Sermons to Note

                                       ernes1

                                      Rev. E. Anderson

 ABOUNDING IN EVERYTHING

Text  2 Corinthians 8: 7

Introduction

RESTRICTION: The Christian life has never been intended by God to be one of restriction and prohibition. He is not there to place road blocks in the way to hinder the function and fulfilment of life. That has never been in His mind nor has it been His method or procedure. He does not come with a long list of rules and regulations, to impose bans and blockades.

INCREASE: The Christian life is to be one of vast increase, expansion and development In a divine way and measure. It is not diminution but growth and enlargement that is to be the key feature. This is one of the main reasons for Christianity – John 10: 10. The abounding life and work is the divine objective – 1 Corinthians 15: 58.

EXAMPLE: The assembly at Corinth may have had its problems and difficulties (moral and spiritual), but it was a fellowship that knew how to abound – 2 Corinthians 8:7. Paul recognized not only the failings and errors in the midst, he was aware of those positive good points that were healthy and made for progress. They were a community of people committed to development and growth even though everything was not just quite right.

ASPECTS: There are at least seven aspects referred to in the matter of abounding, six mentioned here and one elsewhere. Many more could be alluded to and identified for example and reproduction. The naming of them is to make known what they actually abounded in so that they There is always the ever-present danger of easing up or holding back. Look at the points or release and increase.

1/.  FAITH

This is the basic and vital element that is required in Christian life and service. Relationship to God and His enterprise commences with faith. Salvation begins in and through faith and this is what God seeks to create and generate in the heart. The one thing He endeavours to do is to make believers of us first of all – John. 3:16; Romans 10:8-10; 11:6  He knows when faith is absent altogether and is aware of the degree of it when it is present – Mk. 4: 4,40; Matthew 8: 10; Luke 7: 9. Jesus Christ sought to give tremendous encouragement on this line – Mark 11: 22. By and through His many promises and assurances there is an earnest endeavour to beget a real spirit and attitude of faith.

Faith must be fed and nourished like a plant if it is to grow and be a dynamic factor in life.  The seed of faith has to be sown, then be furthered ministered to so that it moves on to a maximum divine conclusion. Many Christians miss out at this particular point. They do nothing more after the seed has been planted and so nothing results. The Holy Spirit, God’s promises and providences etc., are intended to quicken, give added life and energy to faith. If you are to abound in faith then the complementary agencies must be at work in the mind and heart – Romans 10:17; 2 Corinthians 4:13. There must be a moving forward from faith to faith – Romans 1:17. Faith is never dead or static.

2/.  UTTERANCE

This was a factor that had been previously referred to – I Corinthians 1: 5 “ enriched in Him in ALL utterance.” This highlights what should characterize the Christian with regard to the use of the mouth. The lips are freed and open to be used. Silence and dumbness are not to be known, only an abounding in divinely inspired speech. God has given the tongue to be wholly employed in useful exercise that will bless and benefit others There are many ways that there can be an abounding in utterance. In praise – Ps 51: 15; 63: 5; Eph. 5: 19,20; in prayer – Eph. 6: 18,19; in prophesying – I Corinthians 14:.1,5,31; in tongues and interpretation – I Corinthians 14; in preaching and witnessing – Acts 1:8; 2:14; in encouraging others etc. The little member can be used properly and profitably as to bring edification to others and enlargement to the user. 

3/.  KNOWLEDGE

Divine knowledge must be in evidence in the Christian faith and experience.  It is purposed by God that wisdom and understanding should be present in the Christian’s whole belief and behaviour. There is nothing mindless or stupid about the Christian’s convictions and procedures. Conversion Is to the greater comprehension on affairs. There is a better, higher and greater discernment on life in everything.

There is an increase in the knowledge of God, in His purposes and plans, in the Scriptures etc. God becomes known in salvation and there comes a growing perception of Himself. Divine knowledge is the knowledge of the Divine and He wants to reveal Himself and make Himself more known. Salvation is but the introduction to God, but then there has to be a fuller conception of Him – Hebrews 8:.11; Jeremiah 31:.34; Hosea 6:.3, and life and faith has to be governed and controlled by such. There has to be an increased awareness of Him and a more perfect understanding of His attributes, ways and intentions is to occur.

4/.  DILIGENCE

This can be compared with conscientiousness in carrying out tasks and duties. There is the will and commitment to time and giving one’s best to whatever is in hand to be performed. It is the opposite to slackness and slothfulness. It is having an agenda and program for life and living and getting on with it in an industrious and purposeful manner   It does not allow for a lazy or indolent mind, attitude and action. There are quite a number of wise sayings with regard to the negative aspect – “He that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster” – Proverbs 118:9; 24:30,31; Ecclesiastes 10:18; Romans 12:11. Hebrews 6:12 “do not become sluggish.”

Diligence is commended with respect to all things. The Christian attitude and mind to time, work, business, schedules must reveal a keenness and industry that is commendable. There had been a diligence on the part of these saints to God and His kingdom that had impressed itself upon this servant of Christ. A good, effective life and testimony is to be seen in the possession of this quality and virtue – Proverbs 22:29 “Seest thou a man diligent in his business ? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” see Joseph Genesis 39: 6; 2 Kings 12: 15. The greatest example on this front was the Lord. He was always spot on time in doing His Father’s will and carried it out with complete earnestness.

5/. LOVE

Here divine love is directed into a certain quarter – “in your love for us.” It was particularly aimed and activated towards those who had laboured to bring the Gospel to them and had founded the fellowship at Corinth. They had abounded in their affection for those servants of Christ and though it had been under great pressure, it persisted and won through. Even though Paul had to make them sorry on an issue, yet that love had held firm. It was to this assembly that he had penned the greatest chapter on love ever written – 1 Corinthians 13.

Love had been prevalent in the ministry to and for the saints. Paul asserts what was the motivating force in his life and work – 2 Corinthians 5: 14 and NIV margin has an alteration – “in our love for you.” Divine love must not simply flow, it must abound until all are inundated with it. Peter underlines what the apostle had to say and give a principle of action – I Peter 1 22 NIV “love one another deeply.”

6/. LIBERALITY

It is obvious that this is the real thrust in this verse and section. He wants more than anything else to see the believers released in terms and tokens of benevolence, goodness and generosity that he has never seen before. The thing that concerned him was that there should be a concerted effort on the part of all to give in a tremendous manner. He does not avoid the issue of money but is prepared to give direct teaching on it. There has to come this commitment and release to liberality.

The principle and pattern is declared so all may be inspired with regard to it. He sets Christ up as the prime example and mover v9 and makes it clear that there should be a care over others needs. The spirit should always be ready to respond and the giving must be with cheerfulness – 9: 7. There is the assurance that if there is an abounding with respect to such, there will be a full and overwhelming display from God’s angle v8.  The giving of God will become richly manifest. Withholding can have dire consequences – e.g. Ananias and Saphirra.

One needs to be generous and gracious with our words, in our deeds, forgiveness etc.

7/. SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Paul desired that churches should excel in the matter of spiritual bestowment, in possession and use.  He knew that they were present in the fellowship and he did not want them to be eliminated but rather an increase and a greater profitable use of them – 1 Corinthians 12:  31; 14: 12; 1:  7. It has to be said that churches are richer for their presence and can abound further forward in their exercise.

As the spiritual desire exists and is expressed Godward, there will come forth an abounding from God for His will to pour out His Spirit and bestow His gifts – Joel 2: 23; Acts 2: 1-4 Everyone can begin to abound with healthy and holy desire and God can abound to the believer with His Spirit and with divine gifts. There is going to be no withholding on His part because He wants a people in a progressive mind and mood re-spiritual ministry. As the faith increases and these other things abound, there is sure to come fullness of bestowment.

CONCLUSION

Christian conversion had not been a hindrance or problem to these saints – they had really moved ahead.

Checking the situation, Paul had no doubts about what had happened and was occurring in them. All that he sought to do was to stimulate to further advance and increase.

Let us see where we need to pick up on these things and go in for everything that God has got and give everything we can to Him.

                               park scar 4

 

 

 

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