We’ve been studying 1 Corinthians in Sunday School. But today we are going to look at 2 Corinthians. Here Paul begins his book with an encouraging word!
In Chapter 1….he says
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
In Chapter 2 he says
thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
In Chapter 3 he says…
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflecta the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
But it’s in Chapter 4 where we find our text for today.
The title of the message today…..
2 Corinthians 4 (NIV)
1. Courageous Christians Keep Focused on the Mission
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2. Courageous Christians Keep the Right Perspective
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
4. Courageous Christians Keep Encouraging One Another
15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart.
We do not lose heart because of the Grace that first came to us
We do not lose heart because the mission is to critical…..Go into all the world…..
We do not lose heart because there is a devil loose….
Then he took that serpent
Revelation 20:2 gives us the assurance
2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
There is a lost world that needs our good news.
We do not lose heart because there are no other options open…..
I am the way the truth and the life….
We do NOT lose heart
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), 2 Co 1:3-4.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), 2 Co 2:14.
a Or contemplate
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), 2 Co 3:17-18.C