II. The Exhortation to understanding. 3:1-7:4
A. The influence of the Word of God. 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
B. The Influence of the Work of God. 2 Corinthians 4:7-17
1. The power of God working in man. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
2. The purpose of God. 2 Corinthians 4:11-15 (vs. 15 – His glory)
3. The Praise unto God. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Refer to 4:1
Paul has defended himself and the missionaries against the accusations from a group trying to gain control of the church. He has explained the truth and exhorted them to consider and understand how God works in them manifesting His power, revealing His purpose, and is worthy of praise. Paul then taught the believers to understand the preeminence of God in their lives. Read 4:18
To speak for Paul we may say that he was saying “You say that I am weak, my health is bad, my body is broken, my speech is poor. You say the truth and that is okay because this ministry is not about me! It is the Lord who reveals His strength in my weakness! I look forward to the day that this weakness of this body is put off and the new body from above is put on. I look forward to that day, but now there is work to be done, service to be rendered and a day of reckoning to face – so I will keep on and proclaim –
4. The Preeminence of God. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 as seen in –
a. Our Person. 5:1-4
The influence of the work of God. We recognize that our being, body-soul-spirit, are of God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
When we understand this truth, knowing that God has the preeminence – we bow to him in humility and submission and we echo the words of –
Nathanael – “…Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
Peter – Luke 5:8 “…he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Martha – “Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
Thomas – “My Lord and My God”.
When is the last time that you just thought about Jesus our Lord and praised Him? Not in church, not in prayer time, not in a time you have set apart to think about Him, but just a time that you thought about how wonderful He is!
1). We serve Him in these temporary bodies. He has the preeminence!
Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
2). We look forward to serving Him into eternity – what we will be.
Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
The preeminence of God as seen in –
b. His Presence. 5:5-9
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
1). We are conscious of spiritual truth – whether we can see it or not.
“… given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”
The Lord has given us Himself in order that we may know those things which we could not know otherwise!
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2). We are confident that we are accepted in Him.
“…that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”
We are His, not of ourselves, but of Him. Life or death, we are His!
Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
The preeminence of God as seen in –
c. The Proof – our lives. 5:10 Do we look forward to the judgment day?
The day is coming when we will answer for our actions, but not only for our actions – we will answer for our motives, the reason for the actions. Paul told them that he lived his life and ministered unto the Lord with this truth before him – the Judge of all things is keeping records of how we lived – not only what we did, but why. He is going to judge accordingly – some for evil, some for good.
1). An example of the evil works – Seeking the preeminence.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica
Demas made his choice, but we should take no pleasure in his judgment. If he did not repent and confess, getting his life right with the Lord, it will be a terrible time for him as he stands before the judge and gives an account –
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
2). An example of good works – Seeking the glory of God.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Conclusion: The Lord has commanded us to know His will and to do it “…teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you…” We have been instructed in the Word today. The question is, will we stand before the Lord at this time and ask Him to examine our lives and reveal to us our condition?
Do we glorify Him in our person – or do we seek to glorify ourselves?
Do we glorify Him in His presence in us, living in the confidence that He is in us and leading us?
“…they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
Do we look forward to that day when we will stand before the Lord in judgment?