The Apostle Paul is said to “spare” the church of Corinth of the disciplinary actions that he would otherwise have to take against them had his trip not been delayed. He knew that when his planned trip to Corinth did not come to pass, it has caused some distruption as they were expecting him.
He further said insightfully, “People do not know that we are Christians by some badge we wear, but only by the evidences of a Spirit-filled life. God has also given them the Spirit in their hearts as a guarantee or downpayment in pledge that the entire inheritance will follow. When God saves a man, He gives him the indwelling Holy Spirit. Just as surely as a man receives the Spirit, so surely will he enter into the full inheritance of God. The same kind of blessings which the Holy Spirit makes real in our lives today will be ours in full measure in a day yet future.”
Truly, we praise God for His guidance in directing mission work. And the converted souls were painstakingly nurtured in the Word of God that their faith may be established. Looking back, it was God who enabled and blessed that the work was established.
The Apostle Paul proved the veracity of God’s promises when he by faith obeyed the will of his Master Jesus Christ to fulfil the Great Commission. It resulted in the salvation of many souls and the establishment of local churches in these places. Corinth was one such city.
Acts 18:9-10 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
The Apostle Paul’s ministry of the word in Corinth was effectual. Souls were saved. And the clear preaching of the truth that salvation comes by Jesus Christ, the Son of God was plainly and clearly expounded. This is the good news that brought hope and joy and peace to the people in Corinth. It was an undeniable miracle that souls were converted and lives were transformed.
Indeed, the infant church was established, nurtured by the hands of God’s servant for a prolonged period of time. The gospel work continues in the other local churches established in the other cities of Macedonia like Philippi. There was also the church of Ephesus in which the Apostle Paul spent prolonged periods of spiritual nurturing. But the plan to visit Corinth did not come to pass when the Lord led him otherwise.
They would receive him knowing that he would be there by God’s appointment. He sets his heart to convey God’s truth and His love to God’s people. Life for the Apostle Paul in all his ministering was a journey in the will of God and there will come a time when he can minister no more.
William MacDonald said insightfully, “The assembly in Corinth had acknowledged Paul in part, that is, some of the believers had acknowledged him but not all. The loyal ones understood these two facts — that they would be proud of him and that he would be proud of them in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
William MacDonald said well, “The integrity which characterized his past dealings with the Corinthians is true also of this letter. He is writing exactly what he means.”
The Apostle Paul acknowledged the gospel work in his lifetime was done through the ardent prayers of the saints who supported his ministry. He relied on their prayers. He simply presented his prayer request to them and their prayers were answered by God making possible the exploits of the gospel mission.