Summary: We must learn to live following the way of Christ Jesus in all that we continue to do on a daily basis.
2 Corinthians 5: 6 – 18 Walking The Walk
Intro: There was a man who we will call George who had just completed a 2-story apartment complex. Problem was how to get the unused bricks to the ground w/o breaking them. There was a 55 gal. barrel on the ground so he tied a rope around the barrel, hooked a pulley to the 2nd story eave and pulled the barrel to the 2nd floor. He tied the other end of the rope to a nearby tree on the ground. He loaded the bricks into the barrel and hurried to the ground to untie the rope. When he did he flew up into the air holding on to the rope hitting the barrel on its way down. When it hit the ground, the bottom broke out of the barrel spilling all the bricks. Now the barrel weighed less than George so he fell to the ground. He let out a yell and let go of the rope. What was George’s problem? He didn’t think about the consequences of his actions. (modified from an illustration in Making the Best Out of Life, a sermon by Steve Shepherd on SermonCentral.com)
I. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church because he heard that people were acting without thinking. There had been such misunderstanding and negativity that the church was divisive.
A. A group of Jewish Christians had come to Corinth and were attempting to undermine Paul’s influence by accusation and insinuation.
B. One group in the church felt the other group suffered from moral laxity the other felt the 1st group was too strict. Neither group was thinking about the consequences of their actions in the community.
C. Paul was never at a loss for words. He wrote a rather caustic letter that went straight to the point. He realized the strife and bickering was primarily caused by the dual nature of humanity: heavenly vs. worldy.
II. you are invited to be on a football team. you don’t know anything about football; but you do know about basketball. You buy the best basketball hoop on the market and aN NBA regulation basketball, practice your dribbling, perfect your 3 point shot and spend hours at the free throw line. What’s going to happen on the first day of football practice?
A. What good does it do to continue doing what you know if that isn’t the game that’s being played? Sometimes we need to refocus and concentrate on something different.
B. Have you ever watched the program “Extreme Home Makeover.” The first thing they do with the old house is demolish it. They really aren’t making anything over. They are starting over.
C. In verse 16 Paul informs the Corinthian Christians that they need an Extreme Home Makeover and it need to start “FROM NOW ON” How many times have your heard me say, “That was then; this is now.”? FROM NOW ON . . .
III. From now on . . . what? Where do we go from here? What do we do? Verse 17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!”
A. I knew a family who had a well-trained dog named Scooter. He was not allowed in the living room of the house and would sit in the doorway with his front paws barely on the carpet. One day, when I pulled into the driveway, I noticed Scooter big as life looking out the picture window in the living room. No one was home and there he sat thinking no one would know.
B. Paul saw the Corinthian Church extreme makeover taking place through Christ Jesus. We don’t usually have a problem with that unless no one is looking.
C. Our extreme makeover needs to take place, every day and in every way whether people are looking or not.
Conclu: You can’t just talk the talk --- you must be willing to walk the walk and not just sometime; but, all the time. We can talk all we want about what we’ve done in the past; but what is more important is what are we doing now? Christ Jesus challenges us to speak less about what we have done and do more as he would do.