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2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 4

KJV    NAS

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1&2 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

 

2Cor 4-1,2

(31l) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Forgiveness is an act of Godís grace

(44j) Judgment >> Transformed >> Fulfill your ministry according to the will of God Ė Paul talked about his accomplishments through a ministry powerful enough to change the world. Was Paul greater than the average Christian? Maybe he was, but he wasnít better. Rather, God calls us all to follow his example. He didnít deceive the Corinthians into becoming Christians. Rather, he was totally straightforward and honest with them about God, and he manifested the truth in front of them, even as God has called us to become a manifestation of Christ. Paul was confident in his faith and walk with God to commend himself to their consciences.

(86j) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word >> Clothe yourself with the word of God >> Walk in the truth Ė To walk in truth is to obey the Bible, but it cannot tell us our specific calling from God; only the Holy Spirit can do that. If walking in truth just means obeying the New Testament, what is the difference between that and obeying the Old Testament? Isnít it just another form of the same thingólegalism? We need to transcend the written word so we understand God by the Spirit and not by the letter only, and we do this by walking in the truth we know. This makes understanding the Bible that much easier, which leads to understanding His will, and to do His specific will is to fulfill His calling that He has prepared for us. Until this process begins, we are just old covenant believers in a new covenant age, for there is no difference between paper and ink of the Old Testament and paper and ink of the New.

(92j) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way connects you to God >> It demonstrates your relation to Him

(115c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> Through your calling >> To build up the body of Christ

(193g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> God grants repentance Ė Heb 10-22 says, "Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience," yet there are things we have done or were done to us in the past that still haunt us at night. We should not allow these memories to afflict us because they are not of the truth. The truth is that God has forgiven our past on the day of our spiritual birth, and through repentance we understand that we will never practice those things again, yet if we sin, we repent and He forgives us. We must remain in a state of repentance, so whenever we sin we put it under the blood and abandon our evil practices, making our haunting memories illegitimate. This takes commitment, devotion and humility that also become deterrents to sin.

2Cor 4-1

(121l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence >> Confidence in God >> Confidence in God as you fulfill your ministry

2Cor 4,2-4

(112i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Light exposes sin >> Light reveals hidden motives

(182j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Telling the truth with an evil motive

2Cor 4-2

(7b) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Defend the word of God by obeying it

(11l) Servant >> Paulís example of ministry

(104g) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> God can see us Ė we are in His sight

(111i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Kingdom of God revealed >> Manifestation of truth

(134i) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Adultery >> Spiritual adultery

(147f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Spiritual manifestations

(153f) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Shame >> Hiding under a cloud of guilt >> Opposing the truth

(155c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Conscience testifies that we obey Godís law Ė Paul was extremely confident in his walk with God; he was ready to commend himself to every manís conscience in the sight of God; that is, he was ready to be their conscience. He wanted the Corinthians to remember him whether they did right or wrong. He was a physical entity of their conscience, representing Christ in the world. The Holy Spirit is our conscience who has come to us from God through Christ, and the letters Paul wrote work with the Holy Spirit to complete our conscience, so the Spirit and the word work together to either commend us or chastise us for doing good or evil. The Corinthians had Paul as a physical person of their conscience, and we too would like to know somebody who could act as our conscience and our example of Christianity. Billy Graham was at one time the conscience of America, but it doesnít do much good to have an example of Christianity whom we have never met; that is like Christ in heaven. If we had a mentor of Christianity we could see and touch, it would supplement the ministry of Christ within us.

(156f) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> You will know them by their repentance -- This verse goes with verses 10-12

(244k) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal manifestation of Godís word >> Obedience is the manifestation of truth

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

3&4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

2Cor 4,3-6

(169a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blind to Jesus >> Blind to the glory of God in Christ Ė People cannot blame the devil for their unbelief, since they are the ones who donít believe in view of the evidence of Godís existence that twinkles in the night sky, casting light on the knowledge of Jesusí cross, proving Godís love for mankind. This is what the world forces of spiritual darkness are capable of doing to our minds: they have a blinding effect on humanity. We are not capable of truly comprehending demons, so when we say they have a blinding effect on humanity regarding the gospel, it is similar to the blind spot in our vision, ironically where the optic nerve connects to the eye. No light receptors exist there (no rods or cones), hence creating a blind spot. We donít see the blind spot because the brain compensates for it (or ďpatchesĒ it) with information gleaned from adjacent receptors, so we canít even tell we have a blind spot. If our own brain can so easily manipulate our perceptions, how much easier can spiritual forces trick us into believing or not believing whatever they want? Satan places the gospel behind our proverbial blind spot, so that people might not seeÖ ďthe glory of Christ, who is the image of God.Ē They subliminally propagandize humanity with their rendition of ďtruthĒ, and so the Bible describes the world as unwitting slaves of sin.

2Cor 4-3,4

(19h) Sin >> Having the mental disease of the world >> Worldly influence on the mind Ė People who refuse to believe in the gospel focus on things that are wrong with the world and blame God for it all. The problem with that is people with a lack of faith in God are mostly the cause of things that are wrong, so in this way unbelief is self-perpetuating. They paradoxically use their own unbelief to prove that God does not care about us.

(20ca) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Unbelief >> Having a mind that is unable to receive >> Unbelief cannot distinguish light from darkness Ė Shallow-minded people are those who refuse to believe in God, though many of them boast great claims of intellectual capacity, yet there is something missing in their argumentsósubstance. They jump to rash conclusions before they even understand what they are thinking, much less saying. Spiritual entities help them believe in their doctrines of unbelief, whom Jesus called the god of this world. These people generally have three common attributes: They are highly intelligent; they are highly opinionated; and they are highly judgmental. They trust their opinions because they are intelligent, and through their arrogance they accuse God of evil. They see that other people believe many of the same things and so use them to bolster their faith in unbelief.

(47i) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is the absence of God

(79b) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Satan will control your mind if you donít Ė The world is convinced that it is real, because it has the physical realm, but what does that prove, and what does the Church have to validate itself? It only has faith, an intangible proof, which is an oxymoron, yet God is more real than the world. In fact, the the world is a creation of Satan; he is the creator of the world (not of the earth), yet Satan is not altogether real (Rev 17-8). Satan is real in the sense that he exists, but he is not real in the sense of possessing the truth. If we consider reality in terms of truth, then God is the essence of reality and Satan is the antithesis of reality, which makes the world his creation also the antithesis of reality. We see then there is nothing real about the world; it only appears real. The earth is real, but this is where people get the misconception that just because the earth is real the world is also real. They are using the earth to verify the world, and the two are not the same. The earth is a physical planet that revolves around the sun, but the world is a composite of all the thoughts and imaginations of men and women who live on the earth, whose thinking is being subliminally orchestrated by Satan, and by the time the devil massages their minds, he makes their thoughts his own.

(157j) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Unable to know the truth

(160d) Works of the devil >> Satanís attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine

(164a) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Entertaining demons by rejecting the word of God

(164d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan rules the world >> Satan is a tyrant over the world Ė If anyone doesnít believe there are spiritual forces of wickedness at work in the world, they would have to deny the testimony of Godís word that speaks otherwise. His name is Lucifer, the dragon, Satan, the prince of demons. They control the atmosphere of the world (not the earth). In Revelation, where it discusses the initial angelic rebellion, it says 1/3 of the angels of heaven fell away from God. There is a spiritual influence over the world caused by these entities, and their influence acts as a veil to the gospel of Christ. Satan is ultimately responsible for Christís crucifixion, since he influenced those who plotted against Him and provided the atmosphere to make it seem like a good idea to kill Him. This same atmosphere remains enveloped over the world like an overcast day making it difficult to believe the Son is still shining, and this satanic atmosphere is the veil that lies over the hearts of those who are perishing.

(166j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The carnal mind agrees with the devil Ė Paul suffered more than most people. He was beaten unmercifully innumerous times; i.e., the flogging that Jesus received before His crucifixion was so severe that it almost killed Him before they nailed Him to the cross, and Paul received this flogging five times as persecution from the Jews for the sake of the gospel of Christ, and he called it momentary light affliction in verses 17&18. Many people in defense of their unbelief accuse God of allowing suffering and evil in the world. Their accusations against God are evil, and it is this very complaint that inspires them to persecute the saints, because of their hatred of God, hence causing suffering and evil in the world. The fact is they only use the issue of suffering and evil as an excuse to reject God, since Paul sufficiently answered this question at the end of this chapter. The unbeliever who complains about God allowing evil will die and go to hell and suffer for all eternity. This is his fault, for God has made a way for him to be saved through the suffering and evil imposed on Christ. It is the unbelieverís fault that his suffering in this life has no virtue. Moreover, within the context of his unbelief, his complaint against God is valid. We should give the unbeliever credit for properly interpreting the futility of his own suffering and abject uselessness of his unbelief that is destroying his life and his future and prohibits him from understanding the Christian point of view on suffering and evil in the world, while he persecutes and martyrs the saints.

(183h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of unbelief Ė No matter how hard some people try, they canít seem to fit the gospel in their minds; some canít even believe in the existence of God, much less the gospel, though he has evidence in the entire creation. We know God exists by evidence of the earth and the universe above us. We were born seeking a cause for everything. For example, when an unusual sound occurs in the middle of the night, we get up and search for the cause of the noise, but there are those who can look into the great expanse and dismiss it, denying it had a cause. God is bigger than their preposterous postulations that time and chance has erecting all things. As their calculations delve into the dark realms of infinity, God will confound them on the day of their judgment when He asks them to give account of their futile reasonings.

(221h) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides his divinity from manís corruption >> He hides behind the veil Ė Our gospel truly is veiled to those who are perishing. It is veiled to those who cannot believe, because they have allowed their hearts to be hardened, and now they are slaves of their unbelief, and in the case of the reprobate mind, their scab-like veil crusted over their hearts may never be removed. The god of this world has blinded their minds.

(253d) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Father >> Jesus has all the internal qualities of the Father >> Jesus is the exact representation of the Father

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

5-7 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 6 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. 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;

 

2Cor 4-5,6

(112e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus light in us overcomes darkness >> The light of His truth Ė Paul reminds the Corinthians that he is their bondservant for Jesusí sake, there to serve them the most purified version of the truth he could offer. Prior to his conversion he had already invested his entire life to the old covenant, but after his conversion he committed himself all the more to the new covenant, so he could teach it to the Corinthians and to the other churches he served. As a result, Paulís version of the gospel was completely reliable, and his service impeccable, but prior to his conversion he was utterly lost. The Jews somehow got lost in their own religion, having lost touch with the law and the prophets, being a backdrop for their messiah to come and save them from their sins. ďLight shall shine out of darkness,Ē it says, which happened to Paul, for he was once a man of great darkness, a Pharisee of Pharisees he described himself, whose ministry before Christ pertained to capturing Christians and throwing them in prison for violating religious ordinances, which had nothing to do with the truth. He was one of those whom the disciples feared and cowered in the upper room prior to Pentecost. Those he presented to the authorities went to trial, which often led to their demise, though Paul was highly conscientious even then, doing what he thought was right. The light snatched him from the darkness and revealed to him that he was wrong about most everything he believed. After that he became a light-bearer and worked harder than ever to make up for the evil he had done to Godís people in earlier days.

2Cor 4-5

(12i) Servant >> Attitude of a bond servant

(53f) Paradox >> Opposites >> Freedom and bondage >> Slaves are free/free are slaves

(58f) Paradox >> Opposites >> The more we exalt Jesus, the less significant we become

2Cor 4-6

(80k) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to people >> To evangelize the world

(104j) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see Jesus >> We shall see His face

2Cor 4,7-11

(245h) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of Godís righteous judgment >> The resurrection is a manifestation of His life

2Cor 4-7

(35h) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> The anointing Ė Our flesh is so weak, any form of light coming from us is guaranteed to be from God, for there simply is no light in our flesh without Him. If a Christian lights up His environment, it is the result of the Holy Spirit ministering through him. There are charismatic people who can mimic the work of the Holy Spirit, and they can light up a room with their flesh, making it appear that they are demonstrating the Spirit of God when in fact they may not even be saved. We need to be careful and discerning what is the true glory of God. We can study a person based on what he says to make sure he is speaking the word of God, but a far easier route is to simply examine his fruit as Jesus advised. Some people think about fruit in terms of how many people we have won to the Lord or how much money they give to the Church, yet Jesus talked about fruit (and every writer of the New Testament) in terms of the Spirit, and the first and foremost fruit of the Spirit is love, and all other forms of spiritual fruit come from love. Just look to see if he has love; that is all we need to do. If so, we can believe him, but if not, then he is a fake, attempting to forge the surpassing greatness of the power through his charismatic personality.

(53m) Paradox >> Opposites >> God is made strong in our weakness

(77j) Thy kingdom come >> Tapping into the power of God through humility >> The humble realize the source of their power

(113n) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Our weakness proves it is the power of God Ė This treasure is given us in earthen vessels, so there should be no chance of mistaking the power of God as coming from ourselves, yet it happens all the time. If we had some kind of special abilities or had awesome bodies that could do anything, then maybe we could potentially confuse our powers with Godís power, but the fact is our bodies are extremely fragile on so many levels. We are perhaps more needy than any other animal on earth. We donít even have a coat of fur like other mammals. Shave a bear and see how long the bare lives in the wild. All we have is an oversized brain that we mostly use to get into trouble. There are so many ways for us to die. We could starve to death; we could die of exposure; we could be injured or fall sick and die of disease. The list goes on of all the different ways we can die because of the weakness of our flesh. However, there is one advantage to living such a fragile existence. When we see the power of God, we know for certain it is not coming from us.

(213f) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> We are his instruments >> We are tools in the hand of God >> We are extensions of His body Ė Where is this surpassing greatness of the power in the Church today? These are just words 2000 years after they were written; the gospel was stripped of its power centuries ago, but when Paul was alive, they werenít just words; there really was a surpassing greatness of the power working among the saints. Where is it today? In the vast majority of the Churches it is either completely absent or completely forged. However, there remains a handful of churches that still understand the power of God well enough to manifest it in their flesh occasionally. The only way we can come to the realization of Godís power is to come to know God, for we cannot wield His power without Him, for the essence of His power is an extension of our relationship with Him. Until we are ready to assume Godís character and put our away sins and live for Jesus, God will not manifest Himself through us. The few people who love God with all their hearts in good character, God is still hesitant to manifest Himself through them because of the majority who are Christians in name only. On the one hand, people go to church to be religious, not to be godly, and those who do show an interest in God are mostly uneducated in the Scriptures; how is God supposed to house His glory in them? On the other hand, there are people in the world who have a hard time getting their hands on a Bible and they love God with all their hearts, and God manifests His glory in them to spite their lack. They donít have much opportunity to learn about God from the Scriptures, but because their hearts are right they make better vessels of His glory than some of us who have studied the Scriptures all our lives and donít live according to our knowledge. In America there is a Bible in every household, and people rarely open it, including Christians, which by itself demonstrates the lack of faith. If they loved God and had a Bible, they would read it.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

8&9 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

 

2Cor 4,8-18

(192a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your life to gain Godís life

2Cor 4,8-12

(28g) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us through endurance

(99b) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Enduring the death of your flesh Ė Referring to our fragile bodies, how easy it is to enter hardship and suffering, God uses our suffering as a catalyst for growth along with our trials that tempt us to abandon the faith. We can chalk up our temptations and sorrows to ďCarrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.Ē When Paul wrote about the life of Christ manifested in him, he was referring to the anointing. God added more power to his anointing the more Paul used it to establish the truth in the world and in the Church. When he laid in hands on people, they were more readily healed through his deepening spiritual relationship with God that was consecrated through suffering. The more we need Jesus, the more we seek Him, the more we find Him in the Scriptures, in our prayers and in the Holy Spirit. The more we apply Him to our lives, the more He becomes a part of us, the more suffering we can endure. These two are directly proportional to one another: suffering and faith. The more we suffer, the more we grow in Christ, because we seek Him more. We need Him just to understand the path He has called us to walk and to rise above our difficulties, yet suffering does not guarantee or prove spiritual growth. Endurance does.

2Cor 4-8,9

(250m) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Lists >> Terms of graduating to the next level >> List of physical circumstances

2Cor 4-8

(121j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope Based On Faithfulness >> Hope based on endurance

(188f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Suffering righteousness

(247f) Priorities >> Godís priorities >> Godís interests >> Concern >> Caring about the will of God

2Cor 4-9

(29c) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from death

(242k) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Reacting to persecution >> Enduring persecution >> Hated by the world

2Cor 4-9

(238g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Jesus will never leave us

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

10-14 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 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. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

 

2Cor 4,10-12

(43a) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to the Resurrection of Christís death -- These verses go with verse 16. Paul was constantly dying to self, taking on hardship and experiencing pain, sorrow, temptations, difficulties and persecutions. Suffering was surely the byproduct of fulfilling Godís calling in his life, and his ministry was surely the result. ďSo death works in us, but life in you,Ē he said. In that sentence Paul saw himself as a seed that he planted in good soil of the people who were responding to the gospel, watered it in the will of God, and the Churches that sprang from his ministry were the harvest. Jesus said in John 12-24 that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a seed; but if it dies, it produces a plant that produces many seeds. This is why it was so important to Paul that the Corinthian Church continue following God: he invested his blood, sweat and tears into them.

(53a) Paradox >> Opposites >> Of life and death >> Die in order to live -- These verses go with verses 16-18

(56g) Paradox >> Opposites >> Seek Godís life by subduing your flesh -- These verses go with verses 16-18

(78i) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind by the word >> Spirit renews as the flesh decays -- These verses go with verse 16. One of the better analogies of dying to self is the ancient practice that some courts imposed on man-slayers. They would bind the victim's corpse to his back, and as the corpse decayed the bodily contaminants dripped onto the murderer and he would die of disease, if not stark terror. This is similar to the Christian plight, according to 2Cor 4-16, ďTherefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.Ē Many people find Christianity to be a bloody, decadent religion, but these are the same people who donít have a problem with sin. No one really understands how God feels about sin; we know He hates it, but we donít know how much He hates it. We know sin is against His nature, and it rebels against His authority, and He wants us to eliminate rebellion to prove our loyalty to Him.

(81f) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Obedience through continuous prayer

(134g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Body of sin >> Our bodies are home to the sinful nature -- These verses go with verse 16. Paul taught to die to self in Rom 6,1-14. Death is a tool to manifest the life of Christ, for we canít have one without the other. Starvation is the cause of death for the sins we are trying to resist. They wilt by removing our attention from them, like a plant shrivels when we quit watering it. We water our sins when we give attention to them, but if we quit watering them, they wither. Our sins donít die but go into hibernation and will sprout back to life again even after years of ignoring them. Starvation is a horrible death; we starve our sinful nature of its evil passions and desires that conflict with the will of God, until the power of their temptations subside to a manageable level. If we are going to serve God to the point of withdrawing our attention from our sins, then why wouldnít we give attention to God? This is exactly what Paul is saying to do. We carry about the dying of Jesus so we can manifest His life in our mortal flesh. Whenever the Bible speaks about the life of Christ, it is referring to the Spirit of God, so the anointing comes to life when we water it with our attention, and we do this at the same time that we withdraw our attention from the sinful passions and desires of our flesh. Both plants cannot grow together; one will shade the other and starve it of light.

(139i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Tear down the old to rebuild the new

(156f) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> You will know them by their repentance -- These verses go with verse 2

(190a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Laying your body on the altar -- These verses go with verses 16-18

(227d) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards endurance >> Rewarded for overcoming sin

(229a) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing In Numbers Corresponds With Spiritual Growth >> Kingdom slowly spreads and overtakes darkness -- These verses go with verses 15-18

(230i) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Mystery of the trinity >> Anointing is the mystery of godliness -- These verses go with verses 16-18

(254c) Trinity >> Holy Spiritís relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is the life of the Spirit >> We live because He is life >> We live because we died with Him

2Cor 4-10,11

(8d) Responsible to prepare to interact with God >> Entering the realm of the Spirit -- These verses go along with verse 16. These verses characterize the nature of the substitutionary process that is at the heart of experiencing God in our spirit: we must give up something to get something. The reason this system is in place is that our human nature conflicts with Godís Spirit so that we must first surrender our sins before we can realize such an alternate realm dwells within us. Our fleshly nature is intrinsically evil, and we must be weaned off our reactionary habit of following its discourse, and onto a new way of lifeófollowing the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit. Paul often called this weaning process "dying to self."

(238e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> New creation >> The new creation is our spiritual identity -- These verses go with verse 16

2Cor 4,13-18

(98g) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith ŗ Suffering ŗ Glory of Christ) >> The resurrection Ė There is literally no greater evil than unbelief. Jesus addressed this when He spoke about the ministry of the Holy Spirit saying in Jn 16-8,9, ďWhen He comes, will convict the world concerning sinÖ because they do not believe in Me.Ē He spoke about faith in opposite fashion, ďConcerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see MeĒ (Jn 16-10). We have never seen Jesus as His disciples did; we must believe in Him. His disciples didnít have to believe He came into the world, died on a cross, rose from the dead and then ascended to heaven, because they were eyewitnesses of these things, but we must believe that these are historical facts, and that His blood sacrifice is the propitiation for our sins. God will reward our faith that we show Him in a world of unbelief. He will not excuse anybodyís unbelief, not even if they have greatly suffered in this life, for there are many people who have suffered and maintained their faith in God. So, the unbeliever better have a care, because he will be judged against those who believed in Jesus.

2Cor 4-13

(85f) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Powerful when spoken by the Spirit >> Spoken with authority

(110j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Revelation of the truth Ė This phrase, "Spirit of faith," means that after we have faithfully believed in Jesus for a while, God will interpose His faith with ours so that we believe in Him using His own faith that we access through His Spirit who dwells in us.

(142c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Prophesy about evangelism

(150g) Speak The Word (Key verse)

(150j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word >> Preaching the word to the Church

2Cor 4-14

(38i) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of the righteous

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

 

2Cor 4,15-18

(229a) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing in numbers corresponds with spiritual growth >> Kingdom slowly spreads and overtakes darkness -- These verses go with verses 10-12. The popularity of the gospel is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, we donít want the gospel to be unheard-of; and on the other hand we donít want it to become just another facet of the world, though it is already too late for that. In the days of the early Church Christianity was exactly how it should have been, an entity set apart from the world, and because of that it was heatedly persecuted. People viewed Christians as through they were aliens from another world, and they weren't far from the truth, for we are actually citizens of another kingdom that is not of this world. People could give many reasons the Church was persecuted: it conflicted with pagan beliefs of the day and it conflicted with Judaism, but the real reason the world hated Christians was that the Church was not part of the world, and at the same time testified that the world was evil, being the reason the Church was unwilling to integrate into it. Look at the Church today; it is completely integrated into the world to its shame. Paul beckoned unbelievers to abandon the world and venture into the light of Christian faith, and his message was very effective, converting many to Christianity, but now that the message is no longer clear and the line between the Church and the world erased, what is the world supposed to believe? Tell someone about Jesus and they think Christianity is only about affirming a set of doctrines. For this reason the Church is less persecuted and less effective in leading people to salvation.

2Cor 4-15

(13h) Servant >> Support the body >> Serve selflessly

(82h) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> Thankfulness >> Giving thanks for His mercy Ė When Paul made converts, the saints rejoiced. He was an evangelist; his greatest excitement came from the gospel spreading to more people. The Corinthians gave thanks to God when they heard about people being saved, because they were concerned the gospel would be snuffed-out, and succeeding generations would never hear about Christ. That was a fear in the fledgling days of the Church. They were in charge of making sure the gospel survived, being top priority. This was entrenched in the believers as one of their most important responsibilities; so when they heard that people were being saved, they got very excited. It was an indication that the gospel was growing and the flame was burning brighter, but they didnít want that flame to turn into a bonfire. That is, they didnít want Christianity to become just another fashion of the world, run through the cycle of popularity and then dumped on the wayside.

(115e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> By the word of God

(124c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love is the proper motive for all you do

(146i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Purpose of miracles, signs and wonders >> Proof that Jesus is the son of God >> That the world may be saved Ė Of all the miracles, salvation stands as the greatest of all. Faith as Peter put it is more precious than gold, being about as rare too. Many people claim to believe, but of them most do not discipline themselves in the word of God and prayer, making their faith appear whimsical. Believing in a set of approved doctrines never saved anyone. To the one who truly believes in Jesus, the gospel is a simple message, but to the one who wants to straddle the fence, the difference between faith and unbelief is minuscule. The gospel is very confusing today, but during the days of the early Church it was not confusing at all; in fact, that was part of the reason the Church was persecuted, because people understood the gospel. The gospel today, though, is clouded with various denominations and conflicting doctrines that get in the way of believing the truth. There is room for giving thanks for salvation, for there are still people being saved in countries that have opened their borders and their hearts to the gospel, but in developed countries that have already heard the gospel, many feel they are Christians by virtue of their national citizenship.

(150a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Invitation to the Kingdom of God Ė Catholics think that the Church should grow by having more children and raising them in a Catholic environment, but Paul took the high road and did it Godís way, which promised more converts by going into the world and finding people who were lost and persuading them to believe in Jesus for the hope of eternal life. Candidates for salvation are those who have weak convictions in previous beliefs that served more as placeholders to explain God until a better explanation came along. Enter Paul stage left; he explained the gospel to them, and they abandoned their placeholder religion and were saved. Today, however, those who have strong beliefs in another persuasion are very difficult if not impossible to convert, and those who donít particularly have a religion are usually considered heathen, which itself can get in the way of the gospel, so there are many obstacles in the way of the gospel. Jesus said that he chooses people out of the world, and he says that their numbers are few by comparison. (Jn 15-16; Mat 7-13,14); there are not many who are being saved, but their numbers range into the millions throughout the world.

(234f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the fruit of the ministry

(235j) All Things Are For Your Sake (Key verse)

(235k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our effort is for your sake

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16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

2Cor 4,16-18

(53a) Paradox >> Opposites >> Of life and death >> Die in order to live -- These verses go with verses 10-12

(56g) Paradox >> Opposites >> Seek Godís life by subduing your flesh -- These verses go with verses 10-12. Paul didnít run from persecution, knowing it was a natural consequence of doing the will of God in a world controlled by demonic forces. Persecution in a strange sort of way was necessary for him to preach the gospel and save others, being something that happened automatically, so the more he suffered the more effective his ministry and the more it grew. Like Paul, we too must remain faithful in order for the things we suffer to convert to spiritual growth. Faithfulness produces faith in those who don't blame God for the bad things that happen to them. Faith is the equivalent of money in heaven; God pays us for our services with an eternal reward. Paul looked at all his suffering in light of eternity and said it was merely light affliction that lasted only a moment. Faithfully enduring our circumstances increases the anointing in our lives, which increases our potential for a better ministry and promises to reward us in eternity. Paul may have suffered terribly in his life, but it was only for a few decades, so he could enjoy the fruit of his faith in heaven forever, yet his reward was contingent on his ability to look past the flesh, and remain focused on the things that held eternal value. Faith is the ability to understand the unknowable, and God reveals these things through suffering; we do not have to pursue them since they are pursuing us in as much as we cannot avoid suffering in this life.

(190a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Laying your body on the altar -- These verses go with verses 10-12

(230i) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Mystery of the trinity >> Anointing is the mystery of godliness -- These verses go with verses 10-12

2Cor 4-16

(8d) Responsibility >> Responsible to prepare to interact with God >> Entering the realm of the Spirit Ė This verse goes with verses 10&11

(43a) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to the Resurrection of Christís death -- This verse goes with verses 10-12

(78i) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind by the word >> Spirit renews as the flesh decays -- This verse goes with verses 10-12

(122f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confident in what you are doing

(134g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Body of sin >> Our bodies are home to the sinful nature -- This verse goes with verses 10-12

(139i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Tear down the old to rebuild the new

(238e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> New creation >> The new creation is our spiritual identity -- This verse goes with verses 10&11

2Cor 4-17,18

(34e) Gift of God >> Believer owns everything >> All things belong to us

(35c) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> Godís immeasurable generosity

(118j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Giving God your attention >> Resolutely focus on the glory of God >> Focus on eternity

(225a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The holy of holies >> The Kingdom of God is in your spirit

(226f) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> Eternal rewards Ė Many people refuse to believe in Jesus because they just canít get past the question of suffering and evil in the world, why God allows it. This is Paulís answer, and it is Godís answer, and it is anybodyís answer who knows and loves the truth: God allows suffering because it produces an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. Paul called it an eternal weight of glory; we could replace the word ďeternalĒ with infinite. The difference between suffering and reward is so disproportionate that it makes our suffering appear infinitesimal in light of eternity. If we pitted the reward that God gives for serving Him against the suffering we endure in this life, being at the mercy of the elements and often at the hands of wicked men, the reward towers over our struggles like a pebble at the base of a mountain. Suffering is static, but the reward will continue to grow throughout eternity. In a billion years from now we could look at the contrast of reward versus the suffering we endured and wish we were more willing to suffer for Him. Those of us who believe in Jesus, who understand Godís plan of eternal life, know that His vision is to seat us with Him on His Fatherís throne at His right-hand in heavenly places (Eph 1,20-23; 2,4-7), giving us seats of authority to rule over His creation forever, and God promises that His creation will never cease to grow, and our reward will grow with it.

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2Cor 4-17

(93n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on the circumstances of this life

(215e) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Godís timing >> God views time in eternity >> God sees eras as moments

2Cor 4-18

(170e) Temporary (Key verse)

(170g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Temporary >> This life is temporary Ė The verb ďlookĒ is key to this verse. When it comes to faith we use the eyes of our spirit to see the truth of God, and we pay attention to our faith, fixing our gaze on Jesus, ďthe author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of GodĒ (Heb 12-2). Paul understood the carnal mindset that just because we are Christians doesnít mean we automatically have a Christian worldview that this life and its circumstances are only temporary. Everything about this life is in a perpetual state of flux; if things are going well, they will change, and if going poorly, they will change. Some things change very slowly while other things change rapidly, but they all change, and the change is powered by entropy: the gradual decline of order into randomness. There is no solution to the downward trend in life that ultimately ends in death, except to have faith in Jesus Christ for the hope of eternal life, and by that faith understand suffering and evil in ways that the unbeliever cannot fathom, that suffering is actually a blessing is disguise. Our willingness to suffer for His namesake will eventually result in a reward that we will receive in heaven for faithfully enduring our circumstances.

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