The Book of 2 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 6 Part 2

We go on to 2 Corinthians 6:11-18

As believers, there are certain decisions that we must make so that we can reflect the character of G-d in this world. This is the calling of every believer. In the last half of this chapter, Paul is writing about a change that should happen to every believer. We need to constrain ourselves, not out of obligation, but because we are now a different people. What was once acceptable in our eyes is no longer acceptable and only what is acceptable in Yeshua’s eyes is now acceptable. We have been given the mind of Messiah (Phil 2:5, 1 Cor 2:16). As such, His perspective guides and restricts us. These restrictions are good and bring joy into our lives. They protect us from the deceit and the attacks of the enemy. 

v11: We have spoken openly: Paul, and those who served alongside him in Corinth, taught the Corinthians the revelation of G-d. 

  • Our heart is wide open: Speaking about endearment. This revelation that Paul spoke to the Corinthians came with a great love and affection in his heart toward them. As Paul and these others gave the Corinthians revelation, as they grew to know them and ministered in their midst, their hearts were literally expanding, growing, changing. As a result, now they cannot forget about the Corinthians and move on. These people are in their thoughts and prayers wherever they go. This love and revelation did not only change Paul’s heart, but it also changed this congregation. They began to think and behave differently. 

V12: Restricted: Constrained. Restrained. Confined. 

  • Not restricted by us: Paul is saying that it was not them themselves (Paul and his companions), in their own natural beings, who restricted or restrained the feelings and actions of the Corinthians. The Corinthians were not obligated to behave in a certain way because of who Paul was. This constraint was not from an outside source. 
  • You are restricted by your own affections (feelings of mercy): This constraint came from within themselves, their new natures and the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Compassion began to function in their lives, and this new perspective caused them to live, think and behave differently. This compassion restrained them (Matt 9:36). 

v13: I speak as to children: We know the old adage ‘like father, like son’. There is consistency within a family. A father influences his children to behave in a similar way to him. What Paul is saying here is that there is a response, an outcome, a payment required once we have taken hold of the gospel – those feelings of mercy, compassion, concern, and care for others cannot be set aside. We are required (constrained) to get involved in the lives of others, concerned for their wellbeing. Paul is saying that this is the natural outcome or recompense of what every believer is called to. Paul spoke to them as his children because they were the ones who he gave birth to, spiritually speaking. 

  • You also be open (enlarged): Their capacity to love others and to be concerned for others has increased. They have grown. This is one implication of our new natures. 

v14: Note: Paul is responding here about another implication of our new natures. In the same way that compassion moves us to get involved with people, the holiness of G-d, our call and our covenantal relationship with Him, can also mean that we don’t have anything to do (contractually or fellowship wise) with others. It is appropriate to get involved in an unbeliever’s life for the purpose of ministry (leading them to salvation, being a blessing and a help to them, counselling them, steering them toward the truth of G-d). 

Our faith can move us to have compassion for others, but this same faith can also manifest itself in us by causing us to separate ourselves, distance ourselves, or not be involved with others.

  • Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: It’s a commandment. There is no context for this statement, which means Paul is making a broad statement – applicable in a variety of circumstances. A yoke implies being put together for a common goal, for a contract or an agreement. A simple application of this would be that believers should not marry unbelievers. Believers should also not go into business with unbelievers. There should be a clear separation or distinction between us and them.
  • Unbelievers: Those who are against faith.
  • Righteousness: This is one of the chief adjectives that describes the Kingdom of G-d and the Kingdom people (our thoughts and behaviour) – Matt 6:33. There is also a connection between righteousness and the law (Roms 9:30-32). The law is not an instrument that produces righteousness. This means we cannot take the law and apply it to our lives and by doing so become righteous. The law does not have any power, but it is connected to righteousness in that it defines what righteousness and unrighteousness are. 
  • Lawlessness: Against the law. There are only two conditions that humans can be living in – either they are righteous, or they are lawless. There is no in-between position. 
  • Light …darkness: Like righteousness and lawlessness, these two things are mutually exclusive. Where there is light, darkness flees. If there is darkness there is no light. 

v15: Accord: Speaking about harmony.

  • Messiah: Messiah was completely committed to the purposes of G-d.
  • Belial: An Old Testament term in the Hebrew Bible (in the NKJV is left out in Judges 19:22 – ‘perverted men’ is literally ‘sons of Belial’ and in 1 Sam 2:12 it calls Eli’s sons ‘corrupt’ but literally in the Hebrew they are called ‘sons of Belial’). It is a word that speaks about that which is consistently evil, evil through and through. It is an evil that wants nothing to do with, is completely opposed to, the purposes and will of G-d. 
  • What part (portion) has a believer with an unbeliever: Unbelievers are not going to receive the rewards/blessings that believers receive, and believers do not receive the condemnation/curses that unbelievers receive. We will have nothing in common. This is how we need to see these individuals that are linked to this world rather than to the Kingdom of G-d. We can have no fellowship, no relationship, no agreement, no harmony between us and them. 

v16: What agreement has the temple of G-d with idols? (idolatry): None! These two are by nature opposed to one another. The worship of G-d manifests submissiveness and obedience in a person’s life, but idolatry is all about someone exalting themselves and getting what they want – and doing so in a culturally acceptable manner.

  • You are the temple: The Spirit of G-d has entered into us, He dwells in us. 
  • I will dwell in them: Quoted from Lev 26:12 and also alluded to in Ezekiel 37:27. It is only through redemption that G-d can dwell with us. Fellowship is about experiencing G-d. It is only when we say ‘no’ to the things in the world that we can have intimacy or fellowship with G-d.
  • I will be their G-d and they shall be My people: This is the definition and outcome of redemption.

v17: Therefore: In light of this redemption. 

  • Come out: This is related to the same concept as when the Israelites came out or went forth from Egypt. See also Lev 26:12-13 and Isaiah 52:11. It’s a call to depart from this world. Their departure had consequences. Our departure from the world also has consequences today. 
  • Come out from among them: Do not be yoked or connected to this world. We have been called out of it. 
  • Separate: This word is a word for setting boundaries. This is an important concept. We need to be people that set boundaries in our lives. These boundaries need to be based upon G-d’s standards; the standards laid out in the Torah (Those first five books of the law). As believers, the law still has relevance for our lives today – it defines for us what righteousness is. Scripture makes it very clear that we’re not under the law (this means that we are not going to be judged by the law), but we can apply the truth of the law to our lives – not the letter of the law (the law cannot be kept in its fullness today because there is no temple etc) but the spirit of the law. When we walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh, we will fulfil the righteousness of the law (Roms 8 4). We are not to take part in those things that the law has declared unrighteous. 
  • Says the L-rd: This is a commandment, a G-dly instruction.
  • Unclean: Impure. That which has not been perfected or made pure. Those things which are unacceptable to G-d and which He cannot bless.
  • Touch:  This is a broad word in the Biblical language. If we say Biblically that we are not going to touch something it means we are not going to speak about it, think about it, deal with it or be in any way related or connected to it. When we choose to be connected to anything unclean, we are choosing to push away G-d’s blessing. However, when we are choosing to be part of that which is clean, pure and reflects the character of G-d then we are inviting G-d’s Presence, blessing, provision, perspective, power etc into our lives. 
  • I will receive you: This is a term of receiving or welcoming something with joy. 

v18: I will be a Father to you: This is a promise (Quoted from 2 Sam 7:14)

  • Father: ‘Father’ speaks of provision. A father is a provider, a protector, an instructor.
  • Sons and daughters: ‘People’, referring to a covenant people, is applicable to both males and females. In the Book of Revelation this term ‘people’ changes to ‘sons’ – which is also an inclusive term for both male and female. ‘Sons’ speaks of those who are heirs and who will receive an inheritance. Sons and daughters here speak about a family relationship. Family speaks about intimacy. We are going to experience perfect intimacy with G-d (and others). 
  • Almighty: This name for G-d is a name that speaks about His dominion over all things. Everything belongs to G-d. This name or title emphasises and exalts this. 

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