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2 Corinthians 10 - Part C

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 10 - Part C

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 8, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shares a message reminding you that there’s only one evaluation of your life that matters.

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There's only one evaluation, truly one, that you should live under and should motivate your life. That is, what does God think of you? What does God think of you? Well, they think I'm cool.

Yeah, but you know the truth. You know you, and God knows you. And you want to make sure you're commendable to God and that the self-comparison and the other's comparison isn't something you live by. God measures differently than we measure.

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others or worrying what others think of you? Well, today on Connect with Skip Heidegger, Pastor Skip shares a message reminding you that there's only one evaluation of your life that matters. We're glad you've tuned in today. Connect with Skip is all about helping listeners like you strengthen your walk with Christ. And we invite you to partner in this ministry through a gift to help connect others like you to the gospel message. Your generosity helps keep these teachings you love on the air to reach many others as we expand into more major U.S. cities and all across the world. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you.

Okay, let's get started. We're going to be in 2 Corinthians 10 as we hear what Skip has for us today. You know, here's Paul, this Jewish guy trained in Jerusalem from Tarsus, coming to Corinth, coming to Athens.

They're not impressed with that. Now, that's not to say that he wasn't a gifted speaker. He was. He was very persuasive. In Acts 9, it says that he confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus and proved to them that Jesus was the Christ. That's powerful speech.

If you can stand in a synagogue filled with Jewish antagonists and be able to hold your ground and confound their arguments and prove that Jesus is their Messiah, you've got to be pretty skilled. Also, when he is in Lystra, Acts chapter 14, they say, the gods have come down to us. So he was a powerful persuasive speaker, but he lacked the Greek refined eloquence that we are so fond of. That's probably what the reference is.

His speech is contemptible. When Paul did go to Athens, by the way, he went to Mars Hill, the Areopagus. Down below the Mars Hill, below the Areopagus was the Agora, the marketplace.

And I've stood on Mars Hill, I've stood on the Areopagus, and I've looked down toward the Agora, and I've imagined Paul sharing his faith there and there. And it says when he went down into the Agora, the marketplace, that he was having conversations with different people in the marketplace. And some of the Stoic philosophers, the Athenians, the Stoics and another group of philosophers said, what is this babbler trying to say? And that term babbler is an interesting term, spermalagas in Greek means in Greek means a seed picker. A seed picker, one who picks up a little philosophy here, picks up a little nugget of knowledge there, picks up this, that, and then he kind of mixes it all up and spits it out. He's a babbler, a spermalagas, seed picker.

So he didn't match up to the Greek level. So his letters, they say, are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, his speech is contemptible. Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be indeed when we are present. See, he's taking their challenge of, oh, really, I'm weak in person? Guess who's coming to dinner? Guess who's coming to your town? I am. Don't want to have to exercise authority?

Well, if I need to. So it's really a warning to the false teachers, but also to the people who are entertaining those antagonists against Paul. Verse 12, for we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves, but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. Now, here's another attribute of human nature.

We compare ourselves to ourselves. Well, how many likes did he get on Instagram? We got more likes than I did.

What do I do? I got to get more likes than he or she. And so now you can buy likes. How desperate is that?

You can pay a fee to get fake likes on your Instagram account. What's that all about? Well, you're comparing yourself with other people and trying to look good in that arena of social media. Paul says, that's not wise.

There's only one evaluation, truly one that you should live under and should motivate your life. That is, what does God think of you? What does God think of you? Well, they think I'm cool.

Yeah, but you know the truth. You know you and God knows you. And you want to make sure you're commendable to God and that the self comparison and the others comparison isn't something you live by. God measures differently than we measure. We find somebody who is in our arena, but then we start thinking, well, in this area I'm better than they are.

We do this all the time. It's not wise because God measures things and people differently. When in the book of Revelation, Jesus wrote seven letters to seven churches, essentially those little postcards were report cards, right? He said, I know your works.

He starts evaluating them. So he gets to the church of Smyrna and he says, I know your poverty, but you are rich. Yes, you know that you are poor. Everybody knows that you are poor. That's your reputation for being a poor church and a poor community. But my evaluation of you is you are rich.

I know your poverty, but you are rich. God's measurement is so different. Then he gets to the church of Sardis and he says to that church, he says, you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

See the difference. They had a reputation to uphold, filled with life and awesomeness. God says, Jesus said, you're dead.

That's my evaluation of you. So which is more important, the reputation they have of being alive or Jesus announcing you're dead? What Jesus said and moving on from what Jesus said. To another church, church of Thyatira, he says, you say I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing when actually you're wretched, poor, miserable, blind, and naked.

Wow. Totally different ways of measuring. So once again, for we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves, but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us, a sphere which especially includes you.

For we are not overextending ourselves as though our authority did not extend to you. For it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ, not boasting of things beyond measure, that is in other men's labors, but having hope that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere. Paul knew what he was called to. Paul knew what God had assigned him to do. He was called an apostle to the Gentiles, and he fulfilled that role. Now, if it was up to Skip to assign Paul his role, I would not have assigned him role apostle to the Gentiles. Given what I know about Paul's background, given what I know about Paul's background, he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. He was a Pharisee.

He was steeped in the oral tradition, the oral law, studied under a famous rabbi, Gamaliel in Jerusalem. I would have said there's nobody better suited than Paul to be the apostle to the Jewish people, not the Gentiles. Let him address the Jewish people.

And it was always Paul's heart. I want to go back to Jerusalem, man. Just give me a crack at him, Lord.

Just give me a chance. I want to speak to my brothers. I know they'll listen.

Well, they didn't listen. They threw dirt in the air and wanted to kill him and got him arrested, and he was taken under Roman occupation to Caesarea. But when God called Paul in Acts chapter 9, you know the story. On the road to Damascus, he gets knocked off his beast, and he's blinded, and he gets taken to Damascus. Ananias, a disciple of Jesus Christ, is sent to him and said, I want you to go find this guy, Saul of Tarsus. He's a chosen vessel of mine, listen, to bear my name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. But notice the order. Gentiles, number one.

Number two, kings. Number three, children of Israel. And Paul followed that outline. He principally became the apostle to the Gentile world. He went where churches were not, where the gospel was not. In some cases, where Judaism wasn't all that powerful.

In many cases, it was. So we'd go into a synagogue, then there'd be a riot. Paul knew it was coming.

It would be a riot. He'd get beat up, get thrown in jail, get thrown out of town. He just sort of, you know, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. Just kept doing it everywhere he went. But he established Gentile congregations. He was an apostle to the Gentiles. So he knew the parameters of this calling. He could talk to Jewish people. He did stand before kings, but principally, he was an apostle to the Gentiles.

So, notice what he says about that. Which God has appointed us, a sphere which especially includes you. You're a Gentile group in a Gentile city, Corinth. For we are not overextending ourselves as though our authority did not extend to you. For it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ.

We're church planters sent to you, Gentiles. Not boasting of things beyond measure. That is, in other men's labors. I love this about Paul. Paul was looking for a place where the gospel had not gone before.

Virgin territory, so to speak. He didn't want to build on another man's foundation. He would look for, he wanted to go to Spain and wanted to go to Rome. He wanted to take the gospel as far as Rome and then eventually Spain.

He writes in Romans chapter 15. That was his goal. Whether he got to Spain or not, we're not sure. He did get to Rome, though he was a prisoner.

He made it. But he wanted to extend the boundaries of the gospel as a missionary church planter. He wasn't looking for the, you know, I feel called to Maui. I'm not saying you can't be called to Maui, but I am suspect if you say you are, just immediately I am. But when you say, now God called me to Espanola, now I'm listening. Or to, I could list a number of places. I don't want to do that by risking to offend anyone. But when somebody says I'm going to Corinth, it's like, really?

Wow, man, you must be called. Because Corinth is hard. It's immoral. They're very Greek and very erudite in their thinking and philosophy, but okay. But Paul, you know, wanted to go where no man had gone before and not build upon other men's labors.

Now, not everybody's like that. There are cultists. There are false apostles. You know, here Paul leaves, right? He leaves Corinth, and this group immediately comes in.

Why? Because there's a leadership vacuum. A strong leader like Paul is gone, so they want to come in and build upon what Paul started. And sometimes that's what cultists do. That's what sometimes people plant churches that way. They want to get into a church or use church people to announce their new church that is starting up a mile down the road. Now, why don't you go to the lost and win the lost and do evangelism?

Paul never wanted to build on another man's foundation. But these people in Corinth, these antagonists against Paul, I consider them like mistletoe. You know, mistletoe, you know, we make a big deal of it at Christmas and people kissing under the mistletoe. Oh, isn't it a nice decoration?

No, it's not. It's a parasite. Mistletoe is a plant that lives off another life. It has no life of its own. It has no life in and of itself.

It must affix itself to an organism and derive the life from that organism in order for it to stay alive. And spiritual parasites were in Corinth, but the tree was coming back to town. Verse 16, to preach the gospel, here's his mission statement, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, remember again, Rome, Spain, and not to boast in another man's sphere of accomplishment, but he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. As Paul said to the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians, I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. God gave the increase. I planted the church. Apollos came along and watered it, but God gave the increase.

So I know my sphere of influence. I'm a church planter. I planted the church.

Apollos knows his sphere of influence. He's a Bible teacher. He came along and supplemented, but really it's his church, and he's the one that gave the increase. The problem is when waterers want to take the credit for being the planters, and neither one wants to give God the glory for giving the increase.

That's where the problem lies. So that's why he says in verse 17, but he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. Now Paul is quoting in that verse Jeremiah chapter 9. He's free rendering Jeremiah chapter 9 verses 23, 24, right around there where it says this, let not the rich man glory in his riches, nor the mighty man glory in his might, nor the wise man glory in his wisdom, but let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, for in these I delight, says the Lord. I love that verse, or those verses. Paul is pulling that out because it's a very famous text. He as a Jewish person would know that and brings that in here. If you're going to glory, point upward, glory in the Lord. He's the one who started the church. He's the one who gave them breath, gave me breath, gave them opportunity, watered, etc.

For, verse 18, for not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. Now back to the church of Corinth. They were saying, I'm of Paul, I'm of Apollos, I'm of Cephas, Peter, I'm of Christ. They were taking sides like people do today, taking sides over radio preachers they like, or now internet preachers they like, or now internet preachers they like. Who have you heard? Now you've got to listen to this. And, well, this guy says this.

And they started making these non-existent divisions. All of them are servants of Jesus, but trying to pit one against another and take sides as to who their favorite is. Listen, I understand having a favorite teacher. It's good.

It's okay. To a point. To a point. When they become the measuring rod by which you fellowship with another person or consider another person to be spiritual or not, that's problematic. I see this tendency among Calvinists and Arminianists, those who, I'm of Jacobus Arminius, or I'm of John Calvin. And, you know, Calvin said, and listen, I don't care what Calvin said, he's dead. I don't care what Arminius said, he's dead. I care what Jesus said, he's not dead.

He's alive. And even the words that Paul said are living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword, because it's inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is scripture. So, in all that Corinth was doing, in all that we have a tendency to do, make the focus, not the messenger, but the message. See, here's the danger, and Paul experienced it. Apollos experienced it.

Peter experienced it. When God begins to use you, other people will recognize that God is using you. And when they recognize that God is using you, they put you up on an imaginary pedestal.

And if you are one who is being put on a pedestal, you have to work hard and should work hard at getting off the pedestal, breaking down the pedestal, because you know you're just a man or a woman like anybody else. So, let me close this way. God uses people, and God is looking for available people, not people with necessarily great ability, but you'll find when there's availability, God gives you ability. When there's availability, God will, if there's a real calling and a gifting from God, you'll find the ability is there. However, all the while that God is using you, you have the awareness you are weak, you are weak, you are weak, you are limited, you are flawed.

Good. Because, Paul said, God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, the weak things of the world to shame the mighty, that no flesh should glory in His presence. God is confined to using human beings. These are the tools God has at His disposal. Now, we might say, poor God, but God has chosen us, the weak things of this world, because when God uses people like us, foolish things, weak things, God gets more glory. When a skilled individual is confined to using poor tools, his ability shines forth even in a greater capacity. A surgeon can perform an operation in a surgical suite with the latest technology and personnel, but for him to perform or her to perform that procedure on a mission field with a Swiss army knife, that's skill. For God to change the world through people like us, that's skill.

That's awesome. That's why we look at the message, not the messenger. So, no pedestals here, right? Just simple people that God uses. That's why, take heart. God not only wants to, but is going to use you. That's Skip Heitzig, encouraging you to look to God, not man, for approval. It's a message from his series, Expound, 2 Corinthians.

Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, we want to tell you about a biography, unlike any other you've ever read. The best biographies contain the kind of intimate details that make you feel like you're getting personal access to the person you are. 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. We love to partner with friends like you to share God's life-changing truth with people around the world through Connect with Skip Heitzig. Through your generous gift to support this ministry and keep this program reaching you and others around our nation and all across the globe, you can take part in this life-changing work today. To make a gift to help grow this ministry and continue to share God's love with more people, visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for helping change lives. Come back again tomorrow as Skip shares an important lesson on discernment. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection. A connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-08 05:07:15 / 2024-05-08 05:16:08 / 9

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