2 Corinthians 4: Brief Pain, Eternal Glory

What motivated Paul to total commitment to ministry?

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2 Corinthians 4:1 Since God in his mercy has given us this means to see lives transformed, we passionately preach the good news, refusing to give up.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.

In what ways can people manipulate God’s word for a self-serving purpose?

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2 Corinthians 4:2 We have rejected all forms of pretense and deception, unwilling to manipulate the word of God for a self-serving purpose. As God sees what we say and do, we always follow his direction. So you should be confident that he certifies the truth of our plain speech.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Why do people sometimes have trouble accepting the truth?

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John 8:44 You come from your father, the devil, and your desires are like his. From the beginning, he was a murderer and opposed the truth, because truth was not in his nature. When he lies, he speaks from his heart, because he is a liar and the father of lies.
Romans 1:25 In this process, they exchange the truth of God for the lies they want to believe, worshiping the creature instead of the Creator, who alone is worthy of eternal adoration. Yes, this is true.
2 Corinthians 4:3 If the good news that we preach about Jesus Christ is hidden behind a veil, it can only be hidden from those who don’t want to see.
4:4 When unbelievers put their faith in something other than God, the truth is veiled. They can’t see the light of the glorious good news of Jesus Christ, the image of God, and they can’t be changed to be like him.
King James
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

What was the basis for the love Paul had for the Corinthians?

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2 Corinthians 4:5 We are preaching the message of our Lord Jesus Christ, not ourselves. Because of what he wants to do in your lives, we are your servants.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

If God’s Word is so powerful, why aren’t all people changed?

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Romans 1:24 God has given them free will to go their own way so they can enjoy their sinful pleasures, so they can do shameful acts with one another.
2 Corinthians 4:6 Just as God said in the beginning, “Let there be light,” and overcame the darkness, we are changed when the knowledge of God’s glory from the face of Jesus shines in our hearts.
King James
Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Why is God’s presence so valuable to some and not to others?

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Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him with love in his eyes. “You lack one thing. Go and sell everything you own, and give the money to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven and can follow me.”
10:22 After hearing this, he walked away sad, because he was very wealthy.
2 Corinthians 4:7 We treasure the light of his presence shining from our hearts, because the magnitude of its power is from God and not from us.
King James
Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

When so many things are going wrong for us, why shouldn’t we be devastated?

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2 Corinthians 4:8 Troubles press us from every direction, but we aren’t crushed. We may not know what to do, yet we’re confident that everything will work out.
4:9 Enemies may attack us, but God stands with us. We may be knocked to the ground, but God will raise us up.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

Jesus died for us. In what ways might we “die” for others? What could make us want to do that?

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2 Corinthians 4:10 As we make sacrifices for others like Jesus did, his resurrection power lives in us.
4:11 For Jesus’ sake, we live under the constant threat of death, knowing that he brings life to our dying bodies.
4:12 We face death for the hope of eternal life for you.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Why is sacrifice essential in showing our obedience, love, and faith?

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Psalm 116:10 In my pain and suffering, I trusted you and declared my faith.
2 Corinthians 4:13 Having the same spiritual conviction, we speak of God’s glory and grace in Jesus Christ, as the songwriter wrote: In my pain and suffering, I trusted you and declared my faith.
Hebrews 5:8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he still had to show obedience through the things he suffered.
King James
Psalm 116:10 believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted.
2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

What might being “raised with Christ” have to do with your present walk with God?

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2 Corinthians 4:14 Our God, who raised Jesus from the dead, will raise us together to be with him.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

How does God’s grace in hard times compare with times of ease?

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2 Corinthians 4:15 All things are working together for your good to reveal God’s abundant grace so a multitude will overflow with gratitude and glorify him.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

What should we do if “the spirit is willing, but the body is weak”?

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Matthew 26:41 Stay alert and pray so you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
2 Corinthians 4:16 We may be dying physically, but we will not give up, because our spirits are being strengthened every day.
King James
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Why should we view an eternal blessing as worth much more than momentary afflictions?

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2 Corinthians 4:17 Our momentary affliction is trivial by comparison when it produces in us the great glory that we will have forever.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Why do people not always see the value of eternal rewards?

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2 Corinthians 4:18 We pay no attention to the clearly visible troubles that surround us. Instead, we focus on the unseen eternal realities that are known by faith.
Hebrews 11:24 By faith, Moses as an adult refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
11:25 preferring affliction with the people of God above the pleasures of sin for a season.
12:14 In your heart, hold no malice toward anyone, because the unforgiving will never see the Lord.
12:15 Seek God’s favor for everyone, keeping bitterness from rising in your hearts, which would separate you from God like so many others.
12:16 Immoral and ungodly people are like Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.
King James
2 Corinthians 4:18 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.
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.