the book of 2 corinthians  chapter six I

"We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God..." (2 Corinthians 6:3-4).

The sixth chapter of the book of 2 Corinthians only consists of eighteen verses- but those few verses can be separated into four easily definable portions.

Verses one and two open by encouraging us to receive the grace that God has given us in Christ. This brief portion of Scripture also implies that it is possible to waste the unmerited favor that God extends to us if we fail to act upon it. The next section begins in verse three and continues through verse ten. There, Paul the Apostle will talk about the challenges associated with his ministry and lay the groundwork for some of the difficult and confrontational truths he will share with the Corinthians near the end of this letter.

Paul will then go on to express the depth of his emotional investment in the Corinthians in verses ten to thirteen. As we've seen in other portions of 2 Corinthians, this passage will serve to highlight the extent of Paul's emotional vulnerability towards the members of the Corinthian church. Finally, verses fourteen to eighteen will close this section of Paul's letter with an examination of how our relationship with Christ should direct and influence our relationships with those who do not follow Him.

Its interesting to note that the core of this chapter involves Paul's commentary on his life as he sought to fulfill God's calling. Of course, this is not the first time Paul felt compelled to act as an advocate with regard to his ministry. In fact, it seems that Paul spent a considerable amount of time defending himself in his Biblical letters to the Corinthian church.

For example, Paul defended his clear conscience before the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 4:3-4. Later in that chapter, Paul felt the need to issue a warning to those who thought he was all talk and no action (1 Corinthians 4:14-21). He then went on to contend for his rights as an apostle in 1 Corinthians chapter nine. Finally, Paul had to defend his decision to change his plans and forego a scheduled visit to Corinth in 2 Corinthians 1:13-24.

One commentator touches upon this unfortunate reality by observing...

"The disaffection in the Corinthian church against (Paul) must have been considerable (or) else he surely would not have devoted so much of this epistle to a defense of himself. In 14-18 he seems to blame the trouble, partly at least, on the heathen atmosphere in which they lived. Corinthians were very lax in morals." (1)

(1) Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1 Corinthians Chapter 4. Paul's Sufferings Again [pg. 604] Copyright © 2000, 2007 by Halley’s Bible Handbook, Inc.

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