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2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13

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1&2 This is the third time I am coming to you. EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. 2 I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone,

 

2Cor 13,1-6

(73b) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> Those in charge of the word – This is the third time Paul is coming to Corinth. The first time was the initial preaching of the gospel at the conception of the Corinthian Church; the second time was after the writing of his first epistle, and the third time will be after his second letter. So, he writes his letters first, preparing them for his visits, and then comes later, hopefully so he doesn’t catch them unaware, reminiscent of the second coming of Christ.

2Cor 13,1-5

(196d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to die to self >> Unable to put down your own flesh

2Cor 13,1-3

(203k) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Living in sin – Paul wants to see their good side and is discerning enough to know if it is real and will speak reality to them if they’re not, driving it into their hearts until it comes out their behavior. Paul has two or three witness who will tell about their true spiritual condition. He’s getting them ready, and promises to redress their past sins (1Cor 5-1).

2Cor 13-2

(51c) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> Warning of Wrath >> God warns the Church -- This verse goes with verse 10

(69i) Authority >> Righteous judgment (Outcome of Discernment) >> Judging the flesh by the Spirit – Paul was intending to give the Corinthians a good tongue-lashing. How did he know that showing his disapproval would affect them? A couple chapters earlier he said, “We are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete” (2Cor 10-6). What does that mean? When they have a heart to obey and they disobey, Paul was ready to rebuke them like a parent to his children. When they’re young they want to obey their father, much as he loves his children, he disciplines them, because he knows that is what their actions deserve. Paul wanted the Corinthians to have an attitude of an obedient child, so when they disobeyed the Lord, they would know what was coming. What was the punishment that Paul had planned for them? He was simply going to remind them of God’s disapproval. Fearing the words that they failed the Lord is enough punishment for those who are maturing in the faith. We shame those who’s conscience is incomplete until they mature, and then conviction takes over and they recognize the truth by the sting in their heart when they sin. Paul intended to sit them down and rehash the rudiments of faith with them and reteach them that sin is unacceptable in the eyes of God for His people. See also: Paul will not spare anyone; 2Cor 12-20,21; 237c

(137h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing in Jesus is hard work >> Maturity comes through discipline

(138c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Reproof >> Reprove your brother for sinning -- This verse goes with verse 10

(178f) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Hypocrisy of the Church is rebuked >> The Church is rebuked for sin

(184i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Spending His grace on your pleasures >> Adding leaven to His grace

(190da) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Spiritual suicide – If Paul comes and finds them unrepentant, he will not spare them, he said. So, what is he going to do, beat them up, give them a tongue lashing? Anybody can endure a lecture. Why should the Corinthians be afraid of that? If he doesn’t intend to inflict physical pain, then what is there to fear? To the unbeliever, there is nothing, but the Corinthians believed in Jesus, though sometimes it didn’t seem like it. The truth can be very painful to Christians who have sinned, even more so than physical punishment. The conviction of the Holy Spirit can be a heavy mallet, and if they have a remnant of the Spirit, Paul can appeal to them about where they’ve gone wrong and what is at stake, what they’re trading, and what they are missing through their disobedience. Paul let the Holy Spirit work on their hearts, convicting their disobedience and leading them back to the truth, suggesting there needs to be a core faith for Paul to appeal to them if they have any hope of receiving his discipline. Remember in 2Cor 10-6 it says, “We are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” He’s appealing to that core faith and showing that sacrificing the things of God is like spiritual suicide. They need to stop playing footsy with their fleshly impulses and serve God in Spirit and truth.

(199d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating the apostles – Paul visited the Corinthians twice, and he wrote them in his second letter that if he comes a third time, he will confront those who have sinned. When Paul wrote about coming again, we could take it as Jesus speaking through him and saying that when He returns, He will not spare those who have sinned in the past. Instead of preparing for His second coming, like the Corinthians who didn’t prepare for Paul's return, they did what Jesus said they would do: beat his slaves and ate and drank with drunkards. We are not talking literally about beating-up the saints, but spiritually abusing them, which frequently occurs from a lack of understanding of the Scriptures. It damages people when we teach them amiss, even when we do it ignorantly. False motives are hidden underneath an absent personal relationship with God, which is the cause of our ignorance. The truth demands that we die to self in ways that we don’t want to die, but there is something even more terrifying. If we believe the truth and obey it, we will come to know God, and there are some “believers” who don’t really want to know Him, preferring their religion that permits them to sin and remain in the flesh.


3&4 since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

 

2Cor 13,3-6

(132b) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of Jesus

(156g) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Manifesting the Holy Spirit is evidence of salvation – Paul confessed that Jesus Christ lived in him, yet he was still weak. Some people wonder why we are Christians if it doesn't seem to make a difference. That is, many people don’t get saved because they see no measurable result in people who claim to be saved. They want a one-to-one correspondence in everything they do; they click on a link in their web browser and it takes them to another page. They like what they do to have an effect; so when they get saved and the power of God dwells in them, they are still weak, so they lose interest. We live in a frail body that is subject to sickness and death; we easily get tired and injured; we often can’t think of the right words to say; it takes years of schooling to learn something meaningful. Our bodies and minds work, but we have to constantly push them. That may be the case now, but in the life to come we will have resurrected bodies, and all our weaknesses will disappear. We don’t exactly know about our future experience in heaven, nor about our resurrected bodies, but we do know that all forms of weakness will not follow us to heaven. We will have bodies that will look like the stars of heaven; we will radiate with the glory of God, and that is all we really need to know.

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2Cor 13-3,4

(64h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness is stronger than men -- These verses go with verse 9

(66h) Authority >> Jesus’ authority >> His cross is the power of God

(97a) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about yourself >> A self-righteous attitude

(111g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Word and the power (meaning) of God >> Circumstances cannot evade the voice of the Spirit

(113n) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Our weakness proves it is the power of God – We may be weak in the flesh living for Him now, but a day is coming when we will live by the power of God, when our bodies are transformed, and our weaknesses cast off and replaced by power that is currently foreign to us. We will become light; we will become energy. Strength will then be the composition of our bodies. Since these things are in our future, God has afforded a way for them to become part of our present; applying His strength consists of His calling in our life.

2Cor 13-3

(17l) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Discerning by the flesh >> Making distinctions between each other

(110d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through His ministry in us

(130j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Accepting the great and the small >> Small people cannot accept great leaders –  The Corinthians were seeking proof of Jesus Christ who lived in Paul, not that they doubted his salvation; rather, they wanted to see the power of God in his ministry. They heard of God using him to perform signs, wonders and miracles, and they wanted to see it for themselves. This is not so distant from the Jews seeking a sign from Jesus, and what did He say to them? “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” The Corinthians wanted Paul to perform a miracle in front of them, which is not surprising, since they were searching for the power of the God, generating Paul’s discussion about the gifts of the Spirit, which is how we now know about them. Paul said, ‘I’ll show you Jesus Christ in me; I’ll show you parts of Him that maybe you don’t want to see.’ The power of God granting repentance to a misfit crew of disobedient Christians is a miracle in itself, and this is the miracle that Paul wanted to see in them, and he needed help from the Corinthians for this miracle to manifest, but they were looking for some other kind of miracle. To go home with repentance in our heart is a treasure far greater than witnessing a miracle of healing or any other sign. The sign of repentance in our own generation is very much needed and will in fact be the greatest sign of the endtimes, as it is written in Rev 12-1, “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet….”

(181c) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebellion >> Rebelling against God >> Rebelling against the men of God

(254k) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Power of Jesus’ Spirit -- This verse goes with verse 5. The Corinthians were rebellious people; they didn’t like Paul telling them what to do; they didn’t like him exerting his authority over them. They wanted Paul to let them walk in the flesh and call it Christianity, but Paul would not stand for it. They were very hard on Paul, and he played hardball right back at them. They were to recognize that Jesus Christ dwells in them. Isn’t it the Holy Spirit who dwells in us? Paul was saying that the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus are the same; verses like this are where we get the idea of the trinity. He wanted them to know that the apostles and their aids who helped spread the word did not fail the test, saying to the Corinthians, ‘I don’t know about you guys but Jesus definitely lives in me.’

2Cor 13-4

(57g) Paradox >> Opposites >> Crucified in weakness, but He lives by the power of God

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5&6 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-unless indeed you fail the test? 6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.

 

2Cor 13-5,6

(68j) Authority >> Discernment >> Judging truth and error >> Perceiving a wicked heart

(69l) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Judging yourself correctly – Paul says to make sure we are born-again. We are to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith. We are not Christians because we say so; rather, we are Christians because we are born of God and He dwells in us by faith that came from Him, faith that rises above any human ability to believe. We possess something that originated from heaven. We know about God’s love because His love dwells in us, and we use it to grow in the knowledge of the Scriptures and establish unity by building up one another, according to the Spirit who dwells in us. We are to test ourselves to see if these things are working in us.

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits – Each person must come to terms that God does in fact exist, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11-6). He is a benevolent God, who loves us more than we will ever know. We must resolve that He is worthy of our service and therefore offer our service to Him, so what we want is replaced with what He wants. This is the kind of commitment we need to make with God. It happens when we finally come to the realization of these things, when we say to Him, ‘God, I belong to you. Everything I am, everything I own, everything I will ever be is yours to direct and control now and forevermore.’ When a person makes a commitment like that, he is entering into covenant with Christ, a covenant that He established with His own blood, who already invested His life and is ready to impart His Spirit in us, so that God dwells in us, our hope and glory.

(122e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confident in your salvation

(238b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the will of man – Paul is talking about being born-again, what Jesus said in Jn 3-3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” We must be born-again.

2Cor 13-5

(182b) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Believing you know God when you don’t

(254k) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Power of Jesus’ Spirit -- This verse goes with verse 3. The Holy Spirit is one and the same with Jesus Christ; in fact, when Jesus was born to His mother Mary, His soul was the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul asked if Jesus Christ lived in the Corinthians. Jesus is the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is Christ, and the two are alike with the Father, though they all hold different offices within the trinity.

2Cor 13-6

(42e) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent before God


7-9 Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.

 

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2Cor 13-7

(57d) Paradox >> Opposites >> World’s wisdom versus God’s wisdom

(75c) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Being motivated to do the will of God – Paul was saying that whether he appeared approved or not, he wanted them to do what was right in disregard of the false reports they had heard about him.

(127k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Doing good hides your shame – Paul told the Corinthians to be good and then dispelled floating rumors about him that he had evil motives for being in the ministry. No doubt they heard many conflicting messages and accusations about Paul that people flung at him, presuming His motives and interpreting his words and actions, and often plain lying about him. Many of these things entered the Corinthians’ ears, and it made them think twice about Paul. The Corinthians wondered if he showed them only one side of himself and there were other sides of him they were unaware. Children wonder if their parents want them to be good to make them look good, or if they should be good for their own sake; for Paul it was the latter. He comforted their minds about him, saying that he wanted them to be good, though others spoke evil about him. If the Corinthians ever matured in the faith, people would speak evil of them too, which was one reason the Corinthians resisted maturity that Paul kept pushing on them, knowing if they ever lived according to their beliefs, they would enter the fray and be persecuted. Instead, they tossed in a dose of carnality to assuage the world in effort to maintain their favor, while they continued to secretly believe in Jesus, but Paul wanted them to grow-up and live according to their faith, filtering out hypocrisy.

(164j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world hates the Church 

(168f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world listens to itself >> The world receives itself

(171k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Outward appearance is not important

2Cor 13-8

(243k) Kingdom of God >> The eternal kingdom >> The indestructible kingdom >> The head of the body is indestructible >> The word of God is indestructible – Jimmy Swaggart and some of his cronies have dragged the gospel of Christ through the mud, making it less palatable for those who would search for God and His promises, so is he an example of someone who has damaged the truth? No, he is not! What did Jimmy Swaggart do to the truth? He may have ruined his own reputation and to some extent the reputation of Christianity in the world, but what did he do to the truth? Nothing! The truth stands on its own and no body can touch it. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life….” What did Swaggart do to Him? The religious establishment did everything they could to Him; they mercilessly whipped Him and then hung Him on a cross until He died, still He rose from the grave and consequently took the keys of death and hell from the enemy of our soul, the devil, and destroyed death for anyone who would believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. So, what can anyone do against the truth? The more they try to kill it, the more it lives. The truth is in another dimension; the truth lives in heaven, where we are going one day. The truth lives in events that have already happened, and we cannot go into the past and undo them.

2Cor 13-9

(9i) Responsibility >> Strengthen one another >> Be strong

(44f) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Completing the will of God -- This verse goes with verse 11. Paul prays for the Church to be made complete; in his letters to all the Churches he used the word “complete.” What does this mean? James said it best when he said "that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (Jm 1-3,4). While puffs of air escape our orifice merely talking about our beliefs, though not showing any, two great expressions of faith are ignored: endurance and perseverance. We persevere in the will of God, while we endure your circumstances. If we can do those two things, this is the work of God.

(57c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Humble yourself and God will exalt your brother

(64h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness is stronger than men -- This verse goes with verses 3&4

(122h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confidence in the Church through your ministry – Invariably we offend people, who believe we have no faith, but it’s not about pleasing them but pleasing God. If we did this, we would offend people more than if we were disobedient. Each one of us has a calling, and we need to search our heart for the voice of the Spirit and listen for Him until we fully understand what God wants from us, and then do it. This is what completes us, more than pleasing people who think we should live the Christian life according to their religious expectations. We do what we can to avoid offending people, and we serve God by serving others, but ultimately our faith is in Jesus Christ, not in what other people think of us.


10-14 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down. 11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

 

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2Cor 13-10

(4e) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable in your stewardship – God has given Paul grace to build up the Church and not to tear it down, to be constructive, not to be destructive, but anyone who spiritually abuses the people of God is in big trouble, even more than the unsaved. Not only are they both going to the same place without repentance, but the one’s judgment will be far more severe than the other’s. People make mistakes in the ministry all the time; they unwittingly believe in false doctrine and even teach it, but there are others who make their mistakes on purpose. Spiritual abuse is quicksand; there is no spiritual growth in it, so one is lying when he says he's spiritually growing while he is abusing the good faith of others. We are dealing with someone who is at least borderline reprobate. God gives us grace to build up one another, to be constructive, but the moment someone uses God's grace for evil, a correction phase and conviction warns him to stop what he’s doing. If he refuses to listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and continues in his abusive ways, there may be dreadful days ahead of him, potentially making him wish he had never been born. He can turn into a monster over night. Paul was truly just the opposite of such a description. He had one of the most beautiful spirits anyone could have. Anyone who is endowed with the Holy Spirit and uses the grace of God only for good, has a beautiful spirit. We can always tell those kind of people; they know how to bless and minister to people in need, especially those who are suffering. This was Paul. He planned on using the grace of God to build up the saints. Even in his coarseness he was being constructive. Sometimes we must knock down a wall or two before construction can proceed.

(51c) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> Warning of Wrath >> God warns the Church -- This verse goes with verse 2

(68a) Authority >> Doing God’s work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help God’s people

(138c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Reproof >> Reprove your brother for sinning -- This verse goes with verse 2

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification

2Cor 13-11

(44f) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Completing the will of God -- This verse goes with verse 9. Some people point to their cult-45 as their peacemaker. Violence is the human form of peace, and it shouldn’t surprise us that it’s the opposite of God’s peace. When Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mat 5-9), He was talking about His children being the first to conciliate in a conflict to bring about peace in a given situation.

(78h) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind by the word of God >> Be of one mind, his mind

(125g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of unity

(126a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> God is at peace >> The peace from God – God has forever lived in a state of peace. He could dwell in hell and still have peace, including all the fruits of the Spirit. The Bible says that God has chosen a hellish environment in the midst of black smoke and fire, such was at the top of Mount Sinai during the giving of the law, and it also says that in the last days he will come in the clouds of heaven, probably not white, puffy clouds but a black, dense plumb of smoke. When God sends the lawless to hell, He is not sending them to a place where He is unwilling to go but where He has often been. Hell is for sinners because of their sin, who feel its flames because he deserves to be punished, so the greater the sin, the greater the punishment, and the less sin the less he feels the flames of hell. God can live in hell or in any situation in a state of perfect peace.

(129n) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Having one mind

(227c) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> Fruit of the Spirit is its own reward – God’s peace is a state of being, just like all the fruits of the Spirit, but a peacemaker elicits the behavior of peace. If we don’t have the proper state of mind, we cannot act as a peacemaker, and we cannot wrestle with our mind to develop this state. We need the Holy Spirit to develop a state of peace within us, so we can go into the world and become peacemakers. We cannot establish peace with our fellow man if we don’t first have peace with God. Some think that peace is just the opposite of war, but living in a spiritual state of peace that God has given us is an entity in its own right, as it were a substance.

(228c) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> We are comforted in the presence of God >> Holy Spirit is our comforter

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2Cor 13-12

(123k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Physical affection with spiritual motives 

(133i) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> The body of Christ is holy >> Our godly behavior is holy to the lord – The holy kiss was abandoned because of misuse; the guys kissed the girls a little longer, so now we shake hands; and if we really mean it, we give each other a hug. Jesus inaugurated the holy kiss as the customary greeting, suggesting that this is how we will greet each other in heaven, for if Jesus did it on earth, then it will also be done in heaven, for that is the underlying principle of Scripture, voiced in the Lord’s prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6-10). Until then, so long as men are unable to kiss a woman without making it a sexual encounter, the practice will remain shelved.

2Cor 13-13,14

(123g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Emotional benediction toward helpers

2Cor 13-14

(208i) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being the friend of God >> Having fellowship with God – Is there any wonder we believe in the trinity with statements like this, Paul incorporating all three members of the Godhead in his farewell? These are the most important aspects of the trinity: the grace of Christ, the love of the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The Father initiated Jesus born in a manger to His mother, Mary; the Son willingly gave His life for us, and the Holy Spirit has come in His place and fellowships with us.

(255g) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> The process of imparting the substance of God >> Father discloses the Spirit by the word