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KNOW, LIVE, BE: BE JESUS' CHURCH  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:47
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Truth & Value 2 Corinthians 4:1-5:21 Psalm 116 When we set our eyes on the future we can endure a lot, right now. Live Like It

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 Truth & Value 2 Corinthians 4:1-5:21 Remember about 16 weeks ago we started this series in Romans, then 1st Corinthians and now 2nd Corinthians - we’ve said that we can learn to know God in Romans, we can see his Character and Desires for us in that book. In 1st Corinthians, we learn to know what God want’s for our lives as Christians. …And now in 2nd Corinthians, we’ll see something strange - embodied in Paul, suffering and how suffering shows not failure nor lack of God’s presence, but rather truth and value. Truth & Value Paul, who hated Jesus and the message of Jesus’ gospel, became an ambassador of the same. Willing to suffer, so that others could know this message of great value. Paul lived a life that shows the message. A) Truth, and B) Its Value Several years back in Adamstown PA at a flea market there was painting, in fact a torn painting, but in a cool frame - and so it was purchased for $4. It sold at auction for 2.42 million dollars - because inside that torn painting and rickety frame was something of great value - an early initial copy of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was likely hidden in that frame, you can imagine, redcoats bearing down on a property, or a property in danger of being overtaken at any time, stuffed in the frame for safe keeping, and then at action the Declaration, which had been stuffed inside selling for 2.42 million dollars; showing it’s truth or it’s validity and it’s value. Paul has a message that is both true and valuable, he’ll show us as he defends his apostleship to people who maybe insist that the message’s truth is tied to his success and easy life, but Paul will show that through his own suffering the message is shown to be both valuable and true. The people at Corinth may have started to doubt his apostleship because there were others in the area claiming apostleship, and maybe their lives looked better. Maybe their ministries even looked better - why would Paul have less “success” why would Paul suffer, however these things showed the value and the truth of the message, and Paul will highlight that. Paul highlights his own weakness and indecision in coming to them. In 2 Corinthians chapter 2, he talked about the life of the Christian giving off the aroma of Christ and the gospel, how our living in community leaves behind a reminder and an impression, which will not be missed. And so when fliering happens in our community (like Laura talked about) and people remember, oh your the church, who does basketball camp, or you’re the church who does summer camp, or your the church who does free garage sales, or your the church who throws the block party, or your the church who’s always out in the community loving on people, through Christmas eve service, and simply being available. You church are the aroma of the gospel - and it’s all part of our gospel long game here because the message is true and valuable. Paul says that even HE isn’t sufficient for the message of the gospel, yet Paul with all his insufficiency, indecision (in wanting to have his friend and partner in ministry around Timothy), Paul who seeming so weak, held a treasure. Treasure… A 2.42 million dollar Declaration of Independence. Or the house outside of Jonestown with $200,000 worth of coins in the walls found when cleaning it out - some dating back to 1793… I’m not sure where today’s message finds you, are you a Christian? Are you not, yet? Are you a frustrated Christian in need of encouragement? Maybe you’re not a Christian - I pray that you’ll see something today, in Paul, that will shake you to the core and I pray that you’ll know that you’re seeing is a message greater than treasure it’s God’s gospel with the power to save, you. Lets look to this letter of 2nd Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 4:1–5:21 (ESV) Treasure in Jars of Clay 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; We have treasure … this is every Christian. We all have treasure, who are found in Christ. The treasure of Christ is found in the jars of clay, the Christian’s are these fragile containers within whom the power of God is found, it’s vastly valuable. Maybe you’ve felt crush and pressed in on from every side that this is all too much - maybe it is all too much, and so maybe you need this eternal truth of peace with God, it’s more valuable than treasure. In verses 10-12 of chapter 4 Paul says 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. And so, Paul is saying here - look guys, you’re looking for success on my life, to validate my ministry, I’m saying my suffering validates my ministry. God is shown as glorious as I suffer; yet as I suffer I keep my eyes on Him. I’m going to tell you what Church, God whispers in blessing and screams in trial - and as you live out your trials all the while pointing to God’s value and worth - people of the world hear that, and see that, and wonder about that… 13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. Paul is quoting and drawing from the context of Psalm 116 a psalm of someone tried and tried who says I will call on him as long as I live, though the snares of death encompassed me and the pangs of sheol laid hold on me, I suffered distress and anguish… (But listen to this praise in the midst of it from Psalm 116) God is gracious and merciful” this is a real life view maybe you’re pressed like this, know that as we trust our peace with God like Paul, like the Psalmist - we’re basking in treasure and bringing Glory to God. Paul is so dripping with scripture that he can call on the context of Psalms as he discusses his own life even in the quick reference to Psalm 116, church this is why we too work to move so slowly and methodically and purposefully through scripture because it’s God’s truth for life and it’s good for our souls, it’s better than 12 steps, better than getting rich quick, it’s real and lasting treasure and transcends life. 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, Remember the Paul of 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 his affliction is light only in retrospect and only in comparison with the surpassing value of God, meaning, when we set our eyes on the future we can endure a lot, right now. Put a note on verse 18 we’re coming back here… Our Heavenly Dwelling 5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3  if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4  For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. As this life grinds on you, and it will, be encouraged with Paul that this life seems like everything - but it’s not, God is everything, God is life, and God’s will for us is to experience the weight of His glory that outweighs our current affliction 4:17 - are you starting to see the treasure it’s truth and it’s value? 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. The value of each one, with the guarantee of the spirit is like that frame in an Adamstown flea market; full of priceless treasure, or the house with walls bulging with valuable antique coins outside of Jonestown, so too are you who have Christ in Harrisburg. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. This is an incredible truth, the old has passed away - the man guilty before God is no longer exists, do you need peace with God - it’s greater than treasure! 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; Now THIS is our job, ministers of reconciliation. 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Church, ministers, people of Transcend Church - what do we do with that trust? 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Like this guy who’d bought the cool picture frame - he didn’t know he had treasure, rather he had a $4.00 frame he thought was cool or the family with the house bulging $200,000 worth of rare coins. Who then realize they have first printing of the Declaration of Independence or that the walls jungle when tapped the container (either the frame or the old house weren’t the value), rather what was hidden inside, like the Sprit of God in believers. As a church, who loves God and His word, our purpose is to be the aroma of Christ, to show the value of this message is so much higher than the riches of the world. And as people marvel that we give away things at a garage sale, and we do a free basketball camp, and we do a free summer camp - they must see not that we’re generous, but that God is glorious because we’re bringing treasure for all to share. So I pray that you’ll be available to be the aroma together with your church - serve camp, walk fliers and doorknockers, join together in proclaiming this great treasure lets let our lives show BOTH it’s truth and it’s value! I promised to come back to 1 Corinthians 4:18 and see what that stirs in your soul: 1 Corinthians 4:18 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. Because the message of peace and relationship with God is true and it’s surpassingly valuable over all of this life, lets live like it’s true - that is why Paul suffered. So that, we’d see BOTH truth and value, now it’s our turn. Live Like It KNOW, LIVE, BE – BE JESUS’ CHURCH – 2 CORINTHIANS: Truth & Value Pastor John Weathersby Transcend Church 5 of 5 Sunday 7/2/2017
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