VII. The Evaluation of his purpose. 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:10
Paul summarized his purpose as he began the conclusion to this letter. He repeated that he was disappointed that he was forced to defend himself and the missionaries with him. He stated that –
A. He should have been Respected. 2 Corinthians 12:11-13
He had performed the ministry of an apostle among them.
1. The power of God was seen through Paul’s ministry.
2. The provision of God was seen through Paul’s labour. (not lazy)
B. He should have been Received. 2 Corinthians 12:14
Paul loved the people that God had sent him to – and not only this church but all of them. Note how he referred to himself in relation to them –
1. A parent. 2 Corinthians 12:14 “…the parents for the children.” Provision
2. A Father. Instruction
1 Thessalonians 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
3. A Nurse. Care
1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
As Paul exhorted us to have the mind of Christ –
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
We know that he displayed the mind of Christ in his own life through ministering to the Lord’s children –
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (Tender Care!)
4. A Brother. Note how Paul speaks of this relationship –
a. My Brother.
2 Corinthians 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
b. The Brother.
2 Corinthians 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
c. Our Brother.
2 Corinthians 8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
It is a wonderful thing to know that while he had authority over them as an apostle, he had fellowship with them as brothers in Christ. He was one of them!
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
C. He should have been Rewarded. 2 Corinthians 12:16-21
Paul should have been rewarded by their submission to God and faithful lives, being a good testimony unto the Lord. Instead of rewarding him, they had become suspicious of him through the accusations of the false teachers. He wrote that his ministry among them had not been to gain –
1. Possessions. 2 Corinthians 12:16,
The teachers had claimed that Paul did not accept support from them, deceiving them into trusting him so he could ask for large amounts of money for special projects, which they would willingly give, and he would keep the money for himself.
a. He rebuked their claim. 12:16,17 The sarcastic reply “I tricked you – really”?
Paul rejected deceitfulness – It was not his practice before he reached Corinth –
1 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
When he was in Corinth –
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, 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.
Or after he departed –
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
b. He required of them proof. 12:18
2. Position. 12:19 He was seeking to build their faith in God.
3. Power. 12:20,21 He did not want to be forced to correct them publicly.
Paul desired that they would all come together in unity. He prayed for repentance and restoration to a right relationship with God and among themselves.
This has been the theme of his writing to them throughout this letter. To know and to do the will of God. This is the theme for each one of us and we should search our own hearts to know that we are in the center of God’s will. If so, we should encourage others by sharing God’s Word with them.