Why Paul’s Ministry Was So Effective
Pastor John Fredericksen
We have Christian friends who have a close relationship with an outstanding Bible teacher. They tell the story of going on a cruise with this teacher. At the time, the husband knew Christ as Savior, but the wife was still unsaved and somewhat leery of letting go of the doctrines learned as a child in her church. The teacher disarmed this lady by seeking her out, sharing a meal with them, being very personable, and lovingly sharing the Scriptures she needed. The end result was that this lady trusted Christ as her Savior, became a vibrant believer, and the couple became lifelong friends with this teacher who had been so used of the Lord in their lives.
Have you ever wondered how the Apostle Paul had such an effective ministry with so many during his lifetime? He gives his testimony about this in the Scriptures. It began with a genuine burden for lost souls. Paul tells us “That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren…” (Rom. 9:2,3). Lost souls seem to be able to sense when one deeply cares for their spiritual welfare. Paul was ready to share the eternal life-giving gospel “in season, out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). No matter where he was, from prison to the palace, he was constantly giving out the message of salvation by grace alone. He sowed the seed of the gospel frequently enough that many were saved. Paul said, “I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” (1 Cor. 9:19). His attitude was one of surrendering as a willing bond slave to the Savior; then, he served others, in a spiritual sense, willingly and humbly attending to their needs. Paul approached the lost in a personable way, finding common ground with the lost so he’d have greater credibility when presenting the gospel. He says: “…unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews…To them that are without law, as without law…I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some…” (1 Cor. 9:20-22). Paul was also tireless, working “night and day” (Acts 20:31; 1 Thes. 2:9), in his care and prayer for those he led to Christ.
If you’d like to be more greatly used of the Lord, follow this pattern used by the Apostle Paul and the teacher who reached our friend.