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
4. The Preeminence of God. 2 Corinthians 5:1-16 as seen in –
a. Our Person. 5:1-4
b. His Presence. 5:5-9
c. The Proof 5:10 – 16 The evidence of His preeminence in our lives is seen in –
1). Our standing before God. 5:10
2). Our standing before men. 5:11-21 He is an example of God’s workmanship and so he –
a). Set forth his priorities. 5:11-16
(1). Purity. 5:11
(a). He preached with urgency. 5:11a
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
(b). He preached with consistency. 5:11b
. He knew that God knew his heart – the reason he proclaimed the gospel.
. He hoped that the people knew his heart.
(2). Passion. 5:12,13 He had given them all of himself, not just an outward performance.
Paul had the pure motives and the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ and was accused of not acting rationally. People who do not care for the souls of men often rebuke those who do by accusing them of trying to focus attention on themselves, to feel self important by claiming they have “the truth”!
Acts 26:24-25 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
Paul was an example of the servant who followed His Lord!
1 John 2:5-6 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Mark 3:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
Paul stated that he was the messenger bring the promise from the Messiah. He was not ashamed of this service –
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(3). Principle. 5:14-16
Paul set forth the purpose he woke up to each day. It was not about self exaltation or personal achievement, it was about the love of God and His purpose. He set forth his reason for living in these simple statements –
(a). Christ died for all and all need to be saved. 5:14a
(b). All men are dead and in need of the Saviour. 5:14b
(c). The saved are not only sons but servants. 5:15
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
(d). The servants are not self seeking, but they are soul seeking! 5:16
“…though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”
He was know to them as Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s son. His mother was Mary and his brothers and sisters were among them. He is known like that no more!
There were some in Corinth who sought to elevate themselves through claims of having been with Jesus Christ while He ministered in the flesh. While this would be a blessing, it was only an advantage if they knew Him in the Spirit. It is those who know Him in the Spirit that are blessed. Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate spoke with Him in the flesh and how does that fact help them now?
Judas Iscariot, a Jew
Pilate, a Gentile
Judas Iscariot an ordinary man of Israel
Pontius Pilate, a powerful governor of Rome over Israel
They both knew Jesus of Nazareth after the flesh
They are both sharing a place of torment in Hell.
What good would it do to know them after the flesh?
Impressed by their standing in the world? All that they had is gone. Even their names are detestable!
What good did their knowing Jesus only after the flesh do them?
Paul determined to speak to all men equally without fear or favour. Their person, power, or position did not change the face that they were sinners in need of a Saviour!
How do you know Jesus today?
The unbelieving know Him as a good man, a religious leader, a prophet of God.
The believing knew of Him in the flesh, but now they know Him as the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Son, the Saviour, The Messiah, The Everlasting God.
Are you Saved?