2 Corinthians 6:1-10
BRETHREN: We exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For He saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation. Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed: but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, in chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God: by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left: by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet known: as dying, and behold we live: as chastised and not killed: as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing and possessing all things.
Verse 1 We helping, or in the Greek, working together, that is, with God, as employed by him, or as his ministers, and ambassadors, we exhort you not to receive the grace of God in vain, by resisting his interior graces, by an idle, or a wicked life. (Witham)
Verse 2 Now is the day of salvation, by the coming of your Redeemer. (Witham)
Verse 3 this, and in the following verses, St. Paul shews his anxious solicitude not to give any, the least occasion of scandal, lest some reproach might fall upon the ministry of the gospel: for nothing is more likely to cast a blemish on the sanctity of religion, than the want of conduct in any of its ministers. If what they say be true, why do their own lives correspond so little with what they say. This will be the cry of all libertines. (Calmet)
Verse 8 apostles maintained the character, and fulfilled the duties of the ministers of Christ, equally in prosperity and adversity; they continued to speak the truth, though regarded by the Jews as seducers; exposed to all kinds of dangers, they relied on God, who preserved them, though in the midst of dangers, and of death itself. Though they possessed nothing in this world, yet God never permitted them to remain in want: his providence procured for them all things necessary. Though they had nothing in their possession, yet they procured relief for others, by the alms, of which they were made the disposers, though this latter part is generally understood of the spiritual riches, which they bestowed upon their auditors. (Estius)
806: The Gift of Perseverance
Council of Trent
SESSION VI (Jan. 13, 1547)
Decree On Justification
Chapter 13: The Gift of Perseverance
So also as regards the gift of perseverance [can. 16] of which it is written: He that “shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved” [Matt. 10:22; 24:13] (which gift cannot be obtained from anyone except from Him, “who is able to make him, who stands, stand” [Rom. 14:4], that he may stand perseveringly, and to raise him, who falls), let no one promise himself anything as certain with absolute certitude, although all ought to place and repose a very firm hope in God’s help. For God, unless men be wanting in His grace, as He has begun a good work, so will He perfect it, “working to will and to accomplish” [Phil. 2:13; can. 22]. * Nevertheless, let those “who think themselves to stand, take heed lest they fall” [1 Cor. 10:12], and “with fear and trembling work out their salvation” [Phil. 2:12] in labors, in watchings, in almsdeeds, in prayers and oblations, in fastings and chastity [cf. 2 Cor. 6:3 ff.]. For they ought to fear, knowing that they are born again “unto the hope of glory” [cf. 1 Rom. Pet. 1:3], and not as yet unto glory in the combat that yet remains with the flesh, with the world, with the devil, in which they cannot be victors, unless with God’s grace they obey the Apostle saying: “We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live” [Rom. 8:12 ff.].