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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 13

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


This is now. See note on 2 Corinthians 12:14. Two or three witnesses. Deuteronomy 19:15. This is best understood in view of the fact that he mentions this is the third time he comes. Each visit is a witness. If they still have not repented when he comes the third time, he must take harsh measures!!! [Johnson thinks he will hold a church-trial, if necessary, and allow two or three witnesses to establish the truth.]

Verse 2


I want to tell you. Because Paul had not taken harsh measures against those who sinned in the past, they may think he will not do it now. I said it before. “I told you that if I had to come again, I would punish the guilty (compare 2 Corinthians 1:23 and note). Nobody will escape. Paul is a true apostle and has authority to do what he says! Two examples of miraculous punishment are found in Acts 5:1-3; Acts 13:9-11.

Verse 3


All the proof. The false teachers said Paul had no power from the Spirit! They want some sign as proof. When he deals with you. Paul does not boast about himself, but says the Lord working through him is not weak!!! As the Lord showed his power through the gifts from the Spirit, he would also show his power in the punishments of those who refused to turn from sin!!!

Verse 4


For even though. The world sees the cross as evidence of weakness. From a human point of view, the whole idea of a crucified Savior is “offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23). It is by God’s power. The resurrection of Christ shows God’s power. See 1 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 1:4. In union with him. See 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12. Paul followed the Lord by sharing his weakness in baptism, but the result is that he also shares His Power! See 1 Peter 3:21 and note.

Verse 5


Put yourselves to the test. “You have tested me! Now put yourselves to the test! Measure yourself by the Good News, and see if you are really following what Christ taught! Does He approve of the sin in your lives???” That Christ Jesus is in you. Christ lives in the “people of God” through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22; Romans 8:9-11; compare Colossians 2:7; Galatians 2:20). Unless. The test Paul mentions here is the true test of living in faith, which is: accepting Christ’s weakness (2 Corinthians 13:4) and being willing to suffer with Him!!! The Corinthians stressed knowledge, Paul stresses action!

Verse 6


I trust. “When you put yourself to the test of faith, you will discover that what we have been telling you is true! The weakness you despise is really proof that Christ is in us!” [Reprobate means one who has failed the test. ]

Verse 7


We pray to God. “It is important that you do no wrong, and that you may do what is right. If your obedience leaves me without an opportunity to show the Lord’s power through me, I will be happy!”

Verse 8


But only for it. To act against the truth would be to act from worldly motives and selfish goals. “We apostles do not use our supernormal power to oppose the truth, but always to support it!!!” The Expositor’s Greek Testament says: “It is a general principle, which Christian theology has not always sufficiently remembered, that to fight against truth, whether ethical or historical or scientific, is to fight against Him who is the Truth, and so is to court defeat. We can do nothing, even if we would, against the truth.” Compare Gamaliel’s statement in Acts 5:33-39. Imagine how Paul must have felt at his conversion.

Verse 9


We are glad. “Even though we will not need to demonstrate supernormal powers and show that we are strong, we will gladly appear weak to you. The important thing is that you be strong!!!” That you will become perfect. MacKnight says the literal meaning of perfect here is: “to set a dislocated joint.” Paul’s thought is: “You have dislocated yourselves through sin. Turn from sin and turn to God and put yourself back in place! You must do this!!!”

Verse 10


That is why. This is the reason for Paul’s strongly worded letter, and for what he writes in this Second Letter. It would be no pleasure to him to punish them, and in effect show off his authority as a true apostle! The whole purpose behind the Lord’s gift of authority to him is to build up! Authority = obligation; and that obligation is to build up, not tear down!!!

Verse 11


Good-bye! This is his benediction and conclusion. Strive for perfection. Perfection is the same word used in 2 Corinthians 13:9. Listen. “Do what I asked you to do.” Agree. “Live in peace and avoid division!”

Verse 12


A brotherly kiss. See note on Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20. This was a standard form of greeting. All God’s people. The Christians in Macedonia (2 Corinthians 7:5-7). [Saint: see note on 1 Corinthians 6:11. ]

Verse 13


The grace. This is Paul’s most complete benediction. Grace is the undeserved salvation which comes through Christ-on-the-cross. Love is what God showed in acting through Christ while we were still enemies. Fellowship is the joint sharing of the church in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/2-corinthians-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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