“Last Ones Standing” II Corinthians, Ch. 13
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”
13 1 This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, 3 since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me.
This ain’t no GAME WE’RE PLAYIN’ HERE!
- Numbers & Deuteronomy: murderer put to death, but at least two or three witnesses required, never just one!
- Paul is his own “3 strikes” witness… and will deal harshly on this principle.
He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
It’s a matter of LIFE AND DEATH (ETERNALLY)!
- Christ came in love and service… our sins CRUCIFIED Him! He has every right to “crucify” (exert His power over) our sinful nature
- His power is what it is, our position determines our experience of it… crucified sinful nature or condemned in the flesh
- Paul was being Christ-like: Came in love and service… “powerful” (firm/harsh) confrontation of sinful nature.
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
I can know WHERE I STAND.
- Test yourself first… Christ in you if you pass… good “glasses”
- Confidence from “self-examination” (“I trust that you will discover)
- How do I examine myself?
- With The Word & The Holy Spirit:
- John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
- John 16:8-11, “8When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me;10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
- James 1:22-25, 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
- With The Word & The Holy Spirit:
7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored.
I need to lay down THE TEMPORARY to stand IN THE ETERNAL.
- Not about us… God more glorified through you if our ability looks weak (“failed”)
- We pray you evidence His work fully (“fully restored”)
10 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.
STRONGHOLDS must be DEMOLISHED!
- I don’t want to have to do “demolition” in order to “build” (but I will)
- Back in Chapter 10 (v.4) 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
- I only come in obedience to the Lord! Paul was a “New Testament Prophet”… Prophets have covered the scope of history through the “forth-telling” of events until the “dust settles”… Preachers proclaim the message with “forth-telling” of the benefits & consequences of which side of the Prophets’ message we will be on when the “dust settles.”
IF I PASS THE TEST OF THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHETS…
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
RIGHTEOUSNESS must be BUILT!
- We are not alone in our quest to pass the test
- We need other followers as instruments of the Holy Spirit!
… I WILL BE AMONG “THE LAST ONES STANDING!”