2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
“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.” -2Cor.13:11
The New Testament “epistles” are inspired letters written by various authors to churches and individuals (Corinthians, Galatians, etc) that dealt with specific issues pertaining to each Church or person. Besides they expounded various spiritual truths for the nurturing of Christ’s body. Hence the epistles are treasure houses for Churches at any age for spiritual building up and discipline! In the epistle of 2Corinthians, Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit deals with certain prevailing situations and it can address similar issues existent in any church anywhere throughout the centuries!
Second Corinthians is the most autobiographical of Paul’s letters and probably the most difficult letter that Paul had to write [NKJV Study Bible]. Paul was dealing with various forms of sin in the Church at Corinth – sexual immorality, insubordination, misuse of spiritual gifts (the list in 2Cor.12:21). In 2Corinthians, Paul’s apostolic authority is defended as certain false teachers were searching whether “Christ was speaking through Paul.”
Even in the midst of all the issues prevalent at Corinth, Paul loved them and was jealous for them! He didn’t want them to be deceived by the craftiness of the devil! Paul laments of their unrepentant attitude in 2 Cor.12:21: “I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.”
The attitude of Paul being a leader and mentor is notable – he is not condemning them - but correcting them and keeping a very optimistic attitude that they will come back to their senses! We often see leaders, getting frustrated when the people they mentor don’t show any signs of growth and maturity. His critics criticized Paul and even questioned the Lord’s working in Paul!! This would be very painful for a man of God who has been through intense persecution as well as spiritual experiences (visions, revelations, operation of spiritual gifts). Paul is not a new believer to be criticized this way. The Holy Spirit prompted Paul to write these things for the comfort of many in similar situations today – when you are up against such criticism, know that even Paul went through it. Yet He did not lose heart, but believed better things about them and kept a level head to correct them peacefully.
In our key verse, Paul gives them a practical advice – the secret to ensure God’s love and peace to abide in their lives –its beneficial for us too. It is true that our God “who is love” extended His love to save us – and thus caused His divine peace to dwell in our hearts. That isn’t enough—we need to ensure the continuous presence of God’s love and peace in us! The Corinthians’ behavior was typical of a lost focus of the love of God and the resultant loss of His peace. Many behavioral problems in many Christians today also sprout from a similar reason. They’ve lost their first love – hence what rules their heart as Paul laments in 2 Corinthians 12:21: “impurity, immorality and sensuality.”
The remedy is: rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace. If we practise these key things on a daily basis God’s love and peace will continually abide in our lives!
Promise: “ - and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)