And I was with you - Paul continued there at least a year and six months. Acts 18:11.
In weakness - In conscious feebleness; diffident of my own powers, and not trusting to my own strength.
And in fear, and in much trembling - Paul was sensible that he had many enemies to encounter Acts 18:6.; and he was sensible of his own natural disadvantages as a public speaker, II Corinthians 10:10. He knew too, how much the Greeks valued a manly and elegant species of oratory; and he, therefore, delivered his message with deep and anxious solicitude as to the success. It was at this time, and in view of these circumstances, that the Lord spoke to him by night in a vision, and said, "be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city," Acts 18:9-10. If Paul was conscious of weakness, well may other ministers be; and if Paul sometimes trembled in deep solicitude about the result of his message, well may other ministers tremble also. It was in such circumstances, and with such feelings, that the Lord met him to encourage him - And it is when other ministers feel thus, that the promises of the gospel are inestimably precious. We may add, that it is then, and then only, that they are successful. Notwithstanding all Paul' s fears, he was successful there. And it is commonly, perhaps always, when ministers go to their work conscious of their own weakness; burdened with the weight of their message; diffident of their own powers; and deeply solicitous about the result of their labors, that God sends down His Spirit, and converts sinners to God. The most successful ministers have been men who have evinced most of this feeling; and most of the revivals of religion have commenced, and continued, just as ministers have preached, conscious of their own feebleness, distrusting their own powers, and looking to God for aid and strength.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing 1 Corinthians 2:3:
1 Corinthians 2:16
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