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Three conclusions in (v.1), Paul adds one more:
D. A faithful acknowledgement (vv.3,4) “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, shine on them.” Don’t miss this – “if our gospel is veiled…to those who are perishing. What was happening was this- the false teachers accused Paul of preaching an antiquated message. So Paul showed that the problem was not with the message or the messenger, but with the hearers headed to hell – because “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor.2:14)
In other words, the preacher cannot persuade people to believe; only God can do that. In this day of pragmatism and heresy we need to constantly ask this question:
Who is in charge of salvation, God or man?
As many ministers of our day admonish the sinner to…
“RECEIVE JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR.” they say:
• “Jesus has done His part, now you have to do yours!”
• “Jesus loves you and died for everybody!”
• “Making Jesus your Savior is a free will choice!”
• “Walk the aisle and take the gift that God is offering.”
What do all these statements have in common?
Are you ready for the answer?
They are all FALSE!
What says the BIBLE?
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12,13). The divine side of salvation: ultimately it is not a man’s will that produces salvation but God’s will. And so Paul makes a fair declaration, a firm affirmation, and a forceful announcement, and a faithful acknowledgement. We move now from the God called ministers’ conclusions to:
II.THE COMMITMENTS OF THE GOD CALLED MINISTER (2 Cor. 4:2)
A. His regeneration (v.2a), “we have renounced the hidden things of shame.” RENOUNCE means to “turn away from” or “repent,”and “ shame,” means “disgracefulness.” While the phrase “hidden things of shame” refers to secret sins – immoralities, hypocrisies and the sins hidden deep in the darkness of one’s unregenerate life. But at the time of salvation every believer repents and turns away from such sin and devotes his life to the pursuit of godliness and glorifying God. Verse two appears to be a reply by Paul to a direct accusation against him, that he was a hypocrite, whose mask of piety hid a corrupt and shameful life.
B. His sanctification (v.2b), “not walking in craftiness.” The word “walk” in the Greek means “to walk,” “to conduct one’s life.” Crafty, readiness to do anything.