Instruction On Missions To The Church At Corinth

CorinthIn Paul’s letters to the Corinthian church he desired the believers to be enthusiastic about the expansion of the gospel. In Paul’s time, Corinth was located in an ideal geographic location to spread the new faith. A vibrant and mission minded church located in Corinth could easily use the heavily traveled trade route to speed the gospel throughout the world.

Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth provided a clear missions parameter for both the young church and believers today. Paul called the Corinthians to send, train and provide for missionaries so they could spread the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere (2 Cor 2:14).

Call To Missions
PaulThe call to be a fulltime servant and preacher of the gospel was not to be taken lightly. Paul told the Corinthians as Christ called them to share his wisdom to other lands, the Holy Spirit would empower them with the strength of the message itself.

The members of the young Corinthian church were concerned. How could these novices of the faith share such a significant message? Paul assured the Corinthians with the example of himself. He instructed the new believers they should imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor 4:16-17, 1 Cor 11:1-2).

Paul showed the Corinthians how God desired to work through their weakness for his own glory. Could God be glorified by the labors of the fractured church in Corinth? If God could use Paul and Apollos to work in conjunction to advance the gospel (1 Cor 3:5-15) he could certainly use the Corinthian church. As servants of Christ we are to go as we are called and proclaim God’s victory over darkness.

Instruction For Missionaries
Corinth2The message the followers of Christ are to deliver is simple. It is outlined in scripture and is a perfect message prepared by God. Deliverers of the true gospel will lack in nothing they need to convey the message of salvation (1 Cor 1:7). Paul outlined to the church in Corinth the message is far more important than the messenger. The messengers may need to bend like a reed in the wind, but the truth must take precedence (1 Cor 9:19-23).

The gospel message is perfect and needs no help from us. The missionary should never preach more than what is written (1 Cor 4:6). In the first three chapters of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul focused greatly on the point of the sufficiency of scripture. He warned the message barer to rely only on the message and not to become puffed up or conceited by their own abilities. It is a central point in preaching and teaching for us to recall we are only messengers and we should only focus on the humble deliverance of God’s perfect Word.

Care For Missionaries
praying-hardThe fulltime minister of the gospel has given himself for the advancement and glory of Jesus Christ. It falls upon his brothers in the faith to care for and facilitate his service. A cheerful servant brings great glory to Christ as he serves without grumbling. So too, the brothers in the faith bring great glory to Christ as they give sacrificially to make possible that fulltime service. While a laboring Ox should be fed and a temple servant should be cared for from the temple, so too a missionary should be aided by his brothers in the faith (1 Cor 9:8-14).

In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth he became more insistent on sacrificial giving to support others in need and others busy in fulltime service of God’s work. Paul told the Corinthians how their generosity to the believers in Jerusalem multiplied the grace of God in their lives. To the great glory of God, Paul also praised the generous giving of the Macedonian brothers (2 Cor 8:1-15).

Paul told the Corinthians they were not only to give financially in support of fulltime ministers of the gospel, but they were to help through prayer. Paul desired to have many brothers praying for missions work (2 Cor 1:11). Praying in the name of God that missionaries would have all they need to glorify God greatly honors our Father.

The Corinthians were also instructed by Paul to rejoice in the coming of future servants of Christ and to give recognition to such men (1 Cor 16:17-18). This seemingly odd command is echoed in other writings of Paul (1 Thes 5:12-13 and Php 2:29). Indeed, the fulltime servants of the gospel are worthy of our gratitude.

Hold The Rope
ropePaul’s letters to the church in Corinth provided plain instruction for the young church and also for believers today. Paul called the Corinthians to send, train and provide for the needs of missionaries, preachers and other fulltime servants for the Lord. When William Carey, famed 19th century missionary, volunteered to serve in India, he implored those who sent him, “but remember that you must hold the ropes.” Paul calls missionaries to go, but he implored both the Corinthian church and modern Christian churches to hold the rope and support fulltime servants of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
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