1This is why we don’t get discouraged, given that we received this ministry in the same way that we received God’s mercy. 2Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are on the road to destruction. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God.
5We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Physical bodies and eternal glory
7But we have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. 8We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. 9We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.
10We always carry Jesus’ death around in our bodies so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies. 11We who are alive are always being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies that are dying. 12So death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13We have the same faithful spirit as what is written in scripture: I had faith, and so I spoke.#Ps 116:10 (115:1 LXX) We also have faith, and so we also speak. 14We do this because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus, and he will bring us into his presence along with you. 15All these things are for your benefit. As grace increases to benefit more and more people, it will cause gratitude to increase, which results in God’s glory.
16So we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day. 17Our temporary minor problems are producing an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison. 18We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal.