2nd corinthians chapter 4

Paul begins 2 Corinthians Chapter 4 with a discussion about the new ministry that the Lord has given through His grace and mercy. This is the one where believers no longer have a veil to cover their heads in a spiritual sense.

Teaching the Word Plainly

Paul told the church in Corinth that he did not try to use trickery or shameful ways to do God’s work. He said being honest and straightforward was the best way people could see their hearts and their willingness to work for God.

Clay Jars and Treasures

Paul compared himself and other people working for God as clay jars that hold the treasure of the Holy Spirit. He said this was so people could see god’s amazing power clearly. He went on to say that Jesus shines through believers through the works that they do.

Sharing the Gospel

They share the same spirit and know who the true God is. Believers are doing their part in sharing the Gospel, and letting others know more about Jesus. Because of this, more and more people were starting to see the glory of God and believe in Christ.

Keeping Faith through Suffering

Paul said that those who are in the body should not lose heart. Regardless of the suffering that they are going through, he encouraged them to press on because the troubles that everyone faces are merely temporary and nothing to be scared of.

Paul explained that the light would shine through the darkness and those who were with Christ would overcome. This is only done through eternal glory that is from God. Paul told believers to fix their eyes on what is not seen because those are the things that are eternal.

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2 Corinthians 4 (King James Version)

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

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.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

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.

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, 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.

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.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

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.

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; 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.

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Paul Is A Slave for You

  • Paul hasn’t lost heart, though.
  • He isn’t like some of these so-called apostles in Corinth. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t tell fibs when it comes to God’s word. He just brings the truth.
  • Unlike the false apostles out there, Paul doesn’t just talk about himself all the time (he doesn’t?). He stays focused on Jesus. Keep your eyes on the ball, Paul.
  • Paul is totally a slave for Jesus… and you.

Jars of Clay

  • True apostles are fragile. It’s like God has put his “treasure in clay jars.” Those jars are breakable, but God always catches them before they fall. Hmmm… doesn’t seem like the best plan.
  • Apostles have to suffer. It’s part of their job description. But they don’t let that get them down. Sure, they get knocked down (or nearly beheaded), but they get up again.
  • They suffer like Jesus did on the cross. Then they can show off God’s glory. WWJD, indeed.
  • A real apostle brings the truth, no matter what the cost. He believes in God’s word and he speaks it. Those are his credentials. That’s how he proves he’s the real deal.
  • Trust Paul: he’s doing this all for you, Corinthians. He’s putting himself through the ringer so that he can show off the goodness of God.
  • We guess that makes sense.
  • Paul also knows that these trials now are going to pay off big time when he’s dead and gone. Yeah, we’re guessing Paul gets a primo seat in Heaven.

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1 Corinthians Chapters

1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Sosthenes, our brother,

2 to the church of God in Corinth, to those who have been consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be God’s holy people, with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord as well as ours.

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I am continually thanking God about you, for the grace of God which you have been given in Christ Jesus;

5 in him you have been richly endowed in every kind of utterance and knowledge;

6 so firmly has witness to Christ taken root in you.

7 And so you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed;

8 he will continue to give you strength till the very end, so that you will be irreproachable on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 You can rely on God, who has called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

10 Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to have factions among yourselves but all to be in agreement in what you profess; so that you are perfectly united in your beliefs and judgements.

11 From what Chloe’s people have been telling me about you, brothers, it is clear that there are serious differences among you.

12 What I mean is this: every one of you is declaring, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to Christ.’

13 Has Christ been split up? Was it Paul that was crucified for you, or was it in Paul’s name that you were baptised?

14 I am thankful I did not baptise any of you, except Crispus and Gaius,

15 so that no one can say that you were baptised in my name.

16 Yes, I did baptise the family of Stephanas, too; but besides these I do not think I baptised anyone.

17 After all, Christ sent me not to baptise, but to preach the gospel; and not by means of wisdom of language, wise words which would make the cross of Christ pointless.

18 The message of the cross is folly for those who are on the way to ruin, but for those of us who are on the road to salvation it is the power of God.

19 As scripture says: I am going to destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of any who understand.

20 Where are the philosophers? Where are the experts? And where are the debaters of this age? Do you not see how God has shown up human wisdom as folly?

21 Since in the wisdom of God the world was unable to recognise God through wisdom, it was God’s own pleasure to save believers through the folly of the gospel.

22 While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom,

23 we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness,

24 but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25 God’s folly is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by human standards, not many influential, not many from noble families.

27 No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong,

28 those who by human standards are common and contemptible — indeed those who count for nothing — to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something,

29 so that no human being might feel boastful before God.

30 It is by him that you exist in Christ Jesus, who for us was made wisdom from God, and saving justice and holiness and redemption.

31 As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast of the Lord.

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