The most modest man may be driven to speak his own praises if his usefulness is jeopardised by the depreciations of enemies.
Fourteen years he had kept the secret, so that clearly he was not given to boasting.
From devout exaltation to self-exaltation is but a step, and that step our nature is prone to take. To be proud is one of the worst of calamities, and therefore to keep us humble the Lord sends us sharp trials. A thorn pierces, lacerates, festers, and yet it is but a little thing; very insignificant, yet very painful. Paul had a secret grief which cuffed him as schoolmasters punish boys, and the ignominy of it was its worst feature.
One evening, as Bunyan was in a meeting of Christian people, full of sadness and terror, suddenly there “brake in” upon him with great power, and three times together, the words, “My grace is sufficient for thee; My grace is sufficient for thee; My grace is sufficient for thee.” And “Oh! methought,” says he, “that every word was a mighty word unto me, as ‘My,’ and ‘grace,’ and ‘sufficient,’ and ‘for thee;’ they were then, and sometimes are still, far bigger than others be.”
The Corinthians ought not to have required a defence from Paul, but should themselves have been among his warmest advocates.
What a Christian spirit! He will not cease to seek their good, however base their conduct.
He accepted nothing for himself, and he did not impose his friends upon them; he had served them in the most disinterested way.
It was shameful that so good a man as Paul should have been troubled by cavillers. May God grant that none of us may ever figure in the history of our church as discontented members and opposers of faithful ministers.
They glorified God in me.”
We shall now read parts of the epistle to the Galatians, in which Paul stands in opposition to the Jewish professors who denied his apostleship, and strove to bring the church under the yoke of the law.
Paul is very fond of writing doxologies. His heart was full of praise, and he could not help giving it vent. Would it not be well if every now and then, even in the midst of other things, we paused to bless the Lord? The apostle was answering opponents, but he sweetened the controversy with grateful adoration.
Paul makes short work with newfangled gospels. He was not one of the broad school whose wanton charity trifles with divine truth, as if it were a matter of no consequence what is preached, or what is believed.
persuade or seek to win the favour of
Christ’s ministers must never be men-pleasers, or they are false to their trust. Offend or please, their one business is to preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
He was no retailer of other men’s stuffs: he preached what he had been taught of the Holy Ghost in his own soul. Lord, send us more such ministries.
None could say that he was a copyist. In the solitudes of Arabia he had studied the Old Testament, communed with God, and obtained insight into the deep things of God; and his testimony was therefore fresh from heaven. More of God and less of man is what we all need.
His remarkable conversion and independent course made him very decided in his teaching. The more certainly grace works in us, the more attached shall we be to the gospel of grace, and the more opposed shall we be to all those errors which rob God of his glory.
May we so live that others may glorify God, because of his grace displayed in us.