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  • It was God who gave me this ministry, through his mercy and grace, and I will not shirk my responsibilities.

    I have turned away from the worldly tools of priests and politicians. I don't use fancy language, I don't lie, and I will not bend the word of God to suit my own needs.

    Instead, I speak only the word of God in truth and honesty, and let the Holy Spirit work on the conscience of those who hear.

    If they do not listen, then they weren't meant to receive the word at this time. The light of God's word has been hidden from them by the deceit of Satan, so they do not see Christ for who He truly is, the Messiah, the living God.

    We do not preach the gospel of Paul, but the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has brought us the light of knowledge to the glory of God.

    For now God has chosen mortal men to preach his word, and we stand against Satan's power on this earth.

    Satan stands against us on all sides, but we are not worried. Men accuse us falsely and lie about out deeds, but we never doubt the truth. We may be persecuted, but we know the Lord is with us. We have been slandered and even imprisoned, yet we are here.

    We preach in our witness the glorious death and resurrection of Jesus, so that His life might become real to those who have not heard. And when we are delivered to death, there is no victory for Satan, for our mortal bodies will die, yet we live on, resurrected in the image of Jesus, the Christ, the Living God.

    When I am delivered to the executioner, it will be for the sake of Christ, and for His sake I will be resurrected in His image, as will all who believe.

    I am bound for mortal death for the glory of God, but you are bound for life for His sake.

    We have in us the same Spirit of faith, as was promised by God in the scriptures.

    I believe and have spoken the truth. You believe, and speak the truth as well, for you know that God will raise you from your graves in the image of Christ, and we will be together once more.

    All that I do is for you, so His abundant love and grace will shine out from you to others, and all this to the glory of God.

    So you see, I cannot back away from this ministry. If this body is put to death, this soul will live on and this is the hope that gives me new strength when I rise every day.

    The things that happen in this world are temporary, yet the witness of suffering for Christ gives glory to God.

    So I do not pay attention to the things of this mortal world, but instead focus myself on serving the eternal kingdom of God.


    No Backing Down, No Surrender

    In the last chapter, Paul explained how his ministry is not to serve himself, but to serve God directly. Here he expands on this idea by letting his children in Corinth know the truth of his ministry and his reason for dedication.

    Paul's ministry wasn't a walk in the park, but a daily battle against all sorts of opposition. The Romans viewed him as a terrorist trying to stir up an insurrection in their empire. The Jewish priests viewed him as a direct threat to their power over the Jews and their income. The Pagan priests feared the truth of the gospel would lead to the people rebelling against their gods and killing them for their false preaching. The Jews themselves saw him as a heretic and a bad influence.

    The list could go on, but I think you get the point. Paul tried to be as low key as possible when he came into a new place to preach, but the changes in converts were evident to non-believers, and when they became enough of an annoyance, the locals would look for the leader to stop this nonsense before it got out of hand. Sometimes Paul was able to get out of town before they caught him, other times he was caught and subjected to beatings, whippings, confinement and public humiliation. But he never once denied Christ or his ministry.

    Paul was living his life by the example provided by Jesus.

    I hope you are having a blessed and glorious day.

    Fred
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