Thursday, April 04, 2019

2019.04.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1

Questions for Littles: In what manner does the apostle plead with the Corinthians not to receive the grace of God (2 Corinthians 6:1)? How (Who) makes the difference in how they receive it (2 Corinthians 6:2)? In addition to the plain speaking of the Word (chapters 4-5), what do 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 present as the apostolic strategy for appealing to this wayward congregation? What were they willing to have happen to themselves? How were they willing to be thought of if necessary? What does the apostle say is the actual problem that is making the Corinthians think little of the apostolic ministry (2 Corinthians 6:11-13)? What does 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 imply has caused this hard-heartedness toward the apostles? Upon whose fellowship and presence with them should the Corinthians be more focused (2 Corinthians 6:16)? What must they do, if they are going to value their fellowship with God (2 Corinthians 6:17)? What kind of fellowship is God offering to them (2 Corinthians 6:18)? What result should focusing upon fellowship with God produce (2 Corinthians 7:1)?
In this week’s Epistle reading, the apostle continues the theme of how it is his hope in God alone for the Corinthians that has him determined to minister only in the way that God has commanded.

He wants them to know one thing: he doesn’t care to be treated well or thought of well. He cares only to be faithful before God and an example of faithfulness before men—however they respond to it. This faithfulness leaves them without excuse, because it is not despising and hard-hearted. Rather, in the midst of purity and truth and holiness and righteousness, this faithfulness is also patient and sacrificial and kind and sincerely loving and humble. Let those who despise such things go ahead and despise us!

The problem, however, was that the Corinthians did not want to be despised. They wanted badly to be accepted and admired. They wanted fellowship with the world. But biblical kindness to the world and fellowship with the world are actually incompatible!

Biblical kindness comes from being the sons and daughters of God, who love their enemies in the way that Christ did—and you see how unpopular that made Jesus! This family resemblance comes not from fellowship with the world but rather from fellowship with God.

How precious that God Himself dwells in us and walks among us! O that He would grant to us that we would treasure His precious fellowship! Then, rather than being sucked down to filthiness by the desire for the world’s friendship, we would be lifted up to holiness by delight in God’s fellowship!
Whom do you need to be loving with a holiness that they might despise? What are the means by which the Lord has given us to grow in delighting in His fellowship?
Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH164 “God Himself Is with Us”

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