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Ditch the dirt

We begin a NEW sermon series this week entitled ‘Watch out for?’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon. Service led by Brian Dickson.

Sermon Notes

Introduction to New Series

The Christian life is centred on the freedom that comes through having a relationship with Jesus Christ as our saviour. Through His sacrifice, Christ has freed us from the chains of sin and its penalty, allowing us to live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit. However, the New Testament letters of Paul and others contain heartfelt teachings and warnings against believers slipping back into their old way of life and being entangled by things that are counterproductive to their new life in Christ. Over the next month, we will take a closer look at some of the things that God wants us to watch out for, both individually and collectively as a church.

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

 Henry Thomas Buckle

The Situation –
Dish the dirt or the Gospel? 2 Cor 12:11-21

I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned and have not repented…

2 Cor 12:21
  • Though the church had many great gifts and was growing exponentially, it was facing a challenge as the world’s culture had infiltrated it.
  • As a result, the Christians in Corinth were getting caught up in spreading slanderous accusations against each other and their leader, Paul.
  • They were also engaging in futile gossip and idle talk, which was causing a lot of trouble.
  • Paul was concerned about his upcoming third visit to the Corinthian church, as he knew it would be difficult to address and root out these issues.

The Complication –
The effects of a gossiping church

Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do is for your strengthening.

2 Cor 12:19
  • In Paul’s second letter, he defended his Apostleship and ministry against false accusations made by some teachers who spread rumours that he used deceitful methods to attract people and make money.
  • These rumours caused great pain to Paul, and he refuted them by explaining the truth of his actions. The lies spread by the rumour mill were completely false and baseless, as can be seen in verses 11-15.

Effects of a gossiping church today?

  1. Gossip can cause h……. and e………………………p…………..
  2. Sharing potentially inaccurate information – which adds to the sin.
  3. Waste of time – gossiping takes time away from what we should be focused on as a church. The Great Commission, impacting the local community and worship.
  4. D………………. in the church

Challenge ~ Paul was very transparent with the Corinthians, He identified where they were at in terms of their problems with gossip and other sins. A healthy church will identify areas of weakness like Paul and seek to address those matters with love and grace, regardless of how difficult the conversations may be.

The Resolution –
The effects of a non-gossiping church

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

2 Cor 13:5-6
  • In his letter, Paul concludes by advising the church to introspect and identify any misalignments that require attention.
  • Just as we undergo regular physical check-ups to monitor our health, Paul urges the church to conduct a spiritual examination – to assess how they are progressing and identify areas for improvement.

Effects of a non-gossiping church

  • H…………………R…………………… and a safe church environment (see Matt 18:15-22)
  • Greater sense of h…………..and t…………………………
  • Positive witness to n……c…………….. and the local community
  • U…………. in the church

The Celebration – Through the Holy Spirit we can overcome the temptation of gossip and eradicate slander and gossip so we can focus on the things that really matter, such as building the kingdom of God together for the glory of Christ.

Let’s ditch the dirt and spread the good news of Jesus Christ!

Questions

1.  Think about how Paul might have felt, knowing that some people were discrediting his credentials as an Apostle and slandering his character. You can refer to Chapter 12:11-19 for context.

2. Have you ever been the target of gossip or slander? If so, how did you deal with it? In comparison, consider the challenge Paul faced when being compared to the super-apostles, as described in verse 11.

3. In Proverbs 6:16-19, how many of the things listed that God hates are related to the mouth?

4. Take a moment to read John 8:44. If we repeat, repost, or believe something before we know it to be true, who does it reflect on?

5. What practical rules can we implement to avoid spreading or accepting false reports?

6. Even if someone comes to us with something that is true, let’s discuss biblical and practical ways we can find a resolution that does not encourage gossip. Refer to Matthew 18:15-22 for guidance.

7. Discuss the benefits of a church gossip-free zone, how will this enhance our witness and welcome of new Christians etc.

Service Details

Sermon Title: Ditch the dirt – part 1
Bible Reading: 2 Cor 12:20-21 & Ch 13:11-14
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson

Service Audio here

View Service Video here

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