Weakness Is the Way
August 31, 2014 Series: reFRESH: Familiar Verses, Fresh Insight
Passage: 2 Corinthians 12:9–12:10
Weakness Is the Way
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“The Christian life is essentially a pathway of weakness along which God leads us, sustaining and strengthening us for service as we go.” J.I. Packer
SAVED IN WEAKNESS – The Gospel
We all have a Great Separation
"We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." (Isaiah 64:6)
What the Bible says about those apart from Christ:
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
- None is righteous, no, not one; no one seeks God; no one does good. (Romans 3:10-12)
- Weak; ungodly; sinner; enemy of God (Romans 5: 6-10)
- Enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6)
- Dead; sons of disobedience; children of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
We all have a Great Need
I have Nothing to offer Christ for my salvation! I am Needy!
Some of us have had a Great Rescue
The two greatest words in scripture: But God!
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasureable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9)
SUSTAINED IN WEAKNESS – The Christian Life
Satan’s Lie: God is not as Good as he says He is.
Two Paths of the Christian Life:
I. The Path of Works - A life lived in my own strength.
a. The goal: behavior modification and image management; I am glorified.
b. The reality: an unsustainable lifestyle
c. The results: shame, guilt, secrecy, severed relationships, exhaustion, pride
I Can’t do it. I am Weak. I am Needy.
II. The Path of Grace – A life of Weakness lived in Christ’s Strength.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
a. The goal: dependence on Christ; God is Glorified.
b. The reality: a Counter-Cultural lifestyle
c. The result: humility, freedom, joy, supernatural empowerment, God glorified.
Grace is not the opposite of Effort, it’s the opposite of Earning.
For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within Me. (Colossians 1:29)
WEAKNESS IS THE WAY
“We need to be aware of our limitations and to let this awareness work in us humility and self-distrust, and a realization of our helplessness on our own. Thus we may learn our need to depend on Christ.” J.I. Packer
Questions for self reflection:
- Does my relationship with Christ leave me feeling shamed and burdened or joyful and free?
- Who or what is the motivation behind my religious behaviors?
- Is my relationship with Christ the same in private as I portray it in public?
- Does my prayer life reflect dependence on Christ or dependence on myself?
- Do I hide my sin from those who are close to me or actively and completely confess it?
- What steps do I need to take to walk on the Path of Grace?