SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

“Known and Read by All!”

Text:

2 Corinthians 3:1-3 “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? 2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”

History –

Chapter three of 2nd Corinthians starts with contrasts between ministries of Paul (righteous), and ministries of Judaizing teachers (condemnation). These Christians are the product of his ministry in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as he has been commissioned to deliver to all as an Apostle; he is charged with the ministry of reconciliation (5:12-21).

As such, for them, the rest of this chapter deals with the glory of the new covenant verses the passing away of the letter (the Law of Moses).

Introduction –

In our opening text, these Christians are being described as living letters; which is a metaphor for ‘US’. We are literally supposed to be a living book as an epistle of Christ for all to see.

The doctrine of Christ is a transforming rule and basis for the foundation of every Christian’s life; so all can ‘SEE’ our Lord in us.

Problem –

Many Christians are being read as a dysfunctional narrative – we do not make sense, or we all read differently.

Consider these very Christians in our text. We learn that in the first letter, they were following after men instead of Christ (Chapters 1-4), there was immorality among them (Chapter 5), they were taking each other before secular courts to resolve issues between them (Chapter 6), Their environment was so bad (immoral), and they still acted like they had no idea concerning what had been given to them to avoid it; abstinence and marriage (Chapter 7), they were torn over issues of expediency (Chapters 8-10), they had made common the holy memorial of the Lord’s Supper (Chapter 11), they were misusing spiritual gifts (Chapter 12-14), and finally they even had issues with the resurrection (Chapter 15).

Some Christians are missing text! One part may match, but much more seems to be blank, non-existent.

Hebrews 5:12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”

In many cases, Christians claim the title of the epistle, but the content has a completely different story!

2 John 9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

Solution –

Consider these transitional characteristics that should be the content of our letter:

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”

The world seems to be coming apart at the seams! The Christian should radiate a harbor from the storm; for others to see and turn too!

Consider the words our Lord to His disciples:

Matthew 8:23-27 “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Does the writing in our letter project fear? Do we constantly fret over physical things? Remember:

Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”

People will always now if we are content or not!

Some Christian’s read as professional grumps (sour pusses!). Their countenance is harsh, rough around the edges. The employees at the grocery store, post office, detest them. Even their neighbors! These are ready for a fight at the drop of a hat and because of their demeanor they are unapproachable.

Instead:

Philippians 4:4-5 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Brethren, we are to pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1), especially that they come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). How is this to happen if we are unapproachable?

2 Timothy 2:24-26And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

Some people create joy where ever they go! Some people create joy when they go! Which are we?

The world is growing colder! That’s right, not global warming, but global cooling; especially in the younger generation. Not temperature, but rudeness towards others. We see this evident in speech, willingness to assist, treatment of the elderly, etc…

There is a great need today to demonstrate compassion and kindness to those around us and our own children to learn from.

To learn to generally care for others and to be hospitable – Romans 12:13.

To learn to elevate the needs of others above our own – Philippians 2:3-4.

This is not a generational thing, it is a Christian thing!

Courage is not that which is demonstrated in a loud disposition, being brash, or a braggart.

Courage is that which is demonstrated in the ‘STRENGTH TO BE DIFFERENT!’

Courage in scripture is best defined as a quiet confidence associated with doing what is right based on a clear understanding of that which transforms.

The Apostle Paul boldly spoke the truth of the word, often to his detriment (2 Corinthians 11:22-33). What was at the heart of his demonstrated courage?

Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

There are many who think that the attributes that we have discussed thus far are signs of weakness. The fact is they are all the demonstration of real courage; to be different from the world, by a clear understanding of priorities.

1 John 2:17 “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 

Conclusion –

This is not an exhaustive list of transformational traits that we, the children of God through Christ Jesus, should be read as; however, they establish precedence for the process of representing the letter we should be!

Philippians 1:27Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel”

Are we preaching a Gospel sermon every day, by the things we say and do? Or does our life speak of a different subject?