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#13 Manifested Power in Your Body

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               “MANIFESTED POWER IN YOUR BODY

                   (A Sermon Series from 2 Corinthians)

Westgate Chapel 05-27-07                       2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Proposition:      There is a surpassing great power from God at work in your physical body, manifested in the midst of affliction, and for the purpose of glorifying Jesus.     

i.    introduction

-     YOUR body matters!

-     WHAT happens to and in your body matters!

*     Your physical body matters to God the Father because He created you and knew you before you were knit together in your mother’s womb.

      “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 …I am fearfully and wonderfully made… 15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

*     Your physical body matters to Jesus because when He came to save humanity He took on our physical frame. Very God in a human body…from DNA to hair follicles, and Jesus currently exists at the right hand of the Father in a glorified body that looks like ours.

*     Your physical body matters to the Holy Spirit because the physical body of a born again child of God is His temple.

      “…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

-     YOU and I cannot separate our salvation and our spiritual lives from what happens in our physical bodies.

-     DOING that is actually a heresy that is called Gnosticism and was one of the first battles fought in the early Church.

-     THE Jews, through whom our Christian faith springs, recognized body, soul and spirit in the Old Testament, but refused to teat them individually as if they could be separated.

-     JESUS died on the cross, rose again, and is seated on the right hand of the Father, to save us, to redeem us from sin and death….body, soul and spirit.

-     SO, when in 2 Corinthians 4:6 (which we studied last Sunday) Paul writes,

      “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

-     WHEN Paul wrote that the Light of the glory of God would shine in our hearts….he fully intended that that shining of God’s presence would have a physical manifestation in our human bodies.

-     AND to prove it, Paul spends the next 6 verses addressing this treasure in earthen vessels….i.e. our bodies.

ii.   power manifested in us from god

-     TURN with me please to 2 Corinthians 4:7.

      “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

-     “THIS treasure” is the fact that being born again by the Holy Spirit means that the glory of God shines in our hearts.

-     REMEMBER the glory of God is the “full force of the self-revelation of God.”

*     The revelation that He is our Righteousness.

*     The revelation that He is our Sanctification.

*     The revelation that He is our Peace.

*     The revelation that if He is for us, who can be against us.

*     The revelation that He is Present with us everywhere and all the time.

*     The revelation that He always begins with the end in mind…the Author and Finisher of our faith.

*     The revelation that He is our Healer.

*     He is our Provider.

*     That God is Love.

*     That God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

*     That He is our Victory.

*     That He is our Shepherd….and more than I could recount or even imagine.

-     “THIS treasure” says Paul is, for the born again Christian, is contained in an earthen vessel.

-     WHAT is an earthen vessel?

-     WELL, all through Scripture our physical bodies are described as clay.

*     Job 4:19 says that our bodies are houses of clay.

*     In Isaiah 29, God asks how we, made of clay, can challenge the Potter concerning how He has made us.

*     God asks the same question in Jeremiah 18.

*     The apostle Paul picks up the same language in Romans 9:21.

-     SO, this glory, this full force of God’s self-revelation, is manifested in the body of the Christian SO THAT the way we live our lives will be identified by those watching as from the power of God and not ourselves.

-     CAN we look at that verse again?

      “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

-     GOD’S power manifested in my physical body…so that it is clearly seen as coming from God and not from me.

-     NOW that demands the question; what am I doing with my body…

*     my voice,

*     my touch,

*     my eyes,

*     where are my feet going,

*     what am I ingesting,

*     how am I reacting to life,

*     using my time,

*     my schedule,

*     my career,

*     my possessions, that can be seen clearly as the result of God’s power and not me?

iii.  power manifested in affliction

-     NOW, I wish I could tell you it was otherwise, but it appears from what follows in the next few verses, that one of the best ways for the power of God to be seen in our physical bodies is when you and I go through serious affliction.

-     VERSE 8,

      “…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

-     AFFLICTED literally means having the life you were hoping for crowded out by a lot of stuff coming at you at once….but because of the power of God in your body your life is not crushed.

-     PERPLEXED literally means to be at a loss and uncertain concerning what to do…but because of the power of God at work in your physical body to not be driven to despair or give up.

-     PERSECUTED literally means to be systematically harassed…but because of the power of God at work in your physical body to resist the thought that God has moved on and left you behind.

-     STRUCK DOWN literally means to be suddenly and swiftly knocked down…but because of the power of God at work in your physical body to not be ruined.

-     IN verse 10 Paul says that what is going on when we go through affliction is that the scars left behind in our lives (for Paul they were literal) give testimony to Jesus’ suffering for our salvation.

-     AND the scars also show that the life of Jesus and the power of God…”may be manifested in our body.”

-     WE all run into stuff in our lives.

*     A doctor’s diagnosis that the disease is terminal.

*     A head on collision leaves us paralyzed.

*     A spouse files for divorce.

*     A child runs off the rails.

*     A mugger beats us up and takes our money.

*     A mean spirited boss fires us.

-     IF we allow ourselves to be crushed, despairing, forsaken and destroyed….where is power of God in that?

-     NO! This power of God is poured out into earthen vessels….so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body!

*     voice,

*     touch,

*     eyes,

*     feet,

*     what  I ingest,

*     reactions to life,

*     time,

*     schedule,

*     career,

*     possessions, that can be seen clearly as the result of God’s power and not me?

iv. power manifested for jesus’ sake

-     ONE last thought from this passage. Verse 11,

      “For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)

-     IT is so hard for any of us to shake the notion that life is all about me!

-     THAT has been our problem since the Garden of Eden.

-     I KNOW I getting ahead of myself here, but in the next chapter Paul writes,

      “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)

-     PAUL is saying that we who live in our bodies by the power of God….are it seems forever fighting battles and coming under attack.

-     FOR some it seems that the attack has been more severe since they gave their lives to Christ.

-     AND Paul says…..yes! That is part of the package SO THAT THE LIFE OF JESUS MAY BE MANIFESTED IN OUR MORTAL FLESH.

-     BECAUSE it is not about us. It is about Him and His power being seen at work in our bodies!!!

v.  CONCLUSION

-     LOOK at verse 12,

        “So death works in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:12)

-     WHEN people look at our lives from the outside, it may look like we are dying….dying to our desires, to our ambitions, to our egos, to our will, but because God’s power is seen in the middle of it all; it actually works Life for those who are taking their cues off us.

-     WHY?

-     BECAUSE we are not living our lives for ourselves but for Christ who died for us.

-     SAINTS, this is huge!

-     YOU and I are not just saved to get our sins forgiven and get a get out of hell free pass.

-     WE are not saved to live some sort of interior salvation that has no connection to our bodies or our physical lives.

-     NO!

-     WHAT happens in your body matters!

-     THERE is a “surpassing greatness of the power of God” that impacts everything about how you and I live.

-     AND it seems to shine the brightest when we are going through stuff.

-     IF you don’t have this power of God that people can identify in you….maybe it is because you are not really a Christian yet.

*     You must repent of your sin and be born again.

*     Then God’s power will be manifest in you!

-     IF you don’t have this power of God that people can identify in you…maybe it is because you are born again but not fully surrendered body, soul and spirit.

*     You must repent and surrender to God today, giving Him your voice, eyes, feet, time, possessions. He requires full surrender.

*     Then God’s power will be manifest in you!

-     IF you don’t have this power of God that people can identify in you…maybe it is just because you didn’t know God was available to do that in your life.

*     Come to this altar and ask Him today, to make Himself known in power in your body!

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