Our last reading in 2 Corinthians: 2 Cor 13:7-14
v7: I pray…that you do no evil: There was a problem with this congregation. They were not living properly; they were not demonstrating faith.
- Not that we should appear approved: It was not Paul’s desire to go there and find out that he was right. On the contrary, Paul would have preferred to be wrong. He was not going to be saddened if he was wrong, because being wrong meant that the people were indeed living righteously and faithfully.
- You should do what is honourable: Paul’s motivation was not to be proved right publicly. This was less important to him. He was more interested in them doing the right thing.
- We may seem disqualified: If what Paul had written, said or accused them of was proved false it would lead to Paul appearing disqualified. Paul was not afraid of appearing disqualified in the eyes of man. He would in fact probably have rejoiced over that as it would mean that the people were behaving in a G-dly way and not according to what Paul had accused them of.
v8: We can do nothing against the truth: What Paul had said was indeed accurate. This congregation had serious spiritual problems.
- But for the truth: Paul lived according to truth and he wanted them to do the same thing.
v9: We are glad when we are weak: Messiah humbling Himself, by allowing Himself to be crucified (becoming weak for our sakes), led to the will of G-d being fulfilled. This is what Paul is talking about here in regard to himself. Paul rejoiced in that weakness if it meant that they became mighty, that they became overcomers.
- We pray that you be made complete: This is a word that speaks about order – arriving at the proper status or condition (living in a way to fulfil G-d’s desires and will).
v10: Being absent: Paul was not yet with them in person. He wanted them to change in his absence so that when he was present with them he would not have to be strict with them.
- Sharpness: Strictness. Harshness.
- According to the authority which the L-rd has given me: Paul had a right to be harsh with them if they were misbehaving.
- For edification and not for destruction: Paul wanted to use the authority that he had been given to build people up and not to use it in order to tear down the destructive things in their lives. Paul’s desire and motivation was not to be proved right. It wasn’t even to show that he was an apostle. These things were secondary to him. His desire was that the people would be edified. That they would be changed. That they would have a testimony that glorified the L-rd.
v11: Finally: This is a word for the remaining things. Paul now summarizes and begins to wrap up his thoughts for this epistle.
- Farewell: This word in Greek literally means ‘rejoice’.
- Become complete: Allow the Holy Spirit to set you into G-d’s order.
- Be of good comfort: Be encouraged.
- One mind: Think the same thoughts and have the same purpose. We are called to be individuals that fulfil the purpose of G-d.
- Peace: What we experience as an outcome of fulfilling or being in G-d’s will.
- The G-d of love and peace will be with you: G-d is with us when we are in a covenantal relationship with Him through Messiah Yeshua.
v14: This verse is a perfect example of where the Word of G-d teaches the doctrine of the trinity (One G-d who is manifested in three persons). One of the primary purposes of the trinity is to affirm the divinity of Messiah. Although He came as a man, He is worthy of worship (Dan 7:13-14). The only way He can be worshipped (without it being idolatry) is if He is indeed the only begotten Son of G-d.
- Grace: G-d, through Messiah Yeshua, is the only source for true grace.
- Love: Only when we have received the grace of G-d that comes through Messiah will we become recipients of the love of G-d the Father.
- Communion (fellowship) of the Holy Spirit: Being a recipient of the love of G-d manifests itself through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Note: Paul concludes this epistle by desiring us to receive the full measure of the work of G-d in our lives – from the grace that redeems us and gives us access to the love of G-d, and, through that love, the fellowship and intimacy that we can have with G-d in our lives.