The following notes were taken during the message.
Review from CertaintiesThat Drive Enduring Ministry, Part 1
Paul was able to endure the innumerable trials in his ministry because
- He embraced with all his heart the superiority of the new covenant.
- He embraced the reality that ministry is a mercy.
- He embraced the essential necessity of a pure heart.
- He was certain of his responsibility to accurately handle the word of God.
Five Additional Reasons For Paul's Ability to Endure
5) Paul embracedthe reality that the results of his ministry did not depend on him.2 Corinthians 4:3-4. Consider how God has chosen the weak and lowly to preach his gospel to the ends oftheearth. And consider how that gospel is, to the natural mind,foolishness. And consider, finally, that their audience is composedentirely of people who are blind, deaf, and dead. The only waythat the gospel ever triumphs is by the sovereign regenerating grace ofGod! The Lord simply asks us to faithfully preach the gospel; he willtake care of the results (verse 6).
6) He embracedthe reality of his own insignificance. 2 Corinthians 4:7.The power of the gospel is not the product of human efforts ortechnique. We are "earthen vessels"—cheap, common, andreplaceable. Weare nothing in contrast to our message. This knowledge prepared Paul toexpect hardship in his ministry, and thus it better equipped him toendure.
7) He embracedthe benefits of suffering. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11. Successappeals to our flesh and fosters pride, obscuring the gospel. Butafflictions, with their effect of shattering our self-confidence, canpowerfully reveal Jesus Christ. Paul saw weakness as a means to thespiritual power needed to be effective and endure.
8) He embracedthe need for bold conviction. 2 Corinthians 4:13. Paul'smessage was not driven by fads. He was driven by what he believed, byconviction. A person of deep conviction is not hunting for something tosay. He is hunting for someone to say it to. A person whose ministry isbuilt on current trends will fade away justlike them. Personal conviction is a staple of enduringministry.
9) He embracedeternity as his priority. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.Paul forsook pursuing earthly pleasures and popularity and sethis eyes on the "eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." He wasable to endure because his hope couldn't be shaken by present troublesbut was fixed on things unseen.