Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #51
Posted: July 14, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

Our IN CHRIST studies bring us this week to a study of II Corinthians 13:1-5.  In verses 4-5 we are confronted with two IN CHRIST phrases which say, For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God.  For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God towards you.  Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove yourselves, know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?”

Let us examine the context of these verses before we study them.  Remember Paul has been very patient with this church.  This has not been a model church for righteousness, but rather a poster child for inventing a group some would call “carnal Christians”.  I am hard pressed to find such a teaching but if it were they could pose for the picture. 

Paul said in verse 1 that this is his third visit to them and this visit would establish the witness for or against them.  I am amazed at how our Lord always crosses a ‘T’ and dots and ‘I’ in the Bible.  In Old Testament law, a person could not be condemned without having 2 or 3 witness against them.  Deuteronomy 19:15 says, “…at the mouth of two or three witnesses shall the matter be established.”  Paul had witnessed against them twice and this will be the third time.  Our Lord always works with purpose never giving man the excuse of wiggle room for his sins. 

In verse 2 Paul reminds them of his previous visits.  He tells them his patience is wearing thin.  I am reminded of a K-5 student who said to a fellow student one day, “You are getting on my last nerve”.   Paul said when he comes if they do not have their spiritual house in order he will not ‘spare’.  This phrase literally says, ‘I will not treat leniently’. 

In verse 3 Paul reminds them that he is aware that they have been murmuring against him.  They are questioning Paul’s authority to tell them what to do.  The best way to drown a message God has sent to us is to find fault with the messenger.  Paul, like Moses and Christ before him, is exercising great restraint with this people. 

In verse 4 Paul reminds them of the authority of God’s Son.  Paul tells us that Christ was crucified in ‘weakness’.  The word ‘weakness’ means strengthless and feebleness in body and mind.  Satan thought the cross was the end of Christ.  Paul says out of the weakness of the cross came the power of the resurrection.  The word ‘power’ is “dumani”, which means miraculous power.  We get our word for the charge box of dynamite from this word.  We have in us the power to cause continual miraculous spiritual explosions. 

Paul asks them to examine themselves to first prove his authority and then to prove their own assurance of knowing Christ.  If they knew Christ it proved Paul’s authority for he was the one who introduced them to Christ. 

Paul calls on them not only to prove his authority but to prove their own assurance.  In verse 5 he asks them to ‘examine’ their position in the faith.  The word means to scrutinize.  He tells them to ‘prove’ and ‘know’ if Christ is living in them.  The words mean to test so as to become fully and intimately acquainted with so as to see and recognize clearly. 

There is another coming that is greater than Paul.  He is Jesus Christ the King.  Let us be able to say with Paul when Christ comes for us, “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”

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