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2 Corinthians 11 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 11 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 10, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shares a message on the important role that people with the gift of discernment play in the church.

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You know, 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 and in concert with other gifts. It's a beautiful, purifying, powerful gift. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip shares a message on the important role those with the gift of discernment play in the church. But first, here's a resource that'll help you know God's character and His plans for mankind. 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 Heitig. 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 Heitig on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. All right, we'll be in 2 Corinthians today as Skip shares his message. 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, any time 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 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. Now, 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 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 this 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, etc. These were the false apostles, the false prophets, whoever they were.

But it's a significant thing happening in Corinth that he has to devote a few chapters to it. Around 100 AD, a book was written, legend has it, and we have a copy of it, history says, called the Didache. The Didache, it's a Greek word for the teaching, the teaching of the apostles. And it was a little treatise on how to spot a true versus a false apostle.

So evidently, this was a common thing that was happening. You had lots of itinerant traveling ministers, missionaries, and it became so problematic in the early church that this document had to be written and circulated, called the Didache. So for example, in that little booklet, it says, if a missionary comes to you, welcome him.

In the name of the Lord, welcome him. Let him stay three days with you. If he stays more than three days, he's a false prophet. Because now he's trying to manipulate you, and he sees this as a way of life, and I can just sort of milk this congregation for weeks, then move on to the next one.

So they had strict parameters. If he comes in, welcome him, make him get a job. He should have honest employment. Welcome him, but test him to make sure his doctrine is pure.

So it was just a very pragmatic, practical treatise of how to spot a false prophet. Paul is worried. Why? Why? Because the church at Corinth invited him in.

Let him come in. Instead of saying, we don't know who you guys are. You claim to be apostles. You claim to be from Jerusalem.

Get out of here. That's what they should have done. What happened is they tolerated them. You know, there is a tolerance that is not good. I know tolerance is supposed to be like the greatest virtue in 2023. Oh, you need to be tolerant of everybody. But people should not be tolerant of Christians for some reason. But you should be tolerant of everybody else. There is a tolerance that is not good.

That's dangerous. 1 John 4, beloved, test the spirits. Believe not every spirit, but test or try the spirits to see whether they are of God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. So if you're the skeptical type, good.

Good. It could be that you have the gift of discernment. Don't be afraid to use it.

Don't be afraid to use it. The body of Christ needs the gift of discernment. You know, 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.

And in concert with other gifts, it's a beautiful, purifying, powerful gift. But he is chiding them that you have accepted. And he said, if somebody comes with a different gospel, man, you'll put up with it.

Now, do you remember, Paul wrote to the Galatians and said, something similar. People are coming to you with a different gospel, which is not really the gospel. See, gospel means good news. When you add rules and regulations to the good news, it's no longer good news. It's bad news. Hey, have you heard the bad news?

What is? Well, Jesus will save you, but you got to work hard to keep it, or you're going to go to hell. There's no gospel there. And just as there are different gospels, by adding to the gospel, there are different Jesuses. Now, the Jesus of the New Testament is God. God in human flesh. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. All things were made through him.

Without him was nothing made that has been made. Jesus is God. And the Word became flesh, dwelt among us, incarnation. Just because somebody goes, well, I believe in Jesus, ask them to define their terms. Define Jesus for me. Well, Jesus, you know, I believe in Jesus. No, tell me who Jesus is.

Well, I think he was a good man. Ah, was he God? Well, no, different Jesus. You see, the Jesus of the Jehovah Witness organization is not the Jesus of the New Testament. The Jesus of the Jehovah Witness is not God, but the Archangel Michael. The Jesus of the Jehovah Witness is Michael.

The Jesus of the Mormon Church is the spirit brother of Lucifer, not the New Testament Jesus. So just because somebody goes, hey, man, I believe in God, or God bless you, or I believe in Jesus, or they get some music award or acting award, and they get up to the microphone, I just want to thank God, and Jesus is awesome. And you go, oh, wow, he's a Christian. Maybe.

Maybe. You know, and I hear that, I go, hallelujah. But then poke a little bit. Dig a little deeper. Get to the definition of Jesus. What meaning are they pouring into the words they are using?

So here's the thing with cultists. Same vocabulary, different dictionaries. Same vocabulary. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, heaven, hell.

Get them to define the terms. You will suddenly find out, oh, there's different meanings, and it's not the meaning that I see in the New Testament. So Paul is saying, you put up with it, you shouldn't. Verse 5, boy, I'm moving slow.

For I consider that I, okay, so he said, look, bear with a little folly here. I'm going to go down to your level. For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles, a better term, super apostles. I'm not less than those super apostles. Now, we don't exactly know who he's referring to when he says, I am not any less than the most eminent apostles. A, he's talking about false apostles that came to the Corinthian church, called themselves like, oh, I'm really an apostle. I'm sent out by the Jerusalem church.

I'm a super apostle. Or, he is actually referring to the 12 apostles. And that could have been one of the accusations that this group was coming to the Corinthian church saying, Paul's not a real apostle.

He wasn't one of the 12. He didn't hang out with Jesus from the beginning in his earthly ministry. Remember, there were certain qualifications that the 12 apostles, when Judas hung himself, and they had to replace Judas's office.

There were certain qualifications. A, he had to have been with us in the earthly ministry of Jesus, going in and out among us from the beginning. And B, he had to be a witness of the resurrection. So he saw Jesus before and after the resurrection. In the 12th chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul will refer to the fact that the signs of an apostle were wrought by him, that he worked miracles.

So that seems to have been another authenticating feature of one of the original apostolic band, is that they could perform some sort of miracle, healing, etc. So he said, the works of an apostle were manifest in me. So I consider that I'm not inferior to the most eminent apostles. Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge, but we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.

Look, I lived with you for a year and a half, 18 months. I was there in Corinth. I worked among you. You saw me. Everything about my life was manifested.

I was an open book. But there's an interesting statement, if you don't mind, I just want to comment on it, when he says, even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. What Paul was referring to is that he was not a trained rhetorician. Corinth was in the region of Achaea, part of Greece, influenced by Athens. The Greeks put a huge, high premium on oratory, the ability to speak and communicate well, to hold an audience, to have a golden tongue for oration.

They prized that. Paul was not trained in rhetorical speech. In fact, one of the accusations against Paul is, look, Paul writes heavy letters, awesome letters, fearful letters, but he's unimpressive when you hear him, personally.

We covered that last week. That's something Paul wrote. It was one of the accusations. What's interesting is Paul says, I might not be a trained rhetorician. I might not have a clever way of saying it, but when it comes to knowledge, I got that. He was trained rabbinically. He did have biblical knowledge, and he did have firsthand knowledge of Christ, and saw how the Old Testament fit with the New. And he was persuasive.

We noted last week that he persuaded the Jews at Damascus that Jesus is the Christ. Paul seems to place a higher premium on knowledge than on speech, on what you know more than how you say what you know. Today, I notice, among many young preachers especially, that how you say things is more important than what you know. If you just say it with enough conviction, and it becomes this giant pep rally. It's all about style over substance.

It doesn't matter what you know. It doesn't matter if you can put on a show. It's the show, not the no.

It's style over substance. Paul said, I don't have the style but I got the substance. I got the knowledge.

I've got the truth. Did I commit, verse seven, did I commit sin and humbling myself that you might be exalted because I preached the gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you and in need, I was a burden to no one for what I lacked, the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied, and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. When Paul came to Corinth, he had a job. He was a skenakopios, or skenapoios, which means a tent maker, and that's what he did in Corinth. That's how he met Aquila and Priscilla, who also had that occupation. He met them in the synagogue.

He formed a relationship. So living among them, he was determined that he would not take a salary from the Corinthian church, but actually he was salaried by the churches in Macedonia. If you remember the book of Philippians, he thanks the Philippian church in Philippians chapter four, saying, for time and again you did send aid for my necessities, and it has flourished again. Here you are again supporting me financially, not that I seek the gift, but for you.

You are again supporting me financially, not that I seek the gift, but fruit that abounds to your account. So the churches in Macedonia, one of them was Philippi, those churches supported Paul so that he could go into the region of Athens and Corinth, Achaea, that whole region, and share the gospel, and not take any kind of a wage, though he was an apostle, and he did say in 1 Corinthians, those who preach the gospel should be able to live by the gospel, but he made it his personal ambition so that he could boast in this. I've robbed other churches, that is, I was supported by other churches, but I didn't take a dime from you.

He was a tent maker. This, of course, became part of the accusation of the false apostles. Now listen to their reasoning. While Paul didn't take a dime from you guys, and all that means is Paul himself knows that he's not a true apostle, if he knew he was a true apostle, he would have let himself be remunerated. The fact that he didn't take money from you shows that he himself knows he's a fake. This is spin.

This is how they were spinning it. And when I was present with you and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked, the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied, and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. I am amazed at what people will put up with in churches. They'll put up with false doctrine.

They'll put up with people yelling at them, berating them, soaking them, taking offering after offering after offering, and they'll put up with it. Years ago, I was in Scotland. I went to a church. We were invited at a church.

I brought a band with me in those days. We would play music, and often I would also share the gospel and do pastoral meetings, et cetera. And this one particular church we were invited to was headed up by an apostle, he called himself.

Interesting. And we did our ministry, and at the end, he got up, and I listened to his pitch, his appeal. You know, these people have come all the way from America, and you need to dig deep and support them, and he passed the offering, and then he took the offering again.

You know, dig deeper and stuff, and I'm embarrassed. So I didn't know this was coming, but he was an apostle, and by apostolic authority, you know, he's taking this thing, so when it was all done, he made me come up in front of the crowd, and he presented the offering for him. So I thanked him, and then I got the microphone, and I said to the crowd, I want to thank the apostles so much for this, and we feel that you are probably supporting a mission somewhere, and we want to give this money back to your mission's fund. You know, we just thought, I'm not going to touch that money with a 10-foot pole. And so we gave it back to their mission fund for them to support people who are sharing the gospel.

Like Paul, they can do it free of charge. So Paul said, I've kept myself a burden, and so I will keep myself. As the truth, verse 10, as the truth of Christ in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Akkiah. Why? Because I do not love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. God knows.

In other words, God forbid, of course I love you. This is why I'm doing it. God knows. But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things at which they boast. They call themselves an apostle.

I'm not going to let them have that boast. For such, verse 13, now, this is where he takes the gloves off. Here's the bare-fisted punch. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers. This is where the gift of discernment kicks in. Deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan and no wonder, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Yeah, wow, he's just, you know, pulling no punches. Just bam, false prophet, false apostle, deceitful worker. What a blessing to have people who can help guard the church from false doctrine. That's Skip Heitzig's message 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 Heitzig. This ministry is all about connecting you and others around the world with God's Word, so you can persevere in your faith as you wait for the return of our Lord Jesus.

Now, I want to personally invite you to join in that life-changing work today. Through your support, you can help others discover the hope-filled truth of the Scripture and keep these teachings available to you wherever you listen. With your partnership, you'll make sure these messages are available on more stations and in more cities in the United States, so please consider a generous gift today. Here's how you can give. 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. You can also sign up for free weekly email devotionals to keep you encouraged in the faith. Check it out and sign up today to connect with more life-changing truth from Scripture. That's connectwithskip.com. Come back next week for more from Skip's series, Expound, 2 Corinthians. 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 / 2024-05-10 05:08:03 / 2024-05-10 05:17:17 / 9

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