2 Cor. 4:7-15
A Ministry of Trials and Blessings
Turing Real Trials into Real Blessings
When we live as lights in a dark world (4:1-7), then we can expect trials to come. We need to expect it and then overcome it. Remember, heaven is not this side of eternity! We are in a battle, but we follow the victor… THE TRIUMPHANT KING JESUS!
We have a treasure in clay pots – v. 7
 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us
- 1 – The ministry of believing in, living out, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- 6 – God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- IT IS PRICELESS. UNIMAGINABLE & INCALCULABLE WORTH!
- Simple, ordinary, common pots. Nothing really that special.
- Me apart from Christ = nothing.
- Me + Chris = EVERYTHING. PRICELESS
To Show God’s Surpassing Power
- He uses ordinary, so that the focus is on the miraculous.
- ME NOTHING. HIM EVERYTHING.
- Our frailty… HIS POWER
We will have struggles, but we will not be defeated – vv. 8-11
 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
We will not be defeated because….
We will remember our training. (hold and advance) – vv. 8-9
WHAT WE KNOW – The promises of His Word.
- It is a battle scene. “Band of Brother” Battle of the Bulge
- Afflicted (under pressure)
- not crushed
- Not driven to despair
- From same Greek word. At a loss, but not a total loss
- Persecuted (pursued, hunted)
- Not forsaken (abandoned)
- Struck down
- Not destroyed (fighting terms…knocked down but not knocked out.
- Not driven to despair
We will remember what we have Christ in us – v. 10-11
WHO WE ARE
- always carrying in the body the death of Christ.
- Romans 6:3–5 –  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (ESV)
- Luke 9:23–25 –  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (ESV)
- So that Christ may be manifested in our body
- Galatians 2:20 –  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)
We persevere so that others may live – v. 12-14
 So death is at work in us, but life in you.  Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,  knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
Through our death to self – v. 12
- The more we are willing to die to self the more others can experience life through MY LIFE.
2 Timothy 2:10 –  Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (ESV)
Through the message we proclaim – v. 13
- In all of life. In all circumstances we point people to the hope that WE HAVE IN CHRIST?
- All of life should give us an opportunity to PRAISE HIM. HE IS TRUE. HIS WORD IS TRUE. WE CAN TRUST IN HIM!
Through the power of His resurrection – v. 14
- 2 Timothy 4:6–8 –  For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (ESV)
Our faithfulness will manifest God’s glory – v. 15
 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God
IT IS NOT ME, BUT HIS GRACE THROUGH ME!
Notice the progression:
- We live and give for others
- Grace is extended
- Thanksgiving increases
- GOD IS GLORIFIED!