2 Corinthians 2:12-17 “Turning Dismay into Confidence”

My sermon notes for Sunday, Jan 20th  as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

 

2 Corinthians 2:12–17 – [12] When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, [13] my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

[14] But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. [15] For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, [16] to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? [17] For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (ESV)

 

 

2 Corinthians 2:12-17 Turning Dismay into Confidence

 

INTRO:

2:14-6:10 – Paul’s philosophy of ministry.  Why, How, and the What of his calling and life.  HIS LIFE AND MINISTRY.

 

Here specifically…Paul is saying My Ministry is a TRIUMPHANT MINISTRY.

  • Notice the situation…. Discouragement then Excitement, Ups and Downs, Uncertainty turns to victory.

 

THE WORD IS TEACHING US TODAY THAT LIFE AND CIRCUMSTANCES MAY NOT BE WHAT WE WANT.  BUT THE KEY TO CHRISTIAN LIFE/MINISTRY IS SEEING CHRIST IN OUR LIFE.  WHAT THAT MEANS TO OURSELVES AND ALSO HOW HE IS USING US TO REACH AND BUILD UP OTHERS.

 

WE DO NOT NEED TO FOCUS ON THE STUFF OF THE WORLD, BUT RATHER JESUS!

 

Paul’s Dismay – vv. 12-13

 

Paul went from Ephesus to Troas waiting to meet with Titus who was bringing news from Corinth. (third missionary journey)

  • An open door
  • An open door to Paul meant he had the opportunity to see the impact of faithfully preaching the Gospel.

 

  • Spirit not at rest
    • EVEN THOUGH he as in the midst of God’s will… HE WAS NOT AT REST. Wanted news from Titus  (turmoil and discontent)
    • Not a evil, sinful thing, yet it became a spiritual thing. (restlessness and discontent)

 

BUT…

 

Paul’s Confidence – vv. 14-17

 

But thanks be to God!  THE GIVER OF TRIUMPHANT CONFIDENCE

Picture of Rome celebrating a major victory.

  • Procession…. Politicians, Trumpeters, The spoils form the land, white bull for sacrifice, Captives headed toward their death, officers with their rods, musicians, priests with incenses, the General standing in a chariot dressed in a triumphant robe and ivory scepter, with slave holding a crown over his head, followed by his family, then the troops.

 

For Christ Leading Him – 14a

[14a] But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,

 

  • As the general leads his troops. – Jesus leads his Church
    • Matthew 16:18–19 – [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (ESV)
    • Colossians 1:15–20 – [15] He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. [19] For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)

 

For Christ Using Him – vv. 14b-16

[14b]and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. [15] For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, [16] to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

 

The incense affected all those present, but in different way.  It represented victory to some and death to others

 

  • Knowledge of Him. Aroma of Christ.
    • As Christ’s death was lifted up as a sacrifice… pleasing to the Lord. So is the life DEDICATED AND SET APART TO HIM.
  • It is pleasing to God – 1:10 – Walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing to Him.
  • Life – giving to those who are being saved
  • Condemning – to those that are perishing
  • 1 Peter 2:7–8 –[7] So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”[8] and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (ESV)

 

For Christ Empowering Him – v. 17

[17] For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ

 

  • Who is adequate for such TRIUMPHANT CONFIDENCE? SUCH VICTORY!
  • 1 Cor. 15:10 – By the grace of God I am what I am.

 

  • Not peddlers – con man. (not the real thing. False hope)
    • Be bold, passionate, Courageous and full of Compassion.
  • But as men of sincerity – pure, right motivation and character
  • Commissioned by God – Saved, Called, Sent, Empowered

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