February 19, 1989
Throughout his ministry, the apostle Paul was surrounded by false teachers and spiritually blind listeners—men and women who professed outward faith but were secretly fickle, faithless, or outright false. In contrast, Paul himself was dedicated to “setting forth the truth plainly.” In this sermon, Alistair Begg takes us through Paul’s defense of his God-centered approach to ministry in 2 Corinthians 4, which points us to the importance of focusing not on ourselves but on the transformative power of Christ’s death and resurrection.
1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,1 we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice2 cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants3 for Jesus' sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.