2 Corinthians 13:1-4 Weakness and God’s Power
13 This will be my third trip to you. And I will make sure that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter will be confirmed. 2–3 Since you are demanding proof that the Anointed One is speaking through me, I will give you proof by exercising discipline among you. For just as I told you the last time I was there—and now, though absent, I say it again—that when I come I will not go easy on those whom I’ve already warned and those who continue to persist in their sin. Christ is not weak or feeble in his dealings with you but mighty and powerful within you. 4 For although he was crucified as a “weakling,” now he lives robed with God’s power. And we also are “weak ones” in our co-crucifixion with him, but now we live in God’s triumphant power together with him, which is demonstrated on your behalf.
The word integrity is connected to the Hebrew word, shalom. Integrity is demonstrated when our motives, what we say, and how we behave both privately and publicly are in harmony with God’s righteousness. Here is another way to think about integrity; accepting the responsibility, as a believer and follower of Christ, to live according to the authority of God’s Word. A person can have an admirable nature, but fall short of biblical integrity because true integrity, as I mentioned earlier, has to do with agreement with God. Frankly, we can have a kind personality in the natural and still sin against God. This leads us to remain in our weakness; we reject the power God provided to make us holy. That is why we need the revelation of the Word and the convicting work of the Spirit, because our wrong thinking and living needs to change by the grace and power of God.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reminds the church at Corinth (and us) that the believers lives must align with the Word of God—practice the discipline and sacrifice of our human nature and wills—if we are actually going to profess his Lordship and reveal his integrity manifesting in our lives. Paul basically tells the people of God, “Listen to what I say, but also watch how it matches the way I live.” Christ is only Lord of our lives when we surrender our weakness, our brokenness, and our sinfulness in exchange for his integrity—wholeness. Grace is a wonderful gift and, as believers, this grace covers us everyday. Praise God! But, grace has not been given as an excuse for God’s children to continue to sin against the integrity of the Lord. Grace is given to provide a way for us to rise above sin in order to embrace the wholeness of the Lord and his anointing—his powerful hand resting upon our lives. May we as God’s children make his integrity our goal, today, tomorrow, and forever.
Prayer: Lord, we can have all kinds of excuses as to why we rebel or sin against your Word and your ways, but ultimately we have simply revealed to you and to ourselves our lack of faith in your power to redeem us and make us holy. I want you to continue to develop your integrity in my life, so I invite your discipline and I accept my responsibility to surrender to your righteousness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.