by Stuart Briscoe

This content is part of a series.

NOTE: This sermon is part 1 and 2 of a 8 part sermon series. Two sermons outlines are included in this download.


Part 7: When We Are Becoming Careless
Series: Knowing God Personally
Stuart Briscoe
2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Sometimes when commitments prove challenging we back off from promises made. Paul shows us what to do from a specific situation in Corinth.

I. The Situation.

A. The predicament of the Jerusalem church.
1. Their dramatic growth. Acts 2:41; 4:4

2. Their peculiar circumstances-ostracism, opposition.

3. Their dire poverty and generous spirit. Acts 4:32f

B. The concern of the Apostle.
1. His promise to help. Galatians 2:10

2. His enrollment of the mission churches. 1 Corinthians 16:1f

C. The response of the Corinthians. 8:10-11
1. First to respond.

2. Eager to help.

3. Failure to deliver.

II. The Solution.

A. Examples by way of comparison.
1. The example of the Macedonians. vv. 1 5
a. Grace was at work in them. vv. 1-2
i. Out of severe trial-overflowing joy.

ii. Out of extreme poverty-rich generosity.

b. Their enthusiasm bordered on recklessness. v. 3


Part 8: When We Are Experiencing Trials
Series: Knowing God Personally
Stuart Briscoe
2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Pushed by his detractors, Paul reluctantly talks about his experiences. In so doing, he explains how his famous "thorn in the flesh," instead of being removed, served to deepen his relationship with God, an important lesson for all.

I. A Dramatic Revelation. vv. 1 6

A. Enforced "boasting." v. 1
1. A necessary response to his critics.

2. A realistic recognition of its limitation.

B. Humble disclosure. vv. 2 6
1. A self effacing description-"a man in Christ."

2. An out of this world experience-"caught up."
a. "Third heaven"-atmospheric, stellar, spiritual.

b. "Paradise"-Persian for enclosure, park, pleasure garden.
i. Where Adam and Eve lived. Genesis 2:15 LXX

ii. Where Christ went after crucifixion. Luke 23:43

iii. Where believers-will enjoy "tree of life." Revelation 2:7

3. A modest admission-"I do not know."

4. An honest acknowledgment-"not permitted to tell."
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