2Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
‘This ministry’ – this ministry of: Triumph in Christ in every place (2:14). Life unto life in the saved (2:16). Death unto the unsaved. Preaching the pure gospel (2:17). Making people epistles of Christ (3:3). The divine ability of the New Testament (3:6). Giving life. The Holy Spirit (3:8, 3:17-18). Righteousness (3:9). Excellent glory (3:10-11). Liberty and freedom (3:17). The transformation from glory to glory (3:18).
‘Ministry’ [Greek: diakonia] service rendered by a diakonos, a servant.
‘We faint not’ – Six duties in view of mercy and ministry: To faint not (4:1). To renounce the shameful secret things. Not walking in craftiness (4:2). Not handling the Word of God deceitfully. Manifesting the truth to all people. Maintaining a clear conscience before God and man.
‘Faint’ [Greek: ekkakeo] to be faint-hearted (4:1, 16; Luke 18:1; Gal. 6:9; Eph. 3:13).
‘Hidden things of dishonesty’ – Literally, the secret things of shame; the things that wicked people do and which they are ashamed to have known.
‘Dishonesty’ [Greek: aischune] translated “shame” elsewhere (Luke 14:9; Php. 3:19; Heb. 12:2; Jude 1:13; Rev. 3:18).
‘Craftiness’ [Greek: panourgia] to play the villain; act like a rogue; to do holy deeds in an unholy way. Translated “craftiness” (4:2; Luke 20:23; 1Cor. 3:19; Eph. 4:14); and “subtilty” (11:3). The false teachers at Corinth were clever, cunning, and capable of any thing harmful to a foe.
‘Deceitfully’ [Greek: doloo] to beguile, ensnare; to counterfeit; adulterate; disguise. ‘Manifestation’ [Greek: phanerosis] making visible. Used here and in 1Corinthians 12:7 where it speaks of the use of the spiritual gifts. These gifts are the means God has chosen to make visible the truth of the gospel. Paul confirmed and made visible his preaching by a demonstration of it in signs, wonders, different miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:11; Rom. 15:18-19, 29; Heb. 2:3-4).