2 Corinthians 13. Forum Discussion

Taking our spiritual inventory

Paul begins chapter 13 by setting the tone for a potential third visit to Corinth. Paul is taking this visit seriously and wants to make sure the brethren know what they may be in store for.

He writes beginning in the second verse, “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,  since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.”

There is a lot of attention paid to perceived strengths and weaknesses in Corinth. Too often, those that were puffed up or ruthless were considered strong; and those that were humble and meek were thought to be weak.

This is nothing new. It was the same for Jesus, and Paul, and it is no different for us. True strength comes from the power of God. As we mature and become more “Christlike”, we should notice ourselves becoming humbler and meeker. Others may incorrectly perceive this as weakness, and that is fine. It is not their opinions that matter. There is only One that will judge us.

 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

Paul rightly puts the focus on God’s power, not his own. He asks the Corinthians to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. Paul is hoping that if they do this in advance of his visit, he will not have to, “Use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.” – 2 Corinthians 13:10.

Today’s scripture talks about the exercise of examining ourselves to see if we are living a life that reflects our faith. One way to assess ourselves is by evaluating whether or not the fruit of the Spirit is present in our lives.

“Now the fruit of the Spirit is:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • And self-control;

against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

We can gain helpful perspective if we reflect on our own lives and assess where we are doing well, and where we can improve. For example, we may have a lot of love in our lives, but not much patience. Or we may be faithful but lack gentleness.

Taking a spiritual inventory of our lives using Galatians 5:22-23 is a productive exercise. There is a wise saying, “You can not manage a secret.” Knowing where we can improve is a useful first step.

Once we identify the area or areas that need some work, we should ask ourselves how we can improve. Whatever areas we are struggling with, Jesus can help us.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 

Paul concludes his second letter to the Corinthians with the following beautifully written words:

“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.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11-14.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we begin our six-day study on the book of Galatians. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

To the Christian, or at least to this Christian, strength means the ability to stay focused on God’s desire for our lives, even when we have difficulties and struggles.

Reply
Dan

Amen, I agree. Strength to me means perseverance. No matter what life throws at us, keeping our eye on the prize of heaven, and the route to get there (Jesus).

Strength to me also means the ability to do what we believe to be right, even when we are the only one's.

Reply
Virtual Bible Study

What does "strength" mean to a Christian?

Reply
Virtual Bible Study

Depending on God's help in every situation is our strength.

Reply