Clay Pots in a
Crushing Age
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Lewis Winkler
John 16:20, 33
“If they persecuted Me, they will also
persecute you.”
“In this world you have tribulation, but
take courage; I have overcome the
world.”
Setting Our Text in
Context
 Paul is telling the Corinthians about the
nature of the New Covenant made know
through Jesus Christ.
 Chapter two emphasizes the victorious
power of the gospel to save those who
believe, and reminds us that the power of
gospel comes through God alone rather
than clever techniques or flashy speakers.
Setting Our Text in
Context
 Chapter three emphasizes the
glorious nature of the New Covenant
in Christ—a covenant not written in
stone and given through Moses, but
written in the hearts of those who
believe by the hand of the Holy Spirit.
Setting Our Text in
Context
 Whenever Moses spoke to God, he
returned to the Israelites with a veil
over his face, not only because the
Israelites were overwhelmed by God’s
glory which made Moses’ face literally
glow, but also because Moses was
ashamed of the fact that the glory
ultimately faded away over time.
2 Corinthians 3:18
“And we, who with unveiled faces all
reflect the Lord’s glory, are being
transformed into his likeness with
ever-increasing glory, which comes
from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
The Authenticity of the
Gospel (1-2)
 Apparently, there were false teachers in
Corinth who were making their living
through craftiness and a deceitful use of
God’s word.
 Paul and other genuine ministers of the
gospel, on the other hand, were simply
sharing the truth of the gospel in an
authentic and plain manner, and therefore
had absolutely nothing to hide.
The Veiling of the Gospel (34)
2 Corinthians 3:13-15
“Moses . . . would put a veil over his face to
keep the Israelites from gazing at it while
the radiance was fading away. But their
minds were made dull, for to this day the
same veil remains when the old covenant is
read. It has not been removed, because
only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this
day when Moses is read, a veil covers their
hearts.”
The Veiling of the Gospel (34)
 The blinding veil
remains for those
who are perishing
 They are blinded by
“the god of this
age,” also known
as Satan.
Satanic Veils:
 Ignorance and Distortion
 Personal Peace and Affluence
 Distraction and Business
 Pride/Self-sufficiency/Independence
Four Key Things to Notice:
 Those without Christ are perishing.
 Those without Christ are blind.
 As Christians we have been given eternal
life and spiritual sight!
 We are called to offer this life and sight to
those around us.
The Center of the Gospel
(5-7)
 The center of the gospel is JESUS—
no one and nothing else (5).
 The light of God’s truth illumines our
hearts and minds (6).
 Because we are clay pots, God is able
to shine forth His truth through us all
the more (7).
The Center of the Gospel
(5-7)
 If we make anything else the center of
our life, we obscure the gospel.
 The gospel is not obscure, but it can
be obscured.
 The gospel is simpler than most
people realize.
The Center of the Gospel
(5-7)
 Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.
 He came to earth to live a perfect life and die on the
cross in our place to pay the death penalty for sin.
 He rose from the grave to prove that He has power
over death and can give us eternal life.
 If we place our trust in Him, He will forgive us and
give us eternal life at that very moment!
Colossians 1:13-14
“For [God] has rescued us from the
dominion of darkness and brought us
into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
in whom we have redemption, the
forgiveness of sins.”
The Plain Truth
 All around us, people are blind to the truth
and need Jesus to tear off the satanic veils
that are keeping them from God’s
forgiveness and eternal life.
 As Christians, we are called to talk to
everyone about Jesus because He is the
absolute center of the gospel.
The Story of Herlan
A New Covenant Creation
The Irony of the Gospel (812)
 Afflicted . . .
 Not Crushed (Intact)
 Perplexed . . .
 Not Despairing (Hopeful)
 Persecuted . . .
 Not Forsaken (Sustained)
 Struck Down . . .
 Not Destroyed (Remaining)
 Dead/Death . . .
 Alive/Life! (Thriving)
Conclusion and
Application
Although I am weak and broken and
marred by sin, when I make Jesus the
absolute center of my life, He can still
shine through me and use me to make an
eternal difference in this neighborhood,
this city, and this world.
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
“Young man,
sit down!
When God
pleases to
convert the
heathen, He
will do it
without your
aid or mine!”
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
Carey sails to
India with His Wife
and Children
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
The Indigo
Factory
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
A Godly Witness
and Prolific
Translator
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
The Mission
Chapel at
Serampore
A Clay Pot Used for God’s Glory:
The Story of William Carey
1761-1834
The Legacy of William
Carey
 Before he was thirty-one he could read the Bible in Latin, Greek,
Hebrew, Dutch, French, and English—all self-taught!
 He founded a university that is still providing a Christian
education in India today.
 He founded a still-existent agricultural and horticulture society.
 Awarded an honorary doctorate degree, he was a highly
respected professor of Sanskrit and Bengali languages in India
for 30 years.
 He led many Hindus to faith in Jesus Christ
The Legacy of William
Carey
 He translated the Bible into Bengali, Sanskrit, Marathi, and
Punjabi, and portions of almost 40 other dialects and languages.
 He founded and operated his own printing press business.
 He was directly involved in the founding of 19 different mission
stations throughout India.
 He successfully lobbied to have the Hindu practice of “sati,” or
widow burning outlawed in India.
 He founded the Baptist Missionary Society, and launched the
modern missionary movement which has succeeded in taking
the gospel all over the world.
Carey’s Final Admonition:
“You have been speaking about
William Carey. When I am gone, say
nothing about William Carey—speak
only about William Carey’s Savior.”
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Clay pots in a Crushing Age