Summary: We are given a particular field of ministry to finish the job and go beyond


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)

I wonder what would happened if Paul relied only upon his feeling and personal decision? Paul may have proceeded to places that were not yet prepared for the Gospel; or God may have prepared another person to go to that place. Paul, being out of the Lord’s will may have created conflict with other workers.


During the early years of the Protestant mission in the Philippines, the American missionaries from different denominations created boundaries and apportioned among themselves, the areas where they can operate without invading upon each other’s territory. This made sense and it galvanized the evangelicals to work hand in hand in reaching out to the whole country with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the case of Paul, there were intruders. It created a big problem among the members and almost divided the church. Like Paul, we have to confine ourselves into the field of ministry until the task is done. We do not operate like a "Seesaw"- going from one place to another as what the false teachers had been doing, intruding upon where Paul was laboring.

The second lesson we could derive from Paul’s experience is that--

II. We Are Given A Particular Field Of Ministry To Finish The Job v.15

When Paul met with the elders of church of Ephesus to bid them farewell (Act 20:17), he pointed out to them- "For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God."(Acts 20:27) Although, Paul said this to the church in Ephesus, he could say the same thing to all churches he founded including the church in Corinth.

We see how Paul labored when he laid down the foundation of his work in Corinth (Acts 18). He supported himself as a tent-maker while preaching to the Corinthians the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even after apostle Paul established the church and left, he continued to remind them of the things he had taught them. We can see these from his first letter ( actually his second letter to the Corinthians) For instance.....

*We are called by God despite our shortcomings (1:26-27)

*We are given the Spirit to understand God’s revelations (2:10-16)

*We are called to be stewards of God’s mysteries (4:1)

*We are cleansed and made holy (5:7)

These are just a few things apostle Paul taught them during his one and a half-year stay with them. In short, Paul had given them all the tools and instructions that they needed before he left them.

Paul’s job, as far as church planting is concerned, had been completed in Corinth. There was nothing he had not taught them with regards to doctrines and how they should conduct themselves in public.


Filipino-American Community Church will be on her 2nd year anniversary by January 2002. Our strategy in the church is to motivate members to lead people to Christ among their family members, circle of friends for faith-community building.

What we have accomplished so far? This year, we conducted three baptismal services. The first one was six, second, was 7 and this month 13 persons followed the Lord through water baptism. Our Sunday worship attendance is ranging from 70 to 100.

Our spirits are high because the whole church is involved in bringing the whole gospel to people we meet everyday. We are all ministers in the church and our job is to make Jesus known to the unreached within the city like the Roman Catholics, the working people and others.

We reach these people not only on Sundays but everyday wherever we meet these people may it be in the workplace or in shopping centers. We always connect friendship with evangelism and we call it friendship evangelism.

We give business cards to our church members indicating that they belong to our church and they give it to people they meet. We are always bold in talking to strangers may they be Filipinos or not.

How about our churches today? Where are you now, when it comes to finishing the job that God has given you? Are you still on the right track of preaching the gospel and making disciples? Do you have new believers in the church or new transfers? Do you focus more on problems or are YOU determined that whatever happens in the church, you will not stop preaching the gospel? What have you’ve been doing lately to finish the job God has given you?

Have you ever taught your church members with regards to doctrines and how they should conduct themselves in public? I visited many American churches here in the United States. And I met several old timer believers and church officers of many evangelical churches. You know, what is sad, most of them do not even know about their doctrines.

As far as our calling as pastors is concerned, our job is not complete. We must continue to do our best. With the help of God let us perform our tasks, like Apostle Paul.

When apostle Paul left Corinth, he did not just leave them like orphans. He constantly sent workers such as Apollos, Timothy, Silas, and others to help them grow. We knew that some Corinthian believers life-style was carnal. So, even when Paul was laboring in other field, he continued to communicate with them.


Southern Baptist are congregationalist but does it work for our advantage? It should work for our benefit. The Filipino-American Community Church constantly communicates with Greg Cole, our mission director in Pikes Peak region. He helps us in soliciting support for our church planting initiative even when he was very new in the office.

Our sponsoring church, Chapel Hills Baptist Church gave all their support, for they are convinced that there is a strong need, to reach for the Lord, these diverse cultural groups in Colorado Springs.

People in our state office are more than willing to assist us, in any way, for the hard core of our ministry is evangelism. We praise the Lord for individuals and churches in Pikes Peak for they are doing everything to help Filipino-American Community Church.

The Broadmoor Life Fellowship and Cowboy Church are giving 1 % of their offering every month and there are countless ways we have proven that Pikes Peak churches are being awakened by the Lord to do the task.

Even our mission director is urging us to pray for revival. That must come from us, we the pastors. We may not be an evangelist, but Paul said to Timothy, do the work of an evangelist. We do really need to finish the job.

What does this say to us as modern pastors? Do we have the same concern and passion that Paul had towards his church? A lot of times when pastors are assigned to another place, it is like goodbye forever to the people whom we have ministered. No more communication. This ought not to be. And this leads me to my third and final point.....

III. We Are Given A Particular Field Of Ministry To Finish The Job And Go Beyond It v.16

Paul suggested to the Corinthian believers that as their faith had grown, his presence is no longer necessary. Now, it’s time for Paul to expand his ministry into new areas which was most likely Rome or Spain as he had indicated in Act 19:21; Rom. 15:23-24.

As a church planter, apostle Paul did not stay longer than necessary. He left Corinth after staying for 1 ½ years of faithful service to go to another field. In verse 16, Paul reveals two weaknesses oftentimes found in the proclamation of the Gospel. One is the tendency of pastors and congregations to compete with one another for adherents drawn from each other’s ranks.

One denomination competes with another, and measures success by its power to persuade people to change their denomination; to adopt some other method of organization, or church order, or theological emphasis without necessarily making them better Christians

The real test of success of a minister or congregation is the number of people brought or added into the church from among those who are not Christians, or have no attachment to any Christian congregation.

Are we proud that our church is growing by God’s grace? How many new believers are added in your church within a week? How about within a month or within a year? Are we willing to reach out the lost?


Some believers in Corinth described Paul as timid but never stop him to preach the gospel. He may not be handsome like movie stars we have today but nothing could stop him to preach to those who had not heard the gospel.

The Lord keeps sending people in our church from the Roman Catholic church. The gospel is very fresh to them and it’s an amazing experience how grateful these people are in knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Two months ago, Mike Cullipher’s family met the Lord through Filipino-American Community Church, as a result, their neighbors are also going to our church.

We love the church so much to the point that we do not like to leave the church anymore. I started the ministry there and I am comfortable to stay but preaching the gospel beyond must be our greater ambition. Our business as pastors is lead people to Christ and to let them share Christ to others but where have you’ve been so far?

The ambiance of our office is very seducing for us to stay. There are books that are waiting for us to be read. The sermon we make Sunday after Sunday is so enticing and we don’t like to leave the comfort of our office chair anymore. The people in our church love one another and as if, our church members are good enough.

The central focus of our ministry is to go out, preach the gospel and make disciples not only in our own Jerusalem but beyond.

We just learned that the largest population of Hispanic speaking people are here in Colorado. We also learned that more than 10,000 Filipinos are here in Denver and there is no Southern Baptist church working for this ethnic group and by your prayer and full financial support, by God’s grace, we will achieve this ambition to have a church planting initiative here in Denver. This is very possible if you will give the same support given by Pikes Peak mission churches in Colorado Springs.

The other weakness is that the congregation is likely to live to fellowship among themselves as an end in itself. The Christian congregation is only a base for further operations.

Listen, no army could conquer a country if it were satisfied to settle down in some stronghold instead of using every gain as a springboard for

further conquests.

It is the same thing in church life; without an outlet, life becomes stagnant, like the Dead Sea in Palestine which receives the waters from the Jordan but has no outlet except by evaporation. Missionary work is a living force that will conquer untouched grounds for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Paul was not afraid to accept bigger tasks. God had called him to labor no matter the dangers that lay ahead of him. He went to places where people were hostile to the Gospel. Paul endured such hardships as being stoned, imprisoned, flogged as well as many other pains inflicted upon his body.

Despite of all of these, Paul stood his ground by God’s grace. At the end of his ministry, he was able to say- "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith"

(2Tim 4:7). My fellow workers, if we are faithful to reach out to new community- it will cost us.

We can learn a great deal from Paul’s example. He had accomplished much, yet, he never boasted about anything he had done. He gave God all the glory for he was only dependent on God’s grace. Like Paul, we should see ourselves as weak, and have nothing to be proud of. We are what we are only because of God’s marvelous grace.


Colorado Baptist in 1954 had barely began as a fellowship, but today we are 350 churches. What is our projected vision? The Filipino-American Community Church even as a mission church, has a vision to begin another church after five years.

If all our churches will do the same by December 2006, we will have 700 churches by God’s grace. By your heart, you know that there is never an accident before God. Make it happen. Have this ambition to reach beyond your church. Do the work of an evangelist.

Pastors are like medical doctors. Doctors have specializations such as Pathologist, Gynecologist, Neurologist, Oncologist and many others. But in an emergency situation like when a mother is going to deliver a baby, a doctor would not dream of withholding when needed.

A doctor who is present cannot refuse the patient and say, "It’s not my specialization and I will not attend to that patient."


A doctor is obliged and has as his moral duty to treat a patient in an emergency situation.

We, as pastors have our own specializations or gifts but we are commanded to do the work of an evangelist by our very own Lord Jesus, himself.

Preach the gospel beyond your own Jerusalem, for Christ’s sake, go out from your office and share the gospel for a lot of people are dying without Christ and your duty is to share the gospel.

The Lord will hold us accountable for every person we meet and any person without Christ is always in an emergency situation. You know by heart John 3:16 but why don’t you try John 3:36 and I quote,

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him."

They may not be in the twin towers of World Trade Center, but they need emergency treatment and this is to hear by the words of your mouth that salvation is through Christ alone.

To God be the Glory!! Amen!!!

Let us pray.....

Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for having prepared Paul for the ministry. A man who was so opposed to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, he was not beyond your reach. You have called him to be an apostle. He did what he could by your grace and has left us a legacy of examples that we could imitate.

Help us Father, that as pastors of this day that we would be like Paul, faithful in performing our duties and responsibilities as ministers of the Gospel. Challenge us anew with the task that we are called to do, and be mindful at the same time, that there are other fields that we need to reach out. Help us to fulfill our mandate and expand our ministries to the regions beyond us. We pray this in Christ’s name.