Aug. 26. Corinthian Letter Ends with Plea for Unity

II Cor. 13:1-14

Paul had been with the church in Corinth twice previously to writing this letter—the first when the church was first begun and the second was possibly a short visit from Ephesus. He warned the wayward Christians again that if they did not repent, he would not be as gentle in his dealings with them as he had been before.

The laws of Moses and also of Christ required the testimony of two or three witnesses before punishment was administered. Those guilty of sin would face his wrath when Paul arrived if they had not repented beforehand. He would seek witnesses first, however.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that though he seemed weak in speech and appearance, he was strong with the power of God through Christ who was raised from the dead by God’s power.

Since the Corinthians had been testing Paul’s qualifications as an apostle, he told them to examine themselves. This self-examination would reveal to honest minds whether Christ was living in them—whether they were truly living according to the Christian principles that they had been taught.

Paul prayed that the Corinthians would do the honorable thing; that they would be complete and approved by God. Their salvation was his chief goal. He would then be able to visit them without the use of punishment, which would otherwise be necessary.

In closing his letter, Paul used a milder tone in his words. He bade them farewell (to rejoice). As he summed up the letter, he reminded them to become complete. If they would be of one mind, walking by the same rule, peace would naturally result through their seeking the good of others.

Since the kiss was a common means of greeting one another, Paul in his salutation, referred to it as a holy kiss when used among Christians. He also sent greetings from the Christians who were with him at Macedonia when he wrote his letter.

Paul sent blessings from the three members of the Godhead—grace from Christ, love of God and communion of the Holy Spirit.