v1-4 - As we finish this letter, it's good to once again be reminded what occasioned it. As an apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul has been given both the authority and the responsibility to see to it that Christ's Church turns away from sin. If the Corinthians still doubt Paul's authority, and persist in their wrong doing, God's power will be made very evident to them when Paul's divinely appointed authority is turned against them. In love, Paul wrote this letter so that further discipline is no longer needed. Paul goes on in this v10 to state that this disciplinary authority (an authority also given to the elders of the church) is meant "for building you up, not tearing you down."
v5-10 - Can you imagine if every so often you needed to be recertified as a Christian? If the elders pulled you aside, reviewed your knowledge of the Bible and how you've been living your life to see if you still deserve to be classified as a Christian. That's not how it works (thankfully), but it's close! Rather than be examined by others, you're called to examine yourself (v5). Although you are responsible to examine yourself in this matter, this is not something that's done individually. This is why it's so important for you to be immersed in the church. You've had other saints placed around you to help you see your blind spots: for sure the sins that you sometimes don't even notice, but also the ways that you're being sanctified that might seem missing to you but are obvious to others.
v11-14 - This letter ends the way every worship service at Worthington CRC and many other churches ends with: a benediction, which is a blessing from God for you as you begin a new week. 2 Corinthians ends with not one, but two benedictions. Memorize them so they can come to your aid when you're struggling to pass the test we just looked at:
The God of all love and peace will be with you (v11).
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you (v14).
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: This chapter begins with a reference from Deuteronomy emphasizing the necessity of witness testimony for convicting people of capital offenses. Notice in Deuteronomy 17:6-7 how this need for numerous protects the rights of the defendant. Make sure to have lots of Godly witnesses in your life to both help keep you on the straight and narrow, but also to refute the self doubt that so often creeps in.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What kind of kiss does Paul speak of near the end of this chapter? (See verse 12.)
To carry out the “examination” Paul commands in verse 5, what are some good, practical questions a Christian should ask himself or herself?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our omnipotent power, whose power we live by (v4)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be a good witness to other church members: encouraging, being unified and living in peace (v11)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: