Not Weak in His Dealing
Not Weak in His Dealing
Words of Faith 1-3-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Corinthians 13
 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others,  since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.  For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you.
Paul realized that he was still dealing with some huge misconceptions about himself. Many of the Corinthians had determined that Paul was weak simply because he did not over power them with his personality or his authority. Paul was never "full of himself.”
The Corinthians were unimpressed by Christ-like gentleness and meekness but were overawed by arbitrary displays of power. Paul's gentle demeanor, so unlike the temperament of the intruding false apostles, raised doubts about his claim to apostolic authority. Paul needed to give them some proof that Christ in his resurrection power was speaking through him, not for his sake, but for theirs!
Paul's reply was that, though he had previously been "weak" in the Corinthian estimation, his impending severity would afford all the proof they wanted that he was a spokesman of Christ. Christ was not weak in dealing with them but was powerful among them. The Corinthians had in effect challenged Christ, who would not disappoint them as he exhibited his resurrection power through his apostle.
There is a similarity between Christ and Paul with regard to weakness and power. Jesus Christ was crucified "because of weakness." But this weakness was not, of course, physical frailty or moral impotence. Rather this was the "weakness" of non-retaliation or nonaggressiveness before men and the "weakness" of obedience to God.
Christ's "weakness" was in assuming the poverty of earthly existence and in humbling himself and becoming obedient even to the point of death on a cross. This weakness was, in fact, the most perfect evidence of strength! The person who is "weak" in man's estimation because he seeks to do God's will is in fact supremely strong.
The "weakness" of Christ is past. Now he lives a resurrection life sustained by God's power, "the Spirit of holiness.” There should be no mistake about that.
As a result of being in Christ, Paul shared in the weakness of his crucified Master. As a result of his fellowship with Christ, he shared in the mighty power of his risen Lord, a power imparted by God.
From a human standpoint, the non-retaliation and non-assertiveness that had marked Paul's conduct on his second visit to Corinth were simply weakness. But on his forthcoming visit, God's power would be vigorously displayed through him in his dealings with the Corinthians.
The paradox of Christ was really the paradox of Paul. With God's power at His disposal, Christ nonetheless followed the course of weakness to the cross. In the Resurrection, the magnitude of that untapped power was displayed. This side of the grave, Paul, like Jesus, followed the path of "weakness.” But as in Jesus' life, a glimmer of God's power showed through. Paul wanted this power to be used for constructive rather than punitive purposes, power that would enable him to serve them.
What do we gain from this?
First, we must be careful not to judge strength in worldly terms. The strength of a person in Christ is not measured in volume, pushiness, cleverness, self-promotion or physical force. The real strength of a believer or leader is in the way that they faithfully follow Christ and are surrendered to Him.
We also should not be surprised if a believer or leader who has seemed meek and gentle suddenly delivers "with the power of Resurrection" in a situation where power needs to land hard.
For ourselves, we should not worry over worldly appearances. We don't need to compete in the ways and appearances of the world. We only need to walk carefully with Jesus and be prepared for His power to be made manifest in our weakness, and in the correct moments of righteous force.
Father God, help me to walk with Jesus. Help me with the careful journey through this world. Help me to know when to be bold and when not to be. Help me to know always that Your estimation of me is all that matters. Manifest Your resurrection power in me at the right times and places. In Jesus' Name.