Thursday, August 16, 2007

Positions: They Are a Changin'

I've been doing a lot of thinking on 2 Cor. 13:5 lately. "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified."

I have Read MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus" and "The Gospel According to the Apostles" as well as "Hard to Believe". I am familiar with his take on this verse, that Christians should examine themselves to see that they are genuinely regenerate. I once held this position too. I no longer do.

Throughout this epistle Paul's apostleship is challenged. He answers those challenges. Note chapter 3, where he asks the Corinthians if he needs to commend himself or does he need letters of commendation to them or from them. His answer: "clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart."

Note he says "ministered by us". Note the Spirit's work on their hearts as a result of Paul's ministry. The work of the Spirit on the hearts of the Corinthian's was proof of Paul's apostleship.

So it is in chapter 13:5. The evidence of Paul's apostleship is to be seen in the fact that the Corinthians have exhibited spiritual life. It isn't so much a test for them as it is a testament to his apostleship.