2 Corinthians 4: 1-9
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, 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 every man’s conscience in the sight of God…. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed. But not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
- How does the fact that we are who we are in Christ due to God’s mercy cause us not to lose heart? What impact does this have on our ability to not need, “secret and shameful ways,” or to rely on deception?
- What does it mean to set forth the truth plainly so as to commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God? The ability to do this depends on what kind of trust?
- How does preaching Christ, not ourselves, facilitate such a transparent lifestyle?
- What does it look and feel like to have the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ shine in our hearts? How does this influence how we relate to others?
- How are we described in verse 7? What does it mean to be a jar of clay containing a transcendent treasure? How do we let Christ’s light shine out of a jar of clay?
- How do the contrasting realities of verses 8 and 9 enable others to see that the all surpassing power in our lives is from God?
- What difference would it make in your relationships to live such a trusting, transparent life?