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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 4): Conduct In The Church

Paul's ministry was misunderstood by fellow believers, but he did not treat them in a way that compromised The Faith. Rather, he showed them great grace. He says “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you." [2Co 1:12 ESV]

In the midst of misunderstanding, Paul says “toward you we conducted ourselves honestly.” He recognized that they were once in the world. There is a gentle reminder here: Remember when we came to you with the gospel as we did in all the world -- honestly, simply? We came in obedience to His Commission; you responded to HIM, not us. There is great grace in the midst of misunderstanding when we remember our sinful past how we first received the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul says “toward you we conducted ourselves in godly sincerity.” We did not soften God’s word for you but spoke to you as from God. You listened and received the teaching. We were not one thing to you and then another. We are real.

Paul says, “more abundantly toward you we conducted ourselves not with fleshly wisdom.” It was God’s plan, not Paul’s that he came to Corinth (Read Acts 18:1-8).

Paul says, “more abundantly toward you we conducted ourselves by [in] the grace of God.”  How much more the ministry of grace the Corinthians are receiving right now as Paul battles for the truth.
So what is our response when our ministry is misunderstood?

1) Be honest, simple. No hidden agenda. In terms of our discipleship, the purpose Great Commission is not to invite people to a physical address but point them to Christ. Let Christ builds His church with living stones (people). The church is not a business, for profit.

2) Be sincere. Don’t soften the Gospel--they are God’s Words, not to be changed (He protects them):

G: God made us to have a relationship with Him.
O: Our sin separates us from God.
S:  Sin is breaking God's Laws; everyone has sinned.
P: Proving He is God, Jesus lived the Perfect sinless life, performed miracles, fulfilled all the Prophecies, then paid the price for sin when He died and rose again.
E: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (repents of their sin and puts their faith and trust in Jesus) shall be forgiven for their sins
L: Love & Life - God showed the depths of His Love by sacrificing His only son. He wants to give you a new heart, a new Life.

3) Be spiritual, not fleshly. In other words, be “prayed up.”  Participate in what God is already doing. Plug into the power source.

4) Be graceful. ”The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” [2Ti 2:24-25]

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