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December 23, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU Seminary professor Dr. Brian Hand concludes a Seminary Chapel series titled “The Aroma of Christ – Ministry According to II Corinthians.” The passage is II Cor. 4:13-18.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today were concluding the series from second Corinthians which was preached for seminary students. Today's message will be brought by beater you seminary professor, Dr. Brian hand in his chapter 4 verses 13 to 18. I like to call a Psalm of Paul we find here is Paul picking up one of the words and phrases of Islamist in the Old Testament and deriving from it a message that he extends in New Testament terms. What is one that is familiar to us, yet crucial to our ministry. We cannot have the aroma of Jesus Christ without the information that Paul reveals here.
We cannot have the aroma of Jesus Christ unless we live the data. The scriptural injunctions that come from this text and what we have essentially is going to be overturning reality, the reality that we experience in the present age with reality. It never notices some of the statements of Scripture don't feel very accurate or sympathetic at times. Migraines are not trivial things like chronic depression, Crohn's disease, cancers, even lasting injuries. So we come to a passage in the process of our daily Bible reading, or in preparation of for part of giving the word of God to other individuals and we hear words like a light affliction, which is but for a moment, something inside of us bristles just a little bit.
God doesn't really understand are going through or he wouldn't say such ridiculous things now are hopefully spiritual enough individuals, we will put that on the outside lay that out there for other people to hear what our hearts are saying. But the reality is we have to return our hearts to the word of God and listen to it otherwise were misunderstanding what God is saying he's not indifferent towards our suffering is not careless with his people, but rather his compassion and care helps lift our eyes off the present off the moment off the sorrow and grief that we experience right now this seems so real that would overwhelm us and lifts her head toward eternity for the reality that lasts forever undimmed and threatened and cannot be undone with read this text together universe 13. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe, and therefore have I spoken. We also believe and therefore speak knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you for all things are for your sakes that the abundant grace might through the Thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God, for which cause we faint not. But though our outward man perish at the inward man is renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not on the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. The passage in front of us today is crucial to our understanding because we walked through world that is full of lots of valleys of lots of different shadows of various kinds of death sometimes is death to the human spirit. Sometimes it's death really literally to the human body, but is suffering is there anything that can allow not only us as ministers of the gospel within congregations, to whom we minister or counselees that sit across from us were trying to direct in a way of life and health and peace.
Can we really direct them in a way that does any kind of hope or they last and are we left paralyzed with the thought that God doesn't know what he's talking about affliction is not light. It's not for a moment. Faith alone is what can lift our eyes off of the moment into eternity life because it's unseen, none of us is been there. None of us is been in heaven to bring back the reports. What is the New Testament say later on, but that faith is the substance of things hoped for. It's the sense of things not yet seen any evidence, it is not because we believe because we know the Lord come to recognize his love for us and we believe and we actually trust him. And so we carry on through life full of suffering and hardship, knowing that there's a greater outcome. The text before us teaches the simple theme because faith sees the unseen state your ministry on both present and future renewal God gives begins representing that because faith sees the unseen rest or proclamation on present and future renewal.
That is the very message that you give your very success in giving out the gospel in leading people through the Scriptures depends on your ability to see the unseen. Without it, your message itself will dry up because you have nothing to say without your message becomes at best hypocritical because you don't really believe what you're saying and eventually fall silent in it.
We proclaim God's word because you haven't present the same spirit of faith that the apostles and prophets had look at verse 13 again with me. We having the same spirit of faith, the same spirit as with whom while he's going to tell us, according as it is been written the same spirit that the psalmist had when he wrote that's the faith that you have but you never considered yourself among the company of the psalmists. The Holy Spirit has not inspired you to write Scripture but you know that your faith is no different from David's same kind of faith were the same kind of people troubled by the same kinds of troubles that David faced will have to be king to realize that there are people who sometimes hunt for our souls. We don't have to be in a position of quiet that high leadership to realize there are others who would like to displace us and take our either authority opportunity and Paul have some of those in the reference in Philippians were some people are even out there preaching Christ of envy and strife in some of goodwill, some are not insincerely public at that's fine. I want to displace us. We think the same things at the psalmist-based but it's the same faith.
We having the same fate spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, therefore I have spoken. We also believe and therefore speak so let's look at Paul's chain of logic here.
He says to us, the psalmist believed a more of a teacher than a preacher.
So you tell me, since the psalmist believe what did the psalmist do according to the passage since the psalmist believed what did he do faith made him speak. That's why I say that faith is the basis of your ministry.
You cannot give off the aroma of Jesus Christ. If you let go of faith or if you somehow diminish faith if you don't focus your attention on continuing to believe, not just as the event leading to salvation but an ongoing daily event in which we confess our desperation or need of Christ.
The psalmist delete faith made him speak. The psalmist recorded the link between faith and speech.
We have the same spirit of faith. Conclusion speak. You cannot be that minister of the gospel without the faith, but having the faith speak that leads us to look at the Psalm to be interesting to find out exactly what the psalmist was experiencing some discomfort. Psalm 116. I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my supplications because he is inclined his ear and to me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live, the sorrows of death compassed me that sound like the afflictions of Paul references the pains of hell got hold upon me. I found trouble and sorrow, then called upon the name of the Lord, O Lord, I beseech thee deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord and righteous, yet our God is merciful. The Lord preserve at the simple, I was brought low, and he helped me return to thy rest of my soul for the Lord and filled bountifully with the Taoist delivered my soul from death mine eyes from tears in my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believe therefore I've spoken, I was greatly afflicted and confesses everything here is you see that the Scriptures not minimizing the suffering that we go through when Paul references his light affliction that is but for a moment's point is not designated and not really suffering.
Now you don't really hurt your counselee know if you just buck up a little bit you be fine. It's not to minimize the suffering, but rather to view the suffering in light of faith in God. The psalmist himself found himself in all this trouble and then let me remind you of the kinds of words and use sorrows of death pains of hell, trouble, sorrow he was brought low death tears falling in afflicted, that doesn't sound like a life of flowery beds of bees does it without faith it becomes impossible to speak of the goodness of God without faith we cannot praise his mercy.
Without faith we do not learn to love him.
Without faith we cannot call on him. Without faith, your message becomes hypocritical than perfunctory than silent, believe, therefore, speak select return to Paul, how can he press on administering the face of such opposition faith. When we run into in chapter 11 of second Corinthians the same book was a litany and a list of the troubles and trials that Paul has gone through and the Scriptures tell us another places it counts everything as refuse for the knowledge of Christ Jesus is Lord is willing to die daily because of Christ is willing to view every imaginable affliction and sorrow and suffering and heart ache and pain ostracism through the lens of faith because faith overturns the reality that we experience down here with the ultimate reality of eternity. Although we understand we don't have the same supernatural gifts of prophecy is the apostles and prophets. We have the same spirit of faith, select that lodge in your thinking what Elijah believe in what God did Elijah trust the same God, in whom you trust with your faith and even Elijah needed the Lord to remind him that there is a community of faith and doesn't Paul exactly do that here we having the same spirit of faith were also able to speak and carry on the ministry of the gospel. The second portion of this passage is teaching us that because faith sees the unseen's and were resting our proclamation on present and future renewal. Let's turn our eyes from the president and that the camaraderie of faith we have, to the future, you have the guarantee of future resurrection. The New Testament continually points to the new two resurrection is the core or the foundation. You could say the heart of the Christian message that if you do not dwell adequately on the resurrection. You kind of lost almost as were the Dynamo or the that the driver of the Christian message in some way we have it in place as early as acts chapter 2, verse 31 where Peter is proclaiming that he or David seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection that allows even David to persist in faith and speak of the Messiah who is coming or not. Chapter 4 verse two they taught the people and preach through Jesus. The resurrection from the dead, and this is in the spite in spite of the opposition faith by the rulers are all telling them be quiet all the religious leaders of your nation are giving unified testimony be quiet or going to bring the force of state in civil law against you and the apostles are kind of like no, sorry, when they get that kind of courage to speak resurrection, the hope of the resurrection. The knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that it already happened in the hope of the resurrection that they themselves when they possess. I'm in the worst they can do is kill you.
We talked about this in an exposition of Revelation classmate. I laugh at Isaac antichrist at the apex of his powers doing what killing Christians believers tribulation saints and the very moment he kills them there outside of his control forever, and the resulting he succeeded in doing is promoting them to glory, and he lost a bunch of citizens in his kingdom. Some power.
That's the worst that the world can do to us to help you in light of that affliction really does seem to be dimming its significance, doesn't it.
The worst they can do is promote you to glory is not so bad is it, the worse it's going to happen to us as is will have some aches and pains and suffer and even up and I'm not minimizing the event. Neither does the word of God is real suffering but the worst is that this is going to go on for 60, 70, 90 years and will be an eternity for ever with undimmed glorified resurrected potties if even planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be in the likeness of his resurrection. Now if Christ be preach that he rose from the dead house say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead. If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain your ear. Faith also is in vain directly between faith and resurrection, and the rest of first Corinthians 15 is going to go through a topic, the resurrection, and this is what you resurrection body looks like and this is a security and hope of the resurrection.
So the proclamation of the gospel of the good news is resting on our fellowship of sharing of faith. It is also resting on the resurrection that stand in front of us.
We have hope that allows us to continue on in ministry.
I was once on a sports team. Most sports teams, however, have lots of banners right there we go over to the Jimmy seal the banners of all the things that they have one.
We didn't people boasting of a topical trash talking wheat we don't trash talk in the seminary and get a better grade on the testing you do whatever wheat we didn't trash talk we didn't trash talk you know why we didn't trash talk is nothing to boast about.
We were so bad we never one if they liked a knight's never been a season-long if by some fluke. We won into the target up to yeah will do the us first and second and third strings of the other team are all sick for the of the flu and I put in there. We never one we couldn't have a proclamation of the message of glory and of hope where there was no faith that you could possibly succeed unless you have confidence in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is bringing to us still way you're going to endure ministry can't do it. God calls us in this passage to look beyond the scene to the unseen and only faith is able to do that and by that faith. Have your ministry strengthened to continue proclaiming the gospel second section of the passage overall is verses 16 to 18, and it shifts its focus slightly from the proclamation of your ministry to the endurance of your ministry. Because faith sees the unseen rest your ministry endurance on both present and future renewal. To begin with your you have to persevere because right now at present your inner man is being renewed day by day.
It's one thing for something to hold all hope there in the future and imagine if somebody promised you a return on the investment and you can actually track the investments if it was growing.
I was fit to start up and down a little bit, but somebody said trust your money to me and I'm going to invest it for you and then when you retire. You'll have plenty like I'm a little nervous about that. I would be able to track my stocks and figure out whether my investment is really having a return we want to know well in spiritual terms. We don't have the right to demand from God knowledge with reference to eternity, though he lay some of this out and he still hold out a trip. Eternity is ultimate, but you know there is intermediate evidence concerning why you should endure and that intermediate evidence is look look at your own life your inner man is being renewed day by day, isn't it. Proof of that. Well, when you sin was the response of your conscience and heart guilt. So then when you do like, like the world we don't have to good run off and get drunk or do something to stifle that guilt to silence it on our own terms. We turn to the Lord, repent, confess our sin and guess we had our inner man is renewed every time we open the word of God and look into God's perfect law of liberty without our inner man is renewed day after day after day. We have hope. We fall were discouraged. We look at Scripture.
How many days you get up in the night again. I can do this and even your coffee is not helping. As you target and you start reading Scripture, and for some reason that particular stands out to you and your inner man is renewed day by day and like I never knew you. Put that verse in that location. The just happened to be in my reading for my inner man is renewed today. It's exactly what I needed to hear something is not a pleasant by the way. Sometimes the Lord is saying you know I don't really abide griping and complaining noted it with Israel in the griping complaint. It right right trust you. We need to go back to Paul's quotation of Psalm 16 and see the suffering and that Psalm one more time. And the reason we need to see that suffering is to show you that even the psalmist was being renewed day by day and I try to parallel that by putting the suffering that the psalmist experienced in blue and the renewal in this kind gorgeous color. I love the Lord, why he's heard my voice and my supplications. What is it do for you when you know somebody here's when you know some of these actually listening hasn't stopped up his ears. These listening, renewed your spirit because he is inclined his ear and to me that's a step further is actually leaning over and in looking at you. Go ahead, tell me he's inclined his ear to me, will I call upon him as long as I live out sorrows of death compassed me in the pains of hell got hold on me I did I found trouble and sorrow, then calling on the name of the Lord, O Lord, I beseech you deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord and righteously. Yes, our God is merciful and a man being renewed day by day the Lord preserves the sample I was brought low, and he helped me inner man is renewed day by day return unto thy rest of my soul for the Lord is dealt bountifully with me is is being renewed. Thou hast delivered my soul from from death and eyes from tears.
My fever but those things are real, but God is the deliver I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
I believed therefore have I spoken incredible that saltiness. What do I call this a Psalm of Paul because Paul is to get the same themes and juxtaposing the trouble of ministry, the hardships of ministry and yet through it the in ministry endurance on the basis of the renewal of the inner man.
Paul alluded to the song precut precisely because God is not simply wave off our sorrow. He causes us to think light of our sorrow when we view it through the eyes of faith, it's much easier.
We know to look at the outer man perishing and another good reason in the in the province of God, my knee started acting up. Just couple days ago get. I don't need the brace on my knee. I'm I'm fine I'm good enough, but it's a reminder, the constant reminder outer man is perishing. Things are getting older and I wish I were 32 but the Lord continues to preserve us and continues to renew us.
No chainsaw doesn't do much for itself. I burned out a chainsaw once. If I have enough experience with them to know how you might perchance burn out a chainsaw.
No oil Scott gas that to be enough. A chainsaw has to be renewed constantly if you fail to put both oil mixed with the fuel the engine and in bar chain oil and also in your log is smoking like when it's happening at probably nothing and you keep going, then the engine start smoking in the cuts out you can't get it back on again.
So our lives. The inner man is renewed day by day as you walk with the Lord and trust in him. Finally, you need to persevere because in the future, surpassing weight of glory awaits you. Not only is God already at work daily daily, propping up his people daily, saving us daily, encouraging us daily, warning us, rebuking us, discipline us, but daily with us and renewing us, but also in front of us is a surpassing weight of glory.
Verses 17 and 18. Now we get to the actual statement of it for our light affliction, which is but for a moment.
Work is for us a far more eternal or exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. It's not good enough to continue focusing on the trouble.
You know what is. It doesn't do good for your spirit to keep watching the news program and election returns right you accept the test set that aside and go elsewhere and consider something eternal to put your mind at ease so set aside the focus on the present. The outward man and look at eternity very quickly here several years back we decide to build a pavilion in our house so we leveled the area all by hand is a little hill here in all leveled out. We dug 3 foot deep peers for the building to rest on board concrete for that.
That was all fine and good lot of hard work, blisters not too much trouble. Then we started raising the pavilion itself was okay they get into individual pieces by we communicated. I'm not that good a billing ability is concerned, but when we had to put those headers up on top of the main pieces each of those headers ways probably three or 400 pounds and I'm I'm sitting there looking at going okay. My parents are in the mid 70s that balances a little bit off the rule him out my white know my son, my son was about 11 at the time he be strong for 11, but he's 11 and we had we had 36, propping it up and we've got it up there. We had to shift it all to get all square shifted it.
One of them went off the other side broke on the exhausted and worn out I had to walk away so of sad existence not working and walk away and sit on the front porch going so stupid I should have taken on this project.
It is too much pain.
Would I buy the cuts all over the place up with, but I could hear my wife and kid St. this is going to be great I can't wait till this is Don were going to be able to sit out here during the summer and it'll still be cool. I got up off the front porch and I went back and we kept working. Why is with all the cuts and all the injuries and all the affliction that it was really experiencing the exhaustion and heat exhaustion. Even when you can see through suffering to the objective. You can persevere and that is why Paul calls our attention to this faith sees the unseen, you must take your ministry on the present renewal to God is given to you through the community of faith and through the renewal of your inner man. And you must take your ministry on future renewal, the promise of the resurrection, and then the reward that he brings so what is the aroma of Christ. Again, this is the Lassiter series. What is this aroma of Christ in all things that have aromas citrus meant and I call Phoebe's all these things affect whatever you put them in with love the smell of coffee.
The input coffee and rub up against coffee for a while and get some look oils or whatever from the beans on it and it smells citrus will do the same thing meant will do the same thing. What is this aroma of Christ that we have been talking about all semester long will can I remind you that as far as the Old Testament is concerned, the people of Israel were supposed to take certain spices mix them in specific proportions and nobody else could ever mix a similar proportion God would accept only this as his incense only this as a sacrifice and you don't believe me that's not me that's Jesus Christ. God doesn't accept, but we are in Christ and in so far as we become people of faith through faith as being in Christ, you proclaim the same message of the gospel dying when he died rising when he rose so that when God views you he views you as his son. You smell like Jesus. Now the scent of your life, your ministry or suffering as it ascends perfected by Christ before the father is the aroma of Christ that brings everything we cover the semester together and gives us hope. Father I pray you help us to look beyond the moment. Look beyond the scene look beyond the suffering that we will experience a ministry that we already are experiencing ministry. The daily care of the churches always say the rejection by others as Paul experienced physical trouble, just the sufferings of our own flesh.
We look beyond these things to hope that you provided us because we know that you love us because but through the eye of faith we see you and we believe therefore we speak to Christ to be pregnant, you been listening to a sermon from BJ Hume seminary professor, Dr. Brian hand. This concludes our series and second Corinthians. Thanks for listening and join us tomorrow as we'll hear more chapel messages from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform