May 12, 2024

We need to be made weak

Passage: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, 13:4; Mark 15:25-39
Service Type:

Before Communion (2 Cor 13:4, Mark 15:25-39)

  • 2 Cor 13:4 - For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you
  • Looking later at the weakness of Paul
  • He is a reflection of Jesus crucified in power at the cross
    • An earth shattering event
    • Tremendous weakness but great power
    • The Temple curtain torn in two
  • We do not like to be weak
  • Jesus shows us a wonderful lesson on the cross
    • Jesus allows/offers Himself to be taken
      • The Mighty God - giving Himself up into the hands of sinners
    • Jesus was silent and meek
    • Jesus submitted to mocking and scourging
    • Jesus submitted to false accusation
  • Jesus was crucified
    • Darkness descend upon Him for 3 hours
    • Judgement was upon Him
    • He had only ever known unbroken fellowship with His Father - yet He suffered judgment and separation
      • He prayed 'My God' instead of 'Father'
  • The greatest victory was accomplished at the cross
    • The Centurion saw this (Mark 15:39)
  • Reading 2 Cor 13:4
    • We are weakened - made to feel our sin
      • We have nothing to offer God
      • We recognise that only God can save us
    • We have fellowship in Jesus
    • We walk in God's strength
  • Remember all that Jesus accomplished for us
    • See Psalm 21

After Communion (2 Cor 12:1-10)

  • The passage given for our encouragement
    • When we are weak - it is in these times we are made strong
    • The Israelites forgot God when things went well
    • We forget God when things go well
    • We rely upon on our own knowledge
  • Our problem is not weakness but self-dependence and human strength
    • The Bible is counter cultural - examples
  • We often depend on ourselves - we often fail to pray
    • We are too strong
    • We need humility

Learn from Paul's Humility

  • Paul is humble (v1-6)
    • He never boasted in himself like others
    • Others spoke of spiritual experiences - but Paul was taken up into the third heaven (v2)
      • A paradise (v4)
      • Caught up (v2,4)
      • Not sure if bodily or out of body
      • He saw and heard things that were too precious to speak of
    • The Church must of known about Paul's conversion on the road to Damascas
      • Perhaps they were aware of his vision (Acts 18)
      • He had another vision - but has not spoken about it
    • Paul speaks as though he was another person
      • Paul is the chief of sinners - he is not to be lauded above other believers (v5-6)
    • 2 Cor 10:17-18, Proverbs 27:2
      • Let God commend you

How God kept him humble

  • Paul was give a thorn in his side
  • Paul prayed three times for the thorn to be removed
    • It remained but God's power would make him strong in weakness
  • We want to know what the 'thorn' was
    • Greek meaning - 'Scolop'
  • A messenger of satan to buffet him
    • An eye problem - Gal 6:11, 4:15
    • A false worker against him - 2 Timothy 4:14
  • Something that God has given permission for
    • That Paul would become so dependent upon God
    • We naturally pray for suffering to end - but sometimes God permits a certain type of suffering for our good
    • We are not promised pain free lives but the grace of God - examples
  • As the burdens grow greater - may we know more of His grace and strength
    • One day - it will all be over
    • Pain makes us depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ
    • He knows what we can bear
    • We all go through trials - but we have times of green pastures, great joy and still waters
  • Remember than in our weakness - God's power is there for those who rely on the Lord