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Third Time's the Charm
2 Corinthians 13:1-10
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established [2Cor. 13:1].
Paul is repeating what he
has said earlier. He is going to
I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, 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: Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you [2Cor. 13:2-3].
Paul had come to them in weakness, but the Word of God was mighty and had transformed them in that sin-sick city.
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 [2Cor. 13:4].
Paul says, "For though he was crucified through weakness." It sounds strange to hear about the weakness of God. What is this weakness? When He went to the Cross, that was the weakness of God. "Yet he liveth by the power of God."
Now Paul goes on to something that is very important. There is an inventory which every Christian should make regularly.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? [2Cor. 13:5].
This has nothing to do with
free will or election or the security of the believer. Paul says we should
examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith or not.
If Jesus asked you, "Why should I let you into heaven?"
what would you respond? [much discussion in audio version]
[much discussion in audio version]
Sometimes I ask my kids about their salvation. I remember what it was like as a kid to have doubts when I would sin, or when I would hear a scary sermon on hell, etc. I'm not trying to make them doubt, just trying to make them think, and make sure they know that they know and how they know. Once one of them asked me if they were saved. I said, I don't know, are you? Let's examine!
But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates [2Cor. 13:6].
Paul has made an inventory of himself, and he wants them to know that he is in the faith.
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 [2Cor. 13:7].
Paul is saying that he just wants them to be the type of believers they should be.
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth [2Cor. 13:8].
Here is another great truth we should mark well. You can't do anything against the truth. That is why I don't worry about those who are disagreeing about the Word of God. They cannot do anything against the truth. We should declare the Word of God and not spend our time defending it. God doesn't ask us to defend it. He asks us to declare it, to give it out. Some fight about Bible versions. I have mine, and have reason for choosing it. But now I choose to open it and declare it rather than constantly grind the axe about why I chose it and why others should as well. God's Word is powerful and man cannot undo its power. Satan is the one who tries to get people to doubt God's Word...but it stands forever!
For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection [2Cor. 13:9].
"Even your perfection" does not mean perfect as we usually think of perfection, but it means maturity. He wishes them to be mature Christians. He wants them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. We still hear that expression today -- "Why don't you grow up?" That is what Paul is saying to them. Grow up in Christ!
Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction [2Cor. 13:10].
Paul is glad he can write to them at this time. He is writing for the purpose of building them up and not tearing them down.
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you [2Cor. 13:11].
Again he says, "Be perfect" -- grow up. Stop being baby Christians. That is something which could be said to many believers today.
"Be of good comfort." He goes back to the word he used when he began this letter -- the comfort of God. Remember that it means help. It means God is the One who is called to our side to help us, to strengthen us, to encourage us. God wants to do that for you today. No matter who you are, where you are, or how you are, God wants to help you. He can help you through His Word by means of the ministering of the Holy Spirit.
What great verses these are. God is with us to comfort us. We are to grow and mature. We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Certainly we ought to go forward for God with such encouragement.
"Be of one mind" means to have the mind of Christ.
"Live in peace." We cannot make peace, but we can live in peace.
"And the God of love and peace shall be with you." This is the peace of God which passeth all understanding. It is the peace that God made through the blood of the Cross. We are to live in that peace today. We are to rejoice in our salvation.
The God of love and peace shall be "with you." Don't miss that. You are not alone -- God is with you today. How wonderful that is.
Greet one another with an holy kiss [2Cor. 13:12].
I would settle for a handshake, a pat on the back, etc.
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. Amen [2Cor. 13:13-14].
When he says that the
blessing of the Trinity should be with "you all," he includes us with the
folks in the church in
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All Sermons and PowerPoint Slideshow Presentations ©Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries® unless otherwise credited. These resources are yours to use freely, but only in public worship services or private study groups and devotions. They may not be sold, republished or retransmitted in any form without written permission.