Message Twenty Seven
V. The Evidence of authority presented. 2 Corinthians 10:1-13:10
Paul returned to his defense of the faithful in the remainder of this letter. The theme is followed from chapter 10, verse 1 to chapter 13, verse 10. This morning we will note his introduction, which is a warning to the men who have made false accusations against him in order for them to secure positions of leadership in the church.
A. Paul warned them to not underestimate him. 2 Corinthians 10:1-6
He had confidence, not in himself, but in the Lord. He knew to whom he belonged and who he served –
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
He set forth in these first six verses his intentions toward the false teachers and those in the church who followed them.
He wrote of the authority and approach he would take in this defense by defining his power. It was a –
1. Superior power. 2 Corinthians 10:1a “…meekness and gentleness of Christ…”
“…beseech…” He called their attention to notice –
a His attitude. He was relying on the Lord who, even in judgment, offered grace and mercy to those who would repent.
Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth…
b. His advice. He learned, gave, and followed his own advice –
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Paul would not compromise doctrine, but would confront with the sincere desire of repentance and restoration.
2. Sensitive power. 2 Corinthians 10:1b-2
Paul made a request of them, asking them to consider his position (which they had put him in), and submit themselves to God in all humility so that he would not have to confront them in judgment, but would forgive them. He told them that –
a. He was prepared to confront. “…I think to be bold…”
b. He would prefer to forgive. “…that I may not be bold…”
Could Paul be bold when necessary? We do not know what information they had, but we know he would confront –
1). The adversaries of the Gospel.
Acts 13:8-11 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
He did not limit his confrontations to the enemies of God. He also dealt with –
2). The actions of friends that affected the preaching and practice of the Gospel.
a). Barnabas. Acts 13:37-39 His desire to bring Mark on the missions journey.
b). Peter. Galations 2:11-14 His fear of the Jews at the church in Antioch.
Paul would boldly confront any that did wrong, but he would rather that they would repent and submit themselves to the Lord and one another in unity, serving the Lord. While this was his great desire, he wanted those rebellious leaders to know that he had the power necessary to withstand them. He had –
3. Sufficient power. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
a. It is Spiritual power. 2 Corinthians 10:3,4
Not found in man’s strength. Paul told Timothy –
1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
True power is from God –
Zechariah 4:6 “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Paul was introduced to this power in the preaching of the deacon Stephen. The could kill Stephen’s body, but not his message because the message was the Word of God. This message continued to convict Paul. God’s Word is a –
b. Subduing power. 2 Corinthians 10:5
God’s power worked long after the flesh was dead, because the Lord is ever-living.
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
This power not only subdues, but it secures –
3. Secures. 2 Corinthians 10:6 It is continuous. It is ready to deal with any sin which rises up again.
Note Peter’s recognition of the power of God and His longsuffering mercy –
1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
God’s power is real and ready – but in mercy he gives time for people to repent. Paul reminded the Corinthians of this fact!
We also need to realize that God’s power is a separating power –
When received – it keeps us safe in Him.
When rejected – it cast us away, separated forever from God in Hell.
Paul desired that the church realized this truth. God directed Paul to write this so that we might realize this truth.