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Treasure in Clay Jars

Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown to us, we do not get discouraged. Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not use trickery or pervert God’s word. By clear statements of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience before God.

So if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are dying.[a] In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of the Messiah,[b] who is the image of God.

For we do not preach ourselves, but rather Jesus the Messiah[c] as Lord, and ourselves as merely your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[d] has shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus[e] the Messiah.[f]

But we have this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power comes from God and not from us. In every way we’re troubled but not crushed, frustrated but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. 10 We are always carrying around the death of Jesus in our bodies, so that the life of Jesus may be clearly shown in our bodies. 11 While we are alive, we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be clearly shown in our mortal bodies. 12 And so death is at work in us, but life is at work[g] in you.

13 Now since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with this Scripture: “I believed, and so I spoke,”[h] we also believe and therefore speak. 14 We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to God[i] together with you. 15 All this is for your sake so that, as his grace spreads, more and more people will give thanks and glorify God.

Life in an Earthly Tent

16 That’s why we are not discouraged. No, even if outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are being renewed each and every day. 17 This light, temporary nature of our suffering is producing for us an everlasting weight of glory, far beyond any comparison, 18 because we do not look for things that can be seen but for things that cannot be seen. For things that can be seen are temporary, but things that cannot be seen are eternal.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:3 Or being destroyed
  2. 2 Corinthians 4:4 Or Christ
  3. 2 Corinthians 4:5 Or Christ
  4. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Gen 1:3
  5. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Other mss. lack Jesus
  6. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Or Christ; other mss. read of the Messiah Jesus
  7. 2 Corinthians 4:12 The Gk. lacks is at work
  8. 2 Corinthians 4:13 Ps 116:10
  9. 2 Corinthians 4:14 The Gk. lacks to God

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