2 Corinthians 6:2
For He says: "In the time of favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation!
Sermons
NowHom. Monthly2 Corinthians 6:2
NowD. Fraser 2 Corinthians 6:2
Now...NowE. Hurndall 2 Corinthians 6:2
The Acceptable TimeJ.R. Thomson 2 Corinthians 6:2
The Accepted TimeA. Thomson, D. D.2 Corinthians 6:2
The Accepted TimeD. Featly, D. D.2 Corinthians 6:2
The Accepted TimeR. Tuck 2 Corinthians 6:2
The Day of SalvationThe Evangelist2 Corinthians 6:2
The Day of SalvationC. H. Spurgeon.2 Corinthians 6:2
The Day of SalvationTheo. Jones.2 Corinthians 6:2
The Imperative NowHom. Monthly2 Corinthians 6:2
The Tremendous Importance of NowA. Hovey, D. D.2 Corinthians 6:2
Appeal Growing Out of the Foregoing ArgumentC. Lipscomb 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
As an ambassador for Christ, Paul used both authority end persuasion in urging his readers and hearers to take advantage of the opportunity afforded them of reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. And he very naturally and justly pressed upon them an immediate attention to the summons, the invitation of Divine grace. There are reasons why delay should be avoided, why acceptance should be unhesitating.

I. THE BLESSING. This is set before us in two lights.

1. On the Divine side, we observe that God is ready both to hear end to succour. To hear the cry of those in danger, the petition of those in want. To succour those who are in present distress and who are unable to deliver themselves from their afflictions.

2. On the human side, we observe that men may be accepted and reconciled, that they may be delivered and saved. The salvation here proffered is spiritual and eternal.

II. THE OPPORTUNITY. It is not for us to speculate as to God's reasons, so to speak, for limiting the day of grace and of visitation. We have to deal with the fact that there is a period during which the blessings of salvation may be sought and secured. The first advent of our Saviour may be fixed as the terminus a quo of this period, the second advent as the terminus ad quem. During the Christian era, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, the gospel is preached to all men, and the invitation is freely offered to those who need to apply, with the assurance that their request shall not be refused.

III. THE APPEAL. The blessing is great and adapted to the.case of the sinner; the opportunity is precious and not to be despised without guilt and folly. What, then, follows? Surely the appeal is powerful and timely; it deserves the immediate attention of all to whom the gospel comes.

1. The conditions are such that they may be at once fulfilled. The call is to obey God, to believe in Christ, to repent of sin, to live anew.

2. Nothing can be advanced to justify delay. Delay is unreasonable, dangerous, and foolish. To neglect the appeal would be to defy and displease God.

3. Those of every age and condition are alike placed in this position of privilege and of responsibility. - T.







For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted... behold now is the accepted time... the day of salvation.
Hom. Monthly.
God never says "Behold," without tolling something worth listening to.

I. SALVATION THE THING TO BE SOUGHT.

1. Greatly needed.

2. Graciously provided.

3. Gratuitously proffered.

II. Now is THE TIME TO SEEK IT. Double "Now."

1. Commanded by revelation.

2. Commended by reason. Conscience, reason, gratitude, self-interest, say "Now." Why delay?

(1)Unnecessary. "All now ready."

(2)Unreasonable and wicked. Rebellion.

3. Unnatural.

(1)Dangerous. Maybe last offer.

(2)Destructive. Ruinous to conscience, character.

(Hom. Monthly.)

Hom. Monthly.
I. YOU CAN GAIN NOTHING BY DELAY.

1. As to God's terms.

2. As to your own circumstances. Your difficulties may change but will never cease.

3. As to pleasures of sin.

II. YOU WILL LOSE MUCH BY DELAY.

1. Fervour and freshness of feeling.

2. Opportunity for usefulness. Delay daily narrows in this possibility.

3. Fulness of reward in heaven.

III. YOU MAY FORFEIT YOUR SALVATION BY DELAY.

(Hom. Monthly.)

The Evangelist.
I. THERE IS A SALVATION SO IMPORTANT THAT IT GIVES ITS NAME TO A WHOLE PERIOD CALLED A DAY, but signifying all the era through which that salvation is made accessible to us. It is called, by way of eminence and distinction, "the day of salvation."

1. The salvation which marks this day is the salvation of the soul. Not the salvation of a captive, a criminal under a human law — not of a hopeless patient from a bodily disease — not of an empire — but the salvation of the immortal soul. Men do not believe that their souls are in this danger; they make a mock of sin.

2. Consider that this salvation is effected expressly and exclusively by the power and grace of God. To Him belongs the entire glory of it, and it is His grace that makes any period of our lives a day of salvation. He is therefore the author of eternal salvation. All the resources necessary for carrying it into effect were of God, and not of us.

3. But we ought more particularly to notice Him on whom devolved the work of salvation — who is described by the name of our Saviour, and to whom the honour of it will be for ever rendered.

4. It is necessary to observe that all the effects of this salvation are eternal, all the blessings it confers are for ever, the felicity to which it brings us is immortal. The effects of it will not only extend to, and penetrate through eternity, but they will give a character to that eternity.

II. THAT THIS DIVINE BLESSING HAS GIVEN A CHARACTER AND A NAME TO A PERIOD OF OUR TIME, HERE CALLED THE DAY OF SALVATION.

1. It signifies the day or time when salvation is attainable by us — when it is revealed and published, or urgently set before us. In this sense it seems to be used by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:8; lit. 7; 62:1), as quoted by the apostle Paul.

2. The gospel age may indeed be more emphatically designated the day of salvation, since the doctrine of salvation by a crucified surety and Saviour has been more fully illustrated and proclaimed, and since there has been no lack of those means which might encourage and help us all towards the attainment of the happy consummation. It is light that makes the day as distinguished from the night. The night of Judaism is past, it has been succeeded by a clear shining of the light of life, which makes ours indeed a day of salvation.

3. Times of special privilege when salvation is brought near to us.

4. We may especially denominate the Sabbath the day of salvation. It rises up most resplendent with this heavenly light.

III. CONSIDER, IF GOD HAS GIVEN US THIS DAY OF SALVATION, AND WE NOW ENJOY IT, THERE IS SOMETHING FOR US ALL TO DO. We must execute the work of salvation in the day of salvation.

1. The day of salvation requires faith in the blessings then brought nigh. "This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He hath sent."

2. The day of salvation requires of you diligence, haste, serious application without delay to this work which you have to do.

IV. OBSERVE, THE DAY OF SALVATION WE ALL ENJOY NOW MUST HAVE AN END.

(The Evangelist.)

The Lord has had His days of vengeance. How terrible was the hour when He opened the sluices of the firmament that the rain might descend in torrents, and bade the fountains of the great deep rise to meet the descending floods.

I. THE GRAND REASON FOR THIS DAY — "Now is the day of salvation." Read the context in order to understand why there is a present day of salvation. This is the day of salvation because "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." There could have been no day of salvation if a Saviour had not appeared.

1. Notice that according to the context this is the day of salvation, because we may now be reconciled to God. "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

2. The plain statement of the twenty-first verse explains it all: "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." Here is the grand doctrine of substitution.

3. To help us to understand mercy's great expedient still better, the Holy Spirit tells us that the Divine design in Christ Jesus is to make us the "righteousness of God" in Christ.

II. THE GLORIOUS DAY ITSELF — for the day of salvation is rich with blessing.

1. I would commend that day because of its fourfold excellence. Read again the verse in which our text stands. Although the words must be regarded as spoken, in the first place, to our Lord, the best expositors say that they are also addressed to His Church in Him.(1) So then, in this day of salvation .our prayer will be heard, "I have heard thee in a time accepted."(2) We are further told that this day help will be given. What does it say? "In the day of salvation have I succoured thee."(3) And then it is added, "Behold, now is the accepted time," so that the third blessing is that coming sinners will be accepted. If you will come to God He will not reject you, whoever you may be.(4) And then the fourth excellence is that it is a time of salvation, You need saving; be glad then that it is salvation's own day.

2. Now, let me notice that this ought to be peculiarly pleasant news to those who are heavily laden with guilt.

3. The truth of our text should also be very encouraging to those who are fighting against inward sin.

4. While this is very encouraging to penitents and to those who are fighting with sin it should be equally cheering to tried believers.

5. And do you not think this truth should encourage all who are at work to win souls for Jesus?

III. SOMETHING ABOUT A DARK CLOUD WHICH MAY DARKEN THE CLOSE OF THIS DAY OF SALVATION.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. It is the wish of most men to obtain salvation; and therefore it is their resolution at some time or other to repent. Now they are engaged in some important business; they have met with some worldly disaster; they are in pursuit of some pleasure; they feel an indolence of temper which indisposes them for exertion; but they are determined not to let life pass away without securing salvation. Some favourable opportunity will occur.

2. Thus lulled into security many go on to disregard the secret remonstrances of conscience, and to despise the warnings and invitations of the Word of God, till at last they die as they had lived.

3. Now to be convinced of the folly, guilt, and danger of this conduct, consider —

I. THE NATURE OF REPENTANCE AND THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD CONCERNING IT.

1. Repentance is turning from sin to holiness. With what propriety, then, can we put it off? Can it be reasonable to delay?

2. Consider the commandment of God concerning repentance. If we admit God's authority to be supreme, and that He has enjoined the duty of repentance, we cannot discharge it too soon.

II. THE LONGER REPENTANCE IS DELAYED, THE MORE PAINFUL AND DIFFICULT WILL IT BECOME.

1. Remember the power of habit. Thoughts and practices which we have long indulged acquire such a seat in the heart and character as to become a part of our system. And hence habit is spoken of as a second nature. Now if habit, simply considered, is powerful, its power must be increased in proportion to the length of time during which it prevails. The person, therefore, who resolves to repent hereafter, is not only careless of the obstacles which habit lays in the way of his repentance, but waits till these obstacles are augmented. What folly! thus to allow habit to acquire additional force.

2. But the extreme folly of delay appears farther, when we consider the nature of the habits. These are not those to which they are naturally averse. On the contrary, they are highly agreeable to them; cherished by the natural corruption of the heart, operate with a reciprocal influence, and give to that corruption a greater efficacy. The roots of natural depravity and those of evil habit are thus interwoven, and therefore to eradicate evil habits is like tearing the heart in pieces.

3. It is true that Divine grace can, and alone can, subdue all opposition;but it is also true that Divine grace has not promised to work miracles in your behalf — that God will not deal with you as mere passive machines in whom there is no will, no affections, no habits to be conquered by ordinary means.

III. CIRCUMSTANCES MAY OCCUR TO RENDER REPENTANCE IMPRACTICABLE, and consequently to secure your ruin.

1. Every sin renders you guilty; but when warned of your guilt, and danger, you go on to aggravate the one and to despise the other, you provoke God to give you over to a reprobate mind, and to harden your heart. And will you risk this for all that the universe can give?

2. But supposing that God does not shut up His mercy, may you not be placed where there shall be nothing to secure your return to Him?

3. Again, the power of disease may lay you low on the bed of languishing and pain. That, indeed, you may flatter yourselves, will be a fit occasion for attending to your spiritual interests. Alas! you know little of the nature of repentance if you think that the time of bodily distress is the time for repentance. "Sufficient unto that day is the evil thereof."

4. And is there not soundness of mind, which is still more necessary than health of body for attending to the concerns of the soul; but of which you may be deprived when you are least expecting it?

5. But though none of these things should take place, we know that we must die, and we know not when. We may be cut off in the midst of health, and youth, and gaiety.

(A. Thomson, D. D.)

This language implies a need and an opportunity of being saved on the part of those addressed. And, if we understand the Scriptures, to be saved is the supreme good for men.

1. One feature is suggested by the text — namely, a limited period of grace. But why should there be any limit to the period of probation? Why should the door of recovery from sin ever be closed? Plainly, because it would be useless to keep it open for ever; because choice has a tendency to become irrevocable, and character to become permanent. God's methods are never arbitrary. The amazing longevity of the antediluvians appears to have resulted in equally amazing wickedness.

2. Another feature in the economy of grace is seen in God's withholding from the sinner a knowledge of the duration of his earthly life. As a rule no man knows the hour of his own death.

3. Another feature in the economy of grace is the influence of an animal body upon a sinful soul. An animal body is weak, perishable, exacting, and in certain respects heterogeneous to the soul. It renders a little service and requires much. With a large part of mankind the business of life is to provide for the body. How, then, can he give much attention to the wants of his spirit? But this is less than half the truth. The influence of a frail and exacting body may be favourable to the recovery of man from the terrible fascination of selfishness. For a body whose preservation must be purchased by so much toil and care reminds them by its frailty of the one coming event which can be postponed, but not averted. Again, it must be considered that care for physical life or health is a duty, though not the highest; it is right in itself, though not religious. We may exercise it, therefore, with a clear conscience. Moreover, it is safe to assume that the moral natures of men who are engaged in doing what is felt to be right will not deteriorate so rapidly as they would have done if the same men had been either idle or doing what was seen to be in itself wrong. Susceptibility to high influences will not be so quickly destroyed. And, therefore, the day of grace can be made longer than would otherwise have been safe or useful. "But look once more," you may perhaps reply, "to the other side of the picture. Does not the body drag the soul downwards? Is it not a source of strong temptations rather than a spur to honest toil?" They are not, however, so numerous as the calls to useful service which are presented by the body, nor are they so powerful as to silence these calls. "But is not the mind clogged in its search after the highest truth by the body which it inhabits? And is not the possibility of its return to God dependent oil its clear apprehension of that highest truth? Must not this weak and exacting body, then, be a serious impediment at the very outset to religious life?" I freely admit that our present bodies are not perfect organs of the spirit. But let it not be forgotten that the search for truth which is rendered toilsome by a body whose senses are dull and whose energies are limited, leaves only a modicum of power to be worse than wasted in self-indulgence. Nor let it be forgotten that a little truth may have infinite value to the soul which receives it as a friend, or that effort to obtain truth because it is loved is a part of the blessed life itself. The great difficulty experienced by men in obtaining knowledge, because their bodies are now adapted to animal life more exactly than to spiritual life, is therefore a circumstance favourable to their prospect of recovery from sin and death.

4. Another feature of human probation on earth is the influence of domestic life upon sinful beings. This influence is very pervading and beneficent. The domestic affections, whether conjugal, parental, filial, or fraternal, must be contemplated with a reverence second only to that which we owe to Christian love. They are not indeed identical with love to God, nor do they imply or produce that love. They do not regenerate man, but they keep alive his power to enjoy fellowship, and to believe in the possibility of love. For of all natural avenues to unrenewed souls these affections are probably, next to conscience, the surest and the best. While they continue open, the way of salvation is rarely closed. They tend to prevent a final and utter hardening of the spirit against "sweetness and light." Thus all the features of human life, in so far as they are ordered by our Heavenly Father, reveal His wisdom and goodness. In every instance they appear to have been chosen with a view to human salvation.

(A. Hovey, D. D.)

Here you find —

1. A note of attention — Behold!

2. An object to which the attention is called.

3. The period in which to act-now, not yesterday, that is past; not to-morrow, that is to come.

I. THE GOSPEL PERIOD IS HERE CALLED A DAY. The gospel period is called a day, because —

1. It discovers that which would have been otherwise concealed in darkness. In this day we discover the perfections of the Deity, the nature of sin, the worth of a Saviour, the only way by which sinners can be delivered from hell, and brought to heaven. The world has had many sorts of days, but never one like this before.

2. It is affected by some bright luminary. What makes a day — the stars, the moon? No; the sun. And what makes the spiritual day — ministers, the church? No; the Sun of righteousness. The man that is without Christ is in a state of darkness and death, and, if he dies, must perish.

3. It is time for people to work. "Go, my son, work in my vineyard."

4. It is a limited time. "Oh, Jerusalem, if thou hadst known, at least in this thy day," etc., etc. There is an end to days.

II. THE PROPERTY OF THIS DAY. God has had many sorts of days; He had a day to create, a day to preserve, a day to afflict, a day to redeem, a day to judge; but the day in my text is a day of salvation. It would not have been a surprising thing if it had been a day of destruction, of affliction; but it is a day of salvation. And this implies the existence of sin; there would have been no need for such a day if sin had not caused it. This day includes the gracious provision of the Father's love — the Son's merit, and the Spirit's grace. Make much of this day.

1. It is a necessary salvation. It is not necessary for a man to be rich, to have health, to be surrounded with friends, but it is necessary to have this salvation, or he is lost for ever.

2. It is a spiritual salvation. Not such as the Jews had in the Red Sea-not such an one as Daniel in the lions' den. This saves the soul from sin, and raises man to the enjoyment of God.

3. This salvation is a suitable one. It is just what we stand in need of. It required infinite wisdom to contrive it, infinite merit to procure it, and infinite grace applies it to the soul.

4. This salvation is a free one. Christ is free, and the grace of the Spirit is free.

5. This salvation is a great one, It is as great as the requirements of Divine justice; as great as the misery of man. It is adequate to all its objects. It was the great God contrived it, it had a great Saviour to accomplish it, a great Spirit applies it, and a great multitude will be saved by it.

6. It is a glorious salvation. God saves without a spot on His throne; without a speck on His character; here is God glorified in justifying the man.

7. This salvation is a perfect one; there is no deficiency in it. It does not save from some sin, but from all sin. There is nothing wanting for God, for man, for life, for death, and an eternal world.

8. This salvation is an everlasting salvation, grace, and glory.Conclusion: From our subject we see —

1. The goodness of God in providing such a salvation.

2. The misery of man, that required or rendered it necessary.

3. The awful state of the man that despises or neglects this salvation.

(Theo. Jones.)

"Behold" is as a larum bell of attention, "now" is as a finger of indication or application to a season.

1. To awake our faith (Isaiah 7:14).

2. To awake our hope (Revelation 22:12).

3. To awake our love (1 John 3:1).

4. To awake our fear (Revelation 1:7).

5. To wake our joy (Luke 2:10, 11).

6. To awake our thankfulness (Psalm 134:1).

7. To awake our compassion (Lamentations 1:12).

8. To awake our diligence.The accepted time. The season is that in time which light is in the air, lustre in metals, the flower in plants, cream in milk, quintessence in herbs, the prime and best of it. Now there being a threefold season —

1. Natural, which husbandmen observe in sowing, gardeners in planting and grassing, mariners in putting to sea.

2. Civil, which all humble suppliants observe in preferring petitions to princes and great personages.

3. Spiritual, which all that have a care of their salvation must observe in seeking the Lord while he may be found.

(D. Featly, D. D.)

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