WEDNESDAY APRIL 11
SCRIPTURE: 2 CORINTHIANS 13
Today we come to the end of another book that we have covered. I hope you have enjoyed this journey through 2 Corinthians. But also I hope it has been informative and helpful as well.
This last chapter obviously contains some of Paul’s last words to this church. We are going to look at a few of these last things that Paul wanted to get said to the folks at Corinth.
Paul begins the chapter with a warning. The church needs to be careful about allowing sin to go unchecked within the body of believers. Every church needs to be careful about this. Unchecked sin in the church robs the church of power and destroys the reputation of the church in the community. None of us are perfect. We all sin. But blatant, continuous sin has to be dealt with.
In verse 3, Paul mentions that they were seeking proof that he was real – that Christ was actually speaking through him. And then in a masterful turn we find in verse 5 where Paul says to the folks in the church that they need to examine themselves – they needed to evaluate themselves – to see if they were actually Christ followers or not. They need to know whether or not they are real.
The ultimate test of our Christianity is that Jesus lives in us. If you have been around the church for any length of time, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. But if we were honest with each other, sometimes it is difficult to know if our faith is genuine or not. Thankfully, the Bible gives us some things to work through to make sure we are indeed saved. Here are a couple of examples. One is the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts (Romans 8:9, 16). A second one is a genuine love for other Christ followers (1 John 3:14). Third is practicing righteousness (1 John 2:29, 3:9). Fourth is a desire to be different from the culture we live in (1 John 5:4).
Remember God does not want anyone guessing whether he is a Christian or not. He wants us to know. 1 John 5:13 says that one of the reasons the Scripture is written to us is so that we can know that we have eternal life.
As Paul wraps up this letter in verses 11-14, we find him telling us to aim for restoration or perfection. We should always be willing to make adjustments so that our lives line up better with the Word of God. The concept of comfort is a call to come alongside someone and be an encourager. Paul also gives us an important reminder of unity in the church as he ends this letter. We must never doubt the power and importance of unity.