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Treasure in Earthen Vessels (19 of 19)
Series: THE BOOK OF II CORINTHIANS
II Corinthians 4:1-7
May 25, 2005
1. In Chapter three we had looked at Paul's discussion and defense of his position as a minister of the gospel. Apparently, there were some who were jealous or envious of his positions and had accused him of taking this calling upon himself. In (vv.1, 2) he wrote, Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.
a. Paul didn't need a letter to provide evidence of his calling and his office; the proof of his ministry was written in the hearts of the believers and in his own heart, as well.
2. Beginning in (v.6), Paul addresses the differences between the OT Covenant and the New. Apparently there were some who were still confused about Paul's spoken message contained in the gospel versus the OT Covenant, requiring conformity to the letter of the law. He said, God hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
a. Paul did not preach the letter of the Law, but rather the Spirit of grace. He went on to explain the difference.
3. In our lesson this evening we will continue on with Paul's discourse concerning the ministry of the gospel. He refers to it as this treasure in earthen vessels: the earthen vessels meaning the body.
I. His Motivation for Service
II. His Manner of Life
III. His Message of Light
I. HIS METHOD FOR SERVICE (VS. 1)
1. "Seeing we have this ministry . . . ." What ministry? The ministry of sharing the good news of the gospel, that men are saved by the grace of God through the life and death of Christ, not by the keeping of OT Law. The Law simply pointed to Christ. It saved no one: Galatians 3:24, Wherefore the law was our schoolmast ...
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