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Summary: Physically, the demands of the ministry were sometimes almost more than Paul could bear (1:8;11:23 27). However, even more draining were the spiritual demands (7:5;11:28 29). He reflects on these experiences in this passage and tells why, though discoura

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THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:

Larry Olsen describes a man lost in the desert: “He has been out of food and water for days. His lips are swollen, his tongue is swollen, he’s all beat up and bloody. Some of his bones are almost peeking through. He has been scraped and beat up by the cactus, sand and sun. He’s blistered. As he’s crawling over this little hill he comes across this little plant and props himself up on one bloody elbow, looks down at this plant and says, ‘You know, if things keep going like this I might get discouraged!’” (Larry Olsen, Outdoor Survival Skils - Swindoll’s Book of Illustrations, p. 164)

Physically, the demands of the ministry were sometimes almost more than Paul could bear (1:8;11:23 27). However, even more draining were the spiritual demands (7:5;11:28 29). He reflects on these experiences in this passage and tells why, though discouraged at times, he never quit.

One source of discouragement to Paul was the false teachers in the church at Corinth. He was no doubt referring to these Judaizers when he wrote these words (v. 2). Every false teacher claims to base his doctrine on the Word of God, but false teachers handle God’s Word in deceptive ways. Satan will do everything in his power to keep lost sinners in the dark and often he uses religious teachers to deceive people. Even today, many of the people who belong to false cults were originally members of Gospel preaching churches.

These Judiazers enjoyed preaching about themselves and bragging about their achievements (10:12 18). They were not servants who tried to help people but instead they were out to take advantage of people. Paul made it plain that the reason he served the church and openly proclaimed the gospel was because of God’s work in his life (v. 5). When Paul preached he did not say, “Look at me!” He said, “Look at Jesus Christ, and there you will see the glory of God come to earth in a form that a man can understand.” How could he ever get discouraged and quit when he was involved in such a wonderful ministry?

APPLICATION:

When I find myself getting discouraged and wanting to quit, I need to think on what I have in Jesus Christ. Instead of complaining about what I do not have, I need to rejoice in what I do have.


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