Exhortations

2 Corinthians 13:5

It is time to shake up, as always, when New Year comes. But do we wait for New Year to come before we make a covenant to ourselves, or do we have to change our attitude towards hurting our loved ones during February? We are humans who miss the mark and must constantly be reminded to make things right. Changing the direction of our bad habits is not an easy task, but we have to do it, and we can do it. We should avoid living in the past, refocus when we lose contact with our spiritual journey, and always communicate with Him, our Father, through the Holy Spirit. The Son will be glad to witness us doing things that the Father will be pleased with.

2 Corinthians 13:5, NLT: “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.”

John 14:15-31 NIV – Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit – “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and. … 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you.

We must remember that Paul wrote letters about particular issues for specific audiences. Corinthians had problems with their faith and fellowship with darkness, while Galatians had the problem of being converted to another faith. Paul explained the church as the Body of Christ in Ephesians, the end time in Thessalonians, and so on.

Most Bible scholars agree that Paul’s letters were older than John’s and were directly addressed to the respective group of people. His writings encourage us to be in the faith with Jesus Christ. John was writing to all believers from all walks of life, not only to a particular group of people, unlike Paul’s letters but universally.

Have you examined yourself to see if you are in faith, being in faith, still in faith, or only your lips profess that you know yourself and that you’re in faith? The process of examining ourselves is through the word of God. The following Scriptures may guide and inspire you: Trust yourself and do not compare yourself to someone else—Galatians 6:3-4, Respect yourself in honoring God—1 Corinthians 6:19-20, obedience to Jesus’ teachings we lead us closer to God—John 14:23.

One of Paul’s advice to the Corinthians today is 1 Corinthians 11:28-30: 28: “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 ‘For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.’ 30 ‘That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”‘

To God be the glory.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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