2Co 13:1-4 How many times had Paul actually been to Corinth at the time of this writing? See A “Painful Visit” and “Sincere Letter”? . What is Paul’s point in quoting Deuteronomy 19:15 about every matter being established on the testimony of two or three witnesses, and then mentioning his two or three warnings to the Corinthians that when he comes he will not spare anyone? What does this teach us about the Christian propriety of warning once, and even warning again before taking disciplinary action? Why does he promise that when he comes he will not spare anyone? See 2Co 13:3. Confer also 2Co 1:23, and note that the NASB translation “no more” there is literally “not yet”. Paul’s opponents in Corinth had charged that he was weak and incapable of exercising the authority he claimed as an apostle; how does he rebut this charge with the example of Christ Himself? See 2Co 13:4.
2Co 13:5-6 Why did Paul feel it was necessary to exhort those who were still opposing him to test themselves to see if they were in the faith? See 2Co 12:20-21. How might one test himself as to the truth of his professed religion? Is such based only upon the confession from one’s lips; i.e., is one a Christian because he says he is a Christian, uses the religious lingo, dresses respectably, and attends church? See Mat 7:15-23, James 1:27. What is the significance of Paul’s words to a potentially erring Christian that “Jesus Christ is in you”? See 2Co 13:3, Heb 12:6-7. What is the significance of his words about the possibility that they could fail the test? Note: “fail the test” means “tested and found to have failed”; the Greek word is translated almost every time by the KJV as “reprobate” and is the word Paul used in 1 Cor 9:25 when explaining how he buffets his body and makes it his slave, lest after preaching to others he himself should be disqualified (NASB) or a castaway (KJV). See Heb 12:8.
2Co 13:7-10 Was Paul’s purpose in pressing his defense before the Corinthian believers merely to salvage his reputation and justify himself and his authority before them? What was his great and overall concern? See 2Co 13:7. How was this in keeping with his commission as a true apostle? See 2Co 13:8. Why could Paul rejoice when he was weak but those whom he had begotten in the Lord were strong, and even pray for such? How is this attitude reflective of a true apostle who has been molded into the image of Christ Himself and is controlled by His love (see 2Co 5:14)? Recall that the Corinthians were miffed when Paul changed his travel plans and decided not to pass through Corinth on his way to Macedonia; what does 2Co 13:10 reveal about his reasons for doing so? See also 2Co 1:23. What does it teach us about the proper use of authority?
2Co 13:11-14 What things do Paul’s closing words teach us are most important in our Christian lives? What does it mean to be made complete, and what was its importance to the Corinthians in the issues they were facing? See 2Co 13:9, 1 Cor 1:10. What is its importance to us? Have we been made complete?