2 Corinthians 4:1-3 – Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 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. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
Without losing heart, Paul and his companions continued on in their ministry. Regardless of setbacks and sufferings, they continued to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness, honesty, and sincerity. And, of particular note to me, Paul refused all forms of dishonesty, of cunning, and of tampering with the word of God.
Today, there are many who challenge all Christians to find new ways to present the gospel. While it is wise to communicate the genuine gospel in ways that people can understand—in a language that they have the mental capacity to grasp—, it is never acceptable to dilute, discolor, change, weaken, soften, or otherwise alter the gospel. Neither is it necessary to use cunning or trickery to communicate the gospel to someone. Regardless of how clever the gimmick or how sneaky the bridge-building technique, if it is something less than an open and honest communication of the gospel as it is presented in God’s word, it is not a faithful presentation of the gospel.
Notice that of particular note is the fact that Paul refused to tamper with God’s word. He knew that the scripture is the inspired revelation of God, and that nothing man-made would ever trump that. He refused to change a single truth from the scriptures, regardless of how much he suffered. He did not allow anything, not even sufferings and setbacks, not even the lost refusing to come to Christ, to change the message of the gospel that he preached. Why not? To change anything about the gospel is to present no gospel at all. And, if that gospel is something that people can not see, that is veiled to them, it is only veiled to those who Paul says are “perishing.” While Paul did not desire that anyone perish, he knew that to change the gospel wood be only to present them with an untruth that would never bring them life anyway.
Are you convinced that the gospel as it is presented in the word of God is the only and sure way of salvation? Are you willing to be like Paul and to refuse to use trickery, underhandedness or deceit to present the gospel? Are you willing to cast aside cunning and clever gimmicks for the clearly proclaimed truth of God’s word? Are you willing to trust that the scripture and the scripture alone is sufficient to unveil the eyes of the lost? If so, then go and preach the gospel faithfully as it is written in God’s word. If not, learn from the example of Paul, and ask God to show you in his word how sufficient his word truly is.
Dear Lord, I thank you for your perfect, holy, inspired, sufficient, and powerful word. You have been so gracious to reveal yourself to us. I pray that I will never again fall into the temptation to shrink back from your word, to devise clever ways to work around your word, or to distrust the life-changing power of your word. Help me to have opportunity after opportunity to share the gospel of Christ as it is written in your word with lost people who will see the truth and whom you will save.