This morning I moved into II Corinthians 4:1-7. As I read through the section a few times, seeking to understand the general picture, I was first drawn to this verse:
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.
What stood out first was the phrase, “has shone in our hearts”. Once again, I could see what gives so many Christians a lot of trouble. God wants to do his work “in our hearts”, and our self-protection wants to keep him out of there because the things in there already hurt too much.
This tells me that, in order to experience the work God’s Book describes, we need to expect a messy season, short or long (easy way or hard way), as God uses everything from heart-burn to heart-attack to make his way into our hearts.
Why would he do that?
Because his love knows that seeing “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” will feel much better inside us than whatever the sark is hiding out of shame, guilt, and fear.
Then, I was drawn to how Paul began the paragraph:
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.
Any time we read a “therefore” we must find out what it is there for! So, I read the previous chapter and was reminded that Paul was giving a familiar contrast between the law and the Spirit, similar to Romans 7 and 8. This included the contrast between the veil that remained when the law of Moses was read, and how “when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”
So then, Paul writes,
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
This tells us that our “being transformed into the same image (as Jesus Christ) from one degree of glory to another,” comes because “we all, with unveiled face,” are “beholding the glory of the Lord.”
Isn’t it interesting that our constant transformation into Christlikeness comes from beholding the glory of Jesus Christ with unveiled face, and our final glorification will come when we see Jesus as he is!
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Our transformation, both now and then, comes by looking into the face of Jesus Christ our Savior, and “beholding the glory of the Lord”.
So, right now, we must behold the glory of the Lord with “unveiled face,” meaning, through the Spirit, not the law, in order to grow up in Christ, knowing that one day we shall finally see Jesus “as he is,” and then “we shall be like him”.
Which brings us back to what Paul said as he moved into his next thought, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”
It is the ministry of the Spirit that is received “by the mercy of God,” so that “we do not lose heart” as we share the “word of the cross” with one another.
And that is what I need daily, a reason to not lose heart. Of course, that requires me to repent of the self-protection that guards my heart against God and his people, and welcome by faith what God wants to shine “in our hearts”, which is, “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The question is obvious: Why would we want to protect ourselves against that?
© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)
 II Corinthians 4:6
 I was thinking metaphorically here, but I suppose he could use physical symptoms as well as emotional, psychological, and spiritual ones.
 The “flesh”.
 II Corinthians 4:1
 II Corinthians 3:16
 II Corinthians 3:18
 I John 3:2
 II Corinthians 4:1
 I Corinthians 1:18