His Apostolic Ministry Is Approved by
Faithfulness in Exhortation, in Sufferings, in Exhibition of the Fruits
of the Holy ghost: His Largeness of
Heart to Them Calls for Enlargement of Their Heart to Him. Exhortations to Separation from Pollution.
1. workers together—with God (Ac 15:4;
1Co 3:9). Not only as
beseech—entreat (2Co 5:20). He is describing his ministry, not
you also—rather, "WE ALSO (as well as God, 2Co 5:20) beseech" or "entreat you": 2Co 6:14, 15, on to 2Co 7:1, is part of this entreaty or
in vain—by making the grace of God a
ground for continuance in sin (2Co 6:3). By a life of sin, showing that the
word of reconciliation has been in vain, so far as you are
concerned (Heb 12:15; Jude 4). "The grace of God" here, is "the
reconciliation" provided by God's love (2Co 5:18, 19; compare Ga 2:2).
2. For—God's own promise is the ground
of our exhortation.
he saith—God the Father saith
to God the Son, and so to all believers who are regarded as one with
heard thee—In the eternal purposes of
my love I have hearkened to thy prayer for the salvation of thy people
(compare Joh 17:9, 15, 20, 24).
accepted … accepted—The
Greek of the latter is more emphatic, "well-accepted." What was
"an accepted time" in the prophecy (Isa 49:8, Hebrew, "in the season of
grace") becomes "the well-accepted time" in the fulfilment
69:13). As it is God's
time of receiving sinners, receive ye His grace:
accept (2Co 6:1) the
word of reconciliation in His accepted time.
in the day of salvation—"in a
day of salvation" (Lu 4:18, 19, 21; 19:42; Heb
3. Resuming the connection with 2Co 6:1, interrupted by the parenthetical 2Co 6:2. "Giving no offense" (compare
ourselves," and all the other participles down to 2Co 6:10, are nominatives to "we also entreat
6:1), to show the pains he
took to enforce his exhortation by example, as well as precept [Alford]. "Offense" would be given, if we were
without "patience" and the other qualifications which he therefore
subjoins (compare Ro 14:13).
4. Translate, to mark the true order of the
Greek words, "in everything, as God's ministers recommending
ourselves," that is, that our hearers may give our message a
favorable hearing, through our consistency in every respect, not that
they may glorify us. Alluding to 2Co 3:1, he implies, We commend
ourselves, not like them by word, but by deed.
patience—(2Co 12:12). Put first. "Pure-minded" follows
6:6). Three triplets of
trials exercising the "patience" (patient endurance) follow:
Afflictions (or "tribulations"), necessities, distresses (or
"straits"); stripes, imprisonments, tumults; labors, watchings,
fastings. The first triplet expresses afflictions generally; the
second, those in particular arising from the violence of men; the
third, those which he brought on himself directly or
5. stripes—(2Co 11:23,
24; Ac 16:23).
imprisonments—(2Co 11:23). He had been, doubtless, elsewhere
imprisoned besides at Philippi when he wrote this Epistle.
14:5, 19; 16:22; and recently
labours—in the cause of Christ (2Co
11:23; Ro 16:12).
watchings—(2Co 11:27). Sleepless nights.
fastings—The context here refers to
his trials, rather than devotional exercises (compare
11:27). Thus "foodlessness"
would seem to be the sense (compare 1Co 4:11; Php 4:12). But the usual sense of the
Greek is fasts, in the strict sense; and in 2Co 11:27 it is spoken of independently of "hunger
and thirst." (Compare Lu 2:37; Ac 10:30; 14:23). However, Mt 15:32; Mr
8:3, justify the sense, more
favored by the context, foodlessness, though a rare use of the
word. Gaussen remarks "The apostles
combine the highest offices with the humblest exterior: as everything
in the Church was to be cast in the mould of death and resurrection,
the cardinal principle throughout Christianity."
6. By … by, &c.—rather, as
Greek, "In … in," implying not the instrument, but the
sphere or element in which his ministry moved.
knowledge—spiritual: in Gospel
mysteries, unattainable by mere reason (1Co 2:6-16; 2Co 3:6, 17,
kindness—associated with "charity" or "love" (1Co 13:4), as here.
by the Holy Ghost—in virtue of His
influences which produce these graces, and other gifts, "love
unfeigned" being the foremost of them.
7. By the word of truth, by the power of
God—rather, "In … in,"
&c. As to "the word of truth" (compare 2Co 4:2; Col
1:5), and "the (miraculous)
power of God" (2Co 4:7);
1Co 2:4, "in demonstration of the Spirit
and of power."
by the armour—Greek, "through"
or "by means of the armor." "Righteousness," which is the
breastplate alone in Eph 6:13-17, here is made the whole Christian
panoply (compare 2Co 10:4).
on … right … and …
left—that is, guarding on every side.
8. Translate, "Through glory and
dishonor (disgrace)," namely, from those in authority, and
accruing to us present. "By," or "through evil report and
good report," from the multitude, and affecting us absent [Bengel]. Regarded "as deceivers" by those who,
not knowing (2Co 6:9),
dishonor and give us an evil report; "as true," by those
who "know" (2Co 6:9) us in
the real "glory" of our ministry. In proportion as one has more or less
of glory and good report, in that degree has he more or
less of dishonor and evil report.
9. unknown … yet well
known—"unknown" in our true character to those who "evil
report" of us, "well known" to those who hold us in "good report"
6:8). Conybeare explains, "Unknown by men, yet
acknowledged by God" (1Co 13:12). Perhaps both God and men
(believers) are intended as knowing him (2Co 5:11; 11:6).
dying … live—(2Co 1:9;
4:10, 11; 11:23). Compare
Gaussen's remark, see on 2Co 6:5. "Behold" calls attention to the fact as
something beyond all expectation.
chastened … not killed—realizing
10. The "as" no longer is used to express the
opinion of his adversaries, but the real state of him and his fellow
making many rich—Spiritually (1Co 1:5), after the example of our Lord,
who "by His poverty made many rich" (2Co 8:9).
having nothing—Whatever of earthly
goods we have, and these are few, we have as though we had not; as
tenants removable at will, not owners (1Co 7:30).
possessing all things—The Greek
implies firm possession, holding fast in possession (compare
3:21, 22). The things both of
the present and of the future are, in the truest sense, the believer's
in possession, for he possesses them all in Christ, his lasting
possession, though the full fruition of them is reserved for the
11. mouth … open unto you—I use no
concealment, such as some at Corinth have insinuated (2Co 4:2). I use all freedom and openness of
speech to you as to beloved friends. Hence he introduces here, "O
Corinthians" (compare Php 4:15).
The enlargement of his heart towards them (2Co 7:3) produced his openness of
mouth, that is, his unreserved expression of his inmost
feelings. As an unloving man is narrow in heart, so the
apostle's heart is enlarged by love, so as to take in his
converts at Corinth, not only with their graces, but with their many
shortcomings (compare 1Ki 4:29; Ps 119:32; Isa 60:5).
12. Any constraint ye feel towards me, or
narrowness of heart, is not from want of largeness of heart on my part
towards you, but from want of it on your part towards me.
bowels—that is, affections (compare
not straitened in us—that is, for want
of room in our hearts to take you in.
13. Translate, "As a recompense in the same
kind … be enlarged also yourselves" [Ellicott]. "In the same way" as my heart is enlarged
towards you (2Co 6:11),
and "as a recompense" for it (Ga 4:12).
I speak as unto my children—as
children would naturally be expected to recompense their
parents' love with similar love.
14. Be not—Greek, "Become
unequally yoked—"yoked with one alien
in spirit." The image is from the symbolical precept of the law (Le 19:19), "Thou shalt not let thy cattle
gender with a diverse kind"; or the precept (De 22:10), "Thou shalt not plough with an ox and
an ass together." Compare De 7:3,
forbidding marriages with the heathen; also 1Co 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly
heterogeneous. Too close intercourse with unbelievers in other
relations also is included (2Co 6:16; 1Co 8:10; 10:14).
fellowship—literally, "share," or
righteousness—the state of the
believer, justified by faith.
unrighteousness—rather, as always
translated elsewhere, "iniquity"; the state of the unbeliever, the
fruit of unbelief.
light—of which believers are the
children (1Th 5:5).
"worthlessness, unprofitableness, wickedness." As Satan is opposed to
God, and Antichrist to Christ; Belial being here opposed to Christ,
must denounce all manner of Antichristian uncleanness [Bengel].
he that believeth with an
infidel—Translate, "a believer with an unbeliever."
16. agreement—accordance of sentiments
(compare 1Ki 18:21; Eph 5:7, 11).
the temple of God—that is, you
believers (1Co 3:16; 6:19).
with idols—Compare Dagon before the
as—"even as God said."
Quotation from Le 26:12; Jer 31:33; 32:38; Eze
37:26, 27; compare Mt
28:20; Joh 14:23.
walk in them—rather, "among
them." As "dwell" implies the divine presence, so "walk," the
divine operation. God's dwelling in the body and soul of saints
may be illustrated by its opposite, demoniacal possession of body and
my people—rather, "they shall be to
me a people."
17. Quoted from Isa 52:11, with the freedom of one inspired, who
gives variations sanctioned by the Holy Spirit.
be ye separate—"be separated" (Ho 4:17).
touch not the unclean thing—rather,
"anything unclean" (2Co 7:1; Mic 2:10). Touching is more polluting, as
implying participation, than seeing.
receive you—The Greek implies,
"to myself"; as persons heretofore out of doors, but now admitted
within (2Co 5:1-10). With this accords the clause, "Come
out from among them," namely, so as to be received to me. So
20:41, "I will accept you";
3:19, "gather her that was
driven out." "The intercourse of believers with the world should
resemble that of angels, who, when they have been sent a message from
heaven, discharge their office with the utmost promptness, and joyfully
fly back home to the presence of God" (1Co 7:31; 5:9, 10).
18. Translate, "I will be to you in the
relation of a Father, and ye shall be to me in the relation
of sons and daughters." This is a still more endearing relation
6:16), "I will be their
God, and they … My people." Compare the promise to
Solomon (1Ch 28:6; Isa 43:6; Re 21:3, 7; Jer 31:1,
Lord Almighty—The Lord the
Universal Ruler: nowhere else found but in Revelation. The
greatness of the Promiser enhances the greatness of the promises.