“We Believe and So We Speak” (Jeff Moore, preaching)
2 Corinthians 4:5-15
The writer of 2 Corinthians suggests that Paul and Timothy seemed to be mightily aware of their “clay jars.” As Paul mentions in other places, his apostolic ministry was no cakewalk. According to this text, Paul and Timothy were “afflicted,” “perplexed,” “persecuted,” and “struck down.” Two things seem clear from this:
First, they seemed to have no experience or expectation of living and proclaiming the gospel in a hospitable environment. People weren’t buying it! Nor should we expect such an environment. We should wrap our minds around the fact that the proclamation and experience of God’s grace and life will be opposed by strong forces for death.
And that leads us to the second thing: A life of truly living and sharing the gospel will be costly. Maybe not unto death, as was the case for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the author of The Cost of Discipleship, who was put to death by Nazis just before the end of World War II – but maybe…
So why? Why would anyone, ANYONE, choose to live in and speak of God’s grace? As verse 13 proclaims – only because we believe – because we believe that in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we are opened to the power of God’s spirit moving through us, the eternal flowing through the temporal.