Renouncing the Hidden Things
Robert Wurtz II
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 Cor. 4:2 NKJV)
Our passage contextually is dealing in part with the unbelieving Jews specifically and pretentious in-name-only ‘Christians’ more broadly, that are still in want of turning to the Lord that the vail that is upon their heart may be removed and the Lord grant them genuine repentance. (2 Cor. 3:15-16) Paul then turns his thoughts to the matter of being changed into the image of Christ from glory to glory. (2 Cor. 3:18) Knowing that he has been given this ministry, he has renounced the hidden things of shame. A.T. Robertson the great Greek scholar of the 19th century tells us that our word for ‘renounced’ means, “to speak forth, to speak off or away from. It is a common verb in the active, but rare in middle and only here in N.T.” This is something that they have done, but the reality is still in effect. What have the renounced? The hidden things of shame (ta krupta tēs aischunēs). These are temptations and sins that attack the minister and the Christian. Robertson goes on to say, “His only safety is in instant and courageous defiance to all the powers of darkness. It is a terrible thing to see a preacher caught in the toils of the tempter.” This implies that one has submitted themselves unto God so that they are in a position to resist the Devil so that he will flee.
A dear preacher once said, “God cannot change the person you are pretending to be.” We have to come to God as the real ‘men’ and not a pretend person that does not really exist except when were putting on a show. Paul said that he renounced the hidden things of shame. Tyndale rendered the text, “We have cast from ourselves the cloaks of dishonesty.” Unlike the Pharisees that pretended to be something they were not, carrying themselves as if they had no sin, Paul said we renounced that type of fakeness from ourselves. This does not mean he let everybody know he was a mere sinner trying to preach, but he had cast-off the very compromise that would have made him a hypocrite. Renouncing is a powerful word. Webster gives this definition:
• reject and stop using or consuming: he renounced drugs and alcohol completely.
Sometimes sin and compromise are so entrenched in a person’s life that they need to renounce the behavior all together in the strongest of terms. From the very depth of their being they need to renounce it- calling it it’s most vile word. We can get alone with God if there are issues in our life that He has freed us from and we have returned to and repent- renouncing the behavior; that is to say, casting it from us as if we were abandoning it for dead.