Vs 5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Vs 7 But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test …
Vs 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.
Vs 10 … my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
Vs 11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
The Corinthian church was questioning Paul’s authority as an Apostle. They were “testing” him.
Paul says that they are to “test yourselves”. Do they have faith in Christ?
Paul says, in fact, he is glad when he is weak (not exerting authority), because that indicates that they are strong (passing the test of faith).
What’s more, Paul’s use of authority is counter to the historic and cultural use of authority.
Paul says his authority is given from the Lord to “build them up”, not “tear them down”.
Paul’s greatest concern is not his own authority, or his own personal reputation.
Paul’s greatest concern … in fact, his prayer, … is “you may do no wrong” and “your restoration” and “Jesus Christ in you”.
Paul concludes by encouraging them in how they are to treat “one another” (rejoice/restore/comfort/agree/live in peace).
Why? Because the “God of love and peace will be with you”.
Who am I most likely to pray for?
Who am I most likely to question, or test?
It’s no mystery that human nature (sin nature/my nature) is to pray for myself, my needs, my wants.
And what goes right along with that is questioning and testing others.
Paul flips this upside down.
Paul tells the church to test themselves.
And he goes on to tell them all the ways he is praying for them and their sake and their wellbeing and their faith.
While this is a counterintuitive way of relating to others, it is by no means a “weak” exercise.
To tell someone to “test themselves” entails not just a certain amount of boldness, but accountability and confidence.
How could I ask someone else to test themselves, if I am not willing to do the same?
Paul is certain he has passed the test. He is “in the faith” and “Jesus is in him”.
This is how he can live and lead boldly and confidently. His confidence in not in himself.
His confidence is in the Truth that he lives out.
When I am at peace with Christ in me and the truth that I am living out, then I can most confidently encourage others the same way.
My concern will not be others questioning me, but my own testing of myself.
And then my concern can become for “one another” … rejoicing, comfort, agreement, peace, and God with you!
Thank you again God for you word.
Thank you for the example of Paul
Test me in my faith
Encourage me to pray for others faith
In Jesus name