2 Corinthians 13:8-14
2 Cor 13:8 (KJB)
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
We can do - Have capacity for or be able
As true redeemed Christians, we do not have the capacity to do anything that is against the truth because we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and He will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. The apostle and the other Christians with him felt compelled to do everything they did in keeping with the truth of the Gospel. This is how today’s Christian must be also. There must be a desire to only do what is in keeping with Scriptures. If we seem to be going against the truth, then we need to immediately amend our course so we will not be found fighting against God. (Acts 5:39 KJV) But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. True Christians should immediately know when they are drifting and will come back but those who are unsaved will allow themselves to be tossed by every wind of doctrine and false teaching.
2 Cor 13:9 (KJB)
For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
Perfection - Completion or state of being complete
Paul would rejoice in the fact that he is weak if the Corinthians would prove themselves to be strong in the faith. Paul’s unselfish attitude shines through here as he places the Corinthian Christians above him. He also continues to desire that the Corinthian Christians would continue to grow and mature in the faith. (Heb 6:1 KJV) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, The writer to the Hebrews also encouraged his readers to grow in the faith and seek to be mature in the faith.
2 Cor 13:10 (KJB)
Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
Sharpness - Abruptly or severely
Edification - Building or edifice
Destruction - Tearing down or pulling down
Here again Paul is hoping that all that would be needed to alleviate the present problems at Corinth would be this second letter. If he was present with them, there would probably be a confrontational spirit and maybe there might be some abrupt words used, but those words would not be for the purpose of tearing down the Church but for the purpose of building up the church. The word “edification” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “a building,” that is, like a building under construction which is completed step by step. (Eph 2:21 KJV) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: This is how the body of Christ is built, one soul at a time until it is completed on the last day. Paul is telling the Corinthians that he is not trying to tear them down but to build them up which has been his motivation all along.
2 Cor 13:11 (KJB)
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Farewell - Rejoice
Perfect - Repair, restore, make complete
Be of good comfort - Be encouraged
Mind - Set one’s mind on
Peace - Harmony, tranquility, or health
Paul now begins to wind down this letter which must have broken his heart to have written. The four underlined words above, except for peace, are all in the Imperative mood which makes it a command. For the sake of the church being healthy again, Paul is telling them to rejoice in the Lord and not to be disheartened when things happen in the church which may cause problems. He tells them to be “perfect” that is to restore or repair those things which have caused dissension in the church and could have split the church and caused it to dissolve. He then tells them to be encouraged, after all, the Lord watches over those who are His and will not forsake them but will come to their aid to keep the church together. Then he states they are to be of one mind and that is to keep the focus on God and not on the things of this world. (Isa 26:3 KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. When a Christian is divided in mind, they become divided in allegiance also. This is why Paul wants the church to be of one mind which is fixed upon the Lord. When they have done all this, God will overshadow the church with His love and will allow peace to remain among that assembly, provided they do not allow any more false teachers to have prominence because that situation will cause the peace to evaporate.
2 Cor 13:12 (KJB)
Greet one another with an holy kiss.
This was sign of affection toward each other. Paul speaks of it as a holy kiss and not a sensual kiss which could lead to fornication. Today the holy kiss has been replaced by a handshake, although in some parts of the world in various cultures, a man will kiss a man on the cheek, not as a sign of being a Sodomite, but out of love or respect for him, just as we would do a handshake.
2 Cor 13:13 (KJB)
All the saints salute you.
Paul likes to close his letters with a greeting to the recipients from himself and those whom he was with at the time he penned the letter. Paul here calls them Saints because that is what Christians are since they are saved and sanctified through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
2 Cor 13:14 (KJB)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
Communion - Fellowship
Here is probably the most lengthy benediction of any of Paul’s letters. He mentions each member of the Trinity. He prays the saving and keeping grace of the Lord Jesus Christ on every believer. Then he prays that the love of God would dwell among them causing peace to reign in the church. Then he calls for the blessing of true fellowship with each other in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Phil 1:19 KJV) For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit also empowers the believers to do and continue in the work of the Lord. He prays these great blessings upon all those at Corinth, even the unbelievers who are there that still need to experience the grace of Christ in their life unto salvation. Amen!