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2 Corinthians 11 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 11 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 9, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip examines the danger of following blindly and shows you the importance of discernment.


Having authority is a tricky calling because any type of authority is prone to abuse. And I would say, especially in the church, especially Christian organizations, you know, because you can always say, well, the Lord called me and the Lord told me.

That's really right or not without checking it. Following leaders, even Christian leaders blindly can be dangerous. And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip shares an insightful message on the importance of discernment. Now, here's more about this month's resource that helps you get to know God's character on a deeper level. Does God exist?

And if He does, is it possible to know Him? How you answer those questions shapes how you see the world and navigate life. And Skip Heitzig knows how important it is to have an accurate view of God's character. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God. In Skip Heitzig's book, Biography of God, learn to recognize and remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is.

The truth is, I am a fellow traveler on the same road that you are on. And the same documents, but I hope to offer a fresh perspective on God Himself. Biography of God is our way to thank you for supporting Connect with Skip Heitzig as we reach a lost world with the gospel.

Request your copy with a gift of $50 or more when you give securely online at slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're going to be in 2 Corinthians 11 as we join Skip for today's lesson. In these chapters, we noted last week that Paul is dealing with his own authority as an apostle. There was a group who had come in, a few individuals, probably grew into a group of individuals who claimed to have authority, probably from Jerusalem, which we will see when we get into it.

And they were able to influence the Corinthian church to the extent that Paul devoted a section of this letter to defending his call of God upon his life and his own apostolic authority. It's different than their authority that they claim to have in its character, in its nature. One was authority, that's Paul.

The other was authoritarianism. And one seeks to serve people, to love people. That's authority. Biblical authority is when you realize God has put me in this position and He has called me to love people. Unbiblical authoritarianism doesn't seek to love people, but lord over people, to be in charge of people, to manipulate them, make them serve me. And it's really an act of arrogance and self-love. And Paul will not be kind when he gets to these characters in this chapter.

He'll go, ooh, he's taking the gloves off here. And he's just shooting straight with the Corinthian church because they were tolerating it. Having authority is a tricky calling because any type of authority is prone to abuse. And I would say especially in the church, especially Christian organizations. I can always say, well, the Lord called me and the Lord told me. And so people will just listen to that and buy into that without, well, I don't know if that's really right or not, without checking it. And so we need to be those who discern.

We need to learn to discern. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of the discerning of spirits. And it's a very needed gift in the body of Christ. What I've always loved and noted about Jesus in the gospels is that though he had all authority in heaven and earth, he said, all authority has been given me in heaven and on earth, Matthew 28. And yet, though he was God the Son and had all authority, he didn't manipulate people with that authority. He didn't push people.

He was very gentle. So there was Thomas who doubted Jesus. And when Jesus saw him after the resurrection and Thomas was in the room with the other apostles, he didn't say, Thomas, and call him out. You're such a jerk, Thomas. You're such a low life. After all the miracles you've seen me do, how could you? What's wrong with you? But it seemed that as an act of grace condescending to Thomas' level, he said, look, there's the wounds in my hands, my side, my feet. Put your hand and touch them.

Make sure it's really me. When he knew, of course, he always knew, but when he said that somebody at the table, this table of the Passover, is going to betray me, he knew it was Judas. They didn't. Jesus could have easily said, boys, it's Judas. Nab him now.

Take him out and give him a real thwack him upside the head. He didn't do that. He allowed Judas to make his own choice. He allowed Thomas to make his own choice.

He had all authority, but he never exercised with an authoritarian platform. He let people make their own choices. At the same time, and this is where Paul comes into play here, the same time, love must confront. There comes a point when you allow people to make their own choices, but there comes a time and you say, well, what is that time? That's where the gift of discernment comes in.

Somebody you will confront them. Jesus did confront authority, religious authority. He did call people out in the right context. He was unafraid when it came to the Pharisees in calling them whitewashed sepulchers.

And so love will always let people make a choice, but at the right time, confront people. This is an occasion where Jesus looked over and his own apostles were having a conversation with the Pharisees. Jesus walked over to the Pharisees and publicly said, what are you talking to them about?

He called them to a place of public accountability because they were talking to the disciples. There comes a point where you do say, okay, enough is enough. Stop right there. And it's not easy. In fact, the easiest thing to do is to avoid such conflict, avoid confrontation. And that's our tendency. Oh, let's just let them be.

Let's avoid it. Okay, up to a point. But if you love God's flock, then you are going to call people out if their influence is going to hurt the body of Christ. And so we see both of those coming to Jesus now or exemplified by him.

In the 20th chapter of the book of Acts, when Paul was meeting with the Ephesian elders, he was on his way to Jerusalem. He said, remember, I warned you day and night with tears that after my departure, savage wolves will come in, not sparing the flock. Remember, I told you, I warned you. They're seeking their own.

They're after themselves. And he said that to the church at Ephesus. It was true there. It was also true in Corinth. It happened to be true in about every single church Paul started.

Why is that? Well, Paul was a trailblazer. He was a church planter. People like Paul who are trailblazers. They want to go where no man has gone before.

They want to plant in an area where nobody has been and start a work. And see something happen. I know that calling. I appreciate that and I identify with that. But then there are other people who don't want to be trailblazers. They'd rather come into something already functioning, already existing, come into that and use that which somebody else has done before them for their own platform. They see it as an easy target. They see it as a loss.

We mentioned this last time. They go into evangelize the saved after their own ways. That's happening in Corinth. And so he continues here. Oh, verse one. Oh, that you would bear with me a little folly.

And indeed you do bear with me. It was awkward for Paul. It was somewhat embarrassing that he had to stoop to this level of needing to affirm and convince people of his apostolic authority.

I mean, they should already be aware. Goodness, this is Paul the apostle. This is a guy who was saved on the Damascus road. His credentials are the fruit in his life.

His credentials are all of the churches he started around the world. But he stoops down to the level of the false teachers and those who are entertaining them when he says, oh, that you would bear with me a little folly. Indeed, you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you. I am jealous for you with godly jealousy.

Notice how it's worded. I'm not jealous about them. I'm not jealous about what they're doing and their ministry. I'm not jealous for their ministry.

I'm jealous for you. And he said, with a godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband that I might present you a chaste virgin to Christ. Paul did picture himself as a spiritual dad, a spiritual father. He said, you have many teachers, but only one father.

I have begotten you in the faith. So as a spiritual father, now he is using a metaphor that was very common in Judaism in that day. Somewhat in certain places in this day. And that is, there were stages of a relationship. First of all, in those days, marriages were not by individual choice. Marriages were arranged by parents.

And I know, every time you say that, people go, oh, that's the worst thing in the world. Having your mom and dad choose who your wife's going to be. I need to choose my own wife. I need to choose my own wife. I need to choose my own husband. Yes, you do, before the Lord.

But I don't know that people making their own choices today have a better track record in those choices than parents who made them in generations prior, given the divorce rate. Give that bride away to a husband, and that is Christ. I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. I have betrothed, or engaged you, promised you, to one husband that I might present you a chaste virgin to Christ. Okay, there were three phases of a Jewish wedding. First was engagement, betrothal.

Lasted about a year. It was legally binding. Documents were signed, or a handshake was given. They'd have a sip of coffee. They'd do ratify the covenant.

That's how they do it in the Middle East, in many places to this day. And it was a binding oath. During the betrothal period that lasted a year, you were legally engaged to be married. Legally married, actually, though you couldn't enjoy the benefits of marriage in terms of a physical relationship. It was a year in which the bride and groom got to know each other. They were dating, although they were legally bound by contract. If you didn't like her, and in that year period decided, I don't want to marry this chick, you had to go through legal divorce proceedings and have a certificate of divorce.

That's how binding it was. So first phase was the betrothal. The second phase was the coming of the groom. On the wedding day, the groom came to the house of the bride, the parents of the bride. She was still living in the house.

She was still living at home. Everybody was ready because the groom is coming today. The only thing is they didn't have text messages or emails or telephones, so you knew the groom was coming today, but that could be at any time.

You don't know exactly when. You always had to be ready. So you want to have the clothes ready. You want to have all the preparations done, makeup on, lamps burning, because the bride-groom will come. Unannounced.

They'll show up. Then the third phase, a procession to the house of the groom, his parents' house, where there would be a formal ceremony, lots of joy, several days of feasting, including a marriage supper, and the couple would consummate their relationship. I love the picture.

I love the metaphor. You and I are in phase one. We're engaged, betrothed to Jesus Christ. We're the bride.

He's the bridegroom. He's coming for us, unannounced. Soon he's coming. Until then, we're getting to know him, learning his word. We're in fellowship. We're learning things about him, about what the kingdom is going to be like. Soon we're going to enter into phase two, where Jesus comes and literally, literally sweeps us off our feet in the rapture of the church, takes us in the air with him. And then the marriage supper of the lamb together with him in his kingdom.

Beautiful, beautiful picture. I remember my wedding day. What I remember is how stinking nervous I was. Nervous to the point of, I don't think I can go through with it. I said to one of my groomsmen, I don't think I can do this.

He said, you're kidding, right? You can't even be talking like this or thinking like this. Skip, it's your wedding day.

Everybody's here. No, I can't do this. This is forever, man. This is a big commitment.

Yeah. And I was just so nervous. Add to the fact that I'm in this crazy-looking suit that I never would, who would wear one of these things, and the shoes, the shoes were like two and a half sizes too small for my feet, so I, my toes were curled up in this, these shoes. I was in pain, and I go grimacing out, standing there with the pastor who married us, and I was just nervous, and it was over 100 degrees. I was sweating.

It was outside. Chip, you were there. I remember. And then the bride showed up. When I saw her, when I saw Lenny in that bridal dress, it was just like, oh, no more anxiety, just pure joy. It just, she took my breath away. I have a feeling that when we see Jesus, no matter what struggle you've had in your life and how bad it's been, it's just like, gone. I'll take your breath away.

So we're in phase one, waiting for phase two, on into phase three, and I love that. I've betrothed you, engaged you, promised you to one husband that I might present you a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it. Whoever these people were, whatever this group was, these false apostles that came in, they were taking something very simple and adding things to it to make it more complicated.

This is what people do. We're really good at complicating something really simple. The gospel is the simplest thing in the world.

Yes, there are complications. We're studying prophecy on the weekends. You can go quite deep. But the gospel itself is simple. God sent his son into this world. God became a human being to suffer the ultimate death penalty, taking that penalty upon himself that we deserved in our place for our sins. Then, after dying, he was buried, and three days later, God raised him to life.

He conquered death, showing that we could be forgiven, justified, and resurrected. It's that simple. It's very simple.

The problem is people want to complicate it. Oh, you need more than that, they say. You have to do more things than just believe, they want to tell you. It's Jesus and faith in him plus good works. It's faith in Jesus plus membership. It's Jesus plus. No, anytime you add to something very simple, you're actually robbing the power of the gospel.

Why? Because you are telling God basically what Jesus did isn't sufficient, wasn't enough. It's not enough for me to believe and trust that what he did is enough. So I have to add to it. I have to show you God, prove to you, add to my salvation. So keep it simple.

K-I-S-S. Keep it simple saints. Don't complicate what God made simple, the pure, easy, simple gospel. When you share with people, start there.

Start there. If they have objections, then bring in the apologetics, but start with the simple gospel. For years, in fact, we dated, my wife and I dated doing this, we would go street evangelism, street evangelism.

We'd go out to the streets, go out to the Huntington Beach Pier, and we'd share the gospel with people. And man, I was always ready because I knew the arguments that were coming, or I knew the anger and the vitriol, so I was prepared and ready. But I learned after a while to just start with the simple facts of the gospel. And I was surprised how many people were ready to just hear it and receive it. Not everybody has a barrier, a boundary.

Many do, but not everyone. So start with the simple gospel. They were adding to the simple gospel. And so I'm afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ if someone who comes preaches another Jesus, another gospel, et cetera. That's Skip Hyten with a message from his series Expound, 2 Corinthians.

Find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at 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 slash schools to learn more about available degree programs, tuition and financial aid details, and to start your application. Fall 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 slash schools.

That's slash schools. We're glad you've joined us today. Connect with Skip Heitzig exists to connect more people to God's unchanging truth through verse-by-verse teaching of His Word. That's why we make messages like this one today available to you and others on air and online. If they've helped you in your walk with Christ today, please consider making a gift to help others around the world connect with Him in the same way. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit slash donate. That's slash donate.

Thank you. Join us again tomorrow as Skip examines how those with the gift of discernment are a vital part of any church. It's interesting, is it not, that Paul said the church is like a body, a human body? In your body you have a liver. It filters out poisons. People that have the gift of discernment are sort of like the spiritual liver of the church.

They're there to filter out the poison. Say, wait a minute, I think that guy or that gal, something's wrong. Oh, you're just, you're always negative. Maybe. Or I have discernment. So don't be afraid to use it in concert with other gifts. It's a beautiful, purifying, powerful gift. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, 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 / 2024-05-09 05:26:05 / 2024-05-09 05:34:13 / 8

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