Reading for Tuesday, Sept 25: 2 Cor 6
The ministry of reconciliation is a present-tense endeavor. We declare the timeless power of the Gospel to transform our hearts in the present moment. “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation,” (v2). The Gospel is an ever-present reality, a message to be received today.
As proof of the Gospel’s power, Paul commends his way of life to the Corinthians: in great endurance, hardships, imprisonments, sleeplessness, hunger, purity, patience, both glory and dishonor (v4-8). What appears to be adversity is transformed into a demonstration of the Gospel’s redemptive scope. The Christian existence is one of simultaneous “glory and dishonor” (v8): “genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, yet possessing everything,” (v8-10). We don’t cave to the appearance of things. The narrator of the story has already clued us in. We know the true state of affairs. And this knowledge animates us forward, grounding us to endure life’s adversity and challenges in view of heaven’s breaking dawn.
This clear distinction between the way things appear and their true reality leads Paul to his thought in v14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” Paul cautions believers to maintain an awareness of their identity amid the world’s misperception of reality. “For we are the temple of the living God,” (v16). We are to be receptacles of God’s holiness and loving kindness in the world. To be unequally yoked is to court the world’s narrative rather than the truth of God.