3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
perishing (v.3) — with the sense that the resultant death is certain — permanent, absolute destruction, to cancel out, to destroy utterly
glory (v.3) = honor, renown, the manifestation of God, splendor
However clearly the Gospel may be preached it is veiled to them that are perishing; and Satan as the god of this world spreads that veil (vs. 3-4) lest the bright sunshine of the Gospel of the glory of Christ—Who is in nature and essence One with God—should shine upon them.
The Apostle was not guilty of that blindness (v.5), for he preached Jesus as being Jehovah. … So the glory of God was fully revealed in the face of Jesus Christ—it was unveiled—and the Apostle Paul as a true minister of that glory proclaimed it to the world without a veil in his clear and full preaching. He announced the glory of God in the Person of Christ. — Williams, page 900.
Note how all through Paul’s epistles he emphasizes the unique character of the message committed to him. In v.3 it is not “the gospel,” but “our gospel.” Paul, by the grace of God, and no one until Paul, proclaimed complete salvation through the finished, all-sufficient work of Christ in dying our death at Calvary.
Appropriately he designates this message “the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Before Paul the cross was spoken of as a thing of shame, the place where Christ was slain by wicked murderers. Thus the charges and warnings of Peter’s Pentecostal message. But Paul’s “preaching of the cross,” is distinctly good news. It reveals the Christ of Calvary, not as a Victim but as a mighty Victor, gloriously accomplishing what He had set out to do. Hebrews 1:3 expresses it beautifully: “Who being the brightness of [God’s] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Here we have no one slaying Christ. Rather He, the Almighty One, purges our sins “by Himself” and, the work done, He sits down at the Father’s right hand. — Stam, page 75-76.
Mark well, the lost are the willing dupes of Satan. He is called the “god” of this world, or age. He was “cast out” at Calvary (John 12:31), and Christ would have replaced him as the Prince of this world had Israel accepted Him (Acts 3:19-21), but Israel and the world worshiped Satan, were led by him and walked in his ways. Thus, today, the Lord Jesus Christ is rejected and Satan remains the prince, yes, the god of this age, all by the will of man and the sufferance of God.
This being the case, the “god of this age” has an easy time “blinding the minds of them that believe not” to keep the light of the glory of Christ from shining in. How fitting, then, for the apostle to continue: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.” Paul did not preach himself, much less ask others to be good and do good to make themselves acceptable to God. No, his constant theme was Christ and His all-sufficient satisfaction for sin: “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).
And in proclaiming this message he was their “servant for Jesus’ sake.” — Stam, pages 78-79.