2 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.
but by manifestation [disclosure] of the truth
This phrase shows what the gospel team did do. Their method stands in polar opposition to those ministered by craftiness and deceit. Paul’s team laid out God’s Word clearly, without varnishing it for the recipients at hand (2 Co 3:18). As genuine ministers of the gospel, they did not withhold truth but made it patently clear. They never watered down the message as the Judaizers claimed. They made a clear distinction between the Law and grace. They were faithful messengers of God’s message.
The “truth” here is revealed truth, not simply morality. The issue is fidelity to the Word of God. Paul was transparent with his message.
Fidelity to truth is the core responsibility of those who minister.
Every person in ministry is subject to suspicion, envy, and slander. Maintaining integrity and the perception of integrity is a high priority for success in ministry. The apostle Paul suffered accusations, but he directly confronted them. Much of 2 Corinthians deals with the defense of Paul’s ministry to the Corinthian church. The team never falsified or deceived the church in any of their ministry there. The content of their message was such that they spoke with openness and boldness.
The best thing anyone could say about their minister is that he was faithful to the truth, to the Word of God. There is no place for a double-dealing life as a minister. We need an orthodoxy of life in ministry today. To preach truth and practice iniquity is an anomaly. To receive the truth is to renounce anything that violates the Word. To tamper with the message or minister for personal gain violates the nature of truth itself. It is not possible to gain the approval of everyone. That is why we seek to gain God’s approval above all. Being true to God and self is at the heart of ministry. Personal integrity defies the world.
The truth of the gospel does not depend for its certification on people, even leaders of Christianity (Ga 1:17-18; 2:5, 6, 14). The certification of divine truth rests on the message itself, not on those who deliver its message. Straightforward proclamation of the content of the gospel is what wins people. Whether something is true or not boils down to what category one uses to make his judgment. A human category has inherent problems (1 Co 4:3; 2 Co 5:16).