2 Corinthians 13:4

Sunday, 28 May 2017

-Today’s teaching will be part two of a series I’ve titled, “What True Love Is and Does.” -The Apostle Paul, in advance of what will be his third visit to the Corinthian church, warns them about the purpose of this trip. -Specifically, the warning is concerning how he will come and what he will do when he comes in his dealing with the Corinthians.

-As we just read and as we’re about to see, Paul pulls no punches, so-to-speak, such that, the tone he takes is harsh and blunt. -Though one could get the impression that Paul is angry with them because he doesn’t love them, it’s the opposite that’s true. -This because, if Paul didn’t have this love for them, he wouldn’t bother writing to them, let alone visiting them for the third time.

-It’s for this reason that Paul says what he says and in the way he says it, in that, he loves them enough to speak this to them. -As such, the Apostle Paul rises from the pages of our Bibles, as an example to us, of what this kind of love actually looks like.

1. True love speaks truth to others  (Verses 1-3) -Here, Paul very bluntly tells them that when he comes, he will not spare those who sinned earlier as well as any of the others.

2. True love is honest with others  (Verses 4-6) -v4 Paul says of Jesus, He was crucified in weakness yet He lives by God’s power, and likewise he will deal with them as well. -v5 He tells them to examine and test themselves to see if they’re in the faith and if they fail the test Christ is not actually in them. -v6 Paul then goes on to say that he trusts they will discover that he himself has not failed the test because he is in Christ Jesus.

-If this sounds like Paul is questioning whether or not some there in the Corinthian church were even saved that’s because he is. -Actually, this answers an often-asked question concerning the examining of oneself as to whether or not one is a true Christian. -In other words, there is nothing wrong with one asking themselves the question of, “Am I really a truly born again Christian”?

-Thankfully, today’s text answers another often-asked question of how we can know for a certainty that we are truly born again. -It’s for this reason that Paul refers to a test that we can use to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are truly in the faith.

Alan Redpath explained it this way, “To examine yourself, in fact, is to submit to the examination and scrutiny of Jesus Christ the Lord—and this never to fix attention on sin but on Christ—and to ask Him to reveal that in you which grieves His Spirit; to ask Him to give you grace that it might be put away and cleansed in His precious blood.” Self examination “takes the chill away from your soul, it takes the hardness away from your heart, it takes the shadows away from your life, it sets the prisoner free.”

-I suppose the question now becomes one of what is the test, and how can we know for a certainty that we are truly born again.

John 3:3 Jesus …said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

1 John 5:1–5 (NKJV) — 1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 2:29 (NKJV) — 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) — 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

1 John 3:9, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (Please know that this does not mean that we will never sin, rather, it means that we won’t continue to willfully sin by deliberately disobeying God’s Word.)

1 John 1:8–10 (NKJV) — 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 5:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

1 John 4:7–11 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

-Here’s the bottom line in closing, if I am truly born again I will be honest with both others and myself because of my love in Him.

John 13:35 (NKJV) — 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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