2 Corinthians
Chapter 4

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

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.

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.

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

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;

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

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

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

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

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.

Commentary for 2 Corinthians 4

The apostles laboured with much diligence, sincerity, and faithfulness. (1-7) Their sufferings for the gospel were great, yet with rich supports. (8-12) Prospects of eternal glory keep believers from fainting under troubles. (13-18)1-7 The best of men would faint, if they did not receive mercy from God. And that mercy which has helped us out, and helped us on, hitherto, we may rely upon to help us even to the end. The apostles had no base and wicked designs, covered with fair and specious pretences. They did not try to make their ministry serve a turn. Sincerity or uprightness will keep the favourable opinion of wise and good men. Christ by his gospel makes a glorious discovery to the minds of men. But the design of the devil is, to keep men in ignorance; and when he cannot keep the light of the gospel of Christ out of the world, he spares no pains to keep men from the gospel, or to set them against it. The rejection of the gospel is here traced to the wilful blindness and wickedness of the human heart. Self was not the matter or the end of the apostles' preaching; they preached Christ as Jesus, the Saviour and Deliverer, who saves to the uttermost all that come to God through him. Ministers are servants to the souls of men; they must avoid becoming servants to the humours or the lusts of men. It is pleasant to behold the sun in the firmament; but it is more pleasant and profitable for the gospel to shine in the heart. As light was the beginning of the first creation; so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is his first work upon the soul. The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels. The ministers of the gospel are subject to the same passions and weaknesses as other men. God could have sent angels to make known the glorious doctrine of the gospel, or could have sent the most admired sons of men to teach the nations, but he chose humbler, weaker vessels, that his power might be more glorified in upholding them, and in the blessed change wrought by their ministry.

8-12 The apostles were great sufferers, yet they met with wonderful support. Believers may be forsaken of their friends, as well as persecuted by enemies; but their God will never leave them nor forsake them. There may be fears within, as well as fightings without; yet we are not destroyed. The apostle speaks of their sufferings as a counterpart of the sufferings of Christ, that people might see the power of Christ's resurrection, and of grace in and from the living Jesus. In comparison with them, other Christians were, even at that time, in prosperous circumstances.

13-18 The grace of faith is an effectual remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death. Also, their sufferings were for the advantage of the church, and to God's glory. The sufferings of Christ's ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness was their support and comfort. What sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. The weight of all temporal afflictions was lightness itself, while the glory to come was a substance, weighty, and lasting beyond description. If the apostle could call his heavy and long-continued trials light, and but for a moment, what must our trifling difficulties be! Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 2 Corinthians 4

  • Billy Davis on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    The Man that walked the hill of Calvary and died to pay your sin debt FULL has a message for you.

    99.99% truth mixed with .001% lie is not the TRUTH that will MAKE you Free. According to the Hebrew Scriptures not the English Bible. Many are called few are chosen to understand what you are about to read. Here is how subtle and crafty your adversary really is. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any beast of the field which Father YAHweh had made. And he said to the woman; Has YAHweh indeed said: You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

    God is only a misleading TITLE not a name! Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound up the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name? And what is the Name of His Son? Tell me, if you know!

    "How can we know that Satan is the God of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)?" Answer: The phrase "God of this world" (or "god of this age") indicates that Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence also encompasses the world's philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and ALL the religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions.

    Satan is also called the "prince of the power of the air" in Ephesians 2:2. He is the "ruler of this world" in YAHchanan (John) 12:31. These titles and many more signify Satan's capabilities. To say, for example, that Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" is to signify that in some way he rules over the world and the people in it. This is not to say that he rules the world completely; Father YAHweh is still sovereign. But it does mean that Father YAHweh, in His infinite wisdom, has allowed Satan to operate in this world within the boundaries Father YAHweh has set for him. When the Scriptures says Satan has power over the world, we
  • Mishael - in Reply on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    When I'm alone, I address HIM

    as, MY Father !!!!!!!!!
  • Steven on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    This scripture says that the adversary (Satan) is the God of earth at this time in this last dispensation. The book of Revelation is when Jesus Christ returns with his armies and casts out and destroys the adversaries demons and the adversary. By removing him Satan from the throne, and cast out to the lake of fire. At that time Jesus takes upon the throne of and on the Earth.
  • Sheila Hedgepeth on 2 Corinthians 4:13
    can you please give me meaning in plan English of things not seen.is it faith?
  • Chris - in Reply on 2 Corinthians 4:13
    Sheila, I'm unsure whether you are referring to Hebrews 11:1:

    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

    This is one of the great descriptions of Faith in the Bible. To explain this: the words 'substance' & 'evidence' (in that verse) tell us about things we can physically see or can be proven without any doubt. So what you have around your home or with family members are all real & seeing them doesn't require any faith from you.

    What happens when you've planned to go on a holiday? The holiday hasn't happened yet, but you are hoping that nothing will stop you going. Is this faith? No, it's still only a hope. You could say, "I have faith that it will happen", but if there can be a possibility of it not happening, then it's what we say, is a misdirected faith. Then this awful virus starts up & all your plans are cancelled so you've lost all hope of going on holiday.

    That's what it's like on the Earth: we can hope for something but we really don't know for sure that it will happen for us. But, when the Bible speaks of Hebrews 11 Faith, we see that we can only use it when God gives His Promise for it to happen. So, if you believe that there is a God & a Heaven (both you can't see), then it means that your faith is based on God's Word & not on your sight. This is Real Faith as you believe according to His Word that His Word is sure. Some people also know about God but are uncertain about Him - no faith - no Heaven.

    Noah built a large boat. He may not have seen a flood from rain but still built a strange vessel that seemed of little value & purpose. But he demonstrated faith, because he believed God & trusted God that this vessel would somehow save these few people & animals & a flood would somehow cover the Earth & wipe out all left behind. I hope this explanation helps you understand that Faith is believing (as in, seeing) that something is there or will happen from God's Word, even when there's no evidence for it.
  • D W L - in Reply on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    Chris - Very well said and with a desire to help. Not trying to influence a church doctrine, just the WORD. I love it.

    Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
  • Invisible Demonic Beings - in Reply on 2 Corinthians 4:13
    Things not seen are the realm of the demonic. They have no physical bodies. They'll use any kind of person or live creature to hurt people.

    If your Bible has center of the page references (to like scripture of what you're reading) then use those in your study. The alphabet letters point to the other scriptures.

    Ephesians 6

    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    12 For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against (Invisible) principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

    15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

    16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

    "They hang around things that may be an idol". Get rid of anything that qualifies.

    Are you born again?

    Mishael
  • Warren on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    Hi Chris, this is revealing what kind of person I am but is necessary for an answere to my question, realizing that you might not be qualified as a human and not God, to know, but your opinion could be helpful to me. Can a misanthropic type person achieve salvation? Thanks, warren
  • Chris - in Reply on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    Hi again Warren, I believe a misanthrope can be saved, indeed Christ's salvation is available to all. We realize that when one repents of specific sins or even of a nature given to a propensity to do evil, then the Lord forgives, gives new birth by His Spirit, & power to overcome & live this new life. There will times of failing, as we all do because of still having to live in sinful flesh with the old Enemy knocking at our door, but the overwhelming desire of the believer is to be an overcomer & please the Lord in every area of our lives.

    1 John 4:20 gives a telling message: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" I realize that this isn't specifically directed to a misanthrope rather to a person who claims to be a believer & loving God, yet holds anger & hatred for another. However, the spirit behind that hatred is evident & which boils down to: 'one cannot claim to love God & hate another: the two emotions can't dwell together'. I realize that a misanthrope has a much deeper mental issue for him to feel that way (& maybe it has come about because of the circumstances that prevailed upon him), but God is in the business of dealing with hard cases & He can give a full healing that always accompanies His full salvation.
  • Stanjett - in Reply on 2 Corinthians 4:4
    John 3;16


 

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Bible Trivia

Paul says the things which are not seen are what?
  • Not there
  • Temporary
  • Not to be looked at
  • Eternal
  • Mysterious