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August 26, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit delivers a message from Bible Conference titled “The God of All Comfort,” from 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform will hear a sermon preached at the Bob Jones University Bible conference. This is a time when classes are dismissed and students concentrate on hearing the word preached from several visiting pastors and evangelists during the week. Today sermon is from the 2020 Bible conference preached by Dr. Steve Pettit will be preaching part one of a sermon titled the God of all comfort. Take your Bibles and turn the night to second Corinthians chapter 1 I thing this week is the God of all comfort and so I feel like it's my responsibility to the best that I can lay out for you that that the theme itself from a very clear scriptural passage and then is our other speakers, and other things happen this week.
They speak out of their own life's message their life's experience, their understanding of the word. So my my goal tonight is really to take this theme that we find here the word of God and in really do the expounding work just the exposing of Scripture and I would encourage you over the course of this week to go back to what we're looking at tonight as a time of prayer is a time of meditation, especially the entire book of second Corinthians, because it deals so much with this thing that we will come away with a greater understanding of the God of all comfort. So tonight we are reading in second Corinthians chapter 1 and were beginning in verse three and we will read down tonight to verse seven just to make note that the word comfort in the word consolation are the exact same words. The words affliction were trouble the rub. The word tribulation are also the exact same word.
Let's hear God's word tonight.
Blessed be God. Even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforted us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounded by Christ, whether we be afflicted.
It is for your consolation and salvation which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer or whether we be comforted. It is for your consolation and salvation and our hope of you is steadfast, knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation there's no question that this passage that we just read frames the greatest tax in the entire Bible on the theme of comfort in verses three through seven. The apostle Paul in various forms uses the word comfort 10 times. That is one third of all the occurrences of this word in the entire New Testament. So for the sake of our own souls.
All of us would be wise to give careful attention to what is been written here tonight. So as we approach our study of these verses. I'd like to begin by asking two very important foundational why question why question number one is this why did Paul write second Corinthians. Why question number two. Why did he began with the subject. Why did he start with the theme of comfort was first of all try to answer the question. First of all why did Paul write second Corinthians. What's what's the purpose and the answer is really simple. He is answering those who had criticized him. He was answering his critics. So what is it that Paul was being criticized for well his and to his antagonist in these would be typically called those who were Judaizers, who were preaching a law. All messages Paul was preaching the grace message but these antagonist believed and propagated the idea that the apostle Paul could not have been an apostle because he experienced in his life so much suffering or by good to say real simple if Paul was the real deal he would not have this much trouble in his life by the way, do you know any character in the Old Testament who suffered immensely and was criticized for what was his name is Ames. What is Joe Job. You cannot be right with God because look at what's happening in your life.
That was the idea about the apostle Paul. So what was Paul's response to his critics will first of all, he actually makes it clear that their observation of him was actually correct, though throughout second Corinthians as you read in the apostle Paul is completely honest and transparent any lists all the different ways in which he was afflicted, and how he suffered.
But second, the apostle Paul made it quite clear that his critics evaluation of him was absolutely wrong. He was a genuine apostle and they had misjudged Paul's identity because they were ignorant of the way in which God works in young person I would like to say airmen to every one of you. It is crucial that it becomes clearer in your mind.
How is it that God works through his people. So what did Paul say in his answer. How did he answer them and essentially he said this God's chosen to demonstrate who we is and the way in which she works. Opposite of the way in which we naturally think that we know that the Bible says God says my ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts.
Whatever the way you're thinking that's not the way God thinks and what he is saying is this God's chosen to demonstrate his power, his wisdom and his glory through the weakness is through the troubles and through the sufferings of the people of God.
God demonstrates his power through weakness for when I am way that is when he is strong and how do we know this. What is it that validates that statement and the answer is really quite simple because that is exactly what Jesus Christ the son of God experienced in this life and that is God demonstrated his wisdom is power in his glory when Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross and he resurrected from the dead and the MD the illustration of Jesus is actually the testimony of our own lives because you and I is his followers are connected to him. We are united to him and this is the way God works in our lives. Second Corinthians 410. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body we bear his death so that we couldn't bear his life for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our comfort also abounds in Christ.
So, Paul answers his critics. In this way, here's what he say bottom line that effective ministry for those who serve God of effective ministry always comes through suffering always so, that leaves the second question, why then did Paul begin with the theme of comfort.
What's his intent. What is he want us to learn and essentially it is this it is to give you and I understanding and hope as the people of God to really grasp how God is going to work in our lives and that is through our troubles, so I let's have a testimony tonight. How many of you can testify. I have troubles.
Raise your hand, I sent how many of you have afflictions and I'm not so much roommate I mean you have afflictions good so is it like this is against the ways of God. This is really not the way God works know it is through our troubles that God empowers us in. He enables us and how does he do it.
He does it with his comfort in the end result of that is, he makes us effective in the ministry. So now that is in our mind. Now let's look at the passage of Scripture and their three things I'd like us to see tonight.
Number one in verse three Paul starts out with a celebration of praise, but what he says. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
Paul Shay's our mindset around the idea of praise. He starts out with the reality that we are to be praising people in the midst of trouble and actually verse three is an incredible theological statement and let me explain all devoted Jews and by the way Paul was a devoted you to pray three times a day when they pray they actually recite 19 memorized prayers. They did it in the day of Jesus and they do it today. They call those prayers of the dog, which literally means to stand because that's what they do when they pray now, obviously, Paul would've known all of those 19 prayers by heart, and the first of those 19 prayers begins this way. Listen very carefully blessed art thou, O Lord our God, and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob.
So what is called well you could say he upgrades the prayer. First of all the New Testament prizes the subject's have never heard of that word. I know I just made it up. He New Testament ties is the subject instead of praying Blessed be the God of our fathers, God of Abraham got arising out of Jacob Paul changes it to Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why did he do that because God had fulfilled his promise that he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
What was that promise the Messiah would come into the world. So Paul takes the prayer any Christianize is the language of this Jewish blessing and he says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and secondly, Paul expands the meaning of the father of mercy. Let me explain. On the day of atonement in the Old Testament that is the day that God remove the sins of the children of Israel against against the Lord that day of atonement is called Yom Kippur. Perhaps you've heard of it 10 days leading up to Yom Kippur were called the days of all and what the Jewish people were to do in those 10 days is they were to confess all of their sin. Not only were they confess their sins, but they were to go to each other and ask forgiveness. So here's most Shay emotion go sees Shlomo a Shlomo demo site motion. Remember what I did to you six months ago yeah would you forgive me for sure. Why did they do that because they wanted to be rightly related to God for the day of atonement.
They wanted their sins forgiven. So there was added during those 10 days of all a phrase in the first of those 19 prayers. I mentioned and what was the what was the phrase they prayed to God as the father of they want to God's mercy, but there was a problem with the day of atonement, and that is, it had to be repeated annually. Why because forgiveness for the Jew, was never permanent.
They had to repeat the sacrifices. Now God was merciful that he never change, but there was no way for his people to become comforted, because they never really knew that their sins were permanently forgiven. So why does Paul change the prayer to the father of mercies and the God of all comfort. What we find the answer in two books one in the Old Testament and one in the new.
The Old Testament book is the book of Isaiah the book of Isaiah.
The theme of it is the salvation of God. God salvation from sin and the book is divided into parts. Chapters 1 through 39 chapters 40 through 66 one through 39 speaks of God's judgment, his condemnation chapters 40 through 66 speak of God's salvation. Or you can say God's comfort. So how does chapter 40 verse one.
Begin listen. It says comfort she comfort she my people say if your God speak. He comfortably to Jerusalem and then we go to Isaiah 51 in verse 12 and is said God says I even I am he that comforts you and then we come to the last chapter in Isaiah chapter 66 in verse 13 and listen to God's description of comfort as one whom his mother comforted so will I comfort you and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. So what's the theme of Isaiah is this comfort so what precisely is this comfort and according to Isaiah it is salvation from sin through a suffering servant, one who would come and become our day of atonement would completely deal with our sin. So what we read in Isaiah 53. You've heard these verses. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon them, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
What is I say that what is Isaiah saying there is, I'm being a Savior who will ultimately comfort us from our sin so we go to the New Testament we go to the book of Luke. I love the sport in Luke's gospel chapter 2 Jesus is brought to the temple was a little baby boy when he enters into the temple. There's an old man there.
What's his name's name is Simeon what Simeon doing listen Luke to verse 25 and behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation or the one who comforts waiting for the consolation of Israel. What was he waiting for. He was waiting for God to do what he promised to do in the book of Isaiah and what was his recite spots when he saw the baby Jesus. He took him in his arms and blessed God. He praises God and said, Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word for my eyes have seen your salvation.
Isaiah prophesied of the coming comforter.
Luke proclaimed that the comforter has come and now in second Corinthians chapter 1, the apostle Paul praises that comforter. He praises him as the father of all of mercies and the God of all comfort. Literally he praises him as the father who is the source of mercy, and he is the source of all comfort and that greatest comfort is in Jesus Christ, who is come to save us from our sin. So let me ask tonight. Have you been comforted in your heart will be your own soul salvation would not be a wonderful thing if some of you who are struggling in your heart will be your only salvation your own assurance would somehow come this week to know Christ in the literally have peace in your heart that you really are his child, but Paul even takes it further. And that is if God's comfort is sufficient for the greatest need of life, salvation, then how much more will God's comfort be given to those who go through any trouble, and that's what Paul is praising God for bid in the midst of his afflictions just like he is save me from my sin, God will comfort me in my suffering.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation. So what should we do, we should have a faith response to the truth if he is the father of mercies, if he's the God of all comfort.
If the comforter is come what should we do praising the Lord.
Praise is the medicine for the sin sick soul praises the very thing that raises our lows and fills in the depressed places of our life. God is called us to be praising people praise the Lord because he is the father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
That leads me to the second thing I want us to note here tonight and that's found in verse four where we see not only a celebration but we see a description of God's comfort. Would you look at these seven words, he says, who comforts us in all our tribulation's delicious stop there.
If you don't mind, let me be a slightly tech because in the Nicole you have some rich meaning. First of all, the word comfort is what we call a participle. What is that mean well is the combination of a verb in action and add an adjective, a description so when he says that God comforts us is what God does and it describes what he's able to do God himself comforts us.
So what is the word comfort me well is probably not the way we naturally think. For example, when I think of comfort I think of beds with really solve down pillows. Big bad it's not luminous big.
When I think of comfort. II think of what it says in the dining common when it has a section that says come, which always includes pizza and the chocolate chip cookies of the dining common that are the best in the entire universe. So when we think of comfort.
We think of how it makes us feel it is an element of that, but that's not really the meaning of comfort.
The literal meaning of of comfort is someone who comes in. They stand beside you, they come alongside of me like a good friend and they do something for you faith a statement through their presence through their words.
They strengthen you, you become stronger. You become encouraged. Maybe you're a little low when they cheer you up.
They support you, they stand beside you as an advocate or maybe we could say they had your back.
So let me illustrate the idea of comfort with a few statements in the face of a miserable situation. The coal miners were given glimmers of hope and became optimistic that something good was going to have encouraged by the success of their when the volleyball team is beaming with confidence. The government invested $10 million in a program to encourage new talent in the world of cybersecurity because the professors were supported their motivation to be creative, reached a new level.
10,000 people came out for the pro-life rally and the enthusiasm in the atmosphere was palpable. You could feel it, enthusiasm, encouragement, comfort I think probably one of the best examples of comfort is actually what's happening.
First of all, a baldheaded dude named Paul Isaacs comes in. He speaks all the sudden you got motivated to do something you got in encouraged. It wasn't like you know something that came in just sort of went away was in a flash fire. So now you been encouraging each other in this fundraising or to find your 50 and you been working at it in you been motivated and most importantly, by the grace of God were going to buy a stork bus and the end result of that is were going to encourage scores of women not to get abortion. That's the idea of the word comfort God comforts us, and since God is the source of all comfort in this verb. Comfort is in the transit hints. That means that God is able always to comfort because there is never a time that God himself is not comforted in encouraged God's face is always shining. God's joy is always full.
God's vision is always clear. God's knowledge is always complete God's heart is never depressed God's mind is never confused and God's desires. Never Wayne.
There is never a time that his comfort is not available to us, who comforts us in all our tribulation. Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for today's sermon titled the God of all comfort. Be sure to listen tomorrow and will hear the conclusion of the sermon from Dr. Steve Pettit preached from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform