Why these pressures in life? (follow up from a.m.)

Why the pressures in life?

Dealing with the stresses of life

 

  • We know God is in control. All powerful, all wise, all loving.
  • Why do these things happen?
  • What good can come of it?

 

To get our attention

 

God created our bodies. He designed them to send us messages. If I stick my hand in fire, my body will send me a message, quick and clear. If I ignore it, I’ll pay the price.

C.S. Lewis said “pain is God’s megaphone.” Some of us are hard of hearing. We ignore physical, mental, and spiritual warning signs. We’re like the stubborn mule the farmer had to hit over the head with a two-by-four to get his attention. God wants us to tune our ears to the messages He sends us through our minds and bodies.

 

To help us redefine or rediscover our priorities

By abandoning our God-given priorities we set ourselves up to learn a hard lesson. In essence we do what the Israelites did: lived in paneled houses while God’s house became a ruin (Haggai 1:4). In response, God sent lack of fulfillment, disillusionment, and failure as His messengers. He withheld His blessing till His people rediscovered their priorities:

Haggai 1:5–11 – [5] Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. [6] You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

 

[7] “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. [8] Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. [9] You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. [10] Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. [11] And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” (ESV)

 

God’s people are twice admonished “Consider your ways.” Stress should take us back to the basics. It is an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and bring them in line with God’s.

 

To draw us to Himself

Time and again it was said of the people of Israel, “But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them” (2 Chronicles 15:4). It was in Jonah’s darkest hour, in his most stressful circumstances that he said this: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me” (Jonah 2:2). The Psalms are full of references of turning to God, seeking Him and finding Him in times of intense stress.

 

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears (Psalm 18:6).

 

In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah (Psalm 81:7).

 

I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me (Psalm 120:1).

 

When our lives are comfortable and stress-free, too often we withdraw from the Lord into our own worlds of spiritual independence and isolation. Smug and self-satisfied, we forget what life is really all about. But as the thirsty seek for water, those under stress often seek God. Many non-believers have come to Christ and many believers have returned to Him in times of stress.

 

To discipline us

Hebrews 12:5-7 – “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. [6] For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” [7] It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

 

To some of us, this doesn’t sound so encouraging. But we fail to realize how essential discipline is. Scripture says that to withhold discipline from a child is, in essence, child abuse Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (ESV)

 

Discipline is corrective. It is remedial, not revengeful. God sends stresses not to get back at us for doing wrong, but to deepen our dependence on Him in order to do right. Though the stressful experience may seem excruciating at the time, it is ultimately all for good:

 

Hebrews 12:10-11 – [10] For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. [11] For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

To strengthen our faith

1 Peter 1:3–6 – [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, [7] so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

 

There is only one way a muscle grows—through stress. A muscle that is rarely exercised atrophies; it shrinks into uselessness. A muscle seldom stretched beyond its usual limits can only maintain itself. It cannot grow. To grow, a muscle must be taxed. Unusual demands must be placed upon it.

Stress is a demand placed upon our faith. Without it our faith will not, cannot, grow.

In the crucible of stress, as we draw on our resources in Christ, He gives us faith and strength to crack through and rise above the asphalt coat. That hard demanding surface buries some forever, but is to others the defining point of breaking through and thriving by the grace of God.

 

Randy Alcorn article – Five Ways God Can Use Your Stress for Great Good

2 Corinthians 11:16-33 “Biblical Boasting”

My sermon notes for Sunday, Sept. 8th  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 11:16–33 – Biblical Boasting

Introduction/Thoughts

  • What can we boast about? … What we are. What we have. What we have accomplished.
  • How about?… Who we are in Christ? How we have served Christ?
  • Our worship of the Lord is manifested in our service to the Lord.
  • People often say that they love the Lord, worship the Lord, and bask in His glory, but it appears they do not live a life of serving (experience the pressures) the Lord. BEING A LIVING SACRIFICE… which is YOUR SPIRITUAL WORSHIP – 12:1
  • Paul boasts on his life and calling as an apostle of Christ. When up against the fierce accusations, he knew who he was because of all that he had done… AND ALL THAT GOD HAD DONE FOR AND THROUGH HIM.

 

Paul’s Introduction – vv. 16-21a – HIS FRUSTRATION (Sarcasm)

 

The false teachers had dressed as angels of light v. 14…here Paul is dressing himself in their attire

 

vv. 16-18 – Frustration toward the false teachers

  • Paul seems to be embarrassed to stoop to the level of the false teaches/super apostles in the church. SURELY, I DO NOT NEED TO STOOP TO THEIR LEVEL.
    • Boast according to the flesh

 

vv. 19-21 – Frustration toward the church

  • Enslaved, devoured, and taken advantage of
    • Bondage, Destruction, Exploitation
      • Perhaps Doctrinally, Financially
  • Exalted themselves
    • Pride
  • Strikes in the face
    • Humiliation

 

They submitted to their false leadership (believed and did)

  • We see in history the blind followship of dictatorial leadership
  • Paul was saying, “HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE IT FOR WHAT IS WAS?”

 

v.21 – WE WERE TOO WEAK FOR THAT – (with deep sarcasm – I am so glad that I did not love you like that)

 

HIS SERVING – vv. 21b-29  – Suffering/the pressures of life

  • To serve the Lord is to experience certain pressures.
  • “When the apostle would prove himself an extraordinary minister, he proves that he had been a extraordinary sufferer” Matthew Henry
  • I AM TEMPTED TO USE SUFFERING, BUT PRESSURES IS BETTER. THE DAILY PRESSURES OF LIVING A JESUS FILLED LIFE!!!!!!  Normal day to day life is full of pressures as we live as “pilgrims passing through.  Obviously, we pray not the same pressures as Paul, yet pressure, nevertheless.

 

Hebrew, Israelite, Abraham – Heir to the covenant privileges.

  • Socially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally, covenantally

 

They were the same in some ways (ON PAPER), but MUCH different in others.  What separated him from them was His life/ministry/service

 

v. 23 – servant. The super apostles looked at their ministry as a position of honor and privilege.  Paul looked at his ministry as one as a servant. Mark 10:42-45

  • Come to serve not to be served.

 

[23] Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—

with far greater labors

far more imprisonments

with countless beatings

and often near death.

[24] Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.

[25] Three times I was beaten with rods.

Once I was stoned.

Three times I was shipwrecked;

a night and a day I was adrift at sea;

[26] on frequent journeys,

in danger from rivers

 danger from robbers,

danger from my own people,

danger from Gentiles,

danger in the city,

danger in the wilderness,

danger at sea,

danger from false brothers;

[27] in toil and hardship,

through many a sleepless night,

in hunger and thirst,

often without food, in cold and exposure.

 

[28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

  • The daily pressure of HIS CHURCH. He lived through the pressures of this world FOR HIS CHURCH!!!!!!!
  • We try to endure the pressures for US. He did endure for THE CHURCH.

 

[29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? (ESV)

  • Indignant – Anger, burning
  • Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to sin, and I am not on fire [with sorrow and concern]? (AMPLIFIED TRANSLATION)

 

Jesus suffered yet was exalted.  We too will suffer and are/will be exalted.

 

His Submission – vv. 30 – 33 – HIS HUMILITY

 

v. 30 – If I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

  • Real boasting points people to Christ and not us.

 

Escaping by basket.  Not the typical “super apostle” way of doing things.

  • Humbled himself to escape in this manner
  • 3 years after conversion. Gal. 1:17-18
  • Acts 9:23-26

 

But Paul was different.

  • Whatever it takes to serve the Lord
  • Not prestige or privilege
  • Facing death, he knew the Lord provided a humble escape route

 

Willing to lower oneself to any point so the Gospel can advance

 

He uses our sufferings to demonstrate his sufficiency. And he uses our afflictions as the occasion for dispersing comfort and the deepest realities of his abiding care (Gospel Transformation Study Bible)

 

 


Scripture References

2 Corinthians 11:16–33 – [16] I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. [17] What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. [18] Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. [19] For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! [20] For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. [21] To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. [22] Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. [23] Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. [24] Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. [25] Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; [26] on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; [27] in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. [28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. [29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

[30] If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. [31] The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. [32] At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, [33] but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. (ESV)

 

Romans 12:1–2 – [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

 

Mark 10:42–45 – [42] And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. [43] But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. [45] For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)

2 Corinthians 11:7-15 “Stay the Course” part 2

My sermon notes for Sunday, Aug 25th  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 11:7-15 Stay the course part 2

(Ministering or Masquerading)

 

Intro/Thoughts

  • The accusations continue to come. Paul is continuing to defend his life and ministry.
  • He was defending himself (he knew who he was) and he is also encouraging and admonishing them (stay the course!)
  • His message to the church was… you are either MINISTERING in the light or MASQUERADING in the light.
  • John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

Ministering in the light – vv. 7-12

 

Humility – v. 7

Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge?

 

Wisdom – vv. 8-9

[8] I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. [9] And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.

 

  • Conveying the truth of the Gospel at all cost.
    • He knew that it could hinder his message if he felt obligated to them because of their giving.
    • GOAL WAS THEIR EXALTATION. Not his.

 

  • We need to be people of wisdom.
    • James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
    • Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
    • Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    • Proverbs 8:11-12 – For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

 

Love – vv. 10-11

[10] As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. [11] And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

  • He did what he did for them because he loved them.
  • Christianity is not just about me and Jesus. LOVE GOD. LOVE OTHERS. 22:34-38  ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE CHURCH.

 

Conviction – v. 12 (determination)

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.

 

  • He knew who called him and who he was called to serve.

 

 

Masquerading in the light- vv. 13-15

 

Previous description of those in the dark:

  • 2:17 – peddling the Word
  • 10:12 – commended themselves
  • 11:4 – preaches a different Gospel

 

Untruth – v. 3a

For such men are false apostles

 

  • the measure of a persons love for truth is how that person responds when confronted by an untruth. Those who most proclaim the virtue of tolerance are often those with the most to lose if confronted by truth. (JM)

 

Deceit – vv. 13b -15a

deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. [14] And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. [15] So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness

 

  • not an open enemy, but often a false friend. (they disguise themselves)
    • appear to be religious “christan” people
    • for the sake of happiness, unity, (be positive)

 

Their CLAIM to apostleship and their MESSAGE were both false and full of deceit.

 

Satan’s Tactics – (FROM LAST WEEK)

  • Doubt in the truth
    • Gen. 3:1 – “Has indeed God said”
  • Denied the truth
    • Gen. 3:4 – “You will not surely die”
  • Replaced the truth
    • Satan offered a lie instead
    • Gen. 3:5 – “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God”

 

Damned – v. 15b

Their end will correspond to their deeds.

 

they are judged by their deeds.

  • 1:8-9
  • You DO WHAT YOU DO because OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND TRUST IT.
  • 1 Peter 1:17 – And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
  • TRUE FAITH IS MANIFESTED BY TRUE WORKS.
  • James 2:26 – “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
  • Not just WORKS, BUT RIGHTEOUS GOSPEL WORKS
  • Good works….Doing the will of our FATHER
    • Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ [23] And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
    • Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 


 Scripture References:

2 Corinthians 11:7–15 – [7] Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? [8] I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. [9] And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. [10] As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. [11] And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

[12] And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. [13] For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. [14] And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. [15] So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (ESV)

Galatians 1:6–9 – [6] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—[7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (ESV)

1 Peter 1:17 – And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,

Matthew 7:21–23 – [21] “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ [23] And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (ESV)

James 2:14-26 – What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

 

 

2 Corinthians 11:1–6 – Stay The Course. (Do not waver now!)

My sermon notes for Sunday, Aug 18th  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 11:1–6 – Stay The Course. (Do not waver now!)

 

Intro/thoughts:

  • Paul continues to defend his apostleship.
  • He continues his dialogue about the false teaching because he realized what a CRITICAL issue it is.
  • Not wavering from the TRUTH. STAY THE COURSE.
  • The fight for truth is what is at stake. To swerve even a little takes one off course.  Paul knew Satan’s tactics and was continuing his words to the church.

 

Paul’s opening remarks – v. 1

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me!

 

Bear with me in a little foolishness

  • He was not being silly, but bold.
  • The idea He is even having to deal with this is a joke.
  • They should know better.

 

Are we any different?  When we substitute THE TRUE FAITH for anything else, it has an impact on OUR FAITH and the FAITH we share and teach.  It compromises our impact as a church because it impacts:

  1. Our relationship with God
  2. Our faithfulness to Christ
  3. Our acceptance to the Gospel
  4. Our recognition of the Truth

 

 

 

It impacts relationship with God – v. 2a

For I feel a divine jealousy for you,

 

Divine Jealousy

 

Paul was jealous (in a good way)

  • Did not want to share them with the false teachers.

 

God is a jealous God

  • HE WILL NOT SHARE!!!!!!
  • Exodus 20:5
  • Deut. 4:24

 

It impacts our faithfulness to Christ – vv. 2b-3

since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. [3] But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

 

Betrothed

  • Promised/Pledged to the bridegroom.
  • Father of the bridegroom. It was their responsibility to look out for and protect until the marriage. (married as a virgin)

 

Deceived (this is what Satan does)

It was not moral deception… IT WAS INTELLECTUAL DECEPTION… which lead to spiritual deception.  THEY SINNED AGAINST GOD!!!!!

  • Doubt in the truth
    • Gen. 3:1 – “Has indeed God said”
  • Denied the truth
    • Gen. 3:4 – “You will not surely die”
  • Replaced the truth
    • Satan offered a lie instead
    • Gen. 3:5 – “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God”

Her thinking and believing lead to her actions!  SHE THOUGHT HE WAS CORRECTS AND ACTED.

 

Sincere and pure devotion

  • The simple message of Christ. Who He is and what He came to accomplish.

 

It impacts our acceptance of The Gospel – v. 4

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

 

Galatians 1:8-9

 

Proclaims another Jesus (than what we proclaimed)

  • Message – what is preached.
  • We need to listen biblically.

 

Different Spirit (than the one you received)

  • Anything but the biblical truth is SATANIC?
  • Spirits role is to convict us of truth as we ask and seek.

 

Accept a different Gospel

  • They readily put up with it.
  • There is only one true Gospel (tonight’s service “American Gospel”

 

There are only two reasons for someone believing/sharing/teaching something that is contrary to the Truth of God’s Word

  • Heresy
    • They are unconverted, lost, and demonic.
  • Ignorance
    • They need to study. Read and Pray.
    • Continuous sanctification. We all need to be growing and changing every day.

 

 

It impacts our recognition of the Truth – vv. 5-6

[5] Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

 

Not in the least inferior

  • Paul knew who he was. Knew what He believed. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY who called him!

 

Unskilled in speaking but not in knowledge

  • It is not as much what we CAN DO, BUT IN WHAT WE KNOW.
  • The power was in the WORDS not the methodology. THE WHAT was where the CHANGE took place.

 

In every way we have made this plain to you

  • Paul plainly gave the Gospel.
  • “The love of Jesus Christ is love not in word only, but indeed and in truth.” – Charles Spurgeon
  • Plain, Powerful, Passionate
    • Just as plain, powerful, and passionate as Paul was in the early church, we need to be today.

 

 

Scripture References:

2 Corinthians 11:1–6 – [1] I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! [2] For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. [3] But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. [4] For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. [5] Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. [6] Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. (ESV)

Exodus 20:5 – You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, (ESV)

Deuteronomy 4:24 – For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (ESV)

Galatians 1:6–9 – [6] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—[7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 10:7–18 “Being the real deal in an unreal world”

My sermon notes for Sunday, Aug 11th 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 10:7–18 

Being the real deal in an unreal world

Intro (thoughts / big picture)

  • “I am the real deal!” (t-shirt/funny video)
  • Paul’s life/ministry in light of his accusations.
  • What makes a true spiritual leader?
  • People that make an eternal difference.
    • Who do we remember? (the fringe folks or the Gospel folks!)
  • Living the truth in a false world.

 

At the end of the day I hope we all want to be people that can and will make a difference in our family, workplace, school, and community.  Good news…we can.  Paul did and so can we.  He was accused of so many things, but at the end of the day he knew who he was and how he lived his life.

 

Paul knew he had:

  1. A relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. A desire to build others up
  3. A dependence on the spirit and not the flesh.
  4. A life of character and influence.

 

A relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ – v. 7b

  • A true relationship with Christ
  • Born again. A new creation.
    • Different from the world/others.

 

A desire to build others up – vv. 8-9

  • Help others. TRULY HELP OTHERS.  GOSPEL HELP. REAL HELP.
  • A multiplication life. (Multiplying ourselves)
    • Acts 11:23-26
  • True discipleship. Our life impacting others.
  • Biblical sanctification
    • Not an event, but a lifelong journey
  • HEALTHY BIBLICAL GROWTH.
    • Long term.
  • God focused not man focused

 

A dependence on the Spirit not the flesh. – v. 10

Paul was said to not:

  • Be charismatic
  • Not a great speaker.
  • Weak and wishy-washy
  • Not domineering
  • How hard is it to be thought of in this way?
    • Not the biggest, brightest, or the best.
    • But a servant. Matt. 20:25-28

 

More specifically here, the truth has come into question.  So Paul was more concerned not on him, BUT:

  • Trust in the Gospel
  • Out theology should drive our methodology. (Nothing wrong with methodology as long as good theology drives it)
  • Satan does not care what you CLAIM TO BELIEVE. He just does not want YOU TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.

 

A life of character and influence– v. 11-18

  • We care about our character and how we exemplify Christ.

 

  • People of Personal Principle (integrity)
  • People of Personal Awareness (humility) Matthew 20:25-28
    • We know where we stand in light of the Gospel.
    • Remember who we are. (A sinner saved by grace)
    • How one utilizes their authority is an evidence of their spiritual maturity and character (Warren W.)
  • Not comparing ourselves with others
  • Content with calling and ministry
    • Stay in your lane (do what you can do…do it well)
      • God’s sovereign limits
    • We cannot do what we are supposed to do because we are worried about what others should be doing.
  • Rejoices for the kingdom
    • Praises others success
    • When others succeed. GOD IS GLORIFIED

 

 


Scripture References

2 Cor. 10:7-18 – [7] Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. [8] For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. [9] I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. [10] For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” [11] Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. [12] Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

[13] But we will not boast beyond limits but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. [14] For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. [15] We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, [16] so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. [17] “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” [18] For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (ESV)

 

Acts 11:23–26 – [23] When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, [24] for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. [25] So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, [26] and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. (ESV)

 

Matthew 20:25–28 – [25] But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. [26] It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, [27] and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, [28] even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)

2 Corinthians 10:1-6 “Fighting the Good Fight of Faith” part 2

My sermon notes for Sunday, Aug 4th 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 10:1-6 – “Fighting the Good Fight of Faith” part 2

Intro Thoughts:

1 Timothy 1:18; 6:11-12, 2 Timothy 2:1-3; 4:6-7

  • Standing up for what is right.
  • Being proactive with our faith… (Our life making a difference)
  • Waging the spiritual fight. Are we ready?
  • They are accusing Paul. He has done nothing wrong, yet is being falsely accused.  How does he respond?
  • How do we respond?
    • Are we too passive?
      • Some brag about their heart for unity and togetherness. Peace at all cost.
    • Are we too aggressive?
      • Some brag about their roughness/brashness
    • We need to be people of conviction, but also peace makers.

 

Here we have a great picture of Fighting the Good Fight

  1. A Christlike Spirit – v. 1
  2. A Deep Conviction – v. 2
  3. A Victorious Battle Plan – vv. 3-6

 

A Christlike Spirit – v. 1

I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!

 

  • Meekness – free from anger, endurance through offences. Free from anger, bitterness. Lack of desire for revenge.
  • Gentleness – Leniency toward others. Not as harsh.

 

  • OF CHRIST – He is our example.

 

A Deep Conviction – v. 2

I beg of you that when I am present, I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.

 

  • Confidence (in sound biblical truth)
    • He believed in the truth so much, that he was willing to do what needed to be done to keep things right.

 

A Victorious Battle Plan – vv. 3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. [4] For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. [5] We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, [6] being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

  • Know our enemy
  • Know our weapons
  • Know our strategy

 

We know our enemy – We do walk according to the flesh – v. 3

  • The physical life. The flesh and blood
  • The material world. We live in it, but it is not our enemy.

 

BUT, We do not wage war according to the flesh

  • Not according to the material world, but according to the Spiritual world.
  • Our weapons are not of the flesh – Human ingenuity, worldly wisdom, clever methodologies.

 

(We do not need to find a new methodology or strategy to win.)

 

Enemy is not physical, but spiritual

  • Eph 6:10-12

 

We know our weapons – Believers have DIVINE POWER – v. 4

  • Our weapons are spiritual
  • Eph 6:13 (he lists his weapons)
  • Belt of truth, Breast plate of righteousness, shoes of the Gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit.

 

These weapons are POWERFUL

The Power of:

  • The knowledge of God – THE KNOW
    • Truth – John 17:17; Heb. 4:12
  • Obedience to Christ – THE DO
    • Salvation – BELIEVE THE TRUTH
    • Who Christ is.  What He came to do.  How it impacts ones life.
    • Believe on. Come to. Trust in. Follow after. Live for.

 

We know the strategy – God and His Word– vv. 5-6

 

  1. We Destroy – Able to destroy
    1. Strongholds– The place of refuge for cities. The ideologies of the World. (not demons)
    2. Arguments/lofty opinions – thoughts, ideas, philosophies. The wisdom of the world.

 

Raised against the knowledge of God

  • The attack is against the TRUTH of God. (Who He is, What He has said, What He has done)
  • We need to be people who realize the battle is always a battle against God and HIS WORD.
  • Remember Genesis.– Did God really say that?

 

  1. We take captive – Bringing every thought captive.
    1. CRUCIAL
    2. Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

 

Take every thought captive to obey Christ

  • Every false religion, belief, ideology, philosophy
  • Literally… take captive by the point of a sword/spear
  • EVERY THOUGHT

 

We take it captive with the Sword of the Lord (Eph 6)

  • The Spirit of God
  • The Word of God – THUS SAITH THE LORD!

 

THE PICTURE THE CHURCH OF CORINTH WOULD HAVE SEEN THIS IS A VIVID MILITARY PICTURE…We destroy the fortress to the ground, march the prisoners out, and bring them into submission.

  • Paul was serious about how serious the early church was to be about their role of being people of LIGHT in A DARK WORLD.

 

 

How about us today?  It is an ongoing battle.

  • Progressive
  • Unchanging
  • Continuous

 

Today I see 2 perceptions of people and the church:

  1. Angry and against everything. They trust the Bible but they tend to not have not many face to face dialogues
  • Discussions with just those that believe like you do. (I am going to take my toys and go home)
  • Facebook/Twitter is not the greatest picture of biblical dialogue

 

  1. Passive and calling for unity at all cost. Let’s just all get along and play well together.
  • The importance of Word is downplayed.
  • Absolute truth is in question
  • Dialogue is based on feeling rather than truth.

 

Some appear to loud… others have no backbone.

 

It is a tough balance in our current society.

  • We need to stand for truth and be vocal about it.
  • We also want to be able to develop relationships and allow the Spirit and God and the Word of God to work in the heart and minds of people.
    • Some need to slow down and take a deep breath
    • Others need to just DO SOMETHING.

 

 

THE WHAT NOW:

Be persistent

  • In your faith and your (sanctification) GROWING in the knowledge of God through His Word.

 

Be passionate

  • Love God. Love HIS WORD.  TRUST HIS WORD
  • Love others (goal is not being right, but to see their heart change)

 

Be patient. (allow God to work)

  • God can stand up for Himself
  • Know that He will use you
  • Go and make a difference.

 

Be progressive

  • Read, Study, and Pray
  • Dare to be different
  • Dare to make a difference
  • FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT

 

 


Scripture References:

1 Timothy 1:18 – This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (ESV)

1 Timothy 6:11–12 – [11] But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. [12] Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (ESV)

2 Timothy 2:1–3 – [1] You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, [2] and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. [3] Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (ESV

2 Timothy 4:6-7 – [6] For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. [7] I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (ESV)

Ephesians 6:10–20 – [10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, [19] and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)

John 17:17 –  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (ESV)

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 10:1-6 – “Fighting the Good Fight of Faith” part 1

My sermon notes for Sunday, July 28th 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 10:1-6 – “Fighting the Good Fight of Faith” part 1

 

Intro Thoughts:

  • 1 Timothy 6:2-12, 2 Timothy 4:1-8
  • Standing up for what is right.
  • Being proactive with our faith… (Our life making a difference)
  • Waging the spiritual fight. Are we ready?
  • They are accusing Paul. He has done nothing wrong, yet is being falsely accused.  How does he respond?
  • How do we respond?
    • Are we too passive?
      • Some brag about their heart for unity and togetherness. Peace at all cost.
    • Are we too aggressive?
      • Some brag about their roughness/brashness
    • We need to be people of conviction, but also peace makers.

 

Here we have a great picture of Fighting the Good Fight

  1. A Christlike Spirit – v. 1
  2. A Deep Conviction – v. 2
  3. A Victorious Battle Plan – vv. 3-6

 

A Christlike Spirit – v. 1

I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!

 

  • Meekness – free from anger, endurance through offences. Free from anger, bitterness. Lack of desire for revenge.
  • Gentleness – Leniency toward others. Not as harsh.

 

  • OF CHRIST – He is our example.

 

Yet, his accusers mistaken his gentleness as weakness.

  • “You are bold from a far, but weak when face to face”
  • Yet, Paul’s desire was to see repentance/change. He was not trying to PROVE HIMSELF RIGHT, rather wanted to see lives transformed.
  • Look at the life of JESUS. Even in the courts of the those that would crucify Him… How did He respond?

 

I MUST BE RIGHT.  I MUST WIN.

Or

I MUST BE LIKE JESUS

 

A Deep Conviction – v. 2

I beg of you that when I am present, I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.

 

  • Confidence
    • He believed in the truth so much, that he was willing to do what needed to be done to keep things right.

 

We need to be people that have such deep convictions, that we are willing to do whatever is necessary.

  • People willing to fight wars for what they believe in. (Storming a beach at DDAY)

 

  • They accused Paul of things opposed to what he knew was the truth.
    • According to the flesh – evil and selfish interest

 

Today, we can face similar charges.  We know WHAT THE WORD SAYS, yet the world will accuse of being wrong (at times even evil)

 

A Victorious Battle Plan – vv. 3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. [4] For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. [5] We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, [6] being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

 

  • Know our enemy
  • Know our weapons
  • Know our battle plan

(unpack more fully in part 2)

 

 

 


Scripture References:

1 Timothy 6:2–12 – [2] Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

Teach and urge these things. [3] If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, [4] he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, [5] and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. [6] But godliness with contentment is great gain, [7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. [8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. [9] But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. [10] For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

[11] But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. [12] Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (ESV)

 

2 Timothy 4:1–8 –  [1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: [2] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. [3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, [4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. [5] As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 

[6] For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. [7] I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. [8] Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (ESV)