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Category Archives: 2 Corinthians 6

Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10) Part 4 (Conclusion)

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

Let us continue our study of several verses in chapter six:

Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10): Part 4

II. The Specifics of Self-Commendation (vv. 4-10)

We’ve thought about Paul’s list of the 28 items he gives showing how his behavior and mindset in ministry commend him. We’ve seen some of his difficult circumstances in which he served. We then noticed the positive qualities which marked Paul’s work. Let’s notice the last section of those items:

These nine couplets show the ministry contrasts which Paul experienced. He does not sugar-coat the challenges he faced, but pairs them with the positive aspects of serving Christ. If we only had his list of the positive parts of ministry, they would be: glory, good report, genuine, known, living on, not killed, always rejoicing, making many rich, possessing everything! But we don’t get to choose only the positive. Paul’s ministry — and ours — includes very negative items: dishonor, bad reports, charges of being an imposter, regarded as unknown, dying, beaten, sorrowful, poor, and having nothing. It should come as no surprise when ministers drop out and become insurance salesmen.

Today’s Challenge: Paul commends himself, but does so with complete honesty. If you are in professional ministry, do you have someone with whom you can share your deepest struggles? If not, pray that God would give you such a person!

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 6

 

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Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10) Part 3

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now continuing our study of several verses in chapter six:

Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10): Part 3

II. The Specifics of Self-Commendation (vv. 4-10)

We’ve thought about a definition of self-commendation in our first post (making sure we’re not putting a stumbling block in anyone’s path and working so our ministry will not be discredited). But what, specifically, does it mean to endure in the service of the Lord? We’ve noticed the 28 items that Paul lists showing how his behavior and mindset in ministry commend him. Let’s notice the second section of those items:

These are positive qualities that mark Paul’s ministry. When you and I are serving, are we serving in purity, understanding, patience, and kindness? Can we confidently say that we are doing our work “in the Holy Spirit” and “in sincere love”? We are to be marked by “truthful speech” and we should desire to wield the “weapons of righteousness” in the “power of God.” Those are high qualities — but they are not optional IF we wish to appropriately commend ourselves and our gospel!

Today’s Challenge: Which of those nine qualities in that second list do you need to work on? What steps will you take to tackle at least one of them? (Feel free to leave a comment below).

 

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 6

 

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Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10) Part 2

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now continuing our study of several verses in chapter six:

Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10): Part 2

II. The Specifics of Self-Commendation (vv. 4-10)

We’ve thought about a definition of self-commendation in our first post (making sure we’re not putting a stumbling block in anyone’s path and working so our ministry will not be discredited). But what, specifically, does it mean to endure in the service of the Lord? We’ve noticed the 28 items that Paul lists showing how his behavior and mindset in ministry commend him. Here, again, is that chart of those 28 items, Notice how we have marked the first section of those items:

I would describe those 10 items as commending oneself in difficult circumstances. Those conditions are not what any of us would want — but Paul’s honesty in those trying situations is refreshing and praiseworthy.

Today’s Challenge: How dare we think that ministry is easy, problem-free, or without opposition? Don’t hesitate to list (perhaps both for the Lord and for those you serve) some of the difficult circumstances you are facing in ministry. This is truth, not complaining. And ask others to pray that you will be faithful through these challenges!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 6

 

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Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10) Part 1

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. Here’s my outline for several verses in chapter six:

Self-Commendation (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:3-10): Part 1

What in the world does it mean to “self-commend”? Self-commendation is not the same as self-promotion. And this passage is critical in understanding how one establishes himself in ministry . . . and endures in serving Christ!

I. A Definition of Self-Commendation (vv. 3-4)

   >>> Negatively, it means we do not put a stumbling block in anyone’s path.   Nor do we discredit our ministry by our conduct.

  >>> Positively, it means we live and endure as servants of God (v. 4).

II. The Specifics of Self-Commendation (vv. 4-10)

We will examine these 28 characteristics of a godly, self-commending ministry in our subsequent posts.

Today’s Challenge: Paul’s view of his ministry is a healthy one — and given for our instruction! Which of the above 28 aspects of ministry do you find present in your service for Christ? Pick one that you need to focus on for the next while — and ask God to help you grow in that area.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 6

 

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This Is No Yoking Matter! (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. Here’s my outline for several verses in chapter six:

This Is No Yoking Matter! (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

This is a very famous passage of 2 Corinthians. I remember verse 14 being wielded against me as a teenager when I would even entertain the thought of dating an unsaved person (good advice)! My elders would say, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (KJV)! Their intention — and their advice — were well-grounded in God’s Word. If a Christian dates a non-Christian, they will likely marry a non-Christian! Sometimes they would add the verse from Amos 3:3- “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

The immediate context of this verse has to do with spiritual fellowship. Notice the contrasts:These opposites are well-chosen. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness, the opposite of light darkness. The devil is the opposite of Christ. There is a present (and will be an eternal) difference between a believer and an unbeliever. And the temple of the true God has nothing in common with idols!

When it comes to spiritual fellowship, the believer has nothing in common with those who don’t know Christ! One commentator writes, “Christians should be separate from the wicked world, as Christ was separate from all the feelings, purposes, and plans of Satan.” The term “Belial” (“Satan” in the Syriac; used only here in the New Testament) is the god of this world. The term is used very often in the Old Testament to express men notoriously wicked and scandalous, Deu 13:13 Judges 19:22 1 Samuel 1:16 2:12 25:17 2 Samuel 16:7 2 Chronicles 13:7.

Granted, we are not to cast our lot with the wicked (Psalm 1), but this does not mean that we can’t be a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus! This passage does not mean that we are to become monks who live in caves and have nothing to do with the world. But we are not to yoke ourselves, bind ourselves, with those who oppose God and the things of God.This would include marriage as well as business ventures.

True, when it comes to spiritual fellowship, we have nothing in common with unbelievers. But when it comes to being human, we have much in common with those not yet in God’s family. And we can befriend them for Christ’s sake!

Today’s Challenge: Don’t seek your spiritual fellowship with those who don’t know Christ! There’s nothing there. Find your spiritual nourishment among the people of God so you can reach those who aren’t yet the people of God!

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 6

 

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God’s Co-Workers! (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

Let us continue our study of several verses in chapter six:

God’s Co-Workers! (2 Cor. 6:1-2)

1. The Incredible Privilege (v. 1)
We are God’s co-workers! He doesn’t need us! But He has invited us in. And we get to work with Him!

2. The Critical Message (v. 1)
“We urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” What does that mean to “receive God’s grace in vain“? God’s grace not only saves us, it teaches us how to live (see Titus 2:11-15 for a full explanation of God’s teaching grace). Our lives are not to be content with just being saved from His wrath. We are to press on to godliness and conformity to Christ!

3. The Crucial Present (v. 2)
“Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” This sure sounds like a gospel appeal, doesn’t it? Were there unsaved in Paul’s Corinthian audience? Of course. But perhaps he is referring to more than soul-salvation. He is challenging these believers to a life of response to the God who “heard” them and “helped” them.

Today’s Challenge: If you are in full-time professional ministry, take time to thank the Lord for your partnership — with HIM! If you are not in vocational Christian ministry, thank Him for the work you are enabled to do for the kingdom — by His grace and strength!

 
 

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