Closing Remarks

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 13:1-14

1. This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
2 I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone,
3 Since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.
4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in thefaith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?
6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.
7 Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what isright, even though we may appear unapproved.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.
9For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.
10 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the LORD gave me for building up and not for tearing down.
11 Finally, breathren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss {hug}.
13 All the saints greet you.
14 The grace of the LORD Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

INTRODUCTION

In this final chapter of 2 Corinthians we are going to divide the material into four parts:

  1. Paul’s Warning
  2. Paul’s Advice
  3. Paul’s Prayer
  4. Paul’s Exhortation

I. FIRST, PAUL’S  WARNING [13:1–4]

  1. Paul reminds them this will be his third visit. The second was the painful visit; perhaps this is Paul’s way of saying, “You don’t want another like the last, do you?”
  2. Every fact will be confirmed by two witnesses. Paul is assuring the Corinthians that a confrontation lies a head. The hearsay and inuendo will not hold up in court. Paul is going to find the source of the criticism and it will be dealth with according to Mosaic law {Deut. 19:15}.
  3. Evidently one criticism has been that Paul does not speak for Christ but he assured them that he will give them proof. I am not sure what that proof was to be.
  4. Paul refers to Christ weakness on the cross which of course is explained by the fact that Christ made Himself weak. Jesus did not have to die on the cross. He choose to die on the cross. We are to follow His example: there are times when we are to make ourselves weak. Times when we refuse to defend ourselves but there are times when we are to arise, to stand, to exercise power as did Christ in cleansing the Temple and the resurrection. At times we are to be like a worm, at others like a lion. This was Paul’s way of saying, “The lion is coming.”

NOTE ONE: Some are for peace at all cost but not Paul. Peace is very important but truth is more important.There comes a time when man must stand for truth’s sake. Some physical problems can be dealth with by thearpy and medication but some require surgery. We can not bury our head in the sand and pretend things are fine when they are not.

NOTE TWO: Paul had something I don’t have, Apostlic Authority. He is not blowing smoke. He means to excommunicate some folks if they don’t get right. This concept of ecclestical authority is foreign to Baptist but it is practiced by other denominations. I have a friend who is an Assembly of God pastor. He has a regional supervisor who has real authority.

II. PAUL’S ADVICE {Verse 5}

Paul challenged the Corinthians to “Examine their faith.” Test yourselves to see if you are in thefaith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

There is nothing wrong with introspection and self-examination so long as you don’t spend all your time examining yourself. It can become an obsession and a sin. It is like doubt. Some doubt is healthy but if we give in to constant doubt, it becomeas a sin.

Litmus test:

  1. Do you recognize your sins?
  2. Do you live in a state of repentance?
  3. Do you have a desire to please Christ?
  4. Do you have a burden for those who do not know Christ?
  5. Do you rejoice when someone comes to know Christ?
  6. Deep down, do you really want God to get the glory?
  7. Do you love the word of God?
  8. Do you recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit?
  9. Do you love this world more than Christ?

III. PAUL’S HOPE AND PRAYER [2 Cor. 13:6-10]

  1. Verse 6–“I hope you will discover that I haven’t failed the test.”
  2. Verse 7–“I pray to God that you will make the right decision. I pray that you will understand that it’s you I am concerned with and not myself.”
  3. Verse 8–“I can’t do anything to stop the truth.” Truth is objective, it stands alone. It does not require man’s approval and it is absolute.
  4. Verse 9–“I pray that there will be no more problems among you.”
  5. Verse 10–Paul prays that he will not have to use his authority. His goal is to build the Corinthians up not tear them down.

IV. PAUL’S EXHORTATION {2 Cor. 13:11}

Five exhortations:

  1. Be Happy–chairō, rejoice or be glad
  2. Be Mature–katartizō, fit, sound or complete.
  3. Be Helpful–parakaleō, to call along side of, to console, comfort, encourage and strengthen
  4. Be Together–autos phroneō, one or the same mind
  5. Be Peaceful–eirēneuō, to make peace, to cultivate or keep peace, harmony; to be at peace, live in peace.

I love to compare translations:

NIRV

  1. Rejoice
  2. Work to make things right with one another
  3. Help one another
  4. Aree with one another
  5. Live in peace with one another

Holman

  1. Rejoice
  2. Become Mature
  3. Be encouraged
  4. Be of the same mind
  5. Be at peace

 

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