2 Corinthians 2:17
For we are not like so many others, who peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as men sent from God.
Conscious Simplicity and IntegrityR. Tuck 2 Corinthians 2:17
Corrupting the Word of GodJ. Denney, B. D.2 Corinthians 2:17
The Way to Preach the GospelD. Thomas, D. D.2 Corinthians 2:17
Coming to Troas; Disquietude; Defence of His ApostleshipC. Lipscomb 2 Corinthians 2:12-17
The Effect of the Gospel MinistryT. Moir, M. A.2 Corinthians 2:12-17
The Constant Triumph of the Faithful MinisterE. Hurndall 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

The word for 'corrupt,' formed from a word which signifies 'huckster,' or ' tavern keeper,' implies an adulteration like that which such people commonly practised. We, says St. Paul, play no such tricks of trade with what we preach; we do not meet the tastes of our hearers by prophesying deceits. The very fact that we know the tremendous issues of our work would hinder that. God's gospel word, the message of eternal life in Christ Jesus, may be adulterated or corrupted in three ways.

1. By mixing up with it foreign, inharmonious, merely human, teachings.

2. Or by making the gospel revelation into a stiffened, formal creed, over the precise terms of which we may wrangle and dispute.

3. Or by displacing the true motive in preaching it, and giving place to low aims, and purposes of merely selfish ambition, and longing for the praise of men. The appeal of the text has its special force when we remember of what things the Judaizing party accused the apostle. St. Paul's enemies forced this appeal from him. Usually it is enough that the sincere and true man should keep on his faithful way, little heeding the opinions or accusations of others, trusting the care of his reputation to God. But occasions do arise when something like public vindication becomes necessary, and a man is called to assert his conscious integrity. Of this we have two very striking instances recorded in Scripture. Samuel, when set aside by the mistaken longing for a visible king, felt deeply hurt, though more for the insult thus offered to Jehovah, the ever-present but invisible King, than for his own sake. He pleaded thus with the people: "I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you" (1 Samuel 12:2, 3). And David, misunderstood and slandered, turns to speak to God in the bearing of the people, and says, "Judge me... according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me" (Psalm 7:8). Consider -


1. On the one side, the trust of Divine revelation and message. Illustrate by the direct communications of the Divine will made to the ancient prophets. These they were expected to deliver with all simplicity and completeness, and without making any additions of their own to them.

2. On the other side, the trust of men's souls. The world was given to the apostles as the sphere in which their gospel message was to be delivered. Such a trust demanded seriousness, sincerity, and holy zeal. It should ever call out the best that is in a man.

II. THE PERIL OF ITS INJURY THROUGH THE GUILE OF THE SELF SEEKER. Men will surely take their impressions of it from the character of the men who preach it. If we get a soiled idea of the gospel preacher, as an insincere, self-seeking man, it is only too likely that we shall have a soiled and stained image of the gospel that he preaches in our minds. Men can make golden glowings or deep shadows rest on the gospel that they declare, the message which they have in trust.

III. THE FORCE OF IT AS PRESERVED WHEN THE AGENT IS GUILELESS AND SINCERE. The stream gets no foulness as it flows through him. Illustrate how men of transparent character and beautiful piety put honour on religion. The commendation of Christ's gospel to men is

(1) the pure and stainless Christ himself, and then

(2) the graciousness and charm of his servants who are like him.

The force behind gospel preaching is the life of the men who preach. The simple-minded, sincere, uncorrupted man may positively make additions to the practical power of the gospel upon men. Distinguish, however, between simplicity and moral weakness, and also between guilelessness and ignorance. The simplicity required is "unity" as opposed to "double mindedness;" it is being wholly for God. ? R.T.

For we are not as many, which corrupt the Word of God.
The expression has the idea of self-interest, and especially of petty gain, at its basis. It means literally to sell in small quantities, to retail for profit. But it was specially applied to tavern keeping, and extended to cover all the devices by which the wine-sellers in ancient times deceived their customers. Then it was used figuratively as here; and Lucian speaks of philosophers as selling the sciences, and in most cases (οἱ πολλοι a curious parallel to St. Paul), like tavern keepers "blending, adulterating, and giving bad measure." There are two separable ideas here. One is that of men qualifying the gospel, infiltrating their own ideas into the Word of God, tempering its severity, or perhaps its goodness, veiling its inexorableness, dealing in compromise. The other is that all such proceedings are faithless and dishonest because some private interest underlies them. It need not be avarice, though it is as likely to be this as anything else. A man corrupts the Word of God, makes it the stock in trade of a paltry business of his own, in many other ways than by subordinating it to the need of a livelihood. When he exercises his calling as minister for the gratification of his vanity, or when he preaches not that awful message in which life and death are bound up, but himself, his cleverness, his learning, humour, fine voice or gestures, he does so. He makes the Word minister to him, instead of being a minister of the Word; and that is the essence of the sin. It is the same if ambition be his motive, if he preaches to win disciples to himself, to gain an ascendency over souls, to become the head of a party which will bear the impress of his mind.

(J. Denney, B. D.)

I. WITH CONSCIOUS HONESTY. "As of sincerity" in direct antagonism to all duplicity and hypocrisy. No man can preach the gospel effectively who is not a true man — true to himself and to the doctrines he proclaims. He must be uninfluenced by prepossessions, by sectarian bias, by worldly interests or fame. No man can have this conscious honesty —

1. Unless he preaches his own personal convictions of the gospel. Not the opinions of others, nor even his own opinions, but convictions self-formed, vital, and profound.

2. Unless his own convictions have been reached by impartial, earnest, and devout study. The man who thus preaches, preaches a fresh, living, mighty gospel.

II. WITH CONSCIOUS DIVINITY. "Of God, in the sight of God," i.e.

1. From God. He must feel that he has a Divine commission.

2. Before God. "In the sight of God." He must feel that the God who hath sent him confronts him. This consciousness will make him —

(1)Earnestly living. His soul will be all excitement.

(2)Utterly fearless of man.

III. WITH CONSCIOUS CHRISTLINESS. "In Christ." There are two senses in which we are said to be in another.

1. In their affections. Without poetry or figure we are in those, in the hearts of those who love us. The child is in the heart of the loving parent, etc. Thus all Christ's disciples are in His heart, in His affections. They live in Him.

2. In their character and spirit. Thus the admiring student lives in the character and spirit of his loved teacher, the admiring reader in the thoughts and genius of his favourite author, etc. This is the sense that is specially implied in the text. What is the spirit of Christ? It is that of supreme love to the Great Father and self-sacrificing love for humanity.

(D. Thomas, D. D.).

Corinthians, Paul, Titus
Achaia, Corinth, Macedonia, Troas
TRUE, Christ, Commissioned, Communion, Contrary, Corrupt, Corrupting, Fraudulent, God's, Hucksters, Message, Motives, Peddle, Peddlers, Peddling, Presence, Profit, Sight, Sincerity, Speak, Teachers, Trade, Transparent, Unlike
1. Having shown the reason why he came not to them,
6. he requires them to forgive and to comfort that excommunicated person,
10. even as he himself upon true repentance had forgiven him;
12. declaring why he departed from Troas to Macedonia,
14. and the happy success which God gave to his preaching in all places.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Corinthians 2:17

     1690   word of God
     5307   envoy
     5465   profit
     5549   speech, positive
     5910   motives, examples
     6147   deceit, practice
     7726   evangelists, ministry
     7759   preachers, qualifications
     8252   faithfulness, relationships
     8275   honesty
     8767   hypocrisy

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

     5109   Paul, apostle

The Triumphal Procession
'Thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us in triumph in Christ and maketh manifest through us the savour of His knowledge in every place.'--2 COR. ii. 14 (R.V.) I suppose most of us have some knowledge of what a Roman Triumph was, and can picture to ourselves the long procession, the victorious general in his chariot with its white horses, the laurelled soldiers, the sullen captives, with suppressed hate flashing in their sunken eyes, the wreathing clouds of incense that went up into the blue
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Two Effects of the Gospel
And, my brethren, how sweet is that consolation which Paul applied to his own heart amid all his troubles. "Notwithstanding all," he says, "God makes known the savour of his knowledge by us in every place." Ah! with this thought a minister may lay his head upon his pillow: "God makes manifest the savour of his knowledge." With this he may shut his eyes when his career is over, and with this he may open them in heaven: "God hath made known by me the savour of his knowledge in every place," Then follow
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Since These Things are So, Because it were Too Long to Treat Thoroughly Of...
35. Since these things are so, because it were too long to treat thoroughly of all that in that "Pound" [2458] of Dictinius are set down as precedents of lying, meet to be imitated, it seemeth to me that this is the rule to which not only these, but whatever such there be, must be reduced. Namely, either what is believed to be a lie must be shown not to be such; whether it be where a truth is left untold, and yet no falsehood told; or where a true signification willeth one thing to be understood
St. Augustine—Against Lying

"But if Ye have Bitter Envying," &C.
James iii. 14.--"But if ye have bitter envying," &c. The cunning of Satan, and the deceitfulness of our own hearts, are such that when a grosser temptation will not prevail with conscience in some measure enlightened, then they transform themselves into angels of light, and deal more subtilely with us. And there is no greater subtilty of Satan, nor no stronger self deceit, than this, to palliate and cover vices with the shadow of virtue, and to present corruptions under the similitude of graces.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

There Resulteth Then from all These this Sentence...
41. There resulteth then from all these this sentence, that a lie which doth not violate the doctrine of piety, nor piety itself, nor innocence, nor benevolence, may on behalf of pudicity of body be admitted. And yet if any man should propose to himself so to love truth, not only that which consists in contemplation, but also in uttering the true thing, which each in its own kind of things is true, and no otherwise to bring forth with the mouth of the body his thought than in the mind it is conceived
St. Augustine—On Lying

On the Study of the Evidences of Christianity.
THE investigation of that important and extensive subject which includes what have been usually designated as The Evidences of Revelation,' has prescriptively occupied a considerable space in the field of theological literature, especially as cultivated in England. There is scarcely one, perhaps, of our more eminent divines who has not in a greater or less degree distinguished himself in this department, and scarcely an aspirant for theological distinction who has not thought it one of the surest
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Of the Matters to be Considered in the Councils.
Let us now consider the matters which should be treated in the councils, and with which popes, cardinals, bishops, and all learned men should occupy themselves day and night, if they loved Christ and His Church. But if they do not do so, the people at large and the temporal powers must do so, without considering the thunders of their excommunications. For an unjust excommunication is better than ten just absolutions, and an unjust absolution is worse than ten just excommunications. Therefore let
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Epistle xxxv. To Leontius, Ex-Consul.
To Leontius, Ex-Consul. Gregory to Leontius, &c. Since in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some indeed to honour but some to dishonour (2 Tim. ii. 20), who can be ignorant that in the bosom of the Universal Church some as vessels of dishonour are deputed to the lowest uses, but others, as vessels of honour, are fitted for clean uses. And yet it commonly comes to pass that the citizens of Babylon serve in task-work for Jerusalem, while
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

How the Rude in Sacred Learning, and those who are Learned but not Humble, are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 25.) Differently to be admonished are those who do not understand aright the words of the sacred Law, and those who understand them indeed aright, but speak them not humbly. For those who understand not aright the words of sacred Law are to be admonished to consider that they turn for themselves a most wholesome drought of wine into a cup of poison, and with a medicinal knife inflict on themselves a mortal wound, when they destroy in themselves what was sound by that whereby they ought,
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Preparatory Service; Sometimes Called the Confessional Service.
In our examination of the nature and meaning of the Lord's Supper, we have found that it is indeed a most important and holy Sacrament. It is in fact the most sacred of all the ordinances of the Church on earth. There is nothing beyond it--nothing so heavenly, on this side heaven, as this Feast. Nowhere else does the believer approach so near to heaven as when he stands or kneels, as a communicant at this altar, the Holy of Holies in the Church of Christ. What a solemn act! To approach this altar,
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Comforts Belonging to Mourners
Having already presented to your view the dark side of the text, I shall now show you the light side, They shall be comforted'. Where observe: 1 Mourning goes before comfort as the lancing of a wound precedes the cure. The Antinomian talks of comfort, but cries down mourning for sin. He is like a foolish patient who, having a pill prescribed him, licks the sugar but throws away the pill. The libertine is all for joy and comfort. He licks the sugar but throws away the bitter pill of repentance. If
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Letter Xlv (Circa A. D. 1120) to a Youth Named Fulk, who Afterwards was Archdeacon of Langres
To a Youth Named Fulk, Who Afterwards Was Archdeacon of Langres He gravely warns Fulk, a Canon Regular, whom an uncle had by persuasions and promises drawn back to the world, to obey God and be faithful to Him rather than to his uncle. To the honourable young man Fulk, Brother Bernard, a sinner, wishes such joy in youth as in old age he will not regret. 1. I do not wonder at your surprise; I should wonder if you were not suprised [sic] that I should write to you, a countryman to a citizen, a monk
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

A Book for Boys and Girls Or, Temporal Things Spritualized.
by John Bunyan, Licensed and entered according to order. London: Printed for, and sold by, R. Tookey, at his Printing House in St. Christopher's Court, in Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange, 1701. Advertisement by the Editor. Some degree of mystery hangs over these Divine Emblems for children, and many years' diligent researches have not enabled me completely to solve it. That they were written by Bunyan, there cannot be the slightest doubt. 'Manner and matter, too, are all his own.'[1]
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Things Pertaining to the Kingdom.
"Now is there solemn pause in earth and heaven; The Conqueror now His bonds hath riven, And Angels wonder why He stays below; Yet hath not man his lesson learned, How endless love should be returned." Hitherto our thoughts about "The Kingdom of Heaven" have been founded on the teaching of the King respecting His Kingdom recorded in the Gospels. But we must not forget to give attention to the very important time in the life of our Lord extending between His Resurrection and Ascension, during which
Edward Burbidge—The Kingdom of Heaven; What is it?

I. (Such as have lapsed, cap. vii. p. 660.) The penitential system of the Primitive days, referred to in our author, began to be changed when less public confessions were authorized, on account of the scandals which publicity generated. Changes were as follows: 1. A grave presbyter was appointed to receive and examine voluntary penitents as the Penitentiary of a diocese, and to suspend or reconcile them with due solemnities--circa a.d. 250. 2. This plan also became encumbered with difficulties and
Tertullian—On Repentance

Letter cxx. To Hedibia.
At the request of Hedibia, a lady of Gaul much interested in the study of scripture, Jerome deals with the following twelve questions. It will be noticed that several of them belong to the historical criticism of our own day. (1) How can anyone be perfect? and How ought a widow without children to live to God? (2) What is the meaning of Matt. xxvi. 29? (3) How are the discrepancies in the evangelical narratives to be accounted for? How can Matt. xxviii. 1 be reconciled with Mark xvi. 1, 2. (4) How
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

And for Your Fearlessness against them Hold this Sure Sign -- Whenever There Is...
43. And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign--whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, Who art thou? And from whence comest thou? And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy. But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind. For merely to ask, Who art thou [1083] ? and whence comest thou? is a proof of coolness.
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

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