The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 70 of 144
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of much frailty and weakness, give us heart to continue rejoicing that God has not only
called Himself "The Holy One of ISRAEL", but also, blessed be His name, "The God of
pp. 94, 95
There are several passages in Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians where he speaks
very emphatically about ourselves. The first passage is introduced as a "ministry of
consolation", for God is called "The God of all comfort", and Paul says that both his
affliction and his consolation are for our benefits (II Cor. 2: 4-7).
"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in
Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired
even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in
ourselves; but in God which raiseth the dead" (II Cor. 1: 8, 9).
Paul was brought very low, but the object was glorious, his trust in himself died, and
he learned something of "the power of his resurrection". What was true in the wide
experience of his life, was true in the narrower experience of his ministry:--
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our
sufficiency is of God" (II Cor. 3: 5).
The passage goes on to show that the sphere of Paul's ministry was in resurrection
power, "spirit", "life", "glory". Yet again in II Cor. 4: 5 he says:--
"We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for
Jesus' sake."
To these same Corinthians the apostle had said:--
"Who then is Paul, but a minister by whom ye believed?" (I Cor. 3: 5).
"Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (I Cor. 1: 13).
Once more, in II Cor. 10: 12, he says:--
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that
commend themselves: but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing
themselves among themselves, are not wise."
Paul's one standard of measurement was the will of God, all boastful comparisons he
set aside, and so should we. Here are lessons for us that should help. Let us not trust in
ourselves, but in God that raiseth the dead. Let us not think that we have any sufficiency
of ourselves, but let us gladly acknowledge that our sufficiency is of God. Let us preach