Editor’s Note: David was unable to provide a column for this issue, so we have pulled this piece from our archives. Originally published in Pulpit Helps, August 2005.
Text: “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences” (2 Cor. 5:11).
Thought: The Apostle Paul stressed the costliness of the ministry in terms of trials and travail, but here he proceeds to remind the readers of the mission of the church in the world, namely, to “persuade men” of the validity of the Gospel. He points out that there must be:
I. The Revealing Power of Divine Light
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men” (v. 11). The word “therefore” reminds us that the apostle was still defending against his critics, who charged him with lack of integrity. But he reminds them that he needed no outward evidence to prove his honesty of character; his occasion of glorying was based upon what God had done in his heart. His enemies labeled him as “mad”, but the sheer sanity of his conduct effected a revealing light—exposing sin, on one hand, and exalting righteousness on the other.
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