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Final appeal for order (13:1-14)
As he writes, Paul is already on his way to Corinth. He therefore repeats his former warning that if the Corinthians do not discipline the trouble-makers among them, he will be forced to discipline them himself when he arrives. He will determine the truth of matters not according to gossip but according to evidence that can be tested (13:1-2). They have wanted proof of Paul’s Christ-given authority, but when they see it in action among them, they will be sorry. People once thought Christ was weak, just as the Corinthians think Paul is weak; but the resurrection power and authority seen in Christ will be seen also in Paul (3-4).
The Corinthians have been examining Paul, demanding that he show proof of his apostolic authority. Now he calls upon them to examine themselves and show proof of their Christian faith (5). If they fail the test, Paul will have to prove his apostolic authority by using it; that is, he will pass the test. If they pass the test, Paul will be content not to use his authority, even though some may say it is because he has no authority; that is, they will consider he has failed the test (6-7).
Paul is not greatly concerned whether he passes the test in their eyes. He is more concerned with upholding the truth of the Christian gospel (8). He wants to build up other people in the faith more than build a reputation for himself. He wants to see them spiritually strong, even though this will leave him no opportunity to demonstrate his divinely given power among them. That is why he is writing now. He wants to give them the opportunity to change their ways, so that he might spare them the unpleasant experience of tasting his apostolic authority in judgment (9-10).
In conclusion, Paul urges the Corinthians to take notice of his advice and correct the troubles in the church, so that there might be unity, peace, love and joy among them (11-13). They are more likely to experience these specific blessings as they experience the more basic blessings of the gospel. Through that gospel the Father has exercised his love towards them, Christ in his grace has saved them, and the Spirit has given them true fellowship with God through coming to dwell within them (14).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25