2 Corinthians 13The third time; see chap 2Co 12:14.Two or three witnesses; the probable meaning of the apostle is, that he will administer prompt discipline according to the well-known Jewish rule. De 17:6; 19:15. As if I were present, the second time; see note to 2Co 12:14.I will not spare; if I find you unreclaimed, I will exercise my apostolical authority and miraculous power in discipline. When professors of religion fall into sin, dishonor their profession, and injure the cause of Christ, his ministers will earnestly desire and faithfully endeavor by remonstrance, persuasion, and kind entreaty to reclaim them. If this is ineffectual, the discipline which Christ has appointed must be applied, and such offenders be excluded from the communion of the church. Mt 18:15-18; 1Co 5:4,5. Christ speaking in me; that I am commissioned of him and act according to his will.Mighty in you; as shown by the effects which, through my agency, he has produced. Through weakness; as a man in apparent weakness; abstaining from exercising his power for deliverance.Are weak in him; have fellowship with him in the weakness which he manifested when among men, and have abstained from exercising apostolical and miraculous power upon our opposers.Shall live with him; when we come among you again.By the power of God; manifested in the judgments which through us he will inflict on obstinate opposers. Whether ye be in the faith; whether you have heartily believed on Jesus Christ.Is in you; by his Spirit, authority, and likeness.Except ye be reprobates; except your faith is dead, your hopes vain, and your religion worthless. Not reprobates; not deceivers, nor deceived, but what we profess to be, Christians and inspired apostles, armed by our Master with divine power. Ye do no evil; but do what is right, and especially in the matter about which I have written.Not that we should appear approved; by showing our apostolical authority in inflicting judgments.That which is honest; that you should reform, and not need punishment.Though we be as reprobates; though we should not show our apostolical authority, and should thus give our enemies occasion still to say, that we either could not or dared not inflict the punishment we spoke of as proving the truth of our apostleship. We can do nothing; against truth and duty, however it may affect ourselves. We are glad; are willing, and even rejoice to appear weak, or to continue to be called so, if it is occasioned by your well-doing.Your perfection; complete reformation and restoration to the faith and practice of the gospel. When Christians do right, and the cause of Christ prospers, his ministers rejoice, whether they have been instrumental in it or not, and however it may affect them; for they love Christ and his cause more than themselves or any earthly good. Not to destruction; not for the purpose of destroying you, but of delivering you from sin, and thus promoting your salvation. Farewell ; an expression of earnest desire for their good. Be perfect ; in the belief and practice of the truth. Be of good comfort ; in the consolation which it will then afford you. Of one mind ; united in feeling and conduct. Live in peace ; without divisions, strife, or contentions. The God of love and peace ; the author of these graces, who requires and loves them in his people. Union and peace among Christians in believing and obeying the truth, are peculiarly pleasing to God, and prepare the way for him to dwell with them, and impart to them the riches of his grace. All the saints; who were with Paul. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; the favor which he bestows upon his affectionate and obedient people.The love of God; manifested in the gift of his Son, and shed abroad in the hearts of his people.The communion of the Holy Ghost; his gracious presence, divine communications, graces, and consolations be and abide with you all.Amen; so let it be; and so, if you obey him through grace it will be for ever and ever. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, comprehend all the blessings which the most benevolent heart can desire. They will therefore, by all the truly wise, be most earnestly sought, for themselves and their fellow-men; and to all who believe on Christ and walk in his ways, they will for his sake be given, to the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the one only living and true God, for ever. Amen.
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