Power in Weakness Sunday 04/28/2013
Intro: God’s Power rest upon us as believers. When is the Power of God resting upon us at its strongest point? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9b “for My (God’s) strength is made perfect in weakness”. Who’s weakness? The Power of God is the strongest for us when we are at our weakest in the flesh. When you are going through a very trying time, God says look to Him and He will show you His power, His purpose and His plan for you. Satan wants you down and in despair, he wants you living in sin and feeling defeated.
Transition: In our passage Paul gives us encouragement.
I. 2 Corinthians 12:7 God allows things in our life for a purpose. Find the purpose; find God’s Power in your life.
A. Paul states that God allowed a thorn in his Flesh to come from satan to buffet him.
1. Satan’s purpose was to strike him down to make him despair and feel defeated.
2. God’s purpose was for it to keep him from being exalted above measure.
3. To keep him from being prideful.
4. It was given to him to keep him dependent upon the Lord and upon the Lord’s Power in his life.
5. The same applies to our lives.
6. Satan wants to strike us down and make us despair and feel defeated.
7. God wants to have us dependent upon Him and have His Power strongly affecting our lives.
B. We are told in Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Sin is one of our thorns in the flesh let’s take it further our Sin Nature is our biggest Thorn in the flesh.
1. Every believer has a besetting sin that so easily besets them.
2. A sin that engulfs them and keeps them coming back to it over and over again.
No matter how much we try to overcome it we seem to get no relief from the temptation of this sin yes there are periods of not giving in which do occur. If that one is overcome then another one comes and the battle is on yet again.
3. God’s Grace is sufficient for us because we have been eternally, securely saved and we have 1 John 1:9 confession of sin which brings back fellowship with God.
4. Forgiveness is available and promised to us through confession of sin. We have the power of God in our lives.
5. His strength the word strength and power here are from the same Greek word.
6. Dunamis: strength power, ability. We get the English word Dynamite from this Greek word.
7. So we are told by Paul he HAD a Thorn in the flesh that came from satan and buffeted or engulfed him from time to time just as we have a sin that doth so easily beset us and buffets us from time to time.
C. Verse 8 Paul says he ask the Lord to remove it from him.
1. Three times he ask for it to be removed.
2. He begged God for it to be removed.
3. But God didn’t remove it.
4. God forgives us when we sin but He doesn’t remove the temptation to sin from us.
5. When we are saved God doesn’t remove the Old Sin Nature from us.
6. Only it’s domination over us, we are no longer slaves to the Old Sin Nature.
7. God has given us the Power to overcome temptation.
8. We don’t always utilize that power we give in and are beset by that sin that so easily besets us.
C. God gave Paul the answer to his prayer.
1. God’s Grace is sufficient.
2. God’s Power is made strong in our weakness.
3. Christ power rest upon us when we get out of God’s way.
4. We must choose to heed God’s word.
5. Notice God did answer Paul’s prayer.
6. Just not the way Paul desired Him to answer.
II. When we follow James 4: 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. And 1 Peter 5: 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
A. Paul says in our weakness God becomes stronger in our lives.
1. James says, when we humble ourselves God will lift us up.
2. Peter says when we are humble under God’s authority God will exalt us in His time or in due time.
3. His Grace is sufficient in our lives Paul says.
4. Charis the Greek word here for Grace, has several meanings.
5. The meaning here as I see it, is that Paul is saying that Grace is: ”the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace”
6. When we are governed by God’s power of divine Grace it is sufficient in our lives.
a. Sufficient is from the Greek Arkeo: to be possessed of unfailing strength
b. to be strong, to suffice, to be enough
c. to defend, ward off
d. to be satisfied, to be contented
7. WOW what power we have from God according to this one word which says we have UNFAILING Strength (i.e. power) Power which is:
b. Which brings a defense
c. Which helps ward off anything
d. Which satisfies
e. Which Brings contentment.
B. Paul says in verse 10 that he takes pleasure in several things:
1. In infirmities
2. In reproaches
3. In necessities
4. In persecutions
5. In distresses
C. He does it all for Christ sake
1. All that we do should be done for Christ.
2. We should depend on the Power of Christ
3. Depend on the Power of His grace.
4. The Power of God is to bring Strength to us in ALL things.
D. For when we are weak His is strong.
1. The song A Closer Walk has a line “I am weak but thou art strong
2. Jesus keep me from all wrong
3. I’ll be satisfied as long
4. As I walk let me walk close to thee.”
E. When we walk in humbleness when “I” am weak God is powerful.
1. In other words don’t let E-G-O get in the way of G-O-D
2. We all have an EGO
3. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
4. Of course man says “Pride goeth before a fall” shortened a little.
III. God’s power is ours to use for Him.
A. Acts 1: 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
1. So you have the Power of the Holy Spirit in you to be a witness for Christ. To accomplish God’s purpose and plan for your life.
2. We see here in this passage that with That Power from the Holy Spirit of Promise that gives us Eternal Security.
3. We also have Power to witness for Him.
4. Power to fulfill His plan and purpose for everyone of us.
B. 2 Timothy 2:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
1. See here Paul says you have a gift, stir up that gift. Get fired up and use the Gift you have been given.
2. God hasn’t given you the spirit of fear; understand that comes from satan not God.
3. God has given you the Spirit of Power and a Spirit of Love and a sound mind.
4. We were saved by the calling or the drawing of the Holy Spirit to Saving Faith in Christ according to God’s purpose and Grace.
5. God’s purpose is for all to be saved 2nd Peter 3:9 tells’ us “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
6. We know not all will be saved but all have had the price for their sin paid in full. Hebrews 10:10 “Christ Body was offered once for All” we are told.
7. God appointed Jesus to die for man’s sin before the world began.
Conc. God has placed in each and every believer His POWER. The Holy Spirit indwells each and everyone who has believed on Jesus Christ. He gave them their Spiritual gift the moment they were saved; He gave them the POWER to be a witness for Him at Salvation. The weaker our E-G-O becomes the Stronger God’s P-O-W-E-R becomes in us. We are to be bold, to be strong in the Lord and weak in the things of the flesh. God’s Power is ours to use, for His Purpose.