Ray Stedman - March 17, 1980
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Scripture References: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
From Series: "Studies in Second Corinthians"
The Second Letter reveals the secrets of the ministry. Ray frequently taught other pastors and his own staff great principles of ministry using this great letter from the pen of Paul. "A Christian, of course, is not simply one who joins a Christian church. Many people feel that that is the criterion, but it is not. There are millions of church members in this country today who are not Christians. Nor does adhering to a certain moral standard in your life, or the fact that you consistently read the Bible make you a Christian. The thing that really marks it is if Jesus Christ is living in you. A true Christian is someone in whom Christ dwells. And the person in whom Christ dwells will have certain inescapable evidence of that fact given to him or her. That is what Paul is suggesting we ask ourselves. Do we have the evidence that Jesus Christ lives in us? Has a fundamental change occurred at the very depths of our being? It is actually the question, of course, 'Are you really born again?' That is a term that has fallen into wrong use these days. Many people who merely change their actions for a little while are said to be 'born again.' People are using that term about everything today. But this is the question that Paul is asking, 'Are you truly and permanently different because Jesus Christ has come to live within you?'"