, , ,

Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.  (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)

Handle the word as a manifestation of the truth and we do this while we are waiting on God with great hope.

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, 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.  (2 Corinthians 4:2, NKJV)

In this second letter to the Corinthians Paul has been defending his ministry as being given to him by the Lord Himself.  His ministry is a ministry of truth, not of craftiness.  This verse, as seen within the context of ministry of the gospel message, is important to us as to how we use the Word of God; we are to use it in truth.  We are lead in truth because we wait on God with hope.

We have renounced the hidden things of shame.  The first thing we are to do is to be like Paul and renounce the hidden or secret things of shame.  Practically we should renounce all sin, but in the context of this passage we are dealing with a specific sin: the sin of thinking we possess secret revelation or knowledge and we are worthy of praise because of it.  The wonderful thing about the Word of God is that it is all truth and is available to all who believe.  When you are waiting on God to reveal truth to you it will never contradict His written Word, His standard by which we measure all revelation.

Not walking in craftiness.  Paul was being accused of many things by his opponents and one was craftiness (see 2 Corinthians 2:17 and 12:16).  Craftiness is from the Greek word to be shrewd.  It is to act in shrewdness, cunning, craftiness, or unscrupulousness.  The word signified the employment of any or all means necessary to realize an end.  Paul was not using marketing schemes to make a sale, but preached the truth and only the truth.

Nor handling the word of God deceitfully.  Being crafty would be to handle the Word of God deceitfully.  Paul relied upon the Spirit of Truth to bring forth the Word of God.  We need not to promote ourselves or our message because we are not peddling a product but speaking the truth.

Handling the word of God by manifestation of the truth.  The Greek for manifestation is to make visible, or observable.  Not only are we to speak the truth, we are to live it, thus making the Word of God in our lives observable to others.  Paul relied upon truth and had no tricks of the trade to win converts to the faith.  It was the Word of God and the Spirit of truth who were working in the lives of the hearers of Paul.  The same principles can be applied to us.  Do not force the gospel, but wait upon God to direct you in its proper use before men.

Commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  Here is the outcome of handling the Word of God correctly: we leave it up to the Spirit of truth to work upon the conscience of the hearer to determine what is true.  The conscience is where the person determines what is right and what is wrong.  It is not our job to force the gospel, we are to wait with great hope and let truth have its day of court in the mind of the hearer.

How are you handling the Word of God?  Are you handling the Word deceitfully or letting the Spirit of truth reveal itself to man?  Wait upon God with hope and preach His Word.  Let the Lord reap His harvest as a faithful servant in His mission field you were placed in.