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Beyond Victory

Notes & Transcripts

Beyond Victory

2Corinthians 12:1-10             January 25, 2004

 

Scripture Reading:

Introduction:

Have you ever been to the top of the Hancock Building or the Sears Tower on a clear day?

They say you can see all the way to Michigan. In fact, I think I have even caught a glimpse of the far shore from there on occasion.

I am a little bit dubious about it because I had to squint pretty hard. And like they taught me to look through the haze and the fog in the Navy, one must look a little off-center to get the picture in peripheral vision. Looking straight on seems to blank it out.

It is quite a thrill to see beyond the normal horizon. I remember being up in Alaska on active duty. We sailed into Kodiak and then took a small plane into Anchorage to catch a larger jetliner back to the lower 48 from there.

Down at sea level we were surrounded by mountains. But we soon rose above them on a very clear day to see from mountain peak to mountain peak across immense glaciers, pristine rivers and valleys lush with endless forest stretching as far as the eye could see.

I was so impressed with God up there. We skimmed the tops of mountain peaks seemingly ten feet under the plane. I felt I could reach out and touch the hand of the God who formed them.

Can you imagine the thrill of the astronauts flying to the moon and looking back at earth – a blue sapphire of a jewel crowned with life abundant? At least that is the way God intends it (John 10:10).

Who could not believe in God from that perspective?

“6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 ¶  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalms 139:6-10 NIVUS)

Vision is indeed a matter of perspective. God’s vision for you includes victory.

As we learned Wednesday evening in our truth lesson at the quarterly church business meeting, God’s vision for you starts with grace.

It is a grace he has accomplished for you, and not you yourself, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross for the forgiveness of sins by which you are set free from the control of sin in your life.

 “8  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9  not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIVUS)

 “1 ¶  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2 NIVUS)

 

This “hope of the glory of God” is that victory that began with God’s grace.

Sadly, not everyone comes into that victory through grace. I was greatly burdened this week to hear of a man in his 40’s who died under a bridge in Albany Park. They found him frozen solid wearing a thin jacket over three shirts with only sandals for his feet that he had taken off. No one knew him. He was anonymous. But God knew him and wanted him to have victory. Somehow the circumstances of life, and probably sin, had overwhelmed him. God does not intend for life to end that way. God wanted that man to come into victory.

But in our present mini-series on victory in 2Corinthians 10, 11 and 12 we have already come a long way in our thinking about victory.

2Corinthians 10 was about spiritual warfare, or “getting victory.” A key verse there tells us –

 “3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIVUS)

We learned how we could apply God’s reward of Christ’s victory in our lives and ministries. (You have spiritual advantage in battle because your resources for victory in Christ are invincible beyond the understanding of this world.)

Next, 2Corinthians 11 was about keeping the faith, or “maintaining victory.” A key verse there tells us –

“30  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31  The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32  In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33  But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.” (2 Corinthians 11:30-33 NIVUS)

We learned about some of the threats to Christ’s victory in our lives that we must guard against. (You must guard against spiritual arrogance.)

And this brings us right into chapter 12 for this morning which is about flying higher, or “beyond victory.” First we need to get victory, then we need to maintain it, and only then are we able to see beyond it to the fullness of the vision God has for us. It is the vision of God’s glory – beyond victory.

This is what Paul is sharing with the Corinthian church and, by extension, us. He has done the spiritual warfare, he has fought the good fight, and now he has “seen God.”

He is teaching from his own example and experience. He has been attacked by spiritual enemies in the church, and so he shows us how to do spiritual warfare. He knows this warfare is a long haul, and so he shows us how to maintain the victory. But getting the victory and maintaining it still need the vision of what is beyond in order to encourage success, and so he humbly, and yet purposefully, shares with us what no man can see unless he be in Christ.

Please turn with me to 2Corinthians 12 on page 1806 of the pew Bible.

You will notice again that he leaves chapter 11 with the idea that only in his weakness is he strong. It is only from the position of being “lowered” that he can see up.

For all of us too, the only way we can have the victory of God’s vision for us being born out in our lives is to give up our stubbornness in wanting to do it our own way instead of God’s way.

God’s way is his grace to us in Christ. Too many people refuse to accept him as the “way, the truth, and the life.”

Only in Christ and through Christ can you have personal victory over your besetting sin – your fatal flaw.

When we do it God’s way we can begin to see across the mountain peaks in our lives toward the horizon of heaven.

We begin to believe in God’s goodness. We begin to understand that God’s goodness overflows into our lives to such an extent that we couldn’t keep up with it if we wanted to.

But we don’t need to. It’s like drinking out of the saucer. That’s good enough for me. Michael Combs writes about it:

"Drinking From My Saucer"
by Michael Combs.

I've never made a fortune,
It's probably too late now.
Oh, but I don't worry about that much,
'Cause I'm happy anyhow.

As I go along life's journey,
I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

Ain't got a lot of riches,
Sometimes the going's rough.
But I've got a friend in Jesus,
And that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for all His Blessings on me,
And the mercy that He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

Oh sure, I've been thru some storms,
And yes, I'm sure there were times when my,
Well, my Faith must have got a little thin,
But you know what it seemed like?
One day all at once, those dark clouds broke,
And that old sun, she started shinin' again.

So Lord, help me not to grumble and complain,
About the tough rows I have hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

And if I should go on living,
If the way gets steep and rough.
I won't ask for other Blessings,
'Cause I'm already Blessed enough.

May I never be too busy,
To help another bear his load.
And I'll keep drinking from my saucer, Lord,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

Yes, I'll keep drinkin' from my saucer, Lord,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

In chapter 12 Paul not only tells us how good it is drinking from the saucer, he tells us about the vision God gave him of the cup.

His journey in Christ has been remarkable from the point at which the light of God’s grace struck him and dropped him to the ground blind on the Damascus road.

God showed him how helpless he was in order to help him. And Paul wisely asked, “What is it you want me to do, Lord?” The Lord told him to go and turn the gentiles from darkness to light in Christ.

“16  ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17  I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18  to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” (Acts 26:16-18 NIVUS)

Shortly after that was when Paul was led by God to the Arabian Desert for preparation in ministry. He had to be lowered in order to see up.

 “11  I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12  I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13  For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14  I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15  But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16  to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17  nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18  Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:11-18 NIVUS)

It is from this point that Paul leaves 2Cor. 11 and goes into 2Cor. 12.

He was persecuted for preaching Jesus and had to escape Damascus by being lowered in a basket. It was like a reenactment of his conversion.

“23 ¶  After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24  but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25  But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. 26  When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.” (Acts 9:23-26 NIVUS)

It was what Paul had seen in the Arabian Desert that gave him strength and courage to persevere in a life of ministry – to be lowered again and again by deprivations, dangers and persecutions. He had a vision beyond victory that he wants to share with us.

He does this so that we too might be encouraged by the vision of what is beyond – so that we too might persevere beyond victory.

Like the hymn “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus,” we are encouraged to go “from victory unto victory,” till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed (# 481). It is all about going beyond victory by the vision of God and for the vision of God.

Big Question:

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can boast of my low position in Christ on earth because I am sure of my high position in Christ in heaven. 1-2a

I can be sure of what I know about God because I am sure of what God knows about me. 2b-4

I can afford to be realistic about myself because it reveals my realistic need for Christ. 5-6

I can accept divinely appointed trouble because it is a factor in divinely appointed grace. 7-9a

I can rejoice in the power of God over trouble because it is no trouble at all for the power of God. 9b-10

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (1-2a)

Have you ever felt foolish, like Paul does here, giving your own testimony because it is so personal, and yet you are compelled because it is so real?

There is nothing to be gained for himself here – only for the Corinthians.

Sure, he is attempting to add credibility to his ministry to them. But the credibility goes to God. Any credibility to him is only because of who God is in him and what God did in him.

He does not even refer to himself directly. But this has been his driving force for 14 years of ministry.

Explain: 3rd heaven.

I am sure there is no life to be found on the other planets in the universe. The sightings of UFO’s are the work of demons in the minds of the gullible. But there is life above the heavens.

“ Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” (Hebrews 4:14 NIVUS)

 

 “ He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)” (Ephesians 4:10 NIVUS)

 

 “ Such a high priest meets our need— one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:26 NIVUS)

          B.      Implication

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can boast of my low position in Christ on earth because I am sure of my high position in Christ in heaven.

          C.      Illustration

“That (God’s) power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20  which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 1:19b-20 NIVUS)

 

“6  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6-7 NIVUS)

 

“1 ¶  Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, (vision) where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 ¶  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:1-5 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

I have affirmed it many times in support of studying history, “You can’t tell where you are going until you know where you have been.” The idea is that, to a certain degree, the future is influenced by the past.

But I would say that the spiritual truth for all of us here is that, “You can’t tell where you have been until you know where you are going.”

Through the Spirit and the Word, God gives us glimpses of where we are headed in heaven – of the high place of regard and position he has for us there in Christ – and we are encouraged to stay on the journey, even if we are temporarily lowered by various circumstances and events. We learn that God has a purpose for it all and we are comforted.

Where is it that you have been? Does the vision of heaven put in perspective for you? So for us Christians, the idea is that our view of the past is influenced by the future. We know where we are going. The past has no hold on us. We are set free. We can endure anything for the sake of Christ. Like Paul, we can blow the so called visions of our detractors out of the water because, unlike them, we have truly been there in Christ.

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (2b-4)

Paul is very sure of his experience even if he is not sure of how it took place – whether in the body or out of it – whether physical or spiritual. This was no drug-induced trance because the truth of it has been born out in his ministry for 14 years.

Perhaps he hasn’t told anyone about it until now for fear of being labeled insane. But whether you think him insane or not, he treads lightly but boldly to share it with us because he is sure God knows. It is God he must answer to.

He has seen paradise. He has heard things beyond words. He is not permitted to tell us more because there is no human frame of reference with which to understand it. If he told us more there would only be a danger that he would be discredited. It is enough to know that God knows.

          B.      Implication

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can be sure of what I know about God because I am sure of what God knows about me.

          C.      Illustration

“27  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. 28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:27-28 NIVUS)

 

“9  However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" — 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIVUS)

 

“12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13 NIVUS)

 

“ Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

Now there are some things in life that are too painful to talk about – things like personal violations, the horrors of war, personal tragedies of all kinds – but here we have the wonders of God that are too glorious to talk about.

If you can believe in God’s sovereignty in all things – that God has this kind of glory in heaven that is too good to talk about, indeed even too good for words – then surely God must know all about you, having set you apart for his glory.

It is then enough for you to know that God knows – that that is all you need to know. You can know that you know that you know. (The word “know” and its variations occur 1,161 times in English in the NIV version of the Bible.)

You can be sure of God, and that he has a place for you just like Jesus said. Even though we can’t know everything about God now, we know enough for now.

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (5-6)

If each of us were to be totally honest with ourselves we must admit that even though we do some things well, overall there is not much to brag about.

We have some glaring weaknesses. But these are all the better to point out our need for the sufficiency of Christ in overcoming these weaknesses. And now that gives us something to brag about.

Paul clearly says he would be a fool to brag about himself, but about Christ is another story – and a good one since then he can brag justifiably about Christ in him if he wanted to.

It is Christ who is sufficient.

          B.      Implication

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can afford to be realistic about myself because it reveals my realistic need for Christ.

          C.      Illustration

Beauty's True Source

Beauty; Grace; Trials

Mark 10:21; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Ephesians 2:8-10

The most jarring TV commercial of 1999 didn't say a word. It simply shows a series of people who have one thing in common—a nasty injury or scar. There's a cowboy with a huge scar around his eye, and something wrong with the eye itself; a fellow with a bulbous cauliflower ear; another with horribly callused feet. There's no explanation at all, simply the Nike swoosh and "Just Do It."

The ad has been analyzed and criticized widely as being incomprehensible and extreme. But the key to the controversial commercial lies in the background music. Joe Cocker sings, "You are so beautiful . . . to me."

To these athletes—the wrestler with the cauliflower ear, the surfer with a shark bite, the bull rider blind in one eye—their injuries are beauty marks. And to their fans, these athletes are beautiful because of their scars. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," says Mike Folino, the ad's creator.

God's grace is just as jarring and controversial. Our beauty is found not in us, but in him. He looks down at us—injured, blind, and scarred—and sings, "You are so beautiful . . . to me."

à        Citation: Jim Congdon

          D.      Application

Do you have some glaring scars or injuries from your attempts to make a showing in life? It makes us realistic about our mortality, doesn’t it?

But these things are beautiful to God because it can open the way for us to receive the gift of immortality he wants to give us in Christ.

He is the One who can turn your wounds into wonders. The more realistic you are about yourself, the more realistic you are about your need for Christ. And he will never disappoint you.

IV.    Cycle Four

 

          A.      Narrative (7-9a)

Paul has an enemy. But he has enough knowledge of God to know that this enemy is probably something he needs. He can’t understand it, he doesn’t want it, but in Christ he can accept it.

Paul knew himself here. He knew he had seen too much, been blessed too much, to keep his pride in check.

We don’t know what this enemy is. Paul doesn’t tell us. It may be a sickness, an infirmity of some sort, or it may be a personal demon. Like Job said in Job 2:10, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

The important thing is to know that sometimes God’s grace has to do a work on us not just to save us but also to perfect us. Maybe sometimes it is what other people need to see about Christ in us.

“ Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law;” (Psalms 94:12 NIVUS)

 

 “11  My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:11-12 NIVUS)

 

 “ When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:32 NIVUS)

 

 “5  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6  because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7  Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:5-11 NIVUS)

          B.      Implication

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can accept divinely appointed trouble because it is a factor in divinely appointed grace.

          C.      Illustration

Joy Hard Won

Dependence on God; Experiencing God; Grace; Happiness; Joy; Prayer; Strength; Suffering; Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:8-10; Philippians 4:13

In Decision, Joni Eareckson Tada writes:

Honesty is always the best policy, but especially when you're surrounded by a crowd of women in a restroom during a break at a Christian women's conference. One woman, putting on lipstick, said, "Oh, Joni, you always look so together, so happy in your wheelchair. I wish that I had your joy!" Several women around her nodded. "How do you do it?" she asked as she capped her lipstick.

"I don't do it," I said. "In fact, may I tell you honestly how I woke up this morning?"

"This is an average day," I breathed deeply. "After my husband, Ken, leaves for work at 6:00 a.m., I'm alone until I hear the front door open at 7:00 a.m. That's when a friend arrives to get me up.

"While I listen to her make coffee, I pray, 'Oh, Lord, my friend will soon give me a bath, get me dressed, sit me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth, and send me out the door. I don't have the strength to face this routine one more time. I have no resources. I don't have a smile to take into the day. But you do. May I have yours? God, I need you desperately.'"

"So, what happens when your friend comes through the bedroom door?" one of them asked.

"I turn my head toward her and give her a smile sent straight from heaven. It's not mine. It's God's. And so," I said, gesturing to my paralyzed legs, "whatever joy you see today was hard won this morning."

I have learned that the weaker we are, the more we need to lean on God; and the more we lean on God, the stronger we discover him to be.

à        Citation: Joni Eareckson Tada, "Joy Hard Won," Decision (March 2000), p. 12, used by permission

          D.      Application

How much trouble have you experienced in life? To be honest with yourself, was some of it just what you needed? Was some of it what God just sovereignly wanted to use?

Have you grown through those experiences? Have you been able to help others going through similar experiences.?

Learn to turn troubles into triumphs by dependence upon God. That is why God allows them. That is why God uses them.

V.      Cycle Five

          A.      Narrative (vv. 9b-10)

Paul has seen the power of God. He has experienced how the power of God works in his behalf. God’s power has overcome his weakness.

He is pleased with God. He is proud of God who works in such insightful ways on behalf of his children – so much so that he can say that he delights in all his potential troubles and weaknesses because that is how God’s power is displayed in strength.

It is no trouble for God to overcome our weaknesses when we admit our need. It is the one who is too proud to accept help that God has a problem with.

          B.      Implication

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can rejoice in the power of God over trouble because it is no trouble at all for the power of God.

          C.      Illustration

“ But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” (Psalms 10:14 NIVUS)

 

 “ For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” (Psalms 27:5 NIVUS)

 

 “ In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.” (Psalms 86:7 NIVUS)

 

 “ Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.” (Psalms 138:7 NIVUS)

 

 “ "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."” (John 16:33 NIVUS)

 

 “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35 NIVUS)

 

 “ God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you” (2 Thessalonians 1:6 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

Like the chorus says, “Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God; Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.” (507)

What weakness, what trouble, do you need to trust God’s power for today?

“ His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIVUS)

Conclusion:

Big Answer:

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can boast of my low position in Christ on earth because I am sure of my high position in Christ in heaven. 1-2a

I can be sure of what I know about God because I am sure of what God knows about me. 2b-4

I can afford to be realistic about myself because it reveals my realistic need for Christ. 5-6

I can accept divinely appointed trouble because it is a factor in divinely appointed grace. 7-9a

I can rejoice in the power of God over trouble because it is no trouble at all for the power of God. 9b-10

Timeless Truth: Going beyond victory means keeping the eternal vision.

Will you make a commitment today to see beyond your circumstances and focus upon the celestial?

Beyond Victory

2Corinthians 12:1-10             January 25, 2004

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can boast of my  _ _ _  position in Christ on earth because I am sure of my _ _ _ _  position in Christ in heaven. (vv. 1-2a)

I can be sure of what I  _ _ _ _  about God because I am sure of what God

_ _ _ _ _  about me. (vv. 2b-4)

I can afford to be  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  about myself because it reveals my

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  need for Christ. (vv. 5-6)

I can accept divinely appointed  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  because it is a factor in divinely appointed  _ _ _ _ _  . (vv. 7-9a)

I can rejoice in the power of God over  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  because it is no trouble at all for the  _ _ _ _ _  of God. (vv. 9b-10)

Beyond Victory

2Corinthians 12:1-10             January 25, 2004

How can I stay focused on the vision of eternal victory while I am in the midst of trying to survive this one?

I can boast of my  _ _ _  position in Christ on earth because I am sure of my _ _ _ _  position in Christ in heaven. (vv. 1-2a)

I can be sure of what I  _ _ _ _  about God because I am sure of what God

_ _ _ _ _  about me. (vv. 2b-4)

I can afford to be  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  about myself because it reveals my

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  need for Christ. (vv. 5-6)

I can accept divinely appointed  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  because it is a factor in divinely appointed  _ _ _ _ _  . (vv. 7-9a)

I can rejoice in the power of God over  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  because it is no trouble at all for the  _ _ _ _ _  of God. (vv. 9b-10)

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