Summary: Paul focuses on his ministry, in spite of the problems he was experiencing
1) In this chapter, Paul describes the reasons he did not lose heart.
I. REMEMBER YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
The apostle Paul was a man who understood and fulfilled his responsibility in life. He
said, "We have this ministry." Paul considered his job of preaching the gospel an obligation, a responsibility, and a calling from God that he needed to he could fulfill.
We are to recognize our responsibilities before God. We are called to be responsible
people! The real test of your Christian maturity is how well you keep going when the
going gets tough. Do you do your job anyway?
Are you a person who calls in sick or who crawls sick.? Many speak today of burnout, and it is a real problem, but sometimes it is just an excuse to avoid doing what God has called us to do.
Paul had a ministry. He had a job to do and I’m sure there were times when he didn’t feel much
Paul recognized that the Christian is a witness. We, too, make a pledge. Like the witness in court, we are called to tell the truth. The bench may be absent and the judge unseen, but the Bible is present, the watching world is the jury, and we are the primary witnesses. We are subpoenaed by no less than Jesus himself: “You will be my witnesses – in Jerusalem, in
all of Judea, in Samaria and in every part of the world” (Acts 1:8).
Remembering our responsibility keeps us from losing heart.
Deception is the devil’s number one tool. Christians don’t need to deceive people about
what they believe (like cults do) but rather, we share the truth. We just preach the
Some people prefer us to be less than honest with them.
Most of us can sympathize with the fellow who received a call from his wife just as she was about to
fly home from Europe. “How’s my cat?” she asked. “Dead,” he answered. She was angry with him
and said, “Oh, honey, don’t be so honest. Why didn’t you break the news to me slowly? You’ve
ruined my trip. You could have told me he was on the roof. And when I called you from Paris, you
could have told me he was acting sluggish. Then when I called from London, you could have said he
was sick, and when I called you from New York, you could have said he was at the vet. Then, when I
arrived home, you could have said he was dead.” “OK,” he said. “I’ll do better next time.” “By the
way,” she asked, “how’s Mom?” There was a long silence, then he replied, “Uh, she’s on the roof.”
3. APPEAL TO EVERYONES CONSCIENCE. (v. 2)
When the Word of God is preached plainly and truthfully it will appeal to everyone’s
conscience regardless of where they are spiritually. Paul’s preaching appealed to people’s
conscience because of its honesty.
When we deal with the truth head on it will surgically remove falsities from our life.
DON’T BELIEVE YOU MUST REACH EVERYONE
“The god of this age” is the devil. He is using every means possible to blind the eyes of
unbelievers to the truth of the gospel. He uses bad church experiences, difficult family
situations to cover the eyes of non-believers to the truth. We must be willing to accept the
fact that even some of the people who heard Jesus preach and saw His miracles rejected
Him. So do we think just because we have a “good church” that everyone who comes in
among us will believe the gospel and make a profession of faith? No! So we must not
grow discouraged but be encouraged to continue to teach and preach the gospel. Some
people would rather live a self-made illusion than in the reality of Scripture.
REALIZE THAT REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL IS REJECTION OF CHRIST- NOT
Face this- We are only servants revealing the light of Jesus Christ. Those who reject
our ministry are rejecting Christ, not us.
You wouldn’t keep something really valueable in a cardboard box. In Paul’s day, jars
of clay were s common as cardboard boxes (and not quite as sturdy). Clay jars were
ordinary and breakable. Paul wants folks to see the treasure that is inside him rather than
himself. Paul wants to emphasize Christ in the believer- not the believer. Paul wanted
folks to know that he was a Christ-promoter and not a Paul promoter.
Paul describes that the ministry has been tough, but it hasn’t put him down.
Paul may have felt like the boxer who went to his corner after being knocked down in the
first round. His trainer patted him on the back and said, "Go back out there and get him. He hasn’t laid a glove on you."