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Two Corinthians Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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

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.

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

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

god of this world. The “god of this world (or 'age')” is Satan. In John 12:31, Jesus called him “the prince of this world” (see also John 14:30), and John noted that “the whole world lieth in wickedness [literally, 'the wicked one']” (xTerm 5:19). When even brilliant intellectuals seem unable to understand and accept the easy-to-understand gospel of Christ, especially His works of creation and redemption, it is because their minds have been blinded to these wonderful truths. We must pray for God “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18).

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

2 Corinthians 4:6 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.

out of darkness. Paul here draws a beautiful analogy of our new creation in Christ to His primeval creation of the world. Both the world and we were initially born in darkness—we in spiritual darkness, through innate sin, and the world in physical darkness (Genesis 1:2). Then, as God called for physical light to “divide” the darkness (Genesis 1:3-5), so He has divided the darkness in our hearts, by the spiritual illumination of Him who is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). Yet, just as there continues to be a “conflict” between day and night, as it were, so there continues a battle in our souls between the old darkness and the new light. In the age to come, however, “there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25), and thenceforth we always “shall walk in the light of it” (Revelation 21:24), having been made “like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (xTerm 3:2).

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2 Corinthians 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

yet not distressed. There are at least five divine paradoxes of grace mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10—troubled but not distressed, perplexed but not despairing, persecuted but not abandoned, cast down but not destroyed, dying in Jesus yet alive in Him. Compare these to the nine similar paradoxes in 2 Corinthians 6:8-10. See note on 2 Corinthians 6:4.

2 Corinthians 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

2 Corinthians 4:10 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.

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.

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

2 Corinthians 4:13 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;

as it is written. See Psalm 116:10. The comfort of the psalmist in his afflictions was faith in God's Word, and Paul testified the same of himself.

2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

light affliction. Paul's afflictions were hardly “light” by human standards (e.g., 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). These were only momentary, however, in the scales of eternity, and were “light” in comparison to the “weight” of glory yet to come (Romans 8:18).

but for a moment. The word here for “moment” is parautikos, meaning “at present.” Compare Luke 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15:52.

2 Corinthians 4:18 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.