Death Worketh in Us

2 Corinthians 4  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Two things are remarkable in this chapter. 1st, How entirely it is a new power by which we are enabled to glorify God-although we are so apt to mix up with it human energy and strength, and so bring in weakness. And 2ndly, The deep consciousness the apostle had of the value of the saints to the Lord. Therefore he could say, " All things are for your sakes;" and that is how he looks at himself. He offers himself a sacrifice -" ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." He could say, " Troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed: always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you." He gives up himself to them, and says, " I am content to be all this, and to suffer all this; yea, to lose my life for your sake. It is all right. I ought to be a sacrifice for you; it is God's object I should be for you." For He who was entitled to glory was content to leave the whole and to give up Himself-even His Messiahship and all. Christ gives. up Himself for us. And therefore he could say, " All things are for your sakes." It is encouraging and cheering of heart to know that all things are for our sakes -" that the abundant grace," &c. Then the vessels in which the Lord may choose His grace to work are counted as sheep for the slaughter; always bearing about in their body the dying of the Lord Jesus. " Death works in us, but life in you." Just so far as death works in ourselves, life can work by us in blessing to others. And I would just say here, It is a remarkable way the apostle took Christ's place. Of course it was Christ's grace in him. By bearing about in the body the dying, not my dying, but the death of Christ, that had put an end to him, that another power might work by him. As far as my energy is concerned, it is death. " Always bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." Not Paul's life, but the life of Jesus. Knowing, He that " raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also." He is counting on the same power that raised up Jesus raising him. Just as Christ took the resurrection as the answer to natural death, so the apostle, " that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God."
Two things I would notice:-1st, it is a comfort to be able to say, everything is for our sakes. Secondly, how far can we say death worketh in us, so that the life of Christ should be made manifest in our mortal body? If to shine out of our hearts it must be as bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, and then, come what will, we can say, that the full portion of Christ is ours.