Summary: We are given a particular field of ministry to finish the job and go beyond
PREACHING THE GOSPEL BEYOND YOU
Text: 2 Corinthians 10:13-16
When Dr. Richard Vera asked me two months ago to preach in this gathering, I asked him to give me time to think and pray, before I would say yes to his invitation.
After much prayer, the Lord led me to accept the invitation. And it is my honor to speak before you.
Let us read our text:2 Cor 10:13-17
"We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory."
The Corinthian congregation was a divided church. Paul sacrificed a lot of energy and time when he started the Lord’s work in Corinth. Even after he had left the church for another field, he still had to deal with problems that emerged one after the other. There was immorality that he had to address and also the litigation between members.
Beside this, Paul had to contend with some people within the church who opposed his authority and criticized his doctrine. This man of God went through all the hassles and withstood the test. As a missionary, he went only to areas where the Holy Spirit guided him. Our text tells us of Paul’s field of ministry that included Corinth. He aimed to preach the Gospel to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles as well. When the Gospel he preached was rejected by his own people, he set his sight to the gentile world.
We see in the last three chapters of this epistle, how Paul defended his apostolic authority against false prophets who questioned his apostleship and authority as a teacher. He refused in v.12, to compare himself with others, avoiding any self-promotion as others were doing. Let me draw your attention to some lessons we could derive from Paul’s experience.
I. We Are Given A Particular Field Of Ministry v.14
God has appointed each of us a field of ministry to which we could operate for a given period of time. Notice what apostle Paul wrote in v. 14- "We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ." He makes a strong point here.
Paul had come to Corinth under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Corinth was his assigned field of work. He ministered and put forth his energy in one place at a time.
The Filipino American Community Church in Colorado Springs is a pioneering work given to us by the Lord. By God’s grace, we started the ministry last year January 2001.
We, as Filipino-American Christians take this perfect opportunity to reach more than 5,000 Filipinos in Colorado Springs. Our God-given vision is clear, plant a seed wherever God place us in the ministry.
We have 3-point objectives in our church as we share the gospel. One is to communicate Christ in multi-cultural setting. Second our goal, as a church, is to celebrate life in Christ through diverse cultural orientations and our third and last, is to create a multi-cultural faith community that care for one another.
We preach and teach in English but we translate our main points into Filipino or Tagalog to serve some old people in the congregation. With this very clear task, we are serving the Lord.
The Apostle Paul recognized his own limitations. He operated within the limits which the Holy Spirit permitted. As a missionary, he took upon himself the task of reaching out the lost whatever the cost. Paul did not depend upon his own instinct or personal drives. He relied upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Instead of going to Asia, the Lord led Paul to Macedonia. Paul obeyed and did only the things the Holy Spirit allowed him to do under His direction and power. In his early days at Corinth, the Jews firmly resisted him.
So, Paul decided to go and preach to the Gentiles. When Paul was having doubts whether he was in the right place or not, the Lord spoke to him-"Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." (Act 18:9-10)