How do we get through suffering and still find joy? On Sunday, Peter van Rij shared with us from 2 Corinthians 4:6-18. He talked about God’s purposes and promises which the Apostle Paul relied on to get him through suffering.
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
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; 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.
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.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[a] 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, 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.
Today we are asking ourselves the question, “What do you really want?” What the Apostle Paul wanted was to have the thorn removed from his flesh. The Lord Jesus replied to him by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, my grace is made perfect in weakness.” We all carry thorns in the flesh to certain degrees. Your thorn may well be physical or emotional pain, or even spiritual torment. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are ready – if that is the Lord’s will – to hear him say, “No.” The encouragement we see in the life of Paul is that, though he did not have the thorn removed, Christ drew him into his grace in a more powerful way and demonstrated his power through him despite his weaknesses. So much so, that Paul eventually found both contentment and reason to boast in his weaknesses.
I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This is part 3 of a 3 part series on Imputation. Geoff Lloyd, who ministers at Grace Church Wyndham, joins us during our ANZAC weekend camp to teach the series. The righteousness that Christ lived on Earth was perfect and unassailable. That righteousness has been credited to us.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series on Imputation. Geoff Lloyd, who ministers at Grace Church Wyndham, joined us during our ANZAC weekend camp to teach the series. Jesus never sinned, but God made him to be sin so that we could be reconciled to God.
This is part 1 of a 3 part series on Imputation. Geoff Lloyd, who ministers at Grace Church Wyndham, joins us during our ANZAC weekend camp to teach the series. In this message, Geoff looks to 2 Corinthians 5 to define “imputation” and explain why it is so important for the Christian. Adam’s sin was imputed (or credited) to us, and now all of us, by our very nature, are corrupt. But there is hope…
Many people identify with one of two extremes. Some think there is a demon behind every rock, tree, and flat tire. On the other hand, some people rationalize demonic activity as mental illness. Scripture offers a more balanced view, and Rusty looks into various Scripture verses to find the truth.
Are you tired of trying to become a better person? Perhaps you’re focusing on the wrong thing. Beholding the glory of Christ is our greatest need, and Wwe can only grow in our faith when we gaze upon him.