Paul’s defense of his Apostolic ministry-part 2 (10:1-13:10), continued
2 Corinthians 13-He says that when he comes there next he will hold people personally accountable for their behavior. So, you had better “test yourselves to see if you are in the faith” (13:1-10)
Paul is about to come to Corinth for the third time. Acts 18:1 records his first visit. The second was likely the “painful visit” recorded in 2 Corinthians 2:1.
2 Corinthians 13:1-10-Paul now becomes very strong in his statement...saying that those who have not repented of their sin will have to give an account. If they want proof of his Apostolic authority, they are about to get it (:1-4). He warns them that if it becomes necessary for him to confront these false prophets he will do so according to Jewish law and its rules for providing evidence (Deuteronomy 19:15)...”by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” He makes it plain that this time “I will not spare anyone” (:2). Why would Paul become so adamant and determined in what he plans to do? Because this is no longer just about him. This is about the Gospel and the ministry of Jesus Christ. Paul tells them to get their defense ready...because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the power that is at work in him (:3-4). He warns them that they had better make certain that they are what they say they are...before he arrives. Because once he arrives...it will be too late. And once again, even in this circumstance...Paul doesn’t want to harm them, but to build them up in their faith (:10).
Greetings and prayer (13:11-14)
2 Corinthians 13:11-14-Paul concludes his letter by telling them to work to live together in harmony.
Prayer: Lord, discord in Your church is so painful. We try to live and work together. Yet, there are times when it is necessary to act decisively when a follower has sinned and is not repentant. Please, in those times, Lord, help us to do so in a manner in which You will be glorified and the body will be strengthened.