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In an unfavorable sense, it has the meaning “cunning, craftiness, trickery.” The man who practices this is ready to do anything, up to every trick. Our sanctification protects our walk. What is sanctification?
• Growing in grace & knowledge (2 Pet.3:18)
• Growing in practical perfection (Heb.10:14)
• Growing in purity and holiness (1 Pet. 1:15)
• Growing in spiritual strength (1 Peter.5:10)
• Growing in intimacy with God (Rom.6:11)
The Baptist Catechism says:
Sanctification is a work of God’s Spirit, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness.
Let’s continue by looking at two more commitments of Christ’s Bondservant – consider:
C. His doctrinal integrity (v.2c), “nor handling the word of God deceitfully.” This Geek word means “to tamper with,” and was used in nonbiblical sources to speak of the dishonest business practice of diluting wine with water. The false teachers accused Paul of being a deceiver (“craftiness”) who was twisting and perverting the teaching of Jesus and the OT Scripture. The God called minister is not guilty of “using deceit, to bait, to ensnare, to corrupt with error, to falsify, and corrupt.
D. His humble disposition (v.2c-d), “but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” The idea here is “openness, clearness, manifestation.” The word is selected in opposition to “the hidden things of shame.” The God called minister’s life is an open book!
A man of honor and faith who glories God, and preaches Christ and not himself – has some conclusions, commitments. Let me draw to a close by saying a word about:
IV. THE CONVICTIONS OF A GOD CALLED
MINISTER (vv.3, 4, 5, 6, 7-15; 16-18).
A. The lost man is void of the “light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (vv.3, 4).
B. The servants of God do not preach themselves but the Christ who changed their hearts (vv. 5, 6).
C. The servants of God recognize who they and know that all that happy in and around them “redound to the glory of God” (vv.7-15).
D. The servants of God weight everything in the light of eternity (vv.16-18).
All of this is true because of our so great salvation – elected by God the Father, redeemed by God the Son, and regenerated by God the Holy Spirit!
CONCLUSION: And so the convictions, commitments, and conclusions of the God called minister are well documented in Paul’s testimony recorded in 2 Cor. 4.