02/19/12 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
HAVE YOU SEEN THE LIGHT?
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Someone has said that Satan aims his light at our eyes. He uses it to blind us. He convinces people that pleasure is the most important thing, that anything that gets in the way of pleasure is evil and awful.
Satan isn’t a god. Why call him “the god of this age” (4:4; John 12:31)? What is “this age” (Matthew 28:20; Titus 2:12; Galatians 1:4)?
The “if” in 4:3 isn’t talking about a possibility. It’s talking about a fact of life. We have to find our way through the dense fog that common sense creates. From this distorted outlook anytime something doesn’t go my way it must be useless. Check 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14.
Who put the veil over the eyes of people who don’t see Jesus the way we do (4:3)?
We insulate ourselves with a Kevlar coating of self-love. It always finds a way to apply a cover-up to the ugliness of our own sin. It hums a happy melody to brighten up the miserable existence without Jesus.
What makes Jesus so “glorious” (4:4)?
How can we convince people who are blind to the truth about their sin and their Savior (4:5)?
It would have been easy for Paul to build a “fan club” for himself and take advantage of weak people who thrive on associating with great men. There are all sorts of ways to motivate people. The football coach chews out his players to motivate them. A parent demands, “Sit down and do your homework before you go out.” The pastor preaches a fiery sermon on coming judgment to scare his congregation straight. There’s goal-setting, rule-making. We shame, condemn, and plan competitions hoping that something will move people to respond. The unhappy wife nags her husband. The disappointed parent belittles his child. Even the proud parent withholds praise to stimulate still higher achievement.
5. Give some examples of ways people might “preach themselves” (4:5)?
To be the slave of a high-level official in the Roman world often carried more prestige and responsibility and control over more wealth than the majority of people who were not slaves. Paul calls himself “Jesus’ slave.” This is no demotion.
6. What is Paul quoting (4:6)? Why quote this right here?
Only God can change a person’s heart.
7. Paul says God’s light shines in our hearts. What other locations might we use instead of “hearts” (4:6)?
8. How does Jesus’ appearance make God look “glorious” (4:6)?
When people hear God’s plan to rescue humanity, they see God’s most outstanding features. It’s not the scariest aspects of God’s promises that impress us the most. It’s the way His News penetrates the impenetrable with which we surround ourselves.
1. How does this section connect to Mark 9:2-9? What’s the connection to 2 Kings 2:1-12?
Identify some of society’s blind spots.
Devise helpful answers for believers who are shell-shocked and frustrated by fruitless attempts to reach individuals for Jesus.
Evaluate this statement: Evangelism is a simple task.