In recent posts I have been referring to 1 Corinthians 13:2 and the faith that can remove mountains. Paul says even if he has that kind of faith but not love, he was nothing.
A mountain is an obstacle. I have been asking the question what kind of hindrances we might be concerned with.
Now here is a verse from 2 Corinthians to show St. Paul’s goals in exercising faith and seeking to see ‘mountains’ removed. What he is saying in chapter 10 and verse 5 is in line with his general goals in his Christian preaching and service: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivitiy every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
His supreme aim was that people should come to know Christ and to heed his words. He was preaching to Jews and Gentiles as well as to Christian believers, who had already turned to Christ.
Some would have had a glimpse of who Jesus Christ really is. Yet Paul’s desire was they should gain a fuller understanding and revelation of the Lord.
When you become aware of the Lord’s love towards you, there is potential for many changes in your life, as you trustingly respond to his words. You can obey the gospel only in as much as you have come to understand its relevance and its applications.
What did Paul do towards these goals? First of all he was concerned that he himself should obey the Lord’s calling for him. His desire was to love and to obey his saviour.
He spent time praying for others. He also was a preacher.
Some of the Corinthians tended to prefer other speakers rather than Paul. These preachers may have been some kind of Jewish rabbis too, yet they did not have the same grasp of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul was concerned. Now he is pointing to his own strategy.
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom.” (1 Corinthians 2:4a). “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
If you wonder what role love had in St. Paul’s Christian ministry you may look at the very words in consideration on this blog. When he wrote 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 all he said was not only what he wanted to tell others. Those were standards that he used to apply to himself too:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Getting to know Christ more deeply and being transformed into his likeness was a supreme goal for the apostle Paul. He was seeking a deeper understanding of all the facets and implications of the Lord’s love. His desire was for this love to be reflected in his own life and in the believers whom he was serving.