THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

This program of Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration through Bible study.

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He has set up an archive page.
To view ALL the prior Scripture studies by book and chapter, just clik


HERE.

Bruce McGee
P.O. Box 1627
Columbia, LA 71418

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

1Corinthians

CHAPTER 4

In the last chapter, Paul said Christians are made "ministers of
the New Testament..."
(2Cor 3:6).
Then he spoke of how God CHANGES us when we study the Word.

Here, in Chapter 4, Paul begins to speak of the MINISTRY believers have
to SHARE the Gospel with others.

2 Cor 4:1-2
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
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.

Paul says it is by "mercy" he has received the ministry.
ANY who have received Christ have done so because of God's love and mercy!
And the ministry of the Gospel to others is for us to "have!"
We OWN it -- inside of us!

"Therefore....we faint not!"
Upon salvation, a sinner is made an AMBASSADOR for God!
(See 2Cor. 5:17-21)
AND, the saved person cannot deny God's WORKING in him/her
by the power of His Holy Spirit.

The apostles were not turned back (did not faint) at the adversities
poured upon them!
And, we Christians should not!

The truths of God and the Gospel NEVER need "dishonesty," or
"craftiness!"
We are not to handle the Word of God "deceitfully," or to use it for self-grafication!
Instead, we are to "speak... the truth in LOVE!" (Eph. 4:15)

When we do this (speak the truth of the Gospel in love) other people's
"conscience" will realize it is TRUTH!
Remember the story of the Pharisees bringing a woman caught in adultery? (See John 8:5-9)
Verse 9 of that Scripture tell us mens CONSCIENCES were CONVICTED!
When we share the Gospel in truth, God's Holy Spirit makes it
known as TRUTH to other people's consiciences!

2 Cor 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
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.

Sometimes, when the Gospel is preached in truth, it is "hid to
them that are lost."

The REASON for that is the "god of this world hath BLINDED
the minds of them which believe not..."

The "god of this world" is Satan.
There is no doubt he exercises influence over those who do
not believe the Gospel!
(See Eph. 6:12)

And, we must realize that sometimes Satan's influence causes,
people to not believe.
Most people in this world are more concerned with SELF, than
with knowing spiritual truth!
Though we know Satan influences others, they cannot BLAME
their deception on him!
EVERY person will be held accountable to God!

2 Cor 4:5-6
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;
and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
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.

Jesus came as a SERVANT!
He came as a SUFFERING servant!
(See Is. 53:4-5)

Therefore, ALL Christians should count themselves servants to others
for the sake of glorifying Christ!

God has truly blessed those who believe in Jesus!
He has caused the "light to shine" permeating the
darkness of sin!
Our hearts have received this light by the COMMANDMENT of God!

And, though you and I have not seen Jesus face to face, still
We have "knowledge" of the glory of God in the WORD of God!
The word "mind" above is translated from the Greek nous.
It means feeling, thought or WILL.

All believers have the WILL of God by studying the Bible!
Are YOU studying? NOT reading -- but STUDYING!

2 Cor 4:7
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Think of the Gospel as "treasure!"
It is held in our temporal bodies! ("earthen vessels")

Yet, when we SHARE the Gospel (speaking truth in love)
people's consciences KNOW the power of the Gospel is
"of GOD, and not of us!"
(See Rom. 1:16)

2 Cor 4:8-12
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
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.
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.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Paul was despised by the Jewish nation, and persecuted by them.
He was also hated by those in Corinth who worshipped other gods.
(See Acts 18:1-17)

Paul risked DEATH for the Gospel, to exhibit that he had DIED to SELF!

But "life in you" (the Corinthians) was there BECAUSE
Paul had risked that death!!

The Gospel, when told to others exhibits the Christian
DYING to SELF in order to SHARE!
And, many times that action results in NEW LIFE beginning
in someone else!!

2 Cor 4:13-14
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;
14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus,
and shall present us with you.

The quotation Paul uses "I believed, and therefore have I spoken,"
is from Ps. 116:10.
It is by the "same spirit of faith" that Paul spoke to
the Corinthians.

The REASON he spoke thus is because he KNEW that if they
believed, then Jesus would (at the last day) raise THEM up
WITH him!

The REASON Christians are to share the Gospel is because
we KNOW that our Lord will raise those who believe to be
in that glorious heaven with Him (and us)!!

Not only that (which is certainly enough), but those who
believe and surrender to Jesus will also begin a NEW LIFE NOW!!!

When people surrender to Jesus they begin a NEW LIFE!

The power of God for salvation to all men is exhibited in
the resurrection of Jesus!
The power of God to begin a NEW LIFE in those who believe,
is exhibited by the fact that Jesus lived IMMEDIATELY after
His resurrection (and showed Himself to others)!

The power of God works IMMEDIATELY in those who
surrender to Christ!
And He begins to CHANGE us from inside out! (See 2Cor. 5:17)

The NEW life is REAL life because it is being lived WITH Jesus!

2 Cor 4:15
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might
through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

ALL the joy of being saved is in KNOWING Jesus as Lord!
When we know that, we know that we are given HIS righteousness,
so that we might "boldly" come to God's "throne of grace."
(See Heb. 4:16)
There, we may daily receive forgiveness of our sins. (See 1John 1:9)
Then, we are given a MISSION! (See Matt. 28:18-20)

Therefore, this "abundant grace" of God will
be attributed to HIS glory through the "thanksgiving of many!"
Because -- the more we SHARE, the more people RECEIVE Jesus!!

2 Cor 4:16-18
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish,
yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
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.

God CALLS us to SHARE the Gospel with others.
God EQUIPS us to do that and to ENDURE any hardships!

Any "affliction" is only for a moment when we
consider we have ETERNITY to be with Jesus!!

So let's do not lose our focus!!
Don't focus on the ones who REFUSE to believe!
Don't focus on the ones who RIDUCULE!
Don't even focus on any hardships we face!

FOCUS on SHARING the GOSPEL of JESUS!!

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.
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