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2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10

2 Corinthians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Last week...
2 Corinthians 4:12–15 HCSB
12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. 14 We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and present us with you. 15 Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory.
We saw the humility of Paul last week in these verses. Death works in us, but it brings life in you.
Verse 13 led us to the beautiful Psalm 116. I encourage you to go and read that Psalm again. The victory we have in Christ. Paul had faced much opposition and he quotes this Psalm.
Notice the focus in verse 14 leading us to the second coming of Jesus. Paul focused on the end. Paul focused on our resurrected bodies entering in to New Jerusalem and living eternally in the presence of our Savior.
I think it’s important for us to understand some of what Paul had been through. Later in this letter, we see as Paul writes about some of his experiences as a Christ follower and I think this helps us to put some of this into perspective.
2 Corinthians 11:23–30 HCSB
23 Are they servants of Christ? I’m talking like a madman—I’m a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, near death many times. 24 Five times I received 39 lashes from Jews. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods by the Romans. Once I was stoned by my enemies. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26 On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the open country, dangers on the sea, and dangers among false brothers; 27 labor and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and lacking clothing. 28 Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses.
Some of these are pretty extreme meaning that we may not be able to identify with them. Like 39 lashes from the Jews, beaten with rods by the Romans, stoned by my enemies...
Notice that he was lashed from the Jews and beaten with rods from the Romans. He was not Jewish enough for the Jews and not greek/roman enough for the Romans. He was attacked on all sides. As my friend Noah Oldham said this week on facebook
“people who love Jesus and seek to live out His commands as purely as possible find difficulty among competing ideologies of the world.”
We might not have taken lashes or rods for this but notice what else Paul considered a hardship. He was shipwrecked, dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the open country, dangers on the sea, and dangers among false brothers; labor and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.
Some of these you might identify with. Living on a lake some of you might have faced dangers from rivers or waters, some might have had a shipwreck or car break down, labor and hardship, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst.
So it is in this context and things he has faced that Paul writes this next section of the letter in 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 4:16 HCSB
16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
The word Therefore connects us back to the previous text that we just studied last week and spoke of.
Knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and present us with you.
We do not give up this is also repeated from
2 Corinthians 4:1 HCSB
1 Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up.
Though our outer person is being destroyed or inner person is being renewed day by day.
The outer person speaks of our flesh. You heard from 2 Corinthians 11 how Paul’s flesh is being destroyed and the afflictions that he was facing.
The inner person speaks of the life of the spirit. He says during the outer person being destroyed the inner person is being renewed day by day.
The suffering or afflictions is renewing him spiritually but destroying him physically.
2 Corinthians 4:17 HCSB
17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
Notice the comparison here.
Momentary = Eternal
Light = Weight
Affliction = Glory
Paul’s focus is on eternity. This momentary light affliction is producing incomparable eternal weight of Glory.
What an amazing perspective on suffering. He says today’s suffering or affliction is producing and incomparable eternal weight of Glory.
2 Corinthians 4:18 HCSB
18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
His focus is on eternity. We must also shift our focus. We must get our eyes off the circumstances and place them on the goal.
(Wrestling and running) The goal was standing on the podium at state. I trained hard and put my body through pain for the sake of the end goal.
This is a great word for us in the middle of coronavirus/injustices/elections. The goal is entering into New Jerusalem with our resurrected bodies. Stay focused keep your eyes on the end.
The goal is unseen. What is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. Stay focused on the unseen. Stay focused on eternity.
2 Corinthians 5:1–2 HCSB
1 For we know that if our temporary, earthly dwelling is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands. 2 Indeed, we groan in this body, desiring to put on our dwelling from heaven,
Again notice the comparison
earthly = heavens
temporary = eternal
tent = house
Same language is in Paul’s letter to the Romans. This is not exit plan language. This is longing for redemption and New Jerusalem.
Exit plan language is I just want him to take me out of here. I can’t wait to be gone. I am hoping I am gone soon. I tired of this old world.
This is not Paul’s writing here. Paul is longing for redemption. He is longing for New Jerusalem. He is longing for all things to be made right and he is striving for this himself.
Romans 8:18–25 HCSB
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility —not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it —in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. 23 And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits —we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
We grown within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. We are hoping for what we do not see and we eagerly wait for it with patience.
2 Corinthians 5:3–5 HCSB
3 since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
v.4 When is mortality swallowed up by life?
1 Corinthians 15:50–57 HCSB
50 Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. 51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality. 54 When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? 56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul is longing for a resurrected body here. He is longing for New Jerusalem. He is longing for a Glorified body. He is longing for the return of Christ now as he writes this letter.
The Spirit is a down payment guaranteeing that this well happen.
2 Corinthians 5:6–9 HCSB
6 So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight, 8 and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.
Warren Wiersby on these verses
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Four: Courage for the Conflict (2 Corinthians 4:1–5:8)

The people of God can be found in one of two places: either in heaven or on earth (Eph. 3:15). None of them is in the grave, in hell, or in any “intermediate place” between earth and heaven. Believers on earth are “at home in the body,” while believers who have died are “absent from the body.” Believers on earth are “absent from the Lord,” while believers in heaven are “present with the Lord.”

This gives Paul great confidence. We are always confident in our afflictions because while our soul is in the body we are at home and for our soul to be out of the body we are at home with the Lord.
This gave him the confidence to face the afflictions.
weather we are home or away we make it our aim to please Jesus.
Conclusion
2020 has had it’s challenges. This morning is a great reminder of where to focus. For Paul, his eyes were fixed on the eternal. He longed for New Jerusalem and longed for our souls to be united with our resurrected bodies.
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