I say to you as the Apostle Paul said to the Christians at Corinth: examine yourselves to see whether you are really in the faith. You might have learned many things about God, but if you learn much about the faith and are not actually born again, what you have learned is to no advantage. The most important question ever to be settled is whether you really belong to Jesus Christ and are a member of his spiritual family. Do what Paul said: examine yourself.
In one of the last verses of chapter 13, Paul gave admonitions: “Finally, brothers, goodbye. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace” (v. 11). First, he told the Corinthian believers to aim for perfection (v. 11). He knows we are not going to reach perfection, but he says we must aim at it. Do not settle for second best. Shoot for the top.
Secondly, his appeal that the Corinthians heed his words reinforces what he wrote one verse before: “This 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” (2 Cor. 13:10).
The third thing he instructed them to do as they aimed for perfection and listened to his appeal was that they should do those things together. They must live in peace with one another. He ended those admonitions with a promise: “And the God of love and peace will be with you” (v. 11).
Paul closed his letter with a few final thoughts. He wrote, “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (v. 12). We must put that into practice as we see fit. Then, “All the saints send their greetings” (v. 13). Then there is a final benediction: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (v. 14). Indeed, he will be if we belong to him and we are continuing in Christ’s way.
May we thank God for this book and its practical teaching. Though we may find some of what we’ve learned difficult to receive and even more difficult to practice, may God grant us the grace to move in the direction of perfection. We want to be people of the Book. May we live like Jesus Christ. And when that is hard, may the Lord help us to do it, for Jesus’ sake. Study Questions
Scripture MemorySelect a verse that made an impact on you during our study of 2 Corinthians and commit it to memor