Thursday, May 23, 2019

2019.05.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 10:7-18

Questions for Littles: What does the apostle ask them in 2 Corinthians 10:7? Of what does he suggest that some of them are convinced? What should a person conclude about the apostle if he has included about himself? What could the apostle boast more about without being ashamed (2 Corinthians 10:8)? For what purpose did Jesus give the apostle that authority? What does he understand will be the (incorrect) response of some to this authority (2 Corinthians 10:9)? What are some Corinthians saying about Paul and his letters (2 Corinthians 10:10)? What does he warn them that his presence will be like when he comes (2 Corinthians 10:11)? What is the apostle NOT doing by asserting this authority (2 Corinthians 10:12)? What is the standard by which someone would have to commend himself? Whose appointment, then, is the basis for this authority that the apostle is appointing (2 Corinthians 10:13)? To whom did his authority especially apply (2 Corinthians 10:13-14)? What was the first display of this authority (end of 2 Corinthians 10:14)? With whom else does he hope to have such a relationship (2 Corinthians 10:15-16)? By whose help? Whose glory is extended by such an approach to authority and ministry (2 Corinthians 10:17)? And what does the Lord graciously do for those in such a ministry (2 Corinthians 10:18)? 
What does it mean to belong to Jesus? Is it just to feel bad about a select number of sins and warm and fuzzy about Him? That’s what it seems like among many today. The Corinthians also wanted to define what it meant to belong to Jesus.

They wanted to define it as selecting their own authorities (or, more likely, just having no authority at all—as our flesh rebelliously desires!). But the apostle said that if we are Christ’s, then we need to recognize that Christ is the One who has appointed for us particular people to oversee us (2 Corinthians 10:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 10:13-14). Not only is rejecting their authority a personal rebellion against Christ, but it is also harmful to ourselves, since the Lord Jesus has set these authorities over us “for edification and not for destruction” (2 Corinthians 10:8).

The apostle wants to make sure that they understand that he is not saying that he himself is anything great (2 Corinthians 10:12). Rather, following Jesus’s plan for how the church is led/overseen/shepherded is a necessary conclusion of believing that Jesus alone is great (2 Corinthians 10:17).

If this is the case, then we will recognize the church that we are in, and the ministry that we have in it, are assignments from God (2 Corinthians 10:13). This is the noble duty in which the apostle is inviting the Corinthians to participate in 2 Corinthians 10:15-16: “the Lord is giving you a Lord-appointed opportunity to be used by Him to bring the gospel to other regions!”

Whether to other regions, or here at home, the question is: “are you Christ’s?” And if you are Christ’s…
Are you striving to be led by those whom He has given you for that purpose? And are you laboring for the building up of any whom He has given to you to lead? And are you convinced that all the honor for any ministry belongs to Him alone? And are you eager to participate in any ministry He gives you in whatever way He allows you—even if it’s just to support others whom He is sending? 
Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH187 “I Belong to Jesus”

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