04 Paul’s Ministerial Boasting

2 Corinthians 1v12-24

You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and acknowledge and I hope you will fully acknowledge– just as you did partially acknowledge us–that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time?
As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in Him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.
That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. But I call God to witness against me–it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.


Great as he was, the Apostle Paul also suffered depression like we do. Confronted by enemies in the Church, he did not defend his character or conduct, but his creed. Like Paul we as Christians are not good enough not to be Christians. Paul deals with the pastoral problem that he encountered in the Corinthian congregation.

We see Paul boasting with a clear conscience:

  1. His Pastoral Principles and Practice
    a. Good conscience – their testimony.
    b. Godly conduct – his simplicity and sincerity, walking in the Grace of God alone.
    c. Grace community – he indulges in the grace of God and not earthly wisdom or pragmatism.

  2. His Pastoral Plans and Purposes
    a. The basis – his pastoral conviction of the victory of Grace.
    b. His business – his pastoral call was to visit them. The business of Gospel ministry is that people may experience the ministry of Grace.
    c. Their bonafides – steadfastness, saying that he wasn’t vacillating.

  3. His Pastoral Perspective and Pleas
    a. Proclamation of the Son of God.
    b. Pursuit of the Promises of God.
    c. Proclamation of the Glory of God.
    d. Perseverance in the Providence of God.
    e. Pursuit of Joy in the work of God.
    f. Persistence in Faith in God.

Paul’s grounds for boasting with a clear conscience encourages us as believers to prioritise sincerity, godly conduct and reliance on God’s grace in our lives and ministries. It reminds us of the unchanging faithfulness of God, the fulfilment of His promises in Christ and the importance of us pursuing joy and perseverance in faith in our walk with Him. By following Paul’s example we can find strength and hope in the midst of challenges, knowing that our confidence rests in God’s unwavering faithfulness and in nothing and no-one else.