Thy Name, Not My Name: God Knows You’re Broken May 8, 2013 Bible Study 2 Cor 4:5-7
SERMON SUMMARY. Sunday’s sermon reminded us that when we work for God, we go in his name and his power – not our name or our power. It is in God’s name and power that demons tremble, knees buckle and through which the world was created. Sometimes we feel too weak and too feeble to do the work of God. And we are all of these things. But, God knows we’re broken – he put his light into these broken vessels. Even when we’re down, we should take comfort in knowing that it is his name and power that does the saving work. And, on those days where we might feel spiritually arrogant, we also need to remember our broken state. We may feel like it’s “all about us.” But, again, our treasure is in fragile jars of clay. It is not our name but at the name of Jesus that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is lord.
PREACH/TEACH CHRIST (v5) Paul found himself confronted with those challenging his leadership, his abilities, and his doctrine. Would he respond arrogantly? Would he respond timidly? Paul did neither. Paul’s focus was never on himself – either strengths or weaknesses. His message was all about Jesus. Ours should be the same.
- Should we exalt or promote ourselves when sharing God’s word? Do people do that?
- On whom does Paul says the emphasis of preaching should be?
- What is our role in distributing the word of God?
- What are some risks that result from exalting ourselves rather than Christ?
GOD IS THE SOURCE (v6) Having identified the subject and object of preaching as Christ, Paul now seeks to make clear who we are and who God is. He seeks to make clear why and how we serve the God we serve. Whenever we get too high or too low we need to remember who created us.
- When Paul refers to the God who separated the light from the darkness, to what is he referring? See Genesis Chapter 1:1-3.
We serve the God of all creation. That should keep us humble. And he made us in his likeness and image. See Genesis 1:27. That should make us confident in fulfilling our call.
Remember who we were before God came into our lives. We once were in darkness.
- What do we see in this verse that God did for us? Can you think of ways that God has caused light to shine in your heart and to have a knowledge of Christ?
BROKEN VESSELS/GOD’S POWER (v7) We rejoice that God has placed his light inside us. But Paul reminds us that this light is in clay vessels. We have a certain fragility that makes us subject to temptation, trials, tests and weakness. Again, this should keep us humble, but not stop us from doing God’s work. God knew we were fragile and it is in His power that we move.
- God speaks of our earthen-fragile-vessels. What are some of the places of weakness or fragility that can hinder us from doing what God has called us to do?
- Having spoke on the things that can stop us, should we allow them to hinder us from doing God’s work?
Read Judges 7:2 and 1 Samuel 17:47. We know David as a mighty warrior but, where did he know that his power resided?
- When we are weak in our flesh and know we can’t go further, but still end up victorious, whose power do we testify to?
Remember, when we are focused on ourselves – whether our strength or our weakness – we can miss the point and the ministry. It is the power of God and the light of God that draws, heals, restore and saves. Let us remember to focus people on the power of God in the bible and in our lives. We don’t save in our name but in God’s name. Even when we are weak, we know that God’s power is strong. God works through these earthen vessels. Trust God.