Today we completed reading Paul’s second letter to the believers at Corinth: he is still anxious about them and his letter expresses many concerns. Let us recognise that correcting faults in our life in Christ is a personal responsibility. The concept of endless grace abounding that exists among many who see themselves as Christians is dangerous. Let us carefully note the points Paul makes as he brings his letter to a conclusion.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith” (13:5). And so we must. Let us realize that Christ is present among believers and sees their actions, knows their minds and that this knowledge will be the ‘foundation’ for his right judgment on the day of judgment. Paul is developing the points he made in his first letter when he said, “Let a person examine himself … and so eat … and drink” (1 Corinthians 11:28) when he or she comes to the table of remembrance to have fellowship.
This self-examination is not only when we come to the table of the Lord; in 13:3 Paul stresses, “Christ is … not weak … but is powerful among you”. Christ sees their thoughts and actions. Paul stresses the need to, “Test yourselves … or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless you fail to meet the test” (verse 5). Let us realize the sense he is “in us” – and that we meet all the tests the ungodly world puts on us.
When we were baptised we entered into a wonderful spiritual relationship with him, we were no longer our own; Paul expressed his own feeling to the Galatians, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (2:20). Our Saviour is watching over us, this is both wonderful and awesome.
Paul completes his message by writing; “finally brothers (and sisters). Rejoice … comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you” (verse 11). It is the same today, our “peace” and work together means we will also have divine fellowship: remember Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). How wonderful! It is beyond comprehension. Let us appreciate the final verse, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”. Let us try ever harder to sense that “fellowship” as we “examine” and “test ourselves” every day.
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