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2 Corinthians 4

SUMMARY.--Paul's Sincerity and Earnestness in the Ministry. The Eyes of Some Blinded by the God of the World. Troubles and Persecution Redound to the Glory of God. Paul's Sufferings for the Gospel's Sake. Exposed to Death in Order to Carry Life. The Present Affliction Working Glory. The Unseen Things Eternal.

      10-12. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus. Always bearing sufferings and danger of death, as the Lord died, so that we may carry the life which the Lord gives to others. In constant suffering and peril of death the apostle was the messenger of life. 11. For we which live are always delivered unto death. This verse more fully explains the meaning of verse 10 . The ministers of the gospel were always exposed to death, and at their cost bore the precious charge of life to men. 12. Death working in us. The ever present image of death, threatening the gospel ministers, was the means of life to the saved.

      13-15. We having the same spirit of faith. Yet in spite of all the sufferings and peril described, we preach right on. Like the psalmist ( Ps. 116:10 ) we are moved by the power of faith; we also believe, therefore we speak. 14. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus. Assured that we shall all be raised and stand together before the Lord, we preach. This is our faith. If we die for Christ God will raise us. 15. For all things are for your sakes. Our suffering, our dying daily, and the glorious hope, and the result of these things is that the thanksgiving of multitudes of the saved should redound to the glory of God.

      16-18. For which cause. Moved by faith, hope, the love of souls and desire for the glory of God, we faint not; do not for a moment give way and relax our efforts. Though our outward man perish. Though our body waste away under the trials, or is threatened with death. Yet the inward man. His spiritual strength is constantly renewed by Christ. The "inward man" is the immaterial nature in contrast with the material body. See Rom. 7:22 and Eph. 3:16 Rom. 7:22 and Eph. 3:16 . 17. For our light affliction. Great as his afflictions were, he calls them light in view of the glorious reward they will bring; continual as they were, he speaks of them as but for a moment in view of eternity. They were the more easily borne for they work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Bearing the cross weaves an eternal crown. Sorrows endured for Christ's sake prepare for eternal joys. 18. While we look not at things which are seen, but, etc. Our eyes are fixed on the unseen things beyond, the glory that the flesh cannot behold. Hence, we turn away from present afflictions as momentary, as belonging to the seen and the transient, and only regard them as adding to the weight of our unseen, eternal joys. Our goal is beyond. For the things which are seen are temporal. All material things, and all that the world values, are perishing. All things of sense shall pass away; Cæsar's greatness, the might of Roman power, the strength of man, the glory of the magnificence of Corinth; even the visible heavens and the earth. But the unseen things are eternal. The things which the senses see not, but which faith reveals--God, heaven, the unseen spirit. Let the eye be turned upon the unseen, rather than the things of sense.

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