Call for self-examination
Read (2 Cor 13:1- 10)
Paul was planning to visit Corinth the third time. During his second visit, he warned and confronted their sin (2 Cor 13:2). Gospel never overlooks sin, but lovingly confronts sin. Paul established his apostolic authority not by signs alone but also by disciplining those who disobey. Paul was confident to address those who seek the proof of his apostleship. Paul’s experience was much like that of his Lord. Christ was crucified in weakness, but now he lives by the power of God. Paul is weak but ready to address sin by the power of God (2 Cor 13:4). Christ’s love never overlooks sin but lovingly confronts it so that people can be restored (2 Cor 13:9). Because we are prone to sin, it is our responsibility to examine regularly whether we are in the faith and give evidence of it (2 Cor 13:5). They should earnestly defend the once for given faith (Jude 3). Paul was confident that Corinthians will realize that he is approved of God. Paul encourages the Corinthians not to give evidence of disobedience so that he has to discipline them. Paul was glad that even though he is weak, the Corinthian believers are strong. Paul’s ministry was to build them up and not to tear them down. Is your faith in the gospel bearing fruit? Ask God to show your weaknesses and seek his power to live for him.
Read (2 Cor 13:11-14)
Paul concludes his letter by expressing his endearment towards Corinthians. In the first nine chapters, Paul addresses the faithful brethren. In the last four chapters he addresses those who questioned his apostleship. Paul wants them to examine themselves whether they are in the faith bearing fruit. Paul asks, whether they experience the comfort of Christ in times of sufferings? (2 Cor 1:1-11). Is the forgiveness they received leading them to forgive others? (2 Cor 2:1-11). Are the promises of God more important to them than the momentary afflictions? (2 Cor 4:7-18). Is sin hinders their love for others? (2 Cor 6:1-13). Are they eager to give sacrificially to those in needs? Paul concludes the letter with these last words: “Rejoice, change your ways, comfort one another, live in harmony. Then the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor 13:11). When we see fruit of the gospel in life , we should rejoice, but when we spot sin, we must confess and forsake. Paul asks them to greet one another with holy kiss. It was a sign of affection among early Christians and practiced in the west until the thirteenth century. Paul and other believers send their greetings to Corinthians. The concluding benediction gives the clearest expression on the doctrine of the Trinity (2 Cor 13:14). The deity of the Son, of the Father and of the Holy Spirit are established by virtue of their relationship to one another. God is one in essence and three in persons. The doctrine of Trinity is revealed in the Bible and cannot be understood without divine revelation. In this benediction we see the fullness of God’s provision for Christian life. May God bless you all.