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AN APPEAL FOR RECONCILIATION Sunday August 24, 2014 LESSON # 13
AN APPEAL FOR RECONCILIATION Background Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13; 7:2-4
Background and Introduction
In 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 Paul shared why Christians must resolve differences; compelled by Christ's love, we are to practice "the ministry of reconciliation" (vs. 18). Paul reminded the church that God's forgiveness of us is a model of how we should forgive others (Matt. 6:12)
I. Corinthians’ Need 2 Corinthians 6:1, 2
(Vs,1) We then, [as] workers together [with him], beseech [you] also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)
II. Paul’s Hardships
(Vs 3-4) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
(Vs 9-10) As unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.
III. Paul’s Proposal 2 Corinthians 6:11-13; 7:1-4
(Vs 11) O [ye] Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
(Vs 12) Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
(Vs 13) Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto [my] children,) be ye also enlarged.
(Vs 7:2-4) Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 3 I speak not [this] to condemn [you]: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with [you]. 4 Great [is] my boldness of speech toward you, great [is] my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
Paul has a way of verbalizing his transparency that should make all of us take a closer look at ourselves and our complaint list. He not only withstood opposition, trials, persecutions and hardships for the sake of carrying the gospel to a dying people but he also suffered opposition from their hands. All of his labor, hardships and life journey was to make intercession on their behalf, hoping someone would believe what he preached and turn to God. His plea for reconciliation was both an act of his humility to God and to his love for God's people. May each of us have this type of God-consciousness.
Father Forgive us
Father we ask you to forgive us for any participation we have had in separating the fellowship of faith among the body of Christ. Amen.