Tuesday, June 01, 2021

2021.06.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Corinthians 4:8–18

Read 2 Corinthians 4:8–18

Questions from the Scripture text: What four things have happened to the apostle and his companions in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9? What four accompanying results have not ended up happening? What are they carrying about (2 Corinthians 4:10)? How often? For what reason—what does this display in them? What are they currently doing (2 Corinthians 4:11a)? But what is always happening to them? What does this display in their mortal flesh (verse 11b, cf. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10)? In whom else, then, does the life of Jesus operate (2 Corinthians 4:12)? What do those who believe do (2 Corinthians 4:13)? What will He who raised up the Lord Jesus also do (2 Corinthians 4:14)? Why does God save so many by grace (2 Corinthians 4:15)? What do we not lose (2 Corinthians 4:16)? What is perishing? What is being renewed day by day? What kind of affliction do we have (2 Corinthians 4:17)? For how long? What is it working for us? How much and for how long? What do we look at (2 Corinthians 4:18)? What is the difference in how long the seen lasts vs. how long the unseen lasts?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from 2 Corinthians 4:8–18, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with My Faith Looks up to Thee

In the first part of this chapter, the apostle defends a plain, biblical ministry by the fact that this is the kind of ministry through which the Lord reveals His glory to and in the hearts of believers. And he concludes in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that our being earthen vessels ensures that the power of the glory will obviously belong only and all to God.

Well, that’s something that continues for the rest of the Christian life: many, various troubles and trials, so that as the Lord sustains us through them all, it will be plain that whatever is happening in our lives is His glorious work (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). 

We have a Savior Who suffered and died, and we too suffer as we proceed toward our death in this life (2 Corinthians 4:10a, 2 Corinthians 4:11a). But, just as He has risen from the dead, it is His resurrection and not our impending death that drives how we go through our troubles (2 Corinthians 4:10b, 2 Corinthians 4:11b). 

And now he brings this reasoning back to his ministry: he doesn’t try to appear as anything more than a mortal man (2 Corinthians 4:12a), because God Himself will employs such a ministry to produce resurrection life in the Corinthians themselves (verse 12b). So we live as those who depend upon Him to save us by faith (2 Corinthians 4:13a), and we speak as those who depend upon Him to use it by faith (verse 13b). We expect God to get all the glory, as He presents us all rejoicing and giving thanks (2 Corinthians 4:14-15).

As in ministry, so also in death. We are afflicted for a while now, and we will die. But how eternal and how weighty is the glory that this affliction and death brings us to (2 Corinthians 4:17)! So, we are encouraged and invigorated by being pushed into increasing dependence upon Him (2 Corinthians 4:16), looking forward to a glory that can only be “seen” by faith (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Whether in conversion, throughout life, in the ministry, or facing death, this is our creed: my faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary!

In what ways are you feeling your weakness and mortality? How does this glorify God?

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH466 “My Faith Looks up to Thee”

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