6/19/11 2 Corinthians 13:11-14
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
ALL CONNECTIONS LEAD TO THE TRIUNE GOD
2 Corinthians 13:11-14
These are the closing words of Paul’s letter. He probably handwrote them, unlike the rest of the letter. Paul had to deal with serious opposition from this group of Christians (12:20-21). People misunderstood his letters to them. They questioned his motives. In this intensely personal letter, Paul shows God’s guiding principles for His work.
Considering the problems of this group, why are Paul’s final words appropriate (13:11)?
“Perfection” (13:9, 11) is part of a Greek word family that means “to be fitted out, to be equipped.” As a medical term, it means “to set a broken bone, to adjust a twisted limb.” It also means “to outfit a ship for a voyage” and “to equip an army for battle.” Matthew 4:21 translates it as “mending nets.”
What does 13:11 mean by “perfection”?
The word farewell (13:11) in Greek means “grace,” the common greeting in those days. It comes from the rejoice family of Greek words. To be of one mind does not mean that we all agree on everything, but that we agree not to not make an issue about things God hasn’t ruled on in His Word.
What does “the God of love and peace” mean (13:11)? Is God’s love conditional?
In 2 Corinthians 13:12, Paul really emphasized one of the most serious problems among Christians: their rifts and lack of concern for each other. How believers cooperate with each other the other six days of the week is critical. Can society tell that from the way Christians get along that we are different? “Behold how they love one another!” was what society said about the Christian groups after Jesus went to heaven. It has been a long time since Christians earned that kind of praise.
What is a “holy kiss” (13:12; Romans 16;16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14)? What does it have in common with the handshake in Western culture?
The blessing that ends the letter is what people call “The Apostolic Benediction.” It’s the longest blessing the apostle Paul ever put in writing.
What is Jesus’ “grace” (13:14; 8:9), and how does it bless us?
God has to be the one who supplies the love and peace, or we have nothing to share.
What aspect of God the Father’s love (13:14; John 3:16) blesses His people today?
The King James Version used the words “the communion of the Holy Ghost.” Fellowship or communion means closeness or sharing. Christians are part of a family. They need each other. A baby needs a loving family to be balanced and normal. Too often today people focus on their individual lives and not on their place in a family. People turn away from the support church families offer. They neglect being supportive themselves to people who need it. This is wrong and very dangerous.
What is the Holy Spirit’s “fellowship”? How does God use it to bless us?
Caring church families are a miracle. Only God can get us to go against our selfish urges. No amount of human skill, talents, or programs can make Christian groups what they ought to be. Only God can do that. When believers depend on God’s grace, benefit from God’s love, and share what the Spirit has to offer, they will be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We need to benefit from this blessing personally before we will have something to offer people around us.
Why does this blessing name the Triune God Persons in the order it does?
There’s a connection between the relationship we have with the only real God and the relationship we have with other people, especially other Christians. A healthy connection with God through His Word means healthy connections with the people around us – in churches, families, or work.
1. How might Paul speak to us today about expressing our closeness?
2. How does this blessing connect with the one God gave Aaron, the first Head Priest (Numbers 6:22-27)?
3. How does this section connect to Matthew 28:16-20? What’s the connection to Genesis 1:1 – 2:3?