How to Restore Relationships Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on How to Restore Relationships Part 2. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 7:2-16.

What unites us is not that we all have the same opinion, not that we all have the same haircut, not that we all dress alike, not that we all see every detail in life alike. What unites us is our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike from The Open Door Church and I wanna welcome you to our Hope Worth Having Radio broadcast. We’re excited that you could join us today. We’re gonna be in 2 Corinthians chapter seven, continuing our study on how to restore relationships.

We know it’s tough out there and life is about relationships. And sometimes there are problems, division, and things need to be restored. The Apostle Paul teaches us those steps. So let’s get into our passage today, 2 Corinthians chapter seven, verse two through 16.

When we come to 2 Corinthians chapter seven, we started last week learning about restoring broken relationships. Now last week we learned together that there were three important words to restoring the broken relationship.

And today I wanna share with you four, but let’s just real quickly remind ourselves of those key words. Again, we go back to chapter seven and we look at verse two and we note again, he says, open your heart to us.

We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. We remember that the Apostle in verse 11 of chapter six, he had reminded the Corinthians that he was opening his heart to them.

I tell people that just like it takes two to tango, it takes two to work it out. Not everybody is willing or ready to work it out. That’s what I’m trying to help you understand is that Paul said, I’ve opened my heart, now you open your heart to me.

sometimes it takes a little bit of a process before people are there. So when you are jumping into this restoring broken relationships, you may be ready to open your heart, but the other person may not be ready.

And the reason I call it integrity is that it requires integrity on both parts that we’re both honestly coming into this relationship desiring to work it out. But if both are not willing to work it out, it’s gonna be difficult.

And so that’s the beginning is integrity, but second is loyalty. Look at verse three again of chapter seven. He says, I do not say this to condemn you for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.

Underscore that phrase to die together and to live together because in the Greek culture that was a military motto and it was an expression of their loyalty and their brotherhood or their friendship.

This is what the Apostle is saying to the Corinthians is that I am loyal I am loyal to make this work. It doesn’t matter how long it takes It doesn’t matter how difficult it is. I am committed to making it work And so when he expresses to the Corinthians to die together to live together, he is not only expressing his loyalty, but he is expressing his refusal to renounce their friendship and relationship.

He is expressing his desire to not only have a relationship restored here on this earth, but a relationship that will continue to blossom into Eternity. That’s what’s so beautiful about Heaven. It’s not just that certainly our Savior will be there, but all of us will be in beautiful harmonious fellowship Relationships where no one is offended.

No one is hurt. No one is upset No one is struggling because all sin is removed. All offenses are washed away Now the third thing we learned last week was joy Joy now, let’s go back to verse 4 and he says great is my boldness of speech towards you great Is my boasting on your behalf?

I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly Joyful in all our tribulation I love that phrase because at the end he says I’m exceedingly joyful in all of our tribulation Now the Apostle is not talking about his hard times Although he’s been through some hard times relating to just outward problems.

He talks about that in verse 5 outside We’re conflicts inside were fears But he’s talking about the broken relationship between the Corinthians and him our tribulation Our problem our struggle the Apostle refuses that even though they are not in sync, he is not gonna let it rob him of his joy.

This is what I wanna challenge you with, is that even in your broken relationships that you do not let the struggles of your relationships rob you of being joyful in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is sometimes this conflict that is within us as believers, that we can have a joyful, growing, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, but times that there are people in our lives that the relationships aren’t going well, and it’s not always working out with the kids, or it’s not always working out in the home, or it’s not always working out on the job, but we refuse to become angry.

We refuse to become bitter, and we refuse to become hateful because that is the process. When you let anger get a foothold in your life. then the devil will use that anger to cause you to become bitter and angry and blaming everybody in your life.

And then it becomes that you are now hateful. How is it that someone can go from loving someone to the point that they hate someone? It’s because they’ve allowed anger to take root and bitterness to take root into their hearts.

And the Bible says it defiles many. Everyone around them is defiled. Everybody can see it. Instead of emanating joy in their life, instead of emanating a focus on Christ in their life, they are emanating hate and bitterness and negativity.

So God calls us to be joyful. As you and I are watching the apostle work through this broken relationship with the Corinthians, and we are learning how he is going through this process, we see that the fourth principle is repentance.

I want you to come down to verse eight through 11, and I want you to see this. He says in verse eight, for even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it, for I perceived that though some, the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while, now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance, for you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing, for godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Look at verse 11, for observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner, what diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal.

what vindication in all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Remember that I told you that this is a process. It wasn’t always that the Corinthians were repentant. It wasn’t always that they desired to make things right with the Apostle.

The truth is that he made a visit. He told us earlier in the letter in chapter 2 that it was a painful visit. It was a painful visit where he was humiliated by the Corinthians. A painful visit where they again were attacking his character and his own integrity and his ministry.

This was such a heavy burden upon the Apostle that he was even as we learned last week so worried about it. He was wondering what Titus’ report was of the church. How were they doing? How were they responding to the letter that the Apostle wrote to them?

It was not a letter that was preserved but a letter from the heart of the Apostle to the Corinthians. and he is confronting things in their life. He is confronting problems that are creating this wedge and this broken relationship.

And what he is rejoicing here is that they have come to the point that they have repented. Let’s talk about repentance. What is repentance? Well, it is the Greek word metaneo, which literally means to change one’s mind.

It’s the idea of a change of your outlook, a radical change of your outlook, a change of purpose, a change of perspective. You see everything differently. When Jesus began his public ministry, this was his message in Matthew 4 .17.

Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He was calling people to change directions in their life. He was calling them to change the way they saw thing. When they were outside of Christ, they saw everything from the perspective of the world or the flesh.

They saw everything how they wanted to interpret everything. But Jesus is calling us to a radical change within our heart and in our minds to turn away from the world and to turn to Christ. The gospel demands that in our own hearts, sin always be dealt with.

It calls for us to repent of that sin, to change our mind about it, to change our behaviors, to reorient our life that we might follow Christ. For the believer, repentance is not a decision, but it is a continual discipline pattern of our life.

Christians make the mistake that if they repented once, they came down to an altar at an evangelistic meeting, they raised a hand, they prayed a prayer. You’re good, I’m good, Mike. I’m good, I signed that card.

I went through your class, Mike. I took all those classes you have. Listen to me, friends. What God is most concerned about is our heart. We are called to daily repent. Yes, we come to God with repentant hearts every day as we look into his word.

Now, what is unique about repentance is that it is a work of God in us. Second Timothy 2, 24, verse 25 says, as it’s describing what a pastor or an elder should be like in the church, a leader says a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient in humility, correcting those who are in opposition if God perhaps will grant them repentant so that they may know the truth.

Repentance is a gracious work of God. It is a work of God’s spirit in my life and in your life. God calls us to repent. but he calls us to be surrendered to God’s work of repentance in our life as well.

And that is he’s granting a heart that desires to repent. We are responsive in our will to that desire and we act upon it and we are constantly aligning our hearts with God’s word, with God’s truth, with God’s will in our life.

Now you’ll note in our text here, in verse eight through 11, verse nine, he says, I rejoice. Not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. This is the beauty of repentance is that it brings joy, not just in your own heart, but it brings joy in relationships.

There’s nothing more joyful than to see someone who’s been stubborn and unwilling to bend, unwilling to flex, unwilling to align their heart with God’s will to all of a sudden decide that, you know what?

I’m gonna follow God’s will for my life and I’m gonna do the right thing and make this relationship work to see that happen brings joy to everyone involved. Now the apostle says in verse eight, at the end, though only for a while, I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.

He’s talking about a season. He’s talking about a time period. Paul wrote this difficult letter. Sometimes it is referred to as the severe letter, a letter confronting the problem, a letter addressing the issues.

And he said, I know it made you sorry, but it was only for a season. And you see, it’s dependent upon our response to God. It’s dependent upon how God is working as we are responding to Him. That sorrow that we bear when we refuse to follow God’s will will stay with us until we change.

directions until we repent. The Apostle wrote a letter out of love but it was a letter that rebuked the Corinthians and it was designed to point them towards repentance. There are times in our broken relationships that we have to say strong words.

We have to be very truthful. Love is calling us to be truthful. Love is calling us to be tender but there are also times that love is calling us to be tough. You say how do you know Mike? The Spirit of God leads me.

Prayer leads me as I’m seeking His Word, as I’m getting the counsel of godly people in my life leads me on the nuances of the application of love, of when it should be tender, when it should be tough, when it needs to be straightforward, when it needs to be diplomatic.

We desire all these things but the point is that the Apostle had to be straight with them. And that’s why he says to them that I believe this letter made you sorry, though only for a while. Now in verse eight, he says an interesting word here, a contradiction, I do not regret it, though I did regret it.

Now those of you that are using the King James Bible, you know that it says, repent. It says, I repented and then I didn’t repent. The word regret is a better translation. And it’s a different word than metanomeia.

It’s the same root word, but it’s a different word. So I don’t want you to feel like somehow pastors teaching something different. Here’s what the apostle is saying. He is having the conflict that every mom and dad has when it’s time to discipline your children.

Have you ever been there, mom and dad? You know that they need to have this discipline, but it breaks your heart, doesn’t it? It’s hard. It’s hard to discipline the children sometimes. And this is what the apostle is saying.

He is saying, for even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it. He does not regret it in the sense of its outcome, its purpose of what it would accomplish. Though I did regret it as he is writing it, he’s struggling with it.

And he’s even wondering whether it is right, is it God’s will? And I want to tell you that this conflict in the life of the believer is not only in our lives, but it was in the life of the apostle. That there were times that he wondered, is this what God wants me to do?

So friends, it’s normal, it’s okay, for you to struggle with the will of God. But the apostle did not regret its outcome, its mighty work, but while he was doing it, it was hard for him. So do Christians need to repent?

Yes. Why do we need to be repentant every day? Because godly sorrow softens the heart towards God. The reason your time with God every day, in your Bible, in your prayer. and time to confess to God is essential.

It keeps your heart tender towards him. I’ve taught you church that when you open your Bible, the key is to ask great questions. And so as you’re asking questions, one of the questions you need to be asking is there a sin for me to confess?

It’s far better for God to confront you privately through his word and you confess it and make it right than for you to have to be confronted publicly. That’s why I wanna spend time in his word and I’m not just always looking up for a pick me up, I’m looking for God to deal with my heart and help me to stay tender towards him.

And if God says, Mike, this is something you need to work on, then I want to address that, I wanna have a tender heart, I wanna be repentant towards God, I wanna confess that to God and I wanna change my mind about that attitude or change my mind about that action.

I want to go a different direction that’s more in a line with God’s will. Sorrow is the first step towards repentance. Paul says, I’m glad it made you sorrow. I’m glad that it was hard on you. I’m glad because this is how God works, and sometimes the Lord speaks to us through His Spirit, and we are grieving, and we are mourning over, we know what’s wrong.

Our conscience and the Spirit of God is working and telling us, and I want to keep that tender by staying close to God, and I want to respond to that as He’s working in my heart. But I want you to know is what my goal is, is to stay tender to God, so that when the Spirit says, Mike, you shouldn’t have said that, or you said that in the wrong tone, or you said that in the wrong way, I want to be sensitive to make it right with that person, and I want to make it right with God.

Now, let me give you some characteristics of true repentance that are revealed in verse 11. But what are the characteristics of true repentance? Because as you’re trying to work it out with someone, and they say sorry, and you say, Pastor, how do I know that they’re real?

How do I know that they really mean it? Okay, I want to give you some characteristics that are right here in verse 11. First of all, is a desire to make things right. A true, sorrowful person is prompted to take the initiative to make it right.

I want to make it right. I don’t want there to be anything between us. I want to do what I can to make it right. The second thing is a desire to clear your name. You’ll notice in verse 7, he says, the clearing of yourselves.

They didn’t want to bear the burden of not being in a right relationship with the apostle. They didn’t want to be the one that refused to make it right. They wanted to be right with God, and be right with him, and to have the reputation.

being a Christian who desires to be repentant. Third characteristic is an anger towards your sin. There’s an anger towards your sin. He says, what indignation? He’s not telling them that it’s okay to be reckless in your anger towards people, but what he is saying is he admired that they were upset about what they had done, that they were furious, that they had given into the flesh, that they were misled, that they had followed the world and the false teacher that was misleading them.

They wanted to make it right. The next characteristic is a reverence towards God. He says, what fear? Not fear in the sense that they were afraid of the Apostle, but that they were reverence towards God, a reverence towards God and a respect to those you have offended.

That’s what he’s talking about. Next. is a desire for restoration, a desire for restoration. There’s already the desire to make things right, but the desire to complete that circle, the desire that I want to be right with God and with others, and I want to take the steps to finish that, to complete that, to accomplish that, if you will, and then a passion for holiness.

There’s a desire to be pure, a desire to follow God, a desire to reflect Christ’s likeness in your heart, and then a final characteristic is a desire to make restitution. Restoration is inward, restitution is outward.

What can I do to make this right? So just a quick, small example. Let’s just think about this, is that maybe as a child you were playing baseball or you were doing something and all of a sudden that ball went right through your neighbor’s window, right?

And so your parents made you go apologize and then you went and apologized, but your dad said, hey, not only are you going to apologize, but you’re going to pay for their new window. So there is the restoration, but then there is the restitution by tangibly finishing the restoration, by making it complete, and whatever they lost, making it whole again.

But when we talk about what is genuine repentance, these are the things we need to see. And remember that in this process, as we are talking about making broken relationships right, I do believe that these steps and these words that I’m giving you, these principles are sequential, that they are in order, that these are the things that need to be seen, that if we can’t get to repentance, it’s going to be hard to get to the next two principles I have for you.

you. It’s going to be hard to accomplish these next steps that I have for you out of God’s word unless there is repentance. And you say, well, pastor, what if there is no repentance? We keep praying.

We keep trusting. We keep believing. We keep being joyful, waiting for God to do that great work in their heart. Sometimes people are sorry because they got caught, right? Sometimes people are sorry because maybe they want something out of it that will be a gain for them.

That’s not true repentance. And if you’re not seeing true repentance, you’re not going to see true restoration in a relationship. And so you just continue to wait on the Lord. I know that’s not easy and that’s hard, but we have to keep moving in that direction.

So let me give you these last few principles here. Number five is unity. Look at verse 12 of chapter seven. He says, therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong.

not for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you. Therefore, we have been comforted in your comfort, and we have rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.

Now, Titus, remember we learned last week, he was the one that carried the severe letter? I mean, they didn’t have the postal service, they didn’t have email, they didn’t have social media to deliver their communication.

And so, Titus took the letter from the apostle, that the Bible says he wrote with tears, and it was a severe letter, it was a confrontational letter, it was a letter confronting what was wrong, and what needed to be made right.

Titus carries that letter, Paul is waiting for the response of the Corinthians, he’s looking for Titus to reconnect with him, to find out how did the Corinthians respond to this letter? We learned earlier last week that they responded with repentance and sorrow and mourning, they wanted to make it right with the apostle that we just covered.

And so now, the apostle is saying, as a result of this, I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who was done for the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered the wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you, for the unity of the faith, for the unity of the gospel, for the unity of the church, for the unity of the family.

There are times that you and I take bigger steps for the greater good, that we don’t allow a faction, or we don’t allow a disagreement, destroy the unity of the family, or destroy the unity of the church, or destroy the unity even of the workplace.

Unity is an important part of… making things right. Now there is a difference between uniformity and unity. I tell people if you want uniformity, join the military. You’ll have the same haircut. Everybody dresses alike.

Everybody has the same schedule. Everybody eats the same food. That’s uniformity. But there is a difference between uniformity and unity. God is not calling us to all look alike, walk alike, talk alike, and even live alike.

But what He is calling us to the big rocks, the big rocks of unity, that there are important values that we hang together, that we pull together. We’re watching our nation fall apart. We’re watching the disunity.

And the key is not that we get everybody to agree politically, the key is to bring everybody back to those big rocks of why this nation was founded. That’s the key. and it’s the key in your relationship and it’s the key in the church is that we all stay focused on those big rocks.

Remember what the apostle taught us in Ephesians 4 .3, we are endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The message of Christianity is unity. Remember that Jesus taught his disciples that the world will know that your love is true by the love that you have for one another.

The greatest witnessing tool we have church is not to fight, but it is to love one another. God has not called the church to divide, he’s not calling families to divide, he’s not calling on us to turn on each other and devour over each other over little things.

You have your opinion, I have my opinion, we all have your opinions. There are plenty of platforms to share your opinions, but when we come into the house of the Lord, our focus is Jesus Christ, amen?

That’s why the first message was we see Jesus, we see him, we focus on him, we’re here to worship him. You may have this opinion and you may have that opinion and it’s all okay, but when we come together as the body of Christ, we are united under the umbrella of bringing glory to God and advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What unites us is not that we all have the same opinion, not that we all have the same haircut, not that we all dress alike, not that we all see every detail in life alike. What unites us is our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s important.

And it’s the same thing true in your family. I want you to remember in your marriage that your marriage is a portrait of God’s love to us. Whatever you do, husband and wife, don’t. shatter that witness.

Don’t break that picture. There are few things more painful than shattered relationships, and when those broken relationships involve family and friends, the pain is even more devastating. And that’s why the Apostle Paul, from his understanding of the Word of God as God is revealing it to him, shares with us how we can deal with broken relationships.

So I hope that what you have been learning today is continuing to build you and strengthen you in your faith as well as how to build strong biblical relationships that bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ.

And so we just thank you for being with us, and we want to remind you that we have a Facebook page, check us out on social media, and just type in Hope Worth Having. Make sure you like our page and check things out.

We’ve got different posts every day, a lot of neat information and stuff that’ll encourage you. strengthen you and help you to be faithful for the Lord. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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