2 Corinthians 4:1-6 “Living as Lights in a Dark World” part 1

My sermon notes for Sunday, Feb 10th as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

2 Corinthians 4:1–6 – [1] Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. [2] But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. [3] And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. [4] In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [5] For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

 

2 Cor.. 4:1-6 – Living as Lights in a Dark World

What the text/message should encourage us to do:

  • Keep a proper perspective on our life/ministry.
  • Keep our hopes and focus on Christ.
  • Give us confidence to live as lights of the world.

 

Recognize your ministry – v. 1a

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God

Resuming the theme of 3:5-6 “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is form God, who has made us competent to be minister of a new covenant.”  (divine appointment and provision to be a minister of the new covenant.)

 

Do not lose heart – v. 1

we do not lose heart

Ekkakeō – To be utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted.  Give in to fear, lose courage.

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.

 

We are ministers of the New Covenant.  (GRACE). BECAUSE IT IS A GRACE/GOD calling. We can continue and accomplish the task.

  • positive, passionate, persevering!!!!!

 

 

Stay the course– v. 2

But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God

 

2 Timothy 4:3–5 – [3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, [4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. [5] As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (ESV)

 

  1. By renouncing disgraceful ways (shameful ways)

 

Who we were, based on who we are.  They way we once lived.  We should live differently now because of what has happened.

  • Once dead, but now alive

 

Renounce

  • Turn from. TURN FROM SOMETHING TO SOMETHING.

 

Disgraceful, underhanded way

  • Live right, open, and honest with our life/ministry.
  • Pure heart, Pure motives

 

  1. By refusing to be cunning
  • Walking in trickery
  • Willing to do anything to accomplish a goal

 

Paul’s life was straightforward.  What you see is what you get

 

1 Corinthians 2:1–5 – [1] And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. [2] For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, [4] and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (ESV)

 

  1. By rejecting to tamper with God’s Word.

 

  • TAMPER – add inferior ingredients. Underhanded (cunning and trickery)

 

Remember.  We are not peddlers (con man) 2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (ESV)

 

1 Peter 2:2 – long for the pure spiritual milk of the Word

 

1 Timothy 4:6–7 – [6] If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. [7] Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; (ESV)

 

Hebrews 4:12–- For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart  (ESV)

 

WHY….BECAUSE we are commending ourselves to their conscience.

 

Conscience – refers to the human faculty that recognizes right and wrong, the norms of moral conduct.

 

He knows that only a rightly proclaimed truth will impact the inner man.  It is between them and God…  blinded our unblinded is not within Paul’s control.

 

This is a predicament the church as put themselves in.  We are concerned to do right, but we are looking in and are trusting our own heart and emotions.  RATHER, we should look into our heart as it is being transformed daily by the Word of God. (article about liberal seminary closing… not one mention of Bible truth, the Gospel, or the work of the Kingdom. The gender debates. Abortion)

 

WE MUST STAY THE COURSE.  WE NEED TO LOVE RIGHT, BY LIVING RIGHT AND BY PROCLAIMING RIGHT.

 

As we renounce, refuse, and reject… Then we can stand before the Lord with a clear conscience.  Our life must be right,  BUT IT MUST BE RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.

 

Trust in the work of the Spirit vv. 3-5

 

[3] And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. [4] In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

GET THE GOSPEL RIGHT

 

Paul’s methodology was in question.  His methodology was simple.

  • Pour your life into people
  • Proclaim the Truth of the Gospel
    • 1 Corinthians 2:1–5 – [1] And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. [2] For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, [4] and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (ESV)
    • We are heralds – heralds proclaim the truth. THAT IS IT.  A STATEMENT OF FACT.  THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!!!
  • Persuade people to come
    • Not with cleverness, but with clarity

 

REMEMBER… WE OPERATE IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM

 

Light and Dark

 

In their case.  THOSE THAT ARE PERISHING.

  • PERISHING – John 3:16-19 – [16] “For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. [18] Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. [19] And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (ESV)

 

Satan is against God’s Word.  He is the master deceiver.  He has blinded the systems of philosophy, psychology, socially, and ethics.  Which in turn impacts one’s ideologies, hopes, aims, goals and viewpoints.

 

KEEP IT ALL ABOUT JESUS

 

Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (ESV)

 

Love God – Love Others

Love Truth – Love Evangelism

 

 

Allow God’s light to shine true – v. 6

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

 

God has already said…LET THERE BE LIGHT.

 

We can trust that all God does is based on HIS GLORY and NOT OURS/MANS.

 

We can let God be God as we let us be us.  BE THE LIGHT.

 

2 Corinthians 4:1–6 – [1] Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. [2] But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. [3] And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. [4] In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [5] For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

 

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