Paul’s closing comments to the Corinthian church are a bit of a mixed bag.
In responding to those who seem to be swayed by the false teachers in their midst who have questioned Paul’s authority, he defends his apostleship in relating how God gave him a vision some fourteen years earlier, in which Paul was taken to the third heaven (or paradise) and shown and told things of which he could not even speak. But even with such an experience, he was not doing this to make them think that he was better than anyone else. He was just telling them this in order for them to see that he was the genuine article.
In chapter 13 Paul again talks about the fact that they need to deal with the sin that was in their midst and that if they did not, he will be hard on them on his next visit. I know I’ve talked about this before, but to me, this puts to rest the thought that we have no right to judge. Judgment is exactly what Paul is calling for! Yes, God is patient, but there comes a time when He says, “Enough is enough.”
And then he tells them that they need to examine themselves to see if they really belong to Christ. And this is where I’ll leave it for today. It is a good thing to periodically and prayerfully take a self inventory. How are you doing in your relationship to Jesus? Are you keeping yourself close to Him? I’m not one who believes that the slightest sin will cause God to wash His hands of you, but I do know that any relationship needs to be nurtured and maintained. How are you doing in that department? To paraphrase Paul, I pray that you are a strong Christian.