A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown  at sacred-texts.com
2 Corinthians 6:1
co2 6:1HIS APOSTOLIC MINISTRY IS APPROVED BY FAITHFULNESS IN EXHORTATION, IN SUFFERINGS, IN EXHIBITION OF THE FRUITS OF THE HOLY GHOST: HIS LARGENESS OF HEART TO THEM CALLS FOR ENLARGEMENT OF THEIR HEART TO HIM. EXHORTATIONS TO SEPARATION FROM POLLUTION. (2Co. 6:1-18)
workers together--with God (Act 15:4; Co1 3:9). Not only as "ambassadors."
beseech--entreat (Co2 5:20). He is describing his ministry, not exhorting directly.
you also--rather, "WE ALSO (as well as God, Co2 5:20) beseech" or "entreat you": Co2 6:14-15, on to Co2 7:1, is part of this entreaty or exhortation.
in vain--by making the grace of God a ground for continuance in sin (Co2 6:3). By a life of sin, showing that the word of reconciliation has been in vain, so far as you are concerned (Heb 12:15; Jde 1:4). "The grace of God" here, is "the reconciliation" provided by God's love (Co2 5:18-19; compare Gal 2:2).
2 Corinthians 6:2
co2 6:2For--God's own promise is the ground of our exhortation.
he saith--God the Father saith to God the Son, and so to all believers who are regarded as one with Him.
heard thee--In the eternal purposes of my love I have hearkened to thy prayer for the salvation of thy people (compare Joh 17:9, Joh 17:15, Joh 17:20, Joh 17:24).
accepted . . . accepted--The Greek of the latter is more emphatic, "well-accepted." What was "an accepted time" in the prophecy (Isa 49:8, Hebrew, "in the season of grace") becomes "the well-accepted time" in the fulfilment (compare Psa 69:13). As it is God's time of receiving sinners, receive ye His grace: accept (Co2 6:1) the word of reconciliation in His accepted time.
in the day of salvation--"in a day of salvation" (Luk 4:18-19, Luk 4:21; Luk 19:42; Heb 3:7).
2 Corinthians 6:3
co2 6:3Resuming the connection with Co2 6:1, interrupted by the parenthetical Co2 6:2. "Giving no offense" (compare Co1 10:33), "approving ourselves," and all the other participles down to Co2 6:10, are nominatives to "we also entreat you" (Co2 6:1), to show the pains he took to enforce his exhortation by example, as well as precept [ALFORD]. "Offense" would be given, if we were without "patience" and the other qualifications which he therefore subjoins (compare Rom 14:13).
2 Corinthians 6:4
co2 6:4Translate, to mark the true order of the Greek words, "in everything, as God's ministers recommending ourselves," that is, that our hearers may give our message a favorable hearing, through our consistency in every respect, not that they may glorify us. Alluding to Co2 3:1, he implies, We commend ourselves, not like them by word, but by deed.
patience-- (Co2 12:12). Put first. "Pure-minded" follows (Co2 6:6). Three triplets of trials exercising the "patience" (patient endurance) follow: Afflictions (or "tribulations"), necessities, distresses (or "straits"); stripes, imprisonments, tumults; labors, watchings, fastings. The first triplet expresses afflictions generally; the second, those in particular arising from the violence of men; the third, those which he brought on himself directly or indirectly.
2 Corinthians 6:5
co2 6:5stripes-- (Co2 11:23-24; Act 16:23).
imprisonments-- (Co2 11:23). He had been, doubtless, elsewhere imprisoned besides at Philippi when he wrote this Epistle.
tumults-- (Act 13:50; Act 14:5, Act 14:19; Act 16:22; and recently Acts 19:23-41).
labours--in the cause of Christ (Co2 11:23; Rom 16:12).
watchings-- (Co2 11:27). Sleepless nights.
fastings--The context here refers to his trials, rather than devotional exercises (compare Co2 11:27). Thus "foodlessness" would seem to be the sense (compare Co1 4:11; Phi 4:12). But the usual sense of the Greek is fasts, in the strict sense; and in Co2 11:27 it is spoken of independently of "hunger and thirst." (Compare Luk 2:37; Act 10:30; Act 14:23). However, Mat 15:32; Mar 8:3, justify the sense, more favored by the context, foodlessness, though a rare use of the word. GAUSSEN remarks "The apostles combine the highest offices with the humblest exterior: as everything in the Church was to be cast in the mould of death and resurrection, the cardinal principle throughout Christianity."
2 Corinthians 6:6
co2 6:6By . . . by, &c.--rather, as Greek, "In . . . in," implying not the instrument, but the sphere or element in which his ministry moved.
knowledge--spiritual: in Gospel mysteries, unattainable by mere reason (Co1 2:6-16; Co2 3:6, Co2 3:17-18).
long-suffering . . . kindness--associated with "charity" or "love" (Co1 13:4), as here.
by the Holy Ghost--in virtue of His influences which produce these graces, and other gifts, "love unfeigned" being the foremost of them.
2 Corinthians 6:7
co2 6:7By the word of truth, by the power of God--rather, "IN . . . in," &c. As to "the word of truth" (compare Co2 4:2; Col 1:5), and "the (miraculous) power of God" (Co2 4:7); Co1 2:4, "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."
by the armour--Greek, "through" or "by means of the armor." "Righteousness," which is the breastplate alone in Eph 6:13-17, here is made the whole Christian panoply (compare Co2 10:4).
on . . . right . . . and . . . left--that is, guarding on every side.
2 Corinthians 6:8
co2 6:8Translate, "Through glory and dishonor (disgrace)," namely, from those in authority, and accruing to us present. "By," or "through evil report and good report," from the multitude, and affecting us absent [BENGEL]. Regarded "as deceivers" by those who, not knowing (Co2 6:9), dishonor and give us an evil report; "as true," by those who "know" (Co2 6:9) us in the real "glory" of our ministry. In proportion as one has more or less of glory and good report, in that degree has he more or less of dishonor and evil report.
2 Corinthians 6:9
co2 6:9unknown . . . yet well known--"unknown" in our true character to those who "evil report" of us, "well known" to those who hold us in "good report" (Co2 6:8). CONYBEARE explains, "Unknown by men, yet acknowledged by God" (Co1 13:12). Perhaps both God and men (believers) are intended as knowing him (Co2 5:11; Co2 11:6).
dying . . . live-- (Co2 1:9; Co2 4:10-11; Co2 11:23). Compare GAUSSEN'S remark, see on Co2 6:5. "Behold" calls attention to the fact as something beyond all expectation.
chastened . . . not killed--realizing Psa 118:18.
2 Corinthians 6:10
co2 6:10The "as" no longer is used to express the opinion of his adversaries, but the real state of him and his fellow laborers.
making many rich--Spiritually (Co1 1:5), after the example of our Lord, who "by His poverty made many rich" (Co2 8:9).
having nothing--Whatever of earthly goods we have, and these are few, we have as though we had not; as tenants removable at will, not owners (Co1 7:30).
possessing all things--The Greek implies firm possession, holding fast in possession (compare Co1 3:21-22). The things both of the present and of the future are, in the truest sense, the believer's in possession, for he possesses them all in Christ, his lasting possession, though the full fruition of them is reserved for the future eternity.
2 Corinthians 6:11
co2 6:11mouth . . . open unto you--I use no concealment, such as some at Corinth have insinuated (Co2 4:2). I use all freedom and openness of speech to you as to beloved friends. Hence he introduces here, "O Corinthians" (compare Phi 4:15). The enlargement of his heart towards them (Co2 7:3) produced his openness of mouth, that is, his unreserved expression of his inmost feelings. As an unloving man is narrow in heart, so the apostle's heart is enlarged by love, so as to take in his converts at Corinth, not only with their graces, but with their many shortcomings (compare Kg1 4:29; Psa 119:32; Isa 60:5).
2 Corinthians 6:12
co2 6:12Any constraint ye feel towards me, or narrowness of heart, is not from want of largeness of heart on my part towards you, but from want of it on your part towards me.
bowels--that is, affections (compare Co2 12:15).
not straitened in us--that is, for want of room in our hearts to take you in.
2 Corinthians 6:13
co2 6:13Translate, "As a recompense in the same kind . . . be enlarged also yourselves" [ELLICOTT]. "In the same way" as my heart is enlarged towards you (Co2 6:11), and "as a recompense" for it (Gal 4:12).
I speak as unto my children--as children would naturally be expected to recompense their parents' love with similar love.
2 Corinthians 6:14
co2 6:14Be not--Greek, "Become not."
unequally yoked--"yoked with one alien in spirit." The image is from the symbolical precept of the law (Lev 19:19), "Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind"; or the precept (Deu 22:10), "Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together." Compare Deu 7:3, forbidding marriages with the heathen; also Co1 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. Too close intercourse with unbelievers in other relations also is included (Co2 6:16; Co1 8:10; Co1 10:14).
fellowship--literally, "share," or "participation."
righteousness--the state of the believer, justified by faith.
unrighteousness--rather, as always translated elsewhere, "iniquity"; the state of the unbeliever, the fruit of unbelief.
light--of which believers are the children (Th1 5:5).
2 Corinthians 6:15
co2 6:15Belial--Hebrew, "worthlessness, unprofitableness, wickedness." As Satan is opposed to God, and Antichrist to Christ; Belial being here opposed to Christ, must denounce all manner of Antichristian uncleanness [BENGEL].
he that believeth with an infidel--Translate, "a believer with an unbeliever."
2 Corinthians 6:16
co2 6:16agreement--accordance of sentiments (compare Kg1 18:21; Eph 5:7, Eph 5:11).
the temple of God--that is, you believers (Co1 3:16; Co1 6:19).
with idols--Compare Dagon before the ark (Sa1 5:2-4).
as--"even as God said." Quotation from Lev 26:12; Jer 31:33; Jer 32:38; Eze 37:26-27; compare Mat 28:20; Joh 14:23.
walk in them--rather, "among them." As "dwell" implies the divine presence, so "walk," the divine operation. God's dwelling in the body and soul of saints may be illustrated by its opposite, demoniacal possession of body and soul.
my people--rather, "they shall be to me a people."
2 Corinthians 6:17
co2 6:17Quoted from Isa 52:11, with the freedom of one inspired, who gives variations sanctioned by the Holy Spirit.
be ye separate--"be separated" (Hos 4:17).
touch not the unclean thing--rather, "anything unclean" (Co2 7:1; Mic 2:10). Touching is more polluting, as implying participation, than seeing.
receive you--The Greek implies, "to myself"; as persons heretofore out of doors, but now admitted within (Co2 5:1-10). With this accords the clause, "Come out from among them," namely, so as to be received to me. So Eze 20:41, "I will accept you"; and Zep 3:19, "gather her that was driven out." "The intercourse of believers with the world should resemble that of angels, who, when they have been sent a message from heaven, discharge their office with the utmost promptness, and joyfully fly back home to the presence of God" (Co1 7:31; Co1 5:9-10).
2 Corinthians 6:18
co2 6:18Translate, "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 (Co2 6:16), "I will be their God, and they . . . My people." Compare the promise to Solomon (Ch1 28:6; Isa 43:6; Rev 21:3, Rev 21:7; Jer 31:1, Jer 31:9).
Lord Almighty--The Lord the Universal Ruler: nowhere else found but in Revelation. The greatness of the Promiser enhances the greatness of the promises.