Read This Week: 2 Corinthians 13

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? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
– 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 NIV

The ancient philosopher, Plato, once said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Perhaps he was right. Anything worth having is worth examining. Something that we base our entire lives on is worthy of consideration and reflection. It is deserving of real investigation and a consistent journey toward truth and evidence of its authenticity in our lives.

Paul was driving this same point in 2 Corinthians 13 as he concluded his letter to the church of Corinth. After instructing them on how to confront someone properly, he asks a question and issues a challenge. He speaks to the people and to those who had been attacking him and says, “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?” Paul turns the table on them and asks for proof of their faith. He was essentially saying, “You have been criticizing and examining me, but why don’t you take the time to look carefully at yourselves?”

The real question for the church and his detractors was not whether Paul was a called apostle or if his ministry was valid. The most important question to him was their relationship with Christ. He was more interested in their spiritual condition than he was in defending himself any longer from their attacks. He wants them to examine their hearts to see if they were born again and members of God’s family. To Paul, if Jesus was not in them, then they fail the only test that matters.

He had thoroughly examined his own heart and knew of his standing before God. He writes in verse 6, “I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” His confidence in his relationship with Jesus also informed his concern for others. Paul’s attitude in this passage is a tremendous example for us. Before we are quick to examine, criticize or judge someone’s faith, we should test our hearts to make sure we’re right with the Lord then allow that knowledge to fuel our passion for the salvation of other people.

We should consistently remind ourselves of the time we responded in faith to the gospel. We should regularly affirm the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We should routinely ask ourselves these questions:

  • Do I love God and other people?
  • Do I practice righteousness?
  • Am I living in habitual, unconfessed sin?
  • Is there evidence of spiritual fruit in my life?

These are just a few ways that we can check ourselves and apply to our lives so we can know that we are followers of Jesus. It is the ultimate test worth taking every time.

10 Comments

  1. Kathy on May 20, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    This is what God was saying to me in this chapter: Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith. Do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you? Do no evil. Do what is honorable. You are often ready to examine and test others, but you must first examine and test yourself. Ask Me to reveal what is in you that grieves My spirit. Ask Me to give you grace that you will turn away from it and be cleansed by Jesus’s precious blood.

    It takes the hardness away from your heart and will set you, the prisoner, free. In your self-examination you should see real evidence of Jesus Christ in you. I challenge you to have the heart to become complete. You think your comfort, or being of one mind, and your being at peace with others, does not just depend on them. You have to do your part and I will worry about their part. If you feel that I am not with you, it is because you are resisting and rejecting Me. I am always here with you.

    What this said to me was in examining myself, I should see Jesus in all my actions, responses, and in my serving God and serving others. I need to open my heart to become complete. I have to do my part and quit doing what grieves His spirit. Thank you God for not giving up on me.

    • Jason on May 22, 2020 at 10:36 am

      This line really stood out and was convicting to me, Kathy: You think your comfort or being of one mind, and your being at peace with others, does not just depend on them. You have to do your part… Examining our role and part in being unified, reconciled and in right relationship with God and others is the main part of testing ourselves, but is often overlooked. If it isn’t overlooked, it can be acknowledged but discarded to focus on what others are doing.

      As you said, we need the grace and strength of God to help us not only recognize our shortcomings but act on correcting them in the power of the Holy Spirit. In all of our actions, responses, and in our serving God and serving others. We have to do our part and quit doing what grieves His spirit.

      • Kathy on May 22, 2020 at 10:47 am

        Thank you Jason. I always so love your feedback. It inspires me.

        • Jason on May 22, 2020 at 11:05 am

          Thank you, Kathy. I praise God for that. I am always so blessed by your insight and thoughts on the Scriptures. It is obvious you love God and His Word with deep passion and conviction. That is truly inspiring and encouraging to me.

  2. almaschmidt on May 20, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    This week has been awesome! We all are going through changes in our lives, but have one thing in common, Jesus. This week God gave me another song from 2 Corinthians 13 called “Rejoice”:

    Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in our Father he can strengthen us
    When we are weak, he encourages us with hope
    Covers us with His peace

    Rejoice rejoice, rejoice in the Lord
    Hallelujah, hallelujah, we have the Lord in our hearts

    Let’s share his love, joy, peace
    Show our strength and love for our Farther

    Let’s rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in the Lord. Amen.

    God is amazing. He always gives us love, hope, and encourages us to be all that we can be. We just have to remember to go to him first. To always know he is with us through everything. So let’s praise our Father in the good, bad, the storms, in everything. We love you, our Father God.

    • Jason on May 22, 2020 at 10:56 am

      I am so glad to hear that you had an awesome week, Alma! Your song beautifully reminded me of Philippians 4:4-9, one of my favorite passages in all of the New Testament:

      Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

      Your lyrics seemed to capture the essence of these verses and reminds us of the incredible things we have to rejoice about: God is with us and He gives us love, peace, and joy as He guards our lives against anxiety and fear.

  3. Ken on May 21, 2020 at 2:59 am

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this Uncommon Sense series a study of Corinthians. It’s seems sad to move on, yet I am so excited to see what God has for us in the next.

    We learned that Paul was being a good father by teaching this young church in Corinth the basics of Christian life and how to operate properly as The Church. It was not always easy, with adversaries and immature Christians derailing the process of growth, unity and maturity. In the end, they responded to God through Paul and his team. Paul was relentless in his love, guidance and hope for their success, just as a good spiritual father should be. What an great example for all of us.

    • Jason on May 22, 2020 at 11:19 am

      I agree, Ken. I really enjoyed and got so much out of the study of 1 & 2 Corinthians. God taught, convicted, inspired, and challenged me throughout this series. As you said, these two books are such a great template for us in practically following Jesus, interacting with and loving others, and being The Church.

      May the Holy Spirit keep these Scriptures close to our hearts and minds and empower us to live in the days and years ahead as we continue to walk with God.

  4. Heidi on May 21, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    What blessed me this week through chapter 13 was How wonderful it is to know who you are as a child of God, to know how much God loves us, He lives in us. His Love is with us in our joys, difficulties, and sufferings. God is always looking for progress. For me I look forward every day to learn more and more about His love and His power in and through me to accomplish what He wants from me.

    Paul writes about the power of God. The power of God – He gives you the ability to do, act, or accomplish something for Him. Through the resurrection, Jesus became the source of spiritual power for those who believe in Him. God’s love and power are in us as His children to work through us for God’s purpose in our lives. God gave us the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to fellowship with Him, and to learn to be like Jesus when we are weak to get strength from Him. He gives us the ability to continue to grow in His ways of living and to reach out to others for the family of God.

    He desires for us to continue to fellowship with Him 24-7 and to do great things with Him. God is saying to me through this, “I love you, and I love to help you in everything you go through. Never forget I am always with you. I love it when you come to me for all your needs so I can help you, comfort you, and bless you. I love you so much.”

    I’m so thankful to Father God for all His love and all He does. I am especially thankful that He gives me His strength when I am weak to go through everything.

    • Jason on May 22, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      This is a wonderful and almost overwhelming thought, Heidi: He (God) desires for us to continue to fellowship with Him 24-7, and to do great things with Him.

      I know that statement is true and there are even places in the Scriptures that promise it, but my feeble heart and finite mind have a hard time receiving that sometimes. Receiving that the God of the universe wants fellowship with me, worship from me, and partnership to accomplish His purposes in the world. But it is so true and what a thought!

      Thank you for reminding us of that encouraging, peaceful, and joy-filled promise for our lives with God. I think as we examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith, we should also examine the promises of God in Christ, as we saw in 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 20, are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

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