4:1 Therefore 1 seeing we have this ministry, as we have
received mercy, we a faint not;
(1) Now he plainly witnesses that both he and his associates
(through the mercy of God) do their vocation and duty
uprightly and sincerely, neglecting all dangers.
(a) Though we are broken in pieces with miseries and
calamities, yet we do not yield.
4:2 But have renounced the b hidden things of dishonesty, not
walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God c
deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending
ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
(b) Subtilty and every type of deceit which men hunt after,
as it were dens and lurking holes, to cover their
shameless dealings with.
(c) This is that which he called in the former chapter,
making merchandise of the word of God.
4:32 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are
(2) An objection: many hear the Gospel, and yet are no more
enlightened by it than by the preaching of the Law. He
answers, "The fault is in the men themselves, whose eyes
Satan plucks out, who rules in this world." And yet
nonetheless he and his associates set forth the most clear
light of the Gospel to be seen and beheld, seeing that
Christ only whom they preach, is he in whom God will be
known, and as it were seen.
4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them
which believe not, lest the d light of the glorious gospel
of Christ, who is the e image of God, should shine unto
(d) The light of plain and enlightening preaching, which
shows forth the glory of Christ.
(e) In whom the Father sets himself forth to be seen and
4:53 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;
and ourselves your servants for f Jesus' sake.
(3) He removes according to his accustomed manner, all
suspicion of ambition, affirming that he teaches
faithfully, but as a servant, and witnessing that all this
light which he and his associates give to others, proceeds
from the Lord.
(f) To preach this self same Jesus to you.
4:6 For God, g who commanded the light to shine out of
darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the h light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus
(g) Who made with his word alone.
(h) That being enlightened by God, we should in the same way
give that light to others.
4:74 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, 5 that
the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
(4) He takes away a stumbling block, which darkened among
some, the bright shining of the ministry of the Gospel, that
is, because the apostles were the most miserable of all
men. Paul answers that he and his associates are as it were,
earthen vessels, but yet there is in them a most precious
(5) He brings marvellous reasons why the Lord does so afflict
his principal servants, to the end, he says, that all men
may perceive that they do not stand by any man's power, but
by the singular power of God, in that they die a thousand
times, but never perish.
4:106 Always bearing about in the body the i dying of the
Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our body.
(6) An amplification of the former sentence, in which he
compares his afflictions to a daily death, and the power of
the Spirit of God in Christ to life, who oppresses that
(i) So Paul calls that miserable estate and condition that
the faithful, but especially the minsters, are in.
4:11 For we which k live are alway delivered unto death for
Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our l mortal flesh.
(k) Who live that life, that is, by the Spirit of Christ,
among so many and so great miseries.
(l) Subject to that miserable condition.
4:127 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
(7) A very wise conclusion: as if he would say, "Therefore, to
be short, we die that you may live by our death", because
they ventured into all those dangers for the building of
the Church's sake, and they ceased not to strengthen and
encourage all the faithful with the examples of their
4:138 We having the same m spirit of faith, according as it
is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we
also believe, and therefore speak;
(8) He declares the former sentence, showing that he and his
associates die in a way to purchase life for others, but
yet nonetheless they are partakers of the same life with
them: because they themselves do first believe that which
they offer to others to believe, that is, that they also
will be saved together with them in Christ.
(m) The same faith, by the inspiration of the same Spirit.
4:159 For all things [are] for your sakes, n that the
abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many
redound to the glory of God.
(9) He shows how this constancy is preserved in them, that is,
because they are doing it for God's glory, and the
salvation of the churches committed to them.
(n) When it will please God to deliver me, and restore me
to you, that exceeding benefit which will be poured
upon me will in like sort result to the glory of God,
by the thanksgiving of many.
4:16 For which cause we faint not; 10 but though our outward
man perish, yet the inward [man] is o renewed day by day.
(10) He adds as it were a triumphant song, that he is outwardly
afflicted, but inwardly he profits daily: and he is not
bothered by all the miseries that may be sustained in this
life, in comparison of that most constant and eternal
(o) Gathers new strength so that the outward man is not
overcome with the miseries which come freshly one
after another, being maintained and upheld with the
strength of the inward man.
4:17 For our p light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of
(p) Afflictions are not called light, as though they were
light in themselves, but because they pass away
quickly, as indeed our whole life is not of very long
(q) Which remains forever firm and stable, and can never be