Monday, 24 August 2015
We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 2 Corinthians 6:3
The construction of this verse is in the participle form and thus it is a resumption of the thought from verse 6:1. Verse 6:2 then was a parenthetical insert. In verse 1, he had admonished his audience to not receive the grace of God in vain. After that came the parenthetical thought that implores acting on that grace today. And now, to bolster the thought that the apostles were pleading with God on our behalf (also from verse 1) he says, “We give no offense in anything.”
It would be futile to “plead” with someone over a matter while at the same time offending them. In fact, it would be contradictory to do so. In order to have their pleas responded to favorably then, they ensure that no offense was coming from them. The word for “offense” is proskopé rather than the more common word skandalon. This is its only use in the NT and it comes from another verb which indicates dashing something to the ground. The idea then is that they have determined no to allow anyone to fall because of their actions.
And the reason for this is then explained, “…that our ministry may not be blamed.” The purpose of their ministry was to bring people to a saving knowledge of the Lord and to properly train them in the ways of the Lord. If they were causing people to fall instead of being saved, their ministry would be blamed for its inappropriate handling of their responsibilities.
This word for “blamed” is mómaomai. It is used just twice in the NT, here and in 2 Corinthians 8:20. However, it comes from another similar word which is found in 2 Peter 2:13 when speaking of “those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority” (2 Peter 2:10).
The apostles’ desire was to be above reproach in all ways so that they would be effective ministers of the word of salvation and so that their ministries would be a light for others to see and draw near to. How good it would be if all pastors and teachers of the Bible were so motivated!
Life application: Though we are not apostles, each of us who bears the title “Christian” is a representative of the One who bestows that title on us. Let us remember this as we conduct our lives in the presence of others. Their perception of Jesus may be limited to how we present ourselves.
Heavenly Father, I cannot thank You enough for the great salvation You accomplished in me. And yet, I feel as if I let You down so often. When people see me, they are supposed to see someone who represents Christ who saved me. I know for sure this isn’t always the case. Help me to be a faithful minister of Your glory, giving no offense as I speak about the gospel. And help me to keep from bringing blame upon the glorious name of Jesus. Amen.