The Glory of Christian Ministry: An Analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18 -- By: Homer A. Kent, Jr.

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 02:2 (Fall 1981)
Article: The Glory of Christian Ministry: An Analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18
Author: Homer A. Kent, Jr.

The Glory of Christian Ministry:
An Analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18

Homer A. Kent, Jr.

This article will appear as chapters 3 and 4 in a forthcoming book to be co-published by Baker Book House and BMH Books, under the title A Heart Opened Wide—Studies in II Corinthians. It is used here by permission of the publishers.

Some activities have a special appeal about them. People are drawn to certain pursuits because of the excitement generated by the activity itself. Others are attracted by the financial rewards, by the adulation of an audience, or by the popular esteem in which some activities are held. The sense of satisfaction and fulfilment afforded by such occupations as medicine, education, and social work can lead to an entire career.

The Christian ministry was once one of those highly respected vocations. Shifting attitudes in recent years, however, have caused changes in society’s values. Our “scientific” age tends to place on the pedestal of public esteem the research scientist, the surgeon, and the sports hero. Yet the reasons why the Christian minister once headed the list of respected leaders in American life are still valid and worthy of serious reflection.

The apostle Paul wrote in this passage about the activity that had captivated him. He was not attracted by any financial rewards, for it offered none to him. He gained from it no earthly pomp, no public prestige (except the respect of the Christians he had helped, and even this was mixed). He experienced abandonment and hatred that would demoralize most men. Nevertheless he was so enthralled with the privilege of Christian ministry that he made it his career and never found anything that could entice him away from this glorious passion of his life.

Although “the Christian ministry” is an expression often used to designate a certain career, “Christian ministry” should be an activity in which every believer is engaged. Even if it is not one’s vocational

career, each Christian can share many of the same satisfactions that Paul describes here. The glory of this ministry can be enjoyed by every Christian when he understands what Christian ministry involves. Paul described the character of his ministry in a fascinating discussion which revealed why he regarded it as the most challenging of occupations.

It Was a Sincere Proclamation
of the Knowledge of Christ (2:14-17)

Verse 14. At this point in the letter, Paul interrupted the description of his search for Titus, not resuming it until 7:5. Nevertheless the content of thi...

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