We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you not to receive the grace of God in vain

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2 Corinthians 6

Not in vain

  1. We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

We are designed and destined to reign through Christ in this life by His grace. The tragedy of life is not to reign and therefore to have received grace in vain.

Don’t remain closed in heart and restricted in your emotions.

O. Chambers: 26 June, Always now

The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon.

Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.

Draw now, not presently. The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now.

One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

Pour out the best you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.1

  1. (For He says, ‘I have heard you in an acceptable time and in the Day of Salvation have I succoured you: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the Day of Salvation.’)

Pawson: there is an urgency.

NOW – vs - One day it will be too late

Isaiah 49:8 ‘So says YHWH, ‘In a favourable time I have answered You. And in a day of salvation I have helped You! And I will preserve You and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate inheritances.’

I have heard thee in a time accepted. 6:2. Wesley, J., & Wesley, C

Indeed Thou hast Thy servant heard

In an accepted time of love,

And saved me from the hell I fear’d,

And bid the mountain-sin remove,

That put among Thy children I

Might Father, Abba Father, cry.

3132. Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the, &c. 6:2. Wesley, J., & Wesley, C

Now the season is of love

And heavenly visitation!

Sinners, know the time, and prove

The day of your salvation:

All may now in Christ retrieve

God the Father’s favour,

Claim the Holy Ghost, and live

Priests and kings for ever!

3133. Wesley, J., & Wesley, C

1 Why should I till to-morrow stay

For what Thou wouldst bestow to-day,

What Thou more willing art to give

Than I to ask, or to receive?

2 This moment, Lord, Thou ready art

To break, and to bind up my heart,

To pour the balm of Gilead in,

Forgive, and take away my sin.

3 Thou waitest now to show Thy grace,

To fold me in Thy kind embrace,

And, stablishing in peace and power

To bid me go and sin no more.

4 This is the time: I surely may

Salvation find on this glad day,

And knowing Thee my Saviour prove

That Thou art God, and God is love.

5 Give then the bliss for which I pray

To-day while it is call’d to-day,

The nature pure, the life Divine,

And make Thy gracious fulness mine.

6 Now Lord, as love Thyself reveal;

And when Thou in my heart dost dwell,

And when by faith I compass Thee

I comprehend the Deity.2
Paul found it tough to be a Christian within the Church! He is quite honest with us.

When we run into trouble, we need to ask if we have caused it or if our message has caused it. Paul says there is no fault in themselves. He is utterly reliable.

The price Paul paid as an ambassador of God (Christian life isn’t easy!)

  1. Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry is not blamed:

  2. But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

O. Chambers, 6 March, Amid a crowd of paltry things

It takes Almighty grace to take the next step when there is no vision and no spectator—the next step in devotion, the next step in your study, in your reading, in your kitchen; the next step in your duty, when there is no vision from God, no enthusiasm and no spectator. It takes far more of the grace of God, far more conscious drawing upon God to take that step, than it does to preach the Gospel. Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the Risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to damp you.3

  1. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

These are mainly physical sufferings:

‘in fastings’ is omitted in the NIV

watchings = insomnia
How did Paul fight back? We so often use the weapons the enemy used first.

But Paul.. Overcome evil with good. A saint is invincible.

  1. By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

  2. By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

‘The word of truth’ refers to the gospel, 2 Corinthians 6:7

Ephesians 1:13 ‘In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,’

Colossians 1:5 ‘For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;’

2 Timothy 2:15 ‘Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’

  1. By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;

  2. As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

Psalm 118:18 ‘Yah chastening, He chastened me but He has not given me to death.’

  1. As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

As having nothing, and yet possessing all things, 6:10. Wesley, J., & Wesley, C

Nothing have I of my own,

But sin and wretchedness;

All things are comprised in one,

And I that one possess:

God in man His Son reveals;

Fulness of the Deity,

Heaven itself in Jesus dwells,

And Jesus dwells in me.

  1. O you Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, our heart is enlarged.

Paul is sharing his innermost feelings with them and he wants the Corinthians to share with him. If you don’t find fellowship in the church, what a sorrow! We need human love.

He calls them by their name!

He does not want their sympathy but their affection.


כִּי תַרְחִיב = ki tarechib (from rachab, an enlargement of understanding) = for/ because you enlarge. David will keep God’s commandments because whether he understands or not, at some stage it will all make sense.

Psalm 119:32 ‘I will run the way of Your commands because You will enlarge my heart.’

Isaiah 60:5 ‘Then you will see and flow together and your heart will fear and be enlarged because of the abundance of the sea will be converted to you, the forces (wealth) of the Nations will come to you.’

  1. You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels.

Bowels / kidneys = deep feelings

  1. Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as to my children,) be also enlarged.

He is their father..
Warning about human relationships.

There are limits. Do not become entangled in inappropriate relationships.

Wiersbe: The life of faith demands total separation from what is evil and total devotion to what is holy 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1

  1. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?

Matthew 11:30

Pawson: Do not begin to be mismated… This refers to an intimate relationship which affects both parties and implies a surrender of individual will and will produce something that is a dilution of both, a mixture. Do not cross breed! Do not lose the distinctive Christian nature of a Christian.

This includes marriage, religion, business and friendship.

If you are married already, remain married.
Genesis 24:3 ‘And I will make you swear by YHWH, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:’

  1. And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he who believes with an infidel?

Belial – see below
Watson: Names of Satan

Belial 2 Corinthians 6:15

Beelzebul, prince of demons Matthew 12:24

Dragon, ancient serpent Revelation 12:9; 20:2

Enemy Matthew 13:39; Luke 10:19

Evil one Matthew 13:19; Ephesians 6:16; 1 John 2:13–14; 5:1

god of this world 2 Cor 4:4

Prince of the power of the air Ephesians 2:

Ruler of this world John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

The tempter Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:54

  1. And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God and they shall be My people.

Leviticus 26:11,12 ‘And I will set My tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people.’

Jeremiah 32:38 ‘And they will be My people and I will be their God!’

1Corinthians 6:19 ‘What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?’

John 2:21 ‘But He spoke of the temple of His body.’

Colossians 2:9 ‘For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’
The assembly of Messiah is the body of Messiah, the temple.

Ephesians 2:20-22And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief Corner Stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord: In whom you also are built together for a dwelling place for God through the Spirit.’

Likewise, we join together to make a dwelling place for Messiah, we are the spiritual temple when He resides.

Colossians 1:18,19 ‘And he is the head of the body, the ecclesia: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell;’

Come out from among them, and be ye separate, &c.—6:17. Wesley, J., & Wesley, C

1 Father, Thy kind advice I take,

By Thine almighty Spirit led,

The world, the atheist world forsake,

And let the dead entomb their dead,

Withdraw my heart from vanity,

And give it up entire to Thee.

2 I now come out from all their ways,

Their mad pursuits of bliss below;

Their honours, and their pleasures base,

Their wishes false, with joy forego:

As far as east from west removed

From all I prized, and all I loved.

3 The’ abominable thing unclean

Through faith resolved to touch no more,

I fly the neighbourhood of sin,

And kept by Thy restraining power

Their evil, and my own eschew,

Till Thou create my soul anew.

4 Father, into Thy arms of love,

Me for Thy promise sake receive,

An hidden life with Christ above,

A life of holiest faith to live,

Till Jesus with His saints comes down.

And claims the partner of His throne.5

  1. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate’, says the Lord ‘and do not touch the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

We separate from others to be with someone else, the one who loves us.

Come out! Come closer to Me!

There is an intimacy to God which is related to our separation.
Ezekiel 20:41 ‘I will accept you with your soothing aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the lands where you have been scattered. And I will be sanctified among you before the nations!’

Isaiah 52;11 ‘Depart! Depart! Go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Go out of her midst! Purify yourself, bearers of the vessels of YHWH!’
R Clarke: The promises of God‘s Fatherhood are only given to those who show themselves to be holy. Those who are sons of God in Christ are those who display a holy life. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14.
Wiersbe: God spoke to Abraham Genesis 12:1–3 and the Word brought about the miracle of faith.

Romans 10:17 ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’

It was a call to separate himself from the corruption around him and Abraham obeyed by faith Hebrews 11:8. True faith is based on the Word of God and leads to obedience. God could not bless and use Abraham and Sarah unless they were in the place of His appointment 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1. When you walk by faith, you lean on God alone: His Word, His character, His will, and His power. You don’t isolate yourself from your family and friends, but you no longer consider them your first love or your first obligation Luke 14:25–27. God calls us “alone” Isaiah 51:1–2 and we must not compromise.6

  1. And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.

‘Father’ and ‘sons’ indicate intimacy.

‘Almighty’ only occurs here and in Revelation 1;8 ‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending’, says YHWH Elohim, ‘Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty’ in the New Testament.

2Samuel 7:14 ‘I will be his father and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men:’

Jeremiah 31:9 ‘They will come with weeping. And with supplications I will lead them. I will make them walk by the torrents of water in a right way, wherein they will not stumble. For I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My Firstborn.’

Isaiah 43:6 ‘I will say to the north, ‘Give up’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold back!’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth.’

Isaiah 49:22 ‘So says YHWH Elohim, ‘Behold, I will lift up My hands to the nations, and set My banner to the peoples. And they shall bring your sons in the bosom and your daughters will be carried on the shoulder.’

Isaiah 60;4 ‘Lift up your eyes round about and see! They all gather themselves together. They come to you, your sons will come from far and your daughters will be nursed at your side.’

Hosea 1:10 ‘Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it will be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people’, (there) it will be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living Elohim’.

1 Chronicles 17:13 ‘I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before you:’
Belial is a term used in the Tenach designating a person as godless or lawless. It means wickedness, evil or ungodly. It comes from 2 root words meaning good for nothing, valueless, cheap, vile and worthless.

It is used once here in the New Testament Scriptures as an epithet of Satan and all worthless people. It is used many times in the Old Testament Scriptures.

Deuteronomy 13:13 ‘Certain men, the children of Belial have gone out from among you and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods which you have not known.’

Judges 19:22 ‘Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about and beat at the door and spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, ‘Bring out the man that went into your house that we may know him.’

Judges 20:13 ‘Now therefore, deliver us the men, the children of Belial who are in Gilbeah, that we may put them to death and put away evil from Israel.’

1 Samuel 1:16 ‘Do not count your handmaid for a daughter of Belial; for out of abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken.’

Here Belial means a wicked woman who is base and worthless

1 Samuel 2:12 ‘Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial, they did not know YHWH’

1 Samuel 10:27 ‘But how the children of Belial said, ‘How will this man save us? And they despised him and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.’

1 Samuel 25:17 For evil is determined against our master and against all his household for he is such a son of Belial that a man cannot speak to him.’

1 Samuel 30:22 ‘Then all the wicked man answered and the men of Belial of those that went with David, and said, ‘Because they did not go with you, we will not give them anything of the spoil that we have recovered’.

These were worthless men.

2 Samuel 16:7 ‘And thus said Shimei when he cursed, ‘Come out, come out you bloody man and you son of Belial.’

Here Belial is a worthless rogue.

2 Samuel 20:1 ‘And there happened to be there a man of Belial whose name was Sheba, son of Bichri, a Benjaminite and he blew a shofar and said, We have no part in David…’

1 Kings 21:10 and 13 ‘And set two men, sons of Belial before him to bear witness against him (Naboth) saying, ‘You blasphemed Elohim and the king.’

2 Chronicles 13:7 ‘And there gathered to him vain men, the children of Belial.’

Psalm 18:4 ‘The cords of death hemmed me in and the floods of (ungodly men) Belial overwhelmed me.’

Psalm 41:8 A thing of Belial is poured out on him. And he who lies down will not rise again.’

Nahum 1:11 From out of you comes one plotting against YHWH, An evil councilor and worthless (Belial).’

Nahum 1:15 ‘Behold the feet of him on the mountains bearing good news. They are making peace. Celebrate your feasts Judah! Fulfill your vows! For none will continue to pass through. The worthless (Belial) among you are completely cut off.’

Proverbs 6:12A worthless man, an evil man, walks with a perverse mouth.’

i.e. or ‘Belial, an evil man, walks with a perverse mouth.’

Proverbs 16:27A worthless man digs up evil and on his lips is a burning fire’.
The last verse of this chapter leads into Ch.7.

2Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’

Separate ourselves inside! Separate from sin. (It is easier to separate from sinners..)

It is our job to do the cleansing.

Do it quickly!


  1. David H Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, Jewish New Testament Publications

  2. David Pawson, www.davidpawson.org

  3. Wesley, J., & Wesley, C. (1872). The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley. (G. Osborn, Ed.) (Vol. 13, p. 24). London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office.

  4. Logos 7

  5. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, KJV

  6. The complete book of hymns, W J and A Petersen, Tyndale House Publishers

  7. Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

  8. Hebrew Word Study, Chaim Bentorah, Whitaker House

  9. R Clarke, Feb 2017, Friend of Israel, Prayer Union for Israel.

1 Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

2 Wesley, J., & Wesley, C. (1872). The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley. (G. Osborn, Ed.) (Vol. 13, pp. 50–51). London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office.

3 Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

4 Watson, D. F. (1992). Devil. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 183). New York: Doubleday.

5 Wesley, J., & Wesley, C. (1872). The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley. (G. Osborn, Ed.) (Vol. 13, p. 52). London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office.

6 Wiersbe, W. W. (1991). Be Obedient (p. 16). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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