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2 Corinthians 13

Paul’s final appeal
This is the third time I am coming to you. At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 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- 3 seeing you seek proof that Christ speaks in me (who toward you is not weak but is powerful in you). 4 For he was crucified through weakness, yet he lives through the power of God. For we also are weak in him; but we shall live with him through the power of God toward you.
   5 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! 6 But I hope you shall know that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you do no evil. Not so we may appear to have met the test, but so you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth but only for the truth. 9 For we rejoice, when we are weak and you are strong. This we also pray for, even your perfecting. 10 For this cause I write these things while absent, that I may not when present with you deal sharply with you, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for building up, and not for casting down.
   11 Finally, brothers, farewell. Be perfected. Be comforted. Be of the same mind. Live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 12 All the saints greet you. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


13:4 Christ's death, His willing weakness, was the model followed in handling the difficult Corinthians; and the cross becomes the pattern for us in our side of handling difficult relationships.

13:5 We also should be able to examine ourselves and see whether Christ is in us or not. Serious self-examination is a distinct feature of the Christian life.

13:7 Seem to have failed- Paul wasn't concerned with his image, with appearing a failure in the eyes of men [such fear of public failure obsesses many people]. What he wanted was for them to grow in Christ and please Him, even if they temporarily rejected Paul.

13:8 This wonderful principle means that we should not worry unduly if our technique is succesful or not; for if we are truly motivated, we cannot damage the Truth by our genuine efforts to serve. It is the one talent man who did nothing, through fear of failure, who was condemned- not those who somehow did at least something (Mt. 25:25).