Summary: This Treasure – 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 1 to chapter 5 verse 10 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We Have a Glorious Ministry (chapter 4 verses 1-6)
We Have a Valuable Treasure (chapter 4 verses 7-12).
We Have a Confident Faith (chapter 4 verses 13-18).
We Have a Future Hope (chapter 5 verses 1-10)
• We all love the idea of finding a hidden treasure;
• Maybe in a second hand shop or at a car boot sale.
• To find an expensive item and to buy it for a fraction of its value,
• That is of course the basis for TV shows like:
• ‘The Antiques Road Show’ and ‘Flog It!’
• ‘Bargain Hunt’ and ‘Storage Wars’
• The principle is the same;
• People bring in their antiques or artefacts, or go searching for ‘something’
• And then later I the show an expert appraiser tell them what the pieces are worth.
• It happened this week on ‘The Antiques Road Show’
• A portrait of etcher Leopold Löwenstam by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
• It has been lost to the world for decades;
• And then ‘out-of-the-blue’ a relative, the great-great-grandson;
• Of the man for whom it was made turned up with the painting.
• The portrait was described by the Antiques Roadshow’s pictures expert;
• As one of the “best pictures we have ever seen on the Roadshow in its entire history”,
• And is believed to have received one of the show’s highest valuations.
• Yours for around £20 million pounds.
• These shows like ‘The Antiques Road Show’ are popular;
• Because they tap into everyone’s fantasy of finding a hidden treasure.
• TRANSITION: Verse 7 of our passage this morning tells us;
• That every Christian has a rare and valuable artefact;
• So valuable is this treasure that silver and gold cannot purchase it!
• Therefore God has given it to us as a gift.
• The treasure is not an artefact but a person – Jesus Christ.
• And the clay pot in which it is contained – are his followers.
• Verse 7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay”
• This treasure is what keeps Christians strong in difficult times;
• And that is the key theme of this section.
• In fact the theme is repeated for us in verse 1 and verse 16:
• N.I.V.: “Therefore we do not lose heart.”
• K.J.B.: "We faint not!"
• Other translations render it:
• “We do not give up” or “We do not become discouraged”
• We have noted in previous studies that the apostle Paul:
• Had plenty of reasons to be discouraged,
• Yet the apostle was not a quitter, he was a fighter;
• And he lets us into his secret of what it was that kept him from giving up.
• His secret was;
• He knew what he possessed in Jesus Christ!
• Instead of complaining about what he did not have,
• Paul rejoiced in what he did have!
• And you and I can do the same thing;
• In this section he reminds us of four things we have in Jesus Christ.
(1). We Have a Glorious Ministry (VS 1-6)
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 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 everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 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 God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
• It was Christmas Eve, 1910.
• General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army in London, England;
• Was near the end of his life.
• His health was poor,
• And he was going to be unable to attend the Army’s annual convention.
• Booth had become an invalid, and his eyesight was failing him.
• No one knew that he would not live to see another Christmas.
• Somebody came up with a bright idea;
• If General Booth was unable to attend,
• Perhaps he could send a telegram or a message;
• William Booth agreed to do so.
• His message was short but to the point;