“We do not lose heart … but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2). The apostle Paul states that we are called to be a manifestation of the truth. Of course, we know Jesus is this truth. So, what does Paul mean by saying, in essence, that we are to manifest Jesus?
A manifestation is a “shining forth” that makes something clear and understandable. So, in short, Paul is saying we are called to make Jesus known and understood to all people. In each of our lives, there should be a shining forth of the very nature and likeness of Christ.
Paul takes this concept of manifesting Christ even further. He says we are actually God’s letters to the world: “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men … written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).
The carnal mind simply cannot comprehend spiritual things. It considers them foolish. So God chose to make his Son known to sinners in a most effective way: by revealing him in flesh-and-blood epistles, living messages that can be read by everyone. This happens only by the work of the Spirit. At the moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit imprints in us the very image of Jesus and he continues shaping this image in us. The Spirit’s mission is to form in us an image of Christ that is so truthful and accurate that it will actually pierce people’s consciences.
The Holy Spirit accomplishes this by taking hold of our redeemed hearts and surrendered bodies and continually drawing us into Jesus’ presence. There we are compelled to holy living.
As you spend more time with him, his image in you will grow and your life will become such a powerful manifestation of Jesus that those around you will be touched and moved.