Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
June 6, 2021

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

June 6, 2021

Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD

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2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

New International Version

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[a] Since we have that same spirit of[b] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

 

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Summary

 

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Background
Paul expands on the paradox between the incredible glory and hope that is his as a minister of the new covenant and the sacrificial suffering he is currently undergoing. Therefore … we do not lose heart (4:1). Any minister or Christian who is discouraged should read this passage over and over again. The hope of glory kept Paul going, even in immensely trying times.

Rather … we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God (4:2). In 1 Corinthians Paul was mainly dealing with those in the church who wanted far more freedom than was appropriate. Now he seems to be getting criticism from those who think he is too “liberal”; that he distorts the word of God by disregarding too much of the Jewish law. Others apparently thought he was really taking up an offering for his own personal gain.

Most leaders and pastors have some sense of the direction in which they want the people under their charge to go. Many times their plans are indeed what they believe the Lord wants. Of course there are occasions where, as some Corinthians were apparently accusing Paul, a minister or leader may have selfish designs on the church.

Yet churches are sometimes carnal, and when they are not carnal they are often stubborn. We may be tempted to manipulate people, even for their own good. Deception of this sort is never the Christian path to reach even a good goal. We see in the case of the Corinthians that the very suspicion that Paul might be doing something of this sort destroyed their willingness to listen to him.

Paul recognized that his gospel might be veiled to some. If so, it is veiled to those who are perishing (4:3). Paul was highly suspicious even of many in the church who failed to see what God was doing in bringing Gentiles into the faith. It is possible that Paul considered some people “false brothers” (Gal. 2:4). At times Paul could wonder how discerning even James, Peter, and John were about God’s plans for the Gentiles (Gal. 2:6).[1]

 

 

[1] Kenneth Schenck, 1 & 2 Corinthians: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2006), 277–278.

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