|2 Corinthians 13 |
1 This is the third time that I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established."
2 I told you before, and warn you again as I did when present with you the second time; that although I am absent now, I write to those who have sinned before and to all others, that if I come again I will not spare you,
3 Since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me;1 who is not weak toward you, but is mighty in you.
4 For though he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. And though we are also weak in him, we will live with him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Do you not know yourself, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless you are reprobates [tested, rejected]?2
6 But I trust that you know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil; not so that we might appear approved, but that you will do what is honest, even if we might seem to be reprobates.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.
9 We are glad when we are weak and you are strong; and we also pray for your perfection.3
10 Therefore I write these things while I am absent, lest when I am present I should have to use harshness, according to the power which the Lord has given me to edification, and not to destruction.
11 Finally, brothers, farewell. Be perfect,4 be of good comfort, be of one mind, 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 salute 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. Amen.
1 Paul says: Christ speaking in me. So Paul's words were supplied by Christ. Paul said: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal 2:20; and he received the gospel through the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and God was pleased to reveal his son in me. Just like Jesus said he never said anything on his own, only what he heard the Father say: whatever I speak is just as the Father has told me to speak. John 12:49-50. To have Christ in control of our thoughts, words, and deeds is to make him our true Lord; and this is the requirement and end of salvation — to be born again as an entirely new creature, with Jesus resurrected in us, as our King, Master, and Lord.
2 Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Do you not know yourself, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless you are reprobates [tested, rejected]? When you seek to silently listen and obey the Lord, you will eventually be tested to see if you are truly committed to obeying the truth, or if you love your lusts more. If you pass the test, you are given more of his Spirit; this is the seal of the Holy Spirit, or what is discussed on the web site as the Interim Reward. If you fail, you do not progress; and it will take persistent seeking with your consistent obedience to be tested again. If you pass, you will know for sure that you have been given more of the Spirit of God, and it is resident in you.
3 We are glad when we are weak and you are strong; and we also pray for your perfection. Paul's ministry is to bring the believers to perfection; as is the purpose of the Holy Spirit's gift of a ministry to anyone:
4 Finally, brothers, farewell. Be perfect. Paul and Jesus are preaching the same message. No man can make himself perfect. But God can do anything, including make men perfect — but before he perfects a man by the grace of his power, a man must learn to loathe his selfish nature; and he must suffer with supernatural affliction to be rid of sin. Then a man can be made perfect by the grace of God. For if God made men perfect before they had learned to loathe evil in their hearts, they would just drift right back into serving their selfish nature by lusts.