Sunday, August 16, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians Part 3 – FORGIVENESS FOR THE OFFENDER

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth began with letting the church know that Paul was happy to hear that the church had received and responded correctly to his first letter.

Although not all had repented, the church for the most part was seeing where they had strayed from God's Word and Paul's instruction.

Paul explains in the first chapter that God has given the church compassion and comfort so that they can give compassion and comfort to others. When we receive comfort and compassion in our times of trouble, it allows us to do the same for others going through similar situations.

So we need to have patient endurance during our struggles, knowing God is doing a work and we are growing from the experience.

Paul also explains that he wants the church to understand that we WILL find ourselves in situations that we cannot endure, the saying, "God will never give you more than you can handle" from I Corinthians 10:13 is talking about temptation, not trials and suffering.

Paul explains God gives us more than we can endure, and we turn to Him for deliverance.

Everything Paul has done for the church was in the power of the Lord, He gets all the praise.

The letter Paul sent to the church was easy to understand, and those who are not repenting are choosing not to.

Chapter one closes with Paul telling the church that he is not sending this letter to lord over them, but to guide them as any believer should to a brother or sister who has strayed from the truth.

Remembering James 5:19, 20 " My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."  


So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you.For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

a.      I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you.
                                                                         i.      Speaking of the visit to the church before I Corinthians was written

                                                                      ii.      Something had happened that hurt Paul

b.     For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?
                                                                         i.      Paul had to make a stand regarding the one who refused to repent

                                                                      ii.      but did repent later because of Paul's stand

                                                                   iii.      The same man who sinned and made Paul sad, now repented and made him glad.

                                                                     iv.      Some think this is in reference to the incestuous man of I Corinthians 5 Paul addressed in his first letter to the church.
                                                                        v.      Paul did not want to grieve them or be grieved by them.

c.      Things were bad when Paul first arrived (Before I Corinthians Letter)
                                                                         i.      Paul states that writing I Corinthians was out of much anguish of the heart, distress and many tears.

                                                                      ii.      However, it was not to grieve the church, but to let them know the depth of his love for them

                                                                   iii.      I Corinthians 13

II.      FORGIVE THE OFFENDER (Case of Incestuous person)
a.      The punishment inflicted upon him by the majority is sufficient
                                                                         i.      This person had been excommunicated

                                                                      ii.      Paul states he was grieved by this persons sin, but more so that the church knew and did nothing about it

                                                                   iii.      However, he states he does not lay too heavy a charge upon the church considering they followed his letter and removed the unrepentant sinner from their congregation.

b.     The desired effect for discipline
                                                                         i.      I Corinthians 5:4-5

                                                                      ii.      Kicking him from the congregation was to humble the man

                                                                   iii.      Church discipline is to correct ones path

                                                                     iv.      Once that path is corrected, they are to be allowed back into the fold

c.      Forgiving the sinner who repents
                                                                         i.      Remember, forgiveness comes AFTER repentance

                                                                      ii.      In Verse 7, Paul says since the man repented, you are to forgive him and comfort him.
                                                                   iii.      "So that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow."

                                                                     iv.      Verse 8 "I urge you, confirm your love toward him."
1.      Don't just "say it", show it. I Corinthians 13

a.      Was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.
                                                                         i.      Paul testing the churches obedience to his instruction.

                                                                      ii.      His instruction was from the Holy Spirit

                                                                   iii.      Would this church repent and get right with God?
1.      Thankfully yes, for the most part.

2.      There were still some unrepentant.

b.     Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. 
                                                                         i.      And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake

                                                                      ii.      They were to forgive those who repented, even the incestuous man

                                                                   iii.      And Paul would also forgive the church for taking the wrong direction in the first place.
1.      Suing each other
2.      Believing they were more spiritual
3.      Listening and teaching false doctrines
4.      Straying from the Word
5.      Allowing fornication and adultery
6.      Not correcting incestuous behavior in the church
7.      etc..

c.      Why forgive those who repent, and why does Paul forgive the church?
                                                                         i.      Verse 11, " order that Satan might not outwit us..."

                                                                      ii.      Forgiveness is a great part of the Christian faith

                                                                   iii.      Forgiveness is demanded by Christ (Matthew 6:14-15)

                                                                     iv.      If we obey the Word, Satan will have no advantage

                                                                        v.      Satan takes advantage of the Christians wrong direction


Like the church in Corinth, if we allow sin into the church, into our lives, and allow it to grow, we will eventually be going in the wrong direction.

This is usually a gradual transition from obedience to God's Word, to obedience to self, sin or Satan.

When we stray from the truth, we open the door to Satan, and allow ourselves to be influenced by his ways and schemes.

Satan is always on the prowl, looking for someone who has strayed from the church, one who has stepped just a little ways away from the truth, where protection lies.

Like a lion, waiting for the weak, the lost, the injured to make their next meal.

We are weak when we stray from God's truth.
We are lost when we leave the safety of the Church.
We must ensure that we do not allow ourselves to be so injured we make poor decisions which will make us vulnerable to Satan.

We are not ignorant of his devices.

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