You have lost yourself to right, to joy, to heaven. You are lost, lost, lost.. It is not only that you will be lost, but that you are lost… lost even now. Whose minds the god of this age has blinded : Those who are perishing and for whom the gospel is veiled have been blinded by Satan, the god of this age.
John says, this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Though men love the darkness, and choose the darkness, Satan still works hard to keep them blinded to the glorious gospel of light and salvation in Jesus. We notice also that it is the minds of the unbelieving that are blinded. Of course, Satan also works on the heart and the emotions of the lost, but his main battleground is the mind. This also is why God has chosen the word to transmit the gospel, because the word touches our minds and can touch minds the god of this age has blinded.
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The god of this age : The title god of this age is not used of Satan anywhere else in Scripture, but the thought is expressed in passages like John , John , Ephesians , Ephesians and 1 John The Biblical truth that Satan is the god of this age can be understood in a wrong way. Some later Christians like the Manichaeans promoted a dualistic understanding of God and Satan, and emphasized this phrase the god of this age. But this is wrong. Who do not believe : Satan can only blind those who do not believe. If you are tired of having your mind blinded by the god of this age , then put your trust in who Jesus is and what He did for you.
Lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ… should shine on them : To see this glory is to be saved. Therefore, Satan directs his energies into blinding men from ever seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.
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We should ask God to shine His light, to bind the blinding work of Satan, and to give faith to overcome the unbelief that invites the blinding. Should shine on them : Paul knew what he was talking about when he wrote this. He himself was completely blind to the truth until God broke through the darkness. In fact, when Paul first encountered Jesus, the Lord struck him with a literal blindness that was healed, and his eyes — both spiritually and physically — were opened to see the glory of Jesus Christ Acts It is a word used in the Septuagint in Psalm for the light of Your countenance and in Psalm for In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the focus, so Paul could strongly say, we do not preach ourselves. Instead, the focus must be on Christ Jesus the Lord.
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He is the one to preach about! Not everyone who opens a Bible and starts talking is preaching Christ Jesus the Lord. Many well-intentioned preachers actually preach themselves instead of Jesus.
Sufficient Grace for Humbling Circumstances, Part 2
If the focus is on the funny stories or the touching life experiences of the preacher, he may be preaching himself. Often, people love it when the preacher preaches himself. It seems revealing and intimate, and it is often entertaining. It is also tempting for the preacher because he sees how people respond when he focuses the message on himself. So preach Jesus! Is it wrong for a preacher to tell a joke or to use a story from his own life?
Of course not, but it is all a matter of proportion. And if week after week too much of the preacher is in the sermon, it is wrong. He also did not preach a gospel of moral reform or a list of rules you must follow to be right with God. He preached Jesus, presenting Christ Jesus the Lord. It is attempting to raise fruit without trees.
When a man is brought to recognize Jesus Christ as Lord, and to love and worship him as such, then he becomes like Christ. What more can the moralist want?
He did it primarily to please Jesus, not to please man. Paul really believed the account of creation as described in Genesis 1. Genesis says that God created light with a command, and Paul believed that is exactly how it happened.
On his was to Damascus to persecute and kill Christians, suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. This was the first encounter with Jesus in the life of Saul of Tarsus also known later as the Apostle Paul. This should be a good way to describe every Christian: people with shining hearts. God shone in our hearts , and it should show in shining lives for Jesus Christ.
To give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God : What exactly has God shone in our hearts? It is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Every Christian should have some knowledge of the glory of God. To give us the light : God gives us the light of the knowledge of God, and we have the responsibility to get it out. Imagine a man in a sunny room who enjoys the sunshine so much he wants to keep it all to himself. When we try to hoard up the light within ourselves, we will certainly lose it. In the face of Jesus Christ : We come to the knowledge of the glory of God by seeing it in the face of Jesus.
Jesus said, He who has seen Me has seen the Father John He also prayed that we would see His glory, the glory of God the Father: that they may behold My glory which You have given Me John But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
This treasure : The treasure is the greatness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the glory of God made evident through that gospel. It is the very light of God and the light of the knowledge of the glory of God , reflected in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the greatest treasure in all creation! We are all just clay pots holding an unspeakably great treasure.
Faith versus Sight
Earthen vessels : Earthenware vessels were common in every home in the ancient world. They were not very durable compared to metal , and they were useless if broken glass could be melted down again.
We almost always are drawn to the thing that has the best packaging , but the best gifts often have the most unlikely packaging. Jesus was not embarrassed to live as an earthen vessel. God is not embarrassed to use clay pots like us. That the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us : Why does God put such a great treasure in such weak vessels? So that the greatness of the power may be of God and not of us.
So that it would be evident to anyone who had eyes to see that the work was being done by the power of God, not the power of the vessel. Why did God choose risky, earthen vessels instead of safe, heavenly ones? Earthen vessels are risky but can bring profound glory to God. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
So then death is working in us, but life in you. In Acts , 40 men conspired together to not eat or drink until they had murdered Paul. Paul knew what it was like to be hunted.
Yet not crushed : Living as a wanted, hunted man means terrible stress, experienced every moment of the day. Yet Paul was not crushed by this stress. He could still serve the Lord gloriously. Paul knew the power and victory of Jesus in his life because he was continually in situations where only the power and victory of Jesus could meet his need. Nevertheless, we should remember that everything Paul said about suffering, he said as a man who probably suffered more than you or anyone you will ever meet.