1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6For 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.Sometimes it's easy to forget the simple gospel message. Sometimes I think that I need to be able to be able to answer every question people come up to. Sometimes I think I need to put the words in one way or another to make it more "appealing" or just to get them to hear my case.
Not that those things are wrong (in some cases they are), but when they prevent me from remembering that it is before the sight of God that I'm acting, that it is His work, His Gospel, then there's something wrong. And yet Paul here reminds me of that very fact, that "even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing." He does not lose heart, and I do hope that God would strengthen me so that I would not as well.
I also love the fact that Paul remarks that it is God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness" that gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in us. This is God the Creator. Not God the "woo'er" or God the "one who pleads with sinners" (though God is portrayed in that way as well at places). But just as God says "let there be light" to the world and light happens, God says "let their be light" in our hearts, and the veil is lifted, and life is renewed. No ifs, ands, ors, or buts.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.