Hearts Wide Open, Filled with Joy
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Isaiah 49:8 Thus says the Lord: “In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land to apportion the desolate heritages,”
Look, the time of grace is now as never before.
vs. 3, We put no obstacle in anyone’s way,
“God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”
We remove obstacles when we live freely in the newness of our reconciliation with God.
When our hearts are overflowing with joy.
When the pain, grief, suffering, and sorrow all around doesn’t take away our peace and our joy in Christ.
As followers of Jesus we still experience
There are people who are lonely, frightened, addicted, misunderstood, and depressed.
We must not settle for disingenuous, quick fix, quotable’s. This does not bring comfort. Only the joy found in Jesus brings comfort, rest, and peace.
We are not using religion, because we are not smart enough to use science.
We are not re-defining self-help.
Only giving people…
The greatness and sovereignty of God
The love of a crucified and risen Christ
The life and depth of God’s word
Paul is imploring the church in Corinth and those who are now reading his words to not write him off. Do not walk away and do not misunderstand.
vs. 3-5, Paul describes the suffering he endures
vs. 6-7, Shows the character he tries to live
vs. 8-10, Describes the paradoxes of the Christian life
Side note: How is this effective? Doesn’t this seem more problematic to make sure people know they will suffer?
Luke 6:26 Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
This passage speaks directly against the prosperity gospel. It is false and it is dangerous.
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
vs. 13-16, You are the salt of the earth.
You are the light of the world.
How and why? Because you live, display, and share an abundance of joy in the midst of sorrow.
Ephesians 6:16-17 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Paul's spirit has not been broken by the pain of his ministry. In the Holy Spirit, he has found resources to give and not to grumble. To be patient in God’s timing, rather than pity himself. To be kind to people, rather than take it out on others.
Question: What does my character reveal about my relationship with Jesus? Can I be described in my thoughts and actions as pure, knowledgeable, patient, kind, filled with the Holy Spirit, loving, truthful, and displaying the power of God through righteousness?
Paul describes to the Corinthians that what they see is true, but it isn’t the whole picture.
imposters genuine (truth filled)
unknown well known
punished yet not killed
To the Romans, we are nobodies. We seem small and insignificant, but we are known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:3; Galatians 4:9)
Joining Christ in his death and in his resurrection.
Many human punishments are endured (ridiculed and mocked), but over and over God is our protector.
The cultural tide is moving quickly to label us as unloving, uncaring, proud and prejudice.
sorrowful always rejoicing
having nothing possessing everything
There our countless reasons for our hearts to break. But in all of them we do not cease to people of joy. (one of the greatest paradoxes of our faith)
Our goal is not earthly wealth. Our pursuit is to help others find the richness and depth of Jesus.
We have counted everything as loss for the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8). But, in fact, we are children of God, and if children, then heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). To every Christian, Paul says, “All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23).
vs. 11, I speak with boldness because of my love (Luke 6:45).
His aim and pursuit of people is to continue the ministry of reconciliation. He has very little time to “sugar coat” for the sake of not offending or rocking the boat. The gospel is at the forefront of every thought, prayer, word and action.
vs. 12, Literally, You are not constricted by us, but you are constricted in your bowels.
Or, Chad’s version, you have simply caused yourself to be constipated. The greek word means, to narrow, cramp, or constrict.
**He has opened his heart to them; they have closed theirs and, in effect, squeezed him out of their hearts by treating him with distrust and suspicion.
vs. 13, As their spiritual parent, Paul has loved and nurtured them; and they owe love to him in return.
Question: Are there areas in your life where you feel emotionally stuck? Are you opening your heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to begin to change your thought patterns? Are you asking others who know you (people with strong character, a heart for truth, and Jesus centered) to speak into your life and situation?
Are you willing to accept the love and nurture that comes from others motivated by their love for Jesus, his word, and the gospel?