2 Corinthians 13:1-14 IV
1This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”a 2I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, 3since you are demanding proof that CHRIST Is Speaking through me. HE Is Not Weak in dealing with you, But Is Powerful among you. 4For to be sure, HE Was Crucified in weakness, yet HE Lives by GOD’s Power.
Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by GOD’s Power we will live with Him in our dealing with you.
5Examine 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? 6And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7Now we pray to GOD that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.
8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
9We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. 10This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority The LORD Gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
11Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, 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.
13All GOD’s people here send their greetings.
14 May The GRACE of The LORD JESUS CHRIST, and The LOVE of GOD, and The FELLOWSHIP of The HOLY SPIRIT Be With you all.
THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS
AUTHOR: Paul, the apostle, along with Timothy (1:1)
PLACE OF WRITING: Somewhere in MACEDONIA, while Paul was on his way to make another visit to Corinth. This would be during his third missionary journey, in a part of which Luke says very little (cf. Ac 20:1-2).
TIME OF WRITING: Possibly in the fall of 57 A.D., making it but a few months after writing First Corinthians (likely written in the spring of 57 A.D.).
MESSENGER: Titus, who was accompanied by two others on his journey (8:16-24)
BACKGROUND OF THE EPISTLE: The church in Corinth began in 52 A.D., when Paul visited there on his second missionary journey. It was then that he stayed one and a half years, the first time he was allowed to stay in one place as long as he wished. A record of this visit and the establishment of the church is found in Acts 18:1-18.
This second letter of Paul to the Corinthian church was occasioned by the report brought back by Titus, who informed Paul of their reception of the first letter, and how they received the rebuke that letter contained (2:12-13; 7:5-9).
PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE: Titus' report was encouraging, but evidently it also brought troubling news that some at Corinth were questioning Paul's authority as an apostle. This doubt may have planted by "Judaizing teachers" who seemed to follow Paul and attempted to undermine his teaching concerning the Law. They appear to have questioned his veracity (1:15-17), his speaking ability (10:10; 11:6), and his unwillingness to accept support from the church at Corinth (11:7-9; 12:13). There were also some people who had not repented of their licentious behavior (12:20-21). Paul's primary purpose, then, in this epistle is: TO VINDICATE HIS APOSTLESHIP AND MANNER OF LIFE
He hopes that by writing in advance of his visit he can get all of the necessary rebuke out of the way (1:23-2:3; 13:10). He also uses the opportunity to encourage them to have the collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem ready when he comes (9:1-5; cf. 1Corinthians 16:1-2).
This letter is the most biographical and least doctrinal of Paul's epistles. It tells us more about Paul as a person and as a minister than any of the others. Those who would be ministers of the gospel would do well to carefully study it (along with Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus).
KEY VERSE: 2 Corinthians 7:2
"Open your heart to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have defrauded no one."