After it is all said and done, after writing all of what he had to say about the Christian life in 2 Corinthians, Paul wraps it up by saying this:
2 Corinthians 13:11-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 Finally, believers, rejoice! Be made complete [be what you should be], be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace [enjoy the spiritual well-being experienced by believers who walk closely with God]; and the God of love and peace [the source of lovingkindness] will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a [a]holy kiss. 13 All [b]God’s people greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Becoming complete in Christ
The Christian walk is all about becoming complete in Christ: “be what you should be” (v11):
- be comforted,
- be like-minded,
- live in peace
Becoming born again is just the beginning of the call of God for each of us. That is the start. Then begins the Christian walk toward maturity – motivated by deep gratitude for His grace.
Maturing in Christ
Living in peace as a maturing Christian is to “[enjoy the spiritual well-being experienced by believers who walk closely with God]” (v11). A maturing Christian will surely reach that level of maturity in the faith in which we are able to “enjoy” a state of spiritual wellness — because we are walking “closely with God” in all that we are from day to day, hour by hour, moment by moment.
Maturity in Christ is an ever increasing “completeness”, being enough completed that he/she is able to regularly enjoy “a state of well-being” (v11). Maturity is always a never ending process for us humans here on earth. I am being made mature, little by little. In heaven it will be instantaneous. That’ll be the day!
Even having been made “brand new” inside the moment we were born again (2 Corinthians 5:17), the believer still has the old nature to contend with until we get a newly crafted heavenly body in heaven (Colossians 3: verse 5). There is a level of maturity we can reach, Paul says. This is when we begin to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to grow us, little by little.
We can live in contentment as we learn to walk the talk and stay close to God by our actions day to day. And when we fail, we confess our sin — and begin again renewed. That is spiritual wellness. That is the close walk with God.
Paul concludes this important letter by saying that it is up to each of us to be responsible, and submit our life to Him afresh each day, “abiding in the vine” as John said in John 15:4. If so, then “the God of love and peace [the source of lovingkindness] will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13: verse 11).
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
But don’t forget the next promise: John 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
As God’s people (v13), “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” will be with us. (v14) It is not presumptuous to call ourselves “the people of God”. Quite the contrary. We are born again of God, to be His own people. He Himself gives us that right. God has said that about us:
12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— 13 who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].