Aim for 'SPIRITUAL PERFECTION' as our ultimate BENCHMARK: "Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." (2 Cor. 13:11)
In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Apostle Paul addressed most of the faithful believers of that church in the first nine chapters. In the subsequent passage (10:1–13:10), Paul then directed his words primarily to those who had questioned his integrity. He was skeptical if these were even true believers.
However, as he closes his letter Paul turns his attention once again to those who really loved and appreciated him calling them his ‘brethren’, and urged them to respond to his letter in five ways:
- First, they were to rejoice in the Lord. As in other passages, “farewell” here means “rejoice” (Phil. 3:1; 1 Thess. 5:16). The reason why they should rejoice is because they had the opportunity to judge themselves before God would judge them (see v. 5).
- Second, they were to mend their ways and become complete (see Matt. 4:21). They were to stop quarreling and live in harmony with one another. They were to stop sinning and break permanently with all idolatry. Through this, they were to experience completion (restoration) as God would bring them to maturity.
- Third, they were to be encouraged and be exhorted. They had been given strong admonitions by the Apostle Paul, which they were to receive in good spirits and act on them.
- Fourth, they were to foster a united outlook by putting first things first, especially to unite in their attitude toward Paul and his authority.
- Fifth, they were to live at peace with one another. Then God, who manifests love and peace as the fruit of His Spirit, would remain in fellowship with them. For this, they were to be of one mind by having the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).
Above all, we need to aim high in our lives in order to reach our desired goals. With scripture as our daily guide and spiritual leaders are our everyday mentors, we should aim for spiritual perfection! Let us recall the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who has commanded us to be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48).
"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13)