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By Lewis C. Lampley
TITLE: The Ministry of Christ’s Bondservant
TEXT: 2 Cor. 4:1-5
The purpose of this message is to examine the perspective of a Man of Honor and Faith who Glories God; Preaches Christ and not Himself.
The Scripture is clear on at least four types of ministers:
A. The Satan called minister (2 Cor.11:12-15)
1. They are usually popular but spiritually poor (Jude 12, 13).
2. They are trained in covetous practices (2 Pet. 2:14)
B. The Self called minister (Acts 8:9)
1. Pushes his own agenda
2. Pleases his hearers
C. The People called minister (Acts 8:9-11)
1. He is arrogant
2. He astonishes his audiences
D. The God called minister (Gal.1:11-16)
1. He is not anthropocentric – “Man-centered.” He is Theocentric! “God-centered.”
2. He is not geocentric – “Earth-centered.” He is Uranocentric – “Heaven-centered!”
The passage before us is rich with the convictions, commitments, and conclusions of the God called minister.
Let’s begin with:
I. THE CONCLUSIONS OF A GOD CALLED
MINISTER (2 Cor.2:1,3 ,4)
Notice that demonstrative pronoun “Therefore” in verse one. Dia touto, “because of this.” This is either a reference to the preceding, that is, because the gospel is good news of the glory of God or it looks forward, that is, because of what is said in the next clause (exchontes present active participle). Echo “to have, to possess.” In verse one, Paul does three things: he makes…
A. A fair declaration (v.1a) “We have this mini- story…” What does that mean? I believe Paul is referring to “the New Covenant gospel of Jesus Christ.” The gospel that declares that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and for the glory of God alone! That’s a fair declaration – not only that, Paul makes …
B. A firm affirmation (v.1b) “We have received mercy…” eleo, to show mercy. This is in the passive voice, to be shown mercy, to obtain mercy. Mercy indicates the compassionate removal of misery.
In the third place Paul makes …
C. A forceful announcement (v.1c) “We do not lose heart.” The King James Version says, “We faint not.” In the Greek that’s one word – it’s a present tense verb, in the indicative mood, in the active voice and asserts something which is occurring while the speaker is making the statement. This emphasis is intensified in 4:16, 17.
Also this phrase is in the first person plural, “to give into evil, to lose courage. It is the response of a fainthearted coward. The word is also used in the papyri in the sense of treating someone badly, and could cause one to cowardly surrender. That was not how Paul responded to continual attacks he faced. The task of ministering the New Covenant is too noble to lose heart over. Since God had called him to proclaim it, Paul could not abandon his calling
Instead, he trusted God to strengthen him. That’s the attitude of every God-called minister – or it ought to be! We must not preach a gospel, that neither “wounds nor heals!”