Fragile: Sustain

Week 5 – Jeff Maness – July 5, 2020

Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:7 7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves
are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from
God, not from ourselves.

Big Idea: The start of our faith is done by God, but sustaining our faith is done together.

Big Question: How do we sustain an unbreakable faith?

Main Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

2 Corinthians 5:11-14a 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard
to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending
ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those
who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are
crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14a Either way,
Christ’s love controls us.

1. Be controlled by Christ’s love

Sunecho (soon-ekh’-o) = To hold together, to hold fast, to be seized by (like an illness).

Hebrews 12:1-2 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of
faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And
let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the
cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

2 Corinthians 5:14b-17 14b Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all
died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for
themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 16 So we have stopped
evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human
point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ
has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2. Be changed by Christ’s life

A. Pray every day

Psalms 139:23-24 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious
thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

B. Read God’s Word every day

Psalm 119:5-8 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! 6 Then I will not be
ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. 7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will
thank you by living as I should! 8 I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!

C. Be in true community

3. Be captivated by Christ’s calling

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through
Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ,
reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this
wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal
through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who
never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:26 17 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the
Lord’s death until he comes again.