Summary: Part 1 of 5
“Blueprints: A Study in 2 Corinthians”
Part 1 – Cleaning House
NewSong Church – 08/03/08
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**NOTE: THIS IS A CONCEPT OUTLINE FOR THIS MESSAGE. GRAPHICS AND MULTIMEDIA ARE AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT THIS SERIES.
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
• 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
• Division in place of unity
Checklist of Symptoms [s.3]
• Hurtful accusations against others and exaggerations of wrongdoing
• Prone to making negative judgments about people
• Grumbling and complaining about someone without confronting them
• Sudden, unexplainable tension and conflict
• Sense of disconnectedness with people
• Grudges against those perceived to have hurt or rejected you
• Criticism, malice, viciousness, anger
• Spreading doubts and criticism
• Irrational confrontations over trivial matters
How do we let go of the negatives that clutter our emotional & spiritual lives so we can live happy, joyous and free, as God intends us to?
2 Corinthians offers us a blueprint for avoiding the devil’s plan of conflict and gives us clear application for developing a lifestyle of forgiveness.
Walking in Grace & Peace
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. I am writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all of his holy people throughout Greece. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
• God’s grace brings peace into our lives
• Grace removes the barriers that we place between ourselves and others
• Grace removes the walls that we try to build between ourselves and God
• Unless God’s grace covers you and his peace rules over you, addressing these issues can be difficult
• Do you live in God’s grace and peace?
• Do you bring that grace and peace into the lives of others who struggle?