Friday after the Ninth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:19—13:13 (NKJV)
12:19 Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; 21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.
13:1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare—3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints greet you.
Throughout St. Paul’s entire letter, he had never directly addressed those false teachers who had infiltrated the congregation. These deceitful workers had misled some, and caused them to fall into sin. Nevertheless, St. Paul still considered the Corinthians holy believers, who simply needed correction. St. Paul’s desire was to expose these infiltrators’ schemes by means of his letters. His desire was that the congregation would remove these men who were tearing down the true faith.
Similarly, we have been led astray by the unholy trinity of sin, death, and the devil. We are duped into sin often and need to be recalled through confession and repentance. Thankfully, we do not fall from faith with every sin. Yet we should not become complacent in our fight against sin. St. Paul told the Corinthians, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”
Each day baptized believers die to sin and rise to their new life in Christ. “Do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you?” Each day as we hear the Holy Scriptures we examine and test ourselves by the words of the prophets and apostles. St. Paul says, “We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.”
We pray: Heavenly Father, build up Your beloved believers through daily confession and repentance. Amen.