REFLECTIONS FOR LIFE
The Transforming Effect of Humility
2 Corinthians Series: PERFECTION IN WEAKNESS
2 Corinthians 1:12-22
Pastor Lou Gallo
October 4, 2020
Are you tempted to flatter to get something from someone?
Are you tempted to have unrealistic expectations on your leaders?
Humility is doing what we say we will do. Are you ever tempted to not keep your word? If so, what are the circumstances surrounding that temptation to not keep your word?
Humility works with people. Are there circumstances when it is difficult to work with people rather than simply telling them what to do? When is that most tempting for you?
2 Corinthians 1:12-24,“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. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand- just as you did partially understand us-that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you. Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. But I call God to witness against me-it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.”
Humility is submitting to Christ and the godly authority He has given for your good.
Humility is not overly concerned with outward appearances.
Humility does not judge by outward appearances- humility asks questions.
1. Simplicity and godly sincerity v:12-14
Transparency –Paul values what is not easily seen, purity of heart.
Boasting of others, v:14, “on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.” Paul’s boasting is in others; Jesus, the Corinthians.
No flattery! Compliments that are meant for selfish gain.
It is likely that the false apostles were flattering the Corinthians in order to gain their approval and acceptance – unlike Paul.
The false apostles were likely flattering the Corinthians to benefit themselves – unlike Paul.
Paul’s message to the Corinthians was not hidden. He was not saying one thing but meaning another. His message is ‘simple’ and ‘sincere.’
In verse 13 he says, “we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand.”
Paul is being led by the Holy Spirit and not by the expectations of the Corinthians.
Paul means what he says.
Humility is genuinely encouraging others and not for personal gain.
Another mark of humility is not just saying what you mean but keeping our word. If we say we’ll do something – we do it!!
Humility transforms us into sincere and transparent followers of Christ.
2. Keeping our word vs: 17-20
Verse 17 basically says that Paul did not say ‘Yes AND no’ at the same time.
Paul was saying that he didn’t say yes AND no in response to the Corinthians being unhappy that he was not going to visit them even though he said he would. They may have been accusing him of lying or just not caring about them.
It’s obvious that Paul cared deeply about the church. That wasn’t the real issue.
Also, Paul was led by the Spirit and at times was prohibited from going to one city or another.
In 2 Corinthians 1:23 Paul says, “But I call God to witness against me-it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth.”
Paul’s reason for not going to Corinth was to spare them from his reproof and rebuke.
His reason for not coming was for their benefit. Everything Paul did was for the benefit of the Corinthian church.
Maybe, Paul thought that the Holy Spirit was changing the heart of this church towards accepting him and he wanted them to benefit from the Spirit’s work without distracting from it.
He says that his word to them is not Yes AND No but his yes is yes and his no is no.
In any case. He was not lying. He was not being a hypocrite.
Everything he did was for the glory of Christ and the good of the Body of Christ.
In Paul’s heart was the heart of God. Paul was Imitating the heart of God.
All of God’s promises are ‘yes and amen.’
Verse 20 says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”
All of the promises of God find their YES in Him!
God promises, to keep His promises!
But what about us? What about our word?
Humility is simplicity and sincerity – we say what we mean!
Humility is also doing what we say.
3. Not lording over vs:24
2 Corinthians 1:24 says, “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.”
Humility works with people for their joy.
Not exercising authority over them.
Christ’s way is a different way. Humility walks with others. Humility works with others.
Humility transforms you. Humility transforms you into one who reflects the glory of Christ in the world!
We pray that this exercise will strengthen your relationship with the Lord as you draw near with confidence.