2 Corinthians 4:1-6
2 Cor 4:1 (KJB)
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
Ministry - Service
We faint - Lose heart, be weary, or despondent
Paul continues the thought from chapter 3 where he states that being changed from the temporary glory to the permanent glory and by it he has received the mercy of God, which is the salvation of God. As Paul received the ministry, he was now ministering to those in Corinth, even though there were those who were opposing him. He states in light of this opposition, he was not losing heart or becoming despondent. This is because his strength was in the Lord and not in the ministry itself. Anytime you receive a ministry from the Lord and you do that ministry, you are going to face opposition, and many times that opposition may come from close friends or family. (Mat 10:36 KJV) And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. So never expect to go into the true ministry and be void of opposition.
2 Cor 4:2 (KJB)
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.
Renounced - Disown
The hidden things - Secret or concealed
Of dishonesty - Shame or disgrace
Walking - Live or conduct oneself
Craftiness - Trickery or shrewdness
Handling deceitfully - adulterate or corrupt
By manifestation - Disclosure or reveal
Commending - Recommend
In the sight - Before or in the presence of
Instead of becoming weary with the opposition, Paul knew exactly how to deal with it. There is a great principle here. One can never do anything against the truth, for truth always remains truth, therefore Paul, instead of being weary of the opposition, had instead, confronted it with truth. (2 Cor 13:8 KJV) For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Paul had completely rejected the idea of holding anything in secret which would be of a dishonest nature. This is what the false teachers did, especially with their hidden agendas. Paul never lived his life with any type of trickery as he was always up front with the Corinthians. He had lived his live always manifesting the truth and as a result he was able, in all honesty, to recommend himself to every manís conscience as he lived his life in the presence of the Lord. This is something that every believer must realize, that our lives are an open book unto the Lord, even if they may be private to the rest of the world. The unbeliever thinks that they are totally hidden and that no one knows their agenda. (Isa 29:15 KJV) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? The Lord knows every thought they think and every plan they desire to execute. No one can hide their agenda from the Lord even though it is hidden to the ones the false teachers are desiring to deceive.
2 Cor 4:3 (KJB)
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
Hid - Covered or concealed
Lost - Those who are perishing
Paul never held back on declaring the full counsel of God to any of his churches. (Acts 20:27 KJV) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. The reason that the unbelievers could not understand the gospel was because they were unbelievers. Those in Corinth who were the false teachers were also unsaved, so they would not be able to understand the gospel or even understand the ways of Paul in dealing with the church. The true believer would understand and not make any problems for Paul but because the false teachers were unsaved, making them the spiritual enemy, they would accuse Paul to try and discredit him desiring to take his place.
2 Cor 4:4 (KJB)
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.
Shine - Illumination
Here is a very pivotal verse teaching us that the reason that the unbeliever does not understand the Gospel is because they have been blinded to it by Satan. Not only has Satan blinded the unbeliever to the true Gospel, he has successfully filled that belief void with one of his own inventions. For example, a person who is void of the Gospel can be filled with the belief in evolution. A person who is void of the Gospel can be filled with the belief in religion. A person who is void of the Gospel can be filled with belief in the occult. This is why it is basically futile to debate an unbeliever in any field because they will not have the ability to understand until or unless God saves them. Then, and only then, will they be able to understand. We must also realize that Satan is not omnipresent and cannot be everywhere, so he does not personally blind every unbeliever in the world. Instead, he sets up false systems of religion, or science and then finds someone, like Darwin, who he can deceive and then the wheels are set in motion. Today, millions believe in evolution just because of one man. Look at Islam which has over one billion followers based upon the book of one man. Satan need not be all over, all he has to do is start a religion and it will keep millions blinded and will continually gain adherents. The only way anyone can be freed from these satanic systems, is to become saved and then the glorious light of the gospel will show through, revealing the errors in the system the person was just saved from. So do not be angered when you come upon someone who is unsaved and gives you a hard time for bringing the gospel. It is because they are dead and do not understand and will not unless they become saved. (Eph 4:18 KJV) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
2 Cor 4:5 (KJB)
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
Preach - Proclaim
The false teachers at Corinth were always promoting themselves. We hear preachers in modern times doing the same things. Paul was stating in no uncertain terms that he and his group were not proclaiming themselves as being somebody great. Paul came with the message of the Lord Jesus Christ and he did not only preach that, he proclaimed that for the sake of the Corinthians, he was their slave. Paul had not waned in his message concerning the Gospel. The center of his message was always the Lord Jesus Christ and that must be the center of our message too.
2 Cor 4:6 (KJB)
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.
(Rev 18:4 KJV) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Revelation 18:4 gives us the scenario of God calling His people out of the world to become saved. Those who are still in bondage to the world are still blinded to the true Gospel. Paul states here that God commanded the light of the Gospel to shine out of darkness. That is, Paul states that as Saul he was in bondage to the world system but when he became saved, the light of the gospel had shined out of the darkness and had shined in his heart, thus saving him and removing the blindness which Satan had caused to fall upon his eyes through the false religion of Judaism. Just as the receiving of the law on Mt. Sinai had caused the face of Moses to shine, the metaphor is that the face of the Lord Jesus had reflected the glory of God giving His children the true knowledge known as the light. Light always displaces darkness and the light of the true Gospel does just that. Whenever a person becomes saved, it does not matter what bondage they were in before, the Gospel can save a person out of it. (Mat 24:24 KJV) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Those who are the Elect, before they become saved, will be able to be deceived by religious and scientific systems but none of Godís Elect can become so deceived in darkness that the light of the Gospel cannot break through and save them. God has promised to save all His Elect and therefore no system on earth can hold them when God tells them to come forth out of the world system and into His kingdom of light. (2 Cor 6:17 KJV) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,