God’s Renewing Word of Unity in Christ Jesus
2 Corinthians 6:1-13: Paul reminds the Corinthians that he and his co-workers have gone out of their way to work hard and not cause problems (see 2 Corinthians 2:17). Despite the hardships he has endured, he argues that what he has taught about Jesus is true. The passage concludes with an appeal for the Corinthians to open their hearts, just as Paul’s heart is open to them as a sign of mutual forgiveness and reconciliation.
1In our work together with God, then, we beg you who have received God’s grace not to let it be wasted. 2 Hear what God says:
“When the time came for me to show you favor,
I heard you;
when the day arrived for me to save you,
I helped you.”
Listen! This is the hour to receive God’s favor; today is the day to be saved!
3We do not want anyone to find fault with our work, so we try not to put obstacles in anyone’s way. 4Instead, in everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties. 5 We have been beaten, jailed, and mobbed; we have been overworked and have gone without sleep or food. 6By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God’s servants—by the Holy Spirit, by our true love, 7by our message of truth, and by the power of God. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves. 8We are honored and disgraced; we are insulted and praised. We are treated as liars, yet we speak the truth; 9as unknown, yet we are known by all; as though we were dead, but, as you see, we live on. Although punished, we are not killed; 10although saddened, we are always glad; we seem poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet we really possess everything.
11Dear friends in Corinth! We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide. 12It is not we who have closed our hearts to you; it is you who have closed your hearts to us. 13I speak now as though you were my children: show us the same feelings that we have for you. Open your hearts wide!
Today’s Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 6:2b
This is the hour to receive God’s favor; today is the day to be saved!
In reminding the Corinthians about the gift of God’s grace, Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8 and exhorts the people to embrace God’s salvation (verse 2). Reread verses 3-10. In these verses, Paul describes his suffering. What has he endured for the sake of the gospel? What does he claim has been his weapon of defense? What is your view of Paul based on today’s reading?
Righteous God, empower me with your Holy Spirit to be your servant and to speak your message of truth. In all I do, may I glorify and honor you with purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
2 Corinthians 6:14—7:1: The apostle Paul warns against pagan influences.