Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20010715.htm
2 CORINTHIANS: OVERCOMING WHEN GOD'S SERVANT FACES RESISTANCE
Part VIII: From "Fainting Spells" To MOTIVATION In Serving God
(2 Corinthians 5:1-21)
Lesson: The stakes are TOO HIGH for us believers to live in self-centered woe over what sufferings we experience! The blessed outlook of even our own deaths, our eternal accountability to God for our lives and the spiritual needs of others motivate us to look above our difficulties to serve God with motivation!
- Though we learned in 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 how not to faint in serving God, we need a reason to be highly motivated to serve Him in a positive light!
- 2 Corinthians 5:1-21 provides us three major reasons to be highly motivated in serving God as follows:
- From "Fainting Spells" To MOTIVATION In Serving God, 2 Corinthians 5:1-21.
- Reason One - The worst we face in death will itself be so defeated we are left only with "good cheer"!
- God has provided a much improved body for the believer following this earthly life, 2 Cor. 5:1-4:
- Even if the believer's current "clay pot" (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7) be dissolved in death (2 Cor. 5:1a), God has provided him an eternal body for heavenly, blissful existence in the resurrection, 2 Cor. 5:1a,b,c.
- This provision will bear none of the painful limitations, humiliations or weaknesses of this life, 5:2.
- This provision will not leave the believer disembodied, but, as he was created, he will be in his divinely-assigned body, 2 Cor. 5:3. Such a provision meets what we unconsciously desire right now, 2 Corinthians 5:4. Thus, it will leave the believer fulfilled in his experience!
- God has provided the evidence that this provision is a reality, the indwelling Holy Spirit, 2 Cor. 5:5.
- The indwelling Holy Spirit was given to the believer at salvation, 2 Cor. 5:5b with Eph. 1:13-14.
- He acts as God's Earnest, or pledge to consumate the believer's salvation with the glorification of the earthly body, 2 Cor. 5:5a,b with Ephesians 1:14 and 4:30.
- Thus, every time the believer sees evidence of the Holy Spirit's work in his life, he rejoices in the hope of his blessed resurrection future!
- If the believer dies before the rapture of the Church, he does not go to a "purgatory," but is instantly in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, 2 Corinthians 5:6b-8 with Ephesians 1:20.
- Because of all these truths, the believer is "always confident" (KJV), or "always of good cheer" (2 Cor. 5:6a with Ryrie Study Bible: KJV footnote).
- Reason Two - In view of this destiny, the believer is motivated out of a sense of his coming accountability to God to heed his service assignments accordingly, 2 Corinthians 5:9-13:
- If we who serve Christ know we will one day see Him, we thereby want to be acceptable to Him, 5:8-9.
- This need to be acceptable to Christ is heightened when we recall we will be awarded at His "bema seat" hearing in accord to our service for Him, 2 Corinthians 5:10.
- Fear of losing out on such rewards motivates the believer to live above just "fainting" to live with a sense of urgent accountability to the Lord's will, 2 Corinthians 5:11-13!
- Reason Three - The Christian who knows of his own eternal accounting to the Lord realizes the eternal plight of the unsaved, and out of love for them is driven to minister above just "fainting," 2 Cor. 5:14-21:
- Paul admitted Christ's love for the lost in him urged him to minister with a urgency for them, 5:14a.
- He realized he no longer belonged to himself, but to God, so he was obligated in love to live to meet the needs of others around him rather than live for his own personal goals, 2 Cor. 5:14b-15, 16-19.
- With this sense of selfless, responsible love for others, Paul called for the Corinthians to be reconciled to God in their practical lives as believers, 2 Corinthians 5:20-21.
Application: (1) If we BELIEVERS are overburdened at the troubles we face in life, we are plagued with a subtle form of worldliness that concerns us only with what this transitory life offers, cf. 1 John 2:15-16. (2) We CURE that outlook by viewing the ETERNAL perspective which leads to (a) rejoicing in our coming blessings, and (b) getting motivated by our eternal accountability to Christ and by the astounding eternal stakes of the unsaved around us!