II Corinthians 4:1-18
According to Paul to what class is the gospel hid? (3) Why?
Who has blinded the minds of them which believe not? (4) What does this mean?
What light does the god of this world wish unbelievers not to behold? (4) Why?
Who is the image of God? (4)
Who was the subject of Paul’s preaching? (5) What is Paul saying?
In what relationship does Paul represent himself when he preaches Christ? (5)
When Paul preached Christ and represented himself as a servant for whose sake does he do this? (5)
God commanded the Light to shine in Creation, where else does God’s light shine according to Paul? (6)
When God’s light shines in the hearts of man what light is given? (6) What does this mean?
2. Verses 7-15 What does the first word in verse seven a contrast to? (7)
Paul wrote he was “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” Why? (10)
Unto what are the living always delivered? (11)
In whose behalf are the living always delivered unto death? (11) How?
It is written in the Old Testament “I believe and therefore I have spoken.” Who also stated he believed and therefore spoke? (13)
What reason does Paul give for believing he as well as the Corinthians would be resurrected? (14)
3. Verses 16-18 According to Paul, “the outward man perish” what is renewed day by day? (16)
What worked a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory for Paul? (17)
Contrast things seen and unseen. (18) Which does Paul give the more consideration, things seen or unseen?
1. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
2. What is your attitude when you encounter afflictions?
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore having this ministry - Spoken of, 2Co_3:6. As we have received mercy - Have been mercifully supported in all our trials. We faint not - We desist not in any degree from our glorious enterprise.
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced - Set at open defiance. The hidden things of shame - All things which men need to hide, or to be ashamed of. Not walking in craftiness - Using no disguise, subtlety, guile. Nor privily corrupting the pure word of God - By any additions or alterations, or by attempting to accommodate it to the taste of the hearers.
2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel also - As well as the law of Moses.
2 Corinthians 4:4 The God of this world - What a sublime and horrible description of Satan! He is indeed the god of all that believe not, and works in them with inconceivable energy. Hath blinded - Not only veiled, the eye of their understanding. Illumination - Is properly the reflection or propagation of light, from those who are already enlightened, to others. Who is the image of God - Hence also we may understand how great is the glory of Christ. He that sees the Son, sees the Father in the face of Christ. The Son exactly exhibits the Father to us.
2 Corinthians 4:5 For - The fault is not in us, neither in the doctrine they hear from us. We preach not ourselves - As able either to enlighten, or pardon, or sanctify you. But Jesus Christ - As your only wisdom, righteousness, sanctification. And ourselves your servants - Ready to do the meanest offices. For Jesus' sake - Not for honour, interest, or pleasure.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God hath shined in our hearts - The hearts of all those whom the god of this world no longer blinds. God who is himself our light; not only the author of light, but also the fountain of it. To enlighten us with the knowledge of the glory of God - Of his glorious love, and of his glorious image. In the face of Jesus Christ - Which reflects his glory in another manner than the face of Moses did.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we - Not only the apostles, but all true believers. Have this treasure - Of divine light, love, glory. In earthen vessels - In frail, feeble, perishing bodies. He proceeds to show, that afflictions, yea, death itself, are so far from hindering the ministration of the Spirit, that they even further it, sharpen the ministers, and increase the fruit. That the excellence of the power, which works these in us, may undeniably appear to be of God.
2 Corinthians 4:8 We are troubled, &c. - The four articles in this verse respect inward, the four in the next outward, afflictions. In each clause the former part shows the "earthen vessels;" the latter, "the excellence of the power." Not crushed - Not swallowed up in care and anxiety. Perplexed - What course to take, but never despairing of his power and love to carry us through.
**2 Corinthians 4:9 Persecuted - Often persecuted, persecuted in all places. The Book of Acts shows how true this was. But not forsaken - Not deserted; nor left by God Though persecuted by people, yet they experi enced the fulfillment of the divine promise that he would never leave nor forsake them. God always interposed to aid them; always saved them from the power of their enemies; always sustained them in the time of persecution. It is still true. His people have been often persecuted. Yet God has often interposed to save them from the hands of their enemies; and where he has not saved them from their hands, and preserved their lives, yet he has never left them, but has sustained, upheld, and comforted them even in the dreadful agonies of death. Cast down - Thrown down by our enemies, perhaps in allusion to the contests of wrestlers, or of gladiators. But not destroyed - Not killed. They rose again; they recovered their strength; they were prepared for new conflicts. They surmounted every difficulty, and were ready to engage in new strifes, and to meet new trials and persecutions.
2 Corinthians 4:10 Always - Wherever we go. Bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus - Continually expecting to lay down our lives like him. That the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body - That we may also rise and be glorified like him.
***2 Corinthians 4:11 For we which live - And yet, although we are preserved alive, we are in such continual dangers that we carry our life in our hands, and are constantly in the spirit of sacrifice. But the life - the preserving power, of Christ is manifest in our continual support.
***2 Corinthians 4:12 Death worketh in us, etc. - We apostles are in continual danger, and live a dying life; while you who have received this Gospel from us are in no danger.
***2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith - As David had when he wrote Psa_116:10 : I believed, therefore have I spoken: we also believe that we shall receive the fulfillment of all God’s promises; and being fully convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, we speak and testify that our deliverance is from God; and that he does not fail those who trust in him, and that he saves to the uttermost them who come unto him through Christ Jesus.
***2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord, etc. - And though we shall at last seal this truth with our blood, we fear not, being persuaded that as the body of Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the Father, so shall our bodies be raised, and that we shall have an eternal life with him in glory.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things - Whether adverse or prosperous. Are for your sakes - For the profit of all that believe, as well as all that preach. That the overflowing grace - Which continues you alive both in soul and body. Might abound yet more through the thanksgiving of many - For thanksgiving invites more: abundant grace.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore - Because of this grace, we faint not. The outward man - The body. The inward man - The soul.
2 Corinthians 4:17 Our light affliction - The beauty and sublimity of St. Paul's expressions here, as descriptive of heavenly glory, opposed to temporal afflictions, surpass all imagination, and cannot be preserved in any translation or paraphrase, which after all must sink infinitely below the astonishing original.
2 Corinthians 4:18 The things that are seen - Men, money, things of earth. The things that are not seen - God, grace, heaven.
* Gills Commentaries ** Barnes Commentaries *** Clarke’s Commentaries
All others by Wesley