For a great door - There is abundant opportunity for usefulness. The word “door” is used evidently to denote an occasion or an opportunity for doing anything. It is the means by which we have entrance or access; and hence denotes facility in doing anything when there is no obstruction; see Act_14:27; 2Co_2:12; Col_4:3.
And effectual - That is, effective, or adapted to success; presenting opportunity for great effects. There is abundant opportunity to preach the gospel; there is attention to what is spoken, and great interest in it; there is great encouragement to labor. It is possible that this was one of the reasons why Paul had changed his mind about Macedonia. It would require time to visit Corinth, as he would wish to remain there; and an unexpected opportunity having arisen for doing good, he judged it best to remain at Ephesus as long as practicable, and then to go at once to Macedonia.
And there are many adversaries - Many opposers; many who resist the gospel. These were doubtless in part Jews who excited opposition to him, and in part the friends of Demetrius; see Acts 19. That Paul had great success in Ephesus, and that his labors were attended with a great revival of religion there, is manifest from that chapter. We may remark here:
(1) That such a work of grace, such a setting open a great and effectual door, is often the occasion of increased opposition to the gospel. It is no uncommon thing that the adversaries of Christ should be excited at such times; and we are not to be surprised if the same thing should occur now which occurred in the time of Paul.
(2) this was regarded by Paul as no reason why he should leave Ephesus, but rather as a reason why he should remain there. It was regarded by him as an evidence that the Holy Spirit was there. It was proof that the enemies of God were alarmed, and that the kingdom of Christ was advancing. His presence, also, would be needed there, to encourage and strengthen the young converts who would be attacked and opposed; and he deemed it his duty to remain. A minister should never wish to make enemies to the gospel, nor seek to excite them to make opposition; but such opposition is often evidence that the Spirit of God is among a people; that the consciences of sinners are aroused and alarmed; and that the great enemy of God and man is making, as he was at Ephesus, a desperate effort to preserve his kingdom from being destroyed.
(3) a minister should regard it as his duty in a special manner to be among his people when there is such opposition excited. His presence is needed to comfort and encourage the church; and when the minds of people are excited, it is often the best time to present truth, and to defend successfully the great doctrines of the Bible.
(4) ministers should not be discouraged because there is opposition to the gospel. It is one ground of encouragement. It is an indication of the presence of God in awakening the conscience. And it is far more favorable as a season to do good than a dead calm, and when there is universal stagnation and unconcern.
Matt Henry says :
Note, Great success in the work of the gospel commonly creates many enemies. The devil opposes those most, and makes them most trouble, who most heartily and successfully set themselves to destroy his kingdom.
True courage is whetted by opposition; and it is no wonder that the Christian courage of the apostle should be animated by the zeal of his adversaries.
They were bent to ruin him, and prevent the effect of his ministry at Ephesus; and should he at this time desert his station, and disgrace his character and doctrine? No, the opposition of adversaries only animated his zeal. He was in nothing daunted by his adversaries; but the more they raged and opposed the more he exerted himself.
Note, Adversaries and opposition do not break the spirits of faithful and successful ministers, but only enkindle their zeal, and inspire them with fresh courage.
Indeed, to labor in vain is heartless and discouraging. This damps the spirits, and breaks the heart. But success will give life and vigor to a minister, though enemies rage, and blaspheme, and persecute.
Dear reader, this post teaches us a lot, when there is no opposition, many times, you are not doing, or moving in what The Lord has for you, or you are busy doing ministry that has no power and is no threat to the kingdom of the Devil.
It is almost an oxymoron- a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversarie. Sound great , but with many adversaries, seems to contradict an open door and why?
Many speak of how the lord opens a door because some great thing, opportunity comes, and they think it will be so anointed, so if of God, all will go well and there will be nothing but blessing and peace, this is not what the word teaches, as you read from the two commentaries I listed , they said if a man of God is in the lords will and an open door is there, it will be shown to be of the lord and effectual, if, there is opposition, not easy, but blessed, it is a sign the lord is in the thing and the kingdom of Satan is not happy, you, your open door, ministry, should be a threat to darkness, if not, it may not be of the lord at all. Yes, we have the clause, IF, so I have opened doors and all went well, getting the ministry, co workers- others, the people had a mind to work, we have every need meet, and than.....we started to minister and in came this message, resistance and demonic attacks, attacks from locals, other ministries, for being a ministry with a street ministry, that once was the only issue, dear lord, and we have fallen as a Christian nation in leaps since those seemingly innocent days..
We are still to be 'wise as serpents and MEEK AS DOVES'.
There is no such thing as Painless Christianity, but many seek it, as the false teachers and ministries teach, health, wealth , prosperity, good times speak-confess- whatever you will, and the creative power of your words, or decree, are a done deal, because you spoke the words
We do not boss the sovereign Lord around you can decree, speak all you want, your words have no creative power only the lord and his word, this is why I warn against such teachings, as it has its roots in pagan theology, and is a doctrine of demons, all modern day neo charismatics, ALL come from this doctrine called The Word Of Faith.
If you are not in battle, you are not working for the lord, but self, no resistance clearly shows you are no threat to the enemy. If you are never chastised you are not a son of God, If you face nothing but a false painless Christianity, or seek such read these verses.
Php 2:30 because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
There is no way around this reader, no painless, hassle free Christianity, and to you who minister, understand that an open door should produce resistance from the Devil and if not, you walked through the wrong door.