This week we will be studying a long passage containing two separate sections. In the first verse of each of those sections, we find the words, we know.
2 Corinthians 5:1 says, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God...." Then in verse 11 we read, "Since then we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men." That introduces us to a theme that ties these two sections together, the theme of Christian knowledge.

After more than six decades at our historic, four-storied brownstone in Center City Philadelphia, the Alliance moved to nearby Lancaster, PA. While we miss the beauty of the craftsmanship at our old location, this move is an example of our commitment to good stewardship. Our new location is modern and well-equipped for the work we do at the Alliance. Many tasks are simpler and quicker now that we do not have the quirks and inefficiencies of an old home. Contact the Alliance at 600 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA 17601 or by phone at 215-546-3696.

Do you have your eyes on what is happening internally? Do you know that in all of the circumstances of life, in all of the things you go through, God is renewing you inwardly? He is building within you a new character, a new life, and a new personality, one that will exist for eternity. That is why this is all so important. If our life began at birth and ended at death, thinking about the future would just be absurd. As Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, "If I have fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die' " (1 Cor. 15:32). But if we are eternal creatures, if we are going to live forever in one state or another, then what is happening to us now makes all the difference in the world.

In considering ourselves as clay jars, what matters is whether or not we make that vessel available for God to use. Your life is a vessel, and you can hold it back. You can say, "No, I want it for myself. I want to fill it up with the wisdom of the world. I want to fill it up with fame, prestige, and money." If that is what you want to fill your life with, that is what you get. And because all those things are perishable, what your life contains perishes when you do.

Sometimes people talk to me after the church service. Some people say to me, "You make it so simple, so easy to understand." I am pleased with that because we are not in the business of trying to sound profound. Our job is to make it as clear as we can. Some say, "Well, I read it, and it isn’t all that clear to me." That is true. These are God’s ways, not our ways. What we need to do is have the darkness in our minds dispelled, and the fog in our thinking removed, and then we will see things clearly as God presents them to us in his Word.