Maybe it’s an American thing, but it seems that there is too much entrepreneurialism in the church today. Every up and coming church is looking to be innovative and cutting-edge. Along with this entrepreneurial spirit comes an equally troubling reality–that man-centered ministry is produced by a man-centered power. It makes sense: if you throw out the book on how to pursue ministry, why would you seek to be empowered in a biblical manner? For the man of God who wants to do things according to God’s Word, we need to remember that God provides in every way for every need.
We began to look at six ways which the Lord provides for His servants.The first way he provides is: He Gives Us Ministry Co-workers. You can read part one here: The Lord’s Provision for Ministry (part 1). Then we saw that he provides financially and by giving us focus in our ministry. You can read this in part 2: The Lord’s Provision for Ministry (part 2). Fourthly…
He Gives Us Gospel Boldness
“But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:6, NASB95)
Hard hearts are a result of the sinfulness of mankind. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. We shouldn’t be surprised that Paul faced the rejection and mockery of the crowds in Corinth as he had in many cities he preached in. And it shouldn’t surprise us when we see that happen to us as well. It’s nothing new and we should expect it. But we should also expect that the Lord will provide us with gospel boldness as well, so that we can respond as we should in the face of opposition.
In verse 6, Paul can no longer stand the resistance of the Jewish people’s hardened hearts. Their objections degenerated into blasphemies against Christ himself. Paul shook out his garment, a sign of disgust and complete rejection, and rebuked them for their hardness. Paul had done what the Lord said was required in Ezekiel 3:18-19, “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. “Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.” (Ezekiel 3:18-19, NASB95)
Paul wasn’t fooling around. He had come to complete the King’s business and he didn’t want to waste his time on foolish scoffers.
Some people call alcohol “liquid courage” because it lowers the inhibitions and allows people to say and do things they would never do or say when sober. However, Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18, NASB95). Here, the influence of drunkenness is compared to the influence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul was a Spirit-filled man and this is demonstrated in the fact that with great courage and boldness he spoke out against the rejection and mockery of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
John Calvin once said to the Queen of France, “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” God offers this same gospel boldness as well. I think that too many Christians are okay with being quiet wallflowers, even when their Lord is blasphemed in their presence. We must pray for the Lord to fill our mouths with a courageous testimony, even in the face of opposition.