Read 2 Cor. 6:1-2 – Workers with Him

1. In verse 1, Paul states that we are co-workers together with God. Explain this. (Consider the ministry given to us as explained in 2 Cor. 5:18-21)

2. (vs 1) Describe the grace of God that you have received.

a. How might this grace be received in vain?

b. Paul is pleading with them…and with us. What does this mean and why would he use such a strong word?

3. (vs 2) Paul is quoting Isaiah 49:8. It brings with it a sense of urgency. (Note the word “now”)
As women who live in relative peace and comfort, what can we learn from this?

Read 2 Cor. 6:3 – Blameless in Ministry

1. Consider this quote from Guzik: Of course, Paul’s ministry was blamed and discredited by the Corinthian Christians. What Paul means is that our ministry may not rightly be blamed. Paul could not do anything about false accusations except live in such a way that any fair-minded person would see such accusations as false. How can we apply this to our own lives?

Read 2 Cor. 6:4-10 – Paul’s Experiences in Ministry

1. Verse 4:

a. In much patience: this word has the idea of endurance, not just waiting. Why might Paul have listed this first?

b. In tribulations, in needs, in distresses (these are general struggles of life): these begin the list of reasons that caused Paul to need much patience. What kinds of things might be represented by tribulations, needs, distresses?

2. Verse 5:

In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults (these are sufferings directly inflicted by men): Think through what you know about Paul’s life. Where and when did Paul experience these things at the hands of men? Can you list scripture references for these events?

In labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings (these are his self-inflicted hardships): Describe why these things would cause hardship.

3. Verses 6-7: Here Paul lists some of the resources he depended on to endure hardship.

By purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love: What would these look like in one who ministers?

By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left: How are these resources utilized?

– Further insight : The idea of on the right hand and on the left is of holding both offensive and defensive weapons. It probably has in mind “both advancing and being attacked.” “Particularly, the shield and the sword; the former on the left arm, the latter on the right hand. We have the doctrine of truth, and the power of God, as an armour to protect us on all sides, everywhere, and on all occasions.” (Clarke)

4. In verses 8-10 Paul concludes by describing these paradoxical experiences. It speaks of what the world thought of him and what God thought of him. Complete this chart with words from vs. 8-10.

The World’s Perspective of Paul                                                                                             God’s Perspective of Paul

 

 

5. Which of these two perspectives was true, the world’s or God’s….. or both? Consider 2 Cor. 4:18 for your answer.

6. Which of these two perspectives are most important to you? Does your life and do your priorities reflect this? Are you making choices that are in agreement with what is most important to you? Ask the Lord if there are any changes He would want you to make regarding these things?