More Missionary Principles Of John Mason Peck -- By: Roger L. Peterson

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 12:3 (Fall 1969)
Article: More Missionary Principles Of John Mason Peck
Author: Roger L. Peterson

More Missionary Principles Of John Mason Peck

Third Of A Series:

Roger L. Peterson

Calling Pastor, Fourth Baptist Church, Minneapolis

4. The Conduct Of A Missionary Is To Be An Example To The Believers (I Thessalonians 2:1-12)

A missionary’s personal conduct is the making or undoing of his ministry. If a missionary has not learned to practice what he preaches, he is inviting heartbreak and unnecessary grief. When criticism comes his way (and it will come), his greatest defense is missing. When Paul defended himself against his critics, time after time he used the best defense he had—his personal conduct. It was important that he had this defense, because the future of the gospel ministry was at stake. This was the situation when Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Thessalonica. This defense sets forth at least ten characteristics of Paul’s conduct, presented here in ten descriptive words so that they will be more easily remembered.

Examination Of The Scripture

Chapter two of I Thessalonians begins, “For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.” That his ministry was not in vain was evidenced by the fact that a church was in Thessalonica, and indeed, it was a strong, fruitful church—a church that Paul must have been grateful to have started. Paul reminded the brethren of this fact, lest they overlook the obvious, which is so often the case. Then he reminded them of his conduct as he labored among them in those beginning days.

Bold. In the first place, Paul reminded the Christians at Thessalonica that he was bold. “But after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition”

(I Thess. 2:2). This is a necessary characteristic of a missionary who is an evangelist. He must speak with boldness in spite of persecution. He sets an example which is quickly learned by his converts.

The Greek word for “but,” which introduces this verse, is strong, underscoring the success of the visit in spite of both physical (suffered) and mental (shamefully entreated) ill-treatment at Philippi (Acts 16:19–40). Paul did not give up the ministry after the way he was treated in Philippi, but he also preached the gospel in Thessalonica, because he was bold. Where was the source of such boldness? It was from God, who also was the source of his message—”the gospel of God.” Paul also reminded them that he preached in their city “amid much oppositi...

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