This is an outline from a sermon I preached a year or so ago. I may republish it later in a full manuscript form. I would hate to leave you with nothing to read over the weekend though, since you all hang on my every word! Yeah, yeah, right. Still, here it is.
Good News In Jars Of ClayII Corinthians 4:1-7
Introduction: In Qumran in the middle east in 1947 a young shepherd, following a goat that had gone astray, tossed a rock into one of the caves along the seacliffs and heard a cracking sound: the rock had hit a ceramic pot. The ceramic pot contained leather and papyrus scrolls that were later determined to be nearly twenty centuries old. Other pots were also discovered. Ten years and many searches later, eleven caves around the Dead Sea were found to contain tens of thousands of scroll fragments dating from the third century B.C. to A.D. 68 and representing an estimated eight hundred separate works. Each fragment is valued today any where from $80,000 to $3 Million.
I. The Ministry of Proclamation of the Good News is a Gift From God
A. His Mercy allows us the privilege of carrying it
B. It is such a privilege that we will not lay it down
C. It is such a privilege we will not forfeit the privilege
1. Won't resort to lies
4. We Speak Clearly
II. The Good News is to be Proclaimed to all
A. Results are God's
B. World is Blind
C. Sovereign Work of God Opens their Eyes
III. What is the Good News?
A. Jesus is Lord
B. We are your Servants For Jesus' Glory
IV. The Gospel is a Treasure
A. God Spoke light out of darkness
1. In Creation
2. In our hearts (His sovereign work)
3. Speaks his light through the darkness of our lips
B. The Gospel has been committed to clay pots
1. A pot is a pot
2. The Gospel is God's treasure
3. The results are for God's Glory
Conclusion: In today's culture it is fashionable to decorate chests, luggage, boxes, and even clay pots, in order to display them in our homes. That is not what we as clay pots are to be. We have not been entrusted with the Gospel, in order that we may use it to decorate ourselves to be seen of men. Rather, we are black holes that the light of the Gospel shines through. We are chests that are buried and when unearthed are not praised, but the treasure that God has placed in us displays His Glory. We are clay pots. Nothing more, nothing less.