Christian Living

5 God-Honoring Outcomes to Pursue

Embrace Paul’s Closing Remarks to the Corinthian Church

As Paul wraps up his first letter to the church in Corinth, he shares a quintet of instructions for them to aspire to. It’s his final remarks to them, giving them five God-honoring outcomes to pursue.

He says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11, NIV).

Here’s a breakdown:

1. Rejoice

The first item is to rejoice. This means to be full of joy or to be cheerful. It goes beyond being happy, which reflects a temporary condition.

Instead, rejoicing is an intentional perspective, a purposeful attitude of being grateful for our right standing with God, through Jesus.

Paul writes the same thing to the church in Philippi (Philippians 4:4) and to the church in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

2. Strive for Full Restoration

The second of Paul’s five God-honoring outcomes is to strive for full restoration. This wording is a bit perplexing, but we can think of it as another way of telling them to work out their salvation (Philippians 2:12), which is a continual, ongoing process.

Other ways to consider striving for full restoration is to grow to maturity (NLT), to be complete (AMP), and to keep things in good repair (MSG).

3. Encourage One Another

Next, we read the instruction to encourage one another. This is a straightforward command to cheer on other followers of Jesus.

The goal is to be a positive influence on them, lifting them up. We need to inspire them on their faith journey, helping them to progress in it.

We see this imperative need repeated in his letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:18 and 5:11), as well as in the letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 3:13).

4. Be of One Mind

Fourth, Paul tells them to be of one mind. He also writes this to the church in Philippi (Philippians 2:2).

To be of one mind is a call to unity. Unity is important to Jesus, so it should be important to us too. Through our unity we worship God, and through our unity we serve as a witness to the world who needs Jesus.

If we can’t get along as his followers, we have little to offer others.

5. Live in Peace

The final of Paul’s five God-honoring outcomes is to live at peace. He also writes this to the church in Rome (Romans 12:18). To live at peace extends the idea of unity. It is to be peacemakers.

God-Honoring Outcomes for Today

Paul’s outcomes to pursue transcend the Corinthian church. He repeats them to other churches as well. As such, we can more readily embrace them as applying to us today.

They are to rejoice, grow to maturity, encourage one another, pursue unity, and promote peace.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Bogged Down Reading the Bible?

10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

​Enter your info and receive the free Bible Reading Tip Sheet and be added to Peter’s email list.