I’m currently trying to learn 2 Corinthians 4, because it’s ridiculous for me to believe that the Bible is truth and then not value it enough to want to commit passages of it to heart. I’m only about halfway (learning a verse a day so that I learn it properly) but decided today that it would be useful for me to re-write the chapter in my own words, with the hope that it would help me learn the meaning of the passage and not just the words of the passage.
2 Corinthians 4 (a re-write)
We are giving our everyday lives over to do as Jesus says, because we know of God’s mercy towards us, and because of this we don’t lose heart.
Rather, we have left behind all the things that bring shame – we do not manipulate or mess others around, but we declare God’s Word, scripture, to be the truth. We keep all we are in the open so that others can see what we are doing and make a judgement on it for themselves in the presence of God.
If our message is obscure, it is not, therefore, because we are holding it back. It is because those who don’t believe cannot see the life the gospel brings: the gospel displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
The message we want people to know is not about ourselves, it’s that Jesus Christ is Lord, and the only place we take within that is of servants for Jesus’ sake.
Our God said, ‘let light shine out of darkness’ and this is why he made light shine in our hearts. We have hearts of life because we know Christ is light – light of the knowledge of God’s glory, displaying in who Christ is.
When you look only at us, you see jars of clay, the unadorned clay pots of ordinary lives, and the treasure and light of the message we carry can sometimes be missed. But this means that when you do encounter the power and glory of God for yourself, it will be obvious to you that you have found an extraordinary treasure that has not come out of ordinary human brokenness, but that has been gifted to us.
We know that, as followers of Jesus, hardship is to be expected, but we also know we will be carried through it because the gospel holds power. Just as Jesus willingly suffered out of love for us, we are willing to suffer for his sake – for the treasure of grace, the love of God, is our only need. And, as we go through hard times, the light and life that the gospel gives is more evident to us and to you. Jesus conquered death, which means that our hope of life both now and after death, is secure.
Our faith causes us to speak and share what we know. We believe in the One who raised Jesus up from the dead. The light, life and power of the gospel is something we want you to believe, so that you may receive the treasure of grace for yourself.
We will keep on going living for Jesus. Even though on the outside following Jesus may look foolish or strange, on the inside our faith is giving us new life, which means that we don’t live a single day without the unfolding grace of God. Whatever comes our way is nothing of importance compared with what is to come. The things we see now are here today but will be gone soon, and so we fix our eyes on the lasting treasure of grace that we know through Jesus’ death and resurrection.