The Manifestation of the Life of Christ
2 Corinthians 4:10-12
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

1. There is something beautifully emphatic in the idea that it is the life of Jesus that is manifested in the Christian. Century after century hath rolled away, and He who won to Himself, by agony and death, the lordship of this lower creation hath not visibly interfered with the administration of its concerns. The time, indeed, will come when sensible proof shall be given, and every eye shall gaze on the Son of Man seated on the clouds and summoning to judgment. But we are free to own that, since under the present dispensation there are no visible exhibitions of the kingship of Christ, it is not easy, if the authority of Scripture be questioned, to bring forward satisfactory proof that Jesus is alive.

2. Yet we are not ready to admit the total absence of direct, positive, practical witness. We thus bring the statement of our text, that there is such a thing as the manifestation of the life of the Redeemer. It was possible enough that the malice of persecutors might wear down to the wreck the body of the apostle; but there were such continued miracles in his being sustained in the battle with principalities and powers that, if challenged to prove that his Lord was alive, he could point to the shattered tabernacle, and answer triumphantly, the life also of Jesus, as well as the death, was made manifest in that his body.

3. The doctrine of Christ's living for us is every whir as closely bound up with our salvation as that of His having died for us. The resurrection was God's attestation to the worth of the atonement.


1. The rulers said the body was stolen; the apostles said the body was quickened. Who sees not that, by persecuting the apostles in place of proving them liars, the rulers themselves bore witness to the fact that Jesus was alive? They had no evidence to produce of the truth of their own statement, and they set themselves therefore to get rid by force of the counter-statement. Power was substituted for proof, cruelty for argument. We therefore contend that no stronger attestation could have been given to the fact of Christ's life than the persecutions to which the apostles were subjected for maintaining that fact.

2. We may yet further argue that by submitting to persecutions the apostles showed their own belief that Jesus was alive. There is a limit which enthusiasm cannot pass. Had not the apostles believed Christ alive they would not have joyfully exposed themselves to peril and death.


1. When the malice of the ungodly was allowed to do its worst, there was administered so much of supernatural assistance that all but the reprobate must have seen that the power of the Lord was sustaining the martyrs. They went out of the world with gladness in the eye and with triumph on the lip, confident that their Master lived to welcome them, and therefore able to cry out with Stephen, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

2. Now, we maintain that, whenever God directly interposes to preserve an individual while publishing a doctrine, God virtually gives testimony to the truth of that doctrine. If the published doctrine were the reverse of truth He would never mark the publisher with His approval; and thus we have a decisive and vivid manifestation of the life of Christ in the sufferings of the apostles.

3. Whilst Christ sojourned on earth He told His disciples that persecution would be their lot, but also that He would be alive to act as their protector. When, therefore, all occurred as Christ had predicted, when the supports were administered which He had pointed out as the result of His life, what can be fairer than maintaining that the supports were a proof of the life?

III. WE WOULD NOT HAVE YOU THINK THAT THE MANIFESTATION OF THE LIFE OF THE REDEEMER WAS CONFINED TO THE APOSTLES. Take any one who now is walking by faith, and not by sight. He will tell you that his whole conduct is ordered on the supposition that he has a Saviour ever living to intercede in his behalf. He will tell you, further, that never has he found the supposition falsified by experience. He goes to Christ sorrowful, believing that He lives; he comes away comforted, and thus proves that He lives. He carries his burdens to Christ, supposing Him alive; he finds them taken away, and thus demonstrates Him alive. All, in short, that is promised as the result of Christ's life comes into his possession, and is, therefore, an evidence of Christ's life. If I am a believer, I look to Christ as living for me; I go and pray to Christ as living for me; and, if I am never disappointed in my reference to Christ as living for me, is there no strong testimony in my own experience that Jesus lives? In short, if the Christian live only by faith in the living Saviour, his life must be the manifestation of the life of the Saviour. If Christ be not alive, how comes it that they who act upon the supposition that He is alive find the supposition perpetually verified and in no instance falsified — verified by the assistance vouchsafed, by the promises fulfilled, by the consolations enjoyed in these mortal bodies, which are the theatres of truceless warfare with a corrupt nature and apostate spirits? Conclusion: What we wish for you is that you might manifest the life of the Redeemer — manifest it in the vigour with which you resist the devil, break loose from the world, and set yourself to the culture of holiness.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

WEB: always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

The Christian's Fellowship in the Death of Christ
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