Sermons on 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2 God calls us to live radical lives of sacrifice in service to Him. In this passage, we see two key reasons why anybody would choose to give their whole life for the cause of Christ
2 Corinthians 4:1-18 Increasingly, in our society, the gospel is being rejected and the experience of the Christian is one of weakness. As the Apostle Paul speaks about how his life of service has been shaped by the gospel, we are encourage to not lose heart, but instead to live gospel-shaped lives that reveal God’s glory and power.
2 Corinthians 5:11 – 6:1 “Come to Jesus and find the good life”! Well …. that depends what you mean? For the apostle Paul, his whole life revolved around two great realities: Christ’s death for him on the cross and the desperate need to reach lost people with the gospel. With these clear in his mind, he gave himself totally to Christ, regardless of the cost. He discovered what it meant to be crucified with Christ, take up his cross…
With the same-sex marriage debate settled, ideological and political forces in Australia are now being focused on the issue of euthanasia. Euthanasia has been legalised in countries like Holland and Belgium for many years, and is legal in a number of states in the USA. But it moved much closer to home in November 2017 when it became legal in Victoria. Obviously there is great emotion around this issue, but what are the key factors in the discussion and how…
No parent likes having to confront a misbehaving child. It tests and puts at risk the whole relationship, and especially so when the child is an adult. But real love is “tough love”! And that’s what Paul has been showing towards the Corinthian believers throughout this letter. In today’s passage Paul brings it all to a close as he issues a stern warning and a passionate appeal for them to check their hearts and prepare themselves for his upcoming visit. He desperately wanted to avoid a showdown, but he was ready for one if the situation required it. The troubles in the Corinthian church could be similar in your church or mine. But thank God for courageous, godly leaders like Paul. The nominal church urgently needs them today.
Too many Christians today start their journey of faith well – full of passion, enthusiasm and energy, but then somewhere along the journey they slowly drift away from faith. This is also a fairly accurate description of many within the Corinthian church at the time Paul is writing the letter of 2 Corinthians. In this passage he writes to them of the priority of continually strengthening their faith. This has been the primary purpose of Paul’s ministry to them. The…
Humility does not come naturally to most people, especially in today’s culture. But Christians who boast are a contradiction. Or are they? In today’s message we see Paul struggling with this tricky question as he defends himself against his opponents. But God “helped” him from becoming proud by giving him a thorn in the flesh – a messenger of Satan – a constant, painful reminder of his tendency to pride. But even then, God’s grace is always sufficient, and God’s power is always greater than his weakness. As Christians we have only one reason to boast, and that is in Jesus Christ and His cross (Galatians 6:14).
Who’d be an apostle? In today’s passage Paul passionately appeals to the Corinthians not to fall for the deception of his opponents in the Corinthian church. They were teaching a false gospel using methods to discredit Paul that were clearly malicious. He ends by exposing them as “deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ”, calls them servants of Satan, and pronounces their final judgement by God. This is some of the strongest language used in any of Paul’s writings. He doesn’t do this to protect his own reputation. He is motivated entirely out of love for them, that they won’t be led astray from Christ. O that church leaders today would be as concerned for their people!
Paul responds to those who seek to undermine his apostleship by arguing that his authority comes from Jesus, that the weapons of his authority have divine power and that he is prepared to powerfully wield his authority in order to build up the church.
As a follow-on from last week’s message, we continue exploring Paul’s teaching on giving. For at least some of us, giving does not come easily and, if we’re honest, we are not generous and cheerful. So in today’s message we look at some of the blessings that flow from generous giving. Paul tells us that when we give with the right motives it is like sowing seeds – seeds of righteousness – that will one day produce a harvest in our lives. In particular it liberates us from the bondage of materialism! It also results in thankfulness and praise to God, and strengthens relationships between the giver and the receiver. But most of all it reminds us of the ultimate gift we have been given by God – the Lord Jesus Christ! Have you received Him?
The question of money is always a touchy one among Christians. How much we earn, how much we give, and what we do with our money is “strictly private” in our culture, so it is with some trepidation that pastor’s raise the issue, for fear that their motives might be misconstrued. In actual fact, Jesus spoke often about money, and Paul is very upfront in today’s passage. In it he lays down a number of clear principles that help us think through the whole question of giving. Essentially he makes the case that giving is a natural, joyful response to the riches we receive through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than a burdensome duty, it is a sheer privilege to be able to share our resources with others in need. Is there someone God might want you to help financially?
Relationships are an essential part of life. We are created as social beings. Yet how often do we see relationships break down – marriages, families, neighbours, workmates, long-term friends, fellow Christians in the church… and so on. In today’s passage we see the great apostle Paul discussing his severely damaged relationship with the folk in the church at Corinth. Clearly, he was deeply affected by this breakdown between them. How did he deal with it? How did they respond? What can we learn? Listen in as Pastor Murray unpacks this chapter and challenges us to consider more carefully the state of our relationships in light of it.