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Preaching Series on 2 Corinthians (3 of 5)
2 Corinthians 4:1-18 Commentary
by Lois Malcolm
[This is Week 3 of a 5-week preaching series on 2 Corinthians.]
Preaching text: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18; accompanying text: Matt 5:13
Theme: Treasure in Clay Jars In the section immediately following this introductory narrative, Paul maintains that his ministry is not about letters of judgement -- whether they be letters of rebuke, the letters of recommendation the Corinthians are now demanding from Paul, or even the tablets of stone associated with Moses. Rather, it is a ministry of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 2:14-3:18). And where the Spirit is, there is the freedom that comes from “seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror” in Christ’s face and “being transformed into the same image” (3:18; 4:1-5).
Because his ministry is grounded in God’s mercy -- not letters of judgment -- Paul’s commends himself. His life embodies an open manifestation of truth to everyone’s conscience before God. Yet he makes clear, “we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Christ ...
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