2 Corinthians 6:1–10 (NKJV)
1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, 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 yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Paul speaks of the urgency of accepting the gospel of Christ. The time is short, the time is now, to accept the grace of God unto salvation. There is no time to dawdle, to speculate. Salvation is here and the time is upon all men and women who hear: Be saved! There is no time like the present to get ready for the days to come. This urgency, born by the immanence of His coming, screams of the need for today to be the day of decision, for tomorrow may never come, or may at the very least be too late. Repent and be saved while it is day, for night is swiftly approaching, when no one can see.
Paul then begins to summarize the conditions and the actions of his and his companions’ ministry. He declares that their ministry is blameless. He lists many of the perils they have suffered: tribulations, needs, distresses, stripes, imprisonments, tumults, labors, sleepless nights. He then describes the sacrifices they have made: fasting, purity, knowledge, longsuffering. He then describes the means to their survival: kindness, the Holy Spirit, sincere love, the word of truth, the power of God, the armor of righteousness. Finally, he gives the ups and downs of their ministry in pairs to demonstrate fully their journey: honor and dishonor, evil and good, deceivers yet true, unknown yet well-known, dying yet alive, chastened but not killed, sorrowful yet rejoicing, poor yet making others rich, having nothing yet possessing all things. This is a powerful picture of ministry and the sacrifices and rewards that come with it. Life is a tension, a pulling between what is good and evil, what is desired and what is required. Ministry is great and horrible, sometimes all at once. We must press through those thing that would harm us and not rest on the victories that enthrall us. God needs men and women who will push uphill and slowly walk downhill, all the while consistent and sure. This is the walk of the redeemed, the called, and the blessed. Live it to the glory of God.
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