Southern Christian University

II Corinthians #1

James A. Turner


Please read all of the references. They will help you to get a fuller understanding.

Chapter one through seven.

Let us now begin the Study of II Corinthians.  There are a number of good reasons as to why Paul needed to write the second Corinthian letter.  For one thing there were still a number in the church at Corinth that were misjudging the motives of Paul, and his authority as an apostle to the point he needed to defend himself in regard to that or else the truth could suffer.  Another good reason is that the church had obeyed the instructions given in the fifth chapter of  I Corinthians to withdraw from the fornicator.  But you remember back there, being led by Satan, they were puffed up about the matter and had not mourned at all about having such a fornicator in the church.  And chapter two of this book shows that the man had repented, and now they wouldn't receive him back.  So he needed to encourage them to receive the repentant man back into full fellowship of the church.  He also needed to instruct them further about the Old Testament Covenant in contrast to the New Testament Covenant.  And he needed to give them further instruction,  chapters eight and nine about the collection for the poor in Judea, and a number of other good reasons for the epistle.  But I think we better just start and try to deal with it briefly from chapter to chapter. 


Chapter One. 

There are two primary things that he deals with in chapter one. I guess I better give attention first to the salutation.  The salutation is much like the one in I Corinthians.  That epistle was addressed “unto the church of God, which is at Corinth ---- with all that call upon the name of the Lord in every place” which shows that the epistles of the New Testament were intended to circulate.  Timothy is included in the salutation, and it is also addressed “unto the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints that are in the whole of Achaia” (or Greece), and that would be at least three churches:  The church at Athens, the church at Corinth, and the church at Cenchrea.  He speaks of God as the “Father of mercy and the God of all comfort”, and tells how God had comforted them in their affliction so that they would be able to comfort those that are suffering affliction.  Anytime a person has been under a certain kind of trouble and somebody else is having like trouble, that person can better comfort the ones having the trouble than somebody that has not had a like experience. Parents who have lost a little child and then somebody else's little child dies, they can do a better job usually of comforting than one that has not had such an experience.  And so God had comforted them in their troubles so that they would be able to comfort others, and Paul is very thankful.  And he talks about the great trouble that they had been in.


Verse eight, "For we would not have you ignorant   brethren."  That is one of Paul's expressions that he makes in several of his epistles, would not have you ignorant, meaning, I want you to know about this.  "Concerning our affliction, which befell us in Asia, that we were weighted down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life:  Yea we ourselves have had the sentence of  death within ourselves, that we should not trust ourselves,  but in God who raiseth the dead."  Please read Acts 19:23 through the rest of the chapter about the riot that was caused by the silversmiths.  The head of the silversmiths     union not only called the silversmiths together, but other like trades, and they set the city in an uproar because Paul was ruining their business, and saying that there were no gods that are made with hands.  The business of the silversmiths was making the little gods for their god Diana, and they got around to saying he maketh of no account of our great goddess, the temple of the great goddess Diana.  It just threw the whole city into confusion, ‑‑ Let me just turn and read a little bit.  When Demetris talked about the goddess Diana, "And when they heard this, they were filled with wrath and cried out saying, great is Diana of the Ephesians," Acts 19:28.  The city was filled with confusion.  "And they rushed with one accord into the theatre having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel.  And when Paul was minded to enter in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.  And certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent unto him, and besought him not to adventure himself into the theatre.  Some therefore cried one thing, and some another:  For the assembly was in confusion:  And the more part knew not   wherefore they were come together."  But notice that Paul was ready to enter into to try to protect Aristarchus and Gaius, and the disciples suffered him not.  They knew the great danger,   and those that were in charge of public gatherings sent word and told him not to go into the theatre.  That must be what he is talking about when he says that they had the sentence of death passed on them.  It was such a riot that they expected to be  put to death by those rioting people, but he says that God delivered them from it. 


Verse nine, "Yea we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.  Who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver:  On whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us.  Ye also helping together on our    behalf by your supplication that for the gift bestowed upon us by means of many thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf."  Paul had asked those Corinthian brethren to pray for him, and they had continued to pray for him, and he is saying that their prayers had a part in causing the Lord to give them deliverance; and then that would bring about many giving thanks to God on their behalf.    That is verse eleven, and I would like for us to remember that when we have good evidence that our prayers have been answered, we in turn need to thank God that they have been answered.  Sometimes we may come short on doing that.  Many had prayed for Paul, and so he said many thanks may be given, by many persons, on our behalf.  And then verses twelve through fourteen show that there were quite a number in the church that did not have the best spirit toward him.  And beginning with verse fifteen, they were accusing him of being fickle because he had changed his mind in regard to his visit to them.  We will pick up with verse fifteen, "And in this confidence I was minded to come first unto you, that ye might have a second benefit; and by you to pass into  Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come unto you, and of you to be set forward on my journey unto Judea"  So he had first made plans that he was going to sail from Ephesus over to Corinth, and then from Corinth go up and revisit the churches of Macedonia and then go back down to Corinth again so that they would have a second benefit.  But after he had learned about all the problems in the church, and had written I Corinthians, and in that epistle he had given them one rebuke after another, and he did not know how that they were going to receive that epistle.  In chapter seven he states that for awhile he regretted that he had written that letter.  He was afraid they had not received it properly.  He had told them about the change in his plan in I Corinthians 16:7, but there were those accusing him of being, a yes and a no man at the same time, that he was just like a worldly‑minded man, and whatever seemed most convenient at the time, that is what he would do. 


Verse fifteen, "And in this confidence I was minded to come first unto you, that ye might have a second benefit and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come unto you, and to you be set forward on my journey into Judea.  When I therefore was thus minded, did I show fickleness?  Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh."  They were accusing him being fleshly minded, and changing his mind accordingly. He asked the question, “Do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay, nay? " In other words they are accusing him of saying yes, yes and then no, no, and he just changes his plans for no good reason.  "But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not yea and nay.  For the son of God, Jesus Christ who was preached among you by us, even by me and Sylvanus and Timothy, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea."  Remember from Acts 18:5 that Timothy and Silas had joined Paul in the work at Corinth soon after he had started that work.  "And for how many so ever be the promises of God in him is the yea, and in wherefore also through him is the amen, and unto the glory of God through us.  Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us in God, who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (1:20-22). When we   want to buy a piece of property, we put a binder on the property, and that is supposed to guarantee that we are going to go through with the deal.  And he is saying the Lord has sealed us and given us “the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”  And that earnest of the Spirit is telling us that the Lord is going to come through with his promises, and if we are faithful and we are going to have eternal life.  "But I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I forbear to come unto Corinth."  He wanted to give them time to repent so that when he did come to them, it could be as stated in the first part of chapter two. 

Chapter Two

"But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you with sorry.  For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but he that is made sorry by me?  And I wrote this very thing."  In other words he had reproved them severely in that first epistle, and he had told them very plainly that they were to withdraw from the fornicator.  And so he did that so that they could take those steps and   turn around so that when he did come, it could be an occasion of joy.  "And I wrote this very thing, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from you of them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.  For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be made sorrow, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you." 


Now, beginning with verse five, he deals with how the church had withdrawn fellowship from the fornicator, and they would not receive him back.  "But if any man have caused sorrow, he hath caused sorrow not to me, but in part:  That I may not press heavily to you all. Sufficient to such a one is this punishment, which was inflicted by the many."  That shows that a majority of the church had behaved themselves properly, and had withdrawn fellowship from this fornicator, and that had brought him to his senses.  Now he has repented,  and that same bad spirit that was puffed up back there and had not disciplined him,  is now the other way, they were not willing to forgive him.  "So that contrariwise, ye should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow."  They made it plain to him that he had brought shame and reproach to the church.  I guess some were reasoning, that man has brought such shame and reproach to the church that he is not going to be a part of this church anymore.  But the man had repented, and Paul says if you do not show your love toward him, he is liable to be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow. 


Verse eight, "Wherefore I beseech you to confirm your love toward him.  For to this end also did I write that I might know the proof of you, whether ye are obedient in all things."  In other words for one thing that would prove whether the church at Corinth would obey the commands of Paul and his authority as an apostle.  "But to whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for what I have also have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything for your sakes have I forgiven it in the presence of Christ; that no advantage be gained over us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his devices."  Again, Satan does not have an advantage over Christians unless Christians give him an advantage.  The Corinthians had first given Satan an advantage by their puffed spirit.  Now, they are giving him advantage by not forgiving the brother who had repented.  So Paul is saying, do not give Satan that advantage.  "That  no advantage may be gained over us by Satan."  Satan will surely take every advantage given him, “for we are not ignorant of his devices”. 


Now, here is one of the passages in regard to showing that Paul was in Macedonia when he wrote II Corinthians.  This passage and chapter 7:5‑6 and chapter 9:1‑5 shows that Paul was in Macedonia when he wrote II Corinthians.  "For    when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, and when a door was opened unto me in the Lord, I had no relief for my   spirit, because I found not Titus my brother:  But taking my leave of them, I went forth into Macedonia.  But thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge in     every place.  For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:  To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other a savor from life unto life."  We have already talked about verses fifteen and sixteen.  Let me briefly say that when we go and preach the gospel, correctly and with a good spirit, then such is a sweet sacrifice to God, whether men obey or refuse to obey, and we need to keep that before us.  God has not said, you are going to have to convert people, but it is our job to preach the gospel faithfully.  And if we do that, we are well pleasing to Him. We are like a sweet sacrifice to God when we do that.  "Sweet savor of Christ unto God, to them that are saved. (they who hear and obey) And in them that perish:  To the one a savor from death unto death."  Those who reject the gospel are already in spiritual death, and they do not obey and that death is leading unto eternal death.  "To the other a savor from life unto life."  Those who obey have that new   resurrection, a life in Christ (John 5:24-25; Ephesians 6:1-6; Colossians 2:13) and that leading unto eternal life.  "And who is sufficient for those things?  For we are not as the many corrupting the word of God:  But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."  So verse seventeen puts us on notice that there were those in the church at Corinth that were corrupting the word of God. 


Chapter Three

In chapter three, he talks about how God had made them sufficient as ministers of the New Testament Covenant, and that they did not need, epistles of accommodation to them or from them.  Evidently, there were those false teachers coming to them with letters of recommendation or getting letters from them to go somewhere else.  He said, "Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and    read of all men:  Being manifested that you are an epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God."  He, of course, is talking about the New Testament Covenant.  "Not in tables of stone."  And there he is talking about the Old Testament Covenant, God giving the Ten Commandments written with the finger of God on those two stones that he had Moses to prepare.  "But in tables that are hearts of flesh.  And such confidence have we through Christ to God‑ward:  Not that we are sufficient of   ourselves to account any thing as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God."  Jesus had told the apostles that the Holy Spirit would bring all things to their remembrance (John 14:26), and would also guide them into  all truth, (John 16:13) so they had been made sufficient as ministers of a new covenant.  This is talking about the New Testament.  "Not of the letter, (Old Testament) but of the spirit: (New Testament) For the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  But if the ministration of death, written and engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which glory was passing away:  How shall not be ministration of the spirit be with glory?"


So he is speaking of the Old Testament and of the Ten Commandments included when he speaks of it as an ministration of death written and engraved on stones.  Why does he speak of it that way?  Because strictly by the law all were left condemned.  And he deals with this again in the third chapter of the book of Galatians.  There are two important passages that you need to get in mind in regard to this, Leviticus 18:5 reads, "He that doeth them shall live in   them."  The Old Testament promised life on the basis of perfection in keeping the law.  None were able to keep the law, and the law also said, Deuteronomy 27:26, “Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which were written in the law to do them.”  So the law left all under a curse.  Now, the law had its purpose, (Galatians 3:19-25; Romans 7:10-13) and the purpose of the law was fulfilled.  They did have a way of receiving temporary forgiveness under the Old Testament.  The first five chapters of Leviticus tells about the various offerings that they were to make for sin under that law, and when a person learned that they had sinned, they were to get the animal that God specified to make atonement for their sin.  They were to carry it to the tabernacle, and there at the altar of burnt offerings, the person who needed atonement was to lay his hand on the head of the animal.  This signified that the sinner was worthy of death but the animal took his place, and the sinner was to kill the animal, and then the priest took over and sprinkled the blood and did the other things that the priest was supposed to do.  They  also had the day of annual atonement, Leviticus sixteen,  when the high priest went into the Most Holy Place with blood to make atonement of their sins. And of course, those who  died,  receiving temporary forgiveness by the offering up of animal sacrifices  when Christ died his blood made complete atonement for them, Hebrews 9:15, "For a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgression of those that were under the first."  And that would also be true in regard to those who made atonement for sin by offering animal sacrifices during the patriarchal dispensation.  But strictly from the standpoint of law, and Paul states if righteousness could have come by the law, then there was no need for another law to be given.   


Verse seven and eight show that the Old Testament came with glory. When Moses came down from the mountain, after receiving the Ten Commandments, his face was shining so that people could not look at him.


Verse nine, "For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness (New Testament Covenant) exceed in glory.  For verily that which hath been made   glorious hath been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses."  The New Testament Covenant “surpassed” the Old Testament Covenant. Under the New Testament there is a new birth and complete forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 8:12-13). "For if that which passes away was with glory, much more is that which remaineth is in glory.  Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of   speech:  And not as Moses, who put a veil over his face, (Exodus 34:29-35) that the children of Israel should not look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away." 


Verse fifteen, "But to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lieth upon their heart.     But whensoever one turns to the Lord  (obeys the gospel) the veil is taken away.  Verse seventeen, "Now the Lord is the spirit:  And where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."  This verse is a parallel to Galatians 5:1.  In Christ there is liberty and freedom from the bondage of the law, and complete forgiveness from sin.


Chapter Four 

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry  (ministry of New Testament) even as we have obtained mercy, we faint not; but we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth (Paul preached and lived the truth) commending ourselves to every man's conscious in the sight of God.  And if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish, whom the God of this world hath blinded their eyes."  And he goes further to say, we do not preach ourselves, and again this puts us on notice that there were those at Corinth that were preaching themselves.    They were men according to the flesh.  They were preaching themselves more than the preaching of the gospel.  "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  Seeing it is God that said, Light shall shine out of darkness  (Genesis 1:3) who shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure  (the gospel) in earthen vessels that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves."  The book of Acts shows very plainly that God has put the treasure of the gospel in earthen vessels.  In the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch an angel of the Lord had a part and the Spirit had a part but it took an earthen vessel, Phillip, to tell the eunuch what to do to be saved.  In Acts chapter nine, the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus, and Saul said, “What shall I do Lord?” And the Lord Jesus told him “to go into Damascus and there it shall be told  thee what thou must do.” (Acts 22:10)  Many teach that the primary purpose of the Lord appearing to Saul was to save him, but he was not saved until he was told what to do by, Ananias, an earthen vessel.  Ananias said to him, "And now why tarriest thou?  Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16)."  


Verse eight, "But we are pressed on every side, yet not straightened.  Perplexed but yet not unto despair, pursued, but yet not forsaken.  Smitten down, yet not destroyed.  Always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus (II Corinthians 11:23-33) that the life also Jesus may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered unto death, for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death worketh in us, but life in you  (spiritual life in Christ) but having the same spirit of faith according to that which is written, I believed and therefore did I speak.  We also believe and therefore also we speak, knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus and shall present us with   you."  In I Thessalonians 4:17 he put himself with those who will be alive when Christ comes, but this makes the second time he has put himself with those who will be dead when Christ comes  (I Corinthians 6:14). This shows that he was using the speaker, or writers we, in I Thessalonians 4:17.


Verse sixteen, "Wherefore, we faint not, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day‑by‑day."  His old physical body was going down, getting weaker and weaker, and I guess very fast by this time; but his  inward man was getting stronger.  His inward spiritual man was being renewed day‑by‑day.  And then look how he regards the afflictions of this life, "For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us a far more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things that are not seen.  For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal”. Just think of all those things that he had already suffered as given in 11:23-33, and he speaks of it as light affliction, which is but for the moment.  Well, when you think of this life in comparison to eternity, it would hardly rate as a moment, would it?  So our light affliction which is for the moment, worketh for us more exceedingly and eternal weight of glory. 


Chapter Five

In the first of this chapter he talks about “if this earthly house of ours be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”.  The tabernacle that he is talking about is this tabernacle of clay that the soul lives in, and he says if it is dissolved, that old tabernacle of the clay body, we have a building of God, a “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”  In Hebrews 11:13-16 the writer talks about the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob how they confessed that they were pilgrims on the earth, and they looked for a city whose builder and maker is God; and “God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.  So the faithful people of God, are going to receive ”a building not made with hands eternal in the heavens.  For verily in this we groan, (old decaying body) longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven:  if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked."  In the Revelation a person found naked is unprepared to meet the Lord.  So he did not want to be in that state, but he wanted to be in a prepared state so he would be clothed upon with that new body.  "For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life. (I Corinthians 15:50-58)  For he that wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave us the earnest of the spirit."  The Holy Spirit has given us instruction, and the earnest of the spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).  And just as surely as we are faithful to the Lord, we are going to be clothed with a glorious body likened to the body of our Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20-21; I John 3:1-3)..  "Being therefore always of good encourage and knowing that, while   we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:  For we walk by faith, not by sight.  We are of good courage, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with God."  So there is a sense that when the soul is separated from the body, that spirit goes to be at home with the Lord.  Now, I think as we have already talked about, that does not mean heaven.  But when Christ comes, he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him (I Thessalonians 4:14-18), and their bodies will be, raised immortal and glorious bodies when Christ comes, and thus the uniting of the soul and the body again.  "Wherefore also we make it aim, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing unto him."  In other words whether we live or whether we die, our aim is to be well‑pleasing unto him.  And then a very sobering thought for all of us, "For we must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad."  The New Testament very plainly teaches that judgment will be an individual matter.  It will, according as stated here, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to “what he hath done whether it be good or bad.” 


Verse eleven, "Knowing therefore the fear of he Lord."  Meaning what a terrible thing it will be to appear before the Lord in judgment unprepared.  "We persuade man, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope we are made manifest also in your consciences.  We are not again commending ourselves unto you, but speak as giving you occasion of glorying on our behalf that ye may have where with to answer them that glory in appearance and not in heart It looks like that some of the Corinthians were giving more attention to them that were glorying in appearance and not in heart, than they were to apostle Paul.  They had not upheld him, as they should have, and Paul is saying we are giving you occasion of glorying on our behalf; that you will have something to answer them that glory in appearance and not in heart.  "For whether we are beside ourselves, it is unto God:  Or whether we are sober,  it is unto you, for the love of Christ constraineth us;  because we thus judge, that if one man died for all   therefore all died."  Meaning as stated in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short for the glory of God."  All were in spiritual death or the death of Christ would not have been necessary.  “One died for all; therefore all died, and he died for all that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sake died and rose again."  And remember Jesus talked about that spiritual resurrection in John 5:24‑25,  “The hour cometh when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God.  And they that hear shall live.”  Jesus was talking about the spiritually dead, and those who hear and obey, will have spiritual life in Christ.  "Wherefore we hence forth know no man after the flesh, even though we have known Christ after the flesh." 


Verse seventeen, "Wherefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  Old things are passed away; and, behold, all   things are become new."  This parallels Romans 6:4-6, "For if we had been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be raised in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this that the old man is crucified with him."  And so if any man is in Christ, he is a new man, a new creation.  Old things are passed away, and that takes place when one believes on Christ, repents of his sins, and confesses the name of Christ, and is then baptized into the likeness of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; that puts one into Christ and into Christ's church.  "But all things are of God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."  The preaching of the gospel is a ministry of reconciling men to God.  "To wit (or to make known) that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses and having committed to us the word of reconciliation."  In other words to bring peace between us and God.  We were estranged from God because of sin, but the gospel of Christ is a ministry of reconciliation.  "We are ambassadors, therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us.  We beseech you on behalf of Christ be ye reconciled to God."  An ambassador is a special representative.  When we send an ambassador, say to Russia, he is a special representative of the government of the United States.  The apostles were   special representatives, Christ had called them to be his apostles, and so they were his special representatives. Then look at verse twenty-one.  I think every Christian should commit verse twenty-one to memory.  "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him."  Christ died as a sinner.  One of those seven statements that he made on the cross was,  My God, my God, why   hast thou forsaken me (Matthew 27:46).”  He died as a sin offering for us "Him who knew no sin, he made to be sin."  God had him to be the sin offering for us, and Christ willingly died for us (John 10:14-18).  "That we might become the righteousness of God through him.”  


Chapter Six

"And working together with him, we entreat also that you receive not the grace of God in vain."  Now, remember he is writing to Christians, so another passage which shows that a child of God can turn away from God, and when he does, then the grace of God will be in vain to him.  And Paul is pleading for them to be obedient.  "For he sayeth, at an acceptable time I harkened unto thee, and in the day of salvation did I succor thee     Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."  Some of us have heard that passage quoted many times and applied in the main to alien sinners, but he is writing to Christians. The strength of it is that we need to be faithful to the Lord everyday.  We do not have any guarantee of tomorrow, therefore “now is the day of salvation”. 


Verse three, "Give no occasion of stumbling in anything that our ministration be not blamed, but in everything commending ourselves as ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in  labors, in watchings, in fastings, in pureness, in knowledge, and longsuffering, and kindness in the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned in the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness   on the right hand and on the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report:  As deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich."  A person cannot be any richer than just to be a faithful child of God (Romans 8:17-18).  Paul was a poor man, as far as the things of this life, but by the preaching of the gospel, and by their obedience to that  preaching, they had become rich.  "Yet making many rich, as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."  I like the song, ‘I Am A Child Of The King”. 


Verse eleven, "Our mouth is open unto you, O ye Corinthians, our heart is enlarged."  And again,  this is a passage, which shows that they did not have the closeness and the appreciation for Paul that they should have had.  He says, “you are not straightened in us, but ye are straightened in your own affections.  Now for a recompense in like kind, I speak as unto my children be ye also enlarged."  They were his children in a spiritual sense, because he had begotten them by the preaching of the gospel.  "Be ye also enlarged."    He was pleading with them to have affection for him, and for those other faithful teachers, Timothy, Silas, and Titus as they had for them.  Then beginning with verse fourteen, he instructs them not to be unequally yoked with the unbelievers.  Now as far as the special thing that he is talking about in the context, it is not having anything to do with the idolaters, like going to their idol feast, but it also applies in respect to marriage.  "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness and iniquity?  What communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial?  Or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?  And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols.  For we are a temple of the living God, even as God said I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my   people.  Wherefore (Isaiah 52:11) come out from among them, and be ye separate, sayeth the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; and I will   receive you."  So there is no concord between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of Satan or idol gods.  So separate yourselves from them.  Come out from among them, and be ye separate, sayeth the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And I will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to me as sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 


Chapter Seven

Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."  Living the Christian life is a continuous process of turning away from those things that defile the flesh, and “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  It is a continuous process of putting off that, which belongs to the flesh, and putting on that, which is more like Christ, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Open your hearts to us, we wronged no man, we corrupted no man, we took advantage of no man.  I say it not to condemn you:  For I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die together and live together.  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying on your behalf. I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in our affliction”. This shows that the church as a whole had received that letter in a good way.  "For even when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side.  Without were fightings, within were fears."   And part of those fears were his concern for the church as to whether or not they had received that letter properly or not.  "Nevertheless he that comforteth the lowly, even God, conforteth us by the coming of Titus; not by his coming only, but also by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in you.  While he told us of your longing, your mourning, your Zeal for me, so that I rejoiced yet more."  Titus really showed that he had been comforted by the obedience of the Corinthians, the church as a whole, and Paul could see how that he was so comforted, and so that gave him more comfort. 


In verse eight, he is plainly stating that for some time he had regretted writing that epistle.  "For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret, though I did regret it:  For I see that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season."    It was the kind of sorrow that brought repentance, and when people repent they can get rid of their sorrow.  "I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorrow unto repentance:  For ye were made sorry after a Godly sort, that   ye might suffer lose by us in nothing."  And when a person is made sorry after a Godly sorry, he is not just sorry that he got caught, but he is sorry that he did the wrong.  "For Godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation a repentance which bringeth no regret:  But the sorrow of the world worketh death."  The sorrow of the world is like when a person is sorry because he got caught, but not sorry that he committed the murder or whatever evil thing that he had done.  "For behold this selfsame thing, that ye were made sorry after a Godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you.  Yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what longing, yea what Zeal, yea, what avenging.  In everything ye have approved yourselves to be pure in this matter."  So the fact that they had disciplined the fornicator, and that had brought about repentance on his part, and they had really been in sorrow about that matter. So they had shown themselves to be pure in the matter by what they had done. 


Verse twelve, "For although I wrote unto you, I wrote not for his cause that did the wrong, (the fornicator) Nor for his cause that suffered the wrong, (is father) but that your earnest care for us might be made manifest unto you in the sight of God."  Their obedience of with drawing from the fornicator proved their love for Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Titus.  "Therefore we have been comforted, and in our comfort, we enjoy the more exceedingly for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.  For if anything I have gloried to him on your behalf, I was not put to shame; but as we spake all things to you in truth, so our glorying also which I made before Titus, was found to be true."  So Paul had great confidence in the church at Corinth as a whole, and he had gloried on their behalf to Titus, and Titus found his glorying to be true.  "And his affection is more abundantly toward you, while he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling, you received him." Titus had a part in encouraging them to receive that epistle in a good way and do the things that were right, and they received him in the proper way with fear and trembling.  "I rejoice in everything.  I am of good courage concerning you."