Paul tells the people in 2 Corinthians 12:11 “I ought to have been commended by you” but there were those that challenged him and his apostleship. It was God that called Paul and established him and there were “signs and wonders and deeds of power” in 2 Corinthians 12:12 happening through Paul. But Paul shifts the focus from him and his authority and questions about his legitimacy to a more personal question to each Christian as he says in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves!” Our life in Christ is to demonstrate to the world the transformation as we are freed from slavery to sin and come into the freedom of life in Christ. There is only one gospel and it is simple as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” but there are those that for their own reasons are “wanting to distort the gospel” in Galatians 1:7 (LEB) “not that there is a different gospel, except there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ”.
We Are Speaking in Christ Before God
2 Corinthians 12:11–21
Paul has spoken the gospel to the Corinthians as he has to everyone in every place and now says “I ought to be commended” but there are always those that oppose so he says in
2 Corinthians 12:11 (LEB) “I have become a fool! You compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you, for I am in no way inferior to the preeminent apostles, even if I am nothing”
As the word of God was preached to them, there were “signs and wonders and deeds of power” in 2 Corinthians 12:12 and this is what we expect because the Lord confirms His word with signs as in
Mark 16:20 (LEB) “And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord was working together with them and confirming the message through the accompanying signs”
Paul had intentionally chosen to not be a burden saying “I will not be a burden to you. For I am not seeking your possessions, but you” in 2 Corinthians 12:14 and Paul goes on to say in
2 Corinthians 12:15 (LEB) “But I will spend and be expended most gladly for your lives. If I love you much more, am I to be loved less?”
While he is responding to those that would bring accusations, Paul makes it clear that “I have not been a burden” in 2 Corinthians 12:16 and “I have not taken advantage of you” in 2 Corinthians 12:17 yet Paul is not being defensive but his words are intended to build them up in
2 Corinthians 12:19 (LEB) Have you been thinking all this time that we are defending ourselves to you? We are speaking in Christ before God, and all these things, dear friends, are for your edification.
Test Yourselves to See if You Are in the Faith
2 Corinthians 13:1–10
As Paul closes this letter, he tells them “test yourselves” in
2 Corinthians 13:5–6 (LEB) “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? 6 And I hope that you will recognize that we are not unqualified!”
Paul is saying ‘prove your own selves—This should be your first aim, rather than “seeking a proof of Christ speaking in me” (2 Co 13:3)’1 We sometimes get the focus wrong. Our Christian life is not about the minister and their anointing or their gifts, they are accountable to God for that. Our focus must be on ourselves and our relationship with the Lord. Most Christians can recite these words and or at least know them in
Romans 10:9–10 (LEB) “that if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation”
and the result of this confession and believing is what we call “being born again”. This point of accepting that work of Jesus Christ frees us from the penalty of our sin and it is also the moment that we begin a transformed life as it says in
Romans 6:11–12 (LEB) “So also you, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires”
Our life in Christ is about “the power of God” working in us to transform us into the image of Christ in
2 Corinthians 13:4 (LEB) “For indeed, he was crucified because of weakness, but he lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we will live together with him because of the power of God toward you”
and it is this power working in us, the Holy Spirit our comforter and teacher moves us from our old way of life to the fullness of our new life in Christ in
2 Corinthians 3:17–18 (LEB) “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory into glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit”
The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 13:11–13
An Apostle Not From Men
There Are Some Who Are Disturbing You
There is only one gospel, and it is “what you have received” in Galatians 1:9. There are though, those that would distort the gospel in
Galatians 1:7 (LEB) “not that there is a different gospel, except there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ”
And as Paul told the Corinthians, this is a simple message in
1 Corinthians 2:1–2 (LEB) And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
It is God that established the method and message of salvation and it is not complicated, but people complicate it. The gospel message is “from the one who called you by the grace of Christ” in Galatians 1:6 and why would anyone listen to another message? There can be only one purpose for any other message, and that is to turn you away from Christ so hold fast to what God has given you.
A Revelation of Jesus Christ
They Were Glorifying God Because of Me
- 2 Corinthians 12:11–21 We Are Speaking in Christ Before God
- 2 Corinthians 13:1–10 Test Yourselves to See if You Are in the Faith
- Galatians 1:6–10 There Are Some Who Are Disturbing You
- 2 Corinthians 12:11-21
- 2 Corinthians 13:1-13
- Galatians 1:1-24
- 1. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 321). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.