|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:13-18 The grace of faith is an effectual remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death. Also, their sufferings were for the advantage of the church, and to God's glory. The sufferings of Christ's ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness was their support and comfort. What sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. The weight of all temporal afflictions was lightness itself, while the glory to come was a substance, weighty, and lasting beyond description. If the apostle could call his heavy and long-continued trials light, and but for a moment, what must our trifling difficulties be! Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.
Verses 16-18. - The Christian minister is upheld by hope. Verse 16. - Therefore. Knowing that our daily death is the pathway to eternal life (ver. 14). We faint not (see ver. 1). Though; rather, even if. Our outward man. Our life in its human and corporeal conditions. The inward man. Namely, our moral and spiritual being, that "new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Colossians 3:10). Is renewed; literally, is being renewed; i.e. by faith and hope. Day by day. The Greek phrase is not classical, but is a reminiscence of the Hebrew.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For which cause we faint not,.... Since our afflictions are overruled for the good of others, and the glory of God, we are not discouraged by them; our spirits do not sink under the weight of them; we do not give out from the work of the ministry because of them, but go on cheerfully therein: and the more so, since
though our outward man perish; our outward circumstances of life are very mean and despicable; we are oftentimes in a very distressed condition through hunger, thirst, nakedness, and want of the common necessaries of life; our bodies are almost worn out with fatigue, labour, and sorrow; our earthly tabernacles are tottering, and just ready to fall in pieces:
yet the inward man is renewed day by day; that is, continually; it answers to , an Hebraism; see Esther 2:11 the internal hidden man of the heart, the new man is in a prosperous condition; our souls are in good health; the work of God is comfortably carried on in us; we have sweet and repeated experiences of the love of God; we are growing in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ; and, like the palm tree, the more weight is hung upon it, the more it thrives; and, like the children of Israel in Egypt, the more they were afflicted the more they grew.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. we faint not—notwithstanding our sufferings. Resuming 2Co 4:1.
outward man—the body, the flesh.
perish—"is wearing away"; "is wasted away" by afflictions.
inward man—our spiritual and true being, the "life" which even in our mortal bodies (2Co 4:11) "manifests the life of Jesus."
is renewed—"is being renewed," namely, with fresh "grace" (2Co 4:15), and "faith" (2Co 4:13), and hope (2Co 4:17, 18).
2 Corinthians 4:16 Parallel Commentaries
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