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Speaking the Truth Lovingly

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2021 8:00 am

Speaking the Truth Lovingly

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 30, 2021 8:00 am

As the young church in Corinth grew in size, its membership faced new struggles on the path toward holiness, just as believers and churches do today. The Apostle Paul sent the letter we know as II Corinthians to encourage these believers to grow up in their faith. Dr. Boice illuminates all of Paul’s key points, including God’s comfort in affliction; forgiving people who have hurt us; the blessings of generosity; and why God allows thorns in our lives.

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Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet Ministry of finance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically the title of this sermon speaking the truth lovingly actually comes from Ephesians 415 where Paul writes about speaking the truth in love, as part of building up the church yet. It's an appropriate title for second Corinthians 11 one through 15 because here we have an example of Paul who tells others to do that actually doing it himself. I think of speaking the truth in love, what comes to my mind is the way my friend RC Sproul often handles this when he's talking about the way of helping others context of the church. She read somewhere in the past of a man. I suppose it was just an illustration in New York City who takes a shortcut across the city and dark down an alley, which is a mistake in New York and who has the goes down the alley are suddenly confronted by two dark figures to emerge from behind garbage can.

The far end, one of whom pulls from his belt, shining listening pointed object and RC says that sin church. What we tend to tell people to do in a situation like that is best proceed on down the alley because as a person reaches the end and confronts his assailant and the knife is thrust in. He is supposed to reply Christian tones. Thanks I needed that we have that sort of thing in Christianity. As you know, we think that speaking the truth in love means telling it as it is setting the person between the I and I when a person receives that the proper response supposed to be well thanks I needed that. Please stick the knife in again. I think of that because it's a way of saying that this manner of telling the truth lovingly is not easy on the one hand, we tend to be cruel. We see ourselves as reformers, profits we want to tell the other person. What's wrong with them so we do we do it in a harsh way way that hurts and leaves wound on the other hand were so conscious of the harm we can do that we say nothing. We pull back and we say well it doesn't really matter. I let it go and so we fail to be the helpful influence. We should be with our brothers and sisters. Now the apostle Paul avoids both of those extremes here in this chapter we have an illustration of how he goes about it.

He was confronted with a very bad situation in the church there were false prophets who were leading the Christians away from the Lord and away from righteousness. They'd already gotten all kinds of trouble.

It's sort of things he talks about in first Corinthians in the battle is not over yet.

Paul wants to reclaim them and he wants to speak the truth and he wants to expose these false leaders for what they really were. Yet as we read this week sense here and elsewhere in this letter, the great sensitivity with which he goes about how in these verses. There are three parties for the Christians at Corinth are the false apostles and is Paul himself. And I want you to see how he speaks the truth lovingly about each one.

First of all, there are the false prophets he calls them super possible that's putting quotes in our Bibles, rightly so, because that's probably what they were saying about themselves. Not that Paul thinks there super apostles or even apostles later on. Here again because the false apostles. They were saying they were super apostles and Paul brings the word back in begins to talk about who they actually are and what they're teaching. I notice how he exposes it verse four. If someone comes to doing that. The abstract needs doing. That is, if that were a hypothetical case, but of course it isn't very real case.

He says if someone comes to you and preachers of Jesus other than the Jesus we preach for. If you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

What he saying there is that these teachers come to Corinth are preaching a different Jesus and different spirit and a different gospel is a very serious matter is worth looking at those imports because that is precisely the situation we have in the church today when we see people preaching different Jesus that is Jesus other than the one you find in the Gospels are a different spirit has to do with the spirit of revelation that is new truth or a different gospel is a gospel other than salvation by grace received through faith work of Christ, well then that is J that's Paul's apostleship that needs to be called for what it really is. See this matter of a different Jesus very common in the church we sometimes think of that hundred year period of German theology that Albert Schweitzer summed up in his book the quest for the historical Jesus. Certainly, that's a good example of what happens in our time through some forms of scholarship. There in Germany for 100 years in which German scholars tried to delve beneath the surface teaching of the Gospels define who Jesus really was, lived and died in Palestine 2000 years ago. What Schweitzer pointed out, did so rightly was that each one as they sought to sift through the biblical material to produce the true Jesus actually only succeeded in reducing the Jesus in their own image, so they were socialist.

They tended to produce a socialistic Jesus. They were revolutionaries. They produce a revolutionary Jesus and so on but something you have. Today, people say well you know what was Jesus really like and Sunday by Sunday. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of sermons are preached trying to get behind what the Gospels actually say discover who this Jesus who lived and died back there so long ago really was like all that is a great error in the deception in a dangerous thing in the church. There is no Jesus other than the Jesus of the Gospels. The Jesus you find there is the Jesus who lived and died and rose again so whatever you find somebody saying, well, you know, let's try to see what the real Jesus was like watch out because it's very dangerous teaching. That's what super apostles do and then there's this matter of a different spirit.

Now when we think of receiving a different spirit. What we think of is receiving the Holy Spirit and different spirit would have to mean in that context to demon demonic spirit. That's not what Paul is talking about. He's writing to Christians. He doesn't mean that there demon possessed. What is talking about here is the spirit of revelation, somebody would say, well, God told me this and he saying if anybody comes to you with the new revelation anybody comes to you with a different spirit.

On the one you have received is the Holy Spirit is spoken through us apostles, the gospel, which in our case, and I was preserved in the teaching of the New Testament. Anybody comes with lab, watch out because that is a false doctrine that a dangerous thing as well have a problem today because of the charismatic movements and the claim of some but not all that the Holy Spirit gives new revelation teaches them things are not in Scripture say that's a problem because not all forms of the charismatic movement believe that we who are in the reformed tradition 10 to be suspicious of that we talk about counterfeit miracles and counterfeit revelation and it seems Dawson. I must admit I have a hard time wrestling through this theologically, that if Holy Spirit speaks to somebody else that must be a revelation, and it was a revelation, then it should be followed and that means that the canon is not close. God is still speaking today in a way other than Scripture and so reform teachers generally have said there must not be anything like tongues of the interpretation of tongues ready of these other supernatural manifestations of the spirit.

I say not all charismatics believe that as a man in this city who is very influential in the Assemblies of God which is the charismatic type congregation when he told me I was surprised when he told me but he said when we investigate young men were coming and our church for the ministry.

One of the questions we asked them is do you believe that you can receive new revelation from God's Holy Spirit speaks of that. They say yes. We don't ordain them is good for us to hear. We were in the reformed camp. I said well how can that be what is it then that they receive when Holy Spirit species are what we call a different things but we think of it, perhaps, is the spirit of wisdom, interpretation or understanding, and he means by that.

What I mean by that is what I pray for my preach the word of God, the God would give me the ability to understand what it says here in breach of them a clear way to the congregation usually were not so far apart that point is we think we are somebody sense God told me that's not based on Scripture. Watch out, and above all. If they say God has a special word for you in this age. Watch out because even if that were true, you would have no way of knowing it were true, unless you attested by the word of God, which, of course, is precisely what the reformers always said when God speaks, he speaks Scripture and the word always operating in conjunction you can understand the Bible.

Apart from the spirit is foolishness unto you, because it's spiritually discerned. But on the other hand, if you are depending upon some subjective movement of the spirit why you have no basis the correct what is essentially just a subjective impression so that you always have to go together. Paul says these super apostles came with that kind teaching make claim they had new revelation different from what God was giving through the apostles and he says that is wrong, that it makes them false apostles and deceitful workmen then thirdly speaks of a different gospel doesn't spell out what kind of different gospel that is but can suspect what it was. These people were probably Gnostics it seems to of been the chief problem in these Greek churches in that day if they preached different Jesus was probably a Gnostic Jesus. That's to say that there was no real incarnation that the spirit of Christ simply came up on the earthly Jesus none the teaching was that he left them before the crucifixion if they were talking about a different spirit was probably a Gnostic spirit that is teaching was hidden deep and that salvation was by what you know, rather than by what Jesus did and that they were speaking of a different gospel. It was probably a gospel divorced Christ work may have had legalistic overtones. I may have said, as the legal risers didn't delay show that it was all right to be saved by Christ as long as you All the Jewish laws to I was salvation by works. Paul condemned that he pronounced an anathema bonnet, or it may have been the Gnostic kind of teaching that said, well, your saved by what you know it. It doesn't matter what you do is if you can belong to Christ and not be led by the spirit of Christ and that's a false gospel.

On the other side, all saying you see these people who have come our preaching all these false true and that makes him verse 13 false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ say that doesn't sound very loving. Well, it is loving because it's the truth spoken out of love for the benefit of those who were being deceived by his teaching. Secondly, notice how Paul talks about the Christians at Corinth because first of all what he had tried to do with them first two I promised you to one husband, that is to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin. The that is, they were engaged in Jesus somatic Old Testament sense in which the engagement was the equivalent of a marriage that marriage hadn't taken place yet. We look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb, but these would come to Christ and faith were already here. Is that what Paul said I wanted to present you to him as a pure virgin who was groaning grace shows all the characteristics already have one, who is the husband and bridegroom. But he says Mark what I'm afraid of is that you're being seduced away from Christ. Just as Eve was seduced away from God by voice of Satan. Notice how gently he says that he doesn't say they have been seduced and say you're in the dolorous church says I'm afraid that maybe this is in danger of happening and I don't want it to happen and that's why I write to you the way I do. We think of that temptation of Eve by Satan and we realize that that danger that Paul saw confronting the church in Corinth also confronts us today, Satan first came to Eve he began his temptation by casting doubt on the goodness of the benevolence of God. He said to God really say you not eat of any tree of the garden, and the implication was. Although Satan knew perfectly well the garden only forbidden the reading of 13 implication was well. If God forbids one free might as well forbid them all because God really doesn't like you.

If he was a good God why he did everything YC pulling back YC supercheap is to not let you have that tree as well. That's what he was suggesting. See that's the way Satan comes seducing Christians today, in your study of the word, something that speaks to your condition something you're not to do and there are negative commands in the Bible.

It's far more filled with positive commands of negative commands but the negatives are there and Satanism) to read it to say, look, I told you God isn't good. He doesn't want you to be happy doesn't want you to have that thing nothing would make you happy. Wouldn't guess it would.

God doesn't want you to be happy. That's why he said no no no you can do it so we begin to doubt God's goodness which is such a foolish thing to do. Reason God says knows that he knows the bad thing harms us God says no. It's like a mother saying to a child don't play with the knife, but each. It's pretty.

I won't hurt myself. Don't play with the knife you don't like me you say that's the way we react, but God knows that it's harmful and so God says no.

And we shouldn't start them at that point next after Eve explained that no that's not what God said God is that only has one free and you're not deed of that because she explained the day we do it will surely die.

Satan out, rightly contradicted God. He said you shall not die here you see was casting doubt, not merely on the benevolence of God, but on the God saying God didn't really mean that, say it, or if he did, it is simply not true. All that's what the world says today. Here we are Christians we try to live by this book and what is the world telling us the world is telling us that it is true that God didn't say it that if he did is not relevant world, saying, look, why are you living in the past.

Why are you so on the bond that book and all those rules and regulation.

That's the voice of Satan, we have to recognize that that is the seduction of the evil one because if we really are God's people. This is the place we hear the word of God. This is where God speaks. This is where the voice of Jesus comes through clearly to warrior is why we have to be men and women of the book we live in a world that has no use for that has no use for Christian values or Christian truth. And if you're not living here. If you're not eating on this work is drifting in the world where nothing to stop you from going the way of the world contrary have to say this is what God says and let God be true and every man a liar and I'm in a standby that regardless of what anybody else teaches you know that seduction leave by Satan. There was 1/3 point because after you cast doubt on the goodness of God and had contradicted the word of God.

Satan held out the bait, which was they might be as God's greatest temptation of all the very thing that had caused Satan's own downfall. Satan said I will be like God, I will be like the most tired now having failed in his own ambition. He passes that same cheap argument but seductive argument on the food eventually pass it on that essay will be like God's, knowing good and evil and others a certain sense in which, by the grace of God, we do become like God made in the image of God. We lost it in the fall and is the work of Jesus Christ and redemption to restore the image so we actually become like God. That's God's work. It's holiness, sanctification, there's that false sense of the temptation in which we say is Satan himself said will be like God and he didn't mean will be holy like God he didn't mean will have the character of God, he meant will take the place of God will roll like God will do what we want to do will be a part of us in the universe which we are going by conquest to make our own is not what we have today world saying look where the measure of all things were going to do what we want to do going to determine our own morality buddies going to tell me what to do out there.

What I once I'll take the world by storm, by conquest, Paul tells us, as it is usually Paul says that's not courage that's not wisdom that's the voice of Satan leaving you from God, and he speaks about himself.

They were saying all kinds of things about them. They were saying it wasn't a train speaker that was saying it was a true apostle even said it just shows how ridiculous criticism can be didn't take money in order to preach the gospel among them that we have the right to any says in other books that other people certainly have the right to, but he didn't and they were throwing up in his face like he was a true possibly take money right again when you take it delusional take it you lose that was the situation they were saying all kinds of wretched things about he speaks the truth about himself. Also, he says it is true or six that I am on a train speaker that is in the forms of rhetoric that were so common and so valued in the Greek world. He said that is true. I have not gone through schools of the rhetoricians but he said look beneath the surface and see that I do have knowledge. I may not have the form of the Greek orators, but I know what I'm talking about and I can hold my own in debate.

I know the Scriptures and he said it's not just that I have ahead knowledge.

Notice that I serve you to.

That's what I did when I was that's why wasn't taking money I wasn't using you as a matter fact I was using other churches they were giving money in order that I could go and minister to you. I was serving take that into account how I did it. Most of all, he said, take note of the fact that I really do love you verse 11. I love you God knows that I do the final analysis, you see, that's what wins people and that's what we must demonstrate we truly are children of God. There's a writer today and leader in the evangelical world in this country who is speaking the truth, at least as I read his material.

When I read it I think that virtually everything I find there.

I agree with others a tone to the writing which is making his appeals and effective people say well it's hard it's judgmental that's condemnatory. He's just an angry young man that is true. That's the tone comes across in his results. This speaking the truth but this failure to speak the truth in love is not doing what this particular individual intends here, by contrast, is the apostle Paul who speaks the truth. Mrs. speaking the truth as clearly as it can be spoken but are quite obviously was speaking it lovingly because of that was blessed by God and was successful in his attempts to reclaim this in the other New Testament churches. May God give us the wisdom to do that in our dealings with one another and in the church at large. The praise of the glory of Jesus Christ who spoke the truth lovingly in his dealings with us.

Let us pray father blessed this word we pray, grant that we may learn from it may be like it's emulating Paul but more than that, the Lord Jesus Christ. It was Paul's own master, a man you are listening to Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview.

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