Date: February 2, 2020
Title: Maintaining a Proper Focus
Passage: 2 Corinthians 4:1-5:8
Speaker: Bob Corbin

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* As we began our study of Paul's second epistle to the church of Corinth, we considered the purpose of affliction in the life of the believer. Through afflictions, we have the opportunity to receive the encouragement of God and, subsequently, to dispense that same encouragement to others who are experiencing afflictions. Hence, rather than seeing trials as the world sees them - as hindrances and enemies to our happiness - we must come to embrace them knowing that our Sovereign God allowed them into our lives in order that we might grow in our knowledge of Christ and glorify He who redeemed us by His blood!
* Two weeks ago, we saw how Paul declared that there were points in his life and ministry where he despaired of even life itself (1:8). Yet, he found his strength in God who delivers from death itself!
* He then, seemingly, changed the subject to contrast the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Yet, Paul was laying the foundation and instructing the believers regarding the existence of spiritual afflictions which are a result of the spiritual war in which we walk - unbeknownst many times! Paul revealed the superiority of the New Covenant which is spiritual, not physical.
* Truly, the core of our consideration of "Embracing Afflictions" will come as we consider the constant battle between the physical and the spiritual. Paul told the Ephesians, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood ..." Though we live in a physical plane, as spirit beings we must learn to think beyond the moment.
* In today's passage, Paul challenges the Corinthians to Maintain a Proper Focus, first by using his own life, and ministry, as an example.