Light of the Gospel
a study of 2 corinthians
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
what does gospel shaped leadership look like?
THE POSTURE & THE POWER (v. 1-6)
 I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.  For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,  being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
MEEK AND GENTLE?
…the man who is meek is not even sensitive about himself. He is not always watching himself and his own interests. He is not always on the defensive. We all know about this, do we not? Is it not one of the greatest curses in life as a result of the fall-this sensitivity about self? We spend the whole of our lives watching ourselves. But when a man becomes meek he has finished with all that; he no longer worries about himself and what other people say. To be truly meek means we no longer protect ourselves, because we see there is nothing worth defending. So we are not on the defensive; all that is gone. The man who is truly meek never pities himself, he is never sorry for himself. He never talks to himself and says, `You are having a hard time, how unkind these people are not to understand you'. He never thinks: `How wonderful I really am, if only other people gave me a chance.' Self-pity! What hours and years we waste in this! But the man who has become meek has finished with all that. To be meek, in other words, means that you have finished with yourself altogether, and you come to see you have no rights or deserts at all.
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
1 Peter 2:21–24
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
MEEK, GENTLE, AND….AT WAR?
Paul is not contrasting his weapons with spears and missiles but with the conventional weapons of his opponents: ingenuity, rhetoric, showmanship, splashiness, spiritual pretension, personal charisma—the kind of things Paul disavows. And because Paul avoids these things, they think he is inferior and despise him! But no matter—Paul’s weapons nevertheless have “divine power.”
- Kent Hughes
1 Corinthians 2:1–5
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE
Receive. Reject. Redeem.
THE PURPOSE (v. 7-11)
 Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ's, so also are we.  For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.  I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.  For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”  Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.
BUILDING YOU UP
How are you using your authority?
And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the LORD.
OUR POSITION (v. 12-18)
 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.  For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.  We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged,  so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence.  “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (ESV)
I, also, decided to get rid of the need of approval. That is a strong addiction, the need of approval, isn't it? I'm on the patch right now, actually. It releases small doses of approval until I no longer crave it. And, I'm going to rip it off!
- Ellen Degeneres
THE DEADLY TRAP
Freed from Critiques & Comparison
THE GOSPEL IS NOT CONDITIONAL LOVE
If you obey me, I will love you
THE GOSPEL IS NOT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
I love & accept you just the way you are
THE GOSPEL IS CONTRA-CONDITIONAL LOVE
God has blessed me because his son fulfilled the conditions I could never achieve. Contrary to what I deserve, he loves me. And now I can begin to change - not because I can earn his love, but because I’ve already received it.
- David Powlison
Are you boasting in the Lord’s commendation?
How Will You Respond?
Take a Next Step
A Prayer for Salvation
“Heavenly Father, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through your Son Jesus I can be more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you that he lived the life I should have lived and paid the debt and punishment I owed. Receive me now for his sake. I turn from my sins and receive him as Savior. Amen.”