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Final Commands! (A Study of 2 Corinthians 13:11)

21 Aug

Has it dawned on you, Christian, that sometimes what you and I really need are straightforward, clear commands? And this is how Paul completes his second letter to the Corinthian believers. Notice his instruction —

1. We are clearly commanded to REJOICE!
What in the world makes us Christians think that rejoicing is an option we can overlook or ignore? It is a command to REJOICE! As hard as life sometimes gets, we are to rejoice in the more important blessings of salvation and peace and purpose and forgiveness.

If any group of believers felt they had the right to wallow in self-pity or stew in unforgiveness or be frustrated with their own failures, it was the Corinthians. And with all the rebuke and strong instructions given by the Apostle to spiritually straighten things out in the church, he still commands them to rejoice!

2. We are to strive for full restoration!
This command is given to a church filled with problems and sin and unrepentance and lack of forgiveness! The temptation to give up, to let bitternesses and unresolved conflicts continue, was probably overwhelming for some of these believers. But that course of inaction was not and would not be of God. He wants full restoration.

3. We are commanded to encourage one another!
Encouragement. You need to know that when Gary Chapman wrote his book The Five Love Languages and he dealt with “words of affirmation” — he had a picture of ME in front of him. Just kidding. But that’s how I receive love — not so much receiving gifts or acts of service or physical touch or quality time, but — words of affirmation. Encouragement. We are clearly instructed to encourage one another. Words matter. What we say to one another matters. And sometimes the words we choose to say can be like a drink of fresh spring water to a thirsty man who’s been stumbling around in the desert.

5. We are commanded to live in peace!
What does it mean to “live in peace”? Well, we are told to “be at peace among yourselves” (I Thes. 5:13). And Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (KJV). The NIV reads “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” You and I can’t force others to live at peace with us, but we can choose to make every effort to live in peace with them! The Jesus-follower has absolutely no justification to perpetuate any kind of grudge or bitterness or unresolved conflict or family skirmish. None.

THE PROMISE: “And the God of love and peace will be with you.” Wait! I thought God was everywhere. As one theologian put it, “Wherever there is a ‘where,’ God is there!” So what does it mean that God “will be with you”? Not so fast! Notice the character of this God: He is “the God of love and peace.” The only true God — the One who is love and peace — is being spoken of here. HE will be with us as we seek to obey these commands. Are you “with” me? Notice I’m not using “with” geographically. I’m asking “Are you tracking with me? Following what I’m saying?” The omnipresent God is “with” some and not “with” others. Relationally. And that is what is being promised here. I want that. Do you?

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 13

 

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