2 Corinthians 13 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 2 I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, 3 since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? 6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. 10 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.
11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
In Psalm 26:1-3 David says: Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. Indeed God does look at and judge the heart of man. In 1 Samuel 16:7, when David
was being chosen as king, God said of David’s older brother: "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the
LORD looks at the heart." In Jeremiah 17:9-10 God says: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the Lord,
search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.” In today’s text Paul says: Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? We do need to examine ourselves. As it says in Jeremiah the heart is deceitful. We need to examine ourselves to be sure not only what we say and do is right, but also that our motives are pure. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Romans 10:9-10 says: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. To believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, we must first accept that He died for our sins.
It is critical that we remember what Paul says: Do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? If Christ is in us, then we also are in Him. Romans 8:1 says: There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Judgment then, whether we judge ourselves or God judges us, does not result in condemnation, but rather in conviction. God does not condemn us for our sin. He calls us to repentance, through conviction. In John 16:8-11 Jesus says: “He, (the Holy Spirit) When He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” Paul says: We pray to God that you do no wrong, that you may do what is right. We can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. We also pray that you be made complete. Jesus says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21) There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, for those who believe in Him. It is not God or Jesus who condemns the unrighteous, but rather their own hearts condemn those who love darkness rather than light.
Paul closes saying: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. The grace of Christ is that He died for our sins. Likewise the love of God is demonstrated in that while we were sinners Christ died for us. When we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit we can test and examine ourselves with conviction rather than condemnation. We are assured that we are in the faith, as we yield to Him and keep Jesus word.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You for Your grace, Your love and Your fellowship which are mine through the cross. Jesus, I confess that You are Lord and I believe that You were raised from death after dying for my sin. Amen.