Repent Regret, with remorse, that you have met your desires on your own, apart from God, and proclaim that you will totally trust God to meet your deepest desires. Acts 3:19-20, Ezekiel 18:32,
Renounce Formally declare one’s abandonment of a claim, right, or possession. 2 Corinthians 4:2
Today’s text is 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2.
Earlier in 2 Corinthians Paul has been making powerful statements about the gloriousness of the ministry God has given to him and the people of the New Covenant.
It is because of this great ministry of the New Covenant that Paul does not lose heart. Vs. 1
Paul then points out that if one loses heart, the temptation is to move into shameful ways that one keeps secret (Vs. 2). Shame and guilt are brothers.
- Both shame and guilt are internal experiences resulting from a sense of violating the character of God.
- Guilt is judicial. I stand guilty before God, the Judge.
- Shame is relational. I stand traumatized before God with damage done to my self-identity.
After Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden they first hid from God (guilt) and then from each other (shame).
The first shameful way that Paul highlights is deception.
- In the original language deception is: unscrupulous cunning that stops at nothing to achieve a selfish
- From the Oxford Dictionary, to deceive is: cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage:
The second shameful way is distorting the word of God.
- To distort is to adulterate. Adulterate is: render (something) poorer in quality by adding another substance, typically an inferior one:
- To distort is to corrupt. Corrupt is: cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain:
- To distort is to hold out the worm concealing the hook (the original is related to the word bait).
Paul’s Spirit inspired solution? “But by the open statement of truth…” 2 Corinthians 4:2