"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Six OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see how Paul's ministry commended itself to others 2) To appreciate the need for having "hearts wide open" 3) To understand the principle of "separation," and why we cannot be unequally yoked with unbelievers SUMMARY At the close of chapter five, Paul described himself as an ambassador for Christ who pleads on God's behalf for people to be reconciled to God. With that thought in mind, he makes a special plea for the Corinthians not to receive God's grace in vain, reminding them that now is the time for salvation (1-2). In the ninth and final description of his apostolic ministry, Paul focuses on the "approved" nature of his ministry. Determined not to give offense nor reason for blame, Paul has acted commendably. This is seen in the physical sufferings he has endured and the spiritual graces he has displayed. Even the conflicting reactions and reports by others, along with the various experiences described in a contrasting manner, help to confirm that his ministry is "approved" (3-10). At this point, Paul makes an appeal to the Corinthians. With a heart that is wide open to them, he begs for them to open wide their hearts to him as well. Then he pleads with them not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, in order that they might receive the promises of everlasting fellowship with God as their Father (11-18). OUTLINE I. THE "APPROVED" NATURE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY (1-10) A. AN ENTREATY NOT TO RECEIVE GOD'S GRACE IN VAIN (1-2) 1. Made by those who are God's co-workers (1) 2. For the "day of salvation" spoken of in Isaiah 49:8 has arrived (2) B. PAUL'S MINISTRY AN APPROVED ONE (3-10) 1. Giving no offense, he seeks to commend himself as a minister of God in all things (3-4a) 2. Physical sufferings endured as a minister (4a-5) 3. Spiritual graces demonstrated as a minister (6-7) 4. Conflicting reactions and reports by others toward him as a minister (8) 5. Contrasting experiences as a minister (9-10) II. PAUL'S PLEA TO THE CORINTHIANS (11-18) A. TO OPEN WIDE THEIR HEARTS (11-13) 1. Paul's own openness towards the Corinthians (11) a. He has spoken freely (11a) b. His own heart is wide open (11b) 2. The Corinthians likewise need to be open (12-13) a. They are restricted by their own affections (12) b. As a father pleads with his children, Paul appeals to them to reciprocate by being open to him (13) B. TO BE SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD (14-18) 1. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (14-16a) a. Righteousness has no fellowship with lawlessness (14b) b. Light has no communion with darkness (14c) c. Christ has no accord with Belial (15a) d. A believer has no part with an unbeliever (15b) e. The temple of God has no agreement with idols (16a) 2. Implications of the promise given to the temple of God (16b-18; 7:1) a. As the temple of God, God has promised to dwell and walk among us (16b) b. Therefore, we must be separate if we wish to be the children of God (17-18)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) How does Paul describe himself and others as he pleads with the Corinthians not to receive the grace of God in vain? (1) 3) Why was Paul so careful not to give offense in anything? (3) 4) List some of the physical sufferings which commended Paul as a minister of God (4-5). 5) List those areas where Paul demonstrated his integrity as a minister of God (6-7). 6) List the contrasting experiences Paul had as a minister of God (9-10). 7) How does Paul describe his affection toward the Corinthians? (11) 8) What does he say about the Corinthians' affections toward him? (12) 9) What charge does Paul give concerning our relation to those in the world? (14) 10) List the contrasting pairs that Paul uses to show the incongruity of believers being unequally yoked with unbelievers (14-16). 11) What is necessary to receive the promise of having God as our Father who dwells among us? (17-18)