Friday, 15 January 2016
I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare— 2 Corinthians 13:2
Paul had already warned the Corinthians concerning their lack of repentance. Specifically, he says this in 1 Corinthians 4:21, but it is implied throughout 1 Corinthians 5 as well. He had warned them and he now gives them another advanced warning. His words, “…and foretell as if I were present the second time” are translated differently based on whether one believes Paul had made two visits or just one so far.
The way the NKJV (cited here) translates it, only one prior visit is presupposed. However, some other translations state it this way – “I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time…” (NIV). Either way concerning this issue though, he now says, “…and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare.”
Paul doesn’t question their salvation, but he does question their right to continue in sin without correction. He will not tolerate it within the body and so he will take decisive action to correct any such failings to bring one’s actions in line with the salvation they profess.
Life application: When one comes to Christ, they should go through a process of giving up on the sin which exists in their life. This naturally comes after salvation. One does not get himself well in order to go to the doctor. Rather the doctor cures them. We call on Christ and then have to follow His instructions concerning the cure which He has provided. Repentance necessarily follows salvation. If it does not, then the individual is to be corrected through the means available to the church.
Lord God, how I love You! Thank You for the wonderful gift of Christ Jesus. He has given me life, hope, and restoration with You. Help me now to be obedient to the word You have given me. Help me to make the necessary corrections in my life which You will find pleasing. May my doctrine be pure and my life be one which glorifies You always. Amen.