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Epistles of Paul: 34 - 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:18

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Epistles of Paul

34 - 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:18

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Epistles of Paul: 34 - 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:18

MP4 Video - 1080p (1.81 GB)
MP4 Video - 720p (1.09 GB)
MP3 Audio (34.19 MB)

In this class we will discuss 2 Corinthians 3:13 thru 2 Corinthians 4:18 and examine the following: Paul contrasts Moses' veil with the unveiled glory of Christ, symbolizing the clarity of the new covenant. He highlights believers' freedom to behold God's glory and be transformed, unlike the veiled minds of those who reject Christ. Despite facing hardships, Paul emphasizes the endurance fueled by faith in Christ's resurrection. He compares life's afflictions to momentary troubles, outweighed by eternal glory. Paul underscores the importance of focusing on unseen eternal realities, rather than temporary hardships, as they produce a weight of glory beyond comparison. Through unwavering faith, believers find strength to endure present challenges.


[Steve Myers] Welcome back to our next edition of 2 Corinthians. We had left off last time in Chapter 3. We had been comparing and contrasting the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, the administration of death, and the ministry of the Spirit. What a difference when we look at those things that we found that, yes, the Old Covenant was glorious but how much better the New Covenant? And so Paul really mapped that out for us here in 2 Corinthians 3. He's not quite done with that yet. He's still referring back to ancient Israel and comparing and contrasting. And it's interesting that up next, he brings Moses back in, again, and he brings a couple of other important aspects to light in that. So if you take a look at verse 12.

2 Corinthians 3:12 He says, "Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech," that we have the hope of? “The resurrection.”

We have the hope of eternal life. Ancient Israel never had that hope. And so he tells us in verse 13.

2 Corinthians 3:13-14 "Unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so the children of Israel could not look steadfastly at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day, the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament because the veil is taken away in Christ."

So he uses this physical example of what literally happened to Moses and then gives us a spiritual metaphor to really think about for a moment. He talks about how Moses literally had his face shining. If you remember the scenario, you go back to the book of Exodus, God spoke the Ten Commandments to Israel. And boy, the Israelites were shaking in their boots. And after the Ten Commandments, they said, "Moses, you talk to God, and, you know, we'll listen then, but we don't want to talk directly to God." And so Moses did the rest of the talking to God and you could read about some of that in Exodus 34 where Moses comes down, and his face is literally shining. He didn't even realize that, and the people were taken off guard by that. And so he started to wear a veil to cover up the shining countenance that he had. And so he compares this in 2 Corinthians 3 to this idea of the spirit versus the flesh, the administration of death versus the administration of the spirit. He says, "Well, he put this veil on so the people wouldn't freak out," right? That's kind of why he did it.

Well here he's saying, "There's no longer this barrier that's needed." This was a barrier in a sense between God and the people. You know, Moses' face shimmering, shining and then what the people were feeling. And so here he's showing very clearly there's this difference that we don't have to have a veil. Christ came to reveal the spiritual side of things, and He removed the veil. So we're in the light. We're in that light. And so in that sense, he's pointing that out very clearly that there are those Jews that he says, "Their minds are still blinded."

2 Corinthians 3:14 He says, "That same veil remains unlifted." They don't get it. They don't understand. It's like Moses' face being covered. I can't see it. They couldn't understand the spiritual aspects of the law. They didn't get it. And so he says, "That veil is still there."

And I think that's even true today. It's still there in the reading of the Old Testament because the veil is taken away in Christ. Yeah, it's through Christ that we can begin to understand the spiritual aspects of God's law, and so when we recognize that, we can still see that even in the Old Covenant, God's nature is revealed. His essential nature, it was glorious. But at the same time, we're reminded here that it's through the sacrifice of Christ that He removes the death penalty, that the death penalty can be removed. And so we see that difference that much of mankind, they are still blinded. They still don't understand. And so even in reading the Bible today, they don't understand the spiritual application of God's law.

2 Corinthians 3:15 He says, "Even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart."

That's not only true for most of the world. That's true for Christianity today. Most Christianity today, do they understand the Old Testament? Do they understand the books of Moses? Do they understand the Torah? They don't get it. They don't get it. It's like a veil. They don't understand. And so he says, in verse 16.

2 Corinthians 3:16 "Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

The veil is taken away in Christ. That is that ultimate difference there. And so we can have that veil removed as we understand the spiritual application of God's law. And so that's all by the sacrifice of Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:17 He says, "Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

And so the spiritual aspects of God's law. And he says, "By that, there's liberty." So what's he getting at then? Well is the New Covenant freedom from the law? Oftentimes, Christianity tries to put that meaning into verse 17, "Oh, under the New Covenant, I don't have to worry about God's law. I don't have to worry about lawkeeping at all. I don't have to be a law-abiding Christian because I have liberty under the New Covenant." Is that what verse 17 is saying? No, not at all. Not at all.

He says, "Where the spiritual aspects of the law, the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Liberty from what? Well, what was he just talking about? You know, in our last class, we were talking about this administration of death. What happens when you violate God's law? When you violate the law, you deserve death. In fact, even under the terms of the New Covenant, when we violate God's law, we earn death. We are under the penalty of death. But when we come before God and we seek forgiveness and we repent, then what? God forgives us. When we truly repent and we want to change, God forgives us, and He removes the death penalty. He applies the sacrifice of Christ to us, and we're justified before Him. And so we're forgiven of our sin. And not only forgiven of sin, we're brought into a right relationship with God.

And so that's what happens under the terms of the New Covenant, that our sin is washed away. We are forgiven. We are granted forgiveness, and that death penalty is no longer applied to us. So what do we have as a result? Liberty, freedom. Literally, that word means freedom. Yes, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Freedom from the penalty of death. We have freedom from the death penalty when we are repentant and then justified before God. And so God's law is a law of liberty, of freedom. Hold your place here. Let's remind ourselves of that. If we go over to the book of James, in James 1, here we see that pretty clearly. We recognize that very fact. If we go to...well, even if we back up a little bit, James 1:23.

James 1:23-25 "If anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he's like a man observing his natural face in a mirror. For he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does."

And so here we see very clearly this law, God's law, is a law of freedom, a law of liberty, a law of freedom. And so when you begin to recognize that, that we have freedom in Christ, freedom from what? Freedom from the death penalty. That's where we have liberty. That's where we have freedom, not, "Well, I don't have to follow the God's law." No, James is pretty clear. You obey God's law. You do God's law. Yes, that's a requirement under the terms of the New Covenant. There's no doubt about that. And so when we recognize that, "We have to be doers of the law, not just hearers," as James says, and it is a law of liberty. I mean, think about that. Head back to 2 Corinthians for a moment. When you think about this idea of the law of liberty, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. James says, "It's a law of liberty." Does that mean we don't have to worry about the law at all? No, we have to be doers.

Think of it as this. When we sin, what's the result? We're under the death penalty. We deserve death. And it's through Christ we can be forgiven because of His sacrifice. So think of it as sinners, we're on death row, right? If your sin isn't forgiven, you deserve death. You're under the death penalty. How do we find freedom? How do we get out of jail? Does God just give us a get-out-of-jail-free card? Not exactly. We've been given the law of liberty. In other words, when we go before God and we seek forgiveness, when we truly repent, God justifies us through the sacrifice of Christ. He applies the sacrifice of Christ to us. He forgives us our sin, brings us into a right relationship, and He declares us righteous. That's what being justified is all about. He declares us righteous by the sacrifice of Christ. What happens then? We're out of jail. We're no longer under the death penalty. We have liberty. We have freedom. We're out. We're out in that sense because the sacrifice of Christ has been applied to us.

So, now, can we do whatever we want? No, we better be obedient. We better be like James said, "We better be doers of the law, not just hearers," because what happens if we violate God's law? Well, now, we're back in jail. Now, we're no longer free. We're back under the death penalty all over again. So we have liberty to obey the law. That's what it's about. There is liberty in Christ. There's freedom to obey because once we disobey, once again we're under the death penalty. We're on death row all over again until we repent, until we're forgiven, until we're declared righteous, and justified by our faith in the sacrifice of Christ. That's what it's all about. And so, yes, there is liberty when we recognize that under the terms of the New Covenant, that death of Christ can be applied to us, and we can be forgiven. There's no longer that barrier between us and God.

And so when he talks about liberty or he talks about freedom, he's not talking about freedom to do whatever we want. He's talking about freedom to obey God. That's what it's all about. And so that changes everything. In fact, notice if you're back to 2 Corinthians 3:18.

2 Corinthians 3:18 He says, "We all, with an unveiled face..." Yeah, that veil has been removed. We have a direct relationship with God. He says, "Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."

That's what it's about. It's about being brought into a right relationship with God and putting on Christ, putting on His image, being more and more like Christ, putting on His character, putting on His attitude. And so we are being changed into the spiritual image of God. And so through our actions, through our thoughts, we're in the process of becoming more Christ-like all the time. And so that's made possible through the sacrifice of Christ. And so what a beautiful truth that he speaks of. We have freedom in Christ to obey God. And He gives us then the power. I think that's probably the best part, isn't it? He just doesn't say, "Okay, you're out of jail now, good luck. You know, hope you're okay." No, He gives us the power of His Spirit so that we have the ability to obey. We're totally unlike the ancient Israelites. And so they just weren't able to keep the covenant. They didn't have the power, but He's given us the power by means of His Holy Spirit to overcome sin, to obey His Word. And so what a blessing it is. And so ultimately, that's the image we're striving to put on, that image of Jesus Christ, to put on His character and be like our elder brother, Jesus Christ. And so He concludes this section with that very powerful thought. And so He continues to talk about this calling that we have as He gets into Chapter 4. So let's go right into Chapter 4 then.

2 Corinthians 4:1 He says, "Therefore, since we have this ministry..."

We have literally that word is service, that diakonia is the Greek word. We've talked about it in the past. We have this service. We have this opportunity. That's that same word that's used for a deacon. We have this ministry. We have this opportunity to serve. And that deacon word or deaconess word is the table waiter word. It's the same word. It's talking about this service of the new covenant. We have this opportunity that "we have received mercy and we don't lose heart." And so he begins to talk about this idea of the new covenant, that it's about service. It's about mercy. And he says, "We don't give up. We don't lose heart." The losing heart word can mean we're not faint-hearted. We don't give up. We're not exhausted in our service to God.

And what's Paul talking about? I think in some ways he's thinking back to all the attacks that were leveled against him. Well, he's not much of a speaker. He's not much in his physical appearance. He's not really giving us letters of commendation. You know, he's kind of a loser overall. Those were some of the criticisms that Paul was facing. Well, did he faint? Did he lose heart? He says, "No, not at all. Not at all." In fact, Paul turns it all around here.

2 Corinthians 4:2 He says, "We have renounced the hidden things of shame. We're not walking in craftiness nor handling the Word of God deceitfully."

What's the implication? Well, what are those false teachers doing? They're handling the Word deceitfully. They are shameful individuals. They are being crafty and fakers. That's what they were doing. Yeah, literally, that word for handling deceitfully, that means tampering with. They were tampering with the Word of God. They were dishonest in what they were preaching.

The Greeks use this word in an interesting way when you notice that, that walking in craftiness or handling the Word of God deceitfully. Handling deceitfully, you know how the Greeks use that word? They would use that in reference to those in the taverns who would serve wine, but they just didn't serve the wine in an honest way. Do you know what they would do? They would dilute the wine with water and then present it as though it was the best. "Oh, this is the greatest." And so this idea of tampering with the wine or diluting it down or handling it deceitfully, that's the background of that word. What were the false teachers doing? They're watering down the Word of God. That's what they were doing. They were mishandling the word. Just like those tavern owners who diluted the wine, these false teachers were watering down the Word of God. And Paul shows how unaccepted that was. They were being deceitful. They were being crafty. They were twisting and perverting the truth of God and misunderstanding Old Testament scripture as well. All of that came into play. And so he says, "We weren't doing that. That's not what we're all about." He says on the other side.

2 Corinthians 4:3 He says, "By manifestation of the truth, we were commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

We weren't in the back room pouring water into the wine. No, that's not what... "We were right there out in the open," he says, "right there in the sight of God speaking the truth. That's what we were doing. That's what we were doing. We weren't just trying to, you know, win friends and influence people and put money in our pocketbooks like these false teachers." And so he says, "If our gospel is veiled, it's veiled to those who are perishing." Kind of takes us back to those triumph marches where he talked about the fragrance of life or death. Yeah, kind of implying that sort of thing. Those who don't understand, they're perishing. They're perishing. Why don't they understand? Why don't they get it? Well, some, certainly because they didn't want to.

But he also points to something else here, of why. Why this veil? Why the veil of those who are blinded? Yeah, well, like Moses, you put a sack over your head, you're not going to be able to see the brightness of his image. In a similar way, he's saying, "You're not going to be able to see God unless you take the blinders off, unless you get rid of the blinders off your eyes because it was hid, it was covered up, literally covered up." And he says one of the reasons why.

2 Corinthians 4:4 "Whose minds the god of this age has blinded," yeah, that's one of the major reasons why people don't get it because the god of this age has blinded them, "who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them."

So here we see a powerful attribute of Satan the devil. He is the god of this age. He's the god of this age. Some translations say the god of this world, not the best translation. The word here is Aeon, the god of this age. Maybe I'll write that up on the board. The Aeon, the age, god of this age. I mean, if you think of it in terms of this present world, this present evil world, I guess that's probably okay. But this time, this age, he is the ruler of this time, of this age. And he has done an amazing deceitful work. He is the ruler of this time. And ultimately, that time is coming to an end. That age is coming to an end. Hold your place here.

We could look at a couple of interesting examples. What's going to happen? If we turn over to the Gospel of John for a moment, Christ spoke about this over in chapter 12. We can look at Chapter 12 for just a moment. We see Christ speaking about this very thing. If we look at verse 31, He talks about what ultimately will happen to the god of this age, what will happen to Satan the devil.

John 12:31 Christ says, "Now is the judgment of this world. Now, the ruler of this world will be cast out."

Yeah, ultimately, Satan is going to be cast out. In fact, if you turn over to Chapter 14, He references this again as He talks about Satan the devil. If we look down to...where should we look to here? All the way down to verse 30, as Christ is preaching and teaching.

John 14:30 He says, "I'll no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. And he has nothing in me, nothing in me, but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandments, so I do. Arise, let's go."

As He's coming to that time of the crucifixion is what He's talking about here. And so here we see these references to the god of this age, Satan the devil. Now, ultimately that age is going to come to an end. And we see that description of Satan the devil. Maybe a more detailed description is made over in the book of Ephesians. If you'd like to turn to Ephesians with me, we could fill in a couple of more details here. In Ephesians 2, we're given some details about Satan the devil and this connection to the god of this age as well. Right at the very beginning of Ephesians 2 is where we have an apt description of Satan the devil. Let's notice what it says.

Ephesians 2:1-3 It says, Christ, "He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins," what Paul was talking about, you know, the Spirit brings life, there's liberty in the sacrifice of Christ. He says, "You were once dead, you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind who were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."

So here we have this concept of the prince of the power of the air. He's working in that sense and people are walking under his influence. And so we see that connection to what Paul's writing to the Corinthians, that that's the way of this world. They are under the sway. Yeah, in fact, there's that passage. Didn't write that one down, but, yeah, you talk about Satan's sway. Over in 1 John, he reminds us of that very fact. Let's see if I can find it here in 1 John. Yeah, it's in 1 John 5. 1 John 5, we're reminded of this at the very end of the chapter here, almost the end of the letter. Apostle John writes here, notice what he says, verse 19.

1 John 5:19 He says, "We know that we are of God and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one."

And so here we see the impact of the prince of the power of the air, the wicked one, the one who is the god of this age, the god of this time. Yeah, he has blinded this world. And if you're blind, it's like you've got a veil over your face. You can't see it. And so he's blinded the world. He's convinced them that he's right. And so that would include not just the inability to see God or see the truth or understand the truth, but when you talk about the morality of this world, you talk about the ideals of this world. You talk about the opinions of the ways of this world, our society that we live in, the hope of what this world's all about, the views of the majority of the people. He's influenced them, and they don't understand. And so imagine how encompassing this really is. When we talk about Satan's influence as the god of this age, we're talking about the god of this age of education, the god of this age of philosophy, the god of this age of business and commerce, of politics. All of that is influenced by the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air. They are under the sway of the wicked one. They don't understand God's way. And so no wonder the world doesn't understand God's purpose and His plan and what God is all about. They're under the sway of Satan the devil.

And so if we head back to 2 Corinthians, wow, it just is absolutely amazing that God still calls people out of this world. And by the power of His Spirit, God can do phenomenal things. I mean, you can conquer the influence of Satan by the power of God's Holy Spirit. And He emphasizes that very fact. So head back to 2 Corinthians and here in chapter 4, we'll pick it up once again as we recognize Satan's power swaying this world.

2 Corinthians 4:4 "Unless," he says here...and remember verse 4 once again, he says that "the light of the gospel, of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them."

Yeah, it almost seems like Satan's winning, but ultimately he cannot. He cannot win. And so Paul begins to emphasize that very fact. And it's interesting, he uses this image of God as well. That's that likeness. You know, we talked about a stamp on wax that would have an image, that resemblance, that profile, that representation. Yeah, that's what it's about. Christ is the image, the exact likeness of God and Satan is working so that people don't understand. They don't understand God, they don't understand His way, they don't understand His purpose. But Paul says, "Wait a second, we have preached the truth to you. You know, we've been showing you God's way." And so in verse 5.

2 Corinthians 4:5 He says, "We do not preach ourselves." What's the implication there? What were the false teachers probably doing? Probably preaching themselves, showing how great and wonderful they were. He says, "We don't preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves, your bondservants for Jesus' sake."

So instead of being, you know, some commendable prophet or apostle, he says, "We preached ourselves as slaves, as bond slaves to preach the truth for Jesus' sake."

2 Corinthians 4:6 He says, verse 6, "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

That's a pretty powerful statement. You know, when we recognize the same God who created light, who created the universe is the same God who must create spiritual light. I guess you could say supernatural light that would illuminate us spiritually, would light up our minds spiritually speaking. This is the same God he's talking about. And what has He done? What has He done for us? He's lit up our minds spiritually speaking.

In fact, if you hold your place here, that reminds me of that passage that's over in the book of Colossians. Look at the very beginning of the letter to God's church in Colossae. He writes something pretty powerful here that ties in with what he just wrote in 2 Corinthians 4. Take a look at Colossians 1. Notice verse 13, Colossians 1:13. Does this explain it? Wow, I think this is an amazing way that he words this here.

Colossians 1:13-14 It says, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." Yeah, we were under the power of the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air. And yet, He's delivered us from that power, and it says, "He's translated us," as the old King James or, "conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through the blood or through His blood, for the forgiveness of sins."Boy, that's the difference.

Here Paul can say, "We can confidently ask God to deliver us from sin." And we then recognize that's God's doing. God has brought us there, and He's the God who created light itself, and, now, He's given us spiritual light. And He's removed us from the power and authority of Satan into His kingdom that we live under the terms of the kingdom of God, into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Interesting way to put that, isn't it? And so we can have forgiveness, we can have redemption. How? Through a sacrifice, through His blood and we have forgiveness of sin. We don't have to be living under the death penalty. We can have freedom and liberty from sin when we live under the terms of the new covenant and we are forgiven before Him. And so he comes back to verse 15.

Colossians 1:15 "He's the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

So what a beautiful way to remind us of the calling that we have, and that he wasn't preaching just himself, he was preaching Jesus Christ. He was preaching the plan and purpose of God. So if you head back to 2 Corinthians, he reminds us of that very fact. So He commanded light, how did He do that? Genesis 1, "Let there be light. Let there be light." That applies to us too. Let there be spiritual light through Jesus Christ. And so He's commanded that. He's called us out of the influence of the god of this age. And so in verse 7, take a look at 2 Corinthians 4:7. What a great reminder here.

2 Corinthians 4:7 He says, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not us."

So he's saying, "We're not spirit yet. We're still earthen vessels." Well, what's an earthen vessel? Literally, that's a pot, a clay pot. It's pottery. Yeah, that's what this earthen vessel literally was. But he's using this metaphor of that's us. Yeah, we're like a clay pot. And what happens to clay pots? Do they last forever? You know, one little mistake and you drop it, and it cracks and it breaks and that's it. So the clay pot, the earthen vessels, that was the cheap pottery. That was the breakable pottery. That was the replaceable pottery. Yeah, that's us. "We're earthen vessels," he says, but we've got this treasure even though we are temporary beings, even though we're frail, even though, yeah, I guess you could say, we're expendable people. That's what we are. But by the result of the power of God, we have the opportunity for salvation. We have the opportunity for eternal life. Yes, so we've been given this treasure, and he says, "That the excellence of the power may be of God and not us," and so interesting, that treasure, that truth of God.

You know, here's Paul as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's been given this treasure of the truth of God. That's part of it. We've been given the treasure of God's Holy Spirit within us. I think that's part of what he's getting at here. And even though we're just frail human beings that are subject to death, God works through us and has given us His truth. And He's working in us to do powerful, amazing, spiritual things. And so he says, "Let God's Spirit work in you." That, yeah, we're nothing. Can we glory in God's sight? Now, he talked about that in 1 Corinthians, didn't he? He says, "No, we're not supposed to be glory. No flesh should glory in His presence." Remember that from, what was it, 1 Corinthians 1. He talked about that, 1:28, 29. He says, "Yeah, we got nothing to brag about. We're just physical human beings. We're the weak of the world. We're not the mighty," right? Who has God called? He's called the weak of the world. Yeah, that's us. That's us. To remind us, well, what it says in Zechariah, "Not by our might, not by might, but by the power of God's Spirit," by God's power. Zechariah 4:6 is certainly a reminder of that very fact. And so God gets the glory. He gets the honor. Even though we're just a frail earthen vessel, by God's power, we can accomplish spiritual things.

And so he reminds us of that very thing. Where is our sufficiency? Well, he just told us, didn't he? Yeah, He told us in Chapter 3, our sufficiency is of God. That's where any means to accomplish spiritual things comes from. It comes from God. It doesn't come from us. And so he says that "the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." So anything good that we do, spiritually speaking, who gets the credit? God gets the credit. God gets all the credit for that. And so he talks about this idea of being earthen vessels, being, yeah, like cheap pottery. He expounds on that in verse 8.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 He says, yeah, "We're hard-pressed on every side." Yeah, life is pretty tough sometimes. A physical life can be challenging. He says, "But we're not crushed." He says, "We're perplexed." Yeah, sometimes life can be confusing. Yeah, but he says, "We're not in despair." He says, "Sometimes we're persecuted." But does God give up on us? He says, "No, we're not forsaken." Yes, it feels like we're struck down sometimes. Yeah, we're beaten down by life sometimes. But he says, "We're not destroyed."

What changes our perspective?

2 Corinthians 4:10 Well, he says, "Always caring about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

So even though we're earthen vessels, little clay pots that are expendable, frail, God makes it clear to us that salvation is a result of His power. And because of that, yes, life can try us, life can test us. Yeah, this world is still under the sway of the devil, the god of this age, no doubt about that. But we can put away those human frailties in that sense when we look to God. And in a sense, Paul's talking about himself in so many ways. He talked about all the challenges of life that he went through, all the difficulties, the beatings, the persecutions, the stonings, the shipwreck. He went through all of those things. But ultimately, he says, "We can put away our physical bodies in a sense and mortify them, put them to death ultimately so that Christ can live." And so he says it in kind of an odd way there in verse 10, doesn't he? He says, "We who live," this is verse 10, "we're always caring about the body of the dying of the Lord Jesus." While we're recognizing Jesus Christ died for us and by His sacrifice, we can have life. So he says that "the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." You know, through the crucifixion and the resurrection, we have life. We have life. So in a sense, we're carrying around the sacrifice of Christ so that we can be forgiven, so that we can have life. And it's made evidence in the way that we live our life, manifested in our body. So he says in verse 11.

2 Corinthians 4:11 "We who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."

So, yeah, I think he's talking in a number of ways here. I mean, there were literally ministers of the New Covenant that died, that gave their life. Look at the apostles that were martyred. Yeah, they literally gave their life. They had to die for the way of life that they were following. The original apostles, it seems all except John, were martyred for the truth. Stephen martyred for the truth. Yeah, they literally died. But here we see very clearly that the life of Christ needs to be manifested in us. Yes, we're dying. We're putting to death the old way of thinking, our old life, our old thoughts, our carnal way of approaching life and putting on the life of Jesus. That's what he says. So that's what's manifested. That's what's evident in our life that we're putting on Christ. And so then he says in verse 12 as a summary.

2 Corinthians 4:12 "So then death is working in us, but life in you."

Yeah, that result of that ultimately brings life. It brings life. So he makes this very powerful statement, "You're putting away the humanity and putting on Christ so that Christ is evident in us." And so he says that powerful statement.

2 Corinthians 4:13-14 "And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what's written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise up us with Jesus, and will present us with you."

And so here he quotes from the Psalms here. He's got this quotation from...it's actually, Psalm 116:10 is what he's quoting from here, basically telling us confidently, "God will deliver us out of trouble." Just like the psalmist talks about here, "Yes, I'm greatly afflicted, but I know, I believe, therefore I spoke." Paul's, I think in one way, verifying his apostleship, what he taught them, "Yes, I believed and I spoke," but also the fact what he did speak, what did he speak? He spoke God's plan. What was God's plan? What was His purpose for His people? Well, he's speaking that, and he's teaching that, and he could confidently say, "God's going to not only deliver me out of my troubles but also the fact that He'll deliver you. He'll deliver all of His people. He will deliver all." And ultimately as we put on Christ, we're delivered from death. So you go back to verse 11.

2 Corinthians 4:11 "We who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." So we're putting on Christ. And so our outward man is perishing, but our inward man is being renewed. In fact, he says that. Notice what he says in verse 14.

2 Corinthians 4:14-16 "Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise up us with Jesus, and will present us with you," talking about ultimately the resurrection. "For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." And so we live to honor God. And so then he says, "We don't lose heart."

Oh, yeah, he just got done mentioning that, didn't he? Oh, yeah, he said that in verse 1, "We don't lose heart." We don't faint. We don't fall away. We don't lose heart. Yes.

2 Corinthians 4:16 "Even though," he says, "our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."

And so that Spirit within us, we renew it day by day. We stay in close contact with God. Yes, it is renewed every single day. He says, "That should be our perspective." That should be where we're at. We're here to have Christ living in us, and we're to become like Christ. Galatians 2:20 certainly reminds us of that, that we are crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, we live. And so we've got to be willing to let self die so that Christ can live in us. We put away the old way of thinking, our old sins, our old lifestyle, and we let Christ live in us and renew daily. How do we renew that Spirit daily? By reading God's Word every day, by prayer every day, by drawing closer to God every single day. And we're reminded of that very fact over and over again. In fact, as we conclude Chapter 4, let's go ahead and read to the end and then we'll wrap things up.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 It says, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment." Yeah, those clay vessels are breaking our physical life, doesn't last forever. But he says, "It's working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."What is that? It's eternal. It's eternity. It's life in the Kingdom of God, eternal life. And so, "While we do not look at the things which are seen, but instead at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

And so our calling is to change our vision. Quit looking at the temporary thing. Quit thinking this life is real. This isn't real. This is fading away. This is temporary. It's coming to an end. What really endures is eternal life, spirit life. That's what really endures.

And so we have this eternal weight of glory. In fact, it's kind of interesting how he contrasts that. We don't lose heart. We have some light affliction. This is just a little thing, a light thing, a little trifle is what that word means. But on the other hand, there's this weight, heavy mass of eternity. And so he contrasts those two things, this weightless little thing of this life and the persecutions and the trials and the difficulty, that's how we should look at this life. But the mass, the heavy weight of glory in the Kingdom of God is what we should see. That should be our vision, not the temporary difficulties. Look beyond the temporary and see what is real, what is eternal. Don't get caught up into just looking at the things of this life. Recognize what real life is. That's this endurance we're to have. See beyond the temporary. Look beyond the physical, in other words, and look to the spiritual things. Look beyond the present and look to the future. That's the things we should see. Make sure that we have the spiritual eyesight that God really wants us to have. All right, that wraps up Chapter 4. So what we'll do next time is we'll pick it up in Chapter 5, and continue our studies from there.

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