2 Corinthians (Program #50) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (5)
At the end of 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul was compelled to make a vindication of his apostolic authority. In the course of this defense, he described much of the sufferings and poverty that seem to be his constant companions during his ministry. Judging his ministry by today’s common standards, it might seem to some that his work lack the Lord’s blessing. Listen, “three times I was beaten with rods” he writes, “once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I had spent in the deep, In journeys often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from my race, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false brothers; In labor and hardship; in watchings often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings often; in cold and nakedness.”
This kind of hardship and shortage even of the basic material supplies might seems strange to some. How could this be the case of a genuine servant of the Lord? But to Paul, it was quite the opposite. For to his realization the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry similarly suffered and Paul considered it an honor that the Lord would find him worthy to share in the sufferings.
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