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Second Sunday after Pentecost (June 3rd)

Pastor's Summary of 2 Corintians 4:5-12

It seems that there were people at Corinth who saw the reverses Paul suffered as evidence that he was not an authentic apostle, a true spokesman for Christ. Surely, they claimed, an apostle who displayed such weakness could not be a prime agent in spreading the good news.

But Paul proclaims Christ rather than himself. He is their slave, one totally committed to God. God is the one who gives "light" (v. 6), understanding. (The quotation is from Genesis 1:3). the "light" shone in Paul's life in his conversion experience. But while we have access to this understanding, we are fragile and weak like "clay pots" (v. 7)-so this amazing power must be from God.

But Paul still keeps going, despite setbacks (vv. 8-9). He realizes in his weakness ("carrying...", v. 10) that he needs the salvation made available through Jesus' death, so that he may be alive in Christ, but he is always prone to failure. God intends that Paul suffer duress ("death", v. 12), so that the good news may be known.