1 THIS IS the third time that I am coming to you. By the testimony of two or three witnesses must any charge and every accusing statement be sustained and confirmed. 2 I have already warned those who sinned formerly and all the rest also, and I warn them now again while I am absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come back, I will not spare [them], 3 Since you desire and seek [perceptible] proof of the Christ Who speaks in and through me. [For He] is not weak and feeble in dealing with you, but is a mighty power within you; 2 Corinthians 13:1-3 [AMP]
Here in this final chapter of 2nd Corinthians, Paul is making is known that he plans to *not* hold back in discipline of the few he had warned on his second visit. This consistent revisiting of the church in Corinth and dealing with their struggles of the flesh is interesting. The influence of the false teachers must have been strong, and it is those leaders who he is targeting for discipline.
In verse 3 Paul is telling them that when he comes back they will see the power of Christ not necessarily in Christ’s treatment of them but in the mighty power of Christ “within” them. The genuinely converted Christian feels the power of God within them when the Lord takes the new creature and shines a light on the despicableness of the old creature. It is this recognition in the believer that drives him/her to the cross again for forgiveness through brokenness over their sin.
A faith that is not convicting me is likely not saving me. This is a very humbling and sobering way of looking at God’s work in my life to conform me more into the image of Jesus. This conforming never ends in my life here on earth. I should be suspect of the effectiveness of my ministry if I am not convicted of my sin all the more as I move forward in my walk with God. I must consistently be enabling God’s searchlight on my soul that I am taking every earthly moment to grow IN Him.