2 Corinthians 13

* The apostle threatens obstinate offenders. (1-6) He prays for

their reformation. (7-10) And ends the epistle with a salutation

and blessing. (11-14)

1-6 Though it is God's gracious method to bear long with

sinners, 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 helpless

man, but his resurrection and life showed his Divine power. So

the apostles, how mean and contemptible soever they appeared to

the world, yet, as instruments, they manifested the power of

God. Let them prove their tempers, conduct, and experience, as

gold is assayed or proved by the touchstone. If they could prove

themselves not to be reprobates, not to be rejected of Christ,

he trusted they would know that he was not a reprobate, not

disowned by Christ. They ought to know if Christ Jesus was in

them, by the influences, graces, and indwelling of his Spirit,

by his kingdom set up in their hearts. Let us question our own

souls; either we are true Christians, or we are deceivers.

Unless Christ be in us by his Spirit, and power of his love, our

faith is dead, and we are yet disapproved by our Judge.
7-10 The most desirable thing we can ask of God, for ourselves

and our friends, is to be kept from sin, that we and they may

not do evil. We have far more need to pray that we may not do

evil, than that we may not suffer evil. The apostle not only

desired that they might be kept from sin, but also that they

might grow in grace, and increase in holiness. We are earnestly

to pray to God for those we caution, that they may cease to do

evil, and learn to do well; and we should be glad for others to

be strong in the grace of Christ, though it may be the means of

showing our own weakness. let us also pray that we may be

enabled to make a proper use of all our talents.
11-14 Here are several good exhortations. God is the Author of

peace and Lover of concord; he hath loved us, and is willing to

be 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, and

that we may meet in that happy world where parting will be

unknown. He wishes that they may partake all the benefits which

Christ of his free grace and favour has purchased; the Father

out of his free love has purposed; and the Holy Ghost applies

and bestows.
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