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As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,

“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,

and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.


The Temple of the Living God

14 Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? 15What agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will live in them and walk among them,

and I will be their God,

and they shall be my people.


Therefore come out from them,

and be separate from them, says the Lord,

and touch nothing unclean;

then I will welcome you,


and I will be your father,

and you shall be my sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”

11 Our mouth is opened. As the opening of the mouth is a sign of boldness, 602602     God promised to Ezekiel that he would give him “the opening of the mouth in the midst of the house of Israel,” (Ezekiel 29:21,) which is explained by Gill to mean, “boldness and courage of speech when he should see his prophecies fulfilled.” Paul himself makes use of a similar expression in Ephesians 6:19, “that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly.” — Ed. if you are inclined to connect this with what goes before, the meaning will be this, — “I have ample ground of glorying, and an upright conscience opens my mouth. Your entertaining unfavorable views of us, is not owing to any fault on our part, but arises from your being unfair judges. For you ought to have entertained more favorable views of my ministry, which God has rendered honorable to you in so many ways.” I explain it, however, otherwise; for he says that the reason why his mouth was opened was, that his heart was enlarged Now what is meant by enlargement of heart? Undoubtedly it means the cheerfulness that springs from benevolence. 603603     The same view, in substance, is taken by Chrysostom. — Καθάπερ γὰρ τὸ θερμαῗνον εὐρύνειν εἴωθεν, οὓτω καὶ τὢς ἀγάπης ἔργον τὸ πλατύνειν ἐστί· θερμν<& ga>ρ ἐστιν ἠ ἀρετὴ· καὶ ζέουσα αὕτη καὶ τὸ στόμα ἀνεπέτασε Παύλου καὶ τὴν καρδίαν ἐπλάτυνεν — “For as heat is wont to expand, so it is the part of love to enlarge. For virtue is warm and fervent. It was this that opened Paul’s mouth, and enlarged his heart.” — Ed. It is quite a common figure, to speak of a narrow and contracted heart as denoting either grief, or disgust, while, on the other hand, an enlarged heart is employed to denote dispositions of an opposite kind. Hence Paul here says nothing but what we every day experience, for when we have to do with friends, our heart is enlarged, all our feelings are laid open, there is nothing there that is hid, nothing shut, — nay more, the whole mind leaps and exults to unfold itself openly to view. 604604     “From a tender and considerate regard to the good of the Christians at Corinth, he” (Paul) “had determined not to revisit them, until their unseemly heats and factions were allayed. How was he affected while he waited at Ephesus to receive the tidings of this longed-for but protracted issue? ‘O ye Corinthians! our mouth is opened unto you; our heart is enlarged!’ What a picture of a heart! We see him standing on the shore of the ‘gean Sea, over against Corinth, with his arms extended towards that city, and in the attitude of speaking. We hear the words by which he seeks to relieve his overcharged breast, heaving and ready to burst with the fullness of those desires which he had long felt to come among them, satisfy them of the sincerity of his affection, and replenish their souls with the consolation with which he himself had been comforted. ‘O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, our heart is enlarged! Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now, for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.’” — M’Crie’s Sermons, p. 29. — Ed. Hence it is, that the tongue, also, is free and unfettered, does not faulter, does not with difficulty draw up from the bottom of the throat broken syllables, as usually happens when the mind is influenced by a less joyful affection.

12. Ye are not straitened in us That is, “It is owing to your own fault that you are not able to share in this feeling of cheerfulness, which I entertain towards you. My mouth is opened, so that I deal familiarly with you, my very heart would willingly pour itself forth, 605605     “Mon coeur mesme s’ouuriroit volontiers pour vous mettre deuant les yeux l’affection que i’ ay enuers vous;” — “My very heart would willingly open itself up, so as to place before your eyes the affection which I entertain towards you.” but you shut up your bowels.” He means to say, that it is owing to their corrupt judgment, that the things that he utters are not relished by them.

13. Now the same requital He softens his reproof by addressing them kindly as his sons, and also by this exhortation, by which he intimates that he still entertains good hopes of them. By the same requital he means — mutual duty, for there is a mutual return of duty between a father and his sons. For as it is the duty of parents to nourish their children, to instruct them, to direct them by their counsel, and to defend them, so it is the dictate of equity, that children should requite their parents. (1 Timothy 6:4.) In fine, he means what the Greeks call ἀντιπελαργίαν affection exercised in return. 606606     The term ἀντιπελαργία is compounded of αντι over against, and λαργος, a stork. It is employed to denote reciprocal affection, from an interesting peculiarity in the disposition of the stork. “This bird,” says Paxton, in his Illustrations of Scripture, (Edin. 1842,) volume 2, p. 432, “has long been celebrated for her amiable and pious dispositions, in which she has no rival among the feathered race. Her kind benevolent temper she discovers in feeding her parents in the time of incubation, when they have not leisure to seek their food, or when they have become old, and unable to provide for themselves.” The English word stork is derived from στοργὴ, affection, while the Hebrew name for this animal, חסידה, (chasidah,) is derived from חסד (chesed,) beneficence, because, says Bythner, “the stork nourishes, supports, and carries on its back, when weary, its aged parents.” See Calvin on the Psalms, vol. 4, p. 158, n. 2 Calvin, when commenting on 1Timothy 5:4, says, “Ips’ quoque ciconi’ gratitudinem suo exemplo nos docent. Unde et nomen ἀντιπελαργία;” — “The very storks, too, teach us gratitude by their example. Hence the term ἀντιπελαργία — affection in return.” — Ed. “I cherish,” says he, “towards you paternal affection: show yourselves then to be my sons by affection and respect in return.” At the same time there is a particular circumstance that must be noticed, That the Corinthians, having found so indulgent a father, may also show gentleness in their turn, and may requite his kind condescension by their docility, he exhorts them with this view to be enlarged in their own bowels. The Old Interpreter, not having caught Paul’s meaning, has added the participle having, and has thus expressed his own view rather than Paul’s. In our exposition, on the other hand, (which is Chrysostom’s, also,) there is nothing forced. 607607     The rendering of the Vulgate — “Eandem remunerationem habentes;” — “Having the same reward,” — is followed by. Wiclif, (1380,) ye that haw the same reward and also in the Rheims version, (1582,) hauing the same reward. — Ed.

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