I am challenged by Paul’s attitude toward preaching the gospel. There are two sides to his commitment; 1) his absolute dedication to preach the gospel anywhere and under any conditions, and 2) his admission to weakness and frailty. Both are necessary!
In 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, Paul speaks of being pure in motive as he proclaimed the gospel so he “commended [himself] to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (4:2). That was his approach whether persons received the gospel or not. We must realize that persons who refuse the gospel have been blinded by “the god of this world…to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (4:4). Paul always elevates the gospel to its glory, irrespective of how it is received!
The other side of Paul was that he knew how weak he was. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (4:7). He refuses to boast of himself in any way. This verse is followed by what he experienced through “affliction, perplexed, persecuted, struck down” and then he adds, “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (4:8-10).
I seriously doubt we can experience the power of God in presenting the gospel unless we realize our own weakness and frailty. “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (4:11). This is we can glory in our sufferings and weakness so that Jesus and the gospel can be seen by others.
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