2 Corinthians 4:12

12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

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2 Corinthians 4:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
ESV
12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
NLT
12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
MSG
12 While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!
CSB
12 So death works in us, but life in you.

2 Corinthians 4:12 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 4:12

So then death worketh in us
This is the conclusion of the foregoing account, or the inference deduced from it; either the death, or dying of Christ, that is, the sufferings of his body, the church, for his sake, (energeitai) , "is wrought in us"; fulfilled and perfected in us; see ( Colossians 1:24 ) or rather a corporeal death has seized upon us; the seeds of death are in us; our flesh, our bodies are mortal, dying off apace; death has already attacked us, is working on our constitutions gradually, and unpinning our tabernacles, which in a short time will be wholly took down and laid in the dust:

but life in you.
Some understand these words as spoken ironically, like those in ( 1 Corinthians 4:8 1 Corinthians 4:9 ) but the apostle seems not to be speaking in such a strain, but in the most serious manner, and about things solemn and awful; and his meaning is, ours is the sorrow, the trouble, the affliction, and death itself, yours is the gain, the joy, the pleasure, and life; what we get by preaching the Gospel are reproach, persecution, and death; but this Gospel we preach at such expense is the savour of life unto life to you, and is the means of maintaining spiritual life in your souls, and of nourishing you up unto eternal life; and which is no small encouragement to us to go on in our work with boldness and cheerfulness: or these words regard the different state and condition of the apostle, and other ministers, and of the Corinthians; the one were in adversity, and the other in prosperity.

2 Corinthians 4:12 In-Context

10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

Cross References 1

  • 1. 2 Corinthians 13:9
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