Hello everyone. We’re back here at Deeper Waters ready to dive into the ocean of Scripture and continue our study of the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re in the New Testament now and we’ve reached the book of 2 Corinthians. We’re going to be reading verse 1-6 of the fourth chapter tonight, with a special emphasis on verse 4:
1Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Paul is here speaking about his ministry and how he is straight-forward in what he is doing. He has no need of deceit as he does his evangelism. This is contrast to the false apostles that he is dealing with in this letter who are quite deceptive and seeking to directly cause division in the church.
He has been about the work of truth and if someone doesn’t understand the work, it is not because Paul is hiding what he’s teaching, but because of the hardness of their hearts. Part of this is attributed to the devil who is blinding the hearts of unbelievers and putting a veil over them to hide the true light, a possible reference to John 1:4?
Paul calls Jesus here the image of God. It could be Paul is having in mind the apocryphal work of the Wisdom of Solomon which says of Wisdom in 7:26:
26: For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.
How long does one have an image with them? As long as someone is there, they have an image. The image of God is just as eternal as he is. Christ is that image in that he alone perfectly shows the nature of God, but yet, we are made in that image, which I think is important in understanding what it means for Christ to become human.
Wisdom is seen as the goodness of God and earlier in 1 Cor. 1:24, we saw Jesus was the power of God and the wisdom of God both. It is a constant thread that seems to play throughout the gospel in that Jesus is constantly seen as being the attribtues of God. He is the Truth, Wisdom, power, etc.
Can we understand the Trinity entirely? No. We should seek to study it as much as we can and learn as we can about the doctrine, but we also have to realize that some aspects will be beyond our understanding. Yet this shouldn’t surprise us. Who would want a God that was entirely understandable by finite minds?
Let us live with the dictum of Augustine. Credo Ut Intelligum. I believe that I may understand. For now, we see in the Scriptures that Christ is the image of God and that we are made in that image and one day, we will conform to the moral character of that image. We will never be that image as we will never have ontological equality, but we will reflect him as far as we can as finite humans. Isn’t that good news?