2 Corinthians 13
Paul is planning a 3d trip to visit the Corinthians and he is giving them a warning before he comes. The first trip was when he founded the church, the 2d trip was when there was conflict between the Corinthians and himself. This trip is when he is planning to deal with those who keep on sinning and to prove his apostleship once and for all.
“This the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them – since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.” 2 Corinthians 12:1-3
He is telling them, you have been asking for me to be more bold when I am present with you, well get ready, because I am coming. Paul gives a charge to the Corinthians.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 12:5
Paul is telling them that he has given them all the tools. He has told them how to have a relationship with Jesus and while Paul does not want to live by a list of rules and regulations but in relationship, he has told them some absolutes that some of the Corinthians kept on doing. When Paul says “test yourselves” he is wanting them to examine their relationship with Jesus. Paul is wanting them to examine themselves before he comes because he is planning to clean house when he comes.
“For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Paul’s ministry is all about building others up in their faith. But Paul is recognizing here that sometimes you have to tear something down that is not God honoring. And he is just letting them know that he is willing to do it.
Before he comes he leaves them with some parting words in his letter.
“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. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 12:11-14
I read in my studies that this is the only place in the new Testament where the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are mentioned together in this type of blessing. Paul is wanting the Corinthians to be a blessed people. This reminds me of when Jesus stated his lament over Jerusalem.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” Matthew 23:37
Jesus is lamenting over Jerusalem. Paul is trying a different tactic with the Corinthians by blessing them.
Lord we pray we may always Aim for Restoration! And Lord we thank you for your grace, love and fellowship!
Please pray for the medical professionals today. Pray for the doctors and the nurses as well as the people checking in over the counter or cleaning the hospital rooms.