In is second letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul encouraged and taught all in one verse some key identity characteristics of a Christian and who to hear praise from about them. Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:13 said,

  • "Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else."
Another way for Paul to have said this is - "I have noticed your generosity in sharing and obedience to God which has been displayed in your service to Him. I realize that it was started because of your confession of the gospel of Christ. And if I notice it, you know others will and will praise God for you." I say it like this because even thought Paul places an emphasis on the proven service record of the believer(s), the next phrase is the as-the-result-of phrase ("others will praise God for..."). However, the first things should not be disguarded. The foundation of confessing of the gospel of Christ is what led to obedience and a lifestyle of generosity which got the believer to the proved service.

The identity of a Christian then according to this passage is one of service, obedience to God, carrier of The Gospel, and a generous person. However, another aspect of this verse and of the identity of a Christian should be humility. Notice that close to the beginning of this verse Paul said, "others will praise God for...". This idea of allowing others to applaud you and not tooting-your-own-horn all the time is not new. Proverbs 27:2 says, "Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips."

This is hard sometimes when you feel as if your long and devout service is not getting noticed and appreciated. The most important thing to remember is that God sees everything. He takes note of the improvements to be made in our lives and takes note of the long, great career of service to Him. I encourage you today - your service has not gone unnoticed and neither has that which makes you Christian. So, man and woman of God, pursue this and "fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:12) - then Others Will Praise God For You.