2 Corinthians 6

Now is the time to work! Now is the time to share! Now is the day of salvation! They are being called to join with Paul and his companions as fellow workers (6:1). Paul and his companions have endured all kinds of hardship for them. But even in the midst of it they have continued in purity, knowledge, patience, benevolence, love, and truthful teaching (6:4-7). They have continued to minister by the Holy Spirit and in the power of God with weapons of righteousness (6:6-7). They are poor, but they make others rich by the gospel message; they have nothing, but they possess everything in Christ (6:10). Paul and his companions gave everything so that the Corinthian church could know God. Surely the church will join them in their work? Surely the church will hold fast to the gospel? Surely the church will have the same priorities and affection as they do (6:12)?

But instead, the church has joined with those who don’t believe. The issue here is the partnership. Perhaps they are following false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Perhaps they are joining pagan temples. Paul’s warning is clear and is backed by Scripture (Leviticus 26:11-12; Isaiah 52:11): don’t be in a situation where you end up yielding control of your actions to another who doesn’t know or follow God. The church has, and they are in danger of having received the gospel in vain (6:1). They have forgotten that they are the temple of the living God (6:16), and that they serve an “All-Powerful Lord” (6:18)!

If we want our lives to glorify God more and more, and we want the gospel we believed to bear lasting fruit in our lives, we have to devote ourselves to holiness and service. A part of that holiness is being careful who we partner with. But note: even with that devotion, it doesn’t mean that we’ll never experience hardship. In fact, it’s what comes out of that hardship that shows our character and maturity (or our lack of character and immaturity). Is it purity, knowledge, patience, benevolence, and love? Do we sorrow, yet rejoice? Do we make others rich? Do we have nothing, but possess everything? If so, we know whose we are and who we serve!

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