2 Corinthians 6:1-10 The Cost Of Being An Ambassador

by | Apr 11, 2023 | 2 Corinthians, New Testament

I. The Ambassador’s Plea Vs. 1, 2

A. Don’t Receive God’s Grace In Vain V. 1

1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 This sets the context for chapter 6.

a. Ambassadors for Christ reach out to non-Christians, but also to Christians.

b. The main thrust of 5:18-21 is that Paul was reaching out to the Corinthian Christians.

c. They had, to some degree, moved away from living in God’s grace.

2. Reconcile- to make friendly again, to return to favor with, adjustment of a difference.

a. The Corinthians were Christians, but they had drifted from the Lord in many ways.

b. They had embraced carnal thinking and actions.

c. They set their affections on the things of the world, and not on Christ.

d. It wasn’t that they believed the wrong thing about Jesus.

e. It was that they weren’t living for Jesus.

f. They needed to make adjustments. They needed to repent; think and act differently.

3. Grace- good will, loving-kindness, favor, unmerited favor, undeserved gift.

a. the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

b. God’s grace, favor, good will, is intended to accomplish many purposes.

c. The grace of God is God’s undeserved favor, given to whoever will receive it.

i. Grace for salvation.

ii. Grace for godly living.

iii. Grace for a blessed life.

iv. Grace for power over sin

v. Grace to have hope for the future.

4. What God’s Grace is designed to accomplish in us.

a. Philippians 1:7 you all are partakers with me of grace.

b. 2 Timothy 2:1 1You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

c. 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

d. Hebrews 12:14,15 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;

5. In vain- to no purpose. To not allow the grace of God to accomplish all that it is meant to.

6. How do we receive and walk in God’s grace?

a. 1 Peter 5:5b-7 …be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

B. Receive God’s Grace Now V. 2

1. God had lovingly given them grace for salvation when they were deep in sin.

a. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

2. There was no need for them to wait to receive God’s grace to turn back to Him. Today!

a.They had become increasingly self-reliant, self-governing, and self-serving.

b. As an ambassador, Paul was pleading with them to once again be close to God.

c. God’s divine favor was there to help them, if they would humble themselves.

II. Doing Whatever It Takes To Be An Ambassador Vs. 3-10

A. Paul’s Strong Conviction

1. Paul had a strong conviction that people needed to be reconciled to God.

2. It went much deeper than just an intellectual conviction. It went deeply into his heart.

3. Paul’s incredibly strong conviction resulted in an incredibly strong commitment.

4. It takes a strong conviction to make a strong commitment.

5. Paul realized that he could negate the work of God if he wasn’t careful with his life.

6. Paul said that he gave no offense in anything, so that his ministry of reconciliation would not be blamed. He was deliberately very careful about how he lived before other people.

B. Do You Have A Strong Conviction?

1. As we study this passage, there are a few questions to keep in mind.

2. In your sphere of life, who are the people that need to be reconciled to God?

3. How convinced are you about that? How committed are you to that purpose?

4. Are there Unbelievers you know that need to be reconciled to God?

5. Are there Christians who have drifted from God, and need to be reconciled to Him?

6. How far are you willing to go to be used by God?

7. Everything that Paul went through required him to be strong in God’s grace.

C. Paul’s Strong Efforts To Be An Ambassador (He Was Strong In God’s Grace)

1. V. 4 Commend– to show, to prove, to establish, to exhibit

2. V. 4 Patience- Cheerful, hopeful endurance. Not passive defeat and complaining.

3. V. 4 Tribulations- the normal difficulties of life.

4. V. 4 in needs- going without our creature comforts. Lacking

5. V. 4 in distresses- in narrowness

6. V. 5 in stripes- beaten with rods. 5x’s he endured these. 40 stripes minus 1=195 stripes.

7. V. 5 in imprisonments- Clement of Rome writes that Paul was imprisoned seven times

8. V. 5 in tumults- Violence from an angry mob. See 2 Corinthians 11:22-29.

9. V. 5 in labors- working to the point of exhaustion.

10. V. 5 in sleeplessness- going without sleep.

11. V. 5 in fastings- not spiritual fasting, but rather, not having food.

12. V. 6 by purity– holiness

13. V. 6 by knowledge- spiritual knowledge; studying scripture. Thinking upon God.

14. V. 6 by longsuffering- patient submission to injustice. Patience with people.

15. V. 6 by kindness- kind disposition to do good; gifting, comforting, assuring.

16. V. 6 by the Holy Spirit- yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

17. V. 6 by sincere love- No double motives, no selfish motives.

18. V. 7 by the word of truth- Not the wisdom of man, but the Word of God.

19. V. 7 by the power of God- miracles, speaking, godly living, love, forgive, lead.

20. V. 7 by the armor of righteousness- truth, holiness, prayer, faith, etc. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

21. V. 8 by honor and dishonor- mixed opinions as to Paul’s honorable life.

22. V. 8 by evil report and good report- Some spoke evil of them; others spoke well of them.

23. V. 8 as deceivers, and yet true- accused of being deceivers, though they were truthful.

24. V. 9 as unknown, yet well known- unknown by the “important”, well known by others

25. V. 9 as dying, and behold we live- many thought Paul must be near the end, yet he lived

26. V. 9 as chastened, and yet not killed-

27. V. 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing- misunderstood as being negative, yet rejoicing

28. V. 10 as poor, yet making many rich- materially poor, but spiritually rich and enriching

29. V. 10 as having nothing, yet possessing- not possessed by possessions, yet enjoying all

A.W. Tozer
A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for one whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest; and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge. The man who has met God is not looking for anything; he has found it. He is not searching for light, for upon him the light has already shined. His certainty may seem bigoted, but his assurance is that of one who knows by experience his religion is not hearsay. He is not a copy, not a facsimile. He is an original from the hand of the Holy Spirit.