Presentation on theme: "Strength in Weakness The ultimate Christian conundrum Story of young man in wheel chair."— Presentation transcript:
Strength in Weakness The ultimate Christian conundrum Story of young man in wheel chair
There are no limits
2 Corinthians 12:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 11:2-5 2 I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ
. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted,.
you put up with it readily enough. 5 I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super- apostles
Fighting for the soul of Christianity
Paul vs Super Apostles
Another Jesus Another Spirit A different Gospel You put up with it readily enough Another Jesus Another Spirit A different Gospel You put up with it readily enough
Jan 1-6 You matter to God If it matters to you it matters to God God remembers your sins no more Jesus Blood keeps on cleansing you Righteousness is not right doing but right being You have first class righteousness Joseph Prince Destined to Reign Devotional P1-6
June 8-14 Release the Power in You Jesus met every claim of GOD over you The son’s heart beat for you God’s Angels are watching over you See the abundance within you The blood alone saves Have a large revelation of Jesus Joseph Prince Destined to Reign Devotional P
2 Corinthians 2: For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved ……
2 Corinthians 2: For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved …… and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, Like marrying your pen pal who tells you how one aspect of his life
Irony Fool’s Discourse..I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 Cor 11:1-12:10 Proverbs 26:5 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. Fool’s Discourse..I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 Cor 11:1-12:10 Proverbs 26:5 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. Saying one thing Meaning the opposite
Highly paid Well heeled Well dressed Great oratory Signs and Wonders
2 Corinthians 11: Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;
26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
The vision 2 Corinthians 12:2-7 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows-
3rd Heaven One Heaven Three Heaven Five Heaven Seven Heaven It was in this uppermost heaven of all that God dwelt, and with him the archangels (Testament of Levi 3). So the very fact that Paul was transported to God’s abode meant that he could compete with anything his rivals boasted about. Jesus Paradise-park, Eden, place for souls of righteous dead of where God dwells
4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
Mary K Baxter
5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
It must have been Paul 2 Corinthians 12:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 12:2-7 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven-
. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
Why the literary device? Embarrassed Distance from the event as he wanted to b e judged on his behviour not special revelation like other false apostles
7 So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
Thorn Physical Head ache Ear pain Speech defect Eye problems Epilepsy Malaria Sexual temptation Relational Judaizers-AntiPaul Movement False apostles..ministers of Satan in 11:15 False brothers-sodomy Present enemies of church the true Israel Num 33:55, Ez 28:24 in LXX It happened after the vision so not congenital Must be quite substantial as such a robust apostle who had gone thru so much would not have strenously asked to have it removed thrre times
A THORN WAS GIVEN ME IN THE FLESH, 2 Corinthians 12:7 Immediate cause –messenger of Satan Ultimate cause –God Job Divine passive
Leach –as far = as it is concerned eating to kill you but as far as Doctor is concerned healing you…Drain venous blood
"How dangerous must self-exaltation be, when even the apostle required so much restraint" (Fausset)
To keep from conceit God is more interested in our spiritual development than our physical comfort We always think in terms of our immediate short term horizon. God thinks further and looks at eternal values
Our ultimate goal-His Passion Romans 8: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son
Pleading with God 2 Corinthians 12:8 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. Three times Pleaded Intense heartfelt imploring of God Jewish practice as well as Greek Jesus- 3 times in Gethsemane
Matthew 7:7-8 7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
God’s Power in our Weakness 2 Corinthians 12:9 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness Sufficient..continously
Sufficient-continuosly The promise is that whenever the messenger of Satan afflicts him, he will be given sufficient strength to bear up The widow of Zarepath
…my power is made perfect in weakness The nature of God’s strength it reaches its fullest measure and most powerful forms when issued in response to weakness
…..my power is made perfect in weakness Is it deficient or less than perfect?
“Teleo” Perfect-to complete an activity or process, bring to an end, finish, complete, present passive tense – continuously process Present passive tense
John 19:30 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit
Implications for us
1. We do not have to be ashamed of our weaknesses Take heart if you are not as tall as eloquent as charismatic as as gifted as as pretty as
Ideas of strength Mega-church Buildings Apostles Power Miracles Adulation of community
Candle What if switch on the light
John 9 John 9:3 3 Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. Out of thousands This one man chosen for impact
Exodus 3:11 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" Exodus 4:10 10 But Moses said to the LORD, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue."
“nothing but dust and ashes Gen 18:27
Gideon “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judg 6:15)
David David says, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in- law? I’m only a poor man and little known” (1 Sam 18:23).
1 Corinthians 1: But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
2. Weakness = opportunity 2 Corinthians 12:9b…. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Do not let weakness drag you down Do not let weakness give you an excuse Great what is God going to do with me? Drives us to pray, seek help, open to ideas, call up others, listen. So many older ones have stopped listening years ago Skene= take residence in a tent
Septuagint use of word Tent of Meeting
My future is not held hostage to my disabilities God has plan for me Nick Vujicic Joni Eareckson after 39yrs in the chair "I would rather be in this wheelchair knowing Him the way I do than to be on my feet without Him... But this wheelchair is a bruising of a blessing. It's a terrible mercy."
David Ring “from turning his tombstone into a milestone.”
Embrace the opportunity
3. Be on our guard not to rely on our own strengths Danger Confuse Your power for God’s power Your timing for His Your light for His Opening and closing prayer does not cut it Attitude
Our power Transient…like a flower
Our Power Superficial Numerical only Does not change people Operates with a calculated comfort zone No risk taking
Our Power Depends on props The way we dress The car we drive How we talk We become controlled by popular opinion We are afraid to be transparent-appear weak
Tannehill The continuing weakness is necessary so that man might not confuse the power of God with his own power and lose God’s power by attempting to rely on himself.
Judges 16:30 Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. Samson
ESV 2 Corinthians 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Philippians 3:10 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
The greatest power unleashed by the greatest suffering and weakness True power resides in obedience
Isaiah 57:15 15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.