On 30 June 2019 a guest preacher to CCU, John Mason, preached a sermon on 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (the NIV passage below). John’s keywords for this passage were: ‘light shining in darkness’. The author of the Corinthians passage uses an important Old Testament quotation that influences the meaning of this New Testament section.
In your pairs/triplets use the Quotation tool to examine verses 4 to 6. How does using this Old Testament quote in the context of New Testament salvation change the importance with which you view salvation?
Then use the Timeline tool and see if this tool adds to your understanding of who God and Jesus are. See if it helps you understand how the original New Testament audience would have viewed God and Jesus.
You will notice that the passage appears twice below. The first one is the New International Version. The second is the English Standard Version. Remember that your Translations tool is helpful when doing a close study of the Bible. See if this tool helps you understand the passage below better, especially the section in v4 ‘the god of this age’ (NIV) / ‘the god of this world’ (ESV).
To continue: The next pair/triplet post for digging deeper into the Bible will be next month. Over the next few weeks until then continue getting together in your pairs/triplets. When you do, apply some of the tools you have learnt to other passages you hear preached about.
2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (NIVUK)
4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 4:6 Gen. 1:3
2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (ESVUK)
4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practise cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[b] for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.