Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio Scripture Verses 2 Corinthians 13:1-13 Worship Playlist Oh Our Lord by Paul BalocheJesus Paid It All by PassionKing of Kings by HillsongRun to the Father by Matt Mauer Study Questions What do you think would show that you are passing the test (13:5) of continuing in the faith?Think back over the book of 2 Corinthians. What are some signs of authentic faith shown in this letter? How are you showing these in your life?How do you battle unbiblical patterns of taking advantage, tearing others down, or being complacent in your faith. Downloads & Resources Sermon Video Download Sermon Audio Download Christ's Holy Church Dr. Jon Morrissette - 8/8/2021 I hope you’ve enjoyed our HOPE RISING series. We’re going to spend the next four weeks talking about the four purposes of the Church. Lakeside is more than just a "Place to Belong". We’re a place (a people who) believe in Jesus, become fully like Jesus, build Jesus’ church, and come to brave Jesus’ mission in the world.Then after that were going to do a series on Genesis called “Majesty over Madness.” The key idea is that if we don’t factor the Majesty of God into our lives were left with sheer Madness. The Madness of despair, of human cruelty, of natural calamities. The madness of men. The madness of our own inner life, and psychological turmoil. Genesis doesn’t just teach us about the beginning—it teaches us how to have a fresh new beginning trusting God. But this morning we conclude our HOPE RISING series. If you have your Bible, or device, let me point you to the end of Paul’s letter of 2 Corinthians. I’ll be highlighting some verses from 2 Corinthians 12 and 13. I had lots of great conversation this week with people. I spoke to a mother, who is totally unchurched. Her neighbor has been taking her kids to a Lutheran church—and now her kids are asking all sorts of questions. But she’s never read the Bible. She tries her best to answer their questions but isn’t very confident about it.And then I talked to another mother who has grown up in the church, teaching Sunday school. This summer she enrolled her kids in Church Camp, and her daughter was recognized Camper of the Week because of all the Scripture she memorized!Both conversations got me thinking about the early years of my life. My parents got me reading the Bible early and often. I would go to the library and read all sorts of books—but there was something about reading and memorizing Scripture. I think its strange, and mysterious, and maybe even a bit cryptic at first. (That is especially true if you are reading some outdated translation!) But then after a while God really begins to speak to you. My experience of Scripture is that God never fails to call out his best, his holy character, in me. That’s what I’ve felt preaching this series, and reflecting on these closing verses of 2 Corinthians. There are so many good and holy things to aspire to. As Paul writes I find myself admiring him even more—and more importantly—I find myself with this burning desire to want to believe on Jesus more profoundly, and become more fully mature like him in every way, and build up his church, and brave his mission in the world. I find myself experiencing powerful new desires, or compulsions, or affections in life. Let me share a few examples…1.) The Word Gives Us a Desire to Love Deeply, Not Take Advantage (12:11-18). In 2 Corinthians 12:11-18, Paul is left tripping over himself. As I told you before in the church at Corinth there are some mean Christians. Well I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t assume they are Christians. But “Mean Christians” are worse than mean girls. And from what we read in 2 Corinthians, the Church at Corinth was kind of like living through those hellish Junior High, adolescent years all over again. They are telling the Apostle Paul “You don’t measure up to Peter, James, and John and the original eleven, the ‘Real Apostles’ who were actually with Jesus” They're trying to give him an inferiority complex saying, “Paul you don’t work the signs, wonders, and miracles we expect.” “Paul you are a using the gospel, and using your title Apostle, and using us for personal gain.”Have you ever had people try to give you an inferiority complex? Have you ever had someone try to diminish you? How do you respond? This is just the sort of thing that brings out the worse in us! Here is what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:11-13, “I have been a fool; you forced it on me. You ought to have commended me, since I am not in any way inferior to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of an apostle were performed with unfailing endurance among you, including signs and wonders and miracles. 13 So in what way are you worse off than the other churches, except that I personally did not burden you? Forgive me for this wrong!”Paul’s response is you guys are saying I’m nothing—and in a way, I myself, as a mere man, am nothing. But God has made something out of me. He has appointed me, and called me, and worked through me. He says, “I’ve endured” which is a gentle way of saying, “I’ve been putting up with your garbage. You should be commending me, appraising me. I’ve refused to be a burden to you.”They’ve got Paul all wrong. And then Paul writes these words in 2 Corinthians 12:14-15 he says, “14 Look, I am ready to come to you this third time. I will not burden you, since I am not seeking what is yours, but you. For children ought not save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?”This is the conversation of a parent to a child. “I don’t want your benefits, I want you. I’m not asking you to save up money for me. I’m maxing out the credit card on you. I’m spending my very life on you—my time, my talents, my energies, all of it! I’m pouring out my love on you—should I then be loved less? I’m not trying to reverse roles here and be your child, and you the parent…”A father was telling me this week about his son. He was feeling a bit mortified, because he and his wife has asked their son to help grandma. But instead of helping grandma the son says, “Why should I? What’s in it for me?”When you’re a child, that’s your whole mentality. You are self-centered. You’re always weighing things (even helping grandma) by what advantage you’ll get. But you see in time, the Word of God weeds that kind of attitude out of the worse of us. I was exactly like that growing up—what in it for me? If you’re still saying that as an adult I’m concerned. If you’re saying that as a child, time to get in the Word.The Corinthians had a childlike mentality—assuming Paul was like them. If a child would just open their eyes, they’d melt seeing how profoundly selfless, how much their parents have sacrificed, for their good. Let the Word give you a desire to love deeply, not take advantage of others.2.) The Word Gives a Desire to Build Up, Not Tear Down (12:19-13:4). Love cannot merely be sentimental. To deeply love is to build a person up, not tear them down. And by “build up” we’re not talking about artificially bolstering a person’s self esteem. And by “not tearing down” were not merely about being Mr. or Mrs. nice.Look what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:19-21! “Have you been thinking all along that we were defending ourselves to you? No, in the sight of God we are speaking in Christ, and everything, dear friends, is for building you up. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and you may not find me to be what you want. Perhaps there will be quarreling, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come my God will again humiliate me in your presence, and I will grieve for many who sinned before and have not repented of the moral impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality they practiced.”What does it mean to build a person up? First and foremost, I think it means speaking in Christ. If you are a pastor, if you are a parent, if you are a fellow believer, you’re not just speaking in your own authority. You are a speaking in Christ. To say this another way, you are a speaking “as” Christ, or “on behalf of” Christ. Maybe you see quarreling, jealousies, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, slandering, gossiping, arrogance, or other types of disorder. Paul mentions the prevalence of moral impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality in the church.Sometimes we think if we speak up, and speak the truth, were going to damage a relationship (maybe forever). I’d rather risk damaging a relationship in this life if there is the prospect of sparing that same life for eternity. To love deeply is to build up. To build up is to speak up. Paul is genuinely grieved by the sin he sees. He’s saying, “I don’t want to be a blubbering mess when I come. I’m pleading for some among you to repent.” There is a candor and directness here.At the top of 2 Corinthians 13:1-4 Paul continues, “This is the third time I am coming to you. Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 2 I gave a warning when I was present the second time, and now I give a warning while I am absent to those who sinned before and to all the rest: If I come again, I will not be lenient, 3 since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but powerful among you. 4 For he was crucified in weakness, but he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by God’s power.”Don’t just go off half-cocked. Establish a matter with two to three witnesses. But then consider the manner of Christ, and the manner of my ministry. I wasn’t weak in dealing with you. I didn’t wimp out. Christ was weak, but powerful, and that same power is in you. Be bold, be courageous, love deeply, build one another up, speak up and walk in the Lord together. This is how things should work!3.) The Word Gives a Desire to Mature Fully, Not Stay Complacent. In 2 Corinthians 13:5-13 Paul says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test. 6 And I hope you will recognize that we ourselves do not fail the test. 7 But we pray to God that you do nothing wrong—not that we may appear to pass the test, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear to fail. 8 For we can’t do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. We also pray that you become fully mature. 10 This is why I am writing these things while absent, so that when I am there I may not have to deal harshly with you, in keeping with the authority the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down. 11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints send you greetings. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”There is so much spiritual complacency these days. Some phrases really challenged me. Verse 5, “test yourselves.” Verse 9, “we pray that you become fully mature.” Verse 11, “become mature…” Verse 12, “greet one another w/holy kiss”—a definite no-no—not even the French do it now! What is our end goal? Love Deeply… Build Up… unto Full Maturity. What do you want for yourself… for your children… for church?