2 Corinthians 5:14

Sunday, 09 October 2016

-Today’s teaching will be part two of a new series we began last week titled, “Spiritual Stamina.” -The reason I chose this title is because woven into the fabric of this chapter the Apostle Paul reveals the secret to his stamina. -In so doing, he shows us, how it is, and why it is, that he never burned out, or gave up in spite of all the trials he went through.

1. He lived to please God not man  (Verse 9) -Here Paul tells that he made it the goal of his life to please God.

2. He kept his eyes on the prize  (Verse 10) -Paul says we’ll all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for things done.

3. He knew what it is to fear the Lord  (Verse 11) -Paul tells them that he knows what it is to fear the Lord, in the sense that he lived with the fear that He would grieve the Lord.

4. He didn’t take false accusations to heart  (Verses 12-13) -Here Paul says he wants them to take pride in them and answer the critics who were accusing them of being out of their mind.

5. He knew that Jesus loved him  (Verses 14) -v14 Paul tells them that Christ’s love compels them because they’re convinced that one died for all and therefore all have died. -What Paul is saying here isn’t so much that he loved the Lord as much as it is that he was keenly aware of God’s love for him. -So much so that the love that the Lord had for him compelled him to press on so as to not give in to despair and then burn out.

One commentator said it best this way; Paul's motivation was the love of Christ—not his love for Christ, but Christ's for him. A few years ago, a ministry magazine reported that over 80 percent of those involved in full-time ministry experience "ministerial burn-out," which is causing clergymen to leave the ministry at a higher rate than those who are entering the ministry, and which results in the average pastor staying in the pulpit for less than three years. "The Lord loves me," Paul said. "He died for me. And He rose again that I might live for Him." Thus, it was the love of Christ that kept Paul from burning out and giving up.

Charles Spurgeon-“The love of Christ had pressed Paul’s energies into one force, turned them into one channel, and then driven them forward with a wonderful force, till he and his fellows had become a mighty power for good, ever active and energetic.”

6. He lived for the Lord not himself  (Verse 15) -v15 He says Christ died for all so those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Christ who died for all and all died. -If you were to ask me what I thought was one of the best ways to avoid burn out it would have to be that you don’t live for self. -When you live for the Lord and die to self you live the Spirit filled life, which comes packaged with the Holy Spirit’s empowering.

Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

7. He had a Christ like worldview (Verse 16) -v16 Paul says that he regards no one from a worldly point of view, as he once regarded Christ, but he doesn’t do so any longer. -What Paul is saying here is that before he was saved on the road to Damascus, he only saw Christ through a worldly viewpoint. -As such, Paul viewed everyone and everything through the lens of the Savior, and he regarded no man according to the flesh.

G. Campbell Morgan -“When he knew Christ after the flesh he considered Him as the leader of a new sect, the leader of a new party, a menace to holy religion. He says we do not see Him like that any more. We know Him now in the Spirit, by the Spirit.”

8. He lived his life as a new creation (Verse 17) -v17 Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation that has come.  The old has passed away, and the new is here. -What Paul says here is very important on many levels, chiefly because he’s speaking of the truth of our regeneration in Christ. -Regeneration is a work that only God can do, and is not the same thing as turning over a new leaf, or getting our act together.

Adam Clarke of this said, “The man is not only mended, but he is new made … there is a new creation, which God himself owns as his workmanship, and which he can look on and pronounce very good.”

Ephesians 4:22–24 (NKJV) — 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

9. He saw himself as Christ’s ambassador (Verses 18-21) -v18-19 Paul says God through Christ gave him the ministry of reconciliation; God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ. -v20 He says it’s for this reason they are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God made His appeal through them to be reconciled. -v21 He then says God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

-You’ll forgive the abrupt close, but one of the things the Lord has been ministering to me is that I would only do all this for Him. -In other words, were it not for God’s calling on my life, there is no way in the world that I would ever do this for anyone else.

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