1 Sept. 2 Corinthians 13:5-14

1 Sept. Testing yourself to see if you are living the faith

"Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. You know that Jesus Christ is in you - unless you fail the test. But I hope you will see that we ourselves have not failed the test."

"We pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. It is not important to see that we have passed the test, but it is important that you do what is right, even if it seems we have failed."

"We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are happy to be weak, if you are strong, and we pray that you will become complete."

"I am writing this while I am away from you so that when I come I will not have to be harsh in my use of authority. The Lord gave me this authority to build you up, not to tear you down."

"Now, brothers and sisters, I say goodbye. Try to be perfect. Do what I have asked you to do. Agree with each other, and live in peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you."

"Greet each other with a holy kiss. All of God's holy people send greetings to you."

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

          (2 Corinthians 13:5-14)

 

 

Paul has had to write some uncomfortable things to the new believers in Corinth, and as he comes to the end of his second letter, he is concerned that they take on board his teachings.

So he asks them to test themselves to see if they are putting everything he has told them into practice. Are they following Jesus's teachings in their daily lives? Are they quick to forgive or do they harbour a grudge? Are they arguing with each other or living in peace?

He hopes he will find them living together in agreement when he visits them again, and will not have to use his God-given authority to sort out any differences. So he tells them, "Try to be perfect. Do what I have asked you to do. Agree with each other, and live in peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you." (2 Corinthians 13:11)

The custom of greeting other Christians with a kiss became widespread in the early church, and is still practised in some churches today. In others, believers greet each other in a variety of ways - from a simple handshake to a big hug!

Paul finishes with a ‘benediction’ or farewell blessing that would have been well known to his readers: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The photo (by Nicholas Hartmann) shows the city of Corinth and the east end of the Gulf of Corinth, from the summit of Acrocorinth.

You can read the whole of Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/pauls-2nd-letter-to-cori…/


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