II Corinthians 6:8b-10

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Text: II Corinthians 6:8 b-10

OUR CREDENTIALS AS MINISTERS

INTRODUCTION:

In II Corinthians 6:1-10 we see that our lives as Christians and as servants of the Lord must be consistent with our profession.

We have already seen that -

I. OUR LIVES MUST DEMONSTRATE THAT THE GOSPEL REALLY WORKS - 6:1-4A

We have seen that -

1. We can receive the gospel in vain - 6:1

II Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

To receive the grace of God in vain would mean that their lives would be so inconsistent with their profession that they would imply with their lives that the claims of the gospel were not true, that it had not worked in their lives. The effect of the gospel was not being shown in their lives. Although they were genuinely saved, they were not making full use of the grace they had received, i.e. they were not living completely for the Lord and needed to begin doing so.

We have seen that -

2. We can have victory now - 6:2

II Corinthians 6:2 (2) (For he saith, 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.)

We have also seen that -

3. We discredit our own ministries by sin - 6:3

II Corinthians 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.

We have also seen that -

4. We must be approving ourselves as the ministers of God - 6:4a

II Corinthians 6:4 a - But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God. . . .

We are in the process of seeing that -

II. OUR LIVES MUST EXHIBIT CONSISTENT CHRISTIAN CREDENTIALS - 6:4B-10

In exhibiting consistent Christian credentials, we see that -

1. We must endure outward hardships - 6:4b-5

II Corinthians 6:4 b - . . . In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses.

II Corinthians 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings.

As we continue, we see that we must not only endure outward hardships but also that -

2. We must have inner spiritual qualities - 6:6-7a

II Corinthians 6:6-7 a - (6) By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, (7a) By the word of truth, by the power of God. . . .

In exhibiting consistent Christian credentials, we see that we must not only endure outward hardships and have inner spiritual qualities but also that -

3. We must have the armor of righteousness - 6:7B, C - 8A

II Corinthians 6:7 b,c-8a - . . . By the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, (8a) By honour and dishonour. . . .

In exhibiting consistent Christian credentials, we see that we must not only endure outward hardships, that we must have inner spiritual qualities, and that we must have the armor of righteousness, but also that -

4. We must have the right kind of character no matter what people think - 6:8B-10

II Corinthians 6:8 b-10 - (8b) . . . By evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; (9) As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; (10) As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

By evil report and good report indicates that, regardless of what people said regarding him or his ministry, Paul wanted to demonstrate that he was a genuine and faithful servant of the Lord.

By is via or through.

Evil report speaks of the act of detracting from or damaging another's reputation in the sense of defamation, slander, calumny, or ill-repute.

And introduces the other extreme, its opposite: a favorable expression in the sense of good report or good repute.

As introduces the first of seven comparisons, comparing various statements about Paul. These seven comparisons are found in verses 8-10.

Deceivers (or imposters) indicates that people made false accusations about Paul.

And yet introduces the contrast, a positive statement about Paul.

He is true, i.e. truthful, righteous, or honest.

II Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed.

As unknown is as not known.

And yet well known, i.e. known exactly, known completely, or known through and through. He was unknown to some and well known to others.

As dying, and, behold, we live.

Dying refers to physical death. He faced death on a daily basis.

And behold introduces something extraordinary: we live, i.e. we are alive, i.e. Paul is alive.

As chastened, and not killed.

Chastened suggests being chastened, or disciplined with punishment. In this context chastened speaks of Paul being chastised by men as a result of his ministry. He suffered much persecution as a believer; however, all of his physical abuse was allowed by God for Paul's own good. Chastening, from a divine perspective, is discussed in Hebrews 12:1-13 .

Hebrews 12:1-13 - (1) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; (13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

And introduces the contrasting statement: not killed. Paul is not being killed (or put to death). Although many attempts were made to kill the Apostle Paul, God never permitted him to be killed until his ministry had been completed. This illustrates the principle that the man of God is immortal until God allows or determines differently.

II Corinthians 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Verse 10 completes the thought of Paul's conduct of his ministry. As introduces three additional comparisons which are seen in Paul's ministry. These three complete the seven comparisons found in verses 8-10.

As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing. Sorrowful is being sad, being distressed, or being grieved. Many things grieve a man in the ministry. Like others serving the Lord, Paul wants people to be genuinely saved and living for the Lord. It grieves him when Satan makes inroads into local churches or into the lives of believers and they choose to remain unsaved or to be carnal and remain spiritually immature. When Paul looks at his own failures or shortcomings, this also makes him sad.

Yet introduces a mild contrast with Paul's being sorrowful: alway rejoicing. Yet is the word frequently translated but and is understood in this sense in this phrase. Alway, which describes rejoicing, is always and indicates that Paul is continually rejoicing, i.e. experiencing a state of happiness and well-being in the sense of being glad. Although there are sad things encountered in serving the Lord, there are more blessings which bring about rejoicing to keep the man of God encouraged and continuing in his service for the Lord.

As introduces a second comparison in this verse: poor, yet making many rich.

Paul describes himself as poor, a term originally meaning beggarly. He was poor in the sense that he was dependent on God for his support.

Yet introduces a statement in mild contrast to poor. It is a word often translated but and is understood in this sense in this phrase.

Making many rich means enriching many and is understood in this context as enriching many people spiritually. He proclaimed the gospel to them and taught them how to live for the Lord. How could he enrich people in any better way than by enriching their spiritual lives!

Many is an indeterminate, but large, number. There is no way of being precise.

As introduces a third comparison in this verse: having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Having suggests a present possession. It is owning or possessing.

What Paul has is nothing. As far as this world's goods were concerned, Paul was poor. He owned nothing.

And yet introduces the contrasting statement: possessing all things.

Possessing means keeping in one's possession.

What he possessed was all things. He had abundant spiritual riches. Also, whatever Paul needed, God supplied.

CONCLUSION:

Our lives as servants of the Lord must be consistent with our message. We must demonstrate with our lives that the gospel really works. If we don't, we are a bad advertisement for Christianity.

We need to be very careful to be studying the Word of God and obeying it both implicitly and explicitly and confessing sin whenever and wherever it occurs, and God will bless our service for Him.