2 Corinthians 13* The apostle threatens obstinate offenders. (1-6) He prays fortheir reformation. (7-10) And ends the epistle with a salutationand blessing. (11-14)1-6 Though it is God's gracious method to bear long withsinners, yet he will not bear always; at length he will come,and will not spare those who remain obstinate and impenitent.Christ at his crucifixion, appeared as only a weak and helplessman, but his resurrection and life showed his Divine power. Sothe apostles, how mean and contemptible soever they appeared tothe world, yet, as instruments, they manifested the power ofGod. Let them prove their tempers, conduct, and experience, asgold is assayed or proved by the touchstone. If they could provethemselves not to be reprobates, not to be rejected of Christ,he trusted they would know that he was not a reprobate, notdisowned by Christ. They ought to know if Christ Jesus was inthem, by the influences, graces, and indwelling of his Spirit,by his kingdom set up in their hearts. Let us question our ownsouls; either we are true Christians, or we are deceivers.Unless Christ be in us by his Spirit, and power of his love, ourfaith is dead, and we are yet disapproved by our Judge. 7-10 The most desirable thing we can ask of God, for ourselvesand our friends, is to be kept from sin, that we and they maynot do evil. We have far more need to pray that we may not doevil, than that we may not suffer evil. The apostle not onlydesired that they might be kept from sin, but also that theymight grow in grace, and increase in holiness. We are earnestlyto pray to God for those we caution, that they may cease to doevil, and learn to do well; and we should be glad for others tobe strong in the grace of Christ, though it may be the means ofshowing our own weakness. let us also pray that we may beenabled to make a proper use of all our talents. 11-14 Here are several good exhortations. God is the Author ofpeace and Lover of concord; he hath loved us, and is willing tobe at peace with us. And let it be our constant aim so to walk,that separation from our friends may be only for a time, andthat we may meet in that happy world where parting will beunknown. He wishes that they may partake all the benefits whichChrist of his free grace and favour has purchased; the Fatherout of his free love has purposed; and the Holy Ghost appliesand bestows.
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