2Co 4:1-4 “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 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. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 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.”
In the previous chapter of this letter, Paul talks about the glory of the ministration of death which is abolished and the glory of the ministration of life which remains beyond the ministration of death. It is to this ministry of life that Paul refers when he says here “seeing we have this ministry.” We should be found rejoicing in the Lord continually that He has called us and made us able to minister in His kingdom of grace according to His holy will.
We do not have this ministry because we are deserving of it. This ministry has not been left to us based on some good that abides in us. It has not been given to us as the result of our obedience. We have this ministry because we have received mercy from God through Jesus Christ, revealed in us by the power of the Holy Ghost. Seeing, or understanding, that we have this ministry by the mercy of God, we faint not.
By the power of His might, we are not overrun by the craftiness of men and the many perversions of the gospel that would honor and clarify the creature more than the Creator. By His mercy, we are able to renounce (disown) the ways of those who hide their selfish motivations under the cover of false righteousness and humility. We have been delivered from handling the word of God in a twisted and perverted manner.
God has enabled us, through the mind of Jesus Christ in us, to speak plainly the truth. He has manifested His power and truth in the Gospel by commending us to the godly conscience of everyone He has called to hear and obey His truth. Contrary to the philosophy of men, the truth of God is not subjective. What is true of God is true for every man. Even when we are not able to agree on that truth, it is our failure in understanding that is subjective, not God’s holy truth.
Through the Spirit, God manifests His truth in such a way that we can walk together to the praise of His glory. We are able to realize that any variance in understanding on our part is not due to ambiguity on the part of the God’s truth. Those who are touched by the truth of God seek to walk together with Him in love in spite of our possibly lack of understanding.
The gospel is truly hid when brethren will entreat each other with spite and evil intent. I do not believe Paul’s focus here was on those that are not of the family of God. The dead cannot be blinded because they have never had sight. The lost that Paul was dealing with here were blinded by the god of this world (age, time). They are blinded because God has not called them to see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ. They do not see that it is more necessary than the wealth, pleasure, and fame of this world.
If we truly have part of “this ministry” that Paul speaks about, we have it because God has granted it. This ministry is a light that shows both the depravity of man and the might love of God. It reveals us to be sinners and Christ to be our Saviour. We see in Him the image of God, and we know that is shines only in those called by God to see it.
May we live in wonder of His choosing rather than glorying in the depravity of man!