The life of Paul is a testimony to the grace and goodness of God. He was one of the toughest and most religious of the Israelites, yet when Jesus Christ appeared to him, he received him as the Lord. This was a very personal transformation for Paul, a spiritual encounter that changed him forever. And, as Paul declares the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is not to bring people into submission to Paul’s authority or to conform people to Paul’s set of rules, it is for them to also have this revelation that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, the one that has become our high priest and has opened the way for us so we can in Hebrews 4:16 “approach with confidence to the throne of grace”.
Test Yourselves to See if You Are in the Faith
2 Corinthians 13:1–10
The church at Corinth is now well established, gifts of the spirit were in operation as we saw in 1 Corinthians 12. Yet, Paul had been writing to them as children in
1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to fleshly people, as to infants in Christ.
so Paul encouraged them in the use of spiritual gifts, and most of all in love. Now, the church has matured in some ways because Paul says “Christ … is powerful among you”, yet, there are those in the church that are challenging Paul in
2 Corinthians 13:3 since you are demanding proof that Christ, who is not weak toward you, but is powerful among you, is speaking in me.
Paul has identified these accusers as false apostles, as deceivers, and has given his defense but before finishing this letter, Paul turns their attention away from the disputing about himself or others or who is qualified as an apostle and charges believers to “see if you are in the faith”. This is the more important question, what have we individually done with this gospel of Jesus Christ? Paul says, look to yourself in
2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are unqualified?
The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 13:11–13
An Apostle Not From Men
There Are Some Who Are Disturbing You
A Revelation of Jesus Christ
Paul relates his experience, his conversion, his encounter with Jesus Christ that happened after he succeeded in his religious endeavors in
Galatians 1:14 and was progressing in Judaism beyond many contemporaries in my nation, because I was a far more zealous adherent of the traditions handed down by my forefathers.
and after he zealously, as a proponent of the traditions, sought to destroy “the church of God” in
Galatians 1:13 For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism, that to an extraordinary degree I was persecuting the church of God, and trying to destroy it,
Now, he had “a revelation of Jesus Christ” in Galatians 1:13. This is not a work of men, it is a manifestation of the power of God and now, Paul says in
Galatians 1:11 For I make known to you, brothers, the gospel that has been proclaimed by me, that it is not of human origin.
They Were Glorifying God Because of Me
After Paul’s conversion, his life was threatened in Damascus and he escaped (see Acts 9:23–25, 2 Corinthians 11:32–33). The book of Acts doesn’t mention this three year period. Paul doesn’t return immediately to Jerusalem as we might have expected him to have done, instead, in
Galatians 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away to Arabia and I returned again to Damascus.
Then, after a short visit to Jerusalem, his life was threatened again and he went to Tarsus, the city of his birth in Cilicia in
Galatians 1:21 Then I came to the regions of Syria and of Cilicia,
So, in “the churches of Judea” in Galatians 1:22 Paul was only known by his reputation in
Galatians 1:23–24 and they were only hearing, “The one formerly persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith that formerly he was attempting to destroy,” 24 and they were glorifying God because of me.
- 2 Corinthians 13:1–10 Test Yourselves to See if You Are in the Faith
- Galatians 1:11–17 A Revelation of Jesus Christ
- Galatians 1:18–24 They Were Glorifying God Because of Me
- 2 Corinthians 13:1-13
- Galatians 1:1-24