proper estimation of the knowledge of Christ and the Gospel
AIM: That we
might seek after and promote such knowledge.
INTR: The problems Paul faced with the
Corinthians are not unlike those we face today both with ourselves and
1. There is a general failure to recognize that power and
authority is entirely in God and not in man.
2. There is apathy with
regard to the power of God and so we have an acceptance of knowledge
unaccompanied by the power of God.
3. There is a willingness to
accept things on the basis of outward appearance rather than inward
THESIS: The true
Gospel presence of our Lord is most evident in the way it is known (the
face of Jesus Christ) and the contrast shown with the vessel that
I. The nature of true Revelation goes beyond mere
1. See the use of “glory” in verse 4 and 6.
“veiling” work of the devil is compared to: 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a
more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as
unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the
day star arise in your hearts:
1) Of shining unto them as from
without to within to enlighten and reveal of those things both positive
and negative that all might be focused on Him.
2) Consider further
that (v. 6) the sovereignty of God comes into play in the command for
the light to shine – compare “let there be light” in Genesis 1.
What is brought into view?
2) Gospel and the wonder
3) God Himself is seen in Christ.
II. The Glorious
substance is nothing less than the knowledge of God in His person and
1. In Jesus we see the sum of human and divine excellence
The perfection of man
2) The person of God in a man.
3) Compare to
the thoughts of men on a visible glory.
2. The Glory of God is seen
in mercy: Exodus 33:17-20 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this
thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight,
and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy
glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and
I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious
to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew
mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no
man see me, and live.
3. Compare: 1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath
immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom
no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting.
4. The thoughts of men with regard to glory begin and end in
themselves so that even their concession of glory to God is patterned in
themselves. (Consider the example of those who are said to have “star
5. Such Gospel light is salvation: Psalms 36:10 O continue
thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to
the upright in heart.
III. The placement of the treasure does not
meet with the ideas of men.
1. The value of this treasure shows us as
more than mere incidental knowledge.
1) Consider the truths revealed
– eternal in existence, in abundance and are gospel indeed.
Blessings – Spiritual and of a New Covenant nature – Christ in you
Promises – Absolute and unconditional – the promise to Abraham contained
no conditions only declarations.
2. The issue of vessels
Pharisees made much of the vessel but without content – cups washed on
2) Cf. 1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the
earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how
much less this house that I have builded?
3. The vessel compared to
the content is a valuable contrast
1) Paul’s allusion to himself – as
rude in appearance.
2) Consider the condition of the persecuted and
the glory of God triumphant in them.
4. Beholding the glory of God in
the face of Jesus – as of obedience, of service, determination,
bloodied, risen, glorified, from which men flee, and in which men
rejoice when the light is shined within to give the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.