In 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 we read:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Sometimes as Christians, we get complacent with what we know and what we think we can do. Here are 4 misperceptions of the Christian life:
1: Misperception: I can rely on my own power to live the Christian Life
Reality: Jesus’ glory is revealed in my weakness and as I’m transformed.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
Just like jars of clay, we are vulnerable, breakable, but we hold invaluable messages. Any power that we have is from God not from ourselves.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.~2 Timothy 1:7
You can trust God – You’ve seen Him work in your life so you believe and speak accordingly. The same God who raised Jesus will raise you up, too!
We are wasting away outwardly, but inwardly, we are being renewed (transformed) day by day.
2. Misperception: Once I’m saved, I can do what I want and play it safe
Reality: I need to die to myself and be a witness for Christ
We carry the death of Jesus in us so His life may be revealed in me, as I dei to myself.
Paul faced a lot of hazards on a very regular basis: threatened, hardships, beaten, people trying to ruin his ministry, etc. But he had given up his life for the sake of Christ. the death and life of Jesus are present with us all the time. Death through baptism, and life by the Spirit living in us.
Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 16:24
We die to ourselves and He lives in us. We have new life – Born Again!
3. Misperception: The better Christian I am, the easier life is and the more God is please with me.
Reality: God’s power sustains me through hardship and distress and as I endure, I become more like Jesus.
We will all face trouble to some degree. Hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. Our light and momentary troubles strengthen us.
Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; James 1:12
The futre glory is being achieved now through our troubles. We fix our eyes on what is unseen (eternal) and not on what is seen (temporary).
4. Misperception: life is about this world and the here and now. What can I get in this life? It’s all about me.
Reality: It’s about God’s Kingdom coming to the earth through us!
- It’s about Jesus’ glory revealed in my weakness as I’m transformed to be more like Him.
- It’s about our need to die to self and to be witnesses for Christ
- It’s about God’s power sustaining us through hardship and distress and as we endure, we become more like Jesus.
Adapted from “Misconceptions Message” delivered by Pastor Jon Taylor, 2/14/10, First Christian Church of Phoenix
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