Heart Matters #11. “Passion.”

Heart Matters #11. “Passion.”

To hear some speak, you would think that the apostle Paul couldn’t preach very well and that he just got lucky in ministry. They quote Paul’s own words, “But even if I am unskilled in speech” (2 Corinthians 11:6), and suggest that Paul was some sort of patron saint of mediocre preachers.

To further support their theory, they then quote Paul’s later statement: “For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible” (2 Corinthians 10:10). I believe that they are missing a key ingredient in both places—this was unadulterated humility on Paul’s part.

The apostle Paul was the greatest of church builders. He may never as much as laid a single brick, but he laid The Foundation of the Church wherever he went. The reactions of those that Paul spoke to were not of people meeting an unimpressive man. They didn’t always appreciate the message, but him they couldn’t ignore.

If Paul were with us today, he would be the first one to silence any personal praise of his talents and accomplishments. Instead, he pushes himself to the side so that the true source of his progress in the Lord can continue. He said, “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Paul, the preacher who was “not in the least inferior to the ‘super apostles’” (2 Corinthians 12:11), was not about to get involved in a “My preaching is better than your preaching” match. God made him an apostle—accompanied by signs, wonders, and miracles—but everything was designed to promote this one message: “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Paul had a passion for the obligation God had laid upon him:

“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16).

John Staiger


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