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I Believe, So I Speak

2Corinthians: Paul Most Underappreciated Epistle

Oct 14, 2018

by: Jack Lash Series: 2Corinthians: Paul Most Underappreciated Epistle | Category: NT books | Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:13–4:15
  1. Introduction
    A. The last three verses of 2Cor.4 are so precious, we are going to spend a week on each one. 
     B. But this week, we are going to cover three whole verses! 
     C. 2Corinthians 4:13–15 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, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 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.
    II. V.13 We believe, therefore we speak
     A. “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,” (4:13) 
      1. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ. Specifically, he was the apostle to the Gentiles. 
       a. Acts 9-28 and 2Cor.11:23-28 detail some of the trauma and hardship he experienced as a result.
      2. Here in verse 13 Paul explains why it is that he travels around preaching the gospel of Christ to whomever will listen. In essence he says, "I speak because I believe." 
       a. In order to make this point, Paul quotes from Ps.116:10. 
        (1) The author of Ps.116 had been is deep trouble, but was dramatically delivered by the Lord. 
        (2) Now, believing firmly in God’s power to rescue, in the psalm he is testifying about it to others.
       b. In the same way, Paul, having experienced the saving power of God in his own life (in his meeting Christ on the road to Damascus), now speaks to others about this divine saving power.
        (1) Remember who Paul had been. To the early Christians, he was Mr. Hostility. 
        (2) And now he’s been conquered by Jesus and given new life. He has seen the power of Christ to save. At one point he had put his faith in himself and in the Jewish traditions. But now He has come to believe in Christ and in the power of His grace to save. And that’s why he speaks.
        (3) “I believe, so I speak.”
      3. People who believe are also people who speak. People who believe in Christ are people who speak of Christ. 
       a. Believing leads to speaking. Believing prompts speaking. 
       b. Everyone who really gets it, really wants to give it. 
       c. Believing and speaking go together! 
        (1) One is a noun; the other is a verb. But they both have the same root: good news (gospel).
        (2) The noun refers to the gospel, what we believe. The verb refers to the proclamation of the gospel, what we do. We get the word evangelical from EUANGELION. It means someone who believes in the good news of Christ. We get the words evangelism and evangelize from EUANGELIZO. It refers to the act of communicating the gospel.  
        (3) But we see in 2Cor.4:13 that evangelical and evangelistic go together. They are two parts of a whole, two sides of a coin. 
       e. When we believe in the power of God, we are moved to speak of it to others. 
      4. Like the psalmist, we are no longer intimidated by the problems and dilemmas of life. We have seen the power of God to save, and we are eager to tell others about it.
       a. When we believe in the power of God to overcome even the darkest gloom, we can speak His word into the lives of others with confidence, not in ourselves but in God’s mighty grace. 
       b. Often God’s people find themselves before a dismal scene, with no sign of life.
       c. It might be a family of unbelievers. Or a completely secular workplace. Or a neighborhood with no Christians in it.
       d. Remember the prophet Ezekiel, when God brought him before a valley of dry, dead bones. 
        (1) And God asked him, “Can these bones live?” 
        (2) And God asks us too: Can these bones live? Your non-believing relatives, friends, work associates, neighbors: Can these bones live? 
        (3) Well, we better answer Yes! For God made that whole valley of bones live! 
        (4) Who could have ever looked at Saul of Tarsus and thought that those dead bones could live?
       e. Those situations which seem most hopeless, those people who seem too far gone to come to Christ: we must not give up hope. The light of Christ is greater than the darkness of man. 
     B. “I believe, therefore I speak.” That’s what Paul says. But let’s think for a minute about what Paul doesn’t say here. He doesn’t say:
      1. “I feel confident in my ability to convince, therefore I speak.” 
      2. “I expect to receive human approval when I tell others about Christ, therefore I speak.”
      3. “I’m have an outgoing personality, therefore I speak.” 
      4. “I love to hear myself talk, therefore I speak.”
     C. When God provides us with an evangelistic opportunity, we need not think about how the person might respond, nor about our own weakness or lack of communication skills – like Moses did. 
      1. We can think about His power to change lives by means of the gospel. 
      2. We can think about how all of this person’s needs can be met only by the living, loving God. 
    III. 14 “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.”
     A. But it was more than Paul believing which moved him to speak.
      1. In verse 14 Paul continues his explanation for why he busied himself with the proclamation of the gospel: “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.”
      2. Paul not only believed. Paul also knew something. And knowing this ’something’ propelled him into all the world speaking boldly.
      3. What did he know? He knew “that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.” 
      4. Paul knew what was going to happen at the end of the story. He was so gripped by the anticipation of that moment, so enthralled by the knowledge of the coming of Jesus, the great Bridegroom, and the resurrection of His bride, and the great wedding which would follow, that he was compelled to proclaim the good news to those living in darkness in order to make God’s elect ready.
      5. The glory of the great resurrection on the last day was the engine that drove Paul to courageously proclaim Christ. 
      6. Paul’s courage and abandon was based on his confident anticipation of the day when the Son of God would restore all things. That changed his whole perspective. 
     B. But there’s something else in v.14 which I don’t want us to miss. 
      1. One of the high points of a wedding is when the father escorts the bride down the aisle and presents her to the groom. 
      2. This is the moment Paul refers to here in verse 14 when God the Father will present the Bride of Christ (that’s you and me!) to the heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus. Oh what a moment that will be!
      3. The verse literally reads, “knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you.”
      4. But there is a lot of preparation that must take place first. The bride must be made ready. And the Bridegroom must prepare a place for the two to dwell together. This is what is happening right now. In the days before the great wedding of the Lamb and His bride, the bride is being cleansed for that holiest of days: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Eph.5:25-27) 
      5. The time we now have on earth is the time for the great courtship, during which Christ wins His bride and prepares her to become fully His on the great wedding day. 
       a. In heaven during this time, on the other hand, the Bridegroom is busy preparing a home for His beloved, that they might dwell together in love: "I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3) 
      6. Then will come the day when the Bridegroom will return and the bride, perfected and adorned, will be presented to Him by the Father, and she will dwell with Him in perfect union forevermore.
      7. Not only will we be forever joined to our Lord on that day, but we’ll be joined to one another. 
       a. “Jesus will raise us ...and bring us with you into his presence.” We’re in this together – for the long haul. 
    IV. 15 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. 
     A. The people of Christ’s kingdom have a passion for His kingdom. 
      1. People who believe in Christ long to see the grace of Christ spreading to more and more people: 
       a. so that as grace extends to more & more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
      2. People who believe are people who long to see thanksgiving abounding to the glory of God. 
     B. What would you say fuels evangelistic zeal? I imagine most folks would give one of two answers:
      1. Love and concern for those outside of Christ
      2. Obedience to the Lord’s command
     C. Those are both valid motivations. But the motivation Paul regularly refers to in his writings is the one he mentions here. It is a zeal to see Christ honored. It’s the desire to see more and more people come to know Christ and His saving grace.
      1. It’s the longing to see Christ worshiped and acknowledged and appreciated and adored.
      2. It’s the longing to see the fulfillment of John’s revelation of a great throng adoring and lifting up high praise to the lamb of God in Rev.7:9-10.
      3. O for 1000 tongues to sing my great redeemer’s praise!
      4. Your Great Renown, by Eric Grover & Steve Cook
       a. “Our hearts are longing for The glory of the Lord To be made known in all the Earth. We want to see the nations bow We want to hear the rising sound Of the worship that You deserve” 
     D. That’s why we speak. That’s why we want to tell the world about Jesus. That’s why we pray our non-believing friends & loved ones would come to know Christ. That’s why we tell them of Jesus. 
      1. This is why we send out missionaries. This is why we pray not only for their health and protection and provision, but for their success. This is why we are anxious to hear from them when they send updates or give reports on the progress of the gospel. 
      2. We can’t change the hearts of people, of course. We can’t turn people into worshipers. 
      3. But God knows those He has chosen for Himself. And He will change their hearts and draw them to Himself. And He will use the good news about Jesus to do so. His sheep will hear His voice.