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A Fitting Conclusion - 37

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2021 6:00 pm

A Fitting Conclusion - 37

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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February 28, 2021 6:00 pm

Concluding the expositional series in 2 Corinthians, Pastor Greg Barkman relates Paul's final written words to the church at Corinth.

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Well today after a long journey, we come to the last section of the last chapter of the last Corinthian epistle New Testament church at Corinth, appointed by the apostle Paul in his second missionary journey. He labored there in the city of Corinth for 18 months to get the church established. As you know, the second longest period of time that he spent in any city emphasis only exceeding the length of time there you think about that established the church in 18 months and in other cities in less time than that, it's clear that there was a special anointing a special power working in the life of the apostle Paul.

That is not true in most ministers of the gospel. Today most missionaries today.

Missionary gets a church established in a four-year term of service that you really, really good and sometimes it takes many many many more years than that Paul was a special vessel anointed by God, and he planted churches all over the Roman Empire and one of these was in the city of Corinth to the church. Paul wrote to the epistles that are preserved for us in the New Testament +1 and we think probably to others that are referred to, but are not preserved for us by the Holy Spirit of God, and furthermore, in addition to his 18 months there.

Initially he visited at least two more times and when you think about all of this, you realize that Paul expended unusual attention and labor upon the church.

The question is why. Why so much more labor in Corinth than in other location. The first answer to that question is because as you know, the church at Corinth had more problems than most other churches. They needed more attention because of those problems.

But secondly, we can say it's clear that Paul deeply loved it that he was determined not to give up on their yes they had problem was he ever tempted to say I'm God fully, that's enough.

That's all there on their own. They can either thrive or disintegrate. As I've given them enough time I've given them more time than anybody else. But if he felt that way there's no indication of it anywhere in Scripture. All we see is that he loved him deeply and he would not give them up and he was determined to continue doing whatever needed to be done in order to bring them to full maturity and to usefulness for the Lord and it is obviously God blessed Paul's intense concern for Corinth and were going to see how all of this comes together at the end we have indeed come to the end of the material that we have in Scripture regarding this church in Corinth.

The fitting conclusion. Paul's final words to the church at way to look at the passage in front of this is to recognize that it divides into two very obvious portions versus eight, nine and 10 continue what went before the first seven verses, just for sake of not taking too much at one time we broke it where we did realize that the week before. I tried to squeeze too much into one sermon and so I was determined that I would not do that again. So there is a section the first part that connects with what has gone before. And then there's an obvious break.

In verse 11 we have the concluding words. Finally, brethren, farewell and so forth and so I would see logical to break our message today into two parts, but I'm not going to do that actually got five parts so here we go going to see number one Paul's integrity number two Paul's prayer. Number three. Paul's authority number four. Paul's desire number five Paul's blessing number one Paul's integrity. Verse eight where he says for we can do nothing against the truth but for the truth. We can do nothing against the truth, but we can do much for the truth. What is Paul saying well.

He is saying.

First of all that he is determined to put truth above self interest.

This is a continuation of what is gone before.

Remember in verse seven he said no. I pray to God that you do know evil that is you don't that you don't said that you stop sinning that you do not know evil. Not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.

Remember what that's all about.

Paul is Paul was was being challenged to demonstrate his apostolic authority by showing great personal power, particularly by demonstrating divine power by chastening disobedient Christian what it was about that that some people thought was particularly significant. But they did and they were challenging.

Paul's apostolic authority because he had displayed that kind of power for quite a while. You actually did back recorded in first Corinthians chapter 5 when he apostolic Lee excommunicated that member of the Corinthian church.

She was living in fornication with his stepmother. They had dealt with it, and Paul did. That's interesting. I do want to go back to that again because a lot of things interesting about that, Paul obviously understood that he had more power as an apostle than anybody else in a similar leadership position would have today. Nobody today would say would be like my saying over there in Zimbabwe. One of the churches there. Is there somebody that is living in morally and you all have haven't taken care of yet so I excommunicate by is that you would do that know you're right, I wouldn't. I couldn't do that.

That wouldn't be appropriate. That wouldn't be right that would be beyond the authority that's been given to me. But clearly Paul had greater authority that a pastor he was an apostle and he had exercised that authority in regard to this man but now he hasn't exercised anything like that for a long time and he certainly hasn't caused anybody to drop dead on the spot like Ananias and Sophia and X chapter 5 when Peter dealt with their sins in the church and so there were some that were holding this up and saying he's weak he doesn't have this kind of power is not a real apostle is not qualified to be called an apostle is not qualified for you.

Members of the Corinthian church to consider him to be an apostle.

So back to verse seven. No, I pray to God that you do know evil.

He's been appealing to them to deal with sins in their midst individually. There are some of the church who are sitting grievously and you haven't dealt with it yet. I'm appealing you to do that.

I'm appealing to you to stop your evil. Not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, that's the most important thing that you do what is right and you do it now. Don't don't wait. Wait for me to come though we may appear disqualified if you get everything straightened out all the sins confessed repented of acknowledged removed and are no longer practicing them. Then when I come for this third visit.

I'm not going to wield this mighty authoritative apostolic power and discipline people and excommunicate them in and deal with them in great power so some of you will say say that we told you he doesn't have that kind of power. These disqualified.

Paul said if you clean up your act. I may seem to so to be disqualified as an apostle, but that's not what's most important. What's most important.

Now verse eight for we can do nothing against the truth but for the truth.

Paul is saying if they respond to his admonitions. Paul may appear disqualified to those who judge his qualifications by the exercise of disciplinary power. If they repent.

Paul loses the opportunity to display that power and to prove to these critics that he is a genuine apostle. In other words, Paul loses an opportunity to elevate himself to raise his own honor and esteem in the eyes of others, but why would he do that if truth has already been honored and put into its place by operating in the lives of the sinning members and operating properly within the church. I would rather that you respond to truth then that I appear to be qualified because I am not going to do anything against truth. I only operate in support of truth and if in truth you have dealt with this, then I'm not going to do anything. In other words, Paul elevated truth above self interest.

There would've been a great temptation for him to say I better show you I'm going to show you some of you are questioning me your criticizing me I'm going to show you my apostolic power. Regardless, I'll show it one way or another you just wait till I get there, but Paul says no. If truth is already in place that I don't do this because it's not necessary. I honor truth above my own self-interest. That's not true of everybody.

Many would prefer self exaltation to truth. Paul sets an example. Paul leads the Will It Way, Paul shows us what is most honoring to the Lord so truth about self-interest. Verse eight in the first part and truth above everything else.

In verse eight, the last part. Paul says for we can do nothing against the truth but for the truth. Nothing.

Nothing. Not only we cannot exalt ourselves in opposition to truth. We can do nothing against the truth.

This a broader statement even then, just as one occasion of his own apostolic power.

I'm not willing to advance the church at the expense of truth, I'm not willing to advance Christian ministry at the expense of truth, I'm not willing to do anything at the expense of truth. All that all of the ministers of Christ would learn this and never failed to operate his wife. All that all of the churches.

All churches that call themselves churches would would understand this and would always operate this way how pragmatic we can be at times how we can excuse doing things because that'll grow the church, even when we know good and well that causes compromise and truth that's going to cut some corners, but after all it's important that the church look good that the church be seen is growing that the church be seen as important and so church advancement above truth. Paul says no truth above everything else. Paul's highest concern was for truth above his own self-interest above the reputation of the church above the reputation of Christian ministry in other ways. That was Paul's highest concern that all of the hours. Sadly, that's not true of all. Several times throughout the epistles, Paul laments the fact that he had a hard time finding ministry partners that have the same integrity the same commitment to truth above everything else is he had. He said so many are more interested in their own self interest, and they are in the gospel than they are in the truth.

It saddened him and it was a sad commentary on those some of those who call themselves ministers of the gospel, but this is Paul's integrity that his life and ministry were regulated entirely by truth that should be true of all ministers of the gospel, EA. That should be true of all who call themselves children of the most high God truth above everything else. Paul's integrity number two. Paul's prayer verse nine he goes on to say, for we are glad when we are weak and you are strong in this. We also pray that you may be made complete.

Paul's prayer verse nine is for two things. Number one for the strength of believers and number two for the healthy functioning of believers in the closely related. The first of all, for the strength of believers and that's Paul's prayer going back to the words of verse seven when he says now. I pray to God that you do no evil, and that prayer we've already looked at continues in verse seven verse eight and into verse nine. This is still a polyp part of Paul's prayer for them and he is prayer is that you be strong even if we are weak… Still talking about the same sort of thing that we explained a moment ago, but he's using the word strong and weak. Not in ident, an identical sense, but in and it in illustrative correspondence. I guess the best way I can put it is praying for the strength of believers.

He said even if we are weak or who seem weak in the exercise of up apostolic authority. We are glad when you are strong in a different sense. We may be weak what some people consider to be a qualifying characteristic of apostolic authority.

But that's okay. If you are strong, not an apostolic authority because that's not the issue with them, but if you are strong in a different sense.

If you are strong in faith were glad to be weak. If you are strong. If you are strong in repentance were glad to be seen as weak in apostolic authority.

If you are you are strong in repentance. If you are strong in obedience. If you are strong in self-examination of sin and correction of error in your life if you are strong in your Christian walk then were glad about that. Our prayer is for you to be strong even if to be weak so he's prayers number one for the strength of believers in prayer number two for the healthy functioning believers because he goes on in verse nine to say, and this also.

We pray that so I know what has gone before. Still part of his prayer mentioned in verse seven, because it now. He mentions a second prayer verse second part of his prayer. Here, something more.

This also. We pray and what is that that you may be made complete.

What is that mean will the word complete is a Greek word that means something like fitted out equipped or restored.

A good example of how that word is used is found in Matthew 421 and I think in one of the other gospels as well where it talks about the apostles of Christ, mending their fishing nets same word they restored their fishing nets they mended their fishing nets.

They returned them to usefulness to their ability to catch fresh they were very useful when they were torn out of the guitar by by catching fish and by wear and tear and even in one case with member. They didn't catch any fish and Christ said to belongings and throw your net on the other side of the boat and you'll catch up a lot of fish and they were frankly skeptical this guys leave the fishermen where the weather where the professionals here.

We know how to fish if we could do it all night. How does he know how to do it but I suppose embarrassed to to do otherwise. They said okay Lord, you know, kinda like you a lot this older brother net on the other side of the boat the other side to side. They never fished from. That was the wrong side that was kind like doing the left hand and said right handed. It just didn't feel right. They'd always done it the other way and they throw their net out of the other side because so many fish that they couldn't even haul the ball in the net broken some of the fish got out.

So what they have to do after they process that big catch of fish manned their nets fix chair restore the nets to their full function.

That's the word here that you may be complete.

That's what Paul is praying for. We pray that you may be complete. This word is used in secular Greek also of a physician setting a bone we don't function very well with a broken bone. You better be mended is also used of outfitting the ship so that it can be put into service. It is used of equipping an army so that an army can carry out its function in the military. It has the idea of being healed, restored so that the result will be that whatever it is that has been impaired and then fixed is now functioning fully.

That's what Paul said, I'm praying for you. Yeah there are a lot of impairments here in this church.

We've already see all the way back first Corinthians chapter 1 there are divisions in the church.

The house of Chloe tattled on you. They told me that there are divisions in the church and he started dealing with that problem. Some of you say I'm appalled some of the policy of Cephas, and so forth and starting with that problem. He went on from problem to problem to problem the problem the problem all throughout first Corinthians, and then he still dealing with some of those problems in second Corinthians.

Here is a church that has a lot of broken bones. A lot of torn nets a lot of of illness that needs to be healed.

And Paul says my prayer for you is that you be restored made complete and functioning fully. That's Paul's prayer number three Paul's authority. Verse 10. Therefore, I write these things being absent less being present. I should use sharp's. According to the authority which the Lord has given to me for edification and not for destruction. This all ties in with what we seen about this challenge to Paul's authority and Paul tells us that he has authority number one to correct the erring number two to build the church. He has authority to correct those who are in error. Therefore, I write these things were. He's been pointing out their errors, their sins, their failures, I write these things being absent. I'm not there, I'm pointing these things out from afar. By letter I write these things being absent less being present. I should use sharpness. According to the authority which the Lord is given to me back to this issue of when I, do I come in meekness or do I come with a rod up to you. I'm able to come either way I'm authorized to come either way.

In one sense I can even say I'm willing to come either way.

Because I'm willing to do what needs to be done even if it's not pleasant, but my desire is not to come with the rod. My desire is for you to take care of these things so that I can come in a different spirit and so that's what he saying here. I have authority to correct the erring and I am addressing those errors.

First of all by writing this correcting letter, but I will address those errors.

Secondly, in person if that becomes necessary because you don't respond to my letter but I prefer to avoid that.

But Paul says, though I recognize that chastening is sometimes necessary. It's not really my ultimate goal is not really what I want to do and it's not really the spirit with which I want to come. I don't want to come in the spirit of chastisement. I want to come in the spirit of building up of encouragement of edification. I will exercise my authority to correct the erring if necessary, but I would rather exercise that same God given authority to build up rather than to tear down. Therefore I write these things being absent less being present. I should use sharpness according to the authority which the Lord is given to me for edification. That's a word that means building up. I'd rather use it for building up and not for destruction but Paul realizes that in the exercise of his his authority and desire to build the church that impediments must first be removed. It can build the church if it's full of rotten timber. You gotta get the rotten timbers out and replaced healthy would never have repair like that around your house. Probably all have our back porch was literally falling off the back of the house several years ago. Quite a few years ago now and we got that taken care of considerable effort and expense week, the Lord sent us a people that help us with that got it propped back up and secured so that one can fall off the back of the house to get one builder looked at it and said it's hopeless all you can do is tear it off and start over somebody else looked at and said no. We can fix that is fixed I will going all the detail some of you like to know some of your construction people you'd like to know what you do with that porch. That is a cement floor. It's a heavy heavy heavy heavy heavy porch 10 x 30 and it was side and really, really bad. How did you repair something like that asked me afterwards I'll be happy to tell you I enjoyed talking but here's the thing that wasn't the end of it. We thought that was the end of it and then a few years later, we began to notice water stains in the ceiling and we realized we needed a new roof and we got the new roof put on and that was doing pretty good. This this the leaking but when we wanted to repair the damage that the water had done to the inside that kind of blackboard what is called singling out there. The workman who tore that down said all that's always a bad guy.

Would you want to hear all you got some rotten timbers up.

I mean the main ones.

So what you do. You don't just cover them up and pretend they're not there.

That's a recipe for disaster. You quick fix and long-range problems you have to replace them.

You have to get Goodwood in their policy, and it's the same way with the church. Sure, I'd rather just come along and just build up some more but if there's rotten wood first.

That's gotta be torn out. That's the chastening part the discipline part that rotten wood is gotta be torn out first but if you'll take care of that before I get there, you can do that you can tear out the rod would replace it if you'll take care of that before I get there that I'll just use my apostolic authority which remember this remarkable ability, spiritual ability to God is given to Paul in greater measure than any other man.

So if he comes, he'll be able to bless and build the church in a way that probably nobody else will. And if I, I'll use my God-given apostolic authority not to tear out to replace rather to build up that would be my preference when I was thinking about what Paul is saying in this verse, I was reminded of what is said of Jesus Christ. In John chapter 3 reset. I did not come into this world to condemn the world, but that the world this is actually not the words of Christ. It's the words of John of Christ. Jesus Christ did not come into the world to condemn the world, that the world through him might be saved. It's a little bit of a puzzling verse. What is that mean because elsewhere were told Jesus Christ is sent to judge and he will judge the what is this mean I think it means the same thing. Paul is saying here my desire. My goal is not to condemn and judge my desired goal is to save but necessity means that in cases of an repentance judgment must be done. But that's not my desire. That's not my goal by what I'd really like to do is to do my saving work. Wish I didn't have to do the judging work. That's what Paul is saying I really want to do my building up work. I'd rather not have to do this chastising work when Paul comes if there is punishment to be done it's because it's merited. If there is no punishment is because they paid attention to this epistle that were starting right now and either way, this is interesting and think this through.

Either way, Paul's authority is acknowledged and growth will result.

The problem was the critics were questioning his authority and some were wondering, does Paul really have authority or not. Paul said you'll find out if you won't submit to my God-given authority by epistle than when I come clean house and you'll know I'll exercise however much power is needed to get the job done.

I hope it doesn't get as far as that Ananias and Sapphire situation, but whatever is done. I'm going to do what needs to be done and what it's done. No, that I have God-given apostolic power. But if you listen to my word, and repent and forsake your sins and clean house. Then you will of all demonstrated my apostolic authority in that way. You demonstrated that you recognize it by listening to my words and obeying them. Either way, my apostolic authorities intact and we can move on Paul's authority number four. Paul's desire were moving on the Paul expresses his desire in verse 11 through 13 number one for good spiritual health and this of course overlaps number two for God's special presence with them a number three for unhindered Christian fellowship. First of all, for good spiritual health. Verse 11 finally getting to the end. Somebody said what is it mean when the preacher says now finally is probably not anything but anyway this case it does pretty close to the end.

Finally, brethren, farewell become complete already seen what that means, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Paul's desire is for good spiritual health and are actually five closing exhortations here.

The first one is rejoice. My Bible translates it farewell. How could the same Greek word be translated in such a widely different manner farewell doesn't even sound like comes close to rejoice until I tell you some of you already know this, that the Greek word actually is. Rejoice and had come into common use as a greeting or a they were departed. It's kind of like most of us are more familiar with the Hebrew word shalom what is shalom me will make space what is shalom me means hello what are shalom me means goodbye see what I'm saying same word. It's all how you're using it. So the question is, is Paul using this word according to its its actual meaning or according to its common usage as a greeting of farewell goodbye but in context because it's here with all these other exhortations, it probably means rejoice, rejoice, remember similar to what Paul said in Philippians 31.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. So that's exhortation number one. Rejoice. That's the fruit of the Spirit at work. What's the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace don't lose that one. Don't forget that in the middle of midst of covert it's easy to just kinda get gloomy and gloomier and gloomier and gloomier.

That's one of the side effects of isolation for health reasons self-preservation. I fully understand that you gotta realize this cutting off of contact with other people's cutting cut off of contact with the body of Christ has a emotional and even a spiritual price to it and a lot of people are depressed right now they can't figure out why I well why my depressed because you cut yourself off from one of the reason one of the tools God is given to keep you enlightened to keep you joyful so number one. Rejoice number 2B come complete or maybe more accurately be perfected function harmoniously as we've already described the meaning of that word.

Number three.

Be of good comfort, be comforted. Number four be of one mind, unified in your love for one another and in the doctrine of Christ. Remember they were all divided. Paul Paulison Cephus. They were not demonstrating a love of unity within the body and there were problems listening to false teachers and their false doctrine, their false gospel and some of them are giving here to that and that's creating problems and divisions to be of one mind doesn't mean we all have exactly the same mind about everything. We may have some different perspectives on politics rather suspect that's true though you know that's true. We don't all have exactly the same perspective on politics.

We don't all have exactly the same perspective on what is necessary and appropriate regard to covert so forth.

Some have one opinion. Some have another that's not critical but we better be of one mind in our love for one another. That's what Christ commands.

We better be of one mind in our understanding of the gospel of Christ. That's the foundation of it all will be of one mind. Number five living peace. You will live in peace if you are unified in love one for another, and of the doctrine of Christ. So, Paul's desire is for good spiritual health. Paul's desire is for God's special presence.

He says in verse 11. If you will obey these five exhortations, the God of love and peace will be with you that we know God's always with us. So what is Paul's thing he'll be with you in a special way to be with you in a more precious way to be with you in a more personal way, you'll be with you in a more encouraging way.

He'll be with you in a more enabling way, if you obey these five injunctions in my prayers that you obey them so that God's special presence will be with you and then number five. He prays for unhindered Christian fellowship and this parallels what we've seen.

This is where we get to the holy kiss your wondering what I say about the holy kiss in a while since I said anything about the holy kiss as I only say something when we come to it in the text.

What about the holy kiss.

I point out to you that it is a command great one another with a holy kiss, not a suggestion. It's a command I can also tell you that this same command is found for other places Roman 16 first printing 16. First Thessalonians 5 in first Peter chapter 55 times were told in the New Testament that we are to greet one another with a holy kiss. I will disobedient if we haven't been doing that holy kiss was a common greeting in the Eastern world. In Paul's day, or I should say a kiss. They probably would've called a holy kiss, but they all did it. This is the way they greeted when the receipt we see that among Arabic people and so forth.

People of that part of the world today that such as customer. Some countries okay and it was to these people supposed telling them to do it.

Make sure it's holy Paul telling them to do it, but it's not a command of exact duplication. The command is not the we are to do the exact same thing that is to greet one another with a holy kiss. The command is to show warm affection.

According to community customs. Whatever the custom is in your community. Be sure you do it and do it enthusiastically and warmly known omitted do it do it more, not less. Whatever it is that we have problems with that right now because of covert.

Our most customary way of greeting one another with a holy handshake, but all of its covert type. So now are doing holy fist bumps and holy elbow bumps and for some people it's customary to greet one another with a hug and that varies from from the community to community church to church family to family does customs vary, even here in the United States but again covert kind of knocks that went out to soak some people really hurt. Some people haven't had a good hug for a long long time. Probably none of us have had a holy kiss from anybody but our spouse or other members of our family ever, and in some cases, but we are to show warm affection. According to community customs, whatever they may be in our particular time which I think helps us to understand the command about head coverings in first Corinthians chapter 11 which is only mentioned once the command for head coverings is only given to us once. Not five times in the New Testament, and there are few people who say what we've got to obey that literally.

And so there are some churches where the women will wear some kind of a head covering in obedience to first Corinthians 11, but if you see it in this light, as I do and you realize that the issue there is not the actual putting of something on the head, but it is to live out what that what that meant but that demonstrated what was it was a wife submission to her husband. That's the issue that's not popular in America today, either, but were there a lot of things that the Bible does require that are not politically correct and work going to be bumping into society.

More and more in those areas and to pressure this increasing increasingly strong, and in some cases even authoritarian and legal and were going to really be tested as as to those things that really are required by Scripture number one and the ones that are are we willing to suffer for obedience. Are we willing to go to jail for obedience. Are we willing to be martyrs for obedience to the truth. The issue is women showing submissive spirit toward their husbands.

That's the head covering issue in first Corinthians 11 that part hasn't gone away but the head coverings are have to do with the customs of of certain societies.

It's not the head covering gets the submissive attitude. It's not the holy kiss. It's the warm expressions of fellowship among believers in the body of Christ that are in view, but one added word before I move on. Whether were talking about a holy kiss or warm embrace or a warm handshake or even out of necessity fist bump or elbow bump. It requires that we do personally present with one another and when were present. No turn in the going the other way, no coldness, no refusal to greet other people warmly.

Because of this because of that away with all of that away with all of that away with all of that demonstrate love and unity in the body of Christ and greet one another warmly, enthusiastically, in whatever way is appropriate.

According to the customs of the day finally come to Paul's blessing the benediction verse 14 which closes out the book the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God in the commune of the Holy Spirit be with you. I will call this first of all, the customary benediction benediction and secondly and instructed benediction. It's customary in the sense that it's similar to the benediction. You will find at the end of every one of Paul's 13 epistles. They all have a similar benediction but the exact wording in these benedictions very, there are two or three that have identical wording, but of those 13 there's a lot of variety in the way they are worded. There are ones that are very short ones that are quite long, some that are in between. I actually brought a sermon on those one time we walked through all those benedictions and put them in the categories longest, shortest, and so forth and took a look at them, which I'm certainly not going to do today but the creek shortest when I can think of. Go something like grace be with you. Amen. But it's a similar benediction. This happens to be the longest of all is not another one that's as long.

That's why I called and called and secondly, and instructed benediction because it contains a good deal more in the way of information and the words.

The number of words are used, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. It is an instructive benediction in that it is Trinitarian and it is instructive.

It's Trinitarian sealed all three members of the Godhead are included here. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the father, the communion of the Holy Spirit, Trinitarian, what instructive in this sense from flowing from the members of the Godhead.

We have grace, love and fellowship, and it is probably not Paul's intention that we say will grace flows from the Lord Jesus Christ enough father, the Holy Spirit love fault flows from God the father and not from the sun and the Holy Spirit, and fellowship is traced to the Holy Spirit not to God the father of the son because we know that would contradict Scripture elsewhere so that He what he means so he since he says is not up. This is not a treatise it's a benediction. It's something you can say at the end of service. This is the most commonly used benediction of the Bible.

By the way, the very word benediction means blessing. So when you say benediction you said blessing and this is instructive. In this sense, it tells us, and I think this is appropriate.

Grace is first love is second fellowship is third grace from the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and certainly from God the father, the Holy Spirit as well, but grace first, we must experience the grace of God before we can receive understand or experience the love of God's grace is first love is second, and then fellowship is third fellowship could be the fellowship with the Holy Spirit with the triune God. That's a possibility, but it's probably telling us fellowship that is enabled by the Holy Spirit fellowship is enabled by God fellowship is enabled by the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, fellowship with God and other believers because of the grace of God because of the love of God because of that we have fellowship and John tells us in first John chapter 1, we have fellowship with the sun and we have fellowship with the children of God as well and this benediction is all-inclusive, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God in the communion of the Holy Spirit be with said Paul had to be a Southerner be with you all be with you all be with you all. Paul there were some in the Corinthian church really work showing themselves very friendly.

Do you they were the ones that would tend to turn the other way not want to greet you with a holy kiss or any other way you you praying God's blessing upon them you wanting them to enjoy the same blessings to yes to you all. Even the critics when they experience the blessings of this benediction. The quick big critics when they really experience the grace of God and the love of God, then they will understand the fellowship of the saints in a new way. And these wrong feelings going to be removed and will all be enjoying wonderful fellowship one with another.

Again, not one closing question. Paul wrote to the church to clean up their act, acknowledge their sins, repent of their sins correct their sins get all of these things out of their lives and start living right. The epistle concludes we don't have third Corinthian's to follow up on it.

We don't have any information of any substance of the book of acts to tell us what happened here.

So the question is did they listen to the letter or did they wait until Paul came with the rod and do we know and can we know and how could we know if we can join us. A man shall answer the question. Did the Corinthian's respond to Paul's written appeal.

Answer yes. How do we know we compare what he said in chapter 10 with what he says in Romans chapter 15 second Corinthians 1015 16 I read this, not boasting of things beyond measure that is in another man's labors, but having hope that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere to preach the gospel in the region beyond you. Paul is saying if you will act out your faith in dealing with these problems that will free me up to go elsewhere. But until you get these things solved, then I'm pretty much tied to you to get this thing solved as long as it takes, but I'd sure like for you to free me up to go to a larger sphere of ministry elsewhere will did that happen. Evidently how do we know Romans chapter 15 read verses 20 through 24 and you'll hear some of the same language and so I have made in my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named list I should build another man's foundation, but as it is written quote something will skip that verse 22. For this reason, I also have been much hindered from coming to you coming to you and Rob.

What hindered him, he doesn't say, but this could be it.

What were dealing with in second Corinthians, this could be the hindrance he couldn't jump till he got this thing straightened out. But now he says in verse 23 no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire. These many years to come to you whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you for hope to see you on my journey. Paul has been freed. He says I really don't have any other compelling business in these parts. I'm free to travel.

I'm free to go.

I'm free to come to Rome I'm free to going to Spain. I'm free to preach the gospel in other regions, and the only thing that could've done that. Is there obedience they did listen they did repent they did clean house. They did acknowledge the authority apostle Paul, through his letters. They did obey the Lord. It took a long time.

It took a long time to get the right result of this particular church, but it happened eventually the duty of pastors that are close with this is to teach the truth and to hold Christians accountable for life and doctrine and to persevere in that until the church is healthy growth takes time and much labor and much patience. Sometimes you think it's never going to happen just like you things you're waiting for things you're longing for the things you praying for to get discouraged and you think they're never going to happen that's not what Jesus told you to do.

Keep knocking, keep asking, keep praying. If you persist you persist through Jesus said, you'll you'll see my hand at work. Same thing for pastors pastors get to a rough spot Road lycée. Well, nothing more for me to do the not listen to me there is no response. I think I'll find another church but I suppose there are some times were that's appropriate, but it looks to me like what Paul is teaching pastors is hunkered down, persevere. Keep at it. I wrote one epistle you didn't respond properly, not fully. I visited you in between. Still didn't respond properly. I wrote another epistle.

This is really taken a long time over the course of several years and yet he didn't stop until it was done that then when it was done. He said that I'm free to go back to being a traveling apostolic missionary to go preach the gospel and plant churches and other places. They did listen thank the Lord, shall we pray father teaches thy ways and show us the iPads we pray

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