2 Corinthians

 

  • 2Corinthans 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Paul reminds us here of the Old Testament law that assures a fair trial by establishing the fact that we are not to just take the word of one person when accusing another of wrong. That is a good rule because it protects an innocent person of being wrongly accused in the case of a person stating so-called facts for ulterior motives instead of truth.

He came to them 3 times to assure them that he was earnest in his care for them to be followers of truth and not error.

  • 2Co 13:2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:

He preferred that they correct their sin and change so that when he comes in person, he will not find them in error.

  • 2Co 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

How many of us question the proof of someone speaking from God when he speaks good things? It is usually when they speak of correction, repentance, change and reproof that all the sudden we don't want to believe they speak from God.

Naturally we should question and make sure what we hear is from the Lord. We can judge that by the word rightly understood.

If a pastor goes for years without one negative correcting message in the midst of this evil world, we can wonder whether he is speaking the word of God or not. The only time we could possible speak only good things would be if we were all perfect and had no need of repentance. All we have to do is look around us and see that that is not so.

  • 2Co 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

God's spirit can make the weak strong. God's spirit can humble the strong. The Spirit is perfect but we are weak and constantly we need His presence and His guidance. We must never think that we can go it alone trusting in our talents, education and skills.

I can say in truth that through the years I've known highly educated Christians and also those that have nothing more than a sixth grade education. I know one with only a sixth grade education that can understand the bible more than anyone else I have met. The only version he has is the KJV, so he understands what is considered the hardest to understand. How could this be if not for the Holy Spirit? He doesn't know the original Greek or Hebrew, yet I now can get Greek and Hebrew meanings to compare them to what this person believed and there is not much difference.

I think we have become lazy spiritually. It is easier now to look up what someone else has said about a passage than to pray and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth which is what we are supposed to do. We have to stop this copycatting what other churches are doing. We see what works for one and assume that it is what God wants for our own church, then we buy the tapes and books and do a series on it. 

Why can't we ask God to reveal the same messages to us if they are so great that they work for so and so?  If God brings a great thing to First Church of God, can He not reveal the same thing to our own congregation if it is truly something from Him?  We have to consider also that what God does in one place may be different than what is needed in our own situation. 

Do we all want to be carbon copies, having the same type of music, worship the exact same way when there are so many different types of people all over the world? Only the Holy Spirit can possibly know how to reach the people in China and also the people in Akron Ohio. What may work one place may not work in another.  I believe that is why we have fiery preachers and also soft spoken ones.  Some people do not think it is preaching unless they preach loud and strong.  Others however, are offended by the loud and strong and will only respond to the soft spoken ones. 

I'm not tearing down any of these people but why should we assume something is correct just because Benny Hinn says it or Oral Roberts? Even if David Wilkerson says it, we have to trust the Holy Spirit and not him. I dearly love David Wilkerson and am not making any slight against him. In fact there are many times when I would take his word for things. I don't believe even David would have wanted that though. I'm sure he wouldn't have felt threatened if we checked out what he preaches with the word of God. Yet in saying this if we just listen to the good messages and avoid the negative, something is amiss. The bible is full of negative warnings and what we call doom and gloom. Perhaps that is why so many are turning from the bible to tell jokes and preach feel good positive thinking sermons.

  • 2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Reprobate means to not endure reproof,  not have any standard of purity, or to be abandoned in sin and lost to virtue or grace. They profess to know God but in works they deny Him.

We can claim to believe and be Christian but in works we ignore everything God says. How can one love God and ignore what He says in the bible?

  • 2Co 13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

Paul assures them that he is not reprobate and is telling them the truth.

It is obvious that Paul is not negative because he wants to control these people. We can see his desires as he preaches correction only so that the church will be fruitful and not fall away from the truth into the error of sin.

I know there are overbearing negative preachers who preach that way for control instead of love. On the other hand there are feel good positive preachers who preach that way to gain money, popularity and do not care for the souls of their listeners.

Both kinds are equally wrong. Whatever a preacher preaches, whether it is comfort or warning, it should be done with the right motives. Not to gain followers but to gain souls into the kingdom of God. Not to gain financially but to gain followers of Jesus Christ.

  • 2Co 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
  • 2Co 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
  • 2Co 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
  • 2Co 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

Here is the key. Preach, teach and work for the believers to be edified, not destroyed.

  • 2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Get along with people and don't fuss over trivial things. If two people can't agree, turn it over to God. Don't try to force the issue and allow a root of bitterness to form because of a disagreement. Just agree to disagree. If it involve sound doctrine though, we must stand for truth but in the spirit of meekness.

  • 2Co 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
  • 2Co 13:13 All the saints salute you.
  • 2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Pray for the communion of the Holy Spirit and bear one another's burdens showing love and care and never self-righteous, holier than thou attitudes. Remember too, that true love is not forsaking truth and sound doctrine.  The Holy Spirit is there to help but sometimes it may take a little longer.  Our problem is not waiting on the Lord. 

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