Beginning in verse 7, he wrote that his authority was founded upon a –
4. Sanctifying power. 2 Corinthians 10:7-18
God had set Paul apart to –
a. His position. 10:7-12 His authority was given by God.
And God had set Paul apart to –
b. His place of service. 10:13-18
His authority was based in the direct guidance of God.
Paul was not interested in staying in Corinth and taking up the office of the pastor. He was not trying to move these false teachers out of their positions in order that he might have assumed them. He was trying to get the church to understand their mission – the mission that Jesus Christ has set forth for His church :
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
The church could not carry out the mission of God until they had the mind of God – the right leadership. The church had not been planted to provide preaching opportunities for others. It had been planted at the direction of the Lord for His glory to reach out to Corinth and from Corinth to the world with the Gospel. Paul was correcting the church by reprimanding the false teachers and educating the members.
He revealed their motive –
1). The ministry of the false teachers was directed by convenience.
There’s was an
a). Easy ministry. 10:15 “… of other men’s labours…” An office not an opportunity
b). Exalted place.
3 John 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
c). Envious of God’s servants.
They preach louder and longer to overpower the simple preaching of the truth!
Philippians 1:15 “…Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife…”
2). The ministry of Paul was directed by God.
Acts 16:6-10 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
a). God had directed Paul to Achia with its cities of Corinth and Cencrea.
b). God was directing Paul to preach at Rome.
Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
c). God was directing Paul to preach beyond Corinth, beyond Rome, and unto Spain.
“…to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you…”
Romans 15:24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.
Paul explained that the ministry was about God, not about him.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
We must listen to Paul today! The Lord has given this message to His churches today as well as then –
We may not be in a dangerous situation, dealing with false preachers and teachers.
We may not be in a dangerous situation, dealing with proud and arrogant leadership.
We may be in the dangerous situation of forgetting our first love, the Lord Jesus Christ!
We may be in the dangerous situation of ignoring our responsibility – “Preach the Gospel to every creature”!
We may be in the dangerous situation of thinking that the church only exists for our pleasure –
– to help us and encourage us in times of need.
– to provide moral teaching in an immoral world.
– to provide a place of spiritual enjoyment, thinking we are fulfilling our responsibilities to the Lord, yet knowing in our hearts that we are empty inside.
– to be like those that visited Ezekiel and enjoyed the service –
Ezekiel 33:31-32 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
His purpose in life was to exalt the Lord and finish the work the Lord had given Him. His purpose was not to build himself a kingdom, but to go forth and preach God’s Kingdom!
And Paul was able to know that, whatever the response of the people, they would know this as Ezekiel knew –
Ezekiel 33:33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
What is your purpose in life? Is it to live for yourself or to live for the Lord?