Helpers, Not Policemen

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

“Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24 KJV).

Behold, a ministry verse worth memorizing!

A grace pastor or Bible teacher should use today’s Scripture as a litmus test for his own ministry. Does he bully people into believing what he does, fussing them about everything they are doing wrong? Or, does he lovingly teach them God’s Word rightly divided and cause them to rejoice in believing it? Seeing the Apostle Paul conduct his ministry allows us to recognize how the Holy Spirit would have us operate our ministry.

The Corinthians were the most carnal (fleshly) believers in all the Bible. Although citizens of heaven, they acted like people from hell! Such poor examples of Christian living! Such immature believers! Such grievers of the Holy Spirit! First Corinthians chapter 3 says: “[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. [2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. [3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

Paul wrote the epistle of First Corinthians to instruct them in solving their problems. By the time he wrote Second Corinthians (today’s Scripture), they still had unresolved issues. They had matured some, but other difficulties remained in their thinking and behavior. Paul wrote, “Moreover, I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth” (verse 23). Today’s Scripture follows: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.”

Paul did not visit Corinth as a bully and forcibly reform these still wayward Christians. As a parent would want his or her child to grow up, he gave them opportunity to resolve their problems. In letting them sort out their own issues by allowing them to exercise faith in God’s Word to them (First and Second Corinthians), they could experience God’s joy. May we do likewise in our ministry! 🙂