2Co 6:1 Paul has been defending his bold, authoritative, and to some, fanatic, proclamation of the truths of the gospel. In the previous verses he established himself as an ambassador for Christ to whom God had committed the ministry of reconciliation. What warning does he now offer the Corinthians as God’s ambassador? What does it mean to receive the grace of God? What does it mean to receive it in vain?
2Co 6:2 What is the implication of this verse, in light of Paul’s words in 2Co 6:1? Is there a time when God will not hear someone, when the day of salvation will have passed him by? See Zech 7:13, Prov 1:24-32. Note: When Paul says, “Now is the acceptable time” he uses a slightly different, emphatic form of the word he just quoted from Isaiah 49:8, so that it might be better translated, “Now is the especially or well acceptable time”.
2Co 6:3 Why was Paul so careful to cause no offense? Are ministers today as careful? Are we?
2Co 6:4-5 How did Paul conduct his life so as to commend himself to others as a true servant of God? In what way did his afflictions, hardships, distresses, beatings and imprisonments commend him as a true servant? Are we as willing to endure such sufferings for the cause of Christ? Some would complain that they have no time for Christian service or to study the word of God, that they must work all day and then they are tired and need their rest. How does Paul’s example of commending himself in labors, sleeplessness and hunger answer this complaint?
2Co 6:6-7 How does each of the things mentioned in these two verses commend one as a true servant of God? In which of these areas are we personally weak and do we have need to grow and mature? What is the weapon of righteousness for the right hand? For the left? See Ephesians 6:16-17.
2Co 6:8-10 How might a Christian act un-commendably in the midst of glory or a good report? How might he act un-commendably in the midst of dishonor or an evil report? Paul was accused by his opponents in Corinth of being a deceiver who did not have the apostolic authority he claimed and was ignored and regarded as an unknown, nonentity by the other apostles. How did he commend himself as a true servant in light of these accusations? How does each of the remaining things mentioned by Paul in 2Co 6:9 and 10 commend one as a true Christian?
2Co 6:11-13 How do Paul’s words in 2Co 6:11 illustrate the positive truth of Matthew 12:34 ? Was it because of something Paul had said or done that the Corinthians were (literally) “straitened” or “in straits” in their affections for Paul? What had caused the affections of so many of them to turn against him? What does this teach us about Satan’s devices for sowing discord among God’s saints when their should be love, as well as the affections God’s people should have for His true servants?
2Co 6:14-18 In light of the immediate context, who do you think Paul has in mind when he commands the Corinthians to not be bound together with unbelievers? See also 2Co 11:13. What does it mean to not be bound together or unequally yoked with unbelievers? See Deut 22:10. What would be the result of unequally yoking an ox and a donkey to plow a field? What would be the result of being unequally yoked with unbelievers to work in God’s field? In what other ways should a Christian not be bound together with a non-Christian? See Lev 19:19, Deut 7:2-3, Ezra 9:1-2, Neh 13:23-26, 1 Cor 7:39. What dangers might arise from being bound together with an unbeliever even in a business partnership? What reasons does Paul give in 2Co 6:14-16 for why we should not be bound together with unbelievers? Why is it so important for Christians to be separate from the world? See Psalm 106:35-39, James 4:4. What does 2Co 6:17-7:1 teach us about what it means to receive Jesus and become a child of God (John 1:12)?
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- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?