In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. So for 2 years he had to get students to push his car to get it going or he would park his car on a hill or leave it running.
He finally had to leave the seminary due to ill health and a new missionary was assigned the car.
Jackson proudly explained the process for starting the car. The new man looked under the hood and found a loose wire which he promptly tightened. He got into the car and turned the ignition and to the astonishment of Jackson the car started just fine.
For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.
How tremendous is the power available to us in Christ.
We will look at the source of this incredible power this morning.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;” 2 Corinthians 4:7
The penalty for our sins and power over our sin nature was paid for by Christ’s death on the cross
We were justified by faith alone in Christ’s shed blood
We were identified with Christ by faith alone in His cross work
Know: crucified, buried, raised, seated with Him
Believe: Consider this to be true
Present: Hand your life over to Him as your owner
Last week saw that we are under a new husband – Christ not the law
This week we will see a fourth command in Romans 8
Walk: By the power of the Holy Spirit
FREEDOM FROM CONDEMNATION
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1 NASB
The qualifying statement in the KJV is not in the Greek.
The key qualifying phrase is “to those who are in Christ Jesus”
If you have been born again, God sees you in His Son
The Son has no condemnation – so neither do you
Therefore – Check what this verse is ‘there for
Points back to chapters 6 and 7 – dead to sin, dead to law
Compare – Romans 8: 31-39
God is for us (vs. 31)
God has justified us (vs. 33)
Jesus intercedes for us so no one can condemn us (vs.34)
Jesus’ love keeps us and gives us victory (vs. 35-39)
FREEDOM FROM SIN AND LAW
You have been set free (vs.2; Galatians 5:1)
Freed from the law of sin and death (vs.2)
Freed from the law which only dealt with the flesh (vs.3)
Freed to live as directed by the Spirit not the flesh (vs.4)
Freed from the dictates of the flesh (vs.5-8)
Walk in that freedom – in the Spirit (vs.14)
Walk or live by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit
Stand firm in that freedom (Galatians 5:1)
Don’t go back into bondage to sin and law
FREEDOM FROM PERFORMANCE
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
The earthen vessel
Who or what is it?
You and I – made from the dust of the ground (Gen.2:7; 2 Cor.5:1)
Who or what is it?
Ryrie takes this as the gospel from the immediate context (vs. 1-6)
The wider context would indicate this to be God (Col.1:27)
Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col.1:27)
Specifically the Holy Spirit (the wider context – 3:1 to 4:7; John)
I THE GLORY OF THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLTY SPIRIT (3:1-18)
The Old was a ministry of death (vs. 6,7)
Stone tablets, came with glory, condemnation and death
It was veiled or hidden (vs. 12-15)
The New is a ministry of life, a ministry of the Holy Spirit (vs. 6b)
Far more glorious, no comparison (vs.8-11)
The veil is removed (16)
It is a ministry that sets free (17)
The Spirit continues to reveal new glories of Christ (18)
II THE GOSPEL MINISTERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (4:1-6)
It is the gospel of the glory of Christ (vs. 4b)
It is God who reveals the glory of the gospel (vs.6)
Specifically this is the ministry of the Holy Spirit
He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11
He teaches, discloses, and glorifies Christ (John 16:13-15)
He brings about the new birth (John 3:3,5,6)
III THE GREATNESS OF THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (4:7)
The reason for this treasure within us (vs. 7b)
So that two things
The greatness of the power comes from God (vs.7c)
It does not come from us (vs.7d)
It is God the Holy Spirit who brings this about
This is an incredible power within us
It is not about our performance but His
Our sole obligation is to walk in the Spirit
To live in dependence upon Him
To allow Him to live in and through us
He wants to be the sole pilot of your life
He does not need back seat drivers
The Midianite and Amalekite Armies had come to attack Israel. They were as numerous as locusts. One section of this army was numbered at 135,000 men (Judges 7:12; 8:10). It is likely that they numbered in the millions.
The Lord told Gideon to assemble an army to fight against the enemy. Initially he had 32,000 men but the Lord said that was too many. Gideon sent home all those who did not wish to fight leaving only 10,000 men. The Lord said this was still too many so had Gideon test the men by having them drink from a stream. Those that bent down to drink directly, numbering 9,700 were sent home. Those that cupped their hands to drink, numbering 300 were selected (Judges 7:2-8).
The Lord told Gideon to have his 300 men take trumpets and clay pitchers with fire inside to go out against the enemy. They assembled in three companies on the surrounding hills. At Gideon’s signal they blew their trumpets and broke their pitchers revealing flaming torches (Judges 7:16,20).
The enemy was thrown into confusion and killed each other and fled (Judges 7:21, 23; 8:10).
The Old Testament Connection to 2 Cor.4:7 (Judges 7)
This is the type of lamp used in ancient times. It was a clay vessel containing oil and usually a wick. It would seem that in the account of Gideon these were rather large pitchers filled with oil or with a separate torch inside. When the pitcher was broken the oil would flame brilliantly and be seen by the enemy surrounding the camp. The trumpets were a summons to war.
The flaming fire inside the pitchers is a picture of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3)
We are the clay vessels containing the fire of the Holy Spirit
When we are broken the Holy Spirit is then able to shine forth
It is the power of the Holy Spirit unleashed that defeats the enemy
Don’t continue to struggle to push your car – make the connection