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Intro – We hear so much today about those claiming visions, dreams, trips to heaven, etc. and many of them point to this passage of Scripture as proof that they can go to heaven and come back.  However, Paul clearly states that he had a vision.  He did not die and go to heaven. He had a vision so real it was hard for him to discern if it was a vision or reality but he now clearly states that it was a vision. Let’s see what else our text tells us.




I. Paul was forced to speak about his vision. 1Cor.13, 14 and 2Cor. 10 and 11 explain why.


A. They were questioning his apostleship and authority. 2Cor.10:2, 5


B. They were boasting about themselves. 2Cor.10:12, 18


C. They were deceived and misinformed. 2Cor.11:3-4


1. They wanted money for their “so called” prophecies. 2Cor.2:17, 2Tim.3:1-2, Titus 1:10-12 vs 1Tim.3:3, 2Cor.11:7


2. They exalt themselves. 2Cor.11:13-15


3. The congregation tolerated these false teachers. 2Cor.11:19


            D. This problem always has and will exist here on earth. Jeremiah 23:28-32




II. So Paul reluctantly shares about his vision.


            A. Like most of Paul’s letter this is to correct their wrong thinking. – “Necessary”


            B. The purpose was to expose the false prophets not draw attention to self. “not profitable”


            C. So real he could not tell what was going on physically.


            D. He was clear about one thing; man was not permitted to speak about it!


                        1. God forbids us to contact, be informed or seek advice from the spirit world. Lev.20:6, 19:31


                        2. Someone who reports from the spirit world is called a medium or spiritist. Deut.18:11, Is.8:19, 2Sam.12:22-23


3. We come full circle from Jer. 23:28-32, Lk 11:28 to 1Peter 1:19-21,  stick to the Word of God




III. The result due to this vision.


A. Paul was prepared for hardship. Gal.4:13-15


B. Taught him to live by grace through faith in God’s word. Mk.7:13 dreamers today “invalidate”!


C. Strength through weakness and humility recognizing it is Christ in us. Gal.2:20




Con. Don’t puff yourself up and think your big because of some experience. And don’t run after others who do the same. Rejoice that Jesus can use you for His kingdom just as you are. He is not looking for people who claim supernatural experiences. He is looking for people who have been supernaturally humbled and changed by the grace of God. All He needs is a broke and a contrite heart. He will do the rest.






Intro – It amazes me how serious some people can take a game.   We must remember it’s just a game! It has no eternal consequences. Paul uses the games, the Isthmian games in Corinth, to show that eternal life is more than a game.




I. We should take it more serious than a game.


A. We practice to be better athletes.


B. Do we practice to be better Christians?


1. What we eat, Spirit food is God’s Word. Jn.4:34, 1Cor.10:3-4, Jn.1:1, 14, Ps.119:11


2. Work out, meditation is Sp. workout. Ps.1:2, Gal.5:23,


3. Practice, Put into action what you know, Sp. Self-control.  Phil. 2:12, Eph.4:22-24




II. We should keep in mind our reward.


A. Earthly games – perishable-trophy.   Lk.9:25


B. Christian life – imperishable-eternal life.  1Peter 1:4




III. Our life decisions affect others.


A. How we discipline ourselves makes a difference. Rom.8:13


B. Our Christian behavior leads others. 2Thes 3:7, Titus 2:7



Con. Eternity is for keeps. No re-dos, no second chances. It’s not a game where if you don’t like the outcome you can just play another game. Make sure you have committed your life to Christ and are walking in His way.


Romans 12:6-16

 Listen to the message

January 17th 2016




Intro – Our text continues from last Sunday. There we were told to “present” ourselves to God. God has given each one of us special gifts to use when we present ourselves to Him.  Use your gift.




I. Use your gift.  1Peter 4:10


A.  You do have a gift.  1Cor.7:7, 1Cor.12:7, 11


B.  Activate the gift that is in you.  James 1:22-25 




II. Use your gift properly, according to God’s Word.


A. Prophecy = to foretell or tell forth. 1st use is done 1Cor.13:8-10, Rev.22:18.


1. Now we are to tell forth.


2. Don’t be fooled by the false prophets. B. Hinns, K. Copelands,  J. Meyers,


3. P. Robertson on tsunami prediction, “sometimes I miss”!  Deut. 18:20-22, Deut.13:5


B. Service = not running things but running for others.


C. Teach = truth of God’s word, not part of it.  Jer.42:5, Acts 20:27,  2Tim2:15


D. Exhortation = admonish or encourage.


E. Giving = liberally, not looking for recognition.


F. Leading = carefully, Phil.1:9, Heb.5:14


G. Mercy = compassion for others, meeting their needs. Jn.8:11




III. Use your gift to unite not divide.


A.  We are part of the body of Christ. (5)


B.  Be a humble part. (3, 16)


C. Exercise your gift with Christian character. 9-15  Gal.5:22-23


1. Love


2. Discern


3. Put others first


4. Serve with excitement


5. Rejoice, persevere, pray.


6. Give – James 1:27


7. Be a blessing


8. Bear one another’s burdens



Con. Are you using the gift God has given you in the church He has placed you in?

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