What Is It That Makes A Man Great --- Travis Case

Travis Case, Pastor                                   Northgate Baptist Church

What Is It That Makes A Man Great

2 Corinthians 12:7-10, "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christís sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Introduction:

A. Man has done some wonderful things but God does greater.

B. Great Services have always come from a Dependence Upon God.

1. Moses --- Exodus 4:10-12, "And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made manís mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."

2. Gideon --- Judges 7:7, "And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place."

C. People Fail When They Depend Upon Themselves.

1. Simon Peter --- (Walking on the water).

2. Israel --- Exodus 32:26-28, "Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORDíS side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."

I. God Allows Us To Suffer So That We Might Depend On Him.

A. Paul had a Thorn In The Flesh in order to keep down his pride.

1. His Ancestry --- Philippians 3:4-5, "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;"

2. His Education --- Acts 22:3, "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day."

3. His Unusual Conversion --- Acts 9:3, "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:"

4. His beginning To Preach Very Early In His Christian Life --- Acts 9:20, "And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."

5. His Spiritual Power With God.

6. His Leadership In The Churches.

7. His Revelations --- 2 Corinthians 12:7, "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."

B. What was this Thorn In The Flesh?

1. We do Not Know for sure.

2. Since we do not know, then we can Apply It To Our Own Individual Cases.

C. Paul Prayed Three Times for the thorn to be removed.

D. God's Answer to Paul's prayer is found in:

2 Corinthians 12:9, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

II. The Person Greatly Blessed Is Always In Danger of Having Pride.

A. Proud Adam was thrust out of Eden.

B. Proud Haman was thrust out of His Court.

C. Proud Saul was thrust out of His Kingdom.

D. Proud Nebuchadnezzar was thrust out of Men's Society.

E. Proud Lucifer was thrust out of Heaven.

III. The Worth-While-Ness of Afflictions:

A. Afflictions bring Humility.

B. Afflictions bring Dependence Upon God.

John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

C. Afflictions Sweetens our lives.

D. Afflictions keeps before us Our Need of God

Deuteronomy 8:11-14, "Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;"

E. Submission To Afflictions is wonderful, but Rejoicing and taking Pleasure in them .....

2 Corinthians 12:10, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christís sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

IV. What Will The Power of Christ Do?

A. Overcome Temptations.

B. Glorify God.

C. Win Men To Christ.

D. First through, Self Must Die.

V. The Suffering of Christ On Calvary Is The Power For Your Salvation.

A. No Other Suffering could pay for our sins.

Hebrews 9:12, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." --- 10:4, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." --- V. 10, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

B. You Cannot be Redeemed with Corruptible things.

1 Peter 1:18-19, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

C. The Lord Wants To See You Saved.

Ezekiel 33:11, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"

D. There is but One Way To Be Saved.

Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Proverbs 16:25, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Conclusion:

Hell Is The Only Place You Can Go If You Reject Christ As Your Lord And Saviour.

Revelation 20:14-15, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

It Cost A Lot To Be A Christian, But The Suffering Here On The Earth Is Nothing Compared To That of A Lost Soul In Hell!




A Search For The Truth

                                                  

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