To get a good and proper understanding of this portion, let’s break it down by verses.

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.” – How great was the responsibility of the Apostle Paul!  He was the ‘apostle of the Gentiles.’ (Romans 11:13).  Yet, he begins this chapter by stating that he had ‘received mercy’ for the work appointed to him.  Because of this mercy he did not faint. That literally means that Paul did not get discouraged or lose his motivation.  To a great extant, all believers are given the same ministry to take the Gospel to all the world. (Matthew 28:19-20).  May we all realize the grace that God gives to sustain us in the ministry of telling others about the Lord Jesus Christ. 

“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.” – It seems that many would come to Corinth with false teachings, using corrupt, hypocritical means to convince the people to believe the lies they taught.  Paul assures them that he was not a hypocrite.  He was not being deceitful.  In fact as a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, he had renounced such actions.  His appeal was an honest appeal to their hearts to believe on the Lord Jesus.  He operated openly in the sight of God.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – Here, Paul refers to Satan as “the God of this world.”  It is Satan who perpetually works to hinder the work of the Gospel.  He blinds the minds of those who do not believe on the Lord Jesus.  The light of the Gospel always shines.  The Lord is always at work to save precious souls.  However, Satan is also at work to block out the light of the Gospel.  As god of this world, he distracts the unsaved by occupying their minds with worldly things.  He fills their minds with the current mind-set.  He captures their minds with the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes, views, etc. that the unsaved world is taken up with. 

Ultimately, it is the Lord Himself who allows such blindness as we read in John 12:40, “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”  This blindness is a result of man’s rejection of the blessed offer of salvation to all who will put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Notice in verse 4 of our portion that Satan can only blind the minds of those who reject the Lord Jesus.

If you have never accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, I urge you to put your faith in Him now.  2 Corinthians 6:2 tells us, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  Do not wait or hesitate.  Receive Christ before the god of this world occupies you so much with the things of this world that you become blind to the glorious light of the Gospel of Christ.  We are solemnly warned in Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…?”

I’m reminded of that old precious hymn:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.  (466.6)