The effects of Paul’s first letter were being felt in the assembly, although things were being rectified. Paul, as God’s coworker, urges the believers to use the grace of God to continue the cleansing process. The appropriate time for this is now, for it is the day of deliverance from sin and evil. Paul claims he is doing his part by living a blameless life, at great inconvenience to himself, so that his service will not be discredited.
Questions Regarding Apostleship
Due to the influence of false teachers, there were still some in the fellowship who were reluctant to receive Paul and his apostolic ministry. Paul, therefore, commends Timothy and himself as true servants of God by recounting a list of experiences that should validate this claim beyond all doubt. See 2 Corinthians 6:4-10. And for any who would still have reservations, Paul appeals to them by writing, “Our mouth is open to you; we are hiding nothing and keeping nothing back. And our heart is open wide to you. There is no lack of room in our hearts for you, but you lack room in your hearts for us. By way of return, do this for me; as my children, open wide your hearts to us.” See 2 Corinthians 6:11-13.
Do Not Be Unequally Yoked
Paul writes that because Christians are new creatures, they must not be united with dead unbelievers:
- What fellowship? Suggests a sharing or participation.
- What communion? Suggests a close relationship such as a marriage or a relationship with God.
- What concordance? Suggests a lack of harmony between the holiness and purity of Christ and wickedness and impurity of Satan.
- What part or portion? Suggests a deep sharing of things in common? What can a person who accepts the faith have in common with one who rejects it?
- What agreement? Suggests a common ground. What common ground can there be between the temple of God and a heathen temple?
He then reminds the Corinthians that they are God’s temples. This concept would have been familiar to them from his previous letter:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy and you are that temple. - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Finally, Paul urges the believers to take certain action: Come out. Be Separate. Touch no unclean thing. The result then will be that those who follow will be welcomed and received by the Father and will have fellowship with him. Therefore, since believers have these divine promises of blessing, we should cleanse ourselves from everything and everyone who contaminates the body and the spirit.