Pauls Position - RR275A1b
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
Lord, open Thou my lips, my mouth shall say Thy praise for Thou desireth not sacrifice else would I give it, Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart oh God Thou wilt not despise. Let’s pray.
Our most good and gracious God and heavenly Father we praise you for Your goodness to us each day. We thank You that You have called us to be Your own in not only redeemed us but adopted us as Your children to share the inheritance with Christ. We pray that You would guard our hearts, our minds that we might always be aware of our relationship to You and our need to be dependent upon You. We pray that You would remind us when we are rebellious in our hearts, remind us when we mimic Adam and Eve’s sin of trying to be our own gods. We pray that You would remind us when we do wrong and teach us ever to do what is right. We pray that You would bless those churches everywhere that proclaim Your word. We pray that You would encourage them in faithfulness. We pray that Your spirit would move in the hearts and minds of believers throughout the world. We pray that You would stir those who do not believe, we pray that You would encourage Your saints in the things of Your kingdom and we pray that that kingdom would before our eyes in our own generation extend its reach in all parts of the world. We pray that You would bless this time we have together in Your word. We pray that You would encourage us in faithfulness and encourage us in our duty to You and to our vocations throughout the week. We pray that You would bless us by Thy spirit, in Christ our Savior’s name, Amen.
Our scripture this morning is Second Corinthians 1:12 following to the end of the chapter. First Corinthians 1:12.
“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
13 For we write none other things unto you, that what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;
14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our's in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.
17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?
18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.”
One of the things that is obvious to us whether we...
One of the things that is obvious to us whether we be young or old is that the world has changed greatly around us. Certainly with my eighty two-plus years the changes are dramatic. I was born into the horse and buggy age. It was a time when life was very simple, when the roads are not comparable to what they are now, and there were automobiles but mostly confined to the cities and larger towns, and by and large life moved on a simpler level. This does not mean it was more innocent because it was simpler. There was a kind of innocence as to things but not to life in general, for example, in those years I can recall that if a church or organization advertised that they were going to show some slides, magic lanterns they were called, they could count on a crowd, a full house so that people turned out for things like that because the amount of entertainment or educational material of interest was limited. At the same time this does not mean that they were simpler in their thinking. Very early because of my intense love of reading I was reading all kinds of material, religious or non-religious of a high seriousness. Very early in those years supposedly the simple believing years of this century the amount of cynicism and skepticism that one would encounter in reading about the Bible, about the faith was quite extensive. [00:08:31]
And of course a great deal of that was directed directly...
And of course a great deal of that was directed directly at Paul. IT was a good way to discredit the faith because if you attacked Jesus Christ directly that was a more serious matter but if you undermined the credibility of Christ by saying that Christianity was an invention of Saint Paul the n you had undermined the whole of the faith without attacking the person of Christ. And of course that was the standard line. Christianity was an invention of Saint Paul. Well, as soon as I learned to read I began to read the bible and then literature in general, works about current and ancient affairs and about the faith. And I encountered again and again references to Saint Paul that downgraded him. That did in effect if not very openly to say that Christianity was an invention of this Jewish Pharisee. Well of course anyone who reads the Bible with an open mind, if such exists, will very clearly realize that that is nonsense. Now Paul as he deals with the Corinthians is face to face with something similar. The Corinthians felt sure that they knew Jesus better than Paul did, at least a sizeable segment of the congregation. Here was Paul, insisting that the faith was not [unknown] something added to the faith, or added to the world as we had it, a basically good world, but the total reversion of all values. Turning the world upside down and so they were not able to admit this. Jesus was kind of a good plus that God had added to the world. [00:11:47]
There were things good enough and every man’s life...
There were things good enough and every man’s life and the world around us that we really did not need too much, just to believe in Jesus and a few other things and all was well and good. We were then on the path to heaven. And so for them the resurrection while true, was something connected with Jesus not so much connected with every man. Not so much as saying that the world as it is is upside down and our faith rights the world and the resurrection is the future of every man, of all things, of heaven and earth. Paul was too radical, too fanatical, for many of the people of his time. And we cannot truly be Christians unless we see that this is basic to the faith. It’s not God saying Amen to us and our hopes but we saying Amen to God and His calling and His purpose. That indeed our life here may involve some real problems and real sufferings but these are nothing compared to the resurrection world. Our life in Christ after our conversion which develops into the resurrection of the body and all eternity will see the growth of the splendor of that physical resurrection and the new life in Christ. So Paul in writing to the Corinthians stresses his authority. As we saw in dealing with the first half of this chapter, Paul unlike some of the other letters does not write ‘Paul a servant of Jesus Christ’ but here in both first and second Corinthians ‘an apostle of Jesus Christ’. An apostle. An apostle was an imperial ambassador with special powers who spoke in principle infallibly for the emperor. So he was a person of very great authority and so Paul in dealing with these rebellious Corinthians as it were pulls rank on them, he says I am an apostle. [00:15:38]
This you have to recognize...
This you have to recognize. I speak with the power and the authority of the emperor, the king of kings and lord of lords. And this to Paul says he can do with a clear conscience because he came not with fleshly wisdom but with the grace of God. And so he says I’m coming again to Corinth that you might have a second benefit or a second blessing. Now that’s a..pretty arrogant people might say. Paul is saying my first visit was a blessing to you and my second one is going to be a second one. Now Paul was not boasting. He was simply stating the fact. All you have to do is go back over First Corinthians to see how Paul was a blessing to them whether they liked it or not in telling them the truth about themselves and about their faith. And so he says, I’m going to come out of Macedonia on my way to Judea and will see you then. And so he says what was his purpose. When he was there to be one who said yea, yea and nay, nay, was positive, plain spoken in all that he had to say as God is truth. Our word toward you is not yea and nay for the son of God, Jesus Christ, who is preached among you by us even by me and Selvanus and Timothius was not yea and nay but in Him was yea. For all the promises of God in Him are yea and in Him amen unto the glory of God by us. My preaching was positive. It affirmed the truth of God without any compromise. Now he which established thus with you in Christ and hath anointed us is God. Paul again makes clear that I am not a nobody, I’m anointed by God. Now anointing was the mark of a prophet. All the prophets were anointed men. They were thus representative of God, they spoke with the authority of God and God hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the spirit in our hearts. And so he says: this is why it is evidence of my calling from God. I did not come to Corinth to spare you but to correct you. [00:20:18]
To strengthen, to bless, to guide you...
To strengthen, to bless, to guide you. So I came with the word of God, the correcting and blessing word. In the current chalcedony report on evangelicalism true and false you’ll find a number of excellent articles that speak about how the true servant of God speaks not to flatter the people but to bless them, not to spare them from feeling hurt but to make sure they are hurt in whatever way is necessary to make them stronger in the faith. So he said I came to you in Corinth with that purpose, from God with anointing, as a prophet. As an apostle, and above all as one who has come as the very chosen of God, an apostle. And his purpose was not to have dominion over your faith for the sake of dominion but to be helpers of your joy for by faith ye stand. In other words, not in terms of your position, your importance in the community or in the church but in terms of your faith. So I’m coming to you again with that purpose to be helpers of your joy, to strengthen your faith, and to make you more zealous in your service of Jesus Christ. So Paul speaks very plainly, very graciously to these rebellious Corinthians to prepare them for his coming because he has every intention of continuing the work when he was first there, calling attention to their sins and to their short comings, making sure that they understood the full implications of the faith but they did not see it as something where they could say ‘well I believe in Jesus so I am saved and know I am going to heaven’. No, rather to say that because Jesus has called me, redeemed me, made me a member of his body, I therefore now have a calling to serve him with all my heart, mind and being. Do you see the difference? One is to emphasize the plus for us, the other emphasizes the necessity of service. And this is why Paul as he begins the second letter to the Corinthians tells him that he is determined to come to them not as he did the time before in heaviness, depressed because of the job he had to do, but rather in gladness. [00:25:18]
Because he was going to correct the people of God and...
Because he was going to correct the people of God and guide them into the way of truth and righteousness. This is his purpose in the second letter to the Corinthians. Let us pray.
Our Lord and our God we give thanks unto Thee for this Thy word. We thank Thee that Paul as the apostle to the Corinthians is also our apostle. Coming to us with Thy infallible word to correct us, to guide and to bless us in the way that we should go. Make us mindful that our faith is one which calls us to victory throughout all eternity. And that calls us to service, it calls us to stand unwaveringly in Thy truth and to know that in all things we are indeed more than conquerors through Christ who redeemed us. Our God we thank Thee, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions about our lesson?
Well as we continue next week with chapter two we shall see Paul explaining his motivation, he wants them to understand that his purposes are not to throw his weight around but their redemption and he comes therefore in the humility of that purpose. Not in some arrogant supposition. If there are no questions let us conclude with prayer.
Our Lord and our God we thank Thee for this Thy word. We thank Thee our Father that Thy word has come to us, that we have been called to submit to Thy word. To become Thy people, to serve Thee with all Thy heart, mind and being and to know that we are in this world, not for our purpose but for Thine. Grant that we seek Thy purpose, that we magnify Thy name and that in all things we show forth Thy standard, Thy righteousness, Thy truth. Grant us this in Christ’s name, Amen.