2 Corinthians 13

The errors in Corinth: Divisions. Display of human wisdom. Divine things are revealed through the Spirit. The flesh was strong at Corinth. Carnal. Lack of spiritual growth. Immorality was unjudged.

Brethren were taking other brethren to law before ungodly judges. The body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Some of these things had been reported to Paul by the household of Chloe. They had also written for advice on certain subjects.

The question of marriage and divorce. Food to eat and not to eat. Conduct at the Lord’s table…hair covering for sisters. The abuse of spiritual gifts. Women’s place in the church. The greatest love hymn in the world (Ch.13). The great resurrection in Chapter 15.

A wave of distrust in Paul also swept through the church, no doubt stirred up by false teachers. They doubted his sincerity. They questioned his apostolic authority. The second epistle written 1 year after the first letter defends his authority, giving overwhelming evidence.

This second letter is the most revealing of the heart of Paul. Some of the words express suffering of mind, heart, and body. Afflictions…aguish…distresses…fightings… sorrow…stripes…sufferings…tears…tumults.

Interestingly, another set of words seem to arise. Comfort and comforted. Used more frequently in this letter than in any other Pauline letter.

Then Paul also mentions these other words frequently. Joy…rejoicing…triumph.

In defense of his apostleship, he is forced into a line of reasoning which he abhors.

In Chapter 11, he describes his trials. In Chapter 12, he reveals an experience he had 14 years before. He talks of his thorn in the flesh.

Finally, in Chapter 13 he threatens to use his apostolic authority when he comes to them for the third time, but we would prefer them to put things right themselves.

He urges them, which the first letter mentioned, to put away the sin and for anyone else who had sinned to get right with God.

“Examine yourself,” he says to all, “and see if you are really saved.” Some of this conduct left doubt in the apostle’s mind.

Then he urged them to rejoice = farewell. Be perfect. Get right with God and each other.

Be comforted = encouraged. Be of one mind = be agreeable. Live in peace with one another. If they did this they could be assured of God’s presence.

The benediction.

The mystery of suffering.