Summary: Christ-Focused Ministry - 2 Corinthians chapter 10 verses 1-18 – sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• I follow Christ’s example (vs 1)
• I use spiritual weapons (vs 2-6)
• I don’t judge by appearance (vs 7-11)
• I let God do the commending (vs 12-18)
• A family were driving through the country lanes enjoying a day out;
• Dad was driving and looking for a particular country park.
• As he drove the lanes started to become more windy and narrower;
• And as they drove down one of these lanes they saw a sign,
• It read, “Naturist site ahead”
• Now dad had a problem, the lane was too narrow to turn around;
• And he did not want his children to see things that they should not be seeing.
• Unable to turn round and unable to reverse back along the windy lane;
• The car carried on forward.
• Then suddenly it happened!
• Out of nowhere appeared 4 adults on bikes all naked;
• Before Dad could call out; “Don’t look kids!”
• One of his young children beat him to it and called out;
• “Dad look! Those people are not wearing cycle helmets!”
• TRANSITION: Now that’s what I call being focussed;
• Despite all the distractions those kids were focussed on one thing!
• In this chapter we will see that the apostle Paul stayed focussed;
• Despite the distractions!
• Those distractions came in the form of the apostle Paul’s opponents;
• One of the themes found in this second letter to the Corinthians;
• Is the apostle Paul having to defend his apostleship.
• In fact in the next three chapters (10 to 13);
• We will see that the apostle Paul's is having to defend his apostolic office.
Since the apostle Paul left this Church in Corinth to go his third missionary journey;
• Other people had joined the Church.
• These others had never met the apostle Paul and so had no loyalty to him.
• They also came into the Church with their own agenda (false ideas);
• They were mixing the old way (Judaism) with the new way (the Gospel of Christ)
• So they were altering the message of the gospel from faith alone in Jesus Christ;
• To faith in Jesus plus works;
• Those works taught that a person had to adhere to certain Jewish laws and rituals.
• If they wanted to be truly saved.
• Now as soon as you add anything to the gospel, it is no longer the gospel!
• The emphasises changes from Christ alone,
• To Christ plus….
• i.e. To Christ plus… the book of Mormon.
• i.e. To Christ plus… the teachings of the Watchtower Organisation.
• i.e. To Christ plus… a need for our good works.
• i.e. To Christ plus… man made rituals and religious ceremonies.
• The gospel is complete in itself! It cannot be improved.
• That is why it is ‘the Gospel’ (‘Good News’).
• Because it does not rest on us it depends on Christ!
• And when we mess up and fail time after time, after time,
• Jesus Christ never did and never will!
• So we are always accepted in him and have all that we will ever need in him!
• I was thinking as I was preparing this sermon;
• Of the story of Noah and the ark.
• In the story Noah was never told to place grips or hooks on the outside of the ark;
• So he could hold on.
• That would have been ridiculous!
• Imagine poor old Noah is holding on to a hook or a handle on the outside of the ark.
• His knuckles would have turned white with cold.
• And it would be a matter of time before he fell or was swept off!
• I guarantee you, that Noah would not made it.
• If the ark was depended on God’s structure and Noah’s efforts.
But you all know how the story goes:
• God called Noah to go inside the ark (Genesis chapter 7 verse 1).
• God was already inside the ark inviting Noah to come in with Him!
• It was then that God shut and sealed the door.
• Not only did God shut the water out,
• But at the same time He closed Noah in with Himself.
• Noah was as safe as the ark itself was safe,
• Because he was in the ark.
• We are likewise in Christ.
• And we will only go down if Christ himself goes down.
• So the apostle Paul defends his message/Gospel;
• We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone!
• And in defending his message;
• He will need to defend his authority, his apostleship;