2 Corinthians 4:1-2 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. KJV
Paul in the previous chapter referred to himself as a servant of the New Covenant made available to every sinner by Christ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead and he sees his primary duty to acclaim, announce, and annunciate this message everywhere on the earth. The motivation for Paul was the mercy or eleeo he received from the endless and rich treasure of mercy that is stored up in our Lord Jesus Christ. This English word mercy translated by the Greek word eleeo means for someone to have mercy on another or to help one afflicted or seeking aid or to bring help to the wretched. Paul once a blasphemer and persecutor of the Church of God has now dedicated his entire life to Jesus Christ and the proclamation of His Gospel all due to the exceeding mercy he was shown by our Lord Jesus Christ, as he declared with these words to brother Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:12-16).
Mercy is what each believer in Jesus Christ has received and it is because of such great mercy that Paul now declares that he and every one of us true believers must refuse to adulterate, corrupt, or debase the Word of God by adding things to it or by subtracting from the truth of it in order that we would gain or profit financially from doing so, as we are warned by the Apostle John in the last Book of the Bible (Revelation) and in its last chapter with these words, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19). Mercy received compels us to hold fast to the truth of this Book always, even when we are severely convicted and rebuked for our own personal sin when we open it and read we change it not to accommodate or to be agreeable or to be acceptable to our failures but we seek Christ and His Grace that we would repent and be turned back into the light of the gospel of Christ and His Word.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 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. KJV
It is the lost man or woman that has the light of the gospel of Christ covered up to them and it is the devil who has blinded or tuphloo their minds meaning to blunt, dull, or numb their mental discernment. Paul declares that the guilt and burden lifting light of Christ death on Calvary as a substitute or payment to God the Father for all their sins past, present, and future cannot be grasped by them (in their hearts). Their hearts remain in darkness without the light or illumination of Christ Spirit as we declared in the very last study that it is the heart or center of one’s spiritual life or inner man/woman that every sinner believes savingly unto salvation (Romans 10:10). True forgiveness can never come to anyone that merely believes “in God” or “in Christ” in an intellectual manner, for we must never forget what James wrote in his epistle or letter when he said, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19) and we know that they will never ever enter into heaven again, for they are destined for eternal punishment along with the devil in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10). It is the devil that keeps the light or illumination of the gospel from shinning forth or augazo meaning to beam upon their hearts or irradiate them with spiritual insight as a lamp or light would do when brought into a dark room.
2 Corinthians 5-6 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For 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. KJV
Paul declares that even though we are forgiven and new creatures “in Christ” we don’t herald or proclaim ourselves as something to be looked upon or admired, but it is Christ and Christ Jesus our Lord only we proclaim and herald and each one of us (even Paul) as Christ slave, subject, and servant. For we are not able by our words or even by our lives to grant the mental discernment, the illumination, or the enlightenment that the sinner’s heart or inner man/women needs to see Jesus as God and themselves as doomed, dead, and damned souls. However, the same Spirit of God that said, “‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Genesis 1:3) has done the exact same thing in every forgiven sinner’s dark heart through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is through our Lord Jesus Christ that we see the love of God, the grace of God, and the mercy of God each and every day we continue in our pilgrimage and sojourn on this earth as we travel toward our real home in heaven in our glorified bodies we will receive upon our arrival.
“The servant of Christ must never forget that he once needed and obtained mercy. This will sustain him in many an hour when heart and flesh fail. His weapon is the truth, his appeal to conscience. Others may vie with him in brilliant imagination, fervid enthusiasm, and intellectual force, but he has unrivaled supremacy in the realm of conscience.” F. B. Meyer
“They made it their business to preach Christ, and not themselves: We preach not ourselves. Self was not the matter nor the end of the apostles’ preaching: they did not give their own notions and private opinions, nor their passions and prejudices, for the word and will of God; nor did they seek themselves, to advance their own secular interest or glory. But they preached Christ Jesus the Lord; and thus it did become them and behoove them to do, as being Christ’s servants. Their business was to make their Master known to the world as the Messiah, or the Christ of God, and as Jesus, the only Savior of men, and as the rightful Lord, and to advance His honor and glory.” Matthew Henry
“It is perhaps a comparison that not many of us Christians ever contemplate but we should do so daily and that is that just as at the beginning of creation there was nothing but complete darkness so are our hearts dark and deceitful as Jeremiah describes in Jeremiah 17:9, but likewise as God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light, so has He said ‘Let there be light’ in you and me and there is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in each one of us who believes.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…