|2 Corinthians 4:1--4 |
1 Therefore since we have this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart;
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking slyly, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by revealing the truth, we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the presence of God.
3 If our gospel is hidden, it is hidden only in those who are perishing. [Who is perishing? For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, 1 Cor 1:18; those are perishing who do not believe the true gospel and are not on the inward cross of self-denial. The true gospel is to become through repentance delivered and freed from the bondage of sin, (even the desire of sin), to attain union with God and Christ, and to be translated into the kingdom of God — all while on earth before physical death. This gospel is hidden in those who are lost and hidden from Christianity in general, and those in Christianity are perishing. Belief in the true gospel, the power of God to salvation, creates hope of attainment, which hope motivates you to bear the inward cross that leads to salvation.]
4 For the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine in them.