My sermon notes for Sunday, March 10th as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 –  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
DO NOT LOSE HEART. Living Everyday with Kingdom Focus.
No one is more suited to write these words than the apostle Paul. If anyone could have or should have lost heart it was Paul.
Consider these things. – 2 Cor 11:23-28
- whipped with 39 lashes (5 different times)
- beaten with rods (3 different times)
- pummeled with stones (1 time)
- shipwrecked (3 times)
- adrift at sea (one night, one day)
- journeys (frequent)
- danger from rivers
- danger from robbers
- danger from his own people
- danger from Gentiles
- danger in the city
- danger in the wilderness
- danger at sea
- danger from false brothers
- toil and hardship
- sleepless nights (many)
- hungry and thirsty (often)
- cold and exposed
- the pressure of anxiety for all the churches (daily)
Paul was saved around 24 years of age and was probably martyred when he was around 66. For 42 years he was under the constant pressures of living out the Christ life. HOW DID HE DO IT. WHAT WAS HIS SECRET. THE TEXT ANSWERS IT FOR US TODAY.
Do not lose heart – v. 16a
Lose heart – Discouraged and Dismayed. Doubting and Questioning. No excitement. Full of fear and doubt. Fainthearted and lack of zeal. THE SPIRITUAL BLUES (spiritual can lead to physical blues)
The reasons Paul would not lose heart (Expositor’s Commentary)
- 4:1 – His divine commission as a minster of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 4:14 – the prospect of sharing Christ’s triumphant resurrection from the dead.
- 4:15a – For the sake of the Corinthian church. (See them grow and change into the likeness of Christ).
- 4:15b – THE GREATNESS OF GOD.
HOW CAN WE BE AS PAUL?
HOW CAN WE LIVE WITH THE KINGDOM FOCUS? (THE BIG PICTURE)
A Kingdom Focus on the NOW – 16a
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day
Remember, we are earthen vessels/clay pots. Our treasure is the inside. OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH (vigor, vitality, & strength)
The physical is wasting away
- Ecclesiastes 12 (READ)
Inner man is being renewed. (our sanctification)
Rom. 8:28 – All things work for the good. The good is not necessarily the physical, but the spiritual. (The good. Growing in the inner man.)
- What is the Good:
- growing into Christ-likeness (MATURITY)
- honoring God
A Kingdom Focus on our FUTURE – v. 17
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
Key word is remembering PREPARING. Paul was looking at HIS FUTURE GLORY.
Therefore, He could look at his current situation as LIGHT AFFLICTIONS. He was looking at EARTH THROUGH HEAVEN’S EYES.
Light Affliction – light pressure. 42 years of LIGHT AFFLICTION.
Romans 8:16–18 –  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)
Suffering and Glory go together perfectly.
- As we suffer for HIS NAME. As we witness, serve, and live out the Gospel… when we face persecution for His Name it will manifest itself into praise and glory for all eternity.
Jesus suffering and death on the cross lead to His exaltation.
Philippians 2:4–11 –  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
Weight of Glory
- His glory outweighs any affliction.
- Our praise and worship of HIS GLORY for all eternity outweighs any affliction.
A Kingdom Focus on our JOURNEY – v. 18
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal
AS WE LOOK – putting our focus on the right place.
- Not the passing, but the eternal
- Check our ambitions. Our passions. Our obsessions.
- Where do we spend our time? What is important to me?
- TIME, TALENTS, TREASURES
THINGS THAT ARE SEEN
- Things that are temporal
- Anything that will perish
- Things that belong to time
THINGS THAT ARE UNSEEN
- Things that are eternal
- Things that will never perish
- Not belonging to time
The “already and the not yet”
- What we see as mortals and what we cannot behold as mortals.
- What will be one day, but not yet
- Things below and things above
Colossians 3:1–4 –  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (ESV)