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2 Corinthians 7:2-3

A Holy Life Exemplified

2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.

In this passage, Paul returns to the subject of 6:13 in which he had asked the Corinthians for nothing but to love him as he had loved them. The Greek word rendered as "receive" in the KJV is χωρέω, choreo (kho-reh'-o), means "to be in a space (give space); (intransitively) to pass, enter; (transitively) to hold, admit." The RSV has, "Open your hearts to us;" which is a paraphrase, but it accurately expresses what Paul was trying to say.

"...we have wronged no man,.." This was a fact that he should not have had to state, except that the false teachers might have made some unfounded charges against him. However, the people had seen his heart and knew the truth about how he had treated all of them.

"...we have corrupted no man,.." No one's morals were corrupted by anything that Paul had ever said or done. He lived his life so as to set an example for others to follow. His life was one dedicated to purity and holiness.

"...we have defrauded no man." The Greek word, πλεονεκτέω, pleonekteo (pleh-on-ek-teh'-o), means, "to be covetous; (by implication) to over-reach." It could be translated, "We have taken advantage of no man." Speaking to the elders from the church in Ephesus, Paul said, "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel." (Acts 20:33) In fact, he worked as a tentmaker and/or depended on support from the saints in Macedonia, never asking the Corinthians for anything.

When he was tried before Felix, Paul asserted, "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." This is a character trait that every Christian must have in order to effectively minister the gospel to others. Without a clear conscience, without an honorable track record, one's word will always be surrounded with suspicion and doubt.

"I speak not this to condemn you:.." Paul was not accusing them of any wrong or of doubting him. He knew that they loved and trusted him, but he wanted to clear up anything that others had said about him.

"...for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you." He had written in 3:2 "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:" and in 6:11, "O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged." If Paul had his way, he would live among them until his death, but God's will for his life had to be obeyed.

Paul's record is one that we should all aspire to have. Our conscience should be clear before men and before God. He sees and knows everything. So, while we might be able to convince men, we will never convince God of anything but the truth. Paul was human and had his faults but, next to Christ, he was the best example of how to live a holy life that we have.

Before The Throne:

Pray about your own life. Even though you have made mistakes, you can still have a clear conscience by asking God's forgiveness and repenting. Pray for the ability to live in holiness for the rest of your life.

For Further Study:

** Receive. 2Cor 11:16; Matt 10:14, 40; Luke 10:8; Phil 2:29; Col 4:10; Phlm 1:12, 17; 2John 1:10; 3Jo 1:8-10; ** we have wronged. 2Cor 1:12; 2Cor 4:2; 2Cor 6:3-7; 2Cor 11:9; 2Cor 12:14-18; Num 16:15; 1Sam 12:3-4; Acts 20:33; Rom 16:18; 1Thess 2:3-6, 10; 2Thess 3:7-9;

(v.3) ** to condemn. 2Cor 7:12; 2Cor 2:4-5; 2Cor 13:10; 1Cor 4:14-15; ** for. 2Cor 6:11-12; ** ye. 2Cor 3:2; 2Cor 11:11; 2Cor 12:15; Phil 1:8-9; * to die. Ruth 1:16-17; 1Thess 2:8;


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