2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 4:1

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,

We received mercy. Mercy is one facet of God’s grace. It is his compassion and comfort for those in need (Heb. 4:16).

Just as God is rich in grace (Eph. 1:7, 2:7, Jas. 4:6), he is rich in mercy (Luke 1:58, Eph. 2:4, Jas. 5:11, 1 Pet. 1:3). He is the God of all grace (1 Pet. 5:10) and the Father of all mercies (2 Cor. 1:3).

See entry for Mercy.

2 Corinthians 4:2

but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

The word of God is the good news of Jesus. See entry for Acts 4:31.

2 Corinthians 4:5

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

(a) We do not preach ourselves. True preachers are servants who have no interest in empire building. Like Paul, they preach away from themselves by pointing people to Jesus.

(b) Christ Jesus as Lord. True preachers reveal Jesus as Lord of all. Jesus is not merely a teacher or historical figure. He is the exalted Son of God and his Name is above all names (Php. 2:9). Before the cross, Jesus was known as the Christ or anointed one. But after the cross, Jesus is the Lord or kyrios or “the One who is supreme above all.” Paul introduces the Lord Jesus Christ at the start of all his letters (see 2 Cor. 1:2), and he encourages his readers to confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9, Php. 2:12).

(c) Your bond-servants. In several of his letters Paul introduces himself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:1, Gal. 1:10, Tit. 1:1). This can lead to confusion among believers. Am I a son or servant of God? Paul had no confusion over his identity. He knew he was a dearly-loved child of God (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 3:26, 4:6). But just as the Son of God took the form of a bondservant (Php. 2:7), Paul saw himself as the son who served.

Further reading: “Son, servant, or friend of God?

2 Corinthians 4:6

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

The world can be a dark place, but God has given you a Light who is greater than the darkness. Jesus has overcome the world, conquered death, and there is no trial that unsettles him. Jesus smiles at every storm.

2 Corinthians 4:13

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,

Having the same spirit of faith… we also believe. If faith is the noun – the state of being persuaded that God loves you – then believing is the verb or activity that flows from that conviction (see entry for John 6:29). We do not believe to create faith. Rather, believing is the action that reveals our faith.

See entry for Faith.

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