2 Corinthians 6 - Be in the World, Not of the World
2 Corinthians 6
1We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
3Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
4But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
11O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
12Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
13Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Today's Scripture Meaning
The apostle, with others, proved themselves faithful ministers of Christ, by their unblamable life and behaviour. (1-10) By affection for them, And by earnest concern, that they might have no fellowship with unbelievers and idolaters. (11-18)
Verses 1-10: The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears. The gospel day is a day of salvation, the means of grace the means of salvation, the offers of the gospel the offers of salvation, and the present time the proper time to accept these offers. The morrow is none of ours: we know not what will be on the morrow, nor where we shall be. We now enjoy a day of grace; then let all be careful not to neglect it. Ministers of the gospel should look upon themselves as God's servants, and act in every thing suitably to that character. The apostle did so, by much patience in afflictions, by acting from good principles, and by due temper and behaviour. Believers, in this world, need the grace of God, to arm them against temptations, so as to bear the good report of men without pride; and so as to bear their reproaches with patience. They have nothing in themselves, but possess all things in Christ. Of such differences is a Christian's life made up, and through such a variety of conditions and reports, is our way to heaven; and we should be careful in all things to approve ourselves to God. The gospel, when faithfully preached, and fully received, betters the condition even of the poorest. They save what before they riotously spent, and diligently employ their time to useful purposes. They save and gain by religion, and thus are made rich, both for the world to come and for this, when compared with their sinful, profligate state, before they received the gospel.
Verses 11-18: It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their wilful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God's word, they must expect must distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 2nd Corinthians with Chapter 6 and in our text we see Paul explains that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and that the Christian life will not always be a bed of roses but God is faithful and working in our lives. In making application we see that we are to be in the world sharing the love of Christ but not of the world in partaking and yoking with unbelievers. Today, we need to be about the Lords business entering the dark territories of the world with the light of the Gospel. How about you? Are you yoked with unbelievers? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of Paul that as Christians we are to IN the World but not OF the World, not yoking or partaking of the darkness but sharing the light of the Gospel of Jesus-Christ.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.