Dr. Alan Avera
2 Corinthians 4:1-7
1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.2 But we
have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to
tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend
ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is
veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has
blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of
the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but
Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who
said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure
in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
This is one of the most important passages on evangelism in the New Testament. Here
we discover the chief problem faced in evangelism – the god of this world has blinded
the minds of unbelievers, keeping them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory
of Christ, who is the image of God (verse 4). Satan allows unbelievers to see many
things, even many true things. What he will not allow them to see is the light of the
gospel of God’s glory in Jesus Christ.
If the problem is blindness, then a miracle is needed. The miracle needed is nothing
short of healing blind eyes. Only God can perform that miracle. God, who created light
in the original creation, opens blind eyes so they can see the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (verse 6). So, one parameter for evaluating
an evangelism program is its recognition of the sovereign act of God that is needed to
open blind eyes – God’s Sovereignty. Recognizing God’s sovereignty leads to an
emphasis on prayer and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It also takes the pressure off
of us since we are not responsible for performing this miracle.
But this passage also underscores the importance of human agency in evangelism. In
verses 2 and 5, we see the importance of proclaiming a clear message. God calls us to
an open statement of the truth, proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord. That means a second
parameter for evaluating an evangelism program is Gospel Clarity.
But one more element is needed, which is found in verse 5: serving others for Jesus’
sake. We are to proclaim and to serve. Serving others leads to an attitude of humility as
we proclaim the good news. It also leads to creativity, as we seek to serve others
through presenting the truth of the gospel in an accessible way to the specific
unbelievers we are seeking to reach. So, the third parameter is Our Humility and
Here, then, are three questions that form a scriptural rubric for evaluating any
1. Does it put proper weight on God’s Sovereignty?
2. Does it exhibit Gospel Clarity?
3. Does it foster our Humility and Creativity?
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