* 2 Corinthians Chapter Four

    * Can Christians Also Have a Veil Hiding the Gospel?

Bible Studies --2 Corinthians four

1 1 Therefore, since we have this ministry,
as we have received mercy,
we do not lose heart.


Paul, in the previous chapter described the glory of their ministry, which is not their own but the power of the Holy Spirit which transforms those who are intimately connected with Christ.
Knowing what Christ has done for him, and seeing lives being renewed and changed fills Paul with courage to press on in his ministry, even though, as later verses reveal, the going is tough!

A man can have no greater honor than to be accepted by God
as an able minister of the gospel. But those whom the Lord blesses with power and success in His work do not boast. They acknowledge their entire dependence on Him, realizing that of themselves they have no power. With Paul they say, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament." (3:5)

2But we 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.


What are the character traits of a true minister of the gospel?
--Honesty, not hiding disgraceful objectives or motives.
--Upright, not using cunning deception to gain one's end. No politicking
--Faithfully revealing the truths in scripture. Not adulterating God's Word to make it more pleasing for the carnal mentality.
--They preach truth and leave the work to the Holy Spirit to appeal "to every man's conscience in the sight of God."
3 But if our gospel be veiled, it is veiled to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.


The Gospel can also be "veiled", or hid even though it is preached with power!

What blinds the eyes of people?
The god of this world!

It is not God Who conceals His truth from men. By their own course of action they make it obscure to themselves. The Gospel of Christ shines forth as a glorious light! But people see that if they received Christ, they would have to give up their selfish, ungodly practices. It requires a turning away from the "gods of this world" to receive the changeless, eternal truth. Therefore they closed their eyes and hardened their hearts against Him. The temporal hope for wealth, honor and sensual pleasures blinds their eyes and for them the treasures of His Gospel are hidden.

John 3.19-20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Those who are wise in their own estimation, who have filled themselves with the goals and teachings of vain worldly philosophy and worldly reasoning, do not want to see their extreme need for a Savior, they cannot sense the priceless gift Christ came to offer, they do not comprehend the lifechanging beauty, power, and glorious light of the gospel. But to all those who are of a humble heart, who have a teachable, honest, childlike desire to know and do the will of their heavenly Father, His word is revealed as the power of God to their salvation.

Satan cannot hurt the gospel or rob it of its glory, but he can work to blind people by the things of this world so that Christ's glorious light never dawns in their souls. the light is all around them but they remain in darkness.

God wants to restore mankind into His own image (God created man in his own image, after his likeness) but mankind lost that image. Christ became man, yet is the image of God, that his grace may restore God's image in us.

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, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


The apostles are not in the "preaching" business for themselves, seeking worldly advantage or worldly applause.

Jesus Christ as LORD is their entire reason for preaching, they serve HIS interests alone.

They KNOW the LIGHT! For the very thing which they seek to accomplish in others they have experienced in their own hearts. The glorious light of Christ dispelled the darkness from their own lives.

In the former chapter the light of glory was merely reflected from Moses face, and fading, but now we have the glory on Jesus face, a glory that would never fade!

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


God could have sent sinless angels in dazzling glory to preach the gospel, but this is not His plan. He chooses human beings, finite men who first had to experience the power of the gospel in their own hearts and lives, as His messengers. Human beings are to testify of the glory of the gospel. Through them His glory is to shine forth into the darkness of sin. In loving ministry they are to meet the sinful and the needy, and lead them to the cross. And in all their work they are to ascribe glory, honor, and praise to Him who is above all and over all.
8 We are allicted in every way, yet not frustrated; we are perplexed, but not in despair,
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing something of the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
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 death is at work in us, but life in you.


Paul reminded his brethren that as Christ's messengers he and his fellow laborers were continually in peril. The hardships they endured were wearing away their strength. Just like the powers of evil worked to put Christ to death, so they are now seeking to put to death His messengers. Yet they do not fear those who seek to kill the body, for they KNOW Christ has given them life eternal, the glorious hope of the resurrection. That is the life they are preaching about! This was the spiritual life they were bringing to all who would believe in the gospel.
13 So we have the same spirit of faith according as it is written, "I believed, and therefore have I spoken", we also believe, and therefore speak;
Knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence."


Paul quotes from David,(Ps. 116:10) who was also stalked by death. WHAT WE BELIEVE...is the essense of FAITH!

Though in constant danger of martyrdom for the faith that he had preached to the Corinthians, he was not intimidated, for he knew that He who had died and risen again would raise him from the grave and present him to the Father.

14 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.


Not for self-aggrandizement did the apostles preach the gospel. It was the hope of saving souls that led them to devote their lives to this work. And it was this hope that kept them from ceasing their efforts because of threatened danger or actual suffering.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outward humanity is wasting away, yet the inward nature is being renewed every day.
17 For our afflictions are light and transitory and works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 Meanwhile our eyes are fixed, not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.


Amazingly, Paul calls all the life draining hardships nothing but "lightness".
This is understood by the comparison to the ETERNAL WEIGHT of glory. Paul's eyes were ever fastened on the unseen and eternal. Realizing that he was fighting against supernatural powers, seeking to halt the spread of the glorious gospel, he placed his dependence on God, whose servant he was, and in this lay his strength. The things of this earth are transient, fleeting, but the things of heaven are eternal and never pass away.