The Light of Christ’s Gospel

Therefore, since we have this ministry, (A)as we have received mercy, we (B)do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor [a]handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth (C)commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, (D)it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds (E)the god of this age (F)has blinded, who do not believe, lest (G)the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, (H)who is the image of God, should shine on them. (I)For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and (J)ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God (K)who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has (L)shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Cast Down but Unconquered

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, (M)that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are (N)hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not (O)forsaken; (P)struck down, but not destroyed— 10 (Q)always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, (R)that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live (S)are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.

13 And since we have (T)the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, (U)“I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that (V)He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For (W)all things are for your sakes, that (X)grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

Seeing the Invisible

16 Therefore we (Y)do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is (Z)being renewed day by day. 17 For (AA)our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 (AB)while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Assurance of the Resurrection

For we know that if (AC)our earthly [b]house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house (AD)not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this (AE)we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our [c]habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, (AF)having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, (AG)but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also (AH)has given us the Spirit as [d]a guarantee.

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For (AI)we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, (AJ)well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 (AK)For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, (AL)that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, (AM)the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

Be Reconciled to God

12 For (AN)we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity (AO)to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For (AP)if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that (AQ)if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, (AR)that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16 (AS)Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, (AT)yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone (AU)is in Christ, he is (AV)a new creation; (AW)old things have passed away; behold, all things have become (AX)new. 18 Now all things are of God, (AY)who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that (AZ)God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [e]imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are (BA)ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For (BB)He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become (BC)the righteousness of God in Him.

Marks of the Ministry

We then, as (BD)workers together with Him also (BE)plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:

(BF)“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

(BG)We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves (BH)as ministers of God: in much [f]patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, (BI)in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by [g]sincere love, (BJ)by the word of truth, by (BK)the power of God, by (BL)the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and (BM)yet well known; (BN)as dying, and behold we live; (BO)as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many (BP)rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Be Holy

11 O Corinthians! [h]We have spoken openly to you, (BQ)our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but (BR)you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (BS)(I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 (BT)Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For (BU)what [i]fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what [j]communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For (BV)you[k] are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

(BW)“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

(BX)“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I (BY)will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My (BZ)sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:2 adulterating the word of God
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:1 Physical body
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:2 dwelling
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:5 down payment, earnest
  5. 2 Corinthians 5:19 reckoning
  6. 2 Corinthians 6:4 endurance
  7. 2 Corinthians 6:6 Lit. unhypocritical
  8. 2 Corinthians 6:11 Lit. Our mouth is open
  9. 2 Corinthians 6:14 in common
  10. 2 Corinthians 6:14 fellowship
  11. 2 Corinthians 6:16 NU we