In All Things Approving

2Corinthians 6:1-13 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he said, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O you Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be you also enlarged. 

‘I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’ This is the 1st Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in 2 Corinthians (Isa. 49:8).

‘Offence’ [Greek: proskope] cause of offence. Here it means any scandal that might cause blame on the gospel ministry.

‘Approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses …’ Here are 31 things in which to be approved: Innocence (6:3); patience (6:4); afflictions; necessities; distresses; floggings (6:5); imprisonments; tumults; labours; watchings; fastings; purity (6:6); knowledge; longsuffering; kindness; Holy Spirit; true love; truth (6:7); power; weapons; honour (6:8) and dishonour; evil and good report; honesty; fame (6:9); alertness; preservation; joyfulness (6:10); benevolence; possession of God’s wealth.

‘Armour’ [Greek: hoplon] arms and armour (Eph. 6:11).

‘Our mouth is open’ – a Hebraism for speaking with liberty.

‘Our heart is enlarged’ – our heart is expanded to take you and all your interests into it and keep you in the highest Christian affection.

‘You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels.’ Paul states the following to the believers at Corinth: You do not have a narrow place in my affections. The narrow affections are in your own hearts. I want you to repay me for my affections toward you, as children should a parent. Love me as I love you (6:12-13). ‘Bowels’ [Greek: splangchnon] inward parts. Used figuratively of the seat of affections (6:12; 7:15; Luke 1:78; Php. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12; Phm. 1:7, 12, 20; 1Jn. 3:17). Used literally in Acts 1:18.

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