Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: 2 Corinthians
- November 15, 2020
How to Develop a Growing Flock While Vulnerable, Part 1.
A vulnerable person is defined as someone in need of special care, support, or protection because of innate disability or risk of abuse. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians addressed issues of sin and carnality in the church and prescribed corrective paths. The believers there received this rebuke and began to change. Then came another threat to their growth: false ones within the church. In this second letter, Paul has redirected their hearts to the comfort of God, his own integrity and love for them, intentional gospel ministry, and the greater glory of New Covenant. Next he rehearses how wonderful God’s transforming grace is to them on a personal level.
Spiritual Reality (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Earthen vessels that chipped or cracked could not be repaired like glass or metal could be. Paul defines the treasure as the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. To encourage vulnerable Corinthians, Paul reminds them that within their broken earthly bodies exists an eternal reality of the promises of Jesus Christ. This reality is true even despite sins we fall prey to. In fact, it urges us to turn from those sins.
This phrase reminds believers of the legal security of our adoption into God’s family. This verse also reveals the purpose of this reality: “so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” God alone omnipotently placed this treasure within believers. He did this to show others that someone has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.
No one in the church is a superstar. We do not generate our own growth, so we cannot exalt ourselves. When vulnerable, no one feels like a superstar or exalting themselves. People who we look up to are admirable only because of Christ and how He is making them more like Himself. Religious unbelief craves self-exaltation and recognition. Beware of those who feed off attention. Any good thing that comes from me is only because of Christ in me. Religion clings to the value of brokenness and pursuing spiritual healing through religious efforts to gain favor with God. Brings attention to itself by nature.
When people are vulnerable, no one feels like a superstar or exalting themselves. People who we look up to are admirable only because of Christ and how He is making them more like Himself. Any good thing that comes from us is only because of Christ in us.
Religious unbelief craves self-exaltation and recognition. Beware of those who feed off attention. Religion clings to the value of brokenness and pursuing spiritual healing through religious efforts to gain favor with God. This brings attention to itself by nature.
God has made each believer in a specific way to do a unique work for Him that only that person is equipped to do. God has a unique design and purpose for each believer, just as He did for Paul (Acts 9:15). He tailors a spiritual gift for a believer to exercise within their local church. Every saint is a chosen instrument of the Lord uniquely pieced into a church family for an eternal mission.
We know there is something bigger going on that’s not good (Ephesians 6:12), but it all will work out to God’s glory. Because of the transforming treasure of the Gospel, spiritual life can be recognized in you. This is such glorious truth, it blinds out any darkness in our circumstances.
- Today’s church can show a tendency to develop self-help Christians, and the church becomes a worship center for superstars. A church doesn’t have to be large for this attitude to develop. Beware of those who feed off attention.
- Have you found your way back to being an active and useful vessel after the obstacles we’ve encountered this year? Your spiritual gift is meant to be developed in discipleship and employed in building up the church. This can pull you out of spiritual vulnerability. Your role in the church should be more than just attending corporate worship.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- 2 Tim 2:21, 1 Peter 4:9-11, 1 Tim 6:20 – We are spiritually gifted in order to be active. The focus is always to be on the treasure, not the vessel; guard the Gospel.