2 Corinthians 6:5 MEANING

2 Corinthians 6:5
(5) In stripes . . .--The list becomes more specific. "Stripes" we have seen at Philippi (Acts 16:23), and 2 Corinthians 11:23-24 show that there were other instances. Of "imprisonment?," that at Philippi is, so far, the only recorded instance (Acts 16:24); but there may well have been others, as in 2 Corinthians 11:23. "Tumults" (the same word as in Luke 21:9) at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:50), Lystra (Acts 14:5-19), Thessalonica (Acts 17:5), Corinth itself (Acts 18:12), and Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41). "Labours" describe the usual tenor of his life, the daily work of his calling as a tent-maker, as well as that connected with his ministry. "Watchings" and "fastings" are, probably, both of them (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:27) to be referred to voluntary acts--nights of vigil and self-imposed abstinence--rather than to privations incidental to his work.

Verse 5. - In stripes (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). The stripes were of two kinds - from Jewish whips and Roman rods. But of the five scourgings with Jewish whips not one is mentioned in the Acts, and only one of the three scourgings with Roman rods (Acts 16:23). Nothing, therefore, is more clear than that the Acts only furnishes us with a fragmentary and incomplete record, in which, as we gather from the Epistles, either the agonies of St. Paul's lifelong martyrdom are for some reason intentionally minimized, or else (which is, perhaps, mere probable) St. Paul was, as his rule and habit, so reticent about his own sufferings in the cause of Christ that St. Luke was only vaguely, if at all, aware of many scenes of trial through which he had passed. In imprisonments. St. Paul was frequently in prison, but St. Luke only tells us of one of these occasions (Acts 16:24) - at Philippi; the Roman imprisonment and that at Caesarea were subsequent to this Epistle. In tumults. These were a normal incident of St. Paul's life, both up to this time and for years afterwards (Acts 13:50; Acts 14:19; Acts 16:22; Acts 17:4, 5; Acts 18:12; Acts 19:28, 29; Acts 21:27-39; Acts 22:22, 23; Acts 23:9, 10; Acts 27:42, etc.) The word akatastasiai might also mean "insecurities," i.e. homelessness, wanderings, uncertainties (comp. 1 Corinthians 4:11); but New Testament usage seems decisive in favour of the frowner meaning (2 Corinthians 12:20; 1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:15). In labours (2 Corinthians 11:28; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Acts 20:34; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8). In watchings. "Spells of sleeplessness" were a necessary incident of such a life; and an eminently nervous nature like that of St. Paul is rarely capable of the habitual relief of sound steep. Hence he again refers to this in 2 Corinthians 11:27. His "sleeplessness" was sometimes the necessary result of labours "night and day" (Acts 20:31; 1 Thessalonians 2:9, etc.). In fastings. St. Paul never inculcates the practice of voluntary fasting as a duty (for the reading in 1 Corinthians 7:5 is more than dubious); but it is probable that he found it personally useful at times (Acts 13:2, 3; Acts 14:23; Acts 9:9). The nine forms of suffering hitherto mentioned - three general, three specific, and three voluntary - are all physical sufferings borne with "much endurance."

6:1-10 The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears. The gospel day is a day of salvation, the means of grace the means of salvation, the offers of the gospel the offers of salvation, and the present time the proper time to accept these offers. The morrow is none of ours: we know not what will be on the morrow, nor where we shall be. We now enjoy a day of grace; then let all be careful not to neglect it. Ministers of the gospel should look upon themselves as God's servants, and act in every thing suitably to that character. The apostle did so, by much patience in afflictions, by acting from good principles, and by due temper and behaviour. Believers, in this world, need the grace of God, to arm them against temptations, so as to bear the good report of men without pride; and so as to bear their reproaches with patience. They have nothing in themselves, but possess all things in Christ. Of such differences is a Christian's life made up, and through such a variety of conditions and reports, is our way to heaven; and we should be careful in all things to approve ourselves to God. The gospel, when faithfully preached, and fully received, betters the condition even of the poorest. They save what before they riotously spent, and diligently employ their time to useful purposes. They save and gain by religion, and thus are made rich, both for the world to come and for this, when compared with their sinful, profligate state, before they received the gospel.In stripes,.... As the Apostle Paul particularly was, who was thrice beaten with rods, and five times scourged by the Jews with the scourge of forty stripes save one.

In imprisonments; under which are included bonds, in which they often were for the Gospel of Christ:

in tumults; and uproars of the people, when their lives were frequently in imminent danger: or "in tossings to and fro"; being drove from place to place through the fury of their enemies;

in labours; in a laborious ministry of the word, and administration of ordinances; or by labouring with their own hands to supply their necessities:

in watchings; being obliged to work night and day at their hand labour, and in preaching, praying, and singing psalms; which exercises they were often employed in at midnight:

in fastings; by which are meant not voluntary, but involuntary ones, through want of food to eat.

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