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2 Corinthians 7 - Part C

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 7 - Part C

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 30, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip examines why mourning in repentance before God is a thing of beauty.

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Jesus said, Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn.

What was he speaking of? Repentance. I'm poor in spirit. I acknowledge my weakness. I acknowledge my deficit before God. My poverty before God.

I'm bankrupt before Him. What does that cause me to do? Mourn over it. Blessed are those who mourn.

He didn't say blessed are those who moan. But blessed are those who mourn. The mourning of repentance is beautiful. The moaning of regret is not.

It produces death. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip examines why mourning in repentance is a thing of beauty. But first, here's a resource that gives you a comprehensive look at everything the Bible says about the last days. 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. Great, let's get started. We're in 2 Corinthians 7. Paul admits, I'm human too.

I struggle too. Outside were conflicts, inside there were fears. So take another look at your heroes in the Bible. Another example, Elijah.

We think, oh, Elijah, what a prophet. He was so bold he could stand before 450 false prophets on Mount Carmel and challenge them and stand up to them. Well, he could. He could call fire down from heaven by the grace of God. But in the very next chapter, the threat of one woman caused him to panic. The queen, Queen Jezebel, said, I'm going to lynch that dumb prophet.

I'm going to make him a nonprofit organization before it's all done. And so he runs away like a little kid down to the Sinai Desert, hides under a rock and says, it's too much, God. Kill me. Take my life.

I want to die. Elijah, is that you? That can't be the same Elijah we just read about in chapter 18.

No, but it is. Same guy. But he's not always chapter 18 Elijah. Sometimes he's chapter 19 Elijah. Sometimes Paul the Apostle is not 1 Corinthians Paul the Apostle. Sometimes he's 2 Corinthians Paul the Apostle. And so we have these different mood swings and different weaknesses and anxieties.

We all have them. So yes, you can be used by God. These heroes of the faith, like Elijah, James wrote about Elijah, said he was a man of alike passions, just like you are. Verse 7, I want to just draw your attention to again. Titus came and he was encouraged. He was all excited, not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, I'll explain that to you in a minute, your zeal for me so that I rejoiced even more. In other words, Titus came to Corinth and the result was better than he anticipated. Titus probably came to Corinth thinking, oh boy, I don't know how this is going to go. I've heard a lot about these Corinthians and how divisive they are and all the different problems they had. Paul had to write a couple letters already to them. He went there and they were a changed group. They received him. They were responsive to Paul's letter and they mourned over their previous inconsistencies and issues that they were dealing with.

So Titus was relieved by that. Now I just want to make another note before we move on. It says, verse 6, look at it, nevertheless God who, let this sink into your spirit, who comforts the downcast. If tonight you're experiencing depression, discouragement, difficulty, some of you don't know if you can go on, okay, I'll come to church tonight, but this is so bad.

God is wanting to comfort you. How will He do it? Well, He could do it through this Bible study. He could do it in a conversation you have right after church.

He could do it through some experience during the week. In fact, He could do it like He did it with Paul by sending just the right person at the right time with the right message. God comforts His people by His people. We were comforted by the coming of Titus. Remember 2 Corinthians chapter 1, God comforts us in all of our tribulation, that we with the same comfort, that we might be a comfort to others with the same comfort we have received from God. God uses us to comfort people who are discouraged. So God comforts people. He uses people to comfort people.

And notice the fourfold use of that word comfort. God who comforts the downcast comforted us by the coming of Titus, not only by His coming, but also by the consolation, same word as comfort, perichalasis in Greek, with which He was comforted in you. When Titus came and Paul set eyes on him, and I'm sure they embraced, Paul experienced what Solomon wrote about in Proverbs 27 verse 17. As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. He was sharpened by it. He was encouraged.

He was comforted by it. By the way, do you know this is one of the spiritual gifts? Encouragement. It goes by the name in the New King James, the gift of exhortation.

And we typically think that means, you know, getting up there and telling people, you need to do this and you need to do that sometimes. But the word, the idea, means to console or to comfort, to encourage. The gift of exhortation does not mean I have the gift of condemnation. That's not exhortation. It's comfort. It's encouragement. It's telling people, you can do this. You can go on. God is for you.

He's not against you. And it could be that word that sharpens the countenance of your friend. We call these people balcony people. Think of a concert and out is the audience, and there's a great balcony on all sides, and the people in the balcony are clapping for those down below on the platform. Be a balcony person. Be an encourager.

Give us your applause. See saints that are laboring and encourage them in the Lord. Tell them that they can go on.

Henry Drummond, that's his name. A guy named Henry Drummond said, how many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by those unlovely characters who profess to be inside? Your attitude goes a long way, and an encouragement in a time of need can go a long way. So it happened for Paul with Titus. It happened for Titus with the Corinthians. They were greatly consoled, greatly encouraged, and that is a ministry and a gift. Verse 8, for even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it.

Again, this is interesting to think. Here's Paul writing a letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and as soon as he writes it, he thinks, oh, oh man, I just sent that letter. I can't take it back.

Was I too harsh? Now, when he's saying this, he's not denying inspiration. He's just admitting humanity. Paul was a man of God, but he was just a man. He was a man. He experienced anxieties. He experienced regrets. So he sent that hard letter, and let's just suppose it's 1 Corinthians for the sake of argument that he's referring to, some pretty hard elements in 1 Corinthians. And so he said, you know, I don't regret sending it because I'm giving you the Word of God, but I did regret it.

I did have second thoughts. I did have doubts, though I did regret it, for I perceived that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now, I'm going to take you back, or at least read, in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, something that Paul writes. 1 Corinthians chapter 5, in verse 9, he said, I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Now, I just read to you from 1 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians, the first letter in our Bible that we have that Paul writes to the Corinthians, in that letter, Paul says, I wrote past tense to you in my letter. So in 1 Corinthians, he's referring to an earlier letter, which means 1 Corinthians is really 2 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians is really 3 Corinthians. In fact, there may even be a severe letter somewhere in between.

I'm not going to try to unravel that again. So when he says that I made you sorry with my letter, what was he referring to? Either 1 Corinthians, the book of 1 Corinthians, either that or the previous letter, that he refers to in 1 Corinthians, or the severe letter. I'm going to work off the assumption that it's 1 Corinthians.

It could be any of those three, but I'm going to work off the assumption it seems to fit, and for our purposes, it does fit. So I made you sorry. I don't regret it.

I did. I made you sorry just for a while. Verse 9, Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.

For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. There's a big difference between regret and regret, in nothing. There's a big difference between regret and repentance. I bet you could take a poll of just about every person tonight in prison, and if you ask them, are you sorry for what happened?

Oh, I'm so sorry for what happened. But that's not necessarily the same. Regret is not the same as repentance. Judas experienced regret. Judas denied Jesus.

Peter also denied Jesus, denied that he knew him. Judas went on to express regret. Peter went on to express repentance. Judas expressed regret. He was sorry for what happened.

He went and hung himself, committed suicide, took his life. Peter was deeply sorrowful, made a pivot, turned, and continued service in the Lord. That's repentance. So you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow, verse 10, produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

So Paul said, look, I regretted it. I don't regret it anymore. Yes, I know it hurt you. Yes, I know you were sorrowful. But it was a good sorrow. It worked its work. It brought healing. It brought repentance.

So it's a good thing. So I didn't do it. And I didn't rejoice that it hurt you. You know, think of going to a doctor. You go to a surgeon. He says, wow, I'm going to have to perform an operation. I'm going to have to cut you open. You won't feel it when I do it. You will feel it when the anesthetic wears off. And you're going to feel it for quite some time while you're healing. Now, if that person that he's operating on is the doctor's friend, he's sorrowful that he has to make the patient hurt. But he makes the patient hurt in order that the patient might heal. So it's part of the healing process.

So Paul, like a good surgeon, like a good doctor, said it's a good kind of pain because it brought resolution. Sorrow of this world produces death. Again, the difference between regret and repentance. Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn.

What was he speaking of? Repentance. I'm poor in spirit. I acknowledge my weakness. I acknowledge my deficit before God, my poverty before God.

I'm bankrupt before him. What does that cause me to do? Mourn over it. Blessed are those who mourn. He didn't say blessed are those who moan. But blessed are those who mourn. The mourning of repentance is beautiful.

The moaning of regret is not. It produces death. For observe this very thing, verse 11, that you sorrowed in a godly manner. What diligence it produced in you. Produced in you. What clearing of yourselves. What indignation. What fear. What vehement desire. What zeal. What vindication. In all these things you proved yourself to be clear in this matter. What's he referring to?

He's probably referring to 1 Corinthians chapter 5 saying, look, there's incest in the church. Kick the guy out. He's not repentant. Remove him. A little leaven leavens a whole lump.

Purge out the old leaven that you might become a new lump. All that. Since he wrote that, since that time and this time when Titus came with the letter and showed it to him and he read it aloud to them, it convicted their hearts. It brought this kind of a response. First of all, it brought diligence. Like, yeah, man, we've been negligent in the past. We've been so open to immorality.

I see the point. So from negligence to diligence and then what clearing of yourselves. Well, if Paul is right, then we're in the wrong. We've got to make this right to get rid of the wrong. We have to clear ourselves.

We have to make sure that we don't continue in this. What indignation. That is hatred of the very sin they were tolerating. What zeal.

What vindication. In all these things, you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered the wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you. Look, I wasn't trying to zero in and isolate one person over another person and just pick on one person. The reason I wrote it is for the health of the whole body.

You need to cut out the cancer so the whole body can be restored. That's the idea behind those verses. Therefore, verse 13, we have been comforted in your comfort. Notice how often he uses that word.

29 times in this book alone. Comfort. Comforted. Consolation. Therefore, we have been comforted in your comfort and we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. It really is nice.

It's beautiful. Titus came back to Paul. Paul said, Titus, dude, how did it go?

Was it messy? No. They changed. They agreed. They repented. They produced a deep desire to make right that which was wrong and to just completely, they received me.

I enjoyed their fellowship. So Titus has been refreshed by you all because they responded so well. For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I'm not ashamed. I bragged on you guys.

I'm not ashamed that I did. Again, let me just point something out. Corinth was messed up. 1 Corinthians is a book written to a church addressing 10, 11, 12 different problems that are enumerated in that book. And yet, he bragged about the messed up church to Titus.

Bragged on him. Hey, hey, God did a work and God can continue to do a work. It can be a restored church.

They could turn around. You know, Paul saw the potential in a person just like Jesus. I love how Jesus named people. Peter, his name was Simon. Simon means hearing. He wasn't good at hearing. He was better at talking. He calls him Peter, rock. Really, he was a sandy kind of an individual, but Jesus knew what he could do once he got a hold of this guy's life. Levi was a tax collector. Jesus referred to him as Matthew, a gift.

Jesus always saw what he could do with the person once he got a hold of a person. It's a great little story about a couple boys who grew up together. They were little kids in elementary school. They were talking one day and, you know, boys talk about all sorts of stuff and one said, wouldn't you hate to wear glasses?

This is how boys talk. Wouldn't you hate to wear glasses? Now, I've worn corrective lenses since I was 12, but I know how boys think.

Wouldn't you hate to wear glasses? And the other little boy said, well, not if they were like my grandma's glasses. And then he went on to explain, you know, my grandma, she can see the best in people. She can see when people are hurting and when people are tired and when people are discouraged. And she knows just what to do and just what to say whenever she sees them like that. And one day I asked my grandma, how is it that you can see people like that? And she said, sweetheart, it's just how I've learned to see things as I've gotten older. Well, this little boy is explaining that to his friend.

The little friend can't understand the conversation much and he just says, yeah, you're right, it just it must be her glasses. God, give us the kind of glasses that lets us see like Paul, like Jesus. Here's a messed up church. And yet, Paul boasted in them, bragged on them. And it was found, verse 14, the boasting to Titus was found true. And his affections are greater for you all.

Paul was from the south, you all. His affections are greater for you as you remember the obedience of y'all. How with fear and trembling you received him.

Therefore, I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything. May we all be quick to repent before the Lord and experience the restoration of the restoration only He can give. That's Skip Heitzig with a message from the series Expound, 2 Corinthians. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, we want to share about an exciting opportunity you have to take your knowledge of God's Word even deeper. Imagine turning your desire to make a difference for the kingdom of God into a purposeful and fulfilling career in ministry. Calvary Church of Albuquerque is pleased to announce a partnership with Southeastern University, a fully accredited Christian university. The Southeastern University partnership with Calvary launches with the fall 2024 semester, offering online degrees from Southeastern University in general education, as well as several ministerial leadership degrees. Visit calvarynm.church slash schools to learn more about available degree programs, tuition, and financial aid details, and to start your application. All classes begin soon, so check out the SEU at Calvary webpage to learn more about this incredible new partnership with Southeastern University and begin your Christ-centered flexible degree program today. The website again is calvarynm.church slash schools.

That's calvarynm.church slash schools. When you intentionally study scripture, your faith is stronger and your walk more confident. That's why we share these messages, to help you grow stronger as you connect with the timeless truth of scripture. And when you give to support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and to so many others around the world, so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Come back tomorrow for more verse-by-verse teaching from 2 Corinthians. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-30 06:09:16 / 2024-04-30 06:18:18 / 9

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