After everything paul and the church at Corinth have been through, it comes as one of the craziest prayers ever prayed - “this is our prayer, that you may become perfect”. This is Paul at his pastoral finest, and he teaches us a great deal about the real character of pastoral care.
As Paul prepares to visit Corinth a third time he is at pains to let them know that in coming to them again, the only reason he wants to come at all is because he genuinely and truly loves them. This sermon explores the basis and power for Paul’s rich love and grace towards the church in Corinth, even in weakness, and the way this shapes and transforms our relationships with one another.
Being attacked by someone else is always hard, but it’s even harder when the attack really hits home at the point of my weakness. The inevitable temptation is to respond defensively. But Paul finds another way. This sermon digs into where he gets the spiritual power for that radically different response.
The most obvious thing in the world is that finances are a zero sum game - if someone has more, you have less; if you give money away, then you have less afterwards. But what if our finances didn’t operate according to the world, but according the power of God. This sermon explores life in the economy of God.
The statistics are as significant as they are surprising - nearly half the parables of Jesus deal with issues to do with money and wealth, and fully 10% of the verses in the New Testament are about the same subject. For Jesus, how we deal with our money and wealth really matters. In this sermon, the first of a short series, we look at 2 Cor 8, and see how Paul leads the Corinthians church and us - to be a 'centre of excellence' in Christian stewardship.