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KNOW, LIVE, BE: BE JESUS' CHURCH  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:33
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Purity & Devotion: 2 Corinthians 11:1-31 2 Corinthians 2:1-4 Purity of devotion 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Galatians 1:8 1 Corinthians 1:18 1 Peter 2:7-8 2 Timothy 3:12 Romans 16:17-18 Ephesians 6:11 Thessalonians 2:9 1 Timothy 3:7 James 4:4 He shows how he is different how he’s come for Christ's church, not FOR gain FROM them, in Purity and Devotion Purity and Devotion Romans 3:10-19 Psalm 14:1-3 Psalm 53:1-3 Purity and Devotion are a strong hold for the Christian cling here Purity and Devotion are a strong hold to cling to Christian - the rock the cornerstone Pure Devotion

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 Purity & Devotion 2 Corinthians 11:1-31 Paul is talking through themes that may be familiar through the Biblical story - the two main themes are marriage and original sin in the garden. Marriage is the ultimate picture of vulnerability, it’s a decision between a man and woman that in the sea of others, we’re one, we’re unified, we’re in love and our love is sincere and faithful. It’s a unique union where flesh is joined and becomes one, Adam saw his wife and she was bone of his bone flesh of his flesh, she was part of him, and this is what happens in marriage - but it’s a fragile thing. If I don't set my mind on my wife, if I don't pray for my wife, if I don’t seek for my wife’s joy and care and protection, if I’m not a single woman minded man - what will happen to my marriage? How about us as the church, this is the image Paul is drawing in their mind he wants them thinking about devotion and faithfulness to Christ! It’s delicate like marriage - not that it’s on the rocks, but that it’s attacked from the outside CONSTANTLY. If you're married you know this, that without devotion it’s over. Without active daily devotion it’s Godless and it’s empty. And so too is our devotion to Christ. Church when you aren’t in daily communion with your savior and Lord, when prayer fades, when reading your Bible fades, so too does the strength of your relationship it’s hurt, it’s damaged. And Paul will talk to the church in these terms this morning. Listen to Paul earlier in this letter: 2 Corinthians 2:1–4 1 For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? A little secret about Church life, we comfort each other in a rough tough world, and you know that if you’ve been in a tough spot in this life Paul knew it all too well: 3 And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4 For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. He’s writing to a church he’s corrected in their behavior and lack of devotion to Christ in 1st Corinthians. Later in 2 Corinthians 7:5-5-16 we see that Titus had brought great news about the Church, that Paul was speaking of, who’d been corrected in their faithfulness and purity of devotion. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (ESV) 9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. The Church was largely repentant and returned to their first love, Christ over the flashy apostles, they returned to devotion to Christ rather than church for a show, church for a fun speech, church for business advice and world benefit… There is no shortage of church that will work for your attention, rather than for your God and Jesus’ mission. Church that will tell you what you want to hear, that God wants you powerful, successful, rich, and comfortable. Church that won’t talk about Jesus death, and blood for sin, but rather will lure you with elaborate sets and lights, but never mention salvation, never draw your affection to God, but rather make a show of good works and hide God’s plan of salvation in the lamb, to protect your feelings, oh our feelings. But Paul he describes the Church as Jesus own bride, and then he is concerned that the bride of Christ, the church, those who are redeemed by Jesus, that we could be deceived like Eve was deceived, but by something… And that something that still seeks to deceive and trick the church is something, we need to be aware of still today I pray we’ll see that our world is not un-like Corinth and so Paul’s warnings should ring home to us - will we be devoted, and faithful and pure - or deceived? I pray that we’ll see these things today are things that threaten to take our attention to our pure devotion to Christ and I pray that we’ll be encouraged to have a pure devotion. 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 (ESV) Paul and the False Apostles 1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. I remember one time talking to some Mormon missionaries who came to my house, actually I invited them over and cooked steaks for them and we sat around the dinner table and talked for over an hour, after having spent the afternoon together over the grill and with open Bibles. It was an interesting time, and I remember their saying John, we’re so close in what we believe - and here is what I said to them, it’s similar to first Corinthians 11:4 Galatians 1:8 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Our gospel isn't to be a close gospel like a 1 point horseshoe pitch, a loosely related gospel that mentions Jesus as it shows that God is like Yoda, but never mentions repentance and wows you with imperial walker’s towering on a stage threatening to detract from Christ rather than draw you closer, a slightly modified gospel that calls Christ’s death on the cross child abuse, a hidden juuuuuuust under the covers gospel - one we trick you into if we can take some of the edge off of some of God’s words by maybe changing them to fit what our culture believe already. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says the word of the cross is folly 1 Peter 2:7-8 says its’ the rejected stone that’s offensive but is the most important thing 2 Timothy 3:12 says that ALL who desire a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. And so these false apostles are preaching another Jesus - in what way? An easy Jesus. A Jesus who doesn't require much. A Jesus who works for you, and who isn’t “lord” but is cool with the things you’re cool with. A non-challenging Jesus, maybe. And if you think that’s dead today - wake up church, there is a deceiver out and lurking. And if you don’t believe that, then throw your Bible away and quit this Christian thing because you don’t believe it. What will you do with it? Romans 16:17–18 (ESV) 17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. Are you seeking a smooth talking pastor? One who tells good stories and people just like him - maybe that’s not bad, but maybe temper that to Romans 16:17-18 and think what these false apostles in Paul’s day may have been like, who would we seek, Paul or the false apostles, where is our sincerity and purity and devotion - church this is a life and death matter. What about Ephesians 6:11 (we need the whole armor to avoid the schemes of the devil), Or 2 Thessalonians 2:9 which says that Satan will come with false signs and wonders, how about 1 Timothy 3:7 that speaks to snares of the devil. Church we don't live in an agnostic existence, where we choose to be interested in God and then Church makes us happy - no that’s a satanic place to be, that’s friendship with the world which the Bible you either treasure and cling to or ignore and mock says: James 4:4 (ESV) 4 friendship with the world is enmity with God? whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Do we believe that? Should that be edited out, or is it real? Is this an issue of sincerity and purity? Here Paul will use the literary device of smartaleckism 2 Corinthians 11:5-11 (ESV) 5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. 7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! He shows how he is different how he’s come for Christ's church, not FOR gain FROM them, in Purity and Devotion. It doesn’t escape me church that we may not follow all the controversies of our day but there are many we’re not that different from Paul, who is dealing with it in Corinth. Did you know Michael Gungor sparked some controversy when he said that God’s blood sacrifice was offensive and we shouldn’t talk about it? It makes it hard for people to come to him. Guys, I’m going to tell you what - its not hard to come to God, it’s impossible - and Gungor cannot make it easier. If you disagree, you have a big problem with the Bible, so you need to change your mind or throw away your Bible, or seek Purity and Devotion Romans 3:10-19 none seeks after God Psalm 14:1-3 all have turned aside none does good, not even one Psalm 53:1-3 they’ve all fallen away, none does good We’ve already seen this morning that the cross is folly and foolishness to those who are perishing. Recently the author of the paraphrase rendition of the actual Bible (The Message) Eugene Peterson caused a fire storm by affirming same sex marriage (kind of), then retracting his affirmation (kind of) and so now he can still sell books at LifeWay. Peterson who said: “We cannot be too careful about the words we use; we start out using them and they end up using us.” Indeed. What is our devotion, to God to truth revealed in scripture, or to the world around us and feelings and affinities? Paul would continue to highlight the things that the false apostles would attempt to use to show him as weak and wrong, but Church when you stand on the rock of your salvation for your strength, you cannot be knocked down it’s that Purity and Devotion are a strong hold for the Christian cling here. Church, Jesus Christ is that rock, and His word, the logos, the living word, of the alpha and omega is in your hand - we don’t edit it, we treasure it and proclaim it with power. It will give you the strength to stand in this world that seeks to destroy you, make no qualms about it. You're marriage WILL be attacked - even the idea of marriage. Your devotion to Christ will be tried, even the truth of Christ but Church - stay strong, stand steeped in the word and prayer Purity and Devotion are a strong hold for the Christian cling here. - Stay close to Jesus as Lord, your rock nurture your relationship like husband and wife. Paul closes out like this: 2 Corinthians 11:30-31 (ESV) 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. Church, maybe we’re tested sometimes, and want to hide from our belief and our faith, have you experienced that? I have - there have been times when I’ve thought you know, just not speaking up here about how I believe differently would be easier - but I’ve learned to and am learning to, trust God MORE in those moments, to be more bold and I find that my standing out sometimes, is how God will draw someone to himself, far be it from me to hide from that. What if we stared to see our lives in Christ not as something we have to force out, like a public speech that we rip off like a Band-Aid and get it over with, but rather we see lives lived by faith, by the grace of God, as our loving relationship of Purity and Devotion a strong hold to cling to. Church imagine, if people saw you peacefully just saying in all confidence what you believe when it’s sometimes awkward, not ashamed, not defensive, not offering excuses but just heart on the sleeve. Then trusting God with the outcome? This is salt and light, people will see truth, and be drawn in, and you’ll get to show them Christ, Jesus’ salvation to those who didn’t even seek Him, but He came for them, lived for them, and now seeks them - and will change them then they too will find Purity and Devotion are a strong hold to cling to Christian - the rock the cornerstone. This is incredible, and we get to participate in that, like faithful husbands, we daily nurture our relationships and in that grow closer to God and function better as the church, God’s mission organization in the world. Maybe this morning for the first time, you’ve understood that you don’t need to be better - but that Jesus came to make you completely acceptable to God and join you to God in your salvation. It’s time for you to reach out and pray, God save me, and tell us so that you can receive the sign of salvation, death to life, and life in Christ in Baptism. Then you’ll be free to live, as Paul calls the Corinthians - a faithful bride of Christ, standing firm in truth and resisting the constant call of Satan to turn your back on truth, lets be called to a pure devotion. KNOW, LIVE, BE – BE JESUS’ CHURCH – 2 CORINTHIANS: Truth & Vallue Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 6 of 6 Sunday 7/23/2017
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