2 Corinthians 4
New International Reader's Version
A Treasure in Clay Jars
4 So because of God’s mercy, we have work to do. He has given it to us. And we don’t give up. 2 Instead, we have given up doing secret and shameful things. We don’t twist God’s word. In fact, we do just the opposite. We present the truth plainly. In the sight of God, we make our appeal to everyone’s sense of what is right and wrong. 3 Suppose our good news is covered with a veil. Then it is veiled to those who are dying. 4 The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They can’t see the light of the good news that makes Christ’s glory clear. Christ is the likeness of God. 5 The message we preach is not about ourselves. Our message is about Jesus Christ. We say that he is Lord. And we say that we serve you because of Jesus. 6 God said, “Let light shine out of darkness.” (Genesis 1:3) He made his light shine in our hearts. His light gives us the light to know God’s glory. His glory is shown in the face of Christ.
7 Treasure is kept in clay jars. In the same way, we have the treasure of the good news in these earthly bodies of ours. That shows that the mighty power of the good news comes from God. It doesn’t come from us. 8 We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn’t make us lose hope. 9 Others make us suffer. But God does not desert us. We are knocked down. But we are not knocked out. 10 We always carry around the death of Jesus in our bodies. In that way, the life of Jesus can be shown in our bodies. 11 We who are alive are always in danger of death because we are serving Jesus. This happens so that his life can also be shown in our earthly bodies. 12 Death is at work in us. But life is at work in you.
13 It is written, “I believed, and so I have spoken.” (Psalm 116:10) We have that same spirit of faith. So we also believe and speak. 14 We know that God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead. And he will also raise us up with Jesus. And he will present both you and us to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit. God’s grace is reaching more and more people. So they will become more and more thankful. They will give glory to God.
16 We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day. 17 Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. 18 So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4
New International Version
Present Weakness and Resurrection Life
4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy(A) we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.(B) 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;(C) we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.(D) On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience(E) in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel(F) is veiled,(G) it is veiled to those who are perishing.(H) 4 The god(I) of this age(J) has blinded(K) the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ,(L) who is the image of God.(M) 5 For what we preach is not ourselves,(N) but Jesus Christ as Lord,(O) and ourselves as your servants(P) for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a](Q) made his light shine in our hearts(R) to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.(S)
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay(T) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God(U) and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side,(V) but not crushed; perplexed,(W) but not in despair; 9 persecuted,(X) but not abandoned;(Y) struck down, but not destroyed.(Z) 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,(AA) so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.(AB) 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,(AC) 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.(AD)
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b](AE) Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith,(AF) we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead(AG) will also raise us with Jesus(AH) and present us with you to himself.(AI) 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving(AJ) to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart.(AK) Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly(AL) we are being renewed(AM) day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.(AN) 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,(AO) since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.