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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

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"WHEN YOU'VE HIT THE WALL"
I. THE TROUBLE IN ASIA.
A. Paul is probably referring to the uproar made against him by Demetrius the silversmith.
1. So many people had been coming to Christ that Demetrius who was a silversmith stirred up the others of that craft and told them that something had to be done about Paul for Paul taught that Diana was not a true goddess, for God was not made by hands.
2. These men had made their living from the silver idols that they made of Diana, and business was down because there were so many converts to Christianity.
3. They created an uproar, and the people of Ephesus began to gather into the great arena there in Ephesus.
4. One of Paul's companions, a man named Alexander, who was from Macedonia was grabbed and pulled into the arena which was now teeming with people, the most part not even knowing why they were there. They were just crowd followers.
5. Alexander signaled that he wanted to speak to the people, but when they realized that he was a Jew they began for the space of two hours to chant, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."
6. Paul was trying to get into the arena, but his friends were forcibly restraining him from entering for they knew that it would mean his death.
B. This is probably what Paul was referring to when he said that he had the sentence of death upon him.
1. He refers to being pressed out of measure.
a. That is beyond his capacity to cope with.
b. It was too big for him.
c. He could not handle it.
2. Above strength.
a. He knew that he did not have the strength to deal with the situation.
b. The situation was out of control.
3. He despaired of life.
a. He figured that this was the end.
b. He was sure that he was going to die.
C. He saw the purpose of God in bringing him to this place that was beyond his control or capacity to deal with, was to force him to trust in God.
1. As Paul saw the situation, he was dead.
2. His only hope was in God's deliverance.
3. He is the God who raised the dead. If He can raise the dead, He can deliver from the threat of death.
4. God brought him to this place of total despair in himself so that he would not trust in himself, but in God who raises the dead.
5. Some of you may feel like Paul this morning, you are over your head, you are drowning.
6. You have done everything in your power and nothing has worked. Your analysis of the situation is that it is dead.
7. You have despaired of hope.
8. You are certain that nothing can help at this point.
9. You feel that the sentence of death is on the situation.
D. Have you ever thought that maybe God has allowed this happen so that you will come to trust in Him?
1. It is amazing how that God so often uses adverse circumstances to bring people to trust in Him.
2. There are many people who do not give up easily.
3. They are natural manipulators. It is great to see them come to the end of their rope.
4. All of their schemes have failed. They have no where else to turn.
5. God is the only hope left.
6. They are forced to turn it all over to Him.
II. PAUL DECLARED THAT GOD DELIVERED HIM FROM DEATH.
A. This was true for Paul both in a physical and spiritual sense.
1. More than once in his ministry, Paul faced physical death.
a. Shortly after his conversion the Jews in Damascus were determined to kill him, and they were watching for him to pass through the gate of the city. His friends let him down over the wall in a basket at night so that he might escape.
b. In Lystra he was stoned, and they thought he was dead and they drug him out of the city.
c. He refers to fighting with the beasts in Ephesus.
d. The Jews were trying to kill him on the temple mount when he was rescued by the Roman guard.
e. Forty men took a vow that they would not eat until they had killed Paul.
f. He declared that he faced death daily.
2. For we who have come to trust in Jesus Christ it is true in a spiritual sense.
a. We were dead in our trespasses and sins.
b. But God who raises the dead has made us alive unto Him.
c. In a few chapters Paul will declare in this letter, "For if any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation, the old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new."
d. God has delivered us from so great a death, once we were dead to the things of God, and now we are alive.
B. "Who doth now deliver" The God of the past, is the God of the present.
1. Not only has He delivered us in the past, he is presently delivering us.
2. All of us can look back and see clearly how the hand of God upon our lives has kept us.
3. There have been situations where we all thought that we were not going to make it, but somehow God brought us through.
4. Why can't we learn from that?
5. The God who helped us in the past is the God who is with us now, and will help us now.
6. His promise is to never leave you or forsake you.
C. "We trust that He will yet deliver us."
1. This means that we can face whatever may come in the future, for if God be for us, who can be against us?
2. I do not need to fear what the future may hold for me.
3. I can live with the confidence that God is able to handle anything that may come my way.
He is able, more than able,
To accomplish what concerns me today,
He is able, more than able,
To handle anything that comes my way.
He is able, more than able,
To do much more than I could ever dream.
He is able, more than able,
To make me what He want me to be.
Sermon Notes for 1 Corinthians 16:22 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for 2 Corinthians 2:14 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for 1 Corinthians 1:18 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Galatians 1:3 Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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