"SECOND CORINTHIANS – EXPOSITORY OUTLINES"
Hearts Wide Open (2 Cor 6:11-13)
A. The apostle Paul was a man who loved his brethren…
a. He loved his CO-WORKERS – 2 Tim 1:2; Philemon 1:2
b. He loved the CONGREGATIONS he worked with – 2 Cor 11:28
— Because of his love, he was willing to give of himself and become
close to them – e.g., 1 Th 2:7-12; 2 Cor 12:14-15
B. First, lets review how the Bible uses the word "love"
"THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT"
AGAPAO – Love in the social or moral sense; Respect for others Lk 6:27
AGAPE – A love-feast, dear love, (feast of) charity
affection or benevolence; Rom 8:35
THELO – To delight in; desire, Be disposed (toward) Mk 12:38
PHILADELPHIA – Fraternal affection; brotherly love; 1 Th 4:9
PHILADELPHOS – Fond of brethren, fraternal 1 Pet 3:8
PHILANDROS – Affectionate, as how a women loves her husband; Titus 2:4a
PHILARGURIA – Avarice; 1 Tim 6:10
PHILEO – To be a friend; fond of an individual or object Rev 3:19
PHILOTEKNOS – Maternal, as a mother’s love for her children; Titus 2:4b
1. "LOVE" HAS MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OR CLASSES
a. From the deep abiding love that God has for us to
a casual use, such as, "I’d love to see that movie."
b. Keep in mind, one English word "love" is used to convey many levels
c. The Greeks have different words to define "love"
d. Sometimes this is difficult to follow because it can mean
"Love God" or to "Love your neighbor" or "Love your enemy"
e. As we study the Bible we must keep in mind that "love" has many levels
so we must carefully consider its usage within the context
C. The passage in 2 Cor 12:15 indicates that sometimes Paul’s affection
was one-sided; he elaborated on this in 2 Cor 6:11-13 …
a. Paul’s heart was "wide open" towards the Corinthians – v 11
b. But their love for him was "restricted" – v 12
c. Therefore his exhortation to them was to "be open"! – v 13
D. This study:
a. Offers reasons why we all need to have our "Hearts Wide Open"
b. Explains why some people may have "restricted hearts"
c. Suggests how we can be sure to have our "Hearts Wide Open"
I. WHY WE NEED "HEARTS WIDE OPEN"
A. BROTHERLY LOVE IS A MARK OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP!
1. Take a moment to notice what Jesus said about brethren
loving one another in Jn 13:34-35
2. Such love would be a visible sign by which the world would
know Christ’s true disciples
3. People with "restricted hearts" would have a difficult time
displaying a visible love!
B. BROTHERLY LOVE IS AN INDICATION OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH!
1. Peter lists brotherly kindness (and love) among those graces
involved in growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ – 2 Pe 1:5-8
2. Whereas having a "restricted heart" is an indication of:
a. Spiritual immaturity – cf. 2 Cor 6:13
b. Or spiritual ailments (short-sighted, even to blindness)
– 2 Pe 1:9
C. BROTHERLY LOVE IS AN INDICATOR OF OUR SALVATION!
1. It is one way that we know we have passed from death to life
– 1 Jn 3:16-19
2. The one who truly loves is one who is born of God – 1 Jn 4:7-8
3. Having "restricted hearts" would not be very reassuring in
light of such verses!
[Notice 2 Pe 1:10-11 …If we want assurance, if we want to convince
the world, we need to have "Hearts Wide Open"! Now let’s consider some
II. WHY SOME PEOPLE HAVE "RESTRICTED HEARTS"
A. IT MIGHT BE DUE TO "IGNORANCE"…
1. Some Christians may not have been give proper "follow-up"
2. Their follow-up may have been "unbalanced"
a. With an emphasis upon the externals
b. To the neglect of the internals
3. This cannot be our excuse any longer – 1 Jn 4:20-21
B. IT MIGHT BE THE RESULT OF "SPIRITUAL AMNESIA"…
1. As Peter indicated in 2 Pe 1:9
2. With the passing of time we forget that He has cleansed us of our sins
a. We forget God’s love for us the more involved we are with other things
b. We do not apply "all diligence" – 2 Pe 1:5; 2 Pet 1:10
3. As time goes on we may simply forget how important
love is to God – cf. 1 Co 13:13
C. IT MIGHT BE WE HAVE "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET"…
1. Some people refuse to get close to others for fear some hidden
secret may became known
2. If we have such "skeletons in the closet", we had better get
rid of them!
a. For they will eventually become known – cf. Num 32:23
b. It may be now or later, but it will come out – 1 Tim 5:24
3. With skeletons removed, we won’t mind how well people know us
a. Besides, no one is perfect, and we can use the help
brethren can give – Ga 6:1-2
b. Of course, this requires that brethren be trustworthy and
D. IT MIGHT BE WE HAVE A "FEAR OF GETTING HURT"…
1. Loving does involve the "risk of rejection"
2. Paul experienced rejection, not only at Corinth, but also at
Rome – 2 Tim 4:16
3. But the joy of true fellowship and love can more than make up
for the few times some may reject us
a. The apostle John had experienced both love and rejection
– cf. 3 Jn 1-4; 3 Jn 9-11
b. But if he had never taken the risk of running into a
"Diotrophes", he would have never found a "Gaius"!
E. IT MIGHT BE THAT "TRUE CONVERSION HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE"…
1. As indicated before, brotherly love is a quality required of
salvation; similarly, it is an indication of true conversion!
– cf. 1 Jn 3:14-15
2. Unfortunately, some people simply go through the "form" of
a. Conforming, not converted
b. Out of convenience, not conviction
— When this happens, there is no "life" to begin with!
3. Those with "restricted hearts" might need to examine
a. A process that all Christians should undergo periodically
– 2 Co 13:5
b. While there are reasons why true Christians may not love as
they should (see above), we can’t discount the possibility
that the problem may be more serious!
[Whatever the reason, there is really no excuse for having "restricted
hearts". What can be done to "open wide" our hearts? Here are some…]
III. SUGGESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING "HEARTS WIDE OPEN"
A. LET GOD’S LOVE TEACH YOU…
1. This is what enabled the Thessalonians to excel in love
– 1 Th 4:9
2. So take to contemplate upon God’s love for you!
a. As manifested through the blessings He has bestowed upon
b. Especially the blessing of being His child! – 1 Jn 3:1
c. And the blessing of Jesus as our propitiation – 1 Jn 4:9-10
3. This will help motivate us to love as we ought – 1 Jn 4:11
B. NEVER BE CONTENT WITH THE PRESENT STATE OF YOUR LOVE…
1. Paul did not let the Thessalonians rest on their laurels
– 1 Th 4:10
2. The key idea is to "increase more and more"; or as Peter would
say, "abound" – 2 Pe 1:8
3. So we need to look for more people and more ways to express
C. LOVE TAKES TIME, SO TAKE TIME TO LOVE!
1. Take advantage of opportunities to be with brethren
a. I.e., ACCEPT invitations
b. E.g., to people’s homes, potlucks, church services, gospel
2. Make opportunities to be with brethren
a. I.e., OFFER invitations
b. E.g., practice hospitality – 1 Pe 4:8-9
1. What is the condition of our hearts?
a. Are they "restricted", suffering from "spiritual hardening of the
1) Where the love of God is hindered from freely flowing?
2) By the "plaques" of ignorance, selfishness, hypocrisy?
b. Or are they "wide open"?
1) Where God’s love flows freely
2) Nourishing not only our own lives, but the lives of those
— May we all be "taught of God" to have "Hearts Wide Open"!
2. For those who may not yet be Christians…
a. Consider God’s love for you, which is wide open in Jesus Christ
– Jn 3:16
b. Why not open wide your love for God…by keeping His
commandments? – cf. 1 Jn 5:3; Jn 14:15