The Way - Day 091 (2 Corinthians 13)

Daily Reading:
2 Corinthians 13
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
Paul wanted the believers to test themselves by self examination to see if they were in Christ.  Do we as believers think we are ever beyond regular self examination?  What about as a church?  What are some signs that you've experienced in your life that have required correction?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 32:1
OPTION 2: Proverbs 14:26-27
OPTION 3: Matthew 5:38-39
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for 2 Corinthians 13 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
2 Corinthians 13
In his concluding words of this letter to the church at Corinth, Paul urges those who were still being deceived by the false teachers to repent of their sin and return to the truth.  These teachers had used trickery and deceitfulness to lead many of the Corinthians astray, causing them to question Paul's apostolic authority and sincerity.  Since Paul would soon be paying a visit to Corinth (12:14), his greatest desire was that the Corinthians would abandon these wicked teachers and receive him with open arms.  Most of this letter had been spent defending his sincerity and divine authority (2 Corinthians 1-7, 10-12), even though Paul did not like to boast about his accomplishments (12:11-13).  With a great sense of urgency, Paul used his final words to the church at Corinth to evidence his love for them.  He writes, "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved" (12:15).  Paul's love for Corinth was growing, while the love they had for him was faltering.  The Corinthians had no reason to question Paul's love or sincerity; after all, Paul (or his associates) had never taken advantage of them nor had he been a burden to them during his stay in Corinth (12:16-19).

Upon his arrival in Corinth, Paul feared discovering people consumed by "...contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults" (12:20).  Finding unrepentant hearts amongst the Corinthian people would be devastating to Paul (12:21); however, he promised to deal with any sin which remained in Corinth upon his visit (13:1-2).  And those who were still seeking proof that Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ would have it when he arrived in the power of the resurrected Christ and dealt with any rebellion found in the church (13:3-4).  Paul challenged them to examine their own hearts to see whether their conduct was reflecting a genuine faith in Jesus Christ (13:5-6).  Paul's prayer was that the Corinthians' faith would be found genuine and that their lives would consistently demonstrate obedience to God (13:7-9).  In case Paul's reason for writing had gotten lost in all of his words, he summarized his purpose for writing the letter in 2 Corinthians 13:10,"Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction."  The Corinthians, especially the ones who had still not repented, had a choice to make.  Would they remain loyal to the false teachers or would they return their loyalty to Christ and His apostles?

Although his benediction is brief, Paul writes some final words to the Corinthians to encourage them in faithfulness, "Finally, brethren, farewell.   Become complete.   Be of good comfort, be of one mind, 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 the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.   Amen" (13:11-14).  Paul's letter to the church at Corinth was complete and they needed to make a decision about the words Paul had written.

Dear God, may I remain loyal to You and reject any teachings which are contrary to the truth You've revealed through Your word.