“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.”
2 Corinthians 4:13-14
Paul has just spoken of the persevering and patient walk of the Christian in the midst of afflictions and perplexities. The key is to always carry about in our body the strong reality of the work of Jesus on the cross for our sins. In this passage, he underscores the prospect of purposeful, hopeful living.
1. Having a gospel-laden disposition (v.13, Psalm 116:10)
2. The hope of the resurrection of the body
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:23
We have expectant hope:
“Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
New City Catechism
Q 50: What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us?
A: Christ triumphed over sin and death by being physically resurrected, so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come. Just as we will one day be resurrected, so this world will one day be restored. But those who do not trust in Christ will be raised to everlasting death.
Q 52: What hope does everlasting life hold for us?
A: It reminds us that this present fallen world is not all there is; soon we will live with and enjoy God forever in the new city, in the new heaven and the new earth, where we will be fully and forever freed from all sin and will inhabit renewed, resurrection bodies in a renewed, restored creation.
3. Communities of hope (v.14b-15a)
“The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner. The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The (secular) psychiatrist views me as if there were no God. The brother views me as I am before the judging and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
4. Hope and Kingdom Advancement (v.15)
1. Do you agree with the following quote? “Never before in human history has strong biblical community for faithful Christians been more necessary and simultaneously our lives are often too fractured to live out true community.”
2. Discuss this quote and our parameters for daily living: “Death is chiseling away and breaking Paul down, but it has no final power over him. For this reason he is willing to speak boldly, to put himself in danger every hour, to die daily, to fight with both literal and metaphorical beasts.” David E. Garland, The New American Commentary, 2 Corinthians, p. 236
3. What will our resurrection bodies be like?
4. How does the hope of being resurrected with believers in the presence of Christ bring great hope in daily living?
5. How do these ECBC Vision Plan Connection Pathways build hope and an expectation of kingdom advancement?
• Engage in a Worship Service, Weekly
• Connect in a Group, Consistently
• Serve on a Team, Monthly
• Attend a Class Routinely