11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
The “for” explains that the testimony of patient suffering will be a part of every Christian’s life.
we [Christians] who live
Paul’s team lived in peril of death so that the life of Jesus might manifest itself to others.
are always delivered to death
The team constantly exposed themselves to death in ministry (2 Co 1:9). The word “delivered” means to be handed over. God handed over the gospel team to suffering. Again, the word “always” implies that this handing over was always present in their ministry.
for Jesus’ sake,
The “for” here is cause. Everything we do on earth is because of Jesus. We are His representatives in time and space.
that [purpose] the life of Jesus also
“The life of Jesus” is the resurrected life of Jesus. The team clearly was alive spiritually (2 Co 4:16). There is a close correlation between God delivering Paul’s team to death and “life” in Corinthian believers. Without the sacrifice of the team in giving the gospel to the church, they would not have the opportunity to believe God’s message.
Death and life are usual opposites, but in the gospel team’s case, they unite as constant companions.
may be manifested in our mortal flesh [physical body].
The power of Christ’s life was manifest in the team, in their bodies of decay. The life of Jesus manifested itself in their physical bodies (Php 2:17; Co 1:24; 2 Ti 2:10). Their bodies were transitory in time; however, they received a permanent and eternal body in the heaven.
The suffering that comes from delivering the gospel message gives content to our message.
A person in ministry who does not succumb to its problems demonstrates the power of the life of Jesus. God’s sovereign hand through the believer’s suffering brings benefits to those who receive the message. Despite overwhelming tribulations, no one defeated the team.
God’s purpose is to display the excellence of who and what Christ is. Many of the ways God uses to do this are not easy on us. However, those without Christ will link the dynamics of our life with the greatness of Jesus.