Duty of the ministerStudies in Second Corinthians · part 64 of 68Rev. Ivan Foster · Sun May 17, 19982 Corinthians 12:11-21 · Sunday - AM

The boasting that Paul was compelled to engage in, though expressed in the most restrained of language, nevertheless made the apostle feel foolish, verse 11.

Let none of us think that we can boast of ourselves except we find ourselves in Paul’s circumstances and are forced to speak of ourselves in order to defend the truth of the gospel. Boasting is the characteristic of the fool. Such boasting would have been unnecessary had they acknowledged the truth regarding Paul’s apostleship which was very evident, the signs of an apostle being wrought amongst them, verse 12.  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ, Romans 15:19.

The clearest evidence of his apostleship was the spiritual standing of the church in Corinth. For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong, 2 Corinthians 12:13. The only difference they had from any other apostolic church was the fact that they were spared the expense of supporting the minister. Other apostles were supported (1Cor 9:5) and it was Paul’s right to receive such support but he forwent such support in order that he might not burden them. In the next verse, Paul explains the unselfish spirit that motivated his ministry amongst them. I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, verses 14-15.

These words lead us to:—THE DUTY OF A MINISTER

Let pulpit and pew learn from the words of Paul.

1. The wellbeing of the soul of the people and not their wealth was what Paul sought. This is an unselfish attitude. This is what it means to love thy neighbour as thyself, Matt 22:39. The false minister is not motivated so. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter, Isaiah 56:11. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand, Malachi 1:10. Acts 20:33, 1Cor 10:33.

2. It was the advantage of his people he sought. He did not court their favour but their good. Plain speaking, unrestricted application of the truth. For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ, 2 Cor 2:17. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth, 1 Cor 10:24; Phil 2:4, 21.

3. It is the principle that moves parents to seek the welfare of their children. The minister holds relationship to his people as that of a parent. 1Cor 4:14-15, 1Thess 2:7, 11. Parents act not out of self-interest but rather the children’s happiness is reward enough. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; 15. He was ready to be exhaust himself for them. No one associated with ever sought to gain by serving them, verse 16-18.

4. It is a motive not easily suppressed. The more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved, verse 15. Is this not a sad fact of human nature? How often abundant love is repaid by ingratitude. Doting David was chased for his life by the object of his love, Absalom. Paul nevertheless continued to love them and labour for them.

5. It was still his motive even when he spoke and acted sternly. He did not wish to find them still disobedient, verse 20. Then he would be found of them such as they would not and he would be compelled to administer discipline.


ID: 52113922272 · Duty of the minister