2 Corinthians 4:1-2 ESV
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice 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.”
We have all been given the ministry of reconciliation if, indeed, we are truly born again of God by God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ, and thus we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him to be lived for his praise and glory.
And to reconcile means to change and to exchange. And it has to do with us, by God’s grace, being changed (transformed) of the Spirit of God via dying with him to sin, via being reborn of his Spirit, and now being given new lives in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
So, this has to do with us changing from being enemies of God to now being in intimate fellowship with him. We were turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, by God’s Spirit, so that we could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus.
And now, by God’s grace, we share his message of reconciliation with the world around us so that they can also be reconciled to God, by his grace, through God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ. For, they, too, can be turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.
Therefore, we don’t teach what is false. We don’t twist the Scriptures to our advantage to appease human flesh and to pacify people in their sin. We don’t dilute the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world so that the world will not be offended by our gospel, either.
Instead, by God’s grace, and in his strength, we teach what is true to the best of our understanding. And we make it our practice to teach the Scriptures in their proper context so that we don’t mishandle the word of truth, and so that we present the truth plainly so that all can understand.
For, the goal of what we share from God’s Word is to show the way to release from our bondage to sin and to new lives in Christ Jesus which are to be lived for his praise and glory. And it is to encourage the body of Christ in their walks of obedient faith in Jesus Christ, too. All for the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ESV
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In 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.”
If something is veiled, it is masked, cloaked, disguised, concealed, obscured or hidden. We don’t hide the truth from people, or certainly we should not, but to those who are perishing in their sins, it is hidden. They don’t see it. They don’t comprehend it, for they are blinded to the truth.
For, Satan has blinded their minds so that they don’t see the light of the gospel for what it is. But a very sad reality about all of this is that many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are among those whose minds are blinded so that they cannot (or will not) see the truth.
And many of them know the truth. Many of them have professed faith in Jesus Christ for many years, and they have read their Bibles, and they have heard the Word of God preached at a time when the truth was still being preached (and still is, in some cases).
But they have seared their own consciences through rejecting Jesus Christ’s words to them, by ignoring the truth they know, and by going their own way, instead, doing the very things they know to be wrong while resisting God’s Spirit by refusing to do what they know is right.
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 ESV
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For 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.”
If we are teaching the truth of the gospel of our salvation to others, it is not for our own glory, but for the glory of God. In fact, we will not have a huge following. We will not be voted most popular. And people will not be getting in line to be our best friends, either.
We may or may not have a few encouragers, from time to time, and we can’t do what we do for the accolades of other humans, either. For those who take God seriously, who take his word to heart, and who are teaching the whole counsel of God, their path is usually a lonely road.
For what is popular is to feed people lies that make them feel good about themselves in their sin. What is popular is to tell people that they don’t have to surrender their lives to Jesus, that they don’t have to obey the Lord, and that they don’t have to forsake their sinful lifestyles.
It is not popular to tell people that they must forsake their sins, that they must die with Christ to sin, and that now they must live to Christ and to his righteousness, and they must walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to their flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
So, if we are going to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we may need to be prepared to be hated, rejected, abandoned, ignored, falsely accused, gossiped about, ostracized, and kicked out of “church” fellowships, too, for being people of “strong convictions.”
But we do what we do out of love and obedience to our Lord and out of love and concern for our fellow humans, and for those who claim to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. So, we let the light of the gospel shine forth so that people can have their blinded eyes opened to the truth.
For, we are not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, for this is the desire of God’s heart, and his heart and his desires are now to be ours. So, we share the truth of the gospel so that people will be released from their chains of sin and walk in fellowship with Jesus Christ in freedom from sin and in purity of devotion to him.
The Lord’s Anointed
An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.
They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.
I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.