Paul’s ministry work ethic is unmatched. He spent his days and nights in diligent effort to evangelize and disciple the world. His ministry covered the Middle East and reached up into Europe. Paul’s impact on Christianity was exceeded only by that of Jesus himself. Paul’s great work ethic was driven by a burning desire that was willing to lose his life and much more to see the lost saved and believers transformed into Christlikeness.
Paul exerted himself to great expenditure of strength and loss of health so believers might become mature in Christ. He suffered persecution and affliction, from inside the church and out, for the growth of the believers. Paul was willing to suffer so the church would not have to suffer. Paul was afflicted so the church could grow. All that Paul suffered and bore for the church was for a single reason- so the church would be mature in Christ.
The Christian life begins with faith in Jesus for salvation and it continues on in faith in Jesus to produce a person who is like Jesus in all things. The Christian life begins in Christ and it finds it’s end in Christ. The maturity that is Christlikeness is accomplished through the continuance of faith.
The foundation of the Christian life is faith in Christ. Not just the faith that saves, but faith that transforms how the Christian lives. The faith of the Christian life is faith that subdues kingdoms, works righteousness, receives the promises of God, stops the mouths of lions, quenches fire, escapes the sword, is made strong in weakness, grows valiant in the fight, turns the armies of unbelievers to flight, receives the dead raised to life, endures tortures for the sake of heaven, is mocked, scourged, bound and imprisoned but will not deviate from the Word of God. Such faith is stoned, sawn in half, wanders about destitute, is afflicted and tormented, lives in deserts, mountains, dens and caves and receives a good report of God because of it’s commitment to following His Word. This relentless faith should be the foundation on which every moment of life is built.