Thursday, July 7, 2016

2 Corinthians 4:1-18 Sermon Notes for 160628PM@TBC

 Review Background
  Historical background----------------
·         Church established (Acts 18:1-18)  18 m0s. there during 2nd Missionary Journey
·         1 Corinthians to correct problems. (while in Ephesus)
·         Paul made a painful visit (2 Cor. 2:1)
·         Severe unpublished letter sent with Titus (7:5-16) resulted in repentance.
·         Onset of false teachers who maligned Paul’s ministry.  They questioned his ministry, reliability, and motives.
·         2 Corinthians in anticipation of another visit.
1. Theme of 2 Corinthians
q  Suffering and weakness are the pattern of Gospel ministry.
  Oratory and style do not make up for Gospel content.

2. Outline
q  Overview of book (2 Corinthians)----------------
1-7  General Defense of New Covenant Ministry
8-9  Right Response (ill. by Jerusalem offering)
10-13  Personal Defense of Paul’s Ministry / Apostleship

q  3. Segway
Matthew 13.44
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Treasures were often buried for safekeeping. The most likely circumstance envisioned here is that of a peasant who, while working the field of a wealthy landowner, found the treasure but covered it again lest the landowner claim it for himself. The peasant then invested all his own resources into that field to procure the treasure. Stories of finding lost treasures naturally circulated among the poor; Jesus uses the story line to stir his hearers to seek for a treasure far greater than any on earth.[1]

q  4. Read passage   The whole chapter 4.1-18----- 2 Corinthians 4
Take note of the four references to God the Father.  One of them is a pronoun.

q  5. BIG IDEA: 
After the glorious pronouncement God has shown in our hearts and given the light of the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, Paul addresses his current sufferings and pressures.  How does he keep going?
Verses 7-18 Paul gives his key to persevering in the face of afflictions.  Paul was convinced of this truth…
“Our temporary afflictions are worth eternal glory.”
In this passage, Paul will progress through a discussion of his physical sufferings and how the spirit of faith kept him from loosing heart.
 q  I.  Clay Jars  (7-12)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed—
10Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
A. Treasure  (7)  refering back to 4.6
“But we have this treasure” refers to God’s indwelling Spirit that magnifies, reveals, and forms the person of Christ in our lives. (cf. John 16:8-14; Romans 8.9; Colossians 1.27; 2 Peter 1:3-4).  --Bob Utley
B. Jugs of Mud  (7-8)
·       Paul’s frailty caused many to question his standing as an Apostle.  (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
·       à     2 Corinthians 12.7-10     Turn to passage and read.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
·       Gideon -- 32K, 10K, to 300
·       “It may be that our greatest obstacle to spiritual usefulness is not our inabilities, but our abilities.”  (This quote is most certainly not original.)   

C. Dying to Live  (10-12)
dying of the Lord Jesus 
·       “The dying of Jesus refers to the constant hardships Jesus experienced, which were reproduced in the hardships of Paul.”  --David Woodall in the Moody Bible Commentary, p 1812
·       “And the suffering was a result of attacks against the Lord Jesus, not Paul and other believers.  Those who hated Jesus took out their vengeance on those who represented Him (cf. John 15:18-21; Gal. 6:17; Col. 1:24).”  John McArthur Bible Commentary  p1626
·       Dr. John Henry Jowett said, “Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing.”[2]
·       The test of a true ministry is not stars, but scars.  From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks [brands] of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).[3]

I can just imagine what kind of shape Paul was in when he entered a new city after having been beaten, put in jail, barely escaping, etc.
Our frailty provides an excellent backdrop for the power of God in us.
“Do not lose heart when you feel fragile and plain and broken.  It’s not your ability.”

q  II.  The Spirit of Faith  (13-15)
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

A. Paul believed as the Psalmist
Psalm 116.10 
(2 Peter 1.1)   Peter Balla in CoNTUoOT
·       vv. 3, 8-19In the first nine verses of Psalm 116 the psalmist gives thanks for God’s intervention in his need. …  He cried for God’s deliverance, and God saved him from deep dangers, even from death. 
·       Then the psalmist gives thanks, using the expression of lifting up “the cup of salvation” (116:13 [cf. Paul’s use of “the cup of blessing” in 1 Cor. 10:16]): “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.”
·      It is interesting to note that in the psalm the phrase “I said” can be regarded as an introduction to what the psalmist said, but Paul stops at this point, thus emphasizing the act of speaking per se.
·       Paul’s choice of the psalm passage is excellent from the point of view of content: he shares the sufferings with the psalmist and also his faith that enables him to speak (to bear witness to Christ) boldly (so also Kruse 1987: 108).
·      “The psalmist spoke from a context of deliverance from suffering.  He had trusted in God, and God had vindicated him (Ps. 115:12-19).   Thomas Constable
·      It is of great significance that Paul uses a quotation from the OT in order to emphasize his faith shared with the psalmist.  His faith is in line with the faith of his ancestors; he stands in continuity with the faith of the OT writers.[4]

B. The resurrection of the dead…(14)
14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
à 1 Corinthians 15.19
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.   21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.   22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
It was
Paul’s confidence in the resurrection,
Paul’s confidence that He who had begun a good work in him would complete it
that kept him going.
C. The glory of God.   (15)
15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Romans 8
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 
This verse parallels Romans 8:28 and gives us the assurance that our sufferings are not wasted: God uses them to minister to others and also to bring glory to His name.[5]
Ephesians 1.3-6   predestined us to adoption, the praise of His glory

Paul seems to have in view people coming to the Lord that he had no personal part in.  His rejoicing was that people were thankful to God
When not getting the credit upsets us, it may be a red flag.
TS:  Faith redirects our focus and gives us the confidence in things eternal.

q  III.  Fruits of Affliction (16-18)
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
A. The inward man being renewed  (16-17)
The outward body is in a state of decline.
The beatings and hardships Paul had experienced would have taken their toll on his physical body.
If Paul had had an inward, self centered perspective, it would have been easy for him to become bitter and discouraged.
B. The Coming Glory  (18)
“Affliction” versus “glory,”
“momentary” versus “eternal,”
“lightness” versus “weight”—these contrasts tell why it is that confidence trumps giving up.[6]
Hebrews 11. 24-26
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
Dr. A.W. Tozer used to remind us that the invisible world described in the Bible was the only “real world.” If we would only see the visible world the way God wants us to see it, we would never be attracted by what it offers (1 John 2:15–17).[7]

q  APPLICATION:  Do not lose hope.

[1] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Mt 13:44.
[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 643.
[3] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 643.
[4] Peter Balla, “2 Corinthians,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007), 765.
[5] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 643.
[6] Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 701.
[7] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 644.

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