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Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Corinthians Chapter 4 

he 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)

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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

 


David Burnette's Life Application

Politically Correct

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 2nd Corinthians with Chapter 4 and in our text we see Paul counseling the Church on faithfulness, stewardship, and pride as we are to manage our Christian life. In making application we see that we are speak out on sin but we are not to be competitive in righteousness with the body of Christ. We are all sinners and not to judge our lives verses others in a spirit of Pride but we are to lovingly speak out on sin. Today we see the same as many think they need to be politically correct ignoring sin in our world while others take a prideful competitive stand within the body of Christ, both of which are wrong. How about you? Do you speak out on sin in your community when it not politically correct? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of Paul that as a body we are not judge one another but rather to be bold and lovingly speak out on sin, sharing the only hope to be delivered from the chains of sin, the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ.

 

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2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 4

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

 2But 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.

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

 4In 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.

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

 6For 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.

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

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

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

 10Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

 11For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

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

 13We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

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

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

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

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

 18While 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.