2 Corinthians 4 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
Light out of Darkness
4 For this reason, since we have this work entrusted to us in accordance with the mercy we have received, we don’t lose heart. 2 On the contrary, we have renounced the secret things that make people ashamed. We don’t use tricks; we don’t falsify God’s word. Rather, we speak the truth openly, and recommend ourselves to everybody’s conscience in the presence of God.
3 However, if our gospel still remains ‘veiled’, it is veiled for people who are perishing. 4 What’s happening there is that the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they won’t see the light of the gospel of the glory of the Messiah, who is God’s image. 5 We don’t proclaim ourselves, you see, but Jesus the Messiah as Lord, and ourselves as your servants because of Jesus; 6 because the God who said ‘let light shine out of darkness’ has shone in our hearts, to produce the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus the Messiah.
Treasure in Earthenware Pots
7 But we have this treasure in earthenware pots, so that the extraordinary quality of the power may belong to God, not to us. 8 We are under all kinds of pressure, but we are not crushed completely; we are at a loss, but not at our wits’ end; 9 we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are cast down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the deadness of Jesus about in the body, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our body. 11 Although we are still alive, you see, we are always being given over to death because of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal humanity. 12 So this is how it is: death is at work in us – but life in you!
The God of All Comfort
13 We have the same spirit of faith as you see in what is written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke.’ We too believe, and so we speak, 14 because we know that the God who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us with Jesus and present us with you. 15 It’s all because of you, you see! The aim is that, as grace abounds through the thanksgiving of more and more people, it will overflow to God’s glory.
16 For this reason we don’t lose heart. Even if our outer humanity is decaying, our inner humanity is being renewed day by day. 17 This slight momentary trouble of ours is working to produce a weight of glory, passing and surpassing everything, lasting for ever; 18 for we don’t look at the things that can be seen, but at the things that can’t be seen. After all, the things you can see are here today and gone tomorrow; but the things you can’t see are everlasting.
2 Corinthians 4 New International Version (NIV)
Present Weakness and Resurrection Life
4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, 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.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.