“For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” -I Corinthians 16:9
The apostle Paul found an opportunity to preach the Gospel. It was something that he could not pass up. Something had happened and he could not let this get away from him. He knew that the time for action was now and that it may not be there again if he left Ephesus. Instead he looked to stay and send someone in his stead before him.
The greek really blows this door wide open (pun intended). “Great” is μεγάλη (megalē) in the original Greek which we gain the word mega. “Effectual” is ἐνεργής (energēs) in the original Greek from which we gain the word energy. This is a “mega” opportunity and it is providing Paul with lots of “energy” for proclaiming the Gospel.
This door that has opened up to him is to good miss. He was on his way to visit the believers at Corinth and to stay with them for some time (vs. 5-7). The book of Acts reminds us after a visit to Corinth that Paul went to Ephesus and seemed to have planted a church there during the end of his first missionary journey (Acts 18:19). On Paul’s second journey, as he was on his way to Corinth, he passed first through Ephesus (19:1). While there he became engaged heavily with the city in evangelism and discipleship. He spent what could of been up to 2-3 years there before going on with his missionary journey.
What could be more compelling than the gracious reception of the Gospel to a minister. Even Jesus would tarry longer with the people because of His compassion on them. Paul could not hurry up this process but would stay there as long as the Lord was moving. To many times we hurry God and what He is doing. We must discern what He is doing now and stick with His plan.
Now while there is an opportunity for ministry presented by the Lord we must always be aware of those against God. “Adversaries” (I Cor. 16:9) in the Greek is ἀντίκειμαι (antikeimai). It means those who are against others, lie on the opposite side, and oppose. Wherever the Lord is working the enemy of men’s souls is also at work trying to stop the Lord’s work. We are warned again and again to be aware of the enemies presence and ability to come in and destroy our work. By the help of the Lord we can stop the advances but we must be vigilant.
So what doors are open to you? Are you excited by the ministry? Are you being opposed?
Love the Lord and love His Word.