Paulís list of how he served God moves, without a pause, from attitudes to words and actions. That seems right. Our actions are the result of our attitudes. Our words are the product of what is already in our heart*. Unless our attitudes are right, our words and actions cannot be right.
So, Paul served God in love, in truth, and in power. The love (verse 6) was the sincere love that God had given to him*. Paul showed real love for each person to whom God had sent him*. The expressions of his love, which we read so often in Paulís letters, were genuine*.
The truth is the truth of Godís message about Christ, often called the gospel. Christ is the true and living way to God*. Paul recognised that he must always speak about Christ in a plain and truthful manner*. We must be honest about the gospel; we must not try to convince people with a false message*.
Paul did not depend on his own strength to do Godís work, but on the power of Christ*. The gospel is the power by which God saves people*. Paul wanted people to know Godís power as he declared Godís message to them*. It pleased him to see how powerfully God was working in the lives of the Christians in Corinth*.
Only the most skilful soldiers could fight with weapons in both hands*. However, soldiers often fought with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other hand, as in Ephesians 6:13-17. Paul saw his work for God as a war in the spirit world*. That was why evil people opposed him so fiercely*. Paulís reaction to their evil behaviour was to do only what is right. He could only know success in these troubles because of his right relationship with God.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.