Defending False Accusations Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Defending False Accusations Part 2. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 1:12-14.

When there are others who are trying to discredit you and to mischaracterize you, what you got to do to defend yourself against these accusations is not come up with some extreme arguments but continue to live a consistent godly life through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ before them.

Hello, it’s Pastor Mike Sanders from the Open Door Church and you are listening to Hope Worth Having and we are delighted that you could be with us today. We’re going to continue our study in 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 12 through 14 as we’re learning about defending false accusations.

You know if you’ve been studying with us that the Apostle Paul is being falsely accused within the family of the church about things that are just not true and he is laying out his case and how God is working in his life and in this we see some beautiful principles that help us to rise above our enemies and to walk the high road and to live faithfully for the Lord Jesus Christ.

So let’s study together in 2 Corinthians chapter 1. And so the Apostle Paul says in verse 13, I want you to catch this, we write none other things unto you than what you read or acknowledged. Here’s what Paul’s saying, I said what I mean and I mean what I said.

I’m not tricking you. I’m not saying one thing over here and another thing over there. I’m not acting one way in front of you and another way behind your back. The Apostle is saying that you acknowledged that what I wrote was legitimate, that these were serious issues in the church, that there was some major discipline that needed to take place.

Paul is saying to the Corinthians they have no excuse for misunderstanding him because he is a man who has said what he needs to say. under the inspiration of God, he is a man who is not afraid to address the problems in the church.

And he says there at the end of verse 13, I trust you shall acknowledge even to the end that as you look at my record and as you look at my character and as you look at my courage to address these problems that I have not backed down and I have not vacillated, but rather that I have been truthful to this church.

The apostle Paul sought to maintain integrity in his ministry because he never wanted to do anything that would discredit the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He never wanted his life to be an obstacle to reaching people for Jesus Christ.

That’s why Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2 .4, that just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. Paul did not get up every morning trying to make everybody happy in the church.

Paul did not get up in the morning saying, look, I wanna say things so that people will be happy or that they’ll be pleased with me. It was not his focus to please man, but rather his focus was to please God.

He told the Galatians that if you try to please man, you’re not really a servant of God. And how important it is for us to admire and to appreciate those who serve in the work of Christ and that they just come straight out and say it.

They don’t give you political speak. They don’t try to move around the bushes or just try to kind of say it in a way that won’t hurt or offend you. There’s many times you just need to hear what God has to say, man.

Paul, he acted with the right motivation because he desired nothing but the good of the congregation. Now, as we taught last week, Paul used two words that were very important in verse 12 to help us understand his consistent character.

I want you to back up in verse 12 because I just want to bring your attention to these two words again. And that is, he says, after testifying of his conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation.

The word conversation in the Old English does not mean what it means today. When you think of a conversation, you think about picking up your phone and calling someone. You think about after church in the lobby, fellowshipping with God’s people.

You think about maybe taking a trip to get some coffee and conversing with someone. But conversation… in the Old English simply meant your lifestyle, your conduct, how you lived your life. Here’s what Paul is saying, that it is by the grace of God that we have had our lifestyle, our character, our conduct in the world and more abundantly towards you that this is how we lived our life.

And there were two words that describe Paul’s character. It was simplicity and it was sincerity. When Paul uses the word simplicity, it means a singleness, a focus of mind. Paul was a man who was single minded in his commitment.

He was not one, always kind of just all over the map and not sure where the apostles going. Paul woke up every day, he was on assignment for God, he was on mission for God. And when people tried to attack him with the silliness, it never got him off target.

He stayed focused with a singleness of commitment in his heart. This was part of who Paul was. This was his commitment. You remember that in the book of Philippians that Paul said, this one thing I do.

While many of us are trying to be the jack of all trades. And many of us have a lot of side things we got going on in our life. The apostle Paul was a man who was driven. He was focused and he knew why God had called him into the ministry and he was dedicated and committed that he would stay on task for Jesus Christ and he would not allow the side shows in this world or the side shows in his life or the drama in the church to get him off mission for the Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s important for you church to understand that because the devil doesn’t like a church growing. And the devil doesn’t like to see people get saved and the devil doesn’t want to see people dedicate their life to ministry.

And the devil doesn’t want to see you mobilized for the glory of God. He doesn’t want you to be active for Jesus Christ. He’d rather you be a backslidden Christian and sit on the sidelines and do nothing for Christ and find fault with everything in the church and blame the church for all your woes and ills and problems in life.

But somewhere down the line church, we got to get focused. We got to get single minded. We got to be single committed. We got to rise up every day and say we’re on mission. God has a purpose. God has a plan.

God’s putting people in my path every day so that I can reach them, I can teach them, I can encourage them, I can love them, I can help them, I can minister to them. And if you don’t ever get to that point, then your life is gonna be in disarray.

Some of you are trying to figure out what do I do with these kids I got? I’ll tell you what you do. You be a missionary to them. The number one job of every mother and every father is to reach their children with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some of you are trying to figure out, what do I do when my kid gets saved and he gets baptized? You disciple them. I mean, if more moms and dads would disciple their children, the church would never have to have an outreach day if we would just reach our own, if we would just take care of pouring our lives into our own children.

And you say, well, my kids are all grown up. Man, we got tons of teenagers, we got tons of children. We need God’s people to rise up and have a focus and have a single -mindedness and to have a single commitment in their heart that they are like the apostle Paul.

They are committed to the task and that they are not backing down. They are not retreating. They are not shrinking from the calling that God has in their life, but they embrace it knowing that God will provide wherever he guides.

Paul described his character as not only simplicity, but he called it sincerity. I told you last week that sincerity is a word that comes from the Greek language relating to taking. a pot and what the people would do as they were getting ready to buy this pot, they would hold it up to the light to make sure there was no cracks in it.

And what the Apostle Paul is saying to the Corinthians, take my life, take everything that I’ve written, taken everything that I’ve said, take my life that I’ve lived before you and towards you, take my life and hold it up to the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, hold it up to the light of the gospel, hold it up to the holiness and the righteousness of God and let his light shine on my life and what you will find is there is no crack.

There is no crack in my life. There is no light that will shine through. Now the Apostle Paul was not claiming that he was sinless, nor was he claiming that somehow he was flawless. But if you will stay with the text, you’ll know that as he is boasting and as he is bragging and as he is rejoicing in verse 12, he says that he’s rejoicing in this about his conscience.

He’s rejoicing in this that he lived his life with simplicity and sincerity. But how is it that he could be a man who would not have any flaws in relating to his moral character? How is it that this man would not have any cracks in his integrity?

Would you look at the text in verse 12 again? Not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God. Any righteousness that’s in you and any goodness that’s in us is all because of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You see, you can’t get on your high horse and you can’t say, hey, I’m better than others. You can’t say, hey, hey, hey, look at me. I’m one of God’s best and God’s so lucky to have me. Know my friends.

God is not lucky to have anybody. Every once in a while somebody will say, Pastor, you need to go reach that person. And I say, why? I just wanna know their motives. Well, they got a lot of money. What?

How about we reach people because they’re lost? How about we reach people because they need the gospel? of Jesus Christ, do you understand? What I’m saying is that some people feel like, well, they would be better if we had them because they got this and they got that, or they can sing or they can do this or that.

Listen to me, friends, nothing we bring to Christ, the best of us is nothing but filthy rags before an almighty God. And if you have any righteousness in you, if you have anything that is beneficial in you, if you have anything that is able to make a difference in the life of others, it is because of the grace of God.

And this is where our rejoicing should be, and this is where our boasting should be. And so the apostle Paul is saying to the Corinthians, hey, you can look at my life, you can look at it, because externally, I have tried to live a holy life.

Internally, my motivations have been sincere. I have strived to be a man of integrity and character before you. Listen, when there are others who are trying, to discredit you and to mischaracterize you and to find fault with you, what you gotta do to defend yourself against these accusations is not come up with some extreme arguments, but continue to live a consistent, godly life through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ before them.

And what you will find as I have found many times is that when people start trying to attack you, that they are only revealing a flaw that’s within their own heart, that usually reveals that they themselves are living in sin.

And what I wanna challenge all of us this morning to do is live that consistent, godly life before others, that when you find flaws in your life, that as you hold up your life before the light of God’s word or the light of Jesus Christ, and he reveals something that you begin to work on that, that you don’t go around trying to blame others, you don’t go around trying to find fault with others, and then you don’t try to say, well, this person that and this, listen, friends, focus on yourself.

I have to be honest, I’m kinda like D .L. Moody. I’m so busy with Mike, I haven’t got time to keep up with everybody else’s issues because Mike’s got a lot. But that’s what happens, right? We’re spec finders.

We pick, husbands pick at wives and wives pick at husbands. Families pick at each other. They continue to find faults with each other when really what we ought to do, that we are what we are because of the grace of God.

And if there’s a lot of issues in a lot of people’s lives, but I’m gonna work on myself, I’m gonna just bring all my issues to Jesus because it is God’s grace that sustains us. It is God’s grace that empowers us.

It is God’s grace that energizes us through the Holy Spirit to live the life that he wants us to live. God is calling us to be consistent in our character. And as we live a life, that we ought to live as we align our hearts to His truth, then God will bring to our attention what we need to work on.

This is why I taught you last week, church, don’t read your Bible looking for a pick -me -up. Don’t read your Bible like you drink your coffee. I need something to just, you know, get me going. You come to God’s holy Word and you say, Lord, is there a sin for me to confess?

You see, isn’t it better to confess your sin in private than to have to confess it publicly? Isn’t better to deal with your problems privately and personally with the Lord Jesus Christ than to have to deal with it publicly with others?

This is what I’m saying every day. You got to have a private time with God. You got to have a devotion time and you got to come to His Word. The Scripture says, thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet. It tells me where I’m at. It tells me where I’m at spiritually. It tells me where I’m at. In my walk with God, it tells me what I need to work on. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.

You see, if you’re not in the word, no wonder you think everything’s hunky dory. No wonder you think everything’s wonderful in your life. No wonder you’re looking at everybody else’s problems and not your own.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. It tells me where I stand with God. But it’s a light unto my path. It tells me the direction I need to go. It tells me where I need to go for Christ. It tells me the path that I need to walk.

And so I want to challenge us to have this consistent character because your character speaks louder than any words. You can say how you live your life, speaks volumes to people more than what you say.

You say, well, I know all the Bible verses. I know all the books of the Bible, Mike. I can quote verses backwards. I know Bible verses and five different translations and languages. Well, great. But you know what I’ve learned is some people are educated beyond their obedience.

They’re educated beyond their obedience. And I tell people before you learn more, why don’t you just start with obeying what you already know? Why don’t you start right there? You want to know all this stuff about prophecy.

You want to know all these unique mysteries in the Bible. You want to understand the depths and the breadth of God’s word. And I think that’s wonderful. But let’s start with the basics and let’s be who we’re supposed to be every day of our life.

And let’s work on God shaping our character through the power of the Spirit of God as he pours his grace into our life. The third way that the apostle Paul was able to defend the accusations was not only through a clear conscience and a consistent character, but a conquering faith.

A conquering faith. I want you to look at verse 14. The Bible says also you have acknowledged us in part. We are your rejoicing. Even as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. The day of the Lord Jesus.

I want us to kind of back up into this Bible, into this verse, if you will. The apostle says, the day of the Lord Jesus, this is looking forward to the judgment seat of Christ when the service of God’s people will be evaluated and rewarded.

Many Christians are afraid of the judgment seat of God. They’re concerned about the judgment seat of God. They’re under this persuasion that somehow God’s going to play a video of their life, that somehow God’s going to bring up all that is wrong with them.

Listen, I want you to get your theology right. I don’t want you to walk out of here with your head down. I want your head up, but your head up is not a confidence in self. It’s not a confidence in your achievements.

It’s a confidence in what Christ has already accomplished on the cross for you on your behalf. In that, in Romans 8 .1, the Bible tells us, there is neither no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

What I want you to know this morning is that Jesus is not up there condemning you. He’s not up there finding fault with you, but rather just the opposite. He is cheering you on those who are in Christ Jesus that their sins are under the blood of Jesus Christ.

They have been washed away and they are forgiven and God has blessed them with a new life and a new identity and a new purpose in life. Listen, when the world, when your own mind or even the devil tries to bring up the past, I want you to remind the devil of his future because it’s not looking good for the devil, amen?

I want you to remember that your past is under the blood of Jesus Christ. Some of you are saying I gotta hold back because of my past or someone said to me the other day, oh, they gotta pass. Hello, we all gotta pass, amen?

We all have sinned to come short of the glory of God. Are you crazy? Why would you talk like that? We’re all under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and because of that, when we stand before God on the Judgment Sea, he is going to evaluate what we have done for him as his people.

He is gonna evaluate what seeds we have planted, what seeds have been watered, what harvest has been brought in for the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s gonna look at our life and if you say, well, I’m just one of those people who sits on the sidelines, Mike, and finds fault with everything in the church, yikes.

I don’t think your mansion’s gonna be too big. I don’t think you’re gonna have a lot of responsibility up in heaven, amen? I’m gonna tell Jesus, keep you off my golf course that he’s gonna put me in charge of.

That’s right, we’re gonna have work to do in heaven. We’re gonna have work to do. Some of you wonder, what are we gonna do when we get to heaven? You think you’re gonna float around on a cloud, on a harp?

Absolutely not, but here’s what I want you to know is this. We will all stand before God and there can be. be nothing more meaningful to the life of a believer than to hear the Savior say well done thou good and faithful servant you have been faithful in a little and I will make you a leader a ruler of much that means a lot and so some of you are saying well pastor Mike if my sins are under the blood of Jesus Christ then why do I have to confess my sins let me tell you why it goes back to my first point to you the reason God calls Christians to have a life of confession to him every day is that we might live in clear conscience before God and before man that’s why the Bible tells us to confess our sins and that’s why the Bible tells us to confess our faults one to another and if we would do more confessing our marriages would be better our relationships would be better if we would do more confessing you and I would live in the joy of Jesus Christ every day if we would humble our hearts and say Lord what was me I am a man I who is unclaimed I am a person with undone lips, meaning that I am falling apart.

I am coming apart at the seams, and I need your mighty work of grace in my life. If you and I approached every day like that, we would live in clear conscience before God, and we would live in clear conscience before man.

But I want you to have a conquering faith that your sins are under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and one day when you stand before the Lord, he is gonna reward you for what you have accomplished for him, what you have done for the cause of Jesus Christ.

All that you have sacrificed, all that you have given, all that you have done, all the time and effort that you, as members of this local fellowship, and many others throughout the world, and from the time passed to now and to the time to come, all of God’s people who have given 100%, who have been all in for Jesus Christ, they are the ones that will then before God almighty and receive great reward for their faithfulness to God.

Some of you are worried, nobody noticed. They forgot to send me a certificate. Some of you are still waiting for your trophy. You don’t need any trophies, church. You don’t need a room named after you.

You don’t need a coat rack named after you. You don’t need a building named after you. You don’t need any of that. What you need to do is stay faithful for Jesus, for great is your reward. You see, I’d rather receive my rewards in heaven than on earth because Jesus said this, that if you receive your rewards on earth, then you won’t receive them in heaven.

I’d rather receive the applause of Jesus than the applause of man. I’d rather to be a monument of his mercy and a trophy of his grace in heaven than to be hero worshiped on earth. This should be our motivation, that we desire to serve him and to be rewarded by.

him. That’s why the Apostle Paul said in Romans 14 10, why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. Now, Christians, we got to quit this.

We don’t like this person. We don’t like that person. We don’t like this ministry. We don’t like that ministry. Everyone stands on their own two feet before God and let him evaluate and judge their ministry.

Quit finding fault. The body of Christ is diverse and the body of Christ has many functions and many parts and the body of Christ is moving forward for the glory of God and whoever is not pulling their weight and whoever is not doing what they should do and whoever’s doing it for the wrong reason and whoever is doing something that is contrary, God is going to deal with them.

Paul says we are your rejoicing. Do you see that in the text? We are your rejoicing. Here’s what Paul is saying. We are the cause of your rejoicing. We are the cause of your bragging. We are the reason that you are rejoicing to God.

You see, one of the things that as we look at each other as believers is that we should find delight and joy in each other as we serve together and we watch God use each other’s life for him. There should be no competition in the family of God.

There should be no competitiveness in the family of God. There should be no trying to outdo each other in the family of God. We should rejoice when God’s hand is on someone. Paul says, where you’re rejoicing, you saw how God worked in our life.

You saw through his grace that he planted this church. You saw how he brought people to salvation. You saw them grow up in their faith. You saw how God worked mightily and we are your rejoicing. He is simply saying that the people at Corinth knew that Paul was legitimate, that he was the real deal because God had used him as an instrument to lead them to a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The legitimacy of your ministry is the outcome of your ministry. That as God is working in you and through you and around you, he is validating that his hand is upon you as people come to Christ, as people are encouraged in the faith, as people are strengthened in the walk, as people are lifted up to stay faithful for God.

This outcome can show itself in many, many different ways but the bottom line is that God is using you. We are your rejoicing, Paul says. And what I wanna encourage you is this. There would be many naysayers in your life and there would be many that say you cannot and they might have some good reasons of why you should not but I want you to keep plugging on for Christ.

Christ knowing that your reward is in heaven, knowing that in the long run, God will vindicate you and God will build a table of victory for you. You remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 23 verse five when he said that God prepared a table before the presence of his enemies.

It was not just a table to eat dinner. It was not just a table to have a cup of coffee, but it was a table of vindication. It was a table of validation. It was a table of victory. And here’s what God is saying to the psalmist.

They found fault with you. They attacked you. But my hand is upon you. When David walked before Goliath, his brother said to him, what are you doing here? You’re just trying to get all the attention and the glory.

And you know what? David was tired of the name of God being shamed in Israel. He was tired that people were finding fault and that this big old knucklehead, over nine feet tall. Putting down God putting down God’s people little guy like David grabbed five stones. And he just had enough courage to stand before Goliath He had enough faith to swing those rocks and hit the giant right in the forehead and knocked him to the ground Amen cut his head off and dragged it to the king and that’s the way God will work in your life Is that he’ll build a table of victory and validation and vindication before your enemies?

Church I don’t want you to let the naysayers to stop you. I don’t want you to let the critics to stop you I’ve learned this in Christianity and ministry that those who are rowing the bolt don’t have time to rock it And when you find somebody who’s always trying to rock the boat It’s probably because they don’t got a paddle and maybe you ought to hand them a paddle and say get busy for Jesus You see those are the kind of complaints that says I’m gonna get involved and I’m gonna get busy for God their conversion their growth was the authenticity of the calling of the Apostle Paul and all that God is doing in your life is Not only a vindication and a validation of his ministry and calling in your life It is an affirmation for you to stay at it and do not quit You may not always see all that you want to see and you may never know The power of what God is doing and you may never know the end result You Life is full of ups and downs and we deal with these ups and downs and sometimes the people that we love can hurt us The most and that’s what the Apostle was dealing with people that he had personally led to Christ and that he had shown them the plan Of salvation had betrayed and turned on him But we see how God became his defender and we see how the Lord provided every step of the way. And I want you to remember that even in the most difficult situation when you feel falsely accused that you have a brother his name is Jesus Christ who sticks closer than a brother and He will defend you and he will be there every step of the way. So, I want to encourage you to stay faithful for him and be a faithfully devoted follower of Christ.

Make sure that you’re checking out our YouTube channel We are on YouTube and you can capture all the sermons that we have preached on video. Even this message is there if you’d like to see it in its entirety. Go to YouTube and type in hope worth having and that’ll get you right to our channel. Make sure you subscribe and it alerts you every time we put up a new video. This is pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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