As we go through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he’s continuing to deal with their infatuation with these “super-apostles” that travel the region. These ministers exalt themselves and put down any other ministry that are not a part of their group.
When these “minsters” came to Corinth, they berated Paul’s work. Yet, even though it was Paul’s ministry that gave birth to this church, they didn’t speak up on his behalf.
I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:11
Paul understands that it’s foolish to exalt yourself. But, because the Corinthians didn’t speak up for him, he had to remind them of his work in their church. They should have stood with Paul when these people were slandering his work.
I like Paul’s sarcasm here. He makes the statement that even though he’s nothing, he’s better than those “super-apostles”.
He goes on to explain.
The things that mark an apostle — signs, wonders and miracles — were done among you with great perseverance. How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
2 Corinthians 12:12-13
If you don’t already know this about me, let me tell you that I believe God never stopped anointing apostles and prophets. These callings are still available today, to those who are open and listening for the Lord’s voice.
The marks of an apostle are the things Paul lists. All of them are miraculous works of God through His servants.
Signs are miracles that point to the truth of God’s Word. They confirm that what God says will stand forever. Wonders are miracles that cause you to simply stop and stand in awe of God’s power. Of course, there are also miracles that don’t fall into either of those categories.
We need these ministries today. The Bible tells us what they’re for. In Ephesians 4:11-13, we’re told that they mature us. To my knowledge, these verses aren’t fulfilled yet, so these gifts are still needed.
More than that, apostles are vital to the saving of souls. Listen closely to what Paul says to the Roman believers.
I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
The Gospel is more than just spoken. It involves what we say and do. My question is; can you fully proclaim the Gospel of Christ without signs, wonders, and the power of the Holy Spirit?
I don’t think so!
Question: Why do so many people try to win the lost with only convincing words?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi