The proof of Paul’s authority and effectiveness in ministry was the Corinthian church itself. Their changed lives were evidence of God’s work through Paul. Is the Spirit actively working in your life? Is there proof? And if so…be bold! Share the gospel with confidence that God is working!
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion 2. then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
There’s a difference between happiness and joy. Joy is not an emotion. It’s a contentment, a confidence…a certainty. That all is well despite our mood, circumstances or emotion. It is lasting and true and it comes from Christ.
The Christian life is not a one man band! We are better together. There is a joy that can only be found in community. Paul’s gratitude to and love for the Philippian church is a great example of this.
God’s glory can be found even in and through our suffering. His power is displayed through our weakness. Even in apparent defeat God is doing something in and through you! So become nothing, so God can make something out of you!
Paul encourages the church in Corinth to offer forgiveness, comfort, love, and restoration to one who offended Paul and the church. If repentance has taken place, it’s better to restore an offender rather than let him fall into despair. Forgive, comfort, love…that’s the way of Jesus.
Paul had pure motives in his dealings with the Corinthian church. His change of plans was not frivolous or self serving but for their benefit. What about our motives? When called into question how do our motives stand up?
Suffering is not in vain! It has a purpose beyond ourselves. Those who have been comforted, comfort.