We go on to 2 Cor 13:1-6
G-d wants us to be complete – that we might have a testimony that truly reflects Messiah in our lives and manifests what the Holy Spirit is bringing about in it. This means that He wants us go through the process of becoming fully sanctified. We want to be people who have been fully edified by the Spirit of G-d – having G-d’s presence in our lives – as G-d brings changes into our lives.
v1: This will be the third time I am coming to you: Paul has been to Corinth twice before, but now he desires to make a third trip to see them.
- By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word (every matter) shall be established: Quoted from Deut 19:15. It is sufficient to have the testimony of two witnesses but the implication is that if there are three (or even more than three) witnesses then the testimonies should be considered valid/established. Paul is interested in things being established by truth and established according to the will of G-d.
v2: I have told you before: Paul is consistent with his words and dealings with them. This is also something that should not be new or a surprise to them. He spoke about this on his second visit to them.
- Being absent: Paul was not yet with them for his third visit.
- I write to those who have sinned before (previously): Paul’s desire is to set things in order. Here he is speaking to those that he has written about as well as those whom he has had contention with. Paul is warning them that he is coming again and that when he comes it is going to be to put things into order.
- And to all the rest: Those who didn’t participate in the contentions. Paul wanted them to also know his plan so that no one would be caught unaware by Paul’s behaviour when he returned to them.
- I will not spare: He will not hold anything back (Prov 13:24)
v3: You seek a proof: Paul is going back to the challenge that has come out of this Corinthian congregation in regard to Paul’s apostleship.
- Who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you: Messiah, for their benefit, was not weak among them, but He was mighty in their midst. Paul did not bring about the changes in the lives of the Corinthians. He had no power or authority to do so. It was Messiah that had brought about the change, the good fruit in their lives. Paul was just the spokesman, the humble vessel/mouthpiece, that Messiah used.
v4: Crucified in weakness: When Messiah was being crucified, He humbled Himself and, by so doing, He showed the world what the world would have considered His weakness.
- Lives by the power of G-d: Messiah, from human perspective, appeared weak but from G-d’s perspective He was functioning within the power/might of G-d.
- We also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of G-d for you: Paul is trying to show and demonstrate to the Corinthians that the methodology that he used was most similar to Messiah. This shouldn’t surprise us, because Messiah dwells in every believer. When we do the work of G-d, we’re just a vessel. The authority that brings about and accomplishes changes in the lives of others is only possible because of the Spirit of Messiah dwelling in us. If Messiah was seen as weak while among men it should not surprise us if we are seen as weak from a worldly perspective. In truth, and in reality, we are living powerfully, but from a worldly perspective that power cannot be seen with human eyes (Isaiah 55:8-9).
v5: Examine yourselves: Test yourselves (in light of G-d’s truth). Scripture often encourages us to examine ourselves to make sure that we are in the faith, that we are walking properly. There needs to be evidence in our lives that this is the case.
- Do you not know yourselves that Yeshua Messiah is in you?: This should be very simple to prove, self-evident. If we are confused by it, then perhaps we need to ask ourselves if Messiah is indeed within us. The 101 for believers is that Messiah dwells in us and, added to that, our lives display evidence of this.
- Unless indeed you are disqualified: There is no proof or evidence that you are a believer. Having no proof leads to disqualification – what you have said was not factual but was based on falsehood.
v6: Trust: This is a word that is based on a sincere desire. Paul is hoping that these people know that Paul, and those with him, are living in a way that does not disqualify them. Their lives testify that they are producing good fruit.