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Paul's "Power"

Consider what becoming a Christian (see also The Process Of Conversion) did to Paul's attitude and behavior, from this:

"9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord ..." (Acts 9:1 KJV)

To this:

"10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base [the RSV and Moffat both more correctly have "humble"; the NIV has "timid"] among you ..." (2 Corinthians 10:1 KJV)

"Not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"

Paul's conversion did not turn him into someone else, or make him weak. It merely made him aware that the LORD is the only one with genuine power - and that His servants are to merely preach His power, without arrogantly trying to assume and presume it for themselves.


"2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 KJV)

"4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry [Minister means servant], as we have received mercy, we faint not; 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 KJV)

Paul sometimes had to remind people, "when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding" that Christianity is not an achievement competition, or a popularity contest, or a struggle for control over other Christians - but simply a matter of service and obedience to the LORD.

"10:1 I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ - I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold to you when I am away! - 10:2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of acting in worldly fashion. 10:3 For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 10:5 We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 10:6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

10:7 Look at what is before your eyes. If any one is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that as he is Christ's, so are we. 10:8 For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame. 10:9 I would not seem to be frightening you with letters. 10:10 For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account." 10:11 Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.

10:12 Not that we venture to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 10:13 But we will not boast beyond limit, but will keep to the limits God has apportioned us, to reach even to you. 10:14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you; we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 10:15 We do not boast beyond limit, in other men's labors; but our hope is that as your faith increases, our field among you may be greatly enlarged, 10:16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's field. 10:17 "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 10:1-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Where was Paul when Christ was Crucified? (b) What was it that kept Paul from "seeing" the Truth? (c) How did Paul's service to Christ begin, as a leader or as a follower of Christ? (d) Like all true Christians, did Paul have to struggle to overcome? (e) Did Paul become one of the greatest servants of Christ?
(a) See Was Paul Among Them?
(b) See Paul's Blindness Lesson
(c) See Paul The Convert
(d) See Paul's Thorn and Concupiscence
(e) See Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey

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