Summary: Part 1 of 5

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“Blueprints: A Study in 2 Corinthians”

Part 1 – Cleaning House

NewSong Church – 08/03/08

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Background [s.1]

This morning we are reading the first two chapters which raise up two key issues that we are going to focus on:

1) Dealing with conflict

2) Dealing with problem people

Let me quickly give you some background on this letter from Paul

• It is written to the church in Corinth and the surrounding areas

• It is a direct response to a situation that Paul had dealt with earlier

• Corinth was like the Las Vegas of its time (what happens in Corinth…)

• And initially, the church there was struggling with issues of continued sin

• Paul addressed his first letter to these specific situations and to an individual who was creating problems within the church

• Rather than accept Paul’s teaching and correction, this individual began stirring up trouble, openly questioning and attacking Paul’s authority and convincing others to disregard Paul and continue in their sinful practices

Problem People

• We’ve all had “problem people” that we’ve known or still know

• We’ve all experienced conflict in our lives (maybe still are)

• We’ve all had someone say something about us or acted hostilely toward us, perhaps even maliciously, intending to create problems for us

• And we know what that does to us on the inside

• We know how it tears us down and causes pain and hurt

• People’s actions and words toward us can rip us apart

• They can cause damage we are not even aware of that can last for days, weeks, months, or even years

Who is your “problem person”?

What have they done to you?

How have you responded to them?

:: Unforgiveness is the Devil’s Tool ::

2 Corinthians 2:5 [s.2]

I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.

• Satan uses un-confessed sin, deep woundedness, hidden resentments, bitterness, and offense to create unforgiveness in our lives

• It has been said that holding unforgiveness and resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

• Resentment, grudges, feuds, unresolved misunderstandings – they all take a toll on our peace and can make us feel separated from others and from God.

• One of Satan’s commonly used plans is to turn people against each other

• Tension in the place of peace

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