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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: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

• 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)

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• 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.

Ill:

• 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!

Ill:

• 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;

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