THE KING’S BUSINESS
them. Paul was glad to preach though he had to support himself with painful toil with his own hands while he did it. In spite of all this devotion, he was not praised, but “reviled.” But he returned this reviling with blessing. He was also “per secuted,” but instead of resenting it, he endured it and kept right on doing his Master’s *will and ministering to men. He was “defamed” but replied not with self defense, but he entreated men to be recon ciled to God (cf. 2 Cor. 5:20 R. V.). He “was made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things.” Oh! how the apostolic method of service puts to shame our lazy, selfish method of service. Let us deeply ponder this description of how Paul and Apollos served Christ and let us endeavor to be apostolic in life as well hs doctrine. Tuesday, October p. i Corinthians 4 : 14 , 15 . . Paul had a very gentle heart, and he now turns from what might seem like sharpness in his words to the sinners at Corinth to great tenderness by recounting to them how he had toiled and suffered and how unkindly they had 'returned it all. He had no desire to “shame” them but to give them a faithful admonition. He speaks of them, inspite of all their ingratitude toward him, as “my beloved children” (R. V J. He felt that he was more than an “instructor” to them. Paul might be that, but he was a “father” for he had begot ten them again by his preaching the Gospel to them. His words in verse 15 tell us how a man is begotten again, that is, through the preaching of the Gospel (cf. 1 Peter 1:23; 1 James 1:18). As Paul according to his own statement had begot ten them through the Gospel, that is to say, as they had been regenerated through his ministry, and as he tells them elsewhere that he had not baptized them (cf. ch. 1:14) , it is evident that man is not regenerated by baptism, but by the preaching of the Gos pel. It is the Gospel which “is the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16), and which ,had proved so in their case.
words (which have almost a touch of irony in them) “Already are ye full, already ye are become rich, ye have reigned as kings without us.” Paul knew how unreal was the experience of those who delight in the last speaker they hear and think they have never heard anything like it before: so he adds “yea, and I would that he did reign.” It is one thing t% fancy that we have ful ness of blessing; it is quite another to have it. There will be no full realization of all there is for us in Christ until Christ Himself shall come (cf. Col. 3:4; 1 John 3:2). Then shall we indeed “reign” and Paul knew when that hour came, not only would the believers in Corinth reign, but that he would reign with them. Some people talk about having “full salvation” now. It is a mistake. Some have a much fuller salvation than others, a much fuller salvation than they themselves once had; but absolutely “full salvation” none of us will have until Christ appears (Rom. 8:23, 24 R. V.; 1 Thess. 5:23 R. V.). Until that time comes the especially chosen and hon ored servant of God is likely in some respects to have a hard time of it (vs. 9-13 R. V.). The apostles for the most part sealed their testimony with their blood. God sent them forth as “men doomed to death.” They were “made $ spectacle” unto the world, both to angels and to men. Not only men looked with wonder upon this spectacle, that their suffering for truth presented, but angels also. Little do we realize how angels are interesetd in what goes on in this world. The apostles were “fools for Christ’s sake;” they were “weak;” they had “dishonor.” Their office was- no sinecure, they hungered, were “naked,” “buffeted” and had no “certain , dwelling place.” Paul toiled, working with his own hands. The word translated “labor” in the Authorized Version and “toil” in the Revised Version is a very strong word, setting forth painful and exhausting toil. Paul toiled with his hands while he preached (Acts 18:1, 3; 1 Thess. 2:9). So many preachers today will not preach unless a good living is assured
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