SUMMARY.--Severity Threatened to All Who Do Not Repent. He Will Display the Apostolic Power. Exhorted to Self-Examination; and to Reformation Before He Comes. Closing Admonitions. Benediction.
1-4. This is the third time I am coming. See notes on 12:14. In the mouth of two or three witnesses. Every case of disorderly conduct will be taken cognizance of, but the trials will be strictly legal. Two or three witnesses will establish a charge. 2. I have said beforehand, etc. The Revision makes the meaning plain. As he told them, when there the second time, so now he writes that when he comes again he will not spare offenders. 3. Since ye seek a proof, etc. Since some denied his apostleship, he would give a proof of the might of Christ through him. 4. For though he was crucified through weakness. Christ submitted himself unto death, voluntarily choosing the weakness of mortality. He "emptied himself" (Phil. 2:7, 8). But by the power of God he was raised from death to life. So it shall be with us. His life is reproduced in us. Those who suffer and die with him shall live with him through the Divine power.
5-9. Examine yourselves. Let there be self-examination. See whether you are in Christ. Know ye not, etc. Christ must dwell in them unless they are reprobate. If Christ is in them it will be seen in the power of a Christian life. 6. I trust ye shall know, etc. Christ is in those who are not reprobates, but the power of Christ (verse 3), that he will display when he comes, will show that he is not reprobate. 7. Now I pray, etc. If they should do evil, Paul's display of power would show that he was not a reprobate (verse 6), but he prays that their freedom from evil may leave him without that proof. The next verses show that he desires only to promote the truth.
10. Therefore I write these things, etc. He writes in order that he may not have to use sharpness when he comes, or the power which God has given for upbuilding, not for destruction.
11-14. Finally, brethren, farewell. This verse contains a parting admonition. 12. Salute one another, etc. See notes on Rom. 16:16, and 1 Cor. 16:20. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, etc. This verse contains the apostolic benediction. Observe the three blessings pronounced, grace, love, communion; and the three sources invoked, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.