ch. 10-11:12. Their ways were disgraceful and underhanded, cunning, crafty and shameful (c. 11:3). They handled the Word of God in a deceitful way to gain popularity with their hearers. They diluted the message with legalism as well as with mere human philosophies. They were hypocrites. Paul renounced all such methods. He preached the truth without any admixture. This appeals to the conscience, while the other may appeal to the intellect of the unconverted. If the gospel remained veiled to any, it was to the perishing, whose minds had been blinded by Satan. This is specially true of Israel, but not limited to them. He is the god of this age, as well as the prince of this world and of the power of the air and of the powers of darkness. He is man’s great adversary. He blinds him to the gospel of the glory of Christ, the final proof of Satan’s defeat.episkope (ἐπισκοπή

“Image of God” (2 Cor 4:6). The two mediators contrasted. It should be noted that the word likeness is never used of Christ in His relation to God. The word “shine unto them” is used in Acts 20:11 for “break of day”. Satan wants to keep men in darkness. The apostles reference to Christ Jesus the Lord (2 Cor 4:5) is in keeping with what he says as to the gospel of the glory of Christ, and as to the abiding and unfading glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in contrast to the fading, transient glory in the face of Moses (2 Cor 4:6). The light which Paul saw on the Damascus road when he saw the Lord was above the brightness of the sun (Acts 26:13; cf. Rev. 1:16). The face of Jesus Christ is the focal centre of God’s glory. Paul parallels his experience at conversion with Gen. 1:3. It was not only an outward revelation, but an inward illumination as well, with a view to reflecting it. This is a Scriptural pattern for every true conversion.

“We have this treasure . . .” (2 Cor 4:7-5:10). Paul and the body. In this section there are five references to the body, the only ones in the epistle apart from his use of the word in relating his unique experience in ch. 12. He also uses six metaphors for the body in these verses. The references to the body are in 2 Cor 4:10, 5:6, 8, 10. Then we read of the mortal flesh in 2 Cor 4:11. The six metaphors are (1) the earthen vessel (2 Cor 4: 7 ; (2) the outward man (2 Cor 4:16); (3) the earthly house (2 Cor 5:1); (4) this tabernacle or tent (2 Cor 5:1, 4); (5) the outer garment (2 Cor 5:2-4); (6) our present borne (2 Cor 5:6).

The passage is the second in which he describes at some length his afflictions. It may well be questioned if it can be parallelled for its complete abandonment to the will of God, its zeal and devotion to the cause of Christ. In it he dwells on three tremendous contrasts.

(a) The treasure and earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:7-15).

Two suggestions may be made with regard to the treasure. In the immediate context it would refer to what is said in 2 Cor 4:6 as to the knowledge of the glory of God. But in the wider context it would refer to the ministry committed to him 2 Cor 4:1. The two are very closely associated. The ministry described in ch. 3 is epitomized in 2 Cor 4:6b. The earthen vessel is the body. It is but a fragile clay vase. The use of the term leads to a consideration of the important instructions regarding such vessels in Num 19:14-15 and Lev 11:33. They were easily defiled, and if defiled they were to be broken. Hence they had to be covered and protected. They were not to be left open, lest some creeping defiling thing would fall into them and defile their contents. Eyegate and eargate should be protected if the servant of God is be preserved undefiled. Paul was a chosen vessel (Acts 9:15).
Then we read of:
1) vessels of mercy (Rom. 9:23);
2) cleansed vessel (Heb 9:21) — a) by blood, and b) by water after use or defilement (Lev. 6:28; 4:32);
3) emptied vessel (2 Kings 4:3);
4) covered vessel (Num. 19:14-15);
5) filled (Ruth. 2:17);
6) poured (John 2:7);
7) marred through disobedience (Jer. 18:1-14);
8) a vessel unto honour (2 Tim. 2: 21);
9) Every Christian should possess his vessel in sanctification and honour (1 Thess. 4:4).

“That the exceeding greatness of the power ...” (2 Cor 4:7). This is the first of several purpose clauses in the section under consideration (2 Cor 4:10, 11, 15; 5:4, 10). The power referred to is the power of God at its zenith, the power manifested in the results of his ministry, as well as in his preservation in his afflictions (2 Cor 4:8-9). So that it might be self-evident that this was of God, the apostle speaks of himself as but an earthen vessel. Jeremiah put the deeds of the purchase of the plot at Anathoth in an earthen vessel (Jeremiah 32:14). Compare also Judges 7:16-19.

“Troubled ...” (2 Cor 4:8-9). The four graphic contrasts in these verses illustrate how the sustaining power was the power of God. The imagery is that of the battlefield, of conflict against strong opposing forces. In 2 Cor 4:8 the experience is an inward one, whereas in 2 Cor 4:9 it is outward. The first word in each case denotes the earthiness of the vessel, and the second the excellency of the power. He was in distress, but not completely shut up. He was bewildered at times, but never benighted or without hope. He was pursued as David was, but not abandoned to the foe. He was knocked down as by a dart, but not knocked out. He was as wounded by his pursuers, but not mortally. Though he was a seasoned warrior, the heat of the conflict made an impact on his spirit (2 Cor 4:8) and likewise the pressure of the battle on his physical frame (2 Cor 4:9). The prominence given to death in these verses, along with the reference to the resurrection (2 Cor 4:14), would suggest that at the time oi writing the apostle was in severe bodily affliction.

“Always bearing ...” (2 Cor 4:10-11). The words "always bearing about in the body the dying (or the putting to death) of the Lord Jesus" are difficult, but their meaning is explained and amplified in 2 Cor 4:11. He was always exposed to death (1 Cor. 15:31). Just as Jesus had been (distantly persecuted, and at last became the willing victim of Mis persecutors, so the apostle was daily being hounded, and was prepared to die for “Jesus’ sake”. Previously he had said he was their servant for "Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5), and later in 2 Cor 4:15 he says, “all things are for your sake”. The expression “The life of Jesus ...” refers to the life that He lived on earth, the life of complete dependence upon and obedience to the Father. Such a life was being reproduced in the apostle. The use of the name “Jesus” would favour this explanation rather than taking it as a reference to the risen life (cf. Isa. 50:5-6,7).

“So then death ...” (2 Cor 4:12-13,14-15). In 2 Cor 4:12 the apostle may be referring to the blessings of the gospel enjoyed by the Corinthians, which were in contrast to his constant exposure to death. On the other hand it is possible that he is speaking ironically, as in 1 Cor. 4:8-10, in which case the passage would be a rebuke. Either view is tenable, the latter preferable. The quotation from Ps. 116: 10 makes it evident that the apostle reckoned that his experience was a duplicate of that recorded in the Psalm. The psalmist speaks of the pains of death taking hold upon him, and of finding trouble and sorrow, but the Lord preserved him. Paul applies all of this to his own case in the absolute assurance of the resurrection and of the recognition of his services among them by the Lord in that day.

“All things . . .” (2 Cor 4:15) may refer to the things detailed in the preceding verses - his sufferings, or it may have a wider application (cf. 1 Cor. 3:21). If the former, it would illustrate the truth of Rom. 8:28. All his trials worked together for the greater blessing of the greater number, and thereby redounded to the glory of God. Such was Paul’s aim and delight.

(b) The outward and the inward man (2 Cor 4:16-18). In view of the fact that God worked through his sufferings to the blessing of many he would not become weary or lose heart or his courage (cf. Isa. 40:31). The term “the outward man” refers to his spiritual, spirit-begotten life. This is evident from a comparison of the passages where it is used (Rom. 7:22; Eph. 3: 16; 1 Pet. 3:4). While the outward was daily decaying, the inward was being daily renewed. His physical sufferings were not a weight on his spirit hindering his spiritual life and growth. This was because he viewed things in their proper perspective. He viewed time and its trials in the light of eternity and its triumphs. The daily renewal was the means of this divine enabling. Compare the daily manna (Exod. 16:14); the daily provision (2 Kings 25:30); the daily reading (Ezra 3:42); the daily praise (2 Chr. 30:28); and the daily care of the churches (2 Cor. 11:28); also the daily temptation in the case of Joseph, Samson and Mordecai (Gen. 39:10; Jud. 16:14; Esther 3:4). The contrasts between the affliction and the glory in v. 17 are astounding.

The affliction is light (cf. Mat 11:30), whereas the glory is a weight, a burden.

The affliction is momentary, transient, whereas the glory is eternal.

The tribulation is transmuted into glory. This is the divine alchemy, the changing of the base metal into the precious. The apostle uses the word “hyperbole” twice in relation to the weight, as if he cannot find a word sufficiently strong to describe it. It is an exceedingly surpassing weight of glory.

“While we look ...” (2 Cor 4:18). These words may be understood as “if we look”, or “as long as we look”, or "because we look”, or preferably, “looking as we do.” Paul was not like those mentioned in 2 Pet. 1:9 who suffer from myopia and therefore cannot see afar off. Over against the temporal and the transient he placed the eternal, which he proceeds to enlarge upon.

(c) The temporal and the eternal (2 Cor 5:1-10).

In these verses the body is viewed as an earthly house. Man’s body was formed out of the dust, hence it is but a mud-walled hut. A few heavy showers and such a house if exposed soon goes into dissolution. Then again he views it as a tent, a wandering bedouin’s tent, so easily taken down. Then again it is a garment, a robe. In the light of these metaphorical expressions death is viewed as
1) a dissolution of the mud-hut (2 Cor 5:1);
2) the dismantling of the tent (2 Cor 5:1); and
3) the discarding or disrobing of the outer garment (2 Cor 5:4); then
4) a departure from one residence or home to another (2 Cor 5:8); elsewhere
5) of a vessel from port (2 Tim. 4:6); and
6) a decease, an exodus from one country to another (2 Pet. 1:15).
The body of glory to which he looked forward is not to be a mud-hut or a tent, but a building and a house, suggesting something more substantial. The words “not made with hands” are not intended to contrast the two bodies, but rather show' the difference between earthly buildings and our future home, the building we are to receive, which will be
heavenly and eternal (cf. Col. 2:11; Dan. 2:34).

“In this we groan. . .” (2 Cor 5:2-4). In these verses the emphasis is focused on the body as a garment. In this present earthly state the apostle groaned; he yearned and longed to be clothed upon. This is evidently a reference to what he later speaks of as “mortality being swallowed up of life, the coming of the Lord 1 Cor. 15:54). In V. 3 he introduces a qualifying statement as to not being found naked at the time. This may mean that he did not wish for death, as he further explains in 2 Cor 5:4. Paul entertained no doubt as to his being clothed with the garments of salvation, hence the words cannot justifiably be used with regard to the nakedness in the sense of being devoid of the garment of righteousness, (cf. Matt. 22:11-13). The word “naked” is not used as synonymous with being “unclothed.” In many Scriptures the word "naked” is used of being either scantily clothed, or of being unadorned. As an illustration of the latter we read that when Moses returned to the camp he found the people naked. They were "naked to their shame” (Exod. 32:25). That is, they were without any adornments. These had been used to make the golden calf. Could it not be that the apostle is contemplating such a possibility of being thus unadorned at the coming? It is very possible to be put to shame before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28), even as Aaron was when Moses returned from the mount (Exod. 32:21-22). In v. 4 he makes it clear that, while he was greatly burdened, he longed to be clothed upon with the future garments of glory. Some suggest that the term “naked” refers to the intermediate state, but the apostle does not discuss the condition between death and resurrection.

“Now, He that has wrought us . . .” (2 Cor 5:5-8). The believer is one who has been created in Christ Jesus. He has been elected, foreordained, predestinated, called and justified with the ultimate aim of his glorification (Rom. 8:29-30). There is nothing uncertain about it. The Spirit has been given to him as the earnest of his inheritance. Because of this earnest, and because of the absolute certainty that God will bring His purpose to full fruition, the apostle had confidence or courage. As long as the present body was his home, he was absent from the Lord, or away from his heavenly residence. Consequently, faith in God and in His power to fulfil His promises and purposes is the principle by which we are to walk. The apostle has been enlarging on the “things that are not seen”, hence we do not walk by sight. He repeats that he is of good courage, and willing to die, and thus be absent from the body. Death would usher him into the presence of the Lord, w here he would be “at home", just as he was “at home” in the body. He was perfectly prepared for his migration to his new home with the Lord. The words “at home with the Lord” suggest a state of complete composure, the absence of any fear. We will only receive our new body, or be clothed upon, at the coming of the Lord.

“Therefore we labour . . .” (2 Cor 5:9-10). We make it our aim, or it is our great ambition, come life, come death, to be well pleasing to the Lord. The only occurrences of the word translated “labour" are Rom. 15:20 and 1 Thess. 4:11. It means to strive eagerly, to aspire, to be ambitious. The apostles ambition to be acceptable to the Lord was based upon the fact that all believers must appear or be manifest in their true character before the judgment seat of Christ. Note the words “we all”. This judgment seat is not to be confused with the great white throne referred to in Rev. 20:11-15. We are assured that there is “no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus", and also that we will not 'come into judgment" (Rom. 8:1; John 5:24). Hence Paul was not concerned in this passage with his eternal destiny, nor was he contemplating the possibility of having to stand before the great white throne. The passages where the judgment seat of Christ is referred to make it clear that believers only will be there, and that all believers will be there. The purpose of the judgment seat is that everyone may receive, as a workman his wages, his award for what has been done while in the body, that is, for service rendered. The words good or bad” are in the singular, and therefore do not refer to the deeds done “while in the body", but to the nature of the award. To receive the Lords 'well-done' will be good. To suffer loss will be bad.

It is a great mistake to think of the judgment seat of Christ as a sort of Sunday school prize distribution. The relevant passages in the epistles along with the parables of the Lord indicate that it will be a solemn court scene, a time of investigation and revelation. In Rom. 14:10-12 our individual and personal responsibility is emphasized, and that in relation to our brethren. In 1 Cor. 3:8-15 light is focused on our service and its character. In 1 Cor. 4:3-5 our motives will be brought to light, that which has motivated us in our service or lack of it. The “hidden things of darkness will be brought to light.” That should make us guard our motives, while in 2 Cor. 5:10 it is what we really are that will be revealed. All hypocritical masks will be torn away. The loss sustained, as suggested in the word “bad”, will of necessity be permanent. There will then be no opportunity to make it good. (See note on 1 Cor. 3:12-13,14-15 and 4:3-4,5).

“Knowing therefore. . .” (2 Cor 5:11-6:10). - Paul’s motivations. The Psalmist could say, “all my springs are in Thee (Ps. 87:7), and in these next verses the apostle lets us into the secret springs of his service.

1) The fear of the Lord (2 Cor 5:11-13). “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord ...” This word may denote “dread” and is so used in the gospels, but it is also used to denote a reverential fear, which does not contain the idea of dread or terror. It is in the latter sense that the word is used in this verse (Prov. 1:7).

“We persuade men” - of what? In Acts 28:23 it is used of Paul seeking to convince men of the truth, but in view of the remainder of this verse it would not seem that the apostle has this in mind, but rather the matter of his sincerity and his integrity. He was fully known to God. He had nothing to hide. And as far as the Corinthians were concerned he hoped that they were all convinced of the purity of his motives.

“But do we commend ...” 2 Cor 5:12 By thus stating the facts he was not indulging in any self-recommendation, but he was supplying the believers with a legitimate reason for boasting of him and his work, as well as material wherewith they could answer the charges of false teachers, who boasted in that which was merely external rather than the internal, the inner life and a true heart.

“For whether . . .” (2 Cor 5:13). Admittedly a difficult verse. His traducers evidently charged him with being beside himself or mad, even as Festus had said that he had a mania (Acts 26:24). Paul seems to accept the charge, and answers by saying that if that was the case it was in God's cause. Isaiah’s action recorded in Isa 20:3 must have appeared like that of a madman to many. Ezekiel’s actions likewise were very enigmatic to those who witnessed them. But these prophets acted as before God, and so did the apostle. On the other hand, if he was sober and acting with a sound mind it was for the good and blessing of the Christians.

Some thought him to be an ecstatic, others that he humbled himself unduly. If so, then his periods of ecstatic were in God's presence, they were his personal experiences with the Lord, or before the Lord. But before men he was sober (cf. Acts 10:10-19).

Some charged him with being insane in the way he boasted of his authority as an apostle. If that was the case, it was in God’s cause. Others thought he did not exercise his apostolic authority sufficiently. If that was so, then it was in the interests of the Christians.

2) “The love of Christ ...” (2 Cor 5:14-16). The context makes it clear that Paul is not thinking of his love for Christ, but of the love of Christ for him as manifested in the cross. “He loved me and gave Himself for me.” And “He gave Himself for the Church”, and as a “ransom for all.” (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:25; 1 Tim. 2:6; see also Eph. 3:19; Rom. 8:39). Paul says that this immeasurable love constrained him. The word translated “constrain” is rich in meaning, as is evident by the many ways it is translated in various passages in the New Testament. In Luke 19:43 it is used of the armies hemming the city in on every side. Escape would be an impossibility. The love of Christ thus placed definite limitations on his liberties. In Luke 22:63 the word is used of holding a prisoner captive. In Mark 4:34 it is used of the overpowering effect of a fever. The fever had compelled Peter's wife's mother to lie down. Similarly the love of Christ had completely overpowered the apostle. He was like the servant mentioned in Exod. 21: 1-5, who was entitled by the law to enjoy liberty, but declined it and became a slave for life because of the power of love. He submitted to being branded by having his ears bored. The love of Christ for him was reciprocated by his love for Christ.
Mt 4:24; Lk 4:38; 8:37, 45; 12:50; 19:43; 22:63; Ac 7:57; 18:5; 28:8; 2 Co 5:14; Php 1:23

Paul had judged, that is, he had concluded, either by a process of reason or as the result of a divine revelation, preferably the latter, that if one, that is Christ, died for all, then all died. If the word “all” is to be understood as including all men everywhere, without distinction or exception, then His death “for” them is to be understood in its propitiatory character, as in 1 John 2:2, and the second clause should be understood as “all without exception” coming under that penalty. He died the death that was due to all. On the other hand, if the word “all” refers to those who would through faith become possessors of salvation, then the death is viewed in its substitutionary character, and the words “then all died” would refer to the fact that in His death they are viewed as having died (Rom. 6). The apostle is not concerned with discussing the question of the merits of the death of Christ; he does that in an epistle he wrote later (Rom. 5:12-21). Here the emphasis is laid npon the obligation which rests on those who have experimentally known the value of that death. It is incumbent upon them that they should live for the One Who died on their behalf, and Who is risen again. It is this practical aspect that fills the apostle’s vision here. It was this that controlled him. It had revolutionized his aim in life and his attitude to all men. The words “we have known Christ after the flesh" (v. 16) are taken by some to mean that the apostle had known the Lord before His crucifixion. Such, however, is not the meaning. Before his conversion he knew Christ simply as “Jesus of Nazareth”. Paul was like the nation, blind to Ilis deity and Messiahship. His experience on the Damascus road changed all that. Ever after that Christ was to him the Lord of glory. And he did not estimate men according to their natural status, either racially or socially. This he enlarges upon in Rom. 3:1-20. As for believers, he would wish to view them according to the measure in which Christ was seen in them (Col. 3:11). This is a vitally important principle in view of the rising tide of racialism and nationalism in the world today.

3) The stewardship of the ministry of reconciliation and its responsibility (2 Cor 5:17-21).

Therefore if any man be in Christ . . . (2 Cor 5:17).

Adam was the head of the old creation. Through Satan’s rebellion and Adam’s sin it was plunged into darkness and ruin. It will be dissolved in the final conflagration when the “elements shall bum with fervent heat” (cf. Heb. 1:11-12; 2 Peter 3: 10-12). The fact that the same word is used in 2 Cor. 5:17 and in 2 Peter 3:10 indicates that Peter is referring to the implementation of the judgment which has already been passed. The verb “passed away is in the past or aorist tense. Thus sentence has already been passed on everything connected with the old. We read of the “old serpent", the "old man", the "old covenant”, the “old bottles” "old garments’, “old wine", and the "old leaven”. It is a mistake to interpret the verse as suggesting that at conversion all the old desires pass away, as the old nature, the flesh, still remains in every believer. As Adam was the head of old creation, so Christ in resurrection is the head of the new creation. Hence “if any man be in Christ”, that is, identified with Christ in resurrection, he belongs to that new creation, the “new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:13). This is our ultimate hope. In the meantime we rejoice in the many "new” things the New Testament speaks of. These are not new in relation to time, but in relation to their nature and character or quality. We read of the “new covenant”, “a new commandment”, “a new man”, that is, a new type or character of manhood, a new life, that is, a new kind of life (Rom. 6:4), and a “new man" in the sense of a new race (Eph. 2:15). Then again we read of the believer's “new name’’, and his “new song”, etc. Christ in resurrection introduces a completely new order of things.

“All things are of God ...” (2 Cor 5:18). All things pertaining to reconciliation have been initiated by God, even as the old creation owes its existence to God’s creative act. In verses 18-21 there are four aspects of the Christian’s life. He Is one for whom Christ was “made sin”, and he has been reconciled to God through Christ. He is viewed as “in Christ” and is to be a witness for Christ. Paul regarded himself as Christ’s representative, as speaking on Christ’s behalf. To him had been committed the “ministry" or the “word” or message of reconciliation, which he states in 2 Cor 5:19.

“God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself”. . . These words are not to be understood as substantiating the deity of Christ, or the unity of the Godhead. They rather indicate what God did or accomplished in and through Christ in His substitutionary sufferings. They denote the purpose for which Christ came. He did not come to judge or condemn the world (John 3:19), by imputing its trespasses unto it. He came to remove the barrier to peace between God and man. There could be no peace until the cause for the enmity, sin, was put away. Thus reconciliation is a work initiated by God, and done by God and for Him through Christ. It is an accomplished act. The work of the Holy Spirit in the individual which is complementary to it is repentance. But the two must not be confused.

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor 5:20). The “word" of reconciliation having been committed to him, the apostle thereby was constituted an ambassador, whose word or message or ultimatum is : “Be ye reconciled", or receive the reconciliation. As an ambassador Paul proclaimed an amnesty. This he did in Christs stead, on the behalf of Christ. The words “Be ye reconciled to God are not to be understood as an appeal to the Corinthian Christians, but as a restatement of the gospel appeal to the unconverted. The righteous basis for it, or that which makes the appeal valid, is given in v. 21, which contains the very essence of the gospel message. As all or every Christian is not called to preach, so all may not claim to be ambassadors, but as Christians we are all connected with the embassy, and each one has a responsibility as being connected with that which represents the cause of Christ in the world.

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us” . . . (2 Cor 5:21).

In this verse there are three statements of the utmost importance. They concern:

I) The sinlessness of Christ. This Is a cardinal truth of Christianity. It is clearly and emphatically taught in the New Testament Scriptures.

a. “He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth (1 Pet. 2:22). There was no deed for which He had to repent, no step which He had to retrace, no word He had to recall, and no thought which He had to regret. His life was “without spot or blemish.” (Lev 18X, Num 19X, Eph 5:27, 1 Peter 1:19).

b. “In Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5). Though He came of the seed of David and of Abraham as to the flesh, and was the seed of the woman, there was no taint of sin in His nature. He was intrinsically and perfectly holy.

c. “He knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21). “The negative participle used here implies the fact of sinlessness as present in the consciousness of Christ.” (Vincent). “The negative implies that it is regarded as the verdict of someone else other than the writer. It was Christ's own verdict on Himself.” (Denny).

d. He was never tempted by sin (Heb. 4:15). He endured all the trials of life which are the common lot of all. He was tried in all points such as we are, apart from sin. When we are tempted we are drawn away of our own lusts, whether it is by coveting or by insincerity or guile or pride or any of the grosser sins. The other places where the word translated “without” in Heb. 4:15 is used make it clear that it is used in the sense of “apart from sin” (cf. 9: 22; 11:6). He was tempted by Satan to be deflected from the path of dependence and obedience, but overcame him by the Word, the sword of the Spirit. The wilderness discovered Israel’s sinfulness (Deut. 8:2-3), but it revealed the Lord's perfection (Matt. 4).

II) His substitutionary sufferings. “He was made sin for us.” These words refer to His death. The words “made sin" are interpreted by some to mean that He was made a sin-offering. This is evidently the meaning of the similar expression in Rom. 8:3; “God sending His own Son .... for sin”. These words can properly be understood as a sacrifice for sin. On the other hand it is thought that the words in 2 Cor. 5:21 are not adequately explained by the term sin-offering. The words “made sin" would suggest that during the three hours of darkness. He was treated by God as if He were sin itself. Compare 1 John 5:10 where it is said that those who believe not God make Him a liar, that is, they treat Him as a liar. So on the cross Christ was made sin and endured judgment as such, and that for us. This is the basis of reconciliation and justification. At the cross the just demands of divine justice as expressed in the law were fully satisfied and vindicated. There righteousness and peace met together. In human relationships reconciliation is the result of setting things right by both parties, as there are likely to be faults on both sides. “But not once is God said to be reconciled. The enmity is alone on our part. It is we who needed to be reconciled to God, not God to us, and it is propitiation, which His righteousness and mercy have provided, that makes the reconciliation possible to those who receive it." (Exp. Diet. W. E. Vine). The word used for mutual reconciliation in Matt. 5: 24 is never used of sinners being reconciled to God.

III) The salvation provided. “That we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” So we have a perfect Saviour, Who became a perfect sacrifice, and thereby provided a perfect salvation. In Him we are reckoned righteous, completely free from every charge. That is why the apostle triumphantly issues the challenge, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of Gods elect?” The believer has a perfectly righteous standing before God, and in God’s presence.

4) The urgency of the opportunity (2 Cor 6:1-2).

“We then as workers together . . .” (2 Cor 6:1). This may be understood as working in fellowship with God, or as those who were fellow-workers, in which case it would emphasize the fellowship that existed between the apostle and his fellow-workers.

“beseech or entreat also . . The exhortation that follows is to be understood as complementary to the appeal of 2 Cor 5:20. Just as in 2 Cor 5:20 it is not a direct appeal to the Corinthians, so here it is a statement of what was Paul’s customary practice in his ministry. He not only urged that the reconciliation be received, but that the receiving of the grace of God in reconciliation be fruitful or not in vain in their lives. It should lead to service as it had done in the apostle’s life (1 Cor. 15:10). He looked for fruit following the receiving of God’s reconciliation.

“I have heard thee in a time accepted ...” (2 Cor 6:2). “Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” This is a quotation from Isa. 49:8 and partly from Ps. 69:13. The “accepted time’ of the prophecy is now the “well-accepted time". The day of salvation is the interval or the period of time during which salvation would be made available to the Gentiles. It is the time for the most favourable acceptance possible. The verse is often quoted when seeking to persuade sinners to receive the gospel, but in their context they are an exhortation to Christians to buy up the opportunities. It was one of the things which motivated the apostle. He wished to redeem the time and avail himself of every opportunity to preach the gospel. So should we, for “the night cometh when no man can work.” Our day of opportunity will soon be past and gone.

5) His zeal for the ministry (2 Cor 6:3-10).

“Giving no offence ...” (2 Cor 6:3-4a). As the servants of God he and his fellow-workers were careful of two things:

1. Negatively: not to put a stumbling block in anyone’s path.

2. Positively: commending themselves as ambassadors and workers in all their varied circumstances. “All was in order that the ministry be not blamed. This he used as a lever to exhort the Christians also. “Giving no offence”, “approving ourselves” and all the other participles down to V. 10 are the nominatives, or are grammatically attached to “we entreat” you. This shows the pains he took to enforce the exhortation by example as well as by precept.” (Alford). Paul was, as this passage (2 Cor 5:11-6: 10) suggests, motivated in his service by five powerful levers:—the fear of the Lord, the love of Christ, the stewardship of the ministry of reconciliation, the urgency of the opportunity, and by his zeal for the ministry that it be not brought into any disrepute.

“In much patience ...” (2 Cor 6:4-10). These verses are an eloquent and impassioned statement. The apostle is describing a spiritual warfare, the conflict in which he was engaged. The words flow like a torrent and must have been written with a great depth of feeling. Three essential things are mentioned, and they are indispensable

1. Patient endurance (2 Cor 6:4-5). “In much patience”. The many ways in which such steadfastness will be necessary may be seen from the following nine expressions. They depict a variety of experience : The first three form a group, and describe in a general way his physical, pecuniary. and spiritual difficulties. The second group refers specifically to what he suffered at the hands of the enemies of the gospel. The last three speak of his abandoned self-sacrifice in the service of the gospel;

2. Preservative graces (6-7a). Sterling qualities are necessary in order to stand up to such trials, and engage in such a warfare. Eight are enumerated:
Pureness — moral purity and sincerity of motive. “Keep thyself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22).
Knowledge — an experimental knowledge of the grace of God, and a knowledge of God and His Word, as well as a knowledge of Satan’s devices, and of the way the enemy attacks. Ignorance is dangerous.
Longsuffering — the ability to bear with others.
Kindness — even after showing longsuffering. The words are an echo of 1 Cor. 13:4. Love without hypocrisy, a true love for the unsaved as well as for the people of God.
The other three, the Holy Spirit, the word of truth, and the power of God, point to the only effective means whereby victory may be assured;

3. The panoply and paradoxes (2 Cor 6:7-10). “The armour of righteousness. In Ephesians 6 a fuller description of this armour is given. In the left hand he holds the shield of faith, and in his right the sword of the Spirit. The righteousness referred to may be interpreted as judicial righteousness, his righteous standing before God, his justification, and it is important that the servant of God should be clear as to this. Or it may apply to the moral rectitude which should characterize a servant. Both may be intended. All the items mentioned or detailed in Ephesians 6:16-17 are included in the term “armour of righteousness”. The two couplets in 2 Cor 6:8 go together. That is, honour and good report; and dishonour and evil report. Satan may use either, hence the need for the armour, lest the one might lead to pride and the other to dejection. In verses 8-10 the apostle mentions seven paradoxical experiences, but nevertheless true "as deceivers ", charged with being an imposter, and not a true apostle.

“As unknown” may be understood literally, or it may mean that he was of obscure reputation, and many who thought they knew him did not really know him. No man was more misunderstood than he was, yet on the other hand he was well-known to a large number, and held in good repute by them.

“As dying” He was thought to have been dead at Lystra (Acts 14:19). Then his deliverance referred to in 2 Cor. 1:9 suggests that he was at death’s door. His enemies thought they had seen the end of him, but, behold, he was still alive and active (cf. Ps. 118:17). .

“As chastened” considered by many to be the evidence of God's judgment and displeasure. On the contrary they were opportunities for the preserving power of God to be displayed. The verse is practically a quotation of Psalm 118:18. Parts of the Psalm are Messianic (see vs. 22-24).

“As sorrowful” In Rom. 9: 1-3 Paul speaks of the continual sorrow he had in his heart for Israel, his kinsmen. He shared the sorrows of the “Man of sorrows". Yet he was always, constantly rejoicing. He knew the joy unspeakable and full of glory. Hence he could write Phil. 3 : 1; 4 :4.

“As poor” destitute at times, following in the steps of Him Who became poor, and yet thereby becoming the means and channel through which the lives of many were enriched for eternity. He had learned how to abound and how to suffer need, and be in want (Phil. 4:11-12).

“As having nothing” Having no property or possessions on earth, no home that he could call his own, nothing to bequeath, yet he possessed wealth untold and an inheritance exceeding anything that could be acquired with money here.

B. Exhortation (2 Cor 6:11-7 :1) - Ministry of sanctification.

“O ye Corinthians ...” (2 Cor 6:11). The Lord changed Simon’s name to Cephas, but when he acted according to his old Simon character the Lord addressed him still as “Simon, Simon”. The Corinthians were saints, but they were walking as men, so the apostle stigmatizes them with being Corinthian in character, even as he does the Galatians — “O ye foolish Galatians!” (Gal. 3 :1). No such stigma adheres to the name Philippians in Phil. 4:15. our mouth is open unto you . . . ” (2 Cor 6:11). That is, we have spoken very freely and frankly to you without any reserve. “Our heart is enlarged” (2 Cor 6:11). In the days of Solomon we read the nation had become as the sand upon the sea shore (1 Kings 4:20, 29). His heart was thus enlarged to embrace all the people of God (see also Ps. 119:32 and Isa. 60:5). Paul was not straitened in his affections for the Corinthians. On the contrary it was they who were restricted. “Now for a recompense . . . be ye enlarged” (2 Cor 6:13). He desired that they would compensate him for his love, by reciprocating it. He coveted their love and affection because they were his spiritual children. But in the light of the exhortation that follows they also needed to be enlarged in their apprehension of 1) the unique glory of Christ; 2) the protective power of God, and also 3) the distinctive character of their new-found faith.

In these verses the apostle speaks with no uncertain sound as to the need for a complete separation from idolatry. Evidently what he had said in chs. 8-10 of the first epistle had not been sufficient, and some were still fearful of making a clean break.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” . . (2 Cor 6:14). In Lev. 19:19 and Deut 22:9-11 there are recorded strict instructions regarding plowing with an ox and an ass together, and sowing with divers seeds, and in Deut. 7:3 regarding intermarriages. The apostle draws upon this illustration to enforce separation on the Corinthians. Note the four commands, the precepts in the passage : "Be ye not unequally yoked"; “come ye out"; "be ye separate"; and "touch not the unclean thing.”

Note the five-fold appeal in the form of five questions

1. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? (or iniquity and lawlessness. R.V. & J.N.D.). They are diametrically opposed principles. Fellowship means holding something together in common with another, but these two have nothing in common. One is the underlying principle in the government of the kingdom of God, while the other is the basic principle in the kingdom of darkness.

2. What communion hath light with darkness? These are diametrically opposed elements. Communion means common interests resulting from communion of life. The two elements cannot be mixed. They are antagonistic the one to the other. Darkness hides. Light reveals (cf. Gen. 1:4).

3. What concord hath Christ with Belial? They are diametrically opposed persons. Concord means there is agreement in sound and voice with one another, true harmony. The word Belial is used here only in the New Testament, and refers to Satan.

4. What part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (unbeliever in R.V. & J.N.D.). These are diametrically opposed faiths. The infidel in view is the man who acknowledges the existence of God, but denies a personal God and the possibility of any contact with the Living God on the basis of faith, and not the infidel of the type of Bob Ingersoll. It is pantheism which parades in the West as Christian Science.

5. What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? They are diametrically opposed systems. To be in agreement means to hold a common opinion. Idolatry is a system of worship invented by man (Rom. 1:21-32) and must eventually bring upon it the judgment of God. A living man and a lifeless idol can have nothing in common.

 

The church at Corinth was the temple of the living God. .As such it was Gods dwelling place. Therefore the presence of God enjoins separation (cf. Exod. 25:8; 29:45-46;33:3,15,16).

Then note the seven promises in the portion, given to encourage separation “I will dwell among them. I will walk among them. I will be their God. They shall be my people. .I will receive you. Ye shall he my sons and daughters.” A wonderful constellation of stars to brighten the firmament.

Note also the power of God to enable them to embrace the promises — the Lord Almighty. Those who would forsake their idols need not fear. The Lord in His sovereign power would protect them. This is the only occurrence of the word in the epistles of the New Testament. Note how these four : the precepts, the presence, the promises and the power, are effectively illustrated in the life of Abraham. “Get thee out (Gen. 12:1) “Come into the land” (Acts 7:3) “I will bless thee” (Gen. 12:2); “I brought thee out” (Gen. 15:7). It need hardly be said that the passage affords no basis for separation from Christians.

2 Cor 7:1 is an exhortation to the Corinthians to appropriate the promises given and to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh — immorality; and of the spirit — idolatry. Thereby they would perfect holiness. 1 Thess. 3:12,13

 

What is PRODUCED

2 Corinthians 4:17 (CSB)
17For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
2 Corinthians 5:5 (CSB)
5Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
"that mortality might be swallowed up of life "
the redemption of the body. This will be the climax of His glorious purposes for us. At the present time we are redeemed as to our spirit and soul, but then redemption will include the body as well.
God made us with this goal in view-the glorified state-a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens!
2 Corinthians 7:10 (CSB)
10For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:11 (CSB)
11For consider how much diligence this very thing-this grieving as God wills-has produced in you: what a desire to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what deep longing, what zeal, what justice! In every way you showed yourselves to be pure in this matter.
2 Corinthians 9:11 (CSB)
11You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.
2 Corinthians 12:12 (CSB)
12The signs of an apostle were performed with unfailing endurance among you, including signs and wonders and miracles.


Rom 8:29 (CSB)
29For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Motive behind, goal in front impels!

God's motive

Romans 8:29 “he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son”
God's resurrection body is the final stage of conforming us to Christ's image.

Philippians 3:21
21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body”
How important it is that we be conforming our hearts and minds to His image here and now!.

Make a suitable bride.

Rev 21:2,9 Make a suitable bride.
Jude 24 (KJV 1900)
24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Colossians 1:22 (KJV 1900)
22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV 1900)
2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV 1900)
22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Revelation 19:7 (KJV 1900)
7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.



Three motives:

What are Paul's three impelling motives?
Vs. 10 First, a realization he must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; drove him to personal holiness; doing what would please the Lord

Vs. 11 Second, a recognition of the fact that men are lost and exposed to the judgment of God; drove him to evangelical busyness; doing what would save his fellowman

Vs.14-15 Third, an appreciation of the love of Christ constraining; drove him to Christ-centeredness; doing what would be "living unto the one who died for him"

Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Mt 4:24; Lk 4:38; 8:37, 45; 12:50; 19:43; 22:63; Ac 7:57; 18:5; 28:8; 2 Co 5:14; Php 1:23