Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
A Faithful Minister of the New Covenant
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
17 January 2016
Why is it that people reject the Gospel, or once professing believers deny it? In his letter to the Corinthian believers, Paul describes the traits of a faithful minister of the New Covenant, and conversely, the reason people reject Christ.
The resolve of a faithful minister (vs 1-2)
What is a faithful minister of the New Covenant? Firstly, a faithful minister is resolved to press on towards good, and shun evil (v. 1 - 2). Every genuine believer is a minister of the Gospel because "we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy" (v. 1). Those God saves, he appoints to the vocation of witnessing about Christ - what a great privilege! Paul writes that believers "do not lose heart" (v. 1) because of their eyes being set on this. What's more, genuine believers are resolved against evil; "by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience" (v. 2).
The response to a faithful minister’s message (vs 3-4)
What is the response to a faithful minister's message (v. 3 - 4)? When the Gospel message is preached, men will either repent and believe, or reject the message. Those who reject the Gospel when presented in purity do so not because of a lack of skill or rhetoric on the preacher's behalf, but because "the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving" (v. 4). The work of drawing sinners belongs to God; ours is to share it. Therefore, the Gospel is not in need of marketing; it is in dire need of proclamation.
The resignation of a faithful minister (vs 5-6)
The resignation of a faithful minister is to preach Christ as Lord, and nothing else (v. 5 - 6). Where there is true conversion, there is love for the Lord. Where there is love for the Lord, self-pride and achievements are counted worthless; for only Christ brings salvation. Opposed to the false convert, who may act religious for a while, a true minister of the Gospel is resigned to Christ, seeing it is he "who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God" (v. 6).