Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we faint not: 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.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ASV
Here’s an outline of this chapter:
The hidden and the open (2 Corinthians 4:1,2).
The blinded and the enlightened (2 Corinthians 4:3).
Slaves and Master (2 Corinthians 4:5).
Darkness and Light (2 Corinthians 4:6).
The frail and the mighty (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Trials and triumph (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
Death and life (2 Corinthians 4:11,12).
The written and the spoken (2 Corinthians 4:13).
The past and the future (2 Corinthians 4:14).
Grace and thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 4:15).
The outer and inner man (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Affliction and glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
The seen and the eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18
GOD OF THIS WORLD
“The god of this world” Satan is not here called the god of the COSMOS, but god of THIS AGE.
Nevertheless, Christ has broken the grip of Satan on mankind, but his remaining power is so great that Paul can call him the god of this present evil age.
Many believe, that the sin of Adam transferred the allegiance and rule of the world from God to the devil but the conviction here is that all of Satan’s authority is usurped, that only what God permits is he able to do; and as for the notion that Satan in any meaningful sense rules the world, Nebuchadnezzar had to eat grass for seven years in order to learn that “The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Daniel 4:25).
This means that Satan’s promise to give Christ the rulership of the world in return for falling down and worshipping the devil (Matthew 4:4ff) was an unqualified falsehood.
Other New Testament passages that refer to Satan in a similar manner to that of Paul here are:
“the prince of the powers of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).
“the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
“Blinded the minds” refers to “hardening” as it is called in other places in the New Testament (Romans 1:21; 11:7,25, etc.).
Hardening occurs when the individual rebels against God, who then allows Satan to have his way, with a result of further hardening; and thus, in a sense God hardens people, as in the case of Pharaoh (Romans 9:17,18).
Satan was never able to blind any person who had not already rebelled against God.
“That the light” refers to the illumination of the minds of all who accept Christ.
The gospel of Christ is the source of all spiritual light. It is a gospel of glory, and that glory is of Christ.
Satan used superstition to blind people. The whole superstition of this world has gotten into his hands, so that he blinds effectively the hearts of unbelievers.
Who is the image of God? Other New Testament passages in which Christ is referred to as God’s image are:
“Who is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
“The very image of his substance” (Hebrews 1:3).
“He that beholdeth me beholdeth him that sent me” (John 12:45).
“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Christ is the image of God in two ways:
(1) As a perfect man, he, like Adam, was “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26).
(2) As God in human form, Jesus accurately mirrored the Father’s will for mankind.