What does 2 Corinthians 13:8 mean?
ESV: For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
NIV: For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
NASB: For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
CSB: For we can't do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
NLT: For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth.
KJV: For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
NKJV: For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
Verse Commentary:
Paul and his associates prayed to God that the Corinthians would not do wrong (2 Corinthians 13:7). He wants them to repent from any ongoing sin in their lives and turn back to true devotion to Christ. Doing so would be evidence of legitimate faith in Jesus and proof of his true standing as an apostle of Christ. If they believe in the true gospel, then the one who introduced them to Christ must also be true in his teachings.

However, he is not primarily concerned with appearance. The main issue for Paul is not how their good behavior makes him look to the outside world. He wants them to do what is right because it is right, because it is the best for them. And, because that will encourage Paul to know they really are faithful.

He adds that he and his co-workers cannot change their presentation of the gospel in order to look good in the eyes of others. They cannot—will not—do anything contrary to the truth. Jesus declared Himself to be the truth (John 14:6). So, in serving Christ, they serve the truth in all cases all the time, whether it fits into cultural norms or the expectations of others.

The following verse shows that Paul has accepted his limitations. He freely admits he is weak in some of the ways his opponents have described him. Those assessments are true—but those specific weaknesses are what make Christ's power so evident in Paul's ministry.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 13:1–10 contains Paul's final warning to the Corinthians: repent from sin before he arrives to visit them. None will be spared from Christ's discipline if they remain unrepentant. They will see that Christ speaks through Paul when he executes Christ's powerful discipline among them. He urges them to examine themselves to see if Christ is in them and he prays for their restoration. Paul knows he has God-given authority to represent Christ among them, but he hopes he will not have to do so in a severe way when he arrives.
Chapter Summary:
The final chapter of Paul's letter begins with a harsh warning. Nobody living in unrepentant sin when Paul arrives will be spared Paul's discipline. All will learn that Christ speaks through Paul—because Christ will deal powerfully with their sinfulness despite Paul's own weakness. Paul urges them to examine themselves and verify that Christ is in them and, by extension, that he is a true apostle. He prays for their restoration and hopes they will repent of all sin before he arrives so that he will not have to be severe in the use of his authority.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians 13 follows Paul's listing of two sets of sins he is concerned he will find among the Corinthians when he arrives. These are personal divisions and sexual immorality. He warns them once more that nobody will be spared from Christ's discipline if they remain in sin. Paul urges them to examine and test themselves to see if Christ is in them. He prays for their restoration and hopes they will repent of sin so that he does not have to be severe with them in his authority as Christ's representative when he arrives.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 4/24/2024 6:35:48 PM
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