2 Corinthians 13:5, 11-12 (KJV)  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? …  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  Greet one another with an holy kiss.
Many years ago I read an article – I forget who wrote it – that stated there are five different types of Christians. I found that interesting because I thought there was only ONE type of Christian. Anyway, the article said that the five types were:
The “Active” Christian is self explanatory. This is the believer who ACTS like a believer, following Jesus daily in prayer and application of the Scripture. The other four “types” do not have a daily faith.
The “Professing” claims to be a Christian but lives like the rest of the world. The “Liturgical” ties their Christian faith to some Church and some ritual. They may go to Mass frequently or count beads but believe their affiliation with a Church – whatever type it may be – is what saves them. The “Private” claims to love Jesus but rejects the Scripture and its teachings as man made. The “Cultural” claims to be a Christian because they do not want to be a Muslim, Buddhist, or some other faith. Of all the “religions” they like the one called “Christian” the best.
When I read that article I said then to my congregation “This will not last”. It didn’t. Those who are not Active Christians dissolved over time and have become today those who are called “Nones”. The false Christian does not endure. The Bible tells us:
2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Are you in “THE Faith”?
How do we know that we are in “THE Faith”, the genuine faith, the Christ authored blood bought Spirit empowered never to depart faith?
We walk with Jesus. We love our Jesus. We do His Word.
What did Christ repeatedly tell the Churches in Revelation?
Revelation 2:7 … To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:11 … He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 2:17 … To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
What did Christ tell us through the Apostle?
1 John 5:4-5 (KJV) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
I am not speaking of a works based salvation, and neither is God.
The Christian who is the Christian indeed IS ACTIVE.
God has come to that person.
The Holy Spirit indwells that person.
That person sees and wants to do the will of Him Who saved us.
A little boy was visiting his grandma one day when he said, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are the same?” The grandmother beamed, internally polishing her halo. “No, how are we the same?” The little boy said “You’re both old”!
We should be more than “old” in our likeness to God.
We are to be a living people following a living Christ.
The Christian who is a Christian indeed is indwelt of Christ, endued of Christ, and cannot help but follow Christ. Do we get off course? Of course! I do not pun. We are all born of Adam, and have within us a sin nature that draws toward the wrong. Yet God will not allow us to wander off too far. As David said:
Psalms 37:24 (KJV) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
We who have received Him as Lord and Savior are firmly in His hand. Jesus has said:
John 10:27-30 (KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one.
Those who claim to be Christian who are Christian will live in the reality of their faith.
The hand of Christ embraces us.
The hand of Christ is wrapped around us.
The territory we occupy is His hand.
When we seek to squeeze out of His hand He grabs us, draws us back.
We are His and He is ours.
I have no choice but to serve Christ, and neither do you.
I need no beads to count, nor Pope to serve.
I serve a risen Savior, and so do you.
It is a privilege to serve, and a duty I must do.
For I love Him, and He loves me.
Know ye not your own selves, how that JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU,
except ye be REPROBATES?
There are only two states that you can be in. The ACTIVE state – “Jesus Christ is IN YOU” or the DEAD state – “Ye be REPROBATES”. What is a “Reprobate”? This is the Greek ἀδόκιμος ADOKIMOS which literally means “not standing the test, not approved, unfit, worthless or a failure, that which is cast away as counterfeit”. If “Jesus Christ is in you” – you are born again and indwelt of His Spirit – then you are genuine. You are not false gold.
How Do Children Of God Act?
The $20 has value because of who backs it, and because of who made it. It is backed by the U.S. Government because it is made by the U.S. Government. So it is with the Christian. We are backed by Christ because we are made by Christ. He is in us, through us, around us. Thus we will be driven to behave as His people.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect,
WHOA Preacher. There’s no way I can be PERFECT. You can only understand this word in the context of Scripture. Jesus said …
Matthew 5:48 (KJV) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
What is “perfection” to God? Is it sinlessness? No. Jesus tells us what “perfection” is. He said:
Matthew 5:43-48 (KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
A young couple invited their pastor for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having. “Old Goat” the little boy replied. “Old Goat?” replied the Pastor, “Are you sure about that?” The child said “I heard Daddy say to Momma, ‘We might as well have the old goat for dinner today as any other day’.”
The mark of perfection is to LOVE, to love everyone just as our Father loves everyone. Love is not so much an emotion as it is a DOING. The Father does not love sin, yet allows the good sun and rain to fall on even those who despise Him. One day God will judge and punish the wicked. But daily He shows love to them by giving them life though they have done nothing to deserve life. He gives them bodies to use for good or evil, and often prospers the wicked by His kindness. We love because – as Children of God – we have been loved.
Colossians 3:12-14 (NKJV) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Love is the bond or mark of perfection. Love. Love controls the actions, guides the tongue. As the Apostle closes his letter to us and the Corinthians he writes
Finally, brethren …. BE perfect
Let love BE in your hands and feet, in your tongues.
If tongues were knives some “Christians” would slash their own throats.
Don’t BE that way.
BE like your Heavenly Father.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (KJV) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.
Walk in love. Walk sacrificially. Take up your Cross and follow Him. The Cross is hard love. But this is our pattern of perfection. Love as Christ loves.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort
“Be of Good Comfort” is παρακαλέω PARAKALEŌ which means “to call alongside”. Call one another alongside. Lift up one another. Call one another to the Christ, our Great Shepherd.
Quit asking me “Who was that masked man who attended service … sitting just in front of me this Sunday?” I want to reply “He was the Lone Stranger and his sidekick Tonto”. REACH OUT to those around you. Call them alongside you and us. Love them. Find out their names. They may become your relative in Christ.
Quit asking me “Whatever happened to ____”? Pick up the phone. Call them. Love them. Call them alongside you and us.
We each are to encourage one another to walk together with Christ, to do the things He wants us to do. It is not the responsibility of the pastor to call and beg people to Church. It is, however, each of our responsibilities to call out to the other sheep and encourage them to obedience in following Christ. It takes a Church to make a Church. If God puts someone on your heart call them, visit them, encourage them. Call them alongside of us, the flock of Christ. Relationships matter. The Pastor cannot be the only one reaching out … it takes the whole Church.
2 Corinthians 13:11 … Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind,
The Bible says:
Let this MIND be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus … (Philippians 2:5)
We have the MIND of Christ … (1 Corinthians 2:16)
The MIND that should be in every Christian is the MIND of CHRIST. That is the ONE MIND we must have. How did Christ MIND? Though Eternal God the Son He lowered Himself for us. He became a servant so that we could be saved. This is the MIND we must have. Jesus did not do what He did for acclamation, fame, or fortune. He did not seek to enrich Himself. He sought to enrich US. This is the MIND we are to have. Not selfish, but selfless. The MIND of CHRIST.
2 Corinthians 13:11 … Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace;
Some people are always wandering around looking for trouble. Do me a favor. I don’t think it’s you, but if it is, GO FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE TO BE. I’d rather pay the electric bill of this Church out of my own pocket than be around a troublemaker. The Bible says:
Romans 16:17 (ESV) “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV) There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
When we live in peace then God responds. We read:
2 Corinthians 13:11(KJV) … live in peace;
and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
God comes where love and peace are. Let us love one another, and let it be shown in how we live out our lives.
May God touch your hearts with His Word.