Finally, Brethren!

Paul makes this statement as he is concluding the book of 2 Corinthians he states, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mine, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

We do not know when the last time will be when we will meet together. It may have already happen! It maybe sometime in the future; we need to be ready to say “finally.” Yet, as we think of the end of our meeting together, we must also think of the end time events. When Christ comes again, it will be with a “shout, the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). We know that this will be “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15:52). At that moment the dead in Christ will rise and we that are alive will be changed into an incorruptible body (1 Corinthians 15:54). We need to be ready for this event (Amos 4:12). Paul in this farewell address gave some advice to those people of Corinth, which I wish to pass on to you.

First of all he says to “be perfect.” This does not to be sinless. There is not a person alive or that ever has lived that can be sinless, except one and that one was Christ. Romans 3:9 and verse 23 both tell us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There are other passages both in the New and the Old that state the same thing. John by inspiration states it this way, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). That means neither you nor I can live a perfect life. We can be cleansed of all our sins if we walk in the light as He is in the light because the blood of Jesus Christ will be there to cleans us from all our sins (1 John 1:7). The “perfect” that Paul wants us to be is mature. The word “perfect” is used many times in the New Testament with the meaning of being mature. In the first book is closes it by telling the Corinthians to “quit you like men” (1 Corinthians 16:13). The meaning there is the same as in our text of 2 Corinthians 13, act or live like men, be mature about things. Do not be petty about the affairs of this life. Life is too short to act any other way. So in all of your doings with your fellow man, act like a man.

Next Paul tells them to “be of one mind.” Many times today we find that the facts seem to be conflicting. One person sees it this way and another person sees it a different way. Paul says get together and everyone get on the same page and all state the same thing. In the first book Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he states, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you’ but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). There is nothing worst than the leadership of any company, when asked one question, get several different answers. Let there be one answer to the same question. It confuses people terribly when different answers are given to that same question. Be of one mind! When a person asks the question, “what must I do to be saved?” Then all have the same answer. This has cause problems in the religious world for many, many centuries. Jesus prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21). All be of one mind!

Next, in our text, Paul continues, “be of good comfort.” He stated earlier in this book how this can be achieved, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We are to “comfort one another” (2 Thessalonians 4:18) with the Words of God. Thus we ought to know God’s Word to be able to speak words of comfort to those who are being troubled by Satan. How well do you comfort others? How well do you know God’s Word? More time ought to be spent in studying what God would have us to know and do.

Next Paul states by inspiration to “live in peace.” In the Roman letter Paul states it this way, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceable with all men” (Romans 12:18). There are some people that are “born in the objective case and the kickitive mood” They are never satisfied with anyone and the object to the way anyone does anything. When asked for their advice on the situation they have none, but that is not the way to do things they will quickly tell you. These people will never live in peace! Yet there is a peace that one can obtain that can pass all understanding. That is peace with God. All of us ought and should have this kind of peace. Yet many will not have it because they do not like the way God said to do things. They will have to answer to God on the Judgment Day. It is God’s way as it is God’s worship and all things must be done according to what God says!

Paul then concludes this verse by saying, “the God of love and peace shall be with you.” If that is to be the case then we must be with God! Some people think that they are with God when they are not. The Sadducees and the Pharisees thought that they were with God, but Jesus told them that their heart was far from him (Matthew 15:8). We have many religious people today who think that they are with God also, but they are not. Read again what Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in they name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:21-22). We can know that we have the peace of God, when we will do exactly what He said to do. Many in the Lord’s church may not make it either. They think they have peace with God when they do not. Let’s be sure we have peace with God by doing what He says!

Love, Keith

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