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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
2 Corinthians 4

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-18

2 Corinthians 4:1. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

Stern was the labour of the apostles, but they felt that their work was so all-important, so divine, that they must not grow weary of it, though they were, doubtless, often weary in it.

2 Corinthians 4:2. 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.

It is no part of the business of Christ’s ministers to modify the truth which he has entrusted to them, or to put new meanings into it which God never meant, draining away the very life-blood of the gospel, and leaving it dead and useless; but it is both our duty and our privilege to state it just as we find it, and to proclaim it in as plain language as possible so that everybody may understand what the teaching of God really is.

2 Corinthians 4:3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost;

It was not hidden under fine language and oratorical flourishes on the part of the apostles; there was a far more terrible barrier in the way of its entrance into the hearts of some who heard it.

2 Corinthians 4:4-7. In whom the god of the world hath blinded the mind of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who in the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 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. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,

There is nothing remarkable in us, we are in ourselves poor, frail fragile creatures, like earthen vessels of no particular value, yet this we do not regret, for there is a good reason for it: —

2 Corinthians 4:7-10. That the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed; 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.

He who wishes for an easy time of it must not become a minister of the gospel. If he is determined to preach it faithfully, fully, simply, straight from his heart, he will often find himself in such circumstances as the apostle describes in these verses.

2 Corinthians 4:11. 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.

The apostles were always to the front where the shots were flying the fastest, and with the deadliest aim; there they stood, the officers of the army of Christ and Paul rejoiced that, for one, he was able thus to make himself to be nothing that Christ might be the great All-in-all.

2 Corinthians 4:12. So then death worketh in us but life in you.

So long as Paul could be the means of the salvation of the souls of men, he did not mind what became of himself, though it should be death to him, he would count it as nothing so long as it should bring life to them.

2 Corinthians 4:13-14. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Note the assurance of apostolic preaching and writing. There is no “if” here, no hesitation, no doubt. The apostles knew what they believed, and knew why they believed it, and they spoke with the accent of conviction; nobody was led into doubt by their hesitancy.

2 Corinthians 4:15-16. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not;

Paul had said before that they did not faint, and now he reiterates it that, though his ministry was enough to bear him down, and lay him prostrate in the dust, yet he did not faint.

2 Corinthians 4:16; 2 Corinthians 4:18. But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 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.

This exposition consisted of readings from Romans 5:1-10; and 2 Corinthians 4; and 2 Corinthians 5.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/2-corinthians-4.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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