1 Tim 1:12 What exactly was Paul faithful in?

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satz

Puritan Board Senior
1 Tim 1:12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;


Friends,

I am not sure if i am missing something, but what exactly did Christ find Paul faithful in within the context of this verse? The verse seems to indicate it was something he did before he even start his ministry.

Any thoughts?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Matthew Poole's comments may be helpful:

1 Tim 1:12. Here St. Paul expresses his most humble and solemn thanks to Christ for his rich favour in calling him to the high office of all apostle, for by the ministry that is to be understood; and it is so called by way of excellence, it being the most glorious and Divine ministry that ever was established in the church: and he ascribes to our Saviour the praise of all that he performed in the faithful discharge of it. He saith: Christ enabled me, that is, endowed him with fidelity, zeal, courage, and all other qualifications requisite for that honourable and difficult ministry, 2 Cor 3:5-6. The end of that sacred ministry was, to enlighten and reform the world from superstition, and that vicious and vain conversation that was so pleasing to carnal men, to abolish those corrupt customs that had taken such deep root, and to plant the truth that comes from above, and to publish a holy law so opposite to corrupt nature. This work was opposed by the craft and cruelty, the artifice and violence, of the powers of darkness, in conjunction with the perverted world; and the glory of the apostle's resisting such enemies is entirely due to Christ. He adds, as a motive of his thankfulness, that Jesus Christ counted him faithful, which is an evident proof that he intends that he made him faithful. His faithfulness was not the cause or motive, but the fruit and effect, of the grace of God in calling him to the ministry. This he expressly declares, 1 Cor 7:25, hath obtained mercy to be faithful. If our Saviour had only discovered his fidelity, without bestowing that grace upon him, there had not been a reason of such affectionate thanksgiving; for that always supposes some favour and benefit received.

And Matthew Henry:

Here the apostle, I. Returns thanks to Jesus Christ for putting him into the ministry. Observe, 1. It is Christ's work to put men into the ministry, Acts 26:16-17. God condemned the false prophets among the Jews in these words, I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied, Jer 23:21. Ministers, properly speaking, cannot make themselves ministers; for it is Christ's work, as king and head, prophet and teacher, of his church. 2. Those whom he puts into the ministry he fits for it; whom he calls he qualifies. Those ministers who are no way fit for their work, nor have ability for it, are not of Christ's putting into the ministry, though there are different qualifications as to gifts and graces. 3. Christ gives not only ability, but fidelity, to those whom he puts into the ministry: He counted me faithful; and none are counted faithful but those whom he makes so. Christ's ministers are trusty servants, and they ought to be so, having so great a trust committed to them. 4. A call to the ministry is a great favour, for which those who are so called ought to give thanks to Jesus Christ: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath put me into the ministry.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks Andrew!

Let me see if have this straight, are Poole and Henry saying that Paul, when saying that Christ counted him faithful, is basically saying Christ gave him the gift of faithfulness of the work of ministry?

If i'am wrong just let me know and i'll reread again...
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
"Gift of faithfulness" is, I think, a good way to put it. Faithfulness is necessary in a minister (2 Tim. 2.2). But what does anyone have that they did not receive from God (1 Cor. 4.7)? As he says in 1 Cor. 7.25 he "obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful." When God raises up ministers he supplies them with all the qualifications and characteristics necessary for the task, and makes them faithful who must be faithful to proclaim the gospel.
 
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