2 Corinthians 6:18
And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) And will be a Father unto you . . .—Again we have, as it were, a mosaic of citations: “I will be a Father. . . .” from 2Samuel 7:14; “Sons and daughters” from Isaiah 43:6; “Saith the Lord Almighty” from the Greek of 2Samuel 7:8. It may be noted as not without interest that the Greek word rendered “Almighty” here, and “Omnipotent” in Revelation 19:6, is commonly used in the LXX. as an equivalent for the Hebrew “Lord of Hosts” or “Lord of Sabaoth.”

6:11-18 It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their wilful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God's word, they must expect must distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?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?

Remarks

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.

continued...

18. Translate, "I will be to you in the relation of a Father, and ye shall be to me in the relation of sons and daughters." This is a still more endearing relation than (2Co 6:16), "I will be their God, and they … My people." Compare the promise to Solomon (1Ch 28:6; Isa 43:6; Re 21:3, 7; Jer 31:1, 9).

Lord Almighty—The Lord the Universal Ruler: nowhere else found but in Revelation. The greatness of the Promiser enhances the greatness of the promises.

The latter words, which are a promise of God’s reception of them who for his sake withdraw from a sinful communion with idolaters and scandalous persons, are taken out of Jeremiah 31:1,9, and teach us this: That none can reasonably expect that God should fulfil his covenant with them, who make no conscience of fulfilling their part in it with him; nor claim the benefits of a Father, who perform not the duties of his children: but on the contrary, those who are conscientious in the discharge of their duties of filial obedience, may expect from him both the kindness and the protection of a Father; which is the more valuable because he is the

Lord God Almighty, who wants no power to protect them, or so to influence them, as to make them in all things happy, as the children of so great a Father. And will be a father unto you,.... The same is promised to Solomon, 2 Samuel 7:14 and said of Israel, Jeremiah 31:9 which is thought to be referred unto. This is not to be understood of the first commencement of this relation, as though God now began to be their Father; nor indeed of the first manifestation of it, which had been already made to their souls by the Spirit of adoption, witnessing to their spirits that God was their Father, and they were his children; but of his acting, and continuing to act the part of a father to them; which he does, by pitying his children, sympathizing with them, and supporting them under all their trials and afflictions; by taking care of them, that they have food and raiment convenient for them; by laying up for them, as he has done in his covenant, in his Son, and in heaven; by communicating unto them, by passing by their offences and miscarriages to him, and by correcting them for their good, and at last giving them the heavenly inheritance, and putting them into the possession of it:

and ye shall be my sons and daughters. This also does not relate to the first act of adoption, when these persons first became the sons and daughters of God; for so they were by adopting grace, in the mind, counsel, and covenant of God, from eternity; as such they were considered when given to Christ, when he assumed their nature, and died to gather them together in one; and as antecedent to faith and the work of the Spirit upon their souls: nor even of the first discovery of this grace unto them; but the meaning is, that whereas they were the sons and daughters of God, they should be treated as such; whenever he spoke to them, or dealt with them in providence, he would speak to them and deal with them as children; or it may refer to the more full and open manifestation of their sonship, before angels and men, at the appearance of Christ: to all which is added,

saith the Lord Almighty; for confirmation sake, and to encourage the faith of the saints; since he who said all this is the Lord God Almighty, and so able to perform it; and of which, and his willingness, no question is to be made, since he has said it.

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 6:18. Continuation of the promise begun with κἀγὼ εἰσδέξ. ὑμ., and holding forth the holy compensation for the enjoined severance from an unholy intercourse with the heathen. The passage is most probably a free and enlarged quotation from 2 Samuel 7:14. It bears less resemblance to Jeremiah 31:9, or even to Isaiah 43:6. And Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38, are quite out of the question, because there the sonship is not mentioned. Cajetanus conjectured as to a writing now lost, just as Ewald finds, from κἀγώ onwards, a passage now unknown to us; according to Grotius, the words are ex hymno aliquo celebri apud Hebraeos. The freedom of the N. T. writers in using probative passages from the O. T. renders both hypotheses unnecessary; of the latter no instance can be shown in Paul, and in itself it is arbitrar.

κύριος παντοκράτωρ] “ex hac appellatione perspicitur magnitudo promissionum,” Bengel; rather, on account of the specific contents of παντοκ.: the unquestionable certainty of the fulfilment (Romans 4:21; 2 Corinthians 9:8, al.), which no power can hinder. Used only here by Paul (often in the Apocal.), who has, however, taken it from 2 Samuel 7:8, LXX., where λέγει κυρ. παντοκρ. introduces the divine utterance.2 Corinthians 6:18. καὶ ἔσομαι κ.τ.λ.: and “I will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to Me sons and daughters,” saith the Lord Almighty. The ideal relation of Israel to Jehovah was that of a son to a father (Exodus 4:22, Jeremiah 31:9, Hosea 1:10); but the full meaning of such words was reserved for Him to teach who came to reveal the Father (Matthew 11:27), as their full blessedness can be realised only by the heir of the Father’s kingdom who “overcomes” at last (Revelation 21:7).18. saith the Lord Almighty] Another combination of various passages. See 2 Samuel 7:14; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 14:11; Ezekiel 37:27.2 Corinthians 6:18. Εἰς υἱοὺς καὶ θυγατέρας, in the relation of sons and daughters) Isaiah 43:6. The promise, given to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:6, is applied to all believers.—Κύριος παντοκράτωρ, the Lord Almighty [the Universal Ruler]. From this title we perceive the greatness of the promises. Now the word παντοκράτωρ, [Universal Ruler] Almighty, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament but in the Apocalypse; but here Paul uses it after the manner of the LXX. interpreters, because he quotes the passage from the Old Testament.Verse 18. - And will be a Father unto you. These reminiscences are sufficiently near to 2 Samuel 7:8-14; Isaiah 43:6; Jeremiah 31:9, to render needless the supposition that they come from any apocryphal book (Ewald) or Jewish hymn (Grotius). Saith the Lord Almighty. The phrase, not elsewhere used by St. Paul, is taken from 2 Samuel 7:8 (LXX.). The epithet indicates the certain fulfilment of the promises. Pantokrator, for "Almighty," is used in the LXX. for "Lord of sabaoth," and in the New Testament only occurs elsewhere in the Apocalypse.



I will be to you, etc.

From 2 Samuel 7:14, where the Septuagint and Hebrew agree. Paul says sons and daughters for son.

Almighty (παντοκράτωρ)

The word is peculiar to Revelation, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. Here it is a quotation. Frequent in the Septuagint.

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