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Author Topic:   Autobiography of a Christian Apostle
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 16 of 26 (589179)
10-31-2010 7:18 AM


Paul says that he wants the Corinthian church to know how intense his suffering was. He and his co-workers "dispaired of living" or "dispaired of life [zoe]"

"For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were excessively burdened, beyond our power, so that we dispaired even of living." (2 Cor. 1:8)

However, Paul uses this testimony of intense hardship to point to the God of resurrection who pulled them through with His resurrection power:

"Indeed we ourselves had the response of death in ourselves, that we should not base our confidence on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead ..." (v.9)

This suffering, Paul says, forced them not to have self confidence. They were in over their heads in trouble. They ran out of ideas. They dispaired of the whole thing. But because they were sorely pressed beyond thier abilities they had to trust the God who raised Jesus from the dead.

This man believes himself to be in the experience of the raising up power of the God who raised his own Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul has confidence that just as God delivered them once He will do so again when future difficulties come.

"" .... God, who raises the dead; Who has delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver us; in whom we have hoped that He will also yet deliver us." (v.10)

It is hard to stop this man. He has confidence that the next time he is crushed under trials God will again deliver him with resurrection power.

This "death" involves depression, oppression, weakness to handle all the perplexing situations, and probably near physical death experiences too.

He does not know what the future will hold for him. He has confidence that the God of resurrection will see them through no matter what the troubles may be.

It is also noteworthy that Paul is dependent on the prayers of his audience too. And I think he alludes also to the financial support.

"If you also help in this by petition on our behalf ...". This is Paul's dependence upon the petitioning prayers for his work by the Corinthians.

"If you also help in this by petition on our behalf, that for the gift to us through many, thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf."

This sounds to me then more then just a thankyou for financial support. This is Paul asking for prayers that the support would cause thanksgiving by others. In other words Paul's concern is the any financial support would bring fruitful assistance to others so that they would give thanks. He is just a channel for this benefit to reach others.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 17 of 26 (589180)
10-31-2010 7:35 AM


There has been a lot of poohooing of the Apostle Paul. But this was a rare human being.

I would have to say that "practice what you preach" must have been Paul's attitude to the uttermost. It was not so much WHAT he did in his work. It was by WHOM was he doing it. Paul did everything he could in the power of Christ's personality and power.

I don't know how some people can say "But Paul never knew Jesus Christ".

His message was his person. There was no disconnect between his methods and his daily living. The Jesus Christ that he ministered was the Jesus Christ that he lived on a daily, even hour by hour bases.

This is a man whom God perfected for his task. And though Paul find it embaressing to have to talk about himself, he was forced to do so, I believe under the sovereignty of God.

He says that he and his co-workers can do nothing against the truth.

"For we are not able to do anything against the truth but rather for the truth." (2 Cor. 13:8)

He and his colleague's conciences will not permit them to act hypocritically. His standard of ethics for himself and for those of his team is very high. They cannot act contrary to the truth.

Yet this life he lives he expects his audience also will share. This is encredible to me. His not being able to do anything against the truth he holds out as normal Christian living whether one is an apostle a co-worker for the Lord or not:

"Now we pray to God that you do nothing wrong, not that we may appear approved, but that you yourselves may do what is good and we may be as if disapproved. For we are not able to do anything against the truth but rather for the truth."

This sounds to me that Paul wants his Corinthian audience to surpass himself. He is far beyond simply wanting to be vindicated. He wants them to exceed him to the degree that in comparison he would look bad.

This is a congregation arguing with him, debating with him, questioning his motives and methods.

Wouldn't it be a honor to know such a man as Paul ? Yet it was the Jesus Christ that had been wrought into Paul is what we are seeing here. The man Paul was pressed out of himself and out of self centeredness to be a slave of Christ reliving Christ's sacrificial service for the Christians.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 18 of 26 (589181)
10-31-2010 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by ringo
10-31-2010 12:24 AM


Paul wrote letters to the Corinthians. If we have any details at all about their side of it, we have only his word for it.
In his own words:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1Co 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Okay. To our modern post Women's Suffrage culture this sounds pretty bad. To our sensitivity of Women's Liberation issues, that passages sounds pretty bad.

Alright, alright. I don't care for it too much either. We have plenty of speaking from Christians sisters in our meetings.

But I have to stick to the topic of what he said about himself. And I have to take into account all of his words and actions.

The same man recommends a woman as being noteworthy among the apostles in Romans - "Junia". Could it be that she never opened her mouth in his presence ?

How out of step was he with the cultural norms of the day in that region ? Women were not accepted as testifiers in a court of law, if I recall correctly.

Anyway, Paul had a couple Priscilla and Aquilla whom he was helped by much. And most of his references to them have the woman's name mentioned first.

Now, I don't know whether she was the financially better off. I don't know if she was the more spiritual of the couple or what. But Paul mentioned her name in front of her husband's a couple of times.

I think it indicates his high regard for her in the Christian ministry.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 10-31-2010 12:24 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by ringo, posted 10-31-2010 11:46 AM jaywill has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17439
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 19 of 26 (589189)
10-31-2010 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by jaywill
10-31-2010 8:01 AM


jaywill writes:

The same man recommends a woman as being noteworthy among the apostles in Romans - "Junia". Could it be that she never opened her mouth in his presence ?


In his presence, maybe, but according to his edict, not in church - unless there was a different standard for the Corinthians than for the Romans.

jaywill writes:

How out of step was he with the cultural norms of the day in that region ?


That's my point. As well as emphasizing how progressive he was, we also have to recognize how progressive he wasn't. We should recognize the weaknesses that he admited and also the ones that he didn't admit.


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by jaywill, posted 10-31-2010 8:01 AM jaywill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by jaywill, posted 11-01-2010 12:49 PM ringo has responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 20 of 26 (589297)
11-01-2010 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by ringo
10-31-2010 11:46 AM


The same man recommends a woman as being noteworthy among the apostles in Romans - "Junia". Could it be that she never opened her mouth in his presence ?

ringo:
In his presence, maybe, but according to his edict, not in church - unless there was a different standard for the Corinthians than for the Romans.

Paul taught the same thing in all the churches (1 Cor. 4:17).

The apostles were responsible for founding churches and establishing them. If Paul recommended Junia it had something to do with the positive aspects of establishing churches.

If you are going to try to dedicate this entire dicussion to Paul and women, let me know.


jaywill writes:
How out of step was he with the cultural norms of the day in that region ?

That's my point. As well as emphasizing how progressive he was, we also have to recognize how progressive he wasn't. We should recognize the weaknesses that he admited and also the ones that he didn't admit.

Concerning the criticisms of the Corinthians (that is the place to look for weaknesses right now), Paul said in his First Corinthian letter that he was aware of nothing against himself.

"For I am conscious of nothing against myself; but I am not justified in this, but He who examines me is the Lord." (1 Cor. 4:4)

This means that his conscience was first accountable to God. In Acts Paul said that he exercised to have a conscience void of offense before God and men.

This also means that Paul was not a man pleasure. His greater concern was being under the examination of the Lord God whom he served. Yet he was not oblivious to man's feeling. He just counted man's criticism secondary to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

"Because of this I also exercise myself to always have a conscience without offense toward God and men." (Acts 4:16)

I don't think Paul felt convicted of any sin in his instructions to the Corinthian church concerning the sisters and the meetings.

He does not say that this aquites him of all blame. But it demonstrates his purity in doing nothing at which he is aware of as an offense toward God and men.

Some people are offended where there has been no offense.

If you want a lengthy discussion on Paul and women, maybe you could open up your own thread dedicated to that.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by ringo, posted 10-31-2010 11:46 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by ringo, posted 11-01-2010 2:51 PM jaywill has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 21 of 26 (589298)
11-01-2010 1:15 PM


"For out boasting is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in singleness and sincerety of God, not in fleshy wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and more abundantly towards you." (2 Cor. 1:12)

Paul does boast in this letter. He boasts here on behalf of his colleagues.

What is Paul's boast here? It is that they know that they labor by the grace of Christ, the empowering of Christ. They work through the Spirit of Christ. They do not work by "fleshly wisdom". That is the wisdom of the natural, unregenerated mind in its politics and worldly philosophy.

Paul and his colleagues labored by prayers and fastings for the guidance of God. And Paul boasts that their conscience is clear and strong that this is so.

"For our boasting is this, the testimony of our conscience ..."

I don't think this means these men were perfect human beings. It means that they were clear before God that they purposely were doing nothing against the known will of God, as Christ has made it known within them.

Now the Corinthians may criticise Paul where God was not criticising him. And today we may scold Paul but where God did not scold Paul.

These men were not ruled by preference. What the Lord Jesus wanted is what they trained themselves to want. This is how the Son served the Father. And this is how the Son's apostles served the Son.

Paul also says that the Corinthian church also boasted about their apostles. You don't write someone reminding them that they do boast about you if it is not true, I think.

Here Paul indicates that at least some in the church boasted of the high quality of these visiting workers like Paul:

"Even as also you know us in part, that we are your boast, just as you also are ours in the day of our Lord Jesus." (1:14)

He expects that when he appears before Christ to be examined for the qualitiy of his service, he and his colleagues will be able to boast of the church in Corinth.

They in turn can then and at the present time boast of the apostles as well.

In the next section of this chapter we can see that some Corinthians, however, thought Paul was fickle in keeping his promise to visit Corinth. They did not understand the complexities of their responsibilities. They probably also did not realize how dedicated the apostles were not only to thier local congregation but to many many others as well.

Paul has to explain to them that he is still following the Holy Spirit and not being fickle about his travels.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17439
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 22 of 26 (589308)
11-01-2010 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by jaywill
11-01-2010 12:49 PM


jaywill writes:

I don't think Paul felt convicted of any sin in his instructions to the Corinthian church concerning the sisters and the meetings.

He does not say that this aquites him of all blame. But it demonstrates his purity in doing nothing at which he is aware of as an offense toward God and men.


It demonstrates that he thought he was not doing anything offensive to God or man. In examining any autobiography, we have to be aware of any claims or omissions that might be self-serving. That's all I'm saying.


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by jaywill, posted 11-01-2010 12:49 PM jaywill has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 23 of 26 (590126)
11-06-2010 7:37 AM


I will not be continuing any discussion until I receive some explanation for why I was suspended. I see nothing on public records.


Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Theodoric, posted 11-07-2010 2:28 PM jaywill has responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6683
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 24 of 26 (590306)
11-07-2010 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by jaywill
11-06-2010 7:37 AM


I f I can figure it out...
It really isn't that hard to figure out why you and I were suspended. I do think the reason was lame, but so be it. Really you should be able to figure it out.,

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by jaywill, posted 11-06-2010 7:37 AM jaywill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by jaywill, posted 02-14-2011 8:17 AM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 25 of 26 (604670)
02-14-2011 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Theodoric
11-07-2010 2:28 PM


Re: I f I can figure it out...
I got the reason. I'm back.

I'll see if I can avoid the error in the future.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Theodoric, posted 11-07-2010 2:28 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 230 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 26 of 26 (693261)
03-13-2013 4:01 AM


Paul's ministry
This thread may be useful to identify Paul's motives and methods as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

Paul was a minister of the new covenant. As a Pharisee before he coverted he was a minister of the old covenant, the Torah, the law of Moses. After he received Christ into his heart he became a minister of the new covenant:

" ... our sufficiency is from God, Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Cor. 3:6)

Paul contrasted his ministry of the new covenant with the law of Moses. He said the old covenant ministry was "the ministry of death" -

"Moreover if the ministry of death, engraved in stone letters, ..." (v.7a)

In his contrasting the Torah of Moses was fading in glory but the new covenant ministry subsisted in glory.

" ... if the ministry of death, engraved in stone in letters, came about in glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to gaze at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, a glory which was being done away with, How shall the ministry of the Spirit not be more in glory ? " (v.7,8)

Paul contrasts the old ccovenant as "the ministry of death" with the new covenant "ministry of the Spirit" . (v.7,8)

Paul also calls the old covenant ministry "the ministry of condemnation" in that it mainly condemns the sinner -

" For if there is glory with the ministry of condemnation ..."(v.9a)

Paul juxtaposes this old covenant ministry of condemnation with the new covenant "ministry of righteousness".

"For if there is glory with the ministry of condemnation, much more the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory." (v.9)

Moses contrasts the reading and hearing of Moses with the new covenant ministry. The hearts of the hearers is hardened and veiled in the first case. In the second case if their heart turns to the Lord Jesus Who is the Spirit, they will be unveiled and transformed.

" Indeed unto this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart;

But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit." (2 Cor. 3:15-18)

Paul was thus not a minister of the Torah as a Christian apostle. He was a minister of the new covenant, the ministry of righteousness, the ministry of unfading glory, the ministry of the Spirit. And what he ministered was a living Person - Christ the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Spirit.

"For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord ..." (4:4a)

All Paul's labors were to bring men and women to a Person - the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul labored in the new covenant to impart the Holy Spirit into people. He sought that the believers would gaze spiritually at the glory in the face of Jesus Christ. And in turning their hearts to Christ they would gain both freedom - "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom" , and they would be transformed in sanctification. That is to travel from one degree of expressing Christ to another degree to another degree on and on, from glory to glory.

This as all by the Lord Spirit, the resurrected Jesus Christ who was made available as "life giving Spirit" -

" ... the last Adam became a life giving Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45)

" For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Cor. 3:6b)

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


  
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