2 Corinthians 13
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
4 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 toward you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
10 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.
11 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.
12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
13 All the saints salute you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
Public Domain KJV text from Wordproject.org
Humility may easily be the most misread and misunderstood of all attributes. The Corinthians may have thought Paul was a scam for not showing more charisma, miracles, flash, and charm throughout his ministry, but Paul hints at something more profound than external fluff. He points to the heart of humility as found in Christ. Jesus was a stumbling block to many because He chose an unfamiliar path that led Him to the cross. The cross represented shame and dishonor, yet Paul declares that “He (Jesus) lives by the power of God (vs.4)” and this same power is available to help all today. True power does not lie in the pretentious façade of prideful living but in humble and sacrificial service for others. The Corinthians were on the verge of losing out on the benefits of Paul’s sacrificial ministry because they couldn’t see past Paul’s humility. Paul previously told them (in chapter 12) that when he is weak, he is strong. Often like the Corinthians, our infatuation with the prestigious and proud often blinds us from seeing the marks of true power. Humility is not weak, for it lies at the foundation of true greatness and is one of the hallmarks of the ministry of our Lord and Savior.
Pastor, Georgia-Cumberland Conference, USA