New Living Translation

2 Corinthians 4

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,[a] we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[b] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”[c] 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,[d] will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[e] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Footnotes

  1. 4:1 Or ministry.
  2. 4:7 Greek We now have this treasure in clay jars.
  3. 4:13 Ps 116:10.
  4. 4:14 Some manuscripts read who raised Jesus.
  5. 4:16 Greek our inner being is.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

哥林多後書 4

瓦器中的寶貝

1我們既蒙憐憫,接受了這傳福音的職分,就決不氣餒。 我們棄絕了見不得人的可恥行為,不用狡詐的手段,不曲解上帝的道,而是把真理講解明白,好讓大家的良心在上帝面前為我們作證。

然而,即使我們所傳的福音被遮蔽,也是在那些滅亡的人當中被遮蔽。 那些不信的人是被這世界的神弄瞎了心眼,以致看不見基督榮耀的福音之光。基督是上帝的本像。 我們並非傳揚自己,而是傳揚耶穌基督是主,並且為耶穌的緣故而作你們的奴僕。 因為那吩咐光從黑暗中照射出來的上帝光照了我們的心,為要讓我們認識上帝在耶穌基督的面容上所彰顯的榮耀。

我們不過是瓦器,裡面卻有這寶貝,要顯明這莫大的能力是上帝的,而不是我們自己的。 我們壓力重重,卻沒有崩潰;心裡困惑,卻不絕望; 遭受迫害,卻沒有被遺棄;被打倒了,卻沒有死亡。 10 我們身上常常帶著耶穌的死,好使耶穌的生命也彰顯在我們身上。 11 因為我們這些活著的人常常為耶穌的緣故而面臨死亡的威脅,好使耶穌的生命在我們這終有一死的肉身上彰顯出來。 12 因此,死亡籠罩著我們,而生命卻運行在你們身上。

13 聖經上說:「我相信,所以才說。」我們有同樣的信心,我們也相信,所以才這樣說。 14 我們知道,使主耶穌復活的上帝必使我們與耶穌一同復活,並且使我們和你們一起站在祂面前。 15 其實一切都是為了你們,好叫恩典臨到更多的人,有更多人向上帝感恩,使上帝得榮耀。

16 所以,我們不氣餒。身體雖然日漸衰殘,內在的生命卻日日更新。 17 我們這短暫輕微的苦難正在為我們成就極大無比、永遠的榮耀。 18 我們注重的,並非看得見的事物,而是看不見的事物,因為看得見的事物都是暫時的,看不見的事物才是永恆的。