Christians live and minister through the power of God.
We have got to have the Power of God! Some of us are satisfied with the wilderness, living with stuff that weighs us down mentally, physically and spiritually. We’ve got to take hold to a fresh blessing from the Spirit of God, and quit living off leftover blessings. We’ve waded in stagnant waters for far too long while Christ is providing rivers of living water. Stop being occupied by everything you can see, taste and feel! Our affections must be on things above and not things below. Our aim has to be the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
1. SHINING THE GOSPEL LIGHT
A. Setting Forth the Truth
2Co 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
…….Some of us can’t seem to get over our past failures. We are plagued with the memory of loss and the damage it caused. We’ve got to forget the past and focus on the present, knowing that God’s mercy is the power that gives strength for success!
2Co 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness (trickery or cunning), nor handling the word of God deceitfully (to deceive or convince); but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
…….Paul’s ministry never had to use means of deception or trickery to influence lives.
The power of God is Truth, and it must be delivered. No one has ever come to Christ through deceit or partial truth. Though truth will cause the unbeliever to turn away, it is always truth that brings freedom, freedom from sin and freedom from wondering.
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
…….If our good news is hidden, it is hidden from the ones that it was intended to influence. Christ didn’t save us to silence us.
The river of life within us is intended to always flow.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
…….For the Spirit filled Christian, there is always a testimony, always a flow.
The anointing, which cannot be denied nor contained, will always be the source the impacts the lost.
B. We Preach Christ
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
…….Though the blinding world has its grip on mankind, the light within us will always outshine. While darkness hides sin, the light becomes more evident.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
……. If the message was about our personal accomplishments, the influence would only be temporary, for the Christian it would be a lie.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
…….No one can know God without his enlightenment shinning in our hearts. That light shines to draw us closer to God and as we draw closer, the knowledge of God is revealed to others!
1.TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY
A. A Fragile Vessel
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
…….The treasure is the Power of God! He empowers the fragile so His power cannot be distorted. His power is so obvious when it shines through His vessels.
2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
…….Paul describes the persecution of the Apostles in such a way to display the driving force of the ministry. Out of all the pains they had endured, anyone could come to the conclusion that the strength was not of themselves!
What a thought that no matter how hard it will get, the power of God will always see us victorious!
B. Life Revealed in Us
2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
…….Not only did he bear the spiritual image but also the physical; Galatians 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
There was no doubt that Paul was the minister of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
2Co 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
…….The death that Paul explains is the ever working death that all Christians must experience. While we die to worldly pleasures, the Life of Christ grows stronger within us, creating life in everyone around us.
3. GREAT ETERNAL REWARD
A. Speaking in Faith
2Co 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
2Co 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
…….Let the knowing of the resurrection be the encouragement to finish this race.
2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
…….The hope of the resurrection will encourage us in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death; for what reason has a good Christian to fear death, that dies in hope of a joyful resurrection?
B. Unseen Eternal Realities
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
…….Paul knew this from experience. How many of us experience the daily renewing of the Spirit?
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
…….though he had come near to death many times, these afflictions are considered light compared to the renewing power of God.
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
…….That’s faith! Though we children of God are blessed and provided for, our sight must be beyond the here and now.
There is no greater reward, for the present or the future, than the reward of ministry in Christ. Though we are physically weakened and distressed, with His strength comes every good emotion with every fruit of the Spirit. There is a purpose for the fight and that purpose must be our focus!