Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Part 5 of 5

“Blueprints: A Study in 2 Corinthians”

Part 5 – Renovated

NewSong Church – 08/31/08

To watch/listen to this message online go to www.newsongs.org or contact info@newsongs.org.


:: Background

• Chapters 10-13 are often considered to be either part of the “letter of tears” that Paul referenced earlier or a portion of a fifth letter to the Corinthian church .

• If we read ch. 10-13 as written earlier than ch.1-9, then we can see the result of authority and leadership that is strong, but also loving and sincere: the issue is resolved, the church is encouraged and Paul wraps up in ch. 9 speaking of unity in Christ.

• However, if we read this as a separate letter following ch.1-9, then we must take away that Paul’s earlier words fell on deaf ears and that those who were causing problems continued to do so.

• Either way, we can understand through Paul’s tone and subject matter that a fresh problem has occurred, accusations have been made against Paul, and the church yet again sits in crisis.

• These chapters deal with spiritual authority and leadership in the church, and Paul goes to great length to defend and uphold his position as the spiritual authority within the church – not out of a desire to control the church, but because of his responsibility and desire to see the believers of the church mature and grow in the faith.

2 Cor. 10:1

Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ

The Gentleness and Kindness of Christ

• Gentleness (pra ot’ es): humility, meekness. Aristotle defined it as the correct balance between being too angry and never angry at all.

• It describes the person who is never angry on their own behalf, but is capable of righteous anger when others are wronged.

• It is the type of anger we see in Jesus; the same Jesus who drove out the merchants from the house of God, yet said nothing to those who accused him and caused him pain and suffering.

• Kindness (epie i’ kia): gentleness, reasonableness. By itself, it is best defined as “that which is just and also better than just.” When combined with praotes, it conveys an understanding that the standard of Christ is not justice, but love.

• Paul is stating that his defense is not about him being angry and telling people off, it is to right a wrong being done to the church – and he will address it with a Christlike attitude and authority.

2 Cor. 10:1-6

—though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away. Well, I am begging you now so that when I come I won’t have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives. We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.

Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid

“… timid in person and bold when only far away.”

• 1st Accusation: “You’ll say behind my back what you won’t say to my face.”

• We must be people of transparency, honesty and integrity if we are to be representatives of Christ.

• How we deal with conflict says a lot about who we are – if we deal with personal conflict - but never with the person who is the source of the conflict – then we are opening the door for rumor, gossip, division and offense.

• Perhaps you have an issue with a church leader, or a policy, or a method of communication – the point is not whether or not you are right or have a reasonable complaint; the point is how are you making that issue known?

• If it comes out with everyone except the person it involves, then it doesn’t matter if we give it a pretty name: venting, sharing my heart, etc. – it is sin and is destructive to the unity of the church community, and has no place in God’s people.

“… those who think we act from human motives.”

• 2nd Accusation: “You’re only human – why should you speak for God?”

• This is like when children look at their friend and say, “You’re not the boss of me!”

• Regarding the friend, they might be right – but what if it was said to their parent?

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