Saturday, 16 January 2016
…since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 2 Corinthians 13:3
Paul just said that he would not spare “those who had sinned before.” In other words, those who had sinned and were continuing in sin would be shown that Paul was capable of rooting them out and disciplining them. Understanding this, he now says, “…since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me.” The Greek is literally, “…of the Christ that speaks in me.” Vincent’s Word Studies notes that it is, “An experimental proof of what kind of a being the Christ who speaks in me is.”
They had challenged him by holding to the words of the false apostles, they had challenged him in their words concerning his ability to present himself as a leader, and they had implied that there was weakness in him. But he was ready to come and give “a proof of Christ speaking” in him. As an apostle, the power of Christ was there to give him words. It was a guarantee from Christ to His apostles and Paul was relying on that, knowing that it was so.
In this power of “Christ speaking in me,” he notes that it “is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.” A better translation of this is “among you” rather than “in you.” Again, Vincent’s notes, “He is speaking, not of Christ as He dwells in them, but as He works with reference to them (εἰς) and among their number, inflicting punishment for their sin.”
The power of Christ in Paul was capable of being displayed among them for the correction of their failings. He would use that power in order to execute exactly that.
Life application: We now have the word of God written down so that we have on record the power of Christ which Paul possessed. It is our standard and our authority to execute discipline within the church. The power that Paul speaks of concerning himself is an apostolic authority which is no longer needed in individuals. The reason is that this power has been defined in the pages of Scripture. Let us be careful to hold to the Bible as the rule and guide for our doctrine and practice within the faith.
Heavenly Father, today help us to commit a portion of our time to share with another the wonder of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Grant us boldness to say what Jesus said, clearly and without equivocating – “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And then Lord God, grant us the ability to explain that truth so that they will understand the way and receive the life. The message is simple, but it is fixed. Grant us the intestinal fortitude to stand on the truth of those words and never to waffle in our convictions as we share the good news. Amen.