Friday, June 21, 2013

2 Corinthians 13 - Examine Yourselves

LINK: 2 Corinthians 13


BACKGROUND


Paul concludes the book by telling the Corinthians to "get their act together" in terms of sin because he was going to exercise his apostolic duty by confronting sin and exercising discipline in the church. He said in 13:5-6, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -- unless, of course, you fail the test?" Then he said he would pray that they would be restored to maturity. He did this to build them up and not to tear them down. 


REFLECTION/APPLICATION

Throughout the book of 2 Corinthians, Paul was constantly trying to defend His apostleship. So here is a list of all the things that he said in his defense:

  • Commissioned by God (1:1; 1:21; 4:1)
  • Spoke truthfully (1:16; 4:2)
  • Acted in holiness, sincerity, and dependence on God alone in his dealings with them (1:12)
  • Was straightforward and sincere in his letters (1:13, 14)
  • Had God's Holy Spirit (1:22)
  • Loved the Corinthian believers (2:4; 6:11; 11:11)
  • Spoke with sincerity and Christ's power (2:17)
  • Worked among them and changed their lives (3:2, 3)
  • Lived as an example to the believers (3:4; 12:6)
  • Did not lose heart (4:1, 16)
  • Taught the Bible with integrity (4:2)
  • Had Christ as the center of his message (4:5)
  • Endured persecution as he taught the Good News (4:8-12; 6:4, 5, 9)
  • Was Christ's ambassador called to tell the Good News (5:18-20)
  • Tried to live an exemplary life so others would not be kept from God (6:3, 4)
  • Led a pure life, understood the gospel, and displayed patience with the Corinthians (6:6)
  • Was truthful and filled with God's power (6:7)
  • Stood true to God first and always (6:8)
  • Never corrupted or exploited anyone (7:2; 11:7-9)
  • Handled their offering for the Jerusalem believers in a responsible, blameless manner (8:20, 21)
  • Used God's weapons, not his own, for God's work (10:1-6)
  • Was confident that he belonged to Christ (10:7, 8)
  • Would boast not in himself but in the Lord (10:12, 13)
  • Had authority because he taught them the Good News (10:14, 15)
  • Endured pain and danger as he fulfilled his calling (11:23-33)
  • Was blessed with an astounding vision (12:2-4)
  • Was constantly humbled by a "thorn" in the flesh that God refused to take away (12:7-10)
  • Did miracles among them (12:12)
  • Was always motivated to strengthen others spiritually (12:19)
  • Was filled with God's power (13:4)
  • Passed the test (13:5,6)
  • Was always concerned that his spiritual children become mature believers (13:9)
(Life Application Study Bible NIV, p. 2107)
Some of these things pertain to Paul's apostleship but most of these points can pertain to a growing believer. Examine yourself" in light of this list. How can you grow in some of these areas?

PRAYER

Lord, give us the humility to examine ourselves. Help us to grow into full maturity in You. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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