The apostle is here vindicating both his ministry and his method, and there are suggestion of some qualifications for a Christian life as well as for a Christian ministry.
What is the Christian view of life? It is the arrangements of God, it is our lot, our station, our occupation, our relationships, All are of Divine appointment.
He assigns us our lot according to (Ps.16:5,6) “ The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage, read (Ac.17:26).
Our Christian life is a calling. Our true work in the world is that to which the voices of Providence call us. If we are where we ought to be, we should look upon our occupation as a real vocation of God.
What is the Christian’s duty in relation to our lot or calling in life? The general rule is. Remain where you are. This follows from the view of life just presented; for it is our duty to abide by the Lord’s appointment, and conversion does not necessarily change a persons secular vocation.
If he finds you at the plough, or at the desk, or engaged in trade, or in the married state, or in the service of another, serve him where he finds you.
Christianity is a hardy plant that thrives in every clime.
Do not imagine that if you were in a different line of things it would be easier for you to follow Jesus.
When there is a clear call to a position of greater usefulness and offering fuller opportunities of serving the Lord. Thus, the apostles left their boats and nets to follow Jesus.
Many a young man or women are called to leave their secular occupation and give there self to the ministry of the Word.
Paul had a Personal Experience in Jesus Christ “Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord ? ”(v.). He had both seen Him and heard Him, and knew the transforming power of His revelation.
He could truthfully say: “I know Him whom I have believed.”
Should not this be the initial experience of every messenger of the Gospel ? It was Thomas who made this statement in (Jh. 20:28) “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” How can we say, “We speak that which we do know, ” if we have nopersonal experience of His saving power.
The apostle Paul had Faith in God for the Supply of all his Needs.
All though he asked nothing from those to whom he ministered the Word, but showed them that if he sowed spiritual things it was no great thing if he should reap their carnal things (v.11), he reminded them that it was an ordination of the Lord, “that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel (v.14).
The Gospel of Christ is without charge, and he would put no price on it for his own advantage (v.18). He could say,“My God will supply all your need” (Phil. 4:19).
It is a deplorable service that can be bribed with money.
He has Enthusiasm for the Gospel. “Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel” (v.16).
This is not that kind of enthusiasm that can be worked up for a special occasion; not a convulsive effort that may be produced by a stream of words.
It is the result of the holy fire from the altar of the Cross blazing in the heart, where the “wood, hay, and stubble” of all self-seeking has been burned up, and where the Spirit of God has taken possession of the life, and focused the energies of the soul in Christ and Him crucified. “To me to live is Christ.”
Paul has Humility of Spirit, “I have’ made myself the slave of all,that I might gain the more” (v.10).
He was ready to take the lowest place that he might, if possible reach the lowest down. Like his Master, he took the towel of humility and girded himself, that he might wash the feet of others (Jh.13:4,5).“ He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. ” “The proud, He knoweth afar off. ” “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His” according to (Rom. 8:9).
If a man is not influenced by the meek, pure, and holy spirit of the Lord Jesus, if he is not conformed to his image, if his life does not resemble that of the Saviour, he is a stranger to Christ. No test could be more easily applied, and none is more decisive.
It matters not what else he may have. He may be loud in his professions, friendly in his temper, bold in his zeal, or active in promoting the interests of his own party or denomination, but if he has not the temper of the Saviour, and does not manifest his spirit, it is as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal
All Holy Ghost filled Christians have the Spirit of Christ, they have him for the blessing of conversion, they have him for the benefit of communion.
He dwells in us by his sanctifying impressions, powerful assistance, quickening and comforting influences. He pours in both the oil of grace, and also the oil of joy and gladness into our hearts.
He has the Power of Adjustment in Method, “To the Jews I become as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews. To them under the law, that I might wind them that are under the law” (v.20, 21).
He declares further: “That I am made all things to all, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the Gospel’s sake” (v.22, 23).
In all this we may be assured Paul never condescended to pander that which was evil, or encourage customs and practices which were dishonouring to the Name of Jesus.
He simply and lovingly stooped down far enough to get a hold of them, that he might lift them up into God’s salvation.
No weakling in the faith should attempt this. It takes a strong man to swim against this tide.
He is self-denying that he might keep physically fit, “1 keep my body in subjection, lest I myself should be rejected” (v. 27).
The body is a sacred instrument for the work of God, In eating and drinking, in work or in physical exercise, let us remember that the body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (I.Cor.6:13). “Ye are not your own,” therefore take care of the Lord’s property.