top of page

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Three Confessions of a Believer

I approach this passage in a spirit of confession. I confess that I am bone weary of being pulled toward and away from political positions by opposing forces who presume that because I call on the name of Christ I MUST hold to a particular position on a given social issue, that my faith precludes certain forms of devotional practice, that my belief cannot embrace intellect, that I must endorse or reject certain authors, ad nauseum. I live in a polarized world, and I confess the truth that it has wearied my soul.

But I also come to this passage from a different kind of confession—the ancient confessions of the church that endure from generation to generation, the “We Believes” of the creeds that precede and supersede divisions between Christians of the 21st century. These confessions harken back to the early church and seek to explicate first-century theological constructs so that followers of Christ can carry the essentials of our faith across barriers of time and culture, so that you and I can be faithful representatives of the Way, the Truth, and the Life despite the challenges of our particular era.

From those two perspectives, I offer these observations about 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. First, there are many veils we choose that cover the Good News of Christ, both individually and collectively. A few that come to mind are our own agendas or preferences, our self-interest, our self-righteousness or self-justification, and our self-glorification (vs. 5). We are self-serving in our natural condition under the small-g god of this world. And we, in our natural temporal condition, are nothing but a speck in the cosmos, destined to a finite existence in our present form. We share this finitude with our collective groups, however longstanding they may seem. But we, the self-centered, are perishing daily under veils woven by the survival instinct of the human trinity: ­Me-My-Mine. And these veils distract and even blind us to the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, the image of God (vs.4).

Thanks be to God, Paul proclaimed a different story through Christ Jesus—a story that would overthrow loyalty to the human trinity and replace it with an attitude of servanthood to the God who is in this world and not limited by it. This is what Paul preached to early believers, not himself or his own wisdom. He refused to allow the early church to be