Posts Tagged ‘II Corinthians 4’

We Stand Firm

September 5, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 9/1/13.

I.  We Have Received This Ministry II Corinthians 4:1

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

When I was in my late teens I was a part of a Christian musical group called The Christian Life Singers.  As a group we memorized II Corinthians chapter four.  These verses have been very meaningful to me for a long time.  We recognize that each of us have some form of ministry, and each of us occasionally get discouraged, so it is good for us to claim these verses for ourselves.  Let us not loose heart, but rather may we stand firm in our faith and continue in the ministry to which God has called us.

II.  We Preach Christ:  verses 5-6

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

We preach Christ.  That is our central message.  At least it should be.   We have been changed by the light of Christ which has shown into our hearts.  It is that light that we share with others.

III.  It is God: verse 7

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

We are imperfect people.  We have flaws.  We have cracks. Yet, God is able to work through us.  It is not our own strengths or skills, but it is God at work through us that accomplishes His purposes in our lives.

IV.  Death and Life:  verses 8-10

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— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

We experience difficulties in this life.  There are problems, but we are not overcome.  We have died to this life and are alive in Christ.  We walk by faith, not by sight.  If we are experiencing problems, we know that ultimately we are victorious in Christ.

V.  Renewed Daily: verse 16

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

As I get older I am able to associate more and more with the idea that the outward man is perishing.  That makes it ever more important that I can also associate with the concept of daily renewal in Christ.  As Christians we recognize that our true life is not in the flesh, but in the spirit.  Our spirits are daily renewed in Christ.

VI.  No Comparison:  verses 17-18

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.

The problems we face are nothing compared to the reward that we will one day receive.  When we are in the midst of the tests and trials of this life, it is good to remember that our hope does not lie in this life, but in the life to come.  Our problems are temporary.  Our reward is eternal.  That is a comforting thought.

VII.  Cleanse Ourselves:  II Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Since we have received the promise of the blessing of God’s forgiveness, we do not remain in our sins, but seek to be cleansed from all things that are displeasing to God.  This is not an attempt to earn our salvation, but rather an attempt to live out our salvation.  We represent Christ, and so should be concerned about how we live.  Do our lives show the mark of Christ, or the stains of the world?  Are we doing what is right, or are we remaining in our sins?

VIII.  Repentance is Change:  II Corinthians 7:10

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Sometimes people are sorry, but do not change.  On our own we would be stuck in our sins, but by the grace of God we are able to change.  True repentance brings both change, and a sense of cleansing and forgiveness.

Conclusion:  God has given to each of us an opportunity for a new life.  This new life should be lived in service to Him.  We will still experience difficulties, but we can remain firm in Christ, serving Him faithfully until the day that we receive our eternal reward.