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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 13

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-14

Chapter 13

Now he said,

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. [For] I told you before, and foretell you [I'm telling you again], as if I were present [with you], the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare ( 2 Corinthians 13:1-2 ):

"I'm going to be really hard on you this next time."

Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. [So you better] Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith ( 2 Corinthians 13:3-5 );

I mean, Paul is saying, "Look, I'm going to come, and it's going to be heavy. I'm going to come, not in weakness, but in the power of God's Spirit to deal with the issues that are there in Corinth. And so you better examine yourselves, because this is going to be a heavy-duty thing when I arrive."

You remember when Paul was on the isle and ministering to the governor Sergius Paulus, and the guy was listening and very interested, and this sorcerer Elymas started to say things against Paul. And God turned and said, or Paul turned and said, "God smite you with blindness, man!" And immediately the guy was blind and everybody feared, you know. They said, "Wow, what kind of a preacher is this?" You know. And they gave greater attendance to the Lord.

But Paul says, "Hey, when I'm coming, I'm coming in power. Even Christ was crucified in weakness, but He was raised in power. And I'm weak in Christ, but hey, I'm coming in the power. And so you better examine yourself to see if you be in the faith and,"

prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be [unless you're] reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates ( 2 Corinthians 13:5-7 ).

Or, "you consider us as reprobates."

For we can do nothing against the truth, but [only] for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection ( 2 Corinthians 13:8-9 ).

Isn't that glorious? Here the guys are giving Paul a bad time speaking against him and all, and yet his heart towards them is that they might be perfected. He's longing, he said, "I wish that you were strong and I was weak. I would, I desire your perfection."

Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being [when I am] present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction ( 2 Corinthians 13:10 ).

"I don't want to come with the power of destruction. I want to come and build you up."

Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect [Okay, the word there is fully mature, grow up], be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you ( 2 Corinthians 13:11 ).

So these beautiful exhortations of Paul: be fully matured, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.

Greet one another with a holy kiss ( 2 Corinthians 13:12 ).

In some of the churches in the eastern part of the world, in Greece and all, they, Italy, you know, you go in, and the guys would kiss you in each cheek, you know. They still practice that in the church, of greeting one another with a holy kiss. You walk in, Arrividerci, brother. I can't quite handle it, but . . .

All the saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all ( 2 Corinthians 13:13-14 ).

Notice the Trinity here in Paul's benediction. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." So Paul joins the Father, Son and Spirit in this benediction to the Corinthian epistle.

Thank You, Father, for Your word, a lamp to our feet, a light to our path. May we walk in its truth. Help us, Father, help us to grow, help us to become fully matured. Help us, Lord, to walk in unity, to walk in love, to live in peace. Help us, Father, to experience Your all-sufficient grace so that we will learn, Lord, to rejoice in tribulation. For we know that it works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Lord, that we might realize that You are in control of those circumstances by which we are surrounded. And so we just commit the keeping of our souls to You through Jesus. Amen.

Next week, the first two chapters of Galatians. As we move along, it just gets gooder and gooder. So do your homework. Read Galatians this week. Get your background, so that as we gather together again next Sunday night, we might again be enriched through the word of God, the love of Christ, the power of the Spirit. That we might grow up in all things in Christ Jesus, becoming matured in our walk with Him. May the Lord be with you and may His hand be upon you to bless you through this week as you experience more and more His love, His grace working in your life. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-corinthians-13.html. 2014.
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