Look Not

2Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 

‘Cause we faint not’ – for the sake of winning souls to glorify God (4:15), we suffer all things without fainting. The outward man is slowly dying through trials and sufferings, but the inward man is being renewed daily.

‘Outward man’ – found only here and refers to the body.

‘Perish’ [Greek: diaphtheiro] corrupted; destroyed (Luke 12:33; 1Tim. 6:5; Rev. 8:9; 11:18).

‘Inward man’ refers to the soul and spirit – the real person in the body (5:8; Jas. 2:26; Heb. 4:12; 12:23; 1Thess. 5:23; Rev. 6:9).

‘Renewed’ [Greek: anakainoo] meaning the whole course of life now flows in a different direction (5:17-18). Be renewed in the attitude of your mind by renouncing its vanity (Eph. 4:17), its darkness and blindness (Eph. 4:18) and learning of Christ (Eph. 4:20-21).

‘Light affliction’ [Greek: elaphros] – from Matthew 11:30 we see it described as a light burden (Ps. 55:22).

‘For a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ Such is considered momentary lightness compared with the eternal weight of glory one receives for suffering (Rom. 8:17-18).

‘Look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ We do not strive for things we see, for they are not worthy of the pursuit of an immortal soul. The things not seen are the eternal and important things of life. This current world system will pass away, but the man who does not conform to it will abide forever. This is all summarized in the pride of life as described in James 4:16 and 1John 2:15-17 and the following characteristics: Self-righteousness (Job 32:1); one’s positions in life (Gen. 3:5; Ezek. 28:11-17; 1Tim. 3:6; 3Jn. 1:9); power (Lev. 26:19); riches (Ps. 39:6; Ezek. 28:5); beauty (Ezek. 28:11,17); strength to war (2Chr. 26:16), and constant boasting of one’s self; glorying in sexual activity; pleasures; and all the vanity of life (1Jn. 2:15; Ps. 24:4; 36:2; Isa. 3:16).

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