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2 Corinthians 10 - Part A

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

2 Corinthians 10 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 6, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip examines the role and qualities of a good leader.

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A good leader doesn't say, you need to submit to me. A good leader serves others and leads by example.

Again, doesn't throw their weight around, but carries the burden, the weight of other people. Today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Pastor Skip examines the role and qualities of a good leader. But first, here's a resource that dives deep into the story of who God is and what that means to you. The best biographies contain the kind of intimate details that make you feel like you're getting personal access to the person you're reading about. From timeless icons to contemporary celebrities, it's exciting to learn about influential people. But one biography stands out above the rest, the biography of God.

Here's Skip Heitzig. There's this vast, unfed hunger to know God personally. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes, and mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. There's something uniquely elevating about focusing not on me but on God. It will do something to you. Skip's perspective shifting book is our thanks when you give a gift of $50 or more to help keep Connect with Skip Heitzig on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Are you ready? We're going to be in 2 Corinthians 10 as Skip begins. So there was this one congregation and the church leadership confessed in this one congregation that it was having problem with a family in its church known as the Tate family. The Tates were giving them all sorts of grief, all sorts of problems.

There is old man Dick Tate. He wants to run everything while uncle Ro Tate tries to change everything. Their sister named Agitate stirs up plenty of trouble with help from her husband Irritate.

Whenever there's new projects Hesitate and his wife Vegetate want to wait around till next year. Then there's Aunt Imitate who wants our church to be like all the other churches. Devastate provides the voice of doom while potent Tate wants to be a big shot. And of course there's the black sheep of the family, Amputate, who has completely cut himself off from the church. I've met the Tates before. Every leader in any Christian endeavor, any pastor, every pastor has met at some point, the Tate family.

That's okay. It just proves we are all human beings, sinners saved by grace, and that's what happens when you get a bunch of imperfect people together, right? Paul had problems as well. Paul started the church in Corinth. He was the founder.

He laid the foundation, stayed there for 18 months, left and went on to Ephesus. But when he left, the church was pretty stable. People took advantage of the fact that the founding pastor was gone and started stirring up trouble for the founding pastor, even though Paul wasn't there. Paul was on his way back. He said he would be back sooner.

He wasn't. Now he is definitely coming back on his way from Macedonia, take up a collection, including the church of Corinth, on his way to Jerusalem. But with that in mind, he is addressing those dissenters, those people who have turned the church against Paul and caused him real grief. Now, again, you know this probably if you've been with us, and my repetition will only reinforce the fact that you know it and you'll never forget it, but I mentioned to you, and I probably mentioned it over and over again, there were four basic reasons Paul wrote the letter.

There were more because more is included, but four basic reasons. First of all, he wanted to encourage the church to forgive and restore a brother who had sinned, probably the one who had committed incest in chapter five of 1 Corinthians, who has now repented, seen the error of his ways, wants to get back into fellowship. He writes to encourage them to receive a repentant brother back. So Paul writes, brother back. And isn't it good news that no matter how far you have fallen from God, no matter how grievous the sin you have committed against the Lord and against the church is, you can be forgiven and brought back and restored. And Paul says he suffered enough, bring him back, forgive him.

That's reason number one. Reason number two is he wants to explain why he didn't show up when he said he was going to. To explain his delay. He had been in Ephesus. He sent Titus over to Corinth. He was going to meet him in Troas, didn't show up. Paul went on to Macedonia.

It has been a long time, but Paul is on his way back to Achaea, that's the region, and to the church at Corinth. So he wants to encourage them to forgive. He wants to explain to them why he is delaying. Third, he wants to enlist their financial support. That's what last week was all about. Two chapters where Paul says, look, we started this a year ago.

Now we're following through. Let's take up that offering for the poor saints in Judea. Reason number four, Paul wants to establish once and for all for this church in Corinth, wants to establish his own base of authority, his own apostolic calling that he is an apostle. He did start that church. He did plant that church. And that as an apostle called by God, he comes with certain authority. Though he wants to be gracious, he wants to be kind, he wants to serve, he's ready if need be to bite and to give a spiritual smack down to those people who are causing such grief and such trouble.

And so to establish his own authority, he writes this letter. And that brings us right into chapter 10. As we are getting into this chapter, and as I've mentioned what I've mentioned to you, I've told you this before, we have a tendency, do we not, to look back to the New Testament with rose-colored glasses and idealize the early church? Idealize it as if, oh, it was so much better than it is today. It is the perfect church.

It was the perfect setting. It's what God intended. Just look at the New Testament church. I've heard this for years. Go back to the New Testament.

That's what he intended. Well, yes, in the book of Acts, in the beginning, it was awesome. Awesomeness happened. And the epistles of Paul that bring correction to the church, all of those principles, that's filled with awesomeness. But we idealize the early church, the church in the first century, as if, you know, it's like the good old days. Oh, those were the good old days. The good old days is nothing more than a bad memory and a good imagination. That's the good old days.

You're not remembering everything, and you're looking at it in an idealistic way. Case in point, Corinth, the church at Corinth. 1 Corinthians tells us they had problem after problem after problem. There was division among their leaders, division among the flock about the leaders. There was a problem with immorality. There was a problem with marriage and illicit divorce and remarriage. There was a lack of love. There was an abuse of spiritual gifts.

There were doctrinal problems concerning the resurrection. And that's just one church. That's one assembly.

So someone gave this as an example or an illustration. The church, a true picture of the church, it's like we're a pack of porcupines on a cold wintery night. We sense that we should get closer together because it is cold and body heat will help us share our warmth. And so we are very clever about adjusting our quills just so that they can sort of intermesh with each other. But then we get a little too close. And when we get too close, ouch, right? So the author said we need each other, but we needle each other at the same time, like a pack of porcupines getting too close.

Or maybe here's a better analogy. It's like a family vacation. I have many memories of my family vacation growing up, many fond memories. But four boys in the back of a Rambler station wagon from California to Minnesota did come with its share of problems and missteps and mishaps and bad memories as well.

So both are true. Families dearly love each other. At the same time, it's tough. And so it is with any church family. So it was with Corinth. But Paul, as we see, is totally and completely committed. So we begin chapter 10, verse 1. Now I, Paul, and he's getting very personal again. Now I, Paul, myself, am pleading with you, begging you, entreating you, beseeching you, whatever word you want to use. I'm pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent and bold toward you. Now that last part of verse 1 is what those antagonists in Corinth were saying about Paul.

Those were their words. They were saying, in presence, he is lowly among you, but being absent, he is bold toward you. You know, when Paul's here privately, you know, he was so sweet.

He started this church and he shared with us the love of Christ and he was so humble and so winsome. But then, when he travels and he writes us letters, they're harsh. And he's bold and gettin' up and gettin' up and gettin' up. And he's bold and gets in your face with these letters.

So, you know, he talks big when he's far away, but when he's up close, you know, he just sort of rolls over. That's how the accusation was going against Paul. Now the truth was, Paul was gentle with them. Paul was kind to them.

Paul was humble in their presence. You know why? That's what good leaders do. Good leaders don't throw their weight around. Good leaders carry other people's weight, other people's burdens. How can I bear your burden, brother? That's what leaders do. Spiritual leaders bear people's burdens.

They don't throw their weight around. But these people were in Corinth throwing their weight around and making accusations against Paul. Several years ago, and unfortunately it still lingers, but not so much so, gratefully, there was a teaching spreading through the American church, actually all around. I encountered it in several countries, a movement called the shepherding movement. The shepherding movement was basically discipleship in the extreme. I will be your shepherd. I will be your discipler. I am going to share with you God's will. You therefore must submit in everything to what I'm telling you.

Your finances, who you should date or not date, what you should buy or not buy. And in many of these circles, they want to go by the name apostle. I'm God's apostle.

I'm his representative, and you need to submit to me. A good leader doesn't say, you need to submit to me. A good leader serves others and leads by example.

Again, doesn't throw their weight around, but carries the burden, the weight of other people. So, as I mentioned, shepherding is sort of fallen by the wayside in many places, though it's still around. Now, I understand that part of the role of a shepherd, that is a pastor, I go by the name pastor. People sometimes call me Pastor Skip. One little girl called me Spaster Skip when she saw me. It was a slip of the tongue, and her mom tried to correct her, and I said, no, no, actually, that fits perfectly. I'll take it.

Spaster Skip. So there you go, you got a new title for me. But the idea of a pastor does connote a shepherd, a sense of shepherding. And while I don't mind assuming the role of a shepherd, keep in mind, I'm just a sheep too. And we follow, in essence, the good shepherd over us all. I'm a shepherd in the sense that I'm an under shepherd. I can direct and give you principles and pray with you, and I'd love to give you any kind of advice that I can. But I cannot be your shepherd and dictate every move that you're going to make.

And sometimes I've had people tell me to do that. One gal came into my office and said, I told the Lord before this counseling session that I'm dating this guy, and if Skip says I can marry him, I'll marry him. I said, I won't tell you if you can marry him.

I will not oblige you on that. Well, you're my shepherd. Well, I'm an under shepherd. But why on earth, when the Lord said, He will be your shepherd, if you can have the Lord as your shepherd, why would you want to settle for anything or anyone else, especially me? Oh, but you need to tell me what I need to do.

Listen, half the time, I don't know what I should do. So Paul did have authority and is willing to use the authority if need be, but that was not his style nor approach. So now, I, Paul, myself, am pleading with you. The word Paul, by the way, the name Paul, means little, little. And he was little in his own estimation.

Sometimes people in the shepherding movement were much bigger in their estimation than they should have been. So I like that Paul uses his name here and says, Now I, Paul, myself. And I love this part. I am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ.

Now, here's why I like it. This is very rare for Paul. This is just an FYI. Normally, when Paul refers to Jesus Christ, he refers to Christ in his glorified, exalted status and position of power as God the Son. Every now and then, but very rarely, does Paul refer to Jesus in his earthly status.

And this is one of the places. I beseech you or I implore you or I beg you, I'm pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, I am meek and lowly in heart and you will find rest to your souls.

He said that about himself, and he proved that character trait over and over again. And so referring here to that earthly characteristic of Jesus as a leader who had meekness, he comes and approaches them. And he says, concerning what they are saying, who in presence and lowly among you, but being absent and bold toward you. So he's approaching them in meekness. Now he's going to say, I'm ready to rough up those dissenters, but I'm coming to you in meekness. Now let me just explain to you briefly, I don't want to take up too much time because I really do want to get through this chapter.

And I know you're saying, Skip, you have a tendency to do this, but you'll forgive me. Meekness is not weakness. Though many of us think of the attribute of meekness as weakness, we think of a meek person as sort of being Casper milk toast, he's a spineless, you know, doesn't really put his foot down. That's not meekness, that's weakness. The word meekness, praos in Greek means literally power under control.

That term, the Greek term praos was used of a horse, a wild stallion who had been broken by a trainer and was now useful and writable. Very powerful creature, but now under the control of the trainer, under the control of the master. So a meek person is a powerful person who's under God's control. And when you get a powerful individual, but who is under God's control, that's a great asset to the body of Christ, a great need in all areas of life. So the meekness of Jesus Christ, I am pleading with you in the meekness and the gentleness of Christ. So a meek person, this includes Paul, is God's gentleman.

And a meek woman is God's sweetheart, trying to think of an equivalent of gentleman. So can be powerful, can be assertive in personality, nothing wrong with that if that's your personality, but under God's control, power under control. And he says, but I beg you, verse two, that when I am present, I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. Throughout the book, Paul hints at this idea that, look, you guys, by the fact that you entertain these antagonists and these false apostles, you're forcing me to a position of being harsh.

I don't want to be, but I'm ready to be harsh against some. I intend to be harsh against those, but I don't want to be that way toward you, the greater body of Christ. But I will against some who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though, verse three, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. Yes, we live in our fleshly bodies. Yes, we are beset by trials and temptations of the old fallen nature, the flesh.

All of us are. But when it comes to spiritual battles, spiritual warfare, we don't engage in anything but the spiritual realm. In spiritual warfare, Satan always seeks to move you to do battle in the flesh, to react, to get angry, to take things in your own hands. Instead of staying in the position of a spiritual person, fighting it with spiritual weapons.

And the reason he wants to move you in the realm of the flesh is because he knows if he gets you to flesh out, that he's going to win every time. If he can't move you to the arena of the flesh, but you fight the battle using spiritual means, word of God, prayer, accountability, fellowship, et cetera, that he can't win, that he's done for, you will win if you keep the battle in the arena of the spirit, not in the flesh. Paul the apostle said, we do not war with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual places.

So because of that, we should fight it with not fleshly weapons, but spiritual weapons. In the book of Ephesians, Paul gives a list of the armor that we wear when we engage in spiritual battle. I put on the whole armor of God, I do it with the might that he gives you, a helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit, shield of faith, et cetera, having gird your waist with the right belt, et cetera. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit. One of your greatest weapons in a spiritual battle is prayer. When you pray, you're gaining the advantage. You're bringing a gun to a knife fight.

You're out there with knives, suddenly you just say, wait a minute, God, now you've just outgunned the opponent. Because you're not using your own power, your own might, you're calling on God. That's Skip Hyten with a message from his series Expound, Second Corinthians, showing you what a true good leader looks like. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's Word with more people around the world. God's Word is packed full of timeless wisdom that can lead you to an abundant life as you stay connected with God every day.

That's why we share these Bible-based messages. And we do so to connect you and many others around the world with Jesus through God's Word. When you give a gift to support this radio ministry, you not only help us reach more listeners around the globe, but you keep these messages that you love coming to you. With your support, we can expand the ministry this year into more major U.S. cities, reaching people who really need to hear the Gospel.

Would you help make that happen? Here's how. about Satan's scheme to get you into a losing position. 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 / 2024-05-06 05:06:38 / 2024-05-06 05:15:12 / 9

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