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2 Corinthians 7 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 7 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 26, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor skip shares a powerful teaching about holiness. You don’t want to miss it.

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The positive side to holiness is intimacy with God. He will be your God. You will be His people.

He will be your Father. You will enjoy that intimate communion with Him and there's nothing better. That's how we should look at holiness. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzen, Pastor Skip shares a powerful teaching about holiness. You don't want to miss it, but first here's a resource that will help you understand what God's Word says about the future that's coming. The book of Acts says we need to understand the days we live in and how we should be spending our time, energy, and finances. The first step is information and this month to complement Skip's series, The End is Near, we're offering the excellent Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy by Tim LaHaye and Mark Hitchcock. This 450 page hardcover book is a reference guide to what the Bible says about the end times covering over 150 topics from Armageddon to the wrath of the Lamb. The Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy is a comprehensive survey from the world's foremost experts on biblical prophecy. Here is what Tim LaHaye said about the importance of understanding what the Bible says concerning the future. To me, the signs of the times are evident that we're in the last days.

In fact, I call them the last days of the last days. I believe that the people that had a great deal to do with the early church were the expositors of the scripture but gave Christian evidences. Why do we believe what we believe? And one of the reasons we believe what we believe is because of prophecy. This Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy is our gift to you this month when you encourage the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more. Make your financial vote of support at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. With the Harvest Handbook of Bible Prophecy on your desk, you'll find yourself reaching for it frequently as events in these days speed forward. Receive this excellent hardcover book with your gift.

Go to connectwithskip.com or call 1-800-922-1888. All right, let's turn to 2 Corinthians 7 and listen to what Skip has for us today. This last week, and I just mentioned, I was in Vietnam doing ministry with Franklin Graham. And one morning after I spoke to a group of team members and leaders, a couple different delegations from a couple other countries, one delegation from Indonesia was there and the leaders came up to me afterwards and they said, we're going to invite you to Indonesia.

We want you to come and speak to our leaders and speak to our pastors. And so, you know, he just was insisting, you need to come, you need to come. Now, I had never met him, but I was invited to come. I don't always have that or don't see that reaction with everybody. Some people don't say, come, they say go. And we don't want to hear what you have to talk about or we don't want to hear the message. And oftentimes in either case, whether somebody like that says come or others say go, I often feel inside, these people don't know me. They don't know me for better or for worse. They're inviting me to come.

I'm grateful for that based on something they heard me talk about, share, but they don't really know me any more than those who say go really don't know my heart. Paul the Apostle had exactly the same predicament. Some were saying come. He had a vision of a man from Macedonia.

Come over to Macedonia and help us. He believed that was from the Lord and he went. But then there were others in congregations that he himself founded, like Corinth, who snuck in or came in later and because Paul was absent so often, said basically to Paul, go, don't come, we're done with you, and created animosity toward Paul.

I'll never forget something I heard years ago from Stuart Briscoe. You've often heard me quote this, that every leader, every pastor needs to have the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros. You need the mind of a scholar to study the word and prepare the message. You need the heart of a child to always be open to the move of God and expect him to do something, but you need the hide of a rhinoceros because some people want to lather you with compliments and other people want to shun you and come against you with not accolades but accusations.

Either way, you need to let most of that stuff fall off your back, drain off. You need the hide of a rhinoceros and Paul, he was pretty tough, but we also in 2 Corinthians are seeing the tenderest side of Paul. We saw a little bit last time we were together, we're going to see it again a little bit here. Now, I mentioned that chapter 7 verse 1 begins not a new thought, even though it begins the chapter, it really doesn't begin a new thought, it ties an old thought together. And I told you that chapter divisions were not in the original text. Paul didn't say 2 Corinthians chapter 7, he just wrote the letter of 2 Corinthians. It wasn't until the year 1557 that chapter verses and chapter numbers were given. And I'm glad they were because we can say turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 7, it's much easier than grabbing your scroll and trying to unroll it and find 2 Corinthians and say, okay, go down a ways until you see the word, it's just much easier to have a reference.

Having said that, though I appreciate it and oftentimes it's great the way it is divided, sometimes it is not. Sometimes I feel that William Whittington, who put those numbers and chapters in there, didn't always do us a great service, but it could be changed, could be helped, and this is one of the areas. So, if you'll notice in chapter 7 verse 1, it begins with the word, therefore, that means he's pointing back to something, therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourself from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. So, that's why last time we covered chapter 6, but I ended with chapter 7 verse 1 because that's the ending thought. Then he begins a new one, a new one. So, we would probably be better to put, though I wouldn't recommend you cross it out, but you could make verse 2 of chapter 7 verse 1. Again, it's arbitrary.

Somebody came along and did this, so I guess we could do it as well. But I want to take you back to what he's speaking of when he says, therefore. So, go back to chapter 6. We're basically in this chapter, he's saying, okay, Corinthians, I know you all live in Corinth and we all know how wicked Corinth is. We know what a seedy place it is, what an immoral place it is. You guys need to be different.

You guys need to be separate and come out from that debased, immoral culture. So, in verse 14 of chapter 6, do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship is righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with belial?

It is a familiar term referring to Satan. Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? So, the thought, the theme that the therefore is pointing back to is the theme of holiness, separation from the world. Verse 16, and what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God as God has said. This is what he said, and he's quoting Exodus chapter 29.

He's quoting Ezekiel chapter 37, and he's quoting Leviticus chapter 26, all in a few verses. I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God they shall be my people. That's the promise. That's the promise. I'll be their God. They will be my people. That's a promise. Therefore, verse 17, now he's quoting Isaiah chapter 52, come out from among them and be separate says the Lord.

Do not touch what is unclean. Now here's the promise, and I will receive you. I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. First of all, I just want you to consider how that Paul, when he's writing this letter, and he didn't have a concordance, they weren't invented yet, concordance, they weren't invented yet. He didn't have a computer in front of him with Bible programs on it to make references. He just had in his mind, in his heart, a working knowledge of scripture that he could just sort of pull out these verses.

He knew we're there in principle, and he quotes them almost verbatim from four different Old Testament texts. He had a working knowledge of scripture, and I bring that up because I want to commend that to you. This is why I love the Wednesday night group because you have a desire and you probably already have a good working knowledge of scripture. You know where things are in different books of the Bible.

You know what those themes are, and I've done the Bible from 30,000 feet, but really our Wednesday night is the Bible from three feet. We're just going verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, digging deeper, uncovering stones, getting the back story, getting the context, getting the language, and moving from verse to verse, place to place, getting a working knowledge of scripture. So I commend that to you, and it's important to just look at that and see how remarkable the Apostle Paul was able to do that. Yes, he had a background in Judaism.

Yes, he was more familiar with these texts, but again, just to be able to, I think, freely render them like he was is quite amazing. So therefore, chapter 7, verse 1, having these promises. What promises? That God will be their God, that those people will be God's people. The promise in verse 17, I will receive you. The promise in verse 18, I will be a father to you, and you will be sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Why does he quote these and why does he give us these promises? He's showing us the positive side of holiness. So often we look at holiness as negative.

Oh yeah, you guys talk about holiness. All that means is thou shalt not do this. Thou shalt not do that. Thou shalt not have fun. God just wants to stop you from doing all the things you want. It's so boring.

It's so dull. Well, if you think that, you don't understand it. There's a positive side to holiness, and the positive side to holiness is intimacy with God. He will be your God. You will be his people. He will be your father. You will enjoy that intimate communion with him, and there's nothing better. That's how we should look at holiness. It pleases God.

What a joy to be in covenant relationship with him and to please him. Imagine a dad telling his daughter, sweetheart, she's in high school, tonight I am going to come home early. I want you to dress up in your finest clothes, and it's going to be a daughter-daddy date. I'm going to take you to a fine restaurant, treat you well, and I've got a little gift, a surprise for you.

You'll see it at the restaurant. So he gets home early, and he honks the horn, and she comes from around the backyard in her clothes, and she's got mud all over herself, and her hair's all messed up because she's been out playing in the weeds, playing in the sticks, and he says, sweetheart, I told you there was a special relational daughter-daddy date. What's up with this? I want her to take you to a nice restaurant. I want her to treat you nice, but this just won't do, and so often I think that God is saying, I really want to be a father to you. I want the intimacy with you as my child, but you've got to let stuff go. You need to come out from among them.

You need to separate yourself from that stuff to enjoy the intimacy of relationship. So therefore, or because we have these promises that God made four times in the Old Testament, because we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. God cleanses you.

Jesus cleanses you by His blood, but here it says we need to cleanse ourselves. What does that mean? It means you cooperate with His cleansing. It means you keep yourself in the love of God. It means you don't deliberately go away from the place where you can enjoy the freedom and experience of God being your father and you being His son or daughter.

That's what it means. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Get rid of certain things.

Cut those things away. So what this shows me is there is an element of personal control in our spiritual growth and in our holiness. Yes, He sanctifies us just like He saved us, and yes, He keeps us, but you need to want to be kept. You need to cooperate with that keeping power of God, with that work of the Spirit in your life. It was John Stott who said, sin is inevitable, but it's never necessary.

Sure, we live in a fallen world. Sure, we are sinners by nature and by choice, but now that you are redeemed, though you do fall and though I do fall and I have a lot of growth yet to do, sin is inevitable, but it's never necessary. I can cooperate by obeying or I cannot cooperate by disobeying. So there is an element of personal cooperation and personal control in my obedience to the Lord, and if God gives you a command, He gives you the ability to keep that command.

He gives you the power to keep that command. Now I want you to notice something else because I think we should make a distinction here. Having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the Spirit. I think here's the best way to understand that there are sins that are outward and obvious, sins of the flesh. There are sins that are inward in your thinking, in your thought life, thoughts of the Spirit, nobody sees them.

Both of those have to be dealt with because one really governs the other. The Spirit is what governs the body. So get rid of, deal with, these sins of the flesh and of the Spirit.

Here's an example. You know the story, the parable in the gospel of Luke of the prodigal son? The guy said, I want my inheritance early, and he ran away and he ate with the pigs and came back home, and the father forgave him.

Beautiful story. He spent all that he had on riotous living. He was guilty of the sins of the flesh. It was obvious. Look at him.

Look how he's living in the world, immoral, indulgent. The elder brother in the story was guilty of sins of the Spirit. Jealousy, avarice, gossip, bitterness in his heart toward his brother. Both were wrong.

Both needed to be dealt with. So perfecting holiness or bringing it to completion in the fear of God. It would be worth your while some morning for your quiet time to do a little personal study on the fear of the Lord.

First of all, it's greatly lacking in our culture even among believers. And for you to understand, what does it mean the fear of God? Well, it doesn't mean I'm afraid of God. It doesn't mean I shake in my boots like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz. It means a reverential awe that produces humble obedience to a loving God.

That's my definition. Reverential awe that produces humble obedience to a loving God. I know God loves me. I know he wants to be my father.

I know he wants to have me enjoy intimacy with him as his child. Therefore, because I know that, because I want to show my love to him, I will have a humble submission based on reverential awe. Knowing who God is, knowing who I am, it's a reverential awe that produces humble obedience to a loving God. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God. So we made one verse in this chapter.

Let's move along. Verse 2, open your hearts to us. Open your hearts to us. Corinthians, make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one. We have corrupted no one.

We have cheated no one. Now this is the second time Paul talks like this. Go back to chapter 6 briefly and look at verse 11. O Corinthians, we have spoken openly to you. Our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same, I speak as to children, a father to spiritual children, you also be open. So here it is again. Open your hearts to us. Come on, Corinthians, come on. It's Paul. It's me.

It's the founder of the church. You know how I love you. Open your hearts to us.

And then he touches on something that we just sort of have to fill in the blanks on. We have wronged no one. We have corrupted no one.

We have cheated no one. It seems that in Paul's absence there was a group of people who were accusing Paul and those accusations were spreading like gossip, like wildfire through the congregation. Maybe they were saying, oh, that Paul, you know, he's so overbearing and legalistic.

Why would they say that? Well, in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, the first letter before this, 1 Corinthians chapter 5, he speaks about something going on in that congregation, a case of incest. And he said, look, I'm not there, but I'm with you in spirit.

Let me tell you what you need to do. Kick him out. If he's unrepentant, get him out of the church.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. And maybe some thought, oh, that's so unloving and so harsh because remember 1 Corinthians 5, they prided themselves in their progressive Christian attitude. We accept all genders and all pronouns and all whatever morality or immorality you decide to live with.

We are so filled with love and embracing you no matter what. Paul said, kick him out. So maybe, maybe some of those people were saying, well, Paul, remember 1 Corinthians 5 is so overbearing. Or, and or, some were saying, you know that Paul, he's really a charlatan. Because Paul had mentioned and he's coming back to collect an offering, a monetary offering, for the saints in Jerusalem.

And maybe accusations were going on about that, oh, Paul, you know, he takes that money and skims off the top and lives and travels and does what he wants. So Paul is saying, open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one. We have corrupted no one.

We have cheated no one. I do not say this to condemn you. I'm not doing this to get hard and heavy on you. For I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. That's Skip Heideck encouraging you to rejoice in persecution for the cause of Christ. His message is from the series Expound, 2 Corinthians.

Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can connect you and many others with the truth of God's word with a gift to keep these messages going out around the world through Connect with Skip Heideck. Generous friends like you help others connect with God through verse by verse study of Scripture, just as you've experienced in today's teaching. With your support, you can help grow this broadcast to reach even more people around our nation and the world so they can grow in their faith and connect with God.

Here's how you can give a gift to make that possible. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888.

Thank you for your generosity. And before you go, remember that you can find a treasure trove of resources to help you go deep into God's word at connectwithskip.com. Check it out today and connect with more life-changing truth from Scripture.

That's connectwithskip.com. Join us next week for more verse by verse teaching from 2 Corinthians. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast your burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-26 04:59:46 / 2024-04-26 05:08:32 / 9

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