"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
— 2 Corinthians 4:5–6
We have been focusing on the theme of comfort as we've been walking through 2 Corinthians, and how Paul develops that theme in light of strength and weakness. We have not looked as closely at Paul’s defense of his ministry, but that does not mean his defense is not important. In the two verses printed above (which come just before the verses we will be looking into this Sunday, namely 2 Corinthians 4:7-18) Paul again asserts that they are not building a name for themselves but they are “proclaiming” Jesus Christ as Lord.
Paul is fixated on the truths that have been revealed to him. He does not promote himself but sticks to these truths as they are set down in the Scriptures. These truths revolve around the person of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, who left the glory of heaven to pursue a rebel people and make them his own. This is the Gospel of grace. As I was reflecting on these verses I was reminded of the mission statement of the PCA (which I've been looking at a little more closely in connection with the Adult Institute currently happening). The mission statement goes like this, "Faithful to the Scriptures.True to the Reformed Faith. Obedient to the Great Commission". These doctrines of grace are the heart of the Reformed faith and at the heart of who we are as a denomination. And, like Paul, our purpose is to proclaim these truths. That is what it means to be faithful to the great commission. This outward proclamation of these truths was very much in the mind of the founders the PCA, and is ultimately the purpose of any church.
But note that in the end—we individually, we as the PCA, or any church of Jesus Christ—will only be able to shine the light of Christ to the extent that the light has shone in our own hearts and is the center of our life together. So let’s make much of Jesus! May his death and resurrection captivate us as a community as we see it in his Word. And may the Holy Spirit give us the overflow that looses our tongues and flings wide our lives to welcome in those in need of the light!