Restoring Joy Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Restoring Joy Part 2. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 2:12-17.

Have you gotten to the point that no matter the response of others You just think it’s a great privilege and your heart’s full of joy that you could do anything for God Whether people receive Christ or reject Christ.

It does not shake you from your calling. Our heart is set on being the aroma of Christ. Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from Hope Worth Having, and we’re grateful that you could tune into our program today. We are going to be back in 2nd Corinthians chapter 2, verses 12 through 17, and we are learning about restoring joy. You know, joy is something that is essential to the Christian life. It’s part of the fruit of the Spirit. And so, we certainly don’t want to miss out on the joy that the Lord has for us. So, I want you to get your Bible and join us as we study together, restoring joy part 2. Turn with me to 2nd Corinthians chapter 2, and we’re going to continue our study that we began last week on restoring your joy. And I want us to hone in on verse 14 now. Thanks be unto God, which always causes us or leads us to triumph in Christ and makes manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. You remember, as we were studying last week, that the Apostle Paul has a very heavy burden for the Corinthian Church, and this is because he was dealing with those who had sowed some unrest and division among God’s people. But in the midst of giving an update to the Corinthian Church, he breaks out giving glory to God, and he says in verse 14, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ and make manifest the savor of the knowledge by us in every place.” And so, Paul is helping us to understand some important principles about restoring joy in our life. And that is that Paul did not look to his circumstances for joy; he did not look to his problems for joy but rather, he got his focus on the Lord. When you and I get our focus on Jesus Christ, that’s when we will have joy in our life. It is critical that even in these trying times, that each and every one of us not look on our problems, not look on our circumstances, or even people that might upset us, but rather that our focus is on Jesus Christ because that’s where the true joy is. God desires that we would have God-centered joy, not worldly joy, not joy that is based upon the latest experience I’ve had but rather a joy that is rooted in the truth of God. So, what is it that let Paul break out in praise and to express his joy?

What is it that restored his joy even though he was discouraged about the condition of the church and he was discouraged about the fact that he didn’t get an update and he didn’t get to connect with the young Pastor Titus?

Well, the first thing we learned last week is that the Apostle Paul express how grateful he was that he was led by a sovereign God. Do you see that in verse 14? Now, thanks be to God who always leads us or he always causes us.

And the idea is that we have a sovereign God who is causing us that even in our trials, he is leading us that we might have victory and we might have joy in God. He is causing us. We do not ever have to wonder whether we are here by accident.

We don’t ever have to wonder whether somehow this is just a situation that we are having to submit to the fate of the world. No, my friends, we are led by a sovereign God and even in our trials, we have a God who cares and we are under the sovereign care of an almighty God who is great.

We are serving a God who loves us and we can rejoice today that God is in control. The second thing that we learned last week is that we are promised victory in Christ. We are promised victory in Christ.

Go back to verse 14, chapter two and note, now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ. I shared with you last week about the Roman generals and the big parade they would have in the Roman streets and how that they would celebrate the victory that they just conquered their enemies.

You and I as Christians are members of the victorious army of Jesus Christ. We don’t need to have our head down. We don’t need to be defeated. We don’t need to be discouraged. We don’t need to be despondent.

We need to be the people of God who are already enjoying the victory that we have in Jesus Christ. The victory, my friend, was won at the cross. This week, we will celebrate that God Almighty sent his son, Jesus Christ, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

And so we are celebrating that God gave the son and the son gave his life for you and me. He went to the cross and he conquered sin, he conquered death, he conquered hell. And my friends, you and I, now, by faith in Jesus Christ, we are no longer perishing, but rather, we have victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And I don’t want you to be walking around as a defeated Christian. I want your head up and I want you to speak. Words of grace and peace and joy to those that you encounter that you let them know that there’s a sovereign God Who cares for us and he is leading us through this He is causing us to come into this moment of our life And he has already given us the victory by what he accomplished on the cross and through the resurrection Of our Savior the third thing we learned last week is that we have influenced with Christ again Look at verse 14.

Now. Thanks be unto God which always causes us to triumph in Christ and make it manifest the savor or the fragrance of His knowledge by us in every place circle that phrase by us It is that God is using us to influence others for the gospel of Jesus Christ Again Paul is making this analogy this Roman parade led by the generals was also having a group of pagan priests who would participate and They would burn the incense They would be at the forefront of the procession and this would help the people know that the victors were coming and that in this Victory parade here comes the generals here comes the ones who have accomplished the victory and the influence of the fragrance the aroma Excited the people and encouraged them to know that victory was theirs so it is that the incense of the gospel through the message and the Messengers of the gospel is a delightful smell to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ It is not only the message that is a beautiful aroma to Christ But it is the messengers who are Christ’s aroma and that we have this great privilege To influence others for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now. We have to remember that every day How we we respond to the trials, how we respond to the circumstances that we are in is really an important opportunity for us to influence others for Jesus Christ.

Because people are not going to read books about the evidences for Christianity, but they will read our lives and they will look at our lives. You are not going to argue people to heaven. You are not going to debate people to heaven.

You are not going to drag people to heaven. But as you and I are living a godly life and as you and I are living a life that is filled with joy and peace and hope, people are going to look at our lives and they can even see what we post on social media.

Now we continue our study and we learn our fourth principle on restoring joy is that we have the great privilege to please God in Christ. We have this great privilege to please God in Christ. Look at verse 15.

For we are unto God, a sweet saver of Christ, in them that are saved and in them that perish.” Now Paul is making a switch here. I told you in verse 14, he is talking about how the saver of his knowledge in every place is referenced to the pagan priests and they would burn the incense.

But now Paul takes us to the temple. He takes us to the temple of God and he’s reminding us that in the book of Leviticus, the godly priests, God’s priests, they offered up an aroma that was pleasing to the Lord.

And you can read about that in Leviticus chapter 1 and Leviticus chapter 2. And so in a real way, you and I have the great opportunity as we serve Jesus Christ, as we are out there trying to be faithful, as we are trying to be firm for Christ, as we are trying to be fruitful for Christ, that we are doing it to please God.

We are doing it for him. Now back up to verse 15. Notice it says, we are unto God. Jump to verse 17. Again, he says at the latter part, as of God. And then again, he says in the sight of God. And what he’s trying to help us understand is that all that we do must be done in a God honoring way and it must be for God and it must please God.

Our ministry is about God. Our ministry is about glorifying God. We are making disciples for the glory of God. Some of you think, well, we’re going through this and it’s all about me and it’s all about my wants.

No, my friends, it is about Jesus Christ and how he can use this as an opportunity to talk to our neighbors, an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ. opportunity to tell people how to come to Christ and find salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So it’s all about Him. It’s all about glorifying Him. We are not motivated by a desire to approve men. When the apostle Paul shares this in verse 15, he says, it’s unto God. You see friends, my sacrifice, my service to God, my commitment to the Lord, my faithful obedience to God, it’s unto Him.

It is not for the approval of men. This is a great opportunity for us to understand that we live our lives for God. Again, the apostle says in Galatians 1 .10, for do I now persuade men or God? Do I seek to please men?

For if I yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ. You see, I’ll tell you what robs people’s joy. is that they try to live for people. They live to keep everybody happy in their life. And you know what I’ve learned?

Is that when you try to keep everybody happy, guess who is unhappy? You are my friends. Those who try to please men, those who try to please people, those who try to keep everybody happy are the ones who live a very miserable life.

My passion, my goal, and your goal should be that no matter what we live to please God, that our offering is unto God. It is for God. It is a sacrifice pleasing unto Him. As we preach the gospel, as we serve God, as we promote Jesus Christ, there are going to be some who are offended.

Did you catch that in verse 15? He says that we are unto God a sweet savior or a fragrance among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. You see friends, as we proclaim the gospel faithfully, it is going to give offense to some.

For those of you that love God and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, everything that you’re learning this morning, everything that you’re learning when you have your devotions brings life unto you.

Those who reject the gospel, who refuse to believe God, it brings death unto them. They become more angry. They reject the gospel deeper in their hearts. But see friends, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether our message is received or rejected.

We’re not doing it to make people happy. We’re doing it to please God. As we serve God, my joy is not based. Hear me, my joy is not based on the response of people. whether they receive the gospel, or whether they reject the gospel.

The reason some of you don’t have joy is because you don’t see the responses you want. And so you get all defeated, you get all discouraged. But see, if you were just offering a sacrifice unto God every time you served Him, every time you labored for Him, if it was all for Him, look, you wouldn’t care in this sense.

You wouldn’t be upset and discouraged if people reject the gospel because you know that’s just part of it. You know that there are gonna be some who refuse to believe. There are gonna be some who refuse the fragrance of God.

And look at verse 16, to one, we are the savor of death unto death. And to the other, we are the savor of life unto life. And what an amazing thing. And so it’s not the response that determines my joy.

It is that I have the privilege to serve God and to please God in Christ. And whether thousands come to Christ or one comes to Christ, I just think that we should be thankful that God approves our labor for Him.

That pleasing God should be the consuming passion of our hearts. And that if others reject this wonderful gospel, and if others mistreat us because of this gospel, if others try to shut us down because of this gospel, that this does not discourage us from preaching the gospel, but whether we are like the apostles.

When they told the apostles in the book of Acts 4 and 5, they said, we don’t want you spreading this doctrine of Jesus. We don’t want you telling people that Jesus was resurrected. We don’t want you teaching the Bible.

And you know what the Bible says? That the apostles decided that it was better to obey God than men. And the Bible says that they walked away rejoicing in God, rejoicing that He allowed them the privilege to suffer.

You see, have you gotten there yet? Have you gotten to the point that no matter the response of others, you just think it’s a great privilege and your heart’s full of joy that you could do anything for God.

And whether people receive Christ or reject Christ, it does not shake you from your calling. Our heart is set on being the aroma of Christ. We are to God, He says in verse 15, the aroma, the fragrance of Christ.

And when you are the aroma and fragrance of Christ, then it is your only passion to please God. And when you get to that point in your life, when you quit worrying about making sure this person’s happy, I don’t wanna offend that person, I don’t wanna upset this person.

When you get beyond that in your life and you say, I just want to be a sweet fragrance. unto God, and I just want to please Him, and that every night when I lay my head on the pillow, I want to know that I pleased God, then the joy of Jesus will be restored in your hearts.

Now our fifth and final principle is this. When we talk about restoring our joy, how is it that we can restore our joy? It is that we operate in the power that is found in Christ. We have power in Christ.

Through the power of Christ, I can restore joy in my life. Now let’s look at verse 17 of our text. For we are not as many which corrupt, or some translations say peddle, the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ.

I want you to again underline or highlight that phrase in Christ, because He is telling us. that all that we’re doing, it has to be in Christ. It has to be in the power of Christ. Now, here, Paul was discouraged because he did not hear all the reports, and he’s not certain whether the church at Corinth has really changed their behavior and their beliefs, and he’s frustrated about these people who are trying to cause division in the church.

But he gets his eyes off those people and those problems, and he gets them on Jesus. He starts celebrating that he’s sovereignly in the care of God being led in victory in Christ, and that he has this great privilege to serve Christ, to influence others, and he recognizes that as he is serving, that it’s all for God, and it is to please him, and he understands that the heavy weight of serving Jesus is beyond his own ability.

And that’s why in verse 16, at the end of it, you’ll note, he says, who is sufficient for these things? When Paul, in his moment of praise and exaltation to God, he recognizes that this privilege of serving God and being the aroma of Christ and making sure that all that he does pleases God, he says, who is sufficient for these things?

And he reminds us that it is in Christ. He answers that question as well to the young pastor Timothy, who pastors the church at Ephesus, and he says in 2 Timothy 1 .14, by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Each and every one of us, if we are believers, that the gospel has been deposited, this good treasure has been deposited into our hearts. And we have a responsibility that we guard it, that we guard the gospel, that it not become corrupt, that it not become mischaracterized, that it not becomeā€¦

something that is taken advantage of. It’s been entrusted to us. How do we do this? The apostle says, by the Holy Spirit. How is it that you can please God? How is it that you can effectively influence for God?

How is it that you can always remember that you are living in victory in Christ? How is it that you can rest in the sovereign care and leadership of God? It is by the Holy Spirit in Christ. Only divine assistance can give endurance and success in the daunting task of proclaiming and living the gospel out in these days.

Who is sufficient for these things, my friends? We live in trying times. Who is sufficient for these things, my friends? We live in troubling times. But, my friends, we are sufficient. If we operate in the power of Christ, we are sufficient for the daunting task that is upon us to be a godly influence for Jesus Christ and the gospel if we rely fully upon Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Now, in verse 17, he says, we’re not as many which corrupt the Word of God. We’re not as many. He’s referring to the false teachers that had infiltrated the church. Remember, this letter would be read to the church.

It would be read to the Corinthians. He is reminding them that there are corrupt teachers. There are those who peddle. It’s the idea of this. The word corrupt and peddling means simply this. Paul is referring to those who would water down the wine.

They would add water to the wine and thus they would water down the quality of the wine, but they would present it as being pure wine. This word in the Greek language was also used referring to merchants who would regularly cheat their customers by misrepresenting the product in order to increase their profits.

The Apostle Paul is reminding the church and he is reminding us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God that we must be alert that even in this season that God has sovereignly led us in, that there are those who are corrupt and there are those who peddle the Word of God and they desire to water it down.

They desire to cheapen the gospel. They desire to misrepresent the gospel and they want to present something that is not really true taught in the Bible. I want you to know that it is imperative for all of us to be careful.

Yes, I’m thankful for technology and I’m thankful for those who are faithfully preaching the the word through technology, but be careful, dear Christian friend, be careful that you don’t get sucked up into false teachers, ministries, be careful that you are not listening and availing yourself to people who will corrupt your mind and corrupt the gospel in your heart and that they would lead you astray.

It is important that you listen to those who teach the whole counsel of the word of God, that they don’t just teach certain parts of the Bible. Jesus said that He did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill the law.

The Old Testament points us to Jesus. As you read chapter to chapter in the Old Testament, we see Christ and we are reminded that Christ is coming and that He is gonna bring salvation to all who all believe in Him.

As we open the New Testament, the New Covenant, We look back to a savior who has come and we are reminded that he’s coming again and he will rapture his people out and we will live with him forever and ever and we will come after the tribulation period and he will set up his kingdom on this earth and he will fulfill all the prophecies in the Old Testament that were mentioned by the prophets about David’s seed fulfilling and sitting in the seat of David.

And so what is this foolishness? That people would buy into the power of positive thinking. There’s nobody that wants to be more positive than Pastor Mike, but there is a reality my friends. And the reality is this, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

The reality is my friends, the good news is so good because the bad news is so bad and you can’t understand the good news unless you understand the bad news and there’s no need for the good news if there’s no bad news.

And so the bad news is that we’re all sinners and we’re gonna perish without Christ. The bad news is we’re gonna be separated from God forever in a place called hell if we don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The bad news is my friends that we come into this world sinful and selfish and we need a savior to bring us out of our sinfulness. And so the good news is that Jesus Christ came. The good news is so hopeful to us because left to ourself we would make a mess of our life because we are sinners.

Be careful. Paul reminds the Colossians that he became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you to fulfill the word of God. He says I have a stewardship from God that I teach you all the Bible.

For as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1, 17, for Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel and not with words of eloquent wisdom lest the cross of Christ. be emptied of its power. It’s not that we come as great orators, but rather we preach the simple gospel of Jesus Christ.

And whether it is eloquent does not matter. For the word of God in and of itself is powerful. And it doesn’t need an eloquent preacher. It doesn’t need the wisdom of the world. It is the word of God.

It is given from God. And it is our responsibility to not adulterate the gospel of Jesus Christ, but to fully operate in firmness and faithfulness as we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Now you will note in this phrase of verse 17, he says, we do this in Christ.

In Christ is where we live spiritually. In Christ is how we live powerfully. In Christ is how we are able to be all that God wants us to be. In Christ, we can be joyful. In Christ, we can live victoriously for Him.

In Christ, we can please Him. As someone once put it, as sure as the fish are in the ocean, and live on the resources of the ocean, we are in Christ. And we live on the resources of Jesus Christ. As sure as the newborn child is in the mother, and lives on the life of the mother.

So it is that every believer and follower of Christ is in Christ, and we live on the life of Christ. For His life is my life. His death is my death. His resurrection is my resurrection. His ascension is my ascension.

And His coming is my coming. All that Christ has accomplished, He has done it that He might bring to all of us a life that is obedient and honoring to God. And so we remember who is sufficient for these things, who can do all that God asks of us in such difficult times.

Oh, my friends, you are not operating, and nor are you laboring in isolation. For you are in Christ, and He is with you, and He will never leave you, and He will never forsake you. And so our union with Christ, we are separated physically, but we are united in Christ Church, and we are together in Christ.

And we can use the tools that God has given us, because we are encouraged, and we know we are up to the task, because we are in Christ. The discouraged Christian is a disheartened Christian, because they are focused on circumstances and people.

The joyful Christian is encouraged, because they are focused on the privilege and the blessings of being. in Christ. I conclude with the words of the Apostle in Romans 15 13 and this is my prayer for you church.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I hope you’ve been blessed and encouraged by this message and if you would like to hear the message in its entirety just go to our YouTube channel and hope worth having just type that in and when you get to the channel subscribe and then look up restoring joy and you’ll get to hear the entire sermon from beginning to the end and I know you’ll be encouraged and strengthened and the Lord will give you more guidance as we strive to do that.

I also encourage you to check out our social media. We have all kinds of social media. We’re on Twitter. We’re on. In Instagram, we are on Facebook, take advantage of it and keep up with what’s going on.

And most of all, we just really appreciate your prayers. So this is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ, there is hope worth having.

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