August 16/2Corinthians 13

Verses 5-6 > Many of the Corinthians were living in sin. In other words they were practicing sin and it sounds like they still believed they were being true Christians. So Paul asked them to take a self test. He said they should examine themselves to see if they truly were Christians. If they were still in the faith and being faithful to Jesus. He said, “Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.”

One does not identify a Christian by their church attendance, song selection, water baptism, or how much of the Bible they know. You identify a Christian by their relationship to Jesus Christ. If Jesus truly resides within a person it will be evident by that person’s lifestyle and attitude. Practicing sin would not be part of that relationship. Practicing humility would be. Obeying God’ s word would be. The fear of the lord, taking God seriously, would be. See the verses in Philippians at the end of yesterday’s blog.

There is one more evidence of being in the faith that Paul alludes to twice in Verses 7&9 > We pray.

Paul showed that that was a real test of being a Christian. You see even though the Corinthians were bad mouthing Paul and not respecting his authority he prayed, not that they would get what they deserved, but that they would become mature in their faith. His prayers showed that he was concerned for them and that he wanted the best for them. He prayed a blessing over them in Verse 14.

Jesus spent much time in prayer. His last prayer on the cross was for the forgiveness of those who had hung him there. In Matthew 11:29 Jesus says of himself that he is humble and gentle of heart. Paul had that same heart. Why? I believe it was because they prayed blessings on those who didn’t deserve to be blessed. I know from my own experience that pray changes my heart. When I pray blessing on people that are really hard to love my heart begins to soften towards them. It becomes more gentle instead of agitated, hard and revengeful. They may never change but that isn’t the point. My relationship in prayer to Jesus changes me and that really is the point. I find that my heart begins to want the best for them. This is probably happening because Jesus releases his intimacy for them into my heart as I am intimate with him. This type of prayer is a real good indicator of genuine faith.

Jesus says > Luke 6:27–28 (NLT) — 27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.

1 Peter 3:9 (NLT) — 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

A willingness to listen would be another mark of genuine faith.

Hey Hilltop examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    In Paul’s final words he tells the church to live in harmony and build each other up and then Jesus will be with them. Jesus never left them bur if they cannot have relationship with each other how can they have relationship with Jesus. Jesus I s looking for true live and not just lip service. The same advice is for us today.