2 CORINTHIANS 4
We carry this treasure in vessels of clay
4 • 1 Since this is our ministry mercifully given to us, we do not weaken. 2 We refuse to stay with half-truths through fear; we do not behave with cunning or falsify the message of God but, manifesting the truth, we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.
3 In fact if the Gospel we proclaim remains obscure, it is obscure only for those who go to their own destruction. 4 The god of this world has blinded the minds of these unbelievers lest they see the radiance of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is God’s image. 5 It is not ourselves we preach, but Christ Jesus as Lord; and for Jesus’ sake we are your servants. 6 God who said, Let the light shine out of darkness, has also made the light shine in our hearts to radiate and to make known the Glory of God, as it shines in the face of Christ.
7 However, we carry this treasure in vessels of clay, so that this all-surpassing power may not be seen as ours but as God’s. 8 Trials of every sort come to us, but we are not discouraged. 9 We are left without answer, but do not despair; persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed. 10 At any moment we carry in our person the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in us. 11 For we, the living, are given up continually to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence. 12 And as death is at work in us, life comes to you.
13 We have received the same spirit of faith referred to in Scripture that says: I believed and so I spoke. We also believe and so we speak. 14 We know that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us, with you, into his presence. 15 Finally, everything is for your good, so that grace will come more abundantly upon you and great will be the thanksgiving for the glory of God.
We long for our heavenly dwelling
• 16 Therefore we are not discouraged. On the contrary, while our outer being wastes away, the inner self is renewed from day to day. 17 The slight affliction that quickly passes away prepares us for an eternal wealth of glory so great and beyond all comparison. 18 So we no longer pay attention to the things that are seen, but to those that are unseen, for the things that we see last for a moment, but that which cannot be seen is eternal.
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