To Give The Light of The Knowledge of
The Glory of God
I think of the title of the sermon this morning which is found in verse 6, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It’s a passage that gives purpose to our lives as Christians, but it also presumes a few things.
- That we have that light to give.
- That all others are in darkness.
- That darkness is the environment from which the light will shine (v6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
To give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God, that’s our purpose, that’s the reason you and I as Christians are still here.
Seems that many however have forgotten this.
Perhaps I should have added a word to the beginning of the sentence before us that might better reflect the state of the body of Christ today;
FORGOTTEN to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,
Just before 6am yesterday morning I found myself standing on the driveway with my wife, my candle and my cat.
I don’t know how I got there exactly, “whether in the body or out of the body I can not tell, God knoweth”
The Anzac bugle soon began to be heard, that wonderful, sombre and familiar sound that is to trigger the memory of a time long ago when men and women fought and died for the freedoms we have since enjoyed.
Anzac Day is the memorial of the Australian and New Zealand Army Core and at the end of the Bugle call there is nothing heard but silence.
- It is a silence that all Australians respect when the call is made.
- It is a silence that should bring to mind the soldier who has taken a bullet for your freedom and fallen.
- It is a silence that should be brought to mind every time we see and Avenue of Honor where trees commemorate the fallen who fell for our freedom.
- It is a silence that should be so still to hear our own heartbeat, and bring to mind that another mans heart once stopped that mine might have started.
At the end of the silence a single phrase is called out and heard, “Lest we forget”.
But we have already forgotten!
- Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God
- Then beware lest thou forget the LORD
- Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day
Australia has long forgotten the very foundation of our freedoms, set for us by God and fought for us by the soldiers who died that we might keep it in memory.
Who’s fault is that?
It is ours beloved.
We have FORGOTTEN to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,
We have forgotten that each and every person we see will one day die
We have forgotten that it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgement
We have forgotten about hell and eternity and the Good news of the Gospel to all who believe.
We have forgotten why we are here, whom we serve and for who’s benefit.
There is Light In The Gospel of Christ
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Cor 4:1-4)
My thoughts align themselves with the great psalmist of Israel who wrote ‘Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way’ Ps 119:104
And the false ways are many today and the largest group of people who have turned from the truth to false ways are Christians.
They have done so because the foundation of all truth, the Bible has been doubted, and doubted through a multitude of means.
Chiefly through Bible colleges and versions.
Crafty efforts have been undertaken throughout the last two centuries to “handle the word of God deceitfully”
But though the manifestation of this is so evident globally today, we know also that there were many efforts also in Paul’s day in the first century.
2 Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
And who’s fault is this?
It is the Christian who has the word of God in his lap but never reads it.
It is the Christian who has the Bible truth as his foundation but never stands upon it.
It is the Christians who KNOWS the truth of Gods word, but does nothing to defend it.
And so, rather than, as our text says, undertaking our ministry in the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God, we permit ourselves to be overtaken by every false way.
The cost is in not proclaiming the Light of the Gospel of Christ, but keeping a multitude in darkness.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Beloved, when we rightly divide the word of Truth, we maefest to all people that there is light in the Gospel of Christ!
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
There are indeed many who stubbornly reject the light of the Gospel, preferring rather to remain in darkness
After that famous passage speaking of how God so loved the world, Jesus goes on to state however that “this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)
Mt 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
But, by the manifestation of the truth that Paul writes of in verse 2, there will indeed be those who have the truth revealed to them.
Recall when Jesus asked his disciples about who men say that his is, some said this and others that, but when he asked, whom do ye say that I am, Peter answered and said, “thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”
And what did Jesus answer him?
Mt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Our passage however goes on to reveal an unseen hand that covers the eyes of the wilfully blind.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Cor 4:4)
There are those things that are unseen that is having a work in the hearts of many to take away the seed of truth that might be sown in their hearts.
You recall Jesus parable of the sower and the seed.
Beloved it is our work as soldiers of Christ to sow the seed, that seed is the word of God as is testified in each of the Gospel accounts that record this passage.
The seed is not your glory or about you or motivational sermonettes for christianettes, nor is the seed the options of commentaries and scholars, it is the Word of God alone, and we must trust that this eternal word will perform an unseen work in the hearts of those who hear it.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (2 Cor 4:1)
There is Light To Shine Out of Darkness
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Cor 4:5-8)
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Cor 4:5
Jn 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Ps 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light
Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
John 1:1-13 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
There is Life To Be Spent For Life
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:8-12)
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
2 Cor 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
2 Cor 11:22-30 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
1 Cor 4:11-13 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
YOU ARE NOT HERE FOR YOUR COMFORTS BELOVED, BUT FOR THE ETERNAL COMFORT OF OTHERS!
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
ROMANS 8:35-37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us
ACTS 18:9-11 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: 10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
PHIL 1:20-24 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
There is Light Affliction For Eternal Glory
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor 4:13-18)
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Ps 30:5b weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Jam 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Prov 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We, as Christians, are not to live for the temporal, but for the eternal. We are to remember the plight of the lost and to do all we can to save some.
We are to trust in the words of God, trusting his promise that his words are kept and preserved pure in such a time as this;
2 Cor 5:18 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
(Gavrilo Princip, 28th June, 1914 precipitated an act that would engulf the entire world in a fight for freedom, both to be gained and, as in Australia’s case, to be retained.
This teenager assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro Hungarian empire and plunged the world into the great war. The war that was to end all wars, it was called.
But it did not end all wars.
The war broke out again in 1938, and in different forms it continues to this date. There is never a time that we are to forget what it takes to retain freedom, and there are soldiers of different sorts who continue this fight to this day.
The rejection and the creation of doubt in the word of God began in the First Word War of the First century, it began again in the second Word War after the reformation in the 16thcentury, and it continues to this day in a number of different forms with battles for God word and the light of the Gospel, all over the world.
The creation of doubt in the light of the Gospel engulfs the entire world and we are living with the consequences of its rejection.
Few are the workers who continue to sow the word of God, but they to will continue until the Lords return.
Unlike many who have forgotten the light of the truth of the Gospel, we must see that It is our work is to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
To bring again the hope and the foundation of the scriptures, not for our glory, but for that of Christ, that all people again might have hope of eternal life and joy in this present time.
Heb 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
 Dt 4:23.
 Dt 6:12.
 Dt 8:11.