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17 Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are past away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. -21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
self was circumcised, as I am, and was of my blood and na17 tion, I do so now no more any longer. So that if any one be in Christ, it is as if he were in a new creation, wherein all former, mundane relations, considerations, and interests', are ceased, and at an end; all things in that state are new to 18 him: And he owes his very being in it, and the advantages he
therein enjoys, not in the least measure to his birth, extraction, or any legal observances, or privileges, but wholly and 19 solely to God alone; Reconciling the world to himself by Jesus Christ, and not imputing their trespasses to them. And therefore I, whom God hath reconciled to himself, and to whom he hath given the ministry, and committed the word of 20 his reconciliation; As an ambassador for Christ, as though God did by me beseech you, I pray you in Christ's stead, be 21 ye reconciled to God. For God hath made him subject to sufferings and death, the punishment and consequence of sin, as
17 9 Gal. vi. 14, may give some light to this place. To make these 16th and 17th verses coherent to the rest of St. Paul's discourse here, they must be understood in reference the false apostle, against whom St. Paul is here justifying himself; and makes it his main business in this, as well as in his former epistle, to show, what that false apostle gloried in was no just cause of boasting. Pursuant to this design, of sinking the authority and credit of that false apostle, St. Paul, in these and the following verses, dexterously insinuates these two things: 1st, That the ministry of reconciliation being committed to him, they should not forsake him, to hearken to and follow that pretender. 2dly, That they, being in Christ, and the new creation, should, as he does, not know any man in the flesh, not esteem, or glory in, that false apostle, because he might, perhaps, pretend to have seen our Saviour in the flesh, or have heard him, or the like. Krías signifies "creation," and is so translated, Rom. viii. 22.
* Τὰ ἀρχαῖα, "old things," perhaps may here mean the Jewish economy; for the false apostle was a Jew, and, as such, assumed to himself some authority, probably by right of blood, and privilege of his nation: vid. 2 Cor. xi. 21, 22. But that, St. Paul here tells them, now, under the Gospel, is all antiquated, and quite out of doors.
VI. 1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also, that' ye receive not the grace of God in vain :
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!)
3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But, in all things, approving ourselves, as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honour and dishonour, 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;
if he had been a sinner, though he were guilty of no sin; that we, in and by him, might be made righteous, by à righteousVI. 1 ness imputed to us by God. I therefore, working together
with him, beseech you also, that you receive not the favour of 2 God, in the Gospel preached to you, in vains. (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 3 time; behold, now is the day of salvation!) Giving no offence
to any one in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But, in every thing, approving myself, as becomes the minister
of God, by much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in 5 straits, In stripes, in imprisonments, in being tossed up and 6 down, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By a life undefiled; by knowledge; by long-sufferings; by the gifts of the 7 Holy Ghost; by love unfeigned; By preaching the Gospel
of truth sincerely; by the power of God, assisting my ministry;
by uprightness of mind, wherewith I am armed at all points, 8 both to do and to suffer; By honour and disgrace; by good 9 and bad report; as a deceiver t, and yet faithful; As an obscure, unknown man, but yet known and owned; as one often
1 "Receive the grace of God in vain," the same with "believing in vain," 1 Cor. xv. 2, i. e. receiving the doctrine of the Gospel for true, and professing Christianity, without persisting in it, or performing what the Gospel requires.
"Deceiver," a title (it is like) he had received from some of the opposite faction at Corinth: vid. chap. xii. 16.
10 As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13 Now, for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children) be ye also enlarged.
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 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."
17 Wherefore, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
in danger of death, and yet, behold, I live; as chastened, but 10 yet not killed; As sorrowful, but yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet 11 possessing all things. Ŏ ye Corinthians, my mouth is opened
to you, my heart is enlarged" to you; my affection, my ten12 derness, my compliance for you, is not strait, or narrow. It 13 is your own narrowness makes you uneasy. Let me speak to you, as a father to his children; in return, do you, likewise, 14 enlarge your affections and deference to me. Be ye not associated with unbelievers, having nothing to do with them in their vices or worship": for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion hath light 15 with darkness? What concord hath Christ with Belial *? 16 Or what part hath a believer with an unbeliever? 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, among them will I walk; and I will be their 17 God, and they shall be my people." Wherefore, "Come
out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and
11 " Another argument, St. Paul makes use of, to justify and excuse his plainness of speech to the Corinthians, is the great affection he has for them, which he here breaks out into an expression of, in a very pathetical manner. This, with an exhortation to separate from idolaters and unbelievers, is what he insists on, from this place to chap. vii. 16.
14 Vid. chap. vii. 1.
15 Belial is a general name for all the false gods, worshipped by the idolatrous Gentiles.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters," saith the Lord Almighty.
VII. 1 Having, therefore, these promises, (dearly beloved) let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Receive us: we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that are in our hearts, to die and live with you.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful, in all our tribulation.
5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
6 Nevertheless, God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us, by the coming of Titus:
touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you to me; 18 And I will be a Father, and ye shall be my sons and daughVII. 1 ters," saith the Lord Almighty. Having, therefore, these
promises, (dearly beloved) let us cleanse ourselves from the defilement of all sorts of sins, whether of body or mind, en2 deavouring after perfect holiness, in the fear of God. Receive me, as one to be hearkened to, as one to be followed, as one that hath done nothing to forfeit your esteem. I have wronged no man: I have corrupted no man: I have defrauded no 3 many. I say not this to reflect on your carriage towards me: for I have already assured you, that I have so great an 4 affection for you, that I could live and die with you. But, in the transport of my joy, I use great liberty of speech towards you. But let it not be thought to be of ill-will, for I boast much of you; I am filled with comfort, and my joy abounds 5 exceedingly, in all my afflictions. For, when I came to Macedonia, I had no respite from continual trouble, that beset me on every side. From without, I met with strife and opposition, in preaching the Gospel: and within, I was filled with fear upon your account; lest the false apostle, continuing his credit and faction amongst you, should pervert you from the 6 simplicity of the Gospel". But God, who comforteth those
who are cast down, comforted me, by the coming of Titus:
2 This seems to insinuate the contrary behaviour of their false apostle. Vid. 1 Cor. iv. 3. 2 Cor. x. 2, and xi. 20, 21, and xiii. 3.
5 a Vid. chap. xi. 3.
7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For, behold, this self-same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you; yea, what clearing of yourselves; yea, what indignation; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement desire;
7 Not barely by his presence, but by the comfort I received from you, by him, when he acquainted me with your great desire of conforming yourselves to my orders; your trouble for any neglects you have been guilty of towards me; the great warmth of your affection and concern for me; so that I re8 joiced the more for my past fears; Having writ to you a letter, which I repented of, but now do not repent of, perceiving, that, though that letter grieved you, it made you sad but for a 9 short time: But now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For this proved a beneficial sorrow, acceptable to God, that in nothing you might have cause to complain, that you were damaged by me, 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of: but sorrow arising from worldly interest worketh 11 death. In the present case, mark it, that godly sorrow which you had, what carefulness it wrought in you, to conform yourselves to my orders; yea, what clearing yourselves from your former miscarriages; yea, what indignation against those who led you into them; yea, what fear to offend me; yea, what vehement desire of satisfying me; yea, what zeal for me; yea, what revenge against yourselves, for
11b St. Paul, writing to those, who knew the temper they were in, and what were the objects of the several passions which were raised in them, doth both here, and in the seventh verse, forbear to mention, by and to what they were moved, out of modesty, and respect to them. This is necessary, for the information of ordinary readers, to be supplied, as can be best collected om the main design of the apostle, in these two epistles, and from several passages giving us light in it.
Vid. ver. 15.