Every week, on Monday, we will have a blog for you with resources for diving deeper into the sermon.
Last weekend, we heard a sermon from Pastor Andrew on 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10 that launched our latest series called Ambassadors. The theme of the series is that we’ve been given a message from the King to give to other people. This first sermon dealt with the motivation for why we pursue reconciliation with God for ourselves and for others. The main idea was this: we aim to please God in this life when we remember his rewards in the next.
In chapter 4:14-18, Paul is saying that even though he goes through great suffering in his ministry, he knows that the Lord Jesus will raise him from the dead. He says in verse 17 that our afflictions are “light and momentary” compared with the “eternal weight of glory” that’s coming. Christians will endure suffering here, but the reward in heaven is worth the price of perseverance on earth.
Moving on to chapter 5:1-4, we see Paul describing in detail what he imagines this eternal weight of glory looks like: resurrection. Right now, our bodies are tents, but we will then be in a building from God. You see, heaven is not less physical; it’s more. We are not waiting to be disembodied spirits but to be resurrected in a glorified body that can do all that humanity was designed to do in the greatest way possible. If we really understand the true value of what’s coming and the brokenness of the world, we will long for it. We groan for heaven when we aren’t satisfied with earth.
Verses 5-8 speak of the time period after death and before resurrection. The spirits of believers will be with Christ until they are resurrected to new life.
Verses 9-10 shows our motivation for seeking to please God by sharing the gospel. Paul says that Christians will receive rewards at the judgment seat of Christ for what they have done. But the judgment seat has two functions: the judgment seat of Christ determines if we get into heaven and what we get in heaven. But we know that if we have come to faith in Christ that we need not have any fear of not getting into heaven. Jesus became mortal so that mortals could have eternal life. Believers will take part in the resurrection to eternal life. But they still will come before Christ’s judgment seat to be rewarded for what they have done through leveraging their lives. Rewards in heaven come through living the reconciled life.
So here is the application: aim at pleasing God with your life. We can aim at really small things in this life, but we only have one life; let’s aim for our greatest joy—the joy of heaven. This sermon series is about being ambassadors for Christ and pleasing him through sharing the gospel—reconciled people seek to reconcile people. So, let’s put to rest our fears about sharing by looking to the joy set before us in heaven.
2 Corinthians 5 reading guide: We have broken the chapter of 2 Corinthians 5 down so we can read it over the course of the whole Ambassadors series together. The guide also includes prayer points as we had into Easter. This companion reading guide can be downloaded in full (with an introduction to the chapter) at the link provided. Or you can have the verses, prayer points, and commentary sent to your email every day by texting MHPLAN to 41411.
-Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator/Community Groups)