2 Corinthians Chapter Six
2 Corinthians 6
Paul had said that God exhorted by his means. In chapter 6 the affection of the apostle carries on by the Spirit this divine work, beseeching the Corinthians that it might not be in vain in their case that this grace had been brought to them. For it was the acceptable time, the day of salvation.  The apostle had spoken of the great principles of his ministry, and of its origin. He reminds the Corinthians of the way in which he had exercised it in the varied circumstances through which he had been led. The cardinal point of his service is that he was the minister of God, that he represented Him in his service. This rendered two things needful: first, that he should be in all things without reproach; and then that he should maintain this character of God's minister, and the exercise of his ministry, through all the opposition, and in all the circumstances through which the enmity of man's heart, and the cunning even of Satan, could make him pass. Everywhere and in all things he avoided, by his conduct, all real occasion of being reproached, in order that no one should have room to blame the ministry. He approved himself in all things as a minister of God, worthily representing Him in whose name he spoke to men; and that with a patience, and in the midst of persecution and contradiction of sinners, which shewed an inward energy, a sense of obligation to God, and a dependence on Him, which the realisation of His presence and of our duty to Him can alone maintain. It was a quality which reigned through all the circumstances of which the apostle speaks, and had dominion over them.
Thus he shewed himself to be the minister of God in everything which could test him; in pureness, in kindness, in love; as a vessel of power; whether disgraced or applauded; unknown to the world, and known and eminent; outwardly trodden under foot of man and chastened, inwardly victorious and joyful, enriching others, and in possession of all things. Here ends his description of the sources, the character, the victory over circumstances, of a ministry which displayed the power of God in a vessel of weakness, whose best portion was death.
The restoration of the Corinthians to a moral state befitting the gospel, associated with the circumstances through which he had just been passing, had allowed him to open his heart to them. Pre-occupied till now with his subject of the glorious Christ, who, having accomplished redemption, sent him as the messenger of the grace to which that redemption had given free course, and having spoken with a free heart of all that was comprised in his ministry, he returns with affection to his beloved Corinthians, shewing that it was with them that he had all this openness, this enlargement of heart. "My mouth is open unto you, O Corinthians," he says, "my heart is enlarged; ye are not straitened in me, but in your own affections." As a recompense for the affections that overflowed from his heart towards them, he only asks for the enlargement of their own hearts.
He spoke as to his children. But he avails himself of this tender relationship to exhort the Corinthians to maintain the place in which God had set them: "Be not in the same yoke with unbelievers." Having a hold upon their affections, and rejoicing deeply before God in the grace which had restored them to right sentiments, his heart is free to give way, as though beside himself, to the joy that belonged to him in Christ glorified: and, with a sober mind after all when his dear children in the faith were in question,  he seeks to detach them from all that recognised the flesh, or implied that a relationship which recognised it were possible for a Christian-from everything that denied the position of a man who has his life and his interests in the new creation, of which Christ is the Head in glory. An angel can serve God in this world: little would it concern him in what way, provided that way was God's; but to associate himself with its interests, as forming a part of it, to ally himself with those who are governed by the motives that influence the men of this world, so that a common conduct would shew that the one and the other acted according to the principles that form its character, would be, to those heavenly beings, to lose their position and their character. The Christian, whose portion is the glory of Christ-who has his world, his life, his true associations, there where Christ has entered in-should not either; nor can he, as a Christian, put himself under the same yoke with those who can have only worldly motives, to draw the chariot of life in a path common to both.
What communion is there between Christ and Belial; between light and darkness; faith and unbelief; the temple of God and idols? Christians are the temple of the living God who dwells and walks among them. He is a God to them; they are a people to Him. Therefore must they come out from all fellowship with the worldly, and be separate from them. As Christians, they must stand apart, for they are the temple of God. God dwells among them and walks there, and He is their God. They are therefore to come out from the world and be separate, and God will own them, and will be to them in relationship of a Father with sons and daughters who are dear to Him.
This, observe, is the special relationship which God assumes with us. The two preceding revelations of God with men are named here, and He takes a third. To Abraham He revealed Himself as Almighty; to Israel as Jehovah or Lord. Here the Lord Almighty declares that He will be a Father to His own, to His sons and daughters. We come out from among the worldly, for it is just that (not physically out of the world, but while in it), in order to enter into the relationship of sons and daughters to the Almighty God: otherwise we cannot practically realise this relationship. God will not have worldlings in relation with Himself as sons and daughters; they have not entered into this position with regard to Him. Nor will He recognise those who remain identified with the world, as having this position; for the world has rejected His Son, and the friendship of the world is enmity against God: and he who is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. It is not being His child in a practical sense. God says therefore, "Come out from among them, and be separate, and ye shall be to me for sons and daughters." Remember that it is not a question of coming out of the world-it is while we are in it-but of coming out from among the worldly, to enter into the relationship of sons and daughters, in order to be to Him for sons and daughters, to be owned of Him in this relationship. 
But it is not only that from which we are separated to be in this position of sons and daughters that engages the apostle's attention, but the legitimate consequences of such promises. Sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, holiness becomes us. It is not only that we are to be separate from the world; but, in relationship with God, to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit: holiness in the outward walk, and that which is quite as important with regard to our relationship to God, purity of thought. For, although man does not see the thoughts, the flow of the Spirit is stopped in the heart. There is not enlargement of heart in communion with God, It is much if His presence is felt, His relationship to us realised; grace is known, but God scarcely at all, in the way in which He makes Himself gradually known in communion.
 The passage is a quotation from Isaiah 49:8, which speaks of the blessing that should be brought to the Gentiles when Christ was rejected by the Jews, but through Christ's work and by the resurrection.
 What a blessed state is that of a man, who, when he is taken out of himself and a state of calm reflection, is entirely absorbed with, or turned towards, God, and, when he does think soberly and calculates, is occupied in love in seeking the good of his brethren, the members of Christ: who is either rapt up into the contemplation of God and communion with Him, or filled with Him, so as to think only of others in love!
 The reader may remark that the passage sets two things before us: that God is present in the assembly of those who are separated from the world, and walks among them, as He did in the case of Israel in the wilderness when they had come out of Egypt; and that the individuals who compose the assembly enter into the relationship of sons and daughters.
── John Darby《Synopsis of 2 Corinthians》
2 Corinthians 6
The apostle, with others, proved themselves faithful ministers of Christ, by their unblamable life and behaviour. (1-10) By affection for them, And by earnest concern, that they might have no fellowship with unbelievers and idolaters. (11-18)
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
(Read 2 Corinthians 6:1-10)
The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears. The gospel day is a day of salvation, the means of grace the means of salvation, the offers of the gospel the offers of salvation, and the present time the proper time to accept these offers. The morrow is none of ours: we know not what will be on the morrow, nor where we shall be. We now enjoy a day of grace; then let all be careful not to neglect it. Ministers of the gospel should look upon themselves as God's servants, and act in every thing suitably to that character. The apostle did so, by much patience in afflictions, by acting from good principles, and by due temper and behaviour. Believers, in this world, need the grace of God, to arm them against temptations, so as to bear the good report of men without pride; and so as to bear their reproaches with patience. They have nothing in themselves, but possess all things in Christ. Of such differences is a Christian's life made up, and through such a variety of conditions and reports, is our way to heaven; and we should be careful in all things to approve ourselves to God. The gospel, when faithfully preached, and fully received, betters the condition even of the poorest. They save what before they riotously spent, and diligently employ their time to useful purposes. They save and gain by religion, and thus are made rich, both for the world to come and for this, when compared with their sinful, profligate state, before they received the gospel.
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:11-18
(Read 2 Corinthians 6:11-18)
It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their wilful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God's word, they must expect must distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Corinthians》
2 Corinthians 6
 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
We then not only beseech, but as fellow-labourers with you, who are working out your own salvation, do also exhort you, not to receive the grace of God - Which we have been now describing.
In vain — We receive it by faith; and not in vain, if we add to this, persevering holiness.
 (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.)
For he saith — The sense is, As of old there was a particular time wherein God was pleased to pour out his peculiar blessing, so there is now. And this is the particular time: this is a time of peculiar blessing. Isaiah 49:8.
 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
Giving, as far as in us lies, no offence, that the ministry be not blamed on our account.
 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
But approving ourselves as the ministers of God — Such as his ministers ought to be.
In much patience — Shown, 1.
In afflictions, necessities, distresses — All which are general terms. 2.
In stripes, imprisonments, tumults — Which are particular sorts of affliction, necessity, distress 3.
In labours, watchings, fastings — Voluntarily endured. All these are expressed in the plural number, to denote a variety of them. In afflictions, several ways to escape may appear, though none without difficulty in necessities, one only, and that a difficult one; in distresses, none at all appears.
 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
In tumults — The Greek word implies such attacks as a man cannot stand against, but which bear him hither and thither by violence.
 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
By prudence — Spiritual divine; not what the world terms so. Worldly prudence is the practical use of worldly wisdom: divine prudence is the due exercise of grace, making spiritual understanding go as far as possible.
By love unfeigned — The chief fruit of the Spirit.
 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
By the convincing and converting power of God - Accompanying his word; and also attesting it by divers miracles.
By the armour of righteousness on the right hand and the left — That is, on all sides; the panoply or whole armour of God.
 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
By honour and dishonour — When we are present.
By evil report and good report — When we are absent. Who could bear honour and good report, were it not balanced by dishonour? As deceivers - Artful, designing men. So the world represents all true ministers of Christ.
Yet true — Upright, sincere, in the sight of God.
 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
As unknown — For the world knoweth us not, as it knew him not.
Yet well known — To God, and to those who are the seals of our ministry.
As dying, yet behold — Suddenly, unexpectedly, God interposes, and we live.
 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
As sorrowing — For our own manifold imperfections, and for the sins and sufferings of our brethren.
Yet always rejoicing — In present peace, love, power, and a sure hope of future glory.
As having nothing, yet possessing all things — For all things are ours, if we are Christ's. What a magnificence of thought is this!
 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
From the praise of the Christian ministry, which he began 2 Corinthians 2:14, he now draws his affectionate exhortation.
O ye Corinthians — He seldom uses this appellation. But it has here a peculiar force.
Our mouth is opened toward you — With uncommon freedom, because our heart is enlarged - In tenderness.
 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
Ye are not straitened in us — Our heart is wide enough to receive you all.
But ye are straitened in your own bowels — Your hearts are shut up, and so not capable of the blessings ye might enjoy.
 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
Now for a recompence of the same — Of my parental tenderness.
I speak as to my children — I ask nothing hard or grievous.
 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers — Christians with Jews or heathens. The apostle particularly speaks of marriage. But the reasons he urges equally hold against any needless intimacy with them. Of the five questions that follow, the three former contain the argument; the two latter, the conclusion.
 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
What concord hath Christ — Whom ye serve.
With Belial — To whom they belong.
 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
What agreement hath the temple of God with idols — If God would not endure idols in any part of the land wherein he dwelt, how much less, under his own roof! He does not say, with the temple of idols, for idols do not dwell in their worshippers.
As God hath said — To his ancient church, and in them to all the Israel of God.
I will dwell in them, and walk in them — The former signifying his perpetual presence; the latter, his operation.
And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people — The sum of the whole gospel covenant. Leviticus 26:11, etc.
 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
Touch not the unclean person — Keep at the utmost distance from him.
 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
And ye shall be to me for sons and for daughters, saith the Lord Almighty — The promise made to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:6, is here applied to all believers; as the promise made particularly to Joshua is applied to them, Hebrews 13:5. Who can express the worth, who can conceive the dignity, of this divine adoption? Yet it belongs to all who believe the gospel, who have faith in Christ. They have access to the Almighty; such free and welcome access, as a beloved child to an indulgent father. To him they may fly for aid in every difficulty, and from him obtain a supply in all their wants. Isaiah 43:6.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Corinthians》
Chapter 6. Servants of God
I. Commend as Servants of God
II. Expect a Fair Exchange
III. Call to Set Apart
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Six General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To see how Paul's ministry commended itself to others
2) To appreciate the need for having "hearts wide open"
3) To understand the principle of "separation", and why we cannot be
unequally yoked with unbelievers
At the close of chapter five, Paul described himself as an ambassador
for Christ who pleads on God's behalf for people to be reconciled to
God. With that thought in mind, he makes a special plea for the
Corinthians not to receive God's grace in vain, reminding them that now
is the time for salvation (1-2).
In the ninth and final description of his apostolic ministry, Paul
focuses on the "approved" nature of his ministry. Determined not to
give offense nor reason for blame, Paul has acted commendably. This is
seen in the physical sufferings he has endured and the spiritual graces
he has displayed. Even the conflicting reactions and reports by
others, along with the various experiences described in a contrasting
manner, help to confirm that his ministry is "approved" (3-10).
At this point, Paul makes an appeal to the Corinthians. With a heart
that is wide open to them, he begs for them to open wide their hearts
to him as well. Then he pleads with them not to be unequally yoked
with unbelievers, in order that they might receive the promises of
everlasting fellowship with God as their Father (11-18).
I. THE "APPROVED" NATURE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY (1-10)
A. AN ENTREATY NOT TO RECEIVE GOD'S GRACE IN VAIN (1-2)
1. Made by those who are God's co-workers (1)
2. For the "day of salvation" spoken of in Isaiah 49:8 has
B. PAUL'S MINISTRY AN APPROVED ONE (3-10)
1. Giving no offense, he seeks to commend himself as a minister
of God in all things (3
2. Physical sufferings endured as a minister (
3. Spiritual graces demonstrated as a minister (6-7)
4. Conflicting reactions and reports by others toward him as a
5. Contrasting experiences as a minister (9-10)
II. PAUL'S PLEA TO THE CORINTHIANS (11-18)
A. TO OPEN WIDE THEIR HEARTS (11-13)
1. Paul's own openness towards the Corinthians (11)
a. He has spoken freely (
b. His own heart is wide open (11b)
2. The Corinthians likewise need to be open (12-13)
a. They are restricted by their own affections (12)
b. As a father pleads with his children, Paul appeals to them
to reciprocate by being open to him (13)
B. TO BE SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD (14-18)
1. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (14
a. Righteousness has no fellowship with lawlessness (14b)
b. Light has no communion with darkness (
c. Christ has no accord with Belial (
d. A believer has no part with an unbeliever (15b)
has no agreement with idols ( templeof God 16a)
2. Implications of the promise given to the
a. As the
, God has promised to dwell and walk templeof God
among us (16b)
b. Therefore, we must be separate if we wish to be the
children of God (17-18)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- The "approved" nature of Paul's ministry (1-10)
- Paul's plea to the Corinthians (11-18)
2) How does Paul describe himself as he pleads with the Corinthians to
not receive the grace of God in vain? (1)
- As workers together with Him
3) Why was Paul so careful not to give offense in anything? (3)
- So that his ministry would not be blamed
4) List some of the physical sufferings which commended Paul as a
minister of God (4-5)
- Tribulations, stripes, imprisonments, tumults
5) List those areas where Paul demonstrated his integrity as a minister
of God (6-7)
- Purity, knowledge, longsuffering, kindness, sincere love, the Holy
Spirit, the word of truth, the power of God, the armor of
6) List the contrasting experiences Paul had as a minister of God
- Unknown, yet well-known
- Dying, yet alive
- Chastened, yet not killed
- Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing
- Poor, yet making many rich
- Having nothing, yet possessing all things
7) How does Paul describe his affection toward the Corinthians? (11)
- His heart is wide open
8) What does he say about the Corinthians' affections toward him? (12)
- They were restricted
9) What charge does Paul give concerning our relation to those in the
- Not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers
10) List the contrasting pairs that Paul uses to show the incongruity
of believers being unequally yoked with unbelievers (14-16)
- Righteousness vs. lawlessness
- Light vs. darkness
- Christ vs. Belial
- Believer vs. unbeliever
vs. idols Templeof God
11) What is necessary to receive the promise of having God as our
Father who dwells among us? (17-18)
- Come out from among them and be separate
- Do not touch what is unclean
Hearts Wide Open (6:11-13)
1. The apostle Paul was a man who loved his brethren...
a. He loved his CO-WORKERS - 2 Ti 1:2; Phile 1-2
b. He loved the CONGREGATIONS he worked with - 2 Co 11:28
-- Because of his love, he was willing to give of himself and become
close to them - e.g., 1 Th 2:7-12; 2 Co 12:14-15
2. The passage in 2 Co 12:15 indicates that sometimes Paul's affection
was one-sided; he elaborated on this in 2 Co 6:11-13...
a. Paul's heart was "wide open" towards the Corinthians - 11
b. But their love for him was "restricted" - 12
c. His exhortation, therefore, was "be open"! - 13
3. In our study, I would like to...
a. Offer reasons why we all need to have "Hearts Wide Open"
b. Explain why some may have "restricted hearts"
c. Suggest how we can be sure to have our "Hearts Wide Open"
[Let's first examine...]
I. WHY WE NEED "HEARTS WIDE OPEN"
A. BROTHERLY LOVE IS A MARK OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP...
1. Note what Jesus said about brethren loving one another in
2. Such love would be a visible sign by which the world would
know Christ's true disciples
3. People with "restricted hearts" would have a difficult time
displaying a visible love!
B. BROTHERLY LOVE IS AN INDICATION OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH...
1. Peter lists brotherly kindness (and love) among those graces
involved in growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - 2 Pe
2. Whereas having a "restricted heart" is an indication of:
a. Spiritual immaturity - cf. 2 Co 6:13
b. Or spiritual ailments (short-sighted, even to blindness)
- 2 Pe 1:9
C. BROTHERLY LOVE IS AN ASSURANCE OF OUR SALVATION...
1. It is one way that we know we have passed from death to live
- 1 Jn 3:16-19
2. The one who truly loves is one who is born of God - 1 Jn 4:7-8
3. Having "restricted hearts" would not be very reassuring in
light of such verses!
[Notice 2 Pe 1:10-11...If we want assurance, if we want to convince
the world, we need to have "Hearts Wide Open"! Now let's consider some
II. WHY SOME HAVE "RESTRICTED HEARTS"
A. IT MIGHT BE DUE TO "IGNORANCE"...
1. Some Christians may not have been give proper "follow-up"
2. Their follow-up may have been "unbalanced"
a. With an emphasis upon the externals
b. To the neglect of the internals
3. This cannot be our excuse any longer - 1 Jn 4:20-21
B. IT MIGHT BE THE RESULT OF "SPIRITUAL AMNESIA"...
1. As Peter indicated in 2 Pe 1:9
2. Which occurs when we...
a. Forget God's love for us in purging us from our sins - 2 Pe
b. Do not apply "all diligence" - 2 Pe 1:5,10
3. With the passing of time, we may simply forget how important
love is in the mind of God - cf. 1 Co 13:13
C. IT MIGHT BE WE HAVE "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET"...
1. Some people refuse to get close to others for fear some hidden
secret may became known
2. If we have such "skeletons in the closet", we had better get
rid of them!
a. For they will eventually become known - cf. Num 32:23
b. It may be now or later, but it will come out - 1 Ti 5:24
3. With skeletons removed, we won't mind how well people know us
a. Besides, no one is perfect, and we can use the help
brethren can give - Ga 6:1-2
b. Of course, this requires that brethren be trustworthy and
D. IT MIGHT BE WE HAVE A "FEAR OF GETTING HURT"...
1. Loving does involve the "risk of rejection"
2. Paul experienced rejection, not only at
, but also at Corinth
- 2 Ti 4:16 Rome
3. But the joy of true fellowship and love can more than make up
for the few times some may reject us
a. The apostle John had experienced both love and rejection
- cf. 3 Jn 1-4,9-11
b. But if he had never taken the risk of running into a
"Diotrophes", he would have never found a "Gaius"!
E. IT MIGHT BE THAT "TRUE CONVERSION HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE"...
1. As indicated before, brotherly love is an assurance of
salvation; similarly, it is an indication of true conversion!
- cf. 1 Jn 3:14-15
2. Unfortunately, some people simply go through the "form" of
a. Conforming, not converted
b. Out of convenience, not conviction
-- When this happens, there is no "life" to begin with!
3. Those with "restricted hearts" might need to examine
a. A process that all Christians should undergo periodically
- 2 Co 13:5
b. While there are reasons why true Christians may not love as
they should (see above), we can't discount the possibility
that the problem may be more serious!
[Whatever the reason, there is really no excuse for having "restricted
hearts". What can be done to "open wide" our hearts? Here are some...]
III. SUGGESTIONS FOR HAVING "HEARTS WIDE OPEN"
A. LET GOD'S LOVE TEACH YOU...
1. This is what enabled the Thessalonians to excel in love
- 1 Th 4:9
2. So take to contemplate upon God's love for you!
a. As manifested through the blessings He has bestowed upon
b. Especially the blessing of being His child! - 1 Jn 3:1
c. And the blessing of Jesus as our propitiation - 1 Jn 4:9-10
3. This will help motivate us to love as we ought - 1 Jn 4:11
B. NEVER BE CONTENT WITH THE
OF YOUR LOVE... PRESENT STATE
1. Paul did not let the Thessalonians rest on their laurels
- 1 Th 4:10
2. The key idea is to "increase more and more"; or as Peter would
say, "abound" - 2 Pe 1:8
3. So we need to look for more people and more ways to express
C. LOVE TAKES TIME, SO TAKE TIME TO LOVE...
1. Take advantage of opportunities to be with brethren
a. I.e., ACCEPT invitations
b. E.g., to people's homes, potlucks, church services, gospel
2. Make opportunities to be with brethren
a. I.e., OFFER invitations
b. E.g., practice hospitality - 1 Pe 4:8-9
1. What is the condition of our hearts?
a. Are they "restricted", suffering from "spiritual hardening of the
1) Where the love of God is hindered from freely flowing?
2) By the "plaques" of ignorance, selfishness, hypocrisy?
b. Or are they "wide open"?
1) Where God's love flows freely
2) Nourishing not only our own lives, but the lives of those
-- May we all be "taught of God" to have "Hearts Wide Open"!
2. For those who may not yet be Christians...
a. Consider God's love for you, which is wide open in Jesus Christ
- Jn 3:16
b. Why not open wide your love for God...by keeping His
commandments? - cf. 1 Jn 5:3; Jn 14:15
Servants of God
I. Commend as Servants of God
1. Not to be Discredited
2. In Great Endurance
3. Seven “Yet”
II.Expect a Fair Exchange
1. Speak Freely
2. Open Heart
3. As My Own Children
III. Call to Set Apart
1. Nothing in Common
2. No Harmony
3. The Biblical Basis
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》