2 Corinthians 13:1-10

Final Warnings

1 1This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established 2by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
2 3I warned 4those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that 5if I come again I will not spare them--
3 since you seek proof that Christ 6is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but 7is powerful among you.
4 For 8he was crucified in weakness, but 9lives by the power of God. For 10we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you 11we will live with him by the power of God.
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. 12Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that 13Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong--not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.
8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
9 For we are glad when 14we are weak and you are strong. Your 15restoration is what we pray for.
10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come 16I may not have to be 17severe in my use of 18the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

2 Corinthians 13:1-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 CORTHINIANS 13

In this chapter the apostle continues his resolution to come to the Corinthians, and to threaten with severity the incorrigible among them, giving the reasons of it; prays to God that they might so behave, that there might be no occasion for the exercise of it; and concludes the epistle with very useful exhortations, and hearty wishes of good things to them. He intimates to them again, that he intended this third time to come unto them, when he would not spare them, as they might expect he would not; partly because they had such repeated warnings, reproofs, and admonitions from him, 2Co 13:1 and partly because many of them had sinned before, and were stubborn and obstinate, and had not repented, 2Co 13:2 as also because they had tempted him, and demanded a proof of his power and authority, and of Christ speaking in him, 2Co 13:3 and whereas this sprung from the outward appearance of the apostle, whose bodily presence was weak, he observes to them the instance of Christ himself in human nature, who was crucified through weakness, and yet lives by the power of God; and so he and his fellow ministers were weak like Christ, and for his sake, and yet lived, and should live by the power of God; so that their outward appearance was no proof of their want of the power of Christ in them, 2Co 13:4 besides, he directs them to themselves for a proof of it; who upon examination would find, that they were in the faith, and Christ was in them; which was owing to the ministry of the apostle, as a means and instrument; and so they had a proof in themselves of Christ's speaking in the apostle, and being mighty in, and towards them, or else they must be reprobate, injudicious, and disapproved persons, 2Co 13:5 but whether they were such persons or not, he was confident that he would not be found such; but would appear to be in the faith, to have Christ in him, and to have power and authority from him, 2Co 13:6 however, the apostle's hearty prayer for them was, that they might be kept from evil; and that they might do that which is good, and so be approved of God and men; and there be no occasion to use any severity with them, when he should come among them, 2Co 13:7 otherwise he could do nothing against the truth, could not connive at error and sin, but must use the power and authority he had to crush everything of that kind, and defend truth, 2Co 13:8 and so far was he from glorying in his power, and priding himself with it, that it was a pleasure to him to have no occasion to make use of it, by which it might seem as if he was without it; and it rejoiced him, when they stood fast in the faith, and walked as became the Gospel, and so needed not the rod of reproof and correction; nay, he could even wish, that they were wholly perfect, and free from all blame, and every kind of charge, 2Co 13:9 and the end he had in the writing in the manner he did, being absent from them, was, lest when he should come among them, he should be obliged to make use of his power he had from Christ for edification, and not destruction; to prevent which, he wrote and admonished them, in order to bring them to repentance, that so he might have no occasion to use severity and sharpness, 2Co 13:10 and then he takes his farewell of them, by giving them some exhortations to harmony, unity, peace, and love among themselves, 2Co 13:11,12 gives the salutations of all the saints unto them, 2Co 13:13 and then his own, with which he concludes the epistle, which is a wish of all the blessings of grace from all the three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, 2Co 13:14.

2 Corinthians 13:1-10 In-Context

1 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
2 I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them--
3 since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.
4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong--not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.
8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.
10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Cross References 18

  • 1. See 2 Corinthians 12:14
  • 2. Cited from Deuteronomy 19:15; See Numbers 35:30
  • 3. 2 Corinthians 10:2
  • 4. 2 Corinthians 12:21
  • 5. ver. 10; See 1 Corinthians 4:21
  • 6. See Matthew 10:20; 1 Corinthians 5:4
  • 7. 2 Corinthians 10:4
  • 8. [Philippians 2:7, 8; 1 Peter 3:18]
  • 9. See Romans 1:4; Romans 6:4
  • 10. [2 Corinthians 12:10]
  • 11. See Romans 6:8
  • 12. [1 Corinthians 11:28; Galatians 6:4]
  • 13. Romans 8:10; Galatians 4:19
  • 14. 1 Corinthians 4:10; [2 Corinthians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 12:5, 9, 10]
  • 15. Ephesians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:10; [ver. 11]
  • 16. [2 Corinthians 2:3]
  • 17. Titus 1:13
  • 18. 2 Corinthians 10:8