22:36-40). Loving G-d produces love for others. 
v7: Word of truth: We are able to live in purity, knowledge etc because of our commitment to truth. Scriptural truth needs to be the motivation for all of our thoughts and actions. 
·      Power of G-d: When we’re walking in the truth we can also expect to have the power of G-d – these things go hand in hand.
·      Armour: Literally – WeaponsThis word is inaccurately translated ‘armour’ in some Bibles. It is however more correctly translated ‘weapons’. ‘Armour’ is defensive – defending against the attack of the enemy. This is not what this verse is speaking about.     
·      Righteousness: When our objective (goal) is righteousness, and all our words and actions are for the purpose of the righteousness of G-d then He is going to supply us with the weapons that we need to overcome the attacks of the enemy. 
·      On the right hand and on the left (hand): This is an idiom meaning in whatever situation we find ourselves in (right or left).
v8: Honour: Righteousness produces that which is glorious and brings honour to G-d. 
·      Dishonour: Literally ‘no value’. This is not the word for dishonour. Whether the world thinks our behaviour is glorious or of little value makes no difference. 
·      Evil report and good report: Through a bad word or a good word. Regardless of the accusations, regardless of what is said, we don’t take our marching orders from the world. We do not conform to society’s standards according to what they do or do not think of us – whether they give us a good or a bad report. 
·      Deceivers: Even if the world calls us derogatory names (deceivers, bigots, narrow minded etc) we need to hold on to what we know to be true. We are going to be attacked for what we believe so we need to prepare ourselves for this. 
v9: Unknown…well known (recognised): The world may or may not know or recognise us. It makes no difference whether we are known or unknown. 
·      Dying: Some people will be put to death.
·      Behold we live: Just because we are put to death does not mean that we are not alive. Dying for our faith ushers us in to true, eternal life. 
·      Chastened: Disciplined
·      Not killed: We may be disciplined but it’s not the end for us.
v10: Poor: Physically, looking at our bank accounts or financial resources, a time is coming when our faith is going to make us poor. We are going to lose the right to utilize assets or earn money. These things will make us financially ‘poor’.
·      Making many rich: As we do what G-d has called us to do, and as we become ‘poor’ in the process, we are going to be making many people wealthy. This is not talking about making them physically wealthy but spiritually or Kingdom wealthy in the promises and blessings of G-d. 
·      Having nothing … possessing all things: In this world we may be rejected and suffer loss but in actuality we have inherited the Kingdom of G-d and have everything that we need of eternal value. 

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