Sunday, August 23, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians Part 4 – MINISTERS OF NEW COVENANT

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.

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."  

Paul explained why he didn't visit them and that he was pleased they had responded well to his first letter, even though not all had repented.

Last week we looked at Paul encouraging the church to allow the offender of incest return to the congregation, because he had truly repented and turned away from his sin, therefore he had been forgiven. Paul said that his punishment by the church forcing him to leave the congregation was enough, and that since he had repented and was forgiven, they must allow him back.

Paul reminded them that it was not that long ago, they too were not living as God wanted them, and they repented, and were forgiven by Paul.

Paul reminds the church in Corinth, and us as well, that forgiveness to those who have repented is essential, not only because we are commanded to do so by Christ, but because when we forgive, we keep Satan from having a way to outwit us.

Satan will use our unforgiveness as a weapon against us in his schemes.

As long as we have unforgiveness against someone who has repented, we are being disobedient to the Lord, which in turn allows a foothold for Satan to work against us.

Satan is always looking for an area of our lives where we are being disobedient, which allows him room to work his schemes against us.

This week Paul explains how our presence as servants of Christ is a pleasing aroma to God, and a double edge sword to those who are perishing...bringing death and life...

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE II Corinthians 2:12-17
 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

a.      Paul was lead by the Holy Spirit to Troas to preach the Gospel
                                                                         i.      The Lord had opened a door there

                                                                      ii.      An opportunity for ministry

                                                                   iii.      Revelation 3:8 "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."

b.     But I had no rest in my spirit
                                                                         i.      Due to the problems in Corinth

                                                                      ii.      Paul addressed these in his last letter to the church (I Corinthians)

                                                                   iii.      Therefore, he could not take advantage of the open door in Troas because he was stressed.

                                                                     iv.      Too troubled that Corinth may be lost and other churches may follow

c.      Why was Paul so stressed?
                                                                         i.      Because he expected to meet up with Titus in Troas, and get news about Corinth's response to his epistle to them.

                                                                      ii.      However, Titus was delayed, which stressed Paul even more
                                                                   iii.      So Paul moved on from Troas eventually meeting with Titus in Philippi and receiving the good news of their repentance

a.      Thanks to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ
                                                                         i.      We triumph because of our faith

                                                                      ii.      We show our faith by giving thanks, and praising God

                                                                   iii.      Doing so gives the Holy Spirit room to work in our lives and bring victory!

b.     God uses His followers to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere!
                                                                         i.      I Corinthians 1:23 " but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles..."

c.      Aroma spreads all around
                                                                         i.      If you wear cologne or perfume, it has an effect on everyone around you, without you trying to do anything.

                                                                      ii.      I you are a pig farmer who doesn't shower, it has an effect on everyone around you, without you trying to do anything.

1.      What is our aroma?
a.      Luke 6:45 "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

b.     Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

c.      Matthew 28:18-20 "Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

a.      Among those who are saved and those who are perishing
                                                                         i.      Because of the cross, to God we are the pleasing aroma of Christ

b.     We are an aroma to everyone around us!
                                                                         i.      To some we are the aroma of death (those who reject the cross)

                                                                      ii.      To some we are the aroma of life (those who accept Jesus and the cross)

                                                                   iii.      Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

                                                                     iv.      Who is equal to such as task? The Gospel!

c.      We are not as many others who preach
                                                                         i.      Corrupting the Word of God
1.      Preaching other than truth

                                                                      ii.      Remember Paul's letter to the church, in I Corinthians
1.      "Do not go beyond what is written"

2.      They were listening, believing and teaching false doctrines

3.      They strayed from Paul's teaching, and the written Word of God.

                                                                   iii.      "We preach God in sincerity"

Paul states, "In the sight of God we preach Christ"

God is observing all our efforts.

He will only accept what is done in Christ, everything else is loss.

Remember Paul's words from I Corinthians 3:12-15

" If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames."

If anyone builds {does} on this foundation {Christ}

The materials you use {the things you do}

Will be brought to light {set before the Lord} and revealed by fire {judged by Him} on that Day {Judgment Day}

If what you build {what you did was built upon Christ for Him} survives the fire {judgment}

You will receive a reward.

If it is burned up, you either did not build upon Christ, or you did it for yourself, not Him, and you will suffer a loss {not receive a reward for your work}

But you will be saved, escaping eternal damnation.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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