LESSON683: PAUL CONCERN AND SUFFERING FOR THE CHURCH
MEMORY VERSE:”In weariness and painfulness, inwatchingsoften, in hunger and thirst, infastingsoften, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all churches.”(2 Corinthians 11:27,28)TEXT:2 Corinthians 11:1-33
From our last study, we learnt the following lessons:Spiritual leadership is by God’s calling and grace. It is to serve Christ.We should not seek for position or privilege but for God’s approval.Carnal comparison leads to pride, robs us of joy and can ruin our lives.We should not boast of our earthly possessions or spiritual endowment; we should rather rejoice in our knowledge and understanding of God.We should avoid self commendation and seek for Christ’s commendation.The study of today touches on three points:Pastoral concern for the churchPaul’s defence of his apostleshipPaul’s steadfastness in suffering
Pastoral concern for the church(2 Corinthians 11:1-4):Paul showed commitment to the cause of the gospel and his ultimate goal was to present the church as a chaste virgin to Christ.The call to ministry is a privilege which requires humility.As ministers, we need to beware of false doctrine and guard against deception creeping into the church of Christ.Paul’s defence of his apostleship(2 Corinthians 11:5-15):Paul defended the gospel that he had preached, knowing that there were false apostles.We need to take caution and be determined to earnestly contend for the faith.Believers must be armed with the truth so they can detect and overcome false teachers.Paul’s steadfastness in suffering (2 Corinthians 11:16-33):Paul’s suffering teaches us that the grace of God is sufficient for every situation.Paul was very passionate about his calling even in times of persecution. So must we.
How can believers remain humble?1 Corinthian1:26-29John 3:28-30Philippians 1:1
How can we avoid being deceived by false teachers spreading false doctrine all around us?2 John vs 10Acts 20:28-301 John 2:18-21
Why do believers suffer?1 Peter 2:21John 17:14Matthew 5:10; 1Peter 4:12Hebrews 5:7-9Deuteronomy 4:20
What should be our disposition as true believers while suffering or being persecuted?1 Peter 4:15Psalm 119:9-11Proverbs 11:14Acts 5:40-41
Paul’s concern and suffering for the Corinthian church serve as reference point to the Great Commission.Paul showed commitment and dedication to his ministerial calling. Believers should be committed to the work of the Lord and willing to do ever increasing exploits for Him.He had a successful ministry but still remained humble. Believers should have this virtue because serving the body of Christ is a great privilege.Paul went through a lot of trial; yet he remained steadfast and focused.Believers are not excluded from trouble, pain or trials. At such times, we should remember that the grace of God is available forour sustenance.