Paul gave a final warning to the church in Corinth, about staying away from sin. He sent this warning on three occasions and confirmed that every charge must be established, by the evidence of two or three witnesses. He spoke on behalf of Christ who was powerful among the saints. Christ had been crucified in weakness and now lives by the power of God. In the same way, saints are weak but live through the power of Christ. Paul warned them to examine themselves to see if they were still in the faith. He wanted them to test their belief and examine if Christ was living in and being manifested through them. If Christ was not alive in them, they would fail the test of faith. Paul wanted the saints to live right so that they would not fail the test.
Paul was also ready to test his own works and was confident that he would pass. Despite the failing of the saints, he wanted them to be restored. “For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for” (2 Corinthians 13:9). He wrote these things to the church and was firm in his correction. His hope was that they would repent so that he would not need to be authoritative when he was with them. His desire was to build them up and not tear them down. His final greeting was for them to aim for restoration, to comfort and agree with one another and to live in peace. Earlier in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul scolded the church about sexual immorality.
““All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). What he was saying in this scripture was that, even things that are not expressly forbidden in scripture can be unhelpful for believers. For example, the bible does not warn against watching television. However, binge watching movies and shows while neglecting prayer and bible study is unhelpful. The devil uses things that seem insignificant to pull people away and to keep them distracted. Constant distractions and neglecting our fellowship with God will stunt our spiritual growth. Paul cautioned that our bodies belong to God and as such, should remain consecrated to him.
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Paul’s advice was to run away from sexual sins as this was committed against a person’s body. The main reason is that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is from God. We belong to God and he lives in us. We each have to do regular examinations of our selves to see if we are in the faith. Although I have mentioned sexual sin, there are other sins that can stand between us and God. Pride, envy, jealousy, bitterness and resentment will also separate us from God. We are not perfect and we live with daily temptations. We need God’s help to live free from sin and he is able and willing to help us as we surrender and remain connected to him.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 1:24).