So then, since God in his mercy has given us this new way of relating to him, we don't give up. But we have given up secret, shameful acts. We don't behave in deceitful ways and we don't distort the word of God. We demonstrate who we are by revealing the truth before God so everybody can decide in their own minds. Even if the good news we share is veiled, it is veiled to those who are dying. The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don't trust in God. They can't see the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
We are not promoting* ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord. In fact we are your servants for Jesus' sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of the darkness,” shone in our minds to illuminate the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, to show that this supreme power comes from God and not from ourselves.
We are attacked from every direction, but we are not crushed. We are at a loss as to what to do, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but never abandoned by God. We are knocked down, but not dead yet! 10 In our bodies we always share in the death of Jesus, so that we can also demonstrate the life of Jesus in our bodies. 11 While we live we are always under the threat of death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal bodies. 12 As a result, we are facing death so that you may have life!
13 Since we have the same spirit of trust in God that Scripture refers to when it says, “I trusted in God, and so I spoke out,” we also trust in God and speak out for him. 14 We know that God who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus, and will bring us into his presence with you. 15 It's all for you! As God's grace reaches many more, thankfulness to God will be even greater, to his glory. 16 So we don't give up. Even though our physical bodies are falling apart, our inner selves are being renewed daily. 17 These trivial troubles we have only last for a little while, but they produce for us an ever-increasing degree of glory. 18 We don't concern ourselves with what can be seen, for we look forward to what can't be seen. What we see is temporary, but what we can't see is eternal.
* 4:5 Literally, “preaching.” 4:6 Quoting Genesis 1:3. 4:13 Quoting Psalms 116:10.