THE PATTERN OF PERSEVERANCE, POWER, AND PARADOX (2 CORINTHIANS 6:1-10)
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain…We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions…in the word of truth(gospel message), in the power of God(in our weakness); by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. (2 Corinthians 6:1,3,7-10 NASB)
A. Perseverance in the Grace of God
B. Proclaim the Message of the Gospel by the Power of God
- Because the message is displayed in the voluntary weakness of the messenger (2 Tim 1; 1 Cor. 2)
- Fight the good fight by the weapons of righteousness – The sword of the Spirit in the right hand, and the shield of faith in the left hand
- Living for the age to come in the midst of this evil age is the church’s call to be a faithful witness. Saying we live for the age to come, and actually living for the age to come are determined by how we use our time and resources.
29 And I say this, brothers: The time is limited, so from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use the world as though they did not make full use of it. For this world in its current form is passing away (1 Corinthians 7:29-31 HCSB)
17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant(wise in their own eyes) or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 HCSB)
- The three headed monster of living for this age in self-preservation is boasting in ‘man’s interests’ of survival wisdom, strength of the flesh, and the security of wealth.
- The call of the gospel is dependence upon the Holy Spirit, voluntary weakness, and contentment with what we have.
- In order to submit to the call of the gospel, we need to know how to fight the good fight with the provided weapons of righteousness as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 6.
D. Our Response
1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. 2 For our ancestors won God’s approval by it (Hebrews 11:1-2 HCSB)
- Proclaim the gospel – Bear witness
Live the gospel – Live as a witness