May 3, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 2 Corinthians 6-8
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Context: Paul talks of the hardships that come with following the Lord. Yet, along with the hardships come positives and encouragements. Our daily lives must represent Christ so that we may come to be trusted. We must remain inwardly and outwardly pure for Christ. We should not permanently bind ourselves to unbelievers, as through marriage, for example. This is not to say that we should not minister to them. We should also not participate in worldly activities which could lead us to stumble. Beginning in chapter 7, Paul talks of the joy the Corinthians have brought him, even with their recent conflict. Even in compliments, Paul is teaching and defending himself (7:2b) from accusations brought by visitors to Corinth. In chapter 8, Paul talks of joyful and willing giving. Corinth once had that spirit, eagerly jumping at the chance to give and help others. Paul wants them to again feel that way and to honor their previous commitment, for it is not enough to talk, we must also deliver in our actions.
World History: In 6:15, Paul contrasts Jesus and Belial or Beliar. Based on context, this likely refers to the devil. Belial appears several times in the Old Testament, often in reference to the sons and/or daughters of Belial. Those referenced as such were scoundrels, rouges, or wicked people. This name also appears in the Apocrypha.