2 Corinthians 4:1-18 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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We Believe and So We Speak
Comments for Study 3

2 Corinthians 4:1-18
Memory Verse: 10

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I. The Glory of God in the Face of Jesus (4:1-6)

>1. How is it that all Christian's have their ministry? (1)

* 2 Corinthians 4:1 "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."

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>What is the ministry that we have? (3:6)

* 2 Corinthians 3:6 "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

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>What are some reasons a person loses heart while serving in the ministry given by God and why shouldn't we?

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>2. Why is this ministry given by God not a secret affair? (2)

* 2 Corinthians 4:2 "Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

* "we have renounced secret and shameful ways"

* "we do not use deception"

* "nor do we distort the word of God"

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>How is the clear preaching of the word of God linked to our ministry?

* "setting forth the truth plainly"

* "we commend ourselves to every man's conscience"

* "in the sight of God"

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>What is the gospel? (3; and 1 Cor. 15:1-4)

* 2 Corinthians 4:3 "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing."

* 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,"

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>Even though we preach the gospel clearly, what happens to some people? (Luke 8:11-12)

* Luke 8:11-12 "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved."

* "it is veiled to those who are perishing"

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>3. Why is an "age"? (4)

* 2 Corinthians 4:4 "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

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* "this age"

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>Why is the devil referred to as "the god of this age"?

* "the god of this age"

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>What is his objective and what are some ways he does this?

* "blinded the minds of unbelievers"

* "so that they cannot see the light of the gospel"

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>How is Jesus described in verse 4?

* "the glory of Christ"

* "who is the image of God"

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>4. Who is the focus of the ministers of the gospel?

* 2 Corinthians 4:5 "For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."

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>When did God say, "Let light shine out of darkness"? (6; Gen. 1:3; John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14)

* 2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

* Genesis 1:3 "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light."

* John 1:1-5 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

* John 1:9-10 "The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him."

* John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

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>What knowledge turns out to be the light in a dark heart?

* "made his light shine in our hearts"

* "to give us"

* "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ"

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>How is Jesus the glory of God?

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II. All-Surpassing Power From God (4:7-12)

>5. How is our body described in verse 7?

* 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

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>How does God giving us knowledge of his glory prove his power?

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>How is God's power manifested in our day to day life? (8-9)

* 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

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>6. How do Christians carry around in our body the death of Jesus? (10)

* 2 Corinthians 4:10 "We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

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>And why?

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>What else is revealed in our body?

* "so that the life of Jesus"

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>7. How long do we carry around the death of Jesus? (11)

* 2 Corinthians 4:11 "For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body."

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>How is this death linked to other's life? (12; John 12:24-26)

* 2 Corinthians 4:12 "So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."

* John 12:24-26 "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me."

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III. I Believe, I Speak (4:13-18)

>8. If we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ what will we do? (13)

* 2 Corinthians 4:13 "It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,"

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>What hope is in the gospel? (14)

* 2 Corinthians 4:14 "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 in his presence."

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>What does it mean to be presented to God?

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>9. When some of the people hear the gospel what do they do? (15)

* 2 Corinthians 4:15 "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."

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>With sureness in God's promise of our future what should we do? (16)

* 2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

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>What two facts are true about Christians?

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>10. Do the troubles that Christian's face happen by accident?

* 2 Corinthians 4:17 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

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>Why then does God allow them to come into our life?

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>Is it right to concentrate on our troubles? (18)

* 2 Corinthians 4:18 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

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>What can be said of a person who professes Jesus and yet always complains to others about their troubles?

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