2Co 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
2Co 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
2Co 13:5 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?
Today, we often hear the phrase, ‘self awareness,’ or ‘knowledge of self;’ and this is meant to convey that one must ‘know their TRUE self.’ And this is often said to mean that the individual needs to ‘find their better self,’ usually because they are not satisfied with the current state of their personal life. And usually, this mindset of ‘self-awareness’ centers around loving yourself more, and spending time to figure out what would make that person REALLY happy in this life. And if you look up the definition of self-awareness’ it says: ‘a demonstration of one’s “ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values” along with the ability to understand how they impact their own behavior.’ This is NOT what Paul beseeched the saints to do in 1st Corinthians 13:5, this actually the complete opposite of the ‘selfless doctrine’ that Paul taught unto the saints.
2Co 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
2Co 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
2Co 13:11 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.
Moreover, Paul desired that they operated upon the power of God, and that they be perfect in knowledge and godly wisdom, he wanted them to ‘know’ the “new man,” and the other saints who were walking by the power of God like the household of Stephanas: “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)” these saints were walking with “perfection,” and they had full knowledge of their “new man” identity. And as stated earlier, the Corinthian saints, and the world today walked with a “carnal mind,” and a ‘selfish way’ of thinking about life itself. But notice how many times Paul uses the words “power,” and “mighty,” and “strong,” and “perfect,” or “perfection” in 2nd Corinthians 13:3-11 to describe the TRUE identity of the one they ought to be after.
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Furthermore, their current state was carnal and “weak” in the sight of the Father, and in the sight of Paul, Paul wanted them to “submit” themselves unto the brethren who were “strong” in the faith, and it was his hope that they would “put on” an ‘new identity,’ this is why he exhorted them to “be” something else. In other words, Paul knew that their current identity could not bring forth honor and glory unto the Father, and they could not ‘ingest’ the maturing doctrine to edify them unto the “perfect” man that God desires. And just as the household of Stephanas was “strong” in the faith, we can see Paul exhorting these Corinthians to also “be” as they are: “watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” (1Cor.13:13)
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Therefore, as we can see, Paul desired that they ‘act as godly men’ when he says “quit you like men,” this was a call to put on another identity, and all actuality; this was a call to put “on the Lord Jesus Christ” as we see in Romans 13, and this is Who the “new man” looks like, He and His doctrine is the identity that we are being exhorted to “put on.” And when the saints put Him on, we “adorn” Him, we become the “living epistle” of the Lord, and remember; just as John 1:14 says: “the Word was made flesh,” when we put on the new man, we ARE adorning His likeness just as Colossians 3:10 says. Notice that it says, “after the image of Him that created him;” our new man that is renewed in knowledge, is in His likeness, this is Who we really need to ‘get to know.’ The new man ought to be who the men of this world should be exhorting that the world should have knowledge of, instead of ‘knowledge of self.’
Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Finally, today’s ‘self-awareness’ movement causes the men of this world to further be “lovers of their own selves,” where it is commonly said: ‘I have to first learn to love myself, before I can love someone else.’ But this attitude is not of the Father, but is of this world and Satan, the Apostle Paul desired that the Corinthians have ‘knowledge of self,’ but that they know ‘who’ God has made them to be in Christ, and that is godly, perfect, and strong in the faith. Not as today’s mainstream preachers teach, that God’s doctrine of godliness is to ‘smile and be happy,’ and show a watered-down counterfeit of selfless love as the love of God. The only way we can BE STRONG, is by ‘examining ourselves, whether we be in the faith, and prove our own selves,’ because we ought to ‘know our own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in us.’ We are to operate upon the power of His word, and not the carnal mind, and word of man, because the words of man are according to the “perilous times” that we live in today, and they cater to our own lusts of our flesh, but we are beseeched to put off this “old man with his deeds,” and put on, and adorn the “the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
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They who walk in His piercing Light know themselves in proportion to the depth of their walk. Humility is the fruit of seeing Him. Pride cannot exist in a life who is seeing His glory. Appreciate the share, may He keep our eyes open to seeing His wonder and our need.