Bethel Baptist Church
20.10.18 Morning Worship
  • This is My Fathers World
  • Resurrection Hymn
      • Proverbs 15:3ESV

  • Take My Life, and Let it Be
  • Bow The Knee
  • Follow, I Will Follow Thee Dear Lord
  • INTRODUCTION:
    Series Repetition:
    There are times when life throws us a curve ball.
    Times of uncertainty.
    Times of trouble.
    Last week we began a new series, titled - Honoring God in Times of Trouble.
    And we asked the question -
    How do we honor God in troublesome times?
    First, we said -
    We live in the immovable, empowering faith of the Gospel. We have immovable faith in Christ. (2 Cor 4:7-12)
    Today, we will be studying 2 Cor 4:13-18 and we will observe how we need to live for Spiritual matters rather than material matters.
    New Sermon focus:
    Let’s begin by considering this question -

    What is worldly living?

    It means -
    Living for the things of this world rather than God.
    Money
    Hobbies
    Children
    Pet sins and addictions.
    These become the center of our world,
    and what we pursue in life.
    Rom 12:1-2 teaches us that idea.
    Romans 12:1–2 ESV
    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
    But Living for the wrong things - can also be described as having certain goose eggs we carefully protect.
    Rather than being the aim of our lives,
    they are the safety nets we trust in.
    Those areas we careful guard, because they are important to us.
    It is just as worldly because it focuses on the things of this world.
    It treasures and trusts in the safety net of this world rather than God and eternity.
    It is equally worldliness.
    Affliction often reveals what is truly important to us.
    Take away someone’s -
    a Good Reputation
    Money
    Peace
    Good health
    Painlessness
    And how do we respond.
    We often get angry and fearful.
    Afflictions reveal these goose eggs because we get angry and fearful when something threatens those safety nets.
    This is the opposite of living for God,
    not because it is a zealous for addictions.
    But because it is looking to the world to protect us from what we fear.
    Affliction, setback, persecution - they all reveal what truly matters in our lives.
    But what should truly matter?
    Like many topics, the Scripture gives us more than one answer.
    Here is one answer from Paul.
    ***Two slides***
    2 Corinthians 4:13–18 ESV
    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, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 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. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 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.
    According to Paul,
    another key to honoring God in troublesome times is to consider what we live for.
    2 Cor 4:13-18 teaches us,

    We should live for spiritual matters rather than material matters.

    And this passage gives us 3 heart attitudes we need in order to truly live for Spiritual matters.
    3 heart attitudes that are important for living for God.
    ************PRAY**************PRAY***** ************PRAY**************PRAY***** ************PRAY**************PRAY*****
    The first heart attitude we will consider -

    (1) We should trust in the future hope of Christ. (2 Cor 4:13-15)

    Paul gives us a really basic truth here.
    2 Corinthians 4:13–15 ESV
    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, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 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.
    In this passage - Paul quotes Psalm 116:10. The full quotation of the verse is this -
    Psalm 116:10 ESV
    I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”;
    What Paul is saying - is that we have the same spirit, or the same kind of faith, as the Psalmist.
    Psalmist is saying -
    That even as he said he was “greatly afflicted'
    he believed that - God
    would deliver him
    be gracious and merciful to him,
    preserve him
    and revive his soul.

    (a) Paul believed through his afflictions.

    ** No Slide****
    Psalm 116:10 ESV
    I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”;
    But Paul clarifies specifically what he is believing.
    > Certainly the deliverance, grace, and mercy of God.

    (b) The contents of Paul’s belief -

    (1) We will be raised from the dead.

    (2) And We will be presented to God.

    2 Corinthians 4:14 ESV
    knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
    The assurance that Paul had of ultimately enduring suffering is that he knew -
    God will raise him from the dead.
    And be brought into the presence of God.
    If you’re a believer in the gospel, this isn’t new to you.
    But then why does Paul bring this up for church he is already visited (Acts 18),
    and a church he is already written letters to (1 Corinthians, others).
    Because what we believe in difficult times,
    has a massive impact on how we respond to those difficult times.
    Exhortation:
    Before you dismiss this point,
    I challenge you to really consider where you put your trust in.
    Don’t dismiss this because you are saved,
    because this is what Paul believes believers need to believe when they are hurting.
    - When you are hurting, we don’t think about what God is going to do.
    - When you are hurting, you are thinking what you lost, or the injustice, or the pain.
    But what we really need to be doing is believing in the Gospel that we already know.
    Certainly the lost need to know the Gospel,
    but equally so - we will only honor God in in times of trouble - only if we have a heart that trusts the Gospel we confess.
    I encourage you - consider your trust, when you are facing affliction.
    The second heart attitude we will consider -

    (2) We should prefer present transformation and future glory. (2 Cor 4:16-17)

    Affliction shows what we love.
    What we prefer.
    What we value most.
    There is a reasonable level of hurt, anger, and frustration -
    After all -
    David despaired to God.
    Jesus prayed that His task would pass.
    but there is also a sense in which our hurt, anger, and frustration reveal what we truly love?
    This world.
    Consider, Paul’s challenge to prefer Spiritual things.
    2 Corinthians 4:16–17 ESV
    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
    Paul tells us to not lose heart.
    Don’t be discouraged.
    Don’t despair.
    Why?

    (a) Present affliction creates inner renewal. (Progressive Sanctification/Christlike Transformation)

    (b) Present affliction prepares us for the future glory of God. (Eternity and Glorification)

    2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
    He says - even though our jars of clay are being broken,
    our bodies,
    God is working mightily inside us.
    >>>> He is creating genuine treasure inside us.<<<<
    He is telling us to prefer -
    Inner renewal. (Progressive Sanctification/Christlike Transformation)
    Rather than peace and prosperity.
    We often think something is wrong if I suffer,
    but suffering often is exactly what we need most from God.
    2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV
    For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
    He says - even though you are facing extraordinary affliction,
    remember it is preparing you
    to receive extraordinary future glory.
    What does that mean?
    The resurrection.
    Eternity with God.
    Eternal rewards.
    To say it colloquially and loosely - heaven.
    Take a stroll down Revelation 21 -22.
    He is saying prefer
    preparation for the future glory of God.
    rather than peace and prosperity now.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    When we read the Gospels, such as the Gospel of Matthew,
    we read about the incredible wisdom of Jesus.
    Jesus did not speak as an everyday man, but with incredible wisdom and discernment.
    Hence the book titled, More than a Carpenter.
    And Jesus made this incredible statement:
    Matthew 6:21 ESV
    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    What you love reveals what you truly value.
    What you love reveals what treasure you want to build up.
    What does affliction often teach us about what we truly love?
    > When we respond in faith and belief towards an affliction,
    we are demonstrating that are true heart love is for the things of God.
    > When we respond with -
    Despair
    Loneliness
    Fear
    and anger
    We reveal what we truly desire.
    - The things of this world.
    - We would rather have peace and prosperity now,
    than the blessings of God.
    We of course would never say it that way,
    but that is what is really going on in our heart.
    If we to honor God in times of trouble,
    We must prefer transformation and future glory
    over present peace and prosperity.
    And the final heart attitude we should consider -

    (3) We should focus on eternal matters. (2 Cor 4:18)

    Partly this could flow out of trusting in the future hope of Christ.
    Partly this could flow out of preferring spiritual things.
    But, Paul uses a word that should catch our attention.
    Most translations translate 2 Cor 4:18 like the ESV.
    2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
    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.
    But that word “Look” - has the idea of
    taking notice
    paying careful attention.
    This is why the Amplified Bible translates it this way -
    2 Corinthians 4:18 AMP
    Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
    I like the word, “focus” , in this context to communicate that idea.
    We focus on the invisible, eternal matters.
    We do not focus on the present, visible world, but the future, invisible world.
    We do not focus on things that will be burned up, but on things that will last forever.
    In other words -

    (a) We don’t pay attention to the present afflictions.

    They are not what we pay attention to.
    We don’t fixate on these things.
    I am not saying we should put our head in the sand,
    but that our afflictions should not be all-consuming to us.
    Instead,

    (b) We pay attention to future eternal matters.

    This heart attitude I am challenging us to -
    is what we focus our hearts and attention on.
    If we are constantly focused on our losses,
    the things that hard times take away.
    then we will not be able to honor God properly.
    Because our fixation are on earthly desires.
    On the other hand,
    - If what we fixate on are the invisible, Spiritual, eternal matters.
    then we will have a heart that is honoring God.
    Because we are fixated on the things of God.
    I challenge you in times of trouble,
    what do you fix your heart on?
    CONCLUSION:
    Affliction, troublesome times -
    can leave us exhausted and in despair.
    Paul said himself -
    2 Corinthians 1:8 ESV
    For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.
    And so we have to confess - we can live in despair.
    It is an option for the Christian.
    But we don’t have to live that way.
    We can live with immovable faith, and be full of strength.
    But how does that happen?
    - It comes with having the right focus.
    - Living for the right things.
    In other words -
    we have these three heard attitudes.
    (1) We should trust in the future hope of Christ. (2 Cor 4:13-15)
    (2) We should prefer present transformation and future glory. (2 Cor 4:16-17)
    (3) We should focus on eternal matters. (2 Cor 4:18)
    I summarize it this way -
    We should live for spiritual matters rather than material matters.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    I remember,
    one young lady letting someone barrow her car.
    She was a college student, and you know how important a car is to a college student.
    And unfortunately,
    that person had a major accident, and the car was totaled.
    Ashamed,
    that person went back to that young lady, and told her what happened.
    He expected her to be angry and upset.
    And instead, she shrugged it off, and said - If it doesn’t matter in eternity, it doesn’t matter now.
    Affliction often reveals - our true heart desires.
    Whether for the things of the world.
    Or the things in Heaven.
    And
    If we are honest, this isn’t black and white.
    We always are a mix of living for spiritual matters and living for material matters.
    We never are perfectly spiritual,
    and so the question for us is
    What is driving this moment in my life?
    What is driving my life is whole?
    > Are material desires driving me?
    present peace and prosperity,
    OR
    > Are Spiritual matters driving me?
    What do I trust in?
    What do I prefer?
    And What do I focus on?
    Those three questions - reveal a lot about our true heart desires.
    I challenge us,
    If we want to honor God in times of trouble,
    then we need trust, prefer, and fixate on the things of God.
    Response:
    a) Why does Paul need to remind us of the hope in Christ if we already know it?
    b) Why must we prefer present transformation and future glory over peace and prosperity? How does our choices and attitudes reflect this choice?
    c) How can hurting people fixate on the wrong things? How does this effect their walk with God?
    d) Why can this section be summarized as a call to live for Spiritual matters rather than material matters? What does suffering reveal about you?
    e) How does these three heart attitudes reflect a Christian who honors God in difficult times?
    f) In what ways would this text have you change? In what ways do you need to repent for failing to honor God in difficult times?
      • Romans 12:1–2ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:13–18ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:13–15ESV

      • Psalm 116:10ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:14ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:16–17ESV

      • Matthew 6:21ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:18ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 4:18ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 1:8ESV

  • When We All Get to Heaven
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        Family Movie Night

        October 16, 2020 - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
        MOVIE: Lion King (2019) Bring a movie snack to share.

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