This Lord’s Day we will focus on 2 Corinthians 10:1-6. This passage begins Paul’s renewed defense in which he takes aim at his opponents in Corinth who were trying to undermine his authority and his message in the church. His defense will occupy the rest of the letter. In it, Paul encourages the Corinthians to step up and stand with him in the conflict.
Several important themes appear in this text and throughout the remaining chapters. First, the issues at nature of the conflict was spiritual rather than personal; spiritual warfare was being waged in Corinth. Second, the weapons Paul used in the conflict, though only alluded to in this text, are spiritual—specifically the truth of God’s word. Finally, the battleground in the conflict is the local church. In Paul’s worldview, everything hinged on the wellbeing of the assembly.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 119:89-93
Hymn 610 How Firm a Foundation
Notes: False teachers in Corinth depended on their celebrity status to gain a following. However, authority and influence should not come from anything other than what God has said. “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!” The message is complete and sufficient; we need no other word.
Worship through Giving
Hymn 589 Soldiers of Christ, Arise
Notes: Paul called ordinary Christians to stand with him in the spiritual war that raged. Therefore, we must put on the “full armor” of God (the meaning of “panoply,” cf. Ephesians 6:11) in order to “wrestle and fight and pray.” But we do not stand alone in the battle; we are “strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty pow’r.”
Scripture Reading 1 Timothy 3:1-16
Notes: This passage sets forth the qualifications for leaders in the local church. Most of the qualifications deal with matters of character. However, both pastors and deacons must have a mature, firm grasp of the truth. This is essential for the church to function as the “pillar and buttress of the truth” (3:15).
Hymn 588 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Notes: Martin Luther’s majestic hymn reminds us of the realities of the spiritual conflict in which we fight. He also encourages us with a reminder of the outcome that God has ordained.
Message Band of Brothers
2 Corinthians 10:1-6
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn HBC 25 I Love The Church
Notes: This hymn describes the love for Christ that always produces love for his church, a church “guarded and fed by shepherds [Christ] provides.” This kind of love lies at the heart of our mission. And so we respond to the message, “I love the church because I love her Lord!”
Prayer Response John Miles
Benediction John Miles