Saturday, 25 July 2015
So then death is working in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:12
Paul has been speaking of the sufferings that he and the other apostles endured for the sake of the gospel. He went so far as to show the contrast between their lives, which were fraught with death and that of the life of Christ working through them. As they were “delivered to death for Jesus’ sake” the result was “that the life of Jesus” therefore would be manifested in them.
This then explains his words to the Corinthians to us now. He says, “So death is working in us” which refers to their state as apostles. But for the Corinthians it meant. “…life in you.” In other words, “You reap the spiritual benefits (spiritual life through the gospel) of our physical struggles (physical death because of the gospel).”
If still not understood, we could give a purely physical example from everyday life. Firemen are constantly exposed to “death” as they enter buildings which have become a blazing torrent of fire, and yet those inside reap the chance of continued life because of their exposure to death. Such was the life of the apostle. They constantly faced death in order to carry the message of life.
Life application: The word of God has come to us at a very high cost. Not only the apostles, but a string of other faithful people has been willing to put themselves at great risk, even death sentences, to ensure that the precious word continues to go forth. Today, people still risk death by taking the Bible to others in places where it is banned. Let us never fail to appreciate the high cost which has brought this precious word to the people of the world.
Heavenly Father, throughout history many people have suffered for the sake of Your word. Prophets of old, apostles and their disciples, translators, printers, and even preachers and teachers have put the truth of Your word above their own safety, even risking their very lives so that this word will continue to be made known to others. And above all, Jesus my Lord gave His life so that the word would continue as planned. Grant me a heart to cherish this precious gift which has come to me at such a high cost. Help me to never give an inch on the truths it contains, but to speak boldly the whole counsel of Your word. Amen.