Sermon Audio & Review
2 Corinthians 7:12-16
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: 2 Corinthians
- May 9, 2021
Three Virtues of Christian Relationships.
As Paul rejoices in his restored relationship with the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 7:12-16, we can see three more virtues that are present in Christian relationships.
The offender in this passage was a religious unbeliever in the Corinthian church. The offended was Paul.
We get this virtue from the phrase "in the sight of God" in verse 12. Our primary devotion must be to God before we seek human reconciliation. Otherwise, reconciliation will not be genuine.
The Corinthians' earnestness showed a serious, eager purpose to have their close-knit fellowship restored with Paul. Paul was able to forgive because he realized that God doesn't judge us by our actions anymore, and neither can we reject each other for that reason.
Two very severe issues threatened the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians. God's grace reunited them even through letters and intermediaries when they could not be together face-to-face. If God's grace can save your soul – and you know how bad you were and how bad you would be without Christ – then He can certainly reconcile any two Christians in conflict. This leads to sustained comfort from the Holy Spirit. (See verse 13 and 1 John 2:1-3.)
The word Paul uses literally means to stop and sleep, a deep rest. Repentance produces not only a desire to be right with the other person, but also for others to know of the reconciliation and be encouraged. Division burdens the whole body, and its healing lifts the load.
The foundation of this refreshment is found in verses 14-15 in the words "truth" and "obedience." God's people are compelled to respond to His Word and be reconciled (James 1:25, 1 Thessalonians 2:13). The purpose is always the Gospel (John 17:15-21). Those who are in Christ have an eternal bond for a cause that goes beyond the relationship itself.
This word in verse 16 means to boldly dare. When Christians are reconciled, they have renewed courage in pursuing the cause of the Gospel because their relationship is so strong. The question becomes, How much can we accomplish together?
- Do you need close-knit fellowship restored with another believer? Are you earnest to do whatever you must to reconcile? Remember that God doesn't judge you by your actions anymore. Thank Him for this, and ask how it should affect how you view and treat others in the body of Christ.
- If God's grace can save your soul – and you know how bad you were and how bad you would be without Christ – then He can certainly reconcile any two Christians in conflict.
- Have you experienced the refreshment that comes from reconciled relationships, your own or others'? Thank God for the working of His grace!
- When Christian relationships are strong, Gospel progress can be achieved. Do you need to take the first step toward reconciliation for the sake of the cause? Are you using your relationships to advance and spread the Gospel? How much can we accomplish together?