Temple Baptist Church - 4-30-2008
2 Corinthians 7:1-3
A. I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul has to ask the Corinthian Church to “receive us” in this seventh chapter. “Receive us?” I thought he was an intricate part of the Corinthian Church.
1. He helped to birth it into existence.
2. He personally led many of the members to Jesus Christ.
3. He had consistently preached the truth to them over the years.
4. He loved them in spite of their failures and shortcomings.
5. He faithfully led them in the right path as a church and for God’s glory.
6. He lived a clean, consecrated life in front of them and their loved ones.
B. So many pastors, when problems come, are placed on the outside by people.
1. It becomes “us” and “them” during trials.
2. When problems come, the oldest tactic of the devil is to make sure that the pastor is to blame for the problem. Every family that has left the church wrong over the years has placed the blame on the pastor!
3. The pastor is a vital part of the “us!”
C. The Apostle Paul’s answer to them was clear and concise:
1. We have wronged no man – God’s man will not intentionally hurt his people.
2. We have corrupted no man – God’s man will not intentionally lead his people astray.
3. We have defrauded no man – God’s man will not intentionally rob his people or steal.
D. In verse three, the Apostle Paul reiterated his undying love for the people at the Church of Corinth.
1 Corinthians 16:24 My love [be] with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1. Paul fully expected to live with them. My family came here to stay.
2. Paul fully expected to die with them. My family expects to be buried in Laurens if the Lord does not come soon.
E. The Apostle Paul did not speak these words to hurt the people at Corinth, but to simply let them know that he was theirs and there for them! He wanted them to know that and love him as he loved them. (So much is preached on this subject because the Bible has so much to say concerning it.)
F. The Apostle Paul expected something of the people just as the people expected something from him.
1. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Respect - Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. (I owe my pastor respect as God’s Gift to the church.)
2. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Love - 2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. (A sad but true commentary on the local churches. I owe my pastor affection that he may be strengthened by the knowledge that the members of the church are with him and love him.)
3. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Trust - Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation. (I owe my pastor trust that he may be free to serve the church unhampered by fault finding. I personally have never gone wrong by standing behind and following my pastors.)
4. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Fervent Prayers - Romans 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me; (You had better strive fervently in prayer of God’s man. I owe it to my pastor to pray for him each day, that God may bless him and make his service a blessing as well fruitful.)
5. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Protection - 3 John 9-11 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (I owe to my pastor the protection of kindly silence by refraining from repeating the slander or unkind gossip that would burden him and prevent him from doing his best work. When someone speaks against the pastor or tries to place doubt in your mind about your pastor, mark them and avoid them.)
6. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Co-operation - 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. (I owe my pastor enough time to help in his work, when and where he needs me.)
7. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Encouragement - 2 Corinthians 7:6-7 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. (I owe my pastor encouragement when vexations and annoyances make his work difficult, or when he feels discouraged.)
8. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Appreciation - 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (I owe my pastor a kindly word of appreciation when his ministry is especially helpful to me.)
9. The Church Owes The Pastor Their Attention - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; (I owe my pastor the courtesy of attention when he preaches that he may not be annoyed by my careless actions.)