on 2-corinthians 6 :18
Will be a Father unto you - I will act towards you as the most affectionate father can act towards his most tender and best beloved child.
And ye shall be my sons and daughters - Ye shall all be of the household of God, the family of heaven; ye shall be holy, happy, and continually safe.
Saith the Lord Almighty - Κυριος παντοκρατωρ· The Lord, the Governor of all things.
Earthly fathers, however loving and affectionate, may fail to provide for their children, because every thing is not at their disposal; they may frequently lack both the power and the means, though to will may be present with them; but the Lord who made and who governs all things can never lack will, power, nor means. The promise is sure to the children; and the children are those who take the Almighty for their God. For the promise belongs to no soul that is not separate from sinful ways, works, and men; those who touch the unclean thing, i.e. who do what God forbids, and hold communion with unrighteousness, can never stand in the endearing relation of children to God Almighty: and this is most forcibly stated by God himself, in these verses, and in the beginning of the following chapter, the first verse of which should conclude this.
To the Jews the promises were originally made; they would not have God for their God, but would work iniquity. What was the consequence? God cast them off; and those who were joined to iniquity were separated from him. "Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God." Hosea 1:9. The Jews were therefore cast off, and the Gentiles taken in their place; but even these, under the new covenant, are taken in expressly under the same conditions as the apostle here most fully states. Those who apply these words in any other way pervert their meaning, and sin against their souls.
on 2-corinthians 6 :18
And will be a Father unto you - A father is the protector, counselor, and guide of his children. He instructs them, provides for them, and counsels them in time of perplexity. No relation is more tender than this. In accordance with this, God says, that he will be to his people their protector, counsellor, guide, and friend. He will cherish toward them the feeling of a father; he will provide for them, he will acknowledge them as his children. No higher honor can be conferred on mortals than to be adopted into the family of God, and to be permitted to call the Most High our Father. No rank is so elevated as that of being the sons and the daughters of the Lord Almighty. Yet this is the common appellation by which God addresses his people; and the most humble in rank, the most poor and ignorant of his friends on earth, the most despised among people, may reflect that they are the children of the ever-living God, and have the Maker of the heavens and the earth as their Father and their eternal Friend. How poor are all the honors of the world compared with this!
The Lord Almighty - The word used here (παντοκράτωρ pantokratōr) occurs nowhere except in this place and in the book of Revelation; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:6, Revelation 19:16; Revelation 21:22. It means one who has all power; and is applied to God in contradistinction from idols that are weak and powerless. God is able to protect his people, and they who put their trust in him shall never be confounded. What has he to fear who has a friend of almighty power?
1. It is right and proper to exhort Christians not to receive the grace of God in vain, 2 Corinthians 6:1. Even they sometimes abuse their privileges; become neglectful of the mercy of God; undervalue the truths of religion, and do not make as much as they should do of the glorious truths that are suited to sanctify and to save. Every Christian should endeavor to make just as much as possible of his privileges, and to become just as eminent as he can possibly be in his Christian profession.
2. The benefits of salvation to this world come through the intercession of Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 6:2. It is because God is pleased to hear him; because he calls on God in an accepted time that we have any hope of pardon. The sinner enjoys no offer of mercy, and no possibility of pardon except what he owes to Jesus Christ. Should he cease to plead for people, the offers of salvation would be withdrawn, and the race would perish forever.
3. The world is under a dispensation of mercy, 2 Corinthians 6:2. People may be saved: God is willing to show compassion, and to rescue them from ruin.
4. How important is the present moment! 2 Corinthians 6:2. How important is each moment! It may be the last period of mercy. No sinner can calculate with any certainty on another instant of time. God holds his breath, and with, infinite ease he can remove him to eternity. Eternal results hang on the present - the fleeting moment, and yet how unconcerned are the mass of people about their present condition; how unanxious about what may possibly or probably occur the next moment! Now, the sinner may be pardoned. The next moment he may be beyond the reach of forgiveness. This instant, the bliss of heaven is offered him; the next, he may be solemnly excluded from hope and heaven!
5. The ministers of the gospel should give no occasion of offence to any one, 2 Corinthians 6:3. On each one of them depends a portion of the honor of the ministry in this world, and of the honor of Jesus Christ among people. How solemn is this responsibility! How pure, and holy, and unblameable should they be!
6. Ministers and all Christians should be willing to suffer in the cause of the Redeemer, 2 Corinthians 6:4-5. If the early ministers and other Christians were called to endure the pains of imprisonment and persecution for the honor of the gospel, assuredly we should be willing also to suffer. Why should there be anymore reason for their suffering than for ours?
7. We see what our religion has cost, 2 Corinthians 6:4-5. It has come down to us through suffering. All the privileges that we enjoy have been the fruit of toil, and blood, and tears, and sighs. The best blood in human veins has flowed to procure these blessings; the holiest people on earth have wept, and been scourged, and tortured, that we might possess these privileges. What thanks should we give to God for all this! How highly should we prize the religion that has cost so much!
8. In trial we should evince such a spirit as not to dishonor, but to honor our religion, 2 Corinthians 6:3-5. This is as incumbent on all Christians as it is on ministers of the gospel. It is in such scenes that the reality of religion is tested. It is then that its power is seen. It is then that its value may be known. Christians and Christian ministers often do good in circumstances of poverty, persecution, and sickness, which they never do in health, and in popular favor, and in prosperity. And God often places his people in trial that they may do good then, expecting that they will accomplish more then than they could in prosperous circumstances They whose aim it is to do good have often occasion to bless God that they were subjected to trial. Bunyan wrote the "Pilgrim's Progress" in a dungeon; and almost all the works of Baxter were written when he was suffering under persecution, and forbidden to preach the gospel. The devil is often foiled in this way. He persecutes and opposes Christians; and on the rack and at the stake they do most to destroy his kingdom; he throws them into dungeons, and they make books which go down even to the millennium, making successful war on the empire of darkness. Christians, therefore, should esteem it a privilege to be permitted to suffer on account of Christ; Philippians 1:29.
9. If ministers and other Christians do any good they must be pure, 2 Corinthians 6:6-7. The gospel is to be commended by pureness, and knowledge, and the word of truth, and the armor of righteousness. It is in this way that they are to meet opposition; in this way that they are to propagate their sentiments. No man need expect to do good in the ministry or as a private Christian, who is not a holy man. No man who is a holy man can help doing good. It will be a matter of course that he will shed a healthful moral influence around him. And he will no more live without effect than the sun sheds its steady beams on the earth without effect. His influence may be very noiseless and still, like the sunbeams or the dew, but it will be felt in the world. Wicked people can resist anything else better than they can a holy example. They can make a mock of preaching; they can deride exhortation; they can throw away a tract; they can burn the Bible; but what can they do against a holy example? No more than they can against the vivifying and enlightening beams of the sun; and a man who leads a holy life cannot help doing good, and cannot be prevented from doing good.
10. They who are Christians must expect to meet with much dishonor, and to be subjected often to the influence of evil report, 2 Corinthians 6:8. The world is unfriendly to religion, and its friends must never be surprised if their motives are impeached, and their names calumniated.
11. Especially is this the case with ministers, 2 Corinthians 6:8. They should make up their minds to it, and they should not suppose that any strange thing had happened to them if they are called thus to suffer.
on 2-corinthians 6 :18
6:18 And ye shall be to me for sons and for daughters, saith the Lord Almighty - The promise made to Solomon, 1Chr 28:6, is here applied to all believers; as the promise made particularly to Joshua is applied to them, Heb 13:5. Who can express the worth, who can conceive the dignity, of this divine adoption? Yet it belongs to all who believe the gospel, who have faith in Christ. They have access to the Almighty; such free and welcome access, as a beloved child to an indulgent father. To him they may fly for aid in every difficulty, and from him obtain a supply in all their wants. Isaiah 43:6.