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Are You In The Faith?
Second Corinthians Thirteen
It was Paul's plan that he would soon make a third visit to Corinth. His intention was that when he came to Corinth he would confront his critics face to face. Paul intended to prove that Christ was speaking through him. What the Corinthians thought about Paul meant nothing. Their view of the Christ meant everything. If the people properly understood the Lord they would not talk and behave as they did. These people reasoned that if Jesus was God it would reveal weakness that He was killed by humans. But they forgot that it is the resurrection that proves Jesus' power.
God power is not seen in our physical strength but in the spiritual life that we receive through Christ. We are raised from baptism to a new and very powerful life in Christ. Christ living in you is what makes you a godly person. It was Paul's desire to constantly lift up the Christ in his life. He wanted to do what was right in his own life and to encourage these brethren to not do wrong. Our life must be focused on "truth." What a wonderful thing if all in the church would simply conform to "the truth." Let us think, talk and live like Jesus would have us do.
We must put ourselves to the test to make sure that Christ is in us. Paul said, "Be perfect." Our goal must be to be complete in Christ. As God's people we must focus on the things we have in common and live in peace. If we do these things "the God of love and peace shall be with us." There must be love, respect and a brotherhood among fellow Christians. Paul closed the book with three great foundation principles: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, The love of God, and The communion of the Holy Ghost.
Living by the power of God 2Co_13:1-4 : Paul warned these brethren that he was coming to Corinth for a third time. He was concerned that he might come and find the spiritual condition unfavorable at Corinth. If Paul came to Corinth and things were not as they should be he would still treat them fairly. He cited Deu_19:15 as the fair and right way to deal with such matters. "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." During his second visit when he was with them Paul warned them that anyone that did not stop sinning would be punished. Even though he was now a far distance from them he gave them that same warning concerning what would happen on this third visit.
Paul said that if he came and had to do so with discipline that it should prove that it was Christ speaking in him. Christ is not weak in dealing with His children, but is powerful among us. Christ was never weak when it came to dealing with wrong. It is true that Christ was crucified in weakness. This has reference to the physical body that Jesus took upon Himself. However He now lives by the power of God. Paul said, "We are weak, just as Christ was. But you will see that we will live by the power of God, just as Christ does."
Are you true to your faith 2Co_13:5-7 : Each Christian should test himself to make sure that he is really true to the faith. We need to know whether we can pass this test. As you examine your faith will you find Christ living in you? If Christ is not living in you then you have failed the test spiritually. The purpose of this examination by the Corinthians was to see if they were still in the faith or if they could still be regarded as faithful Christians. Sadly, some Christians will not stand the test!
Paul said, "I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test." Paul was concerned over the attitudes and actions of many of the Corinthian brethren. His concerned was justified because some at Corinth looked upon him as "an enemy." The main desire of Paul was that these brethren stop doing evil things. Paul could come and corrected their evils with the authority of an apostle. This would prove that he had been true. He had rather that they do right even if he still appeared to be a weak failure.
Do nothing against the truth 2Co_13:8-10 : Paul's one desire was to follow the truth and not fight against it. Let us develop that same attitude that says, "We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth." If the brethren corrected their spiritual path and Paul did not have the opportunity to prove that he was a true apostle he would still be happy. He would be happy for them to be strong spiritually and to do even better in their relationship with the Lord Jesus. Christian maturity was the thing that Paul desired for these brethren. Christian maturity is also the tremendous need for our lives today.
Paul wrote these things before he reached Corinth. He was praying that he would not have to be hard on them when he got there. He did not want to use the authority for corrective discipline that the Lord had given him. Sometimes Christian duty is unpleasant. But it was Paul's desire to help these brethren, not destroy them. We remember the events that took place with Ananias and Sapphira his wife. ( Act_5:1-42 ) If these brethren would make the necessary changes a similar event could be avoided at Corinth.
Final greetings for the Corinthians 2Co_13:11-14 : Second Corinthians closes with some very tender words of encouragement. "Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." Paul wanted them to do better spiritually and to pay attention to the message that came from God. "A man can be at peace with God only by living in peace with his brethren according to the in-structions of inspiration."
"Greet one another with a holy kiss." This means that they should give each other a warm greeting. They were to use every means by which a good understanding among brethren could be brought about. Friendship and love was to be promoted by every friendly action. All the saints or brethren that were associated with Paul at that time joined the apostle in the salutation to the brethren at Corinth. He closed the book by focusing on the three members of the Godhead and on three bed rock truths of Christianity. He spoke of (1) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, (2) The love of God, and (3) The communion of the Holy Ghost. Let these be with us also!
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26