Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: 2 Corinthians
- October 10, 2021
Humble Ownership of Gospel Ministry.
God uses broken people and makes us strong in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). Though they were still spiritually rehabilitating, the Corinthians were enlisted by Paul to join in protecting their Gospel future.
Taking humble ownership of your personal Gospel ministry is the normal, Spirit-filled thing to do. Our disposition is as critical as our doctrine.
Paul uses a form of the word for "weakness" 8-10 times in the remainder of the book. (See 2 Corinthians 12:9 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.) God's grace had made Paul a servant of Christ instead of a persecutor of the church. He was willing to identify as "weak" because he lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians are okay with being despised if we are proved genuine before God.
Verse 1 is an introduction, followed by 4 sections punctuated by the word "for." The word "foolishness" in 2 Corinthians 11:1 isn't used with the negative connotation it normally carries. Paul uses it simply to describe something that needs no thought, a "no brainer."
2 Corinthians 11:2-3 describe godly jealousy of a spiritual mentor watching someone be tempted away from Christ. Godly jealousy is a natural and normal reaction for a Spirit-filled believer. God shows and describes Himself as jealous for His people's loyalty throughout the Old Testament. Personal Gospel ministry will sometimes involve godly jealousy of those we minister to and with.
Paul uses a wedding analogy to urge the Corinthians to remain faithful and pure while waiting for Christ's return. We are to help each other grow more like Jesus. Verse 3 says Satan specifically seeks to distract our minds, the battleground for truth. New Testament ministry is not an individual experience but something we do together.
In 2 Corinthians 11:4, Paul compliments the Corinthians' great job at rejecting false messages. These teachings were different from those he wrote against in Galatians 1:6-9, which amounted to a different gospel. These "triumphalists" valued power and authority and despised humility.
In contrast, Paul displayed humble transparency in 2 Corinthians 11:5-6. He knew the importance of keeping the right company, the true disciples of Christ, over those who were considered powerful or eminent. True knowledge is sourced in Christ alone. Paul promoted Christ, not himself.
- New Testament ministry is not an individual experience but something we do together. How do you help your brothers and sisters in Christ grow to be more like Jesus?
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 says Satan specifically seeks to distract our minds, the battleground for truth. What thinking distracts your devotion to Christ or your ministry to others?
- Are you weak? Take heart! You are in good company. When we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, He is exalted instead of our ability.
- Do you promote yourself or elevate Christ?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- Exodus 20:1-6, Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:19, 6:15, 32:16, Joshua 24:19, Psalm 78:58 – God's jealousy