2 Corinthians 4:2
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully…
In these comprehensive words of the apostle is revealed the true power of the Christian minister. This is represented as consisting of three several elements.
I. THE INSTRUMENT WHICH IS ENTRUSTED TO THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER TO WIELD.
1. In itself it is the truth. All truth is precious and powerful. But the truth, as it is in Jesus, is supreme in moral, spiritual power. The truth of God's righteousness and love, as they are united and harmonious in the gospel of Christ, is the greatest moral force which has entered and wrought in our humanity. It has rower to convince the judgment, to convert the heart, to control the will, to constrain the life.
2. This truth exercises its power by simple manifestation. It does not need our apologies or defence, our ornaments or recommendations. It does its work best when it is simply allowed to shine by its own light, to take its own course.
II. THE MATERIAL UPON WHICH THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER HAS TO WORK; i.e. "every man's conscience." Some religious teachers appeal to men's interests, others to their fears, some to their superstition, others to their vanity. But the true appeal is to the conscience. "Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" "I speak as unto wise men, judge ye what I say." Other principles of action address themselves to inferior parts of human nature, and produce proportionate results. But Christian truth aims high, calls forth into action the noblest faculties of the soul. Literally translated, the phrase is, "to every conscience of men," which seems to suggest that, whether the conscience be enlightened or crude, sluggish or active, it is evermore, when aroused, a witness to God's Word, The truth and the conscience are alike of Divine origin, and they are adapted the one to the other. What the truth utters the conscience echoes. The preacher of righteousness may be assured that to his words there is always a response in human hearts.
III. THE SPIRIT IN WHICH THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER USES THE DIVINELY FASHIONED IMPLEMENT WHICH OPERATES UPON THE DIVINELY FASHIONED NATURE. It is "in the sight of God." He who works thus will work honestly, faithfully, earnestly. And his work will be profitable to men and acceptable to God. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
WEB: But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.