Temple Baptist Church - 1-28-2009
2 Corinthians 13:11-14
A. Paul’s last words to his beloved Corinthian believers are penned here for us to glean from with wonder and admiration! How Paul scolded these people because of their carnality! How Paul loved these people in spite of their carnality! (1 Corinthians 16:24)
B. Here in these verses, we find the heart of a man of God for the people that He has given to him. A pastor’s heart is one little understood by most because it is a gift of grace given to the God anointed pastor. God gives him a love for the people that transcends their shortcomings. God gives him a desire to see them right with the Lord and prospering. The Apostle John said this in 3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
1. So many of God’s men lose their hearts for their people.
2. So many of God’s men leave churches in a wrong manner.
a) Discouragement (Their eyes are on their numbers.)
b) Larger congregations (Their numbers do not satisfy their egos.)
c) Full time pastorates when they have been part-time. (Sometimes God’s men have to “make tents.”)
d) Because of hurt or persecution. (God’s men or their families are sometimes mistreated.)
e) Because of a burden instead of a call. (The “grass is always greener” someplace else. Trading churches is like trading cars: you will more than likely inherit someone else’s problems.)
f) Because their sermons run out. (Topical preaching will ruin a pastor. Topical preaching needs to be done but preaching verse by verse through books will keep you busy for more than one lifetime.)
g) Because they are “voted out.” (I do not like church votes! They are not scriptural and normally do not carry out God’s will. God calls men to pulpits and it is God who needs to take them away.)
3. Paul left in God’s will and God blessed both him and them.
C. God’s men want the believers to prosper financially and physically, but—most of all—spiritually. Let us look at these few verses which paint a picture of a pastor’s heart for his people.
D. Paul Bid Them Farewell – Farewell comes from two words “to fare” and “well.” Though “Farewell” is often used as a “Goodbye,” it is more than just that. It means to “be well and to thrive.” Paul wanted only the very best for the Corinthian Church. Here is his “Best Wishes List.”
1. Paul Desired Them To Be Perfect (to complete, to equip, to repair) Their Edification
a. Through the Shepherd - Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
b. Through the Scriptures - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2. Paul Desired Them To Be Comforted –Their Encouragement
a. Resting In The Person Of Christ - Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
b. Resting In Their Position In Christ - Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
c. Resting In The Promises Of Christ - 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
3. Paul Desired Them To Be Unified – Their Exhortation
a. Unified In Body - Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
b. Unified In Doctrine - 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
c. Unified In Purpose - Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
4. Paul Desired Them To Live In Peace – Their Establishment
a. Peace In Communion - 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:
b. Peace In Circumstances - 1 Peter 1:6-9 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.
c. Peace In Confidence - Acts 1:11b This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven