2 Corinthians 4:1-16 (text v. 16)
Have you ever fainted? At first, everything is going along fine. Then suddenly you get this rush of blood to your head and a strange feeling. Maybe the objects out int distance arenít in focus quite as clearly. When you raise your hand it does not feel attached. Suddenly you pass out. The fainting process could be described as faltering, fading, fainting, and falling.
Our text refers to a Christian fainting in a spiritual sense. The pattern is the same: faltering, fading, fainting, and falling.
Notice our text (v. 16): We have a cause that should keep us from fainting. We are committed to it; we have convictions about it. We will not faint; we will press on; we will stay at it; we wonít quit!
Jesus said, "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint!" (Luke 18:1).
Paul exhorted, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9).
Why we must not faint:
I. Our COMMISSION is DIVINE (vs. 1-7). What have we received of the
A. Godís ministry (vs. 1-5).
1. Our ministry is handling the Word of God (v. 2). We are handling something that belongs to God.
2. The devil opposes this ministry (vs. 3-4). Deceiving; defiling; defeating; destroying.
3. We are following Godís agenda, not ours (v. 5). It is Godís plan, not ours.
4. We must serve (v. 5). If we serve ourselves, and things get tough, we can quit and try something else. We must remember we serve Christ!
B. Godís mercy (v. 1).
C. We have light from the Lord (v. 6).
D. We have power from the Lord (v. 7). We donít operate from a point of human strength, but Godís strength.
II. Our CIRCUMSTANCE is DIFFICULT (vs. 8-12). If things were not difficult,
there would be no threat of fainting.
A. Maintain a positive attitude in the face of negative circumstances (vs. 8-10).
B. We die a little bit everyday (v. 11). If the Lord tarries, we will die physically. Yet, we faint not, even though we know death is working in us. We work until we die so others may live (v. 12).
C. We must die to self; die to hurt; die to personal ambition; die to criticism; die to pride; die to whatever, so we can live for Christ!
III. Our CONVICTION is DEFINITE (vs. 13-16).
A. What you believe (conviction) will come out of your mouth (v. 13)
B. Conviction about our future (vs. 14-18). David had difficulties all his life. He said, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).
1. We will be raised and presented (v. 14).
2. We will be glorified (vs. 17-18).
C. It is our cause that keeps us from fainting (v. 16). It is the cause of Christ!