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UNDER TENSION

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Philippians 1:20–26 NIV
20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
phil1 20-
Topic: UNDER TENSION
Subtopic: I am in a strait betwixt two.
Subtopic: I am in a strait betwixt two.
STARTING WITH A QUESTION
• Take down the filter
Has anybody ever got caught in the middle of a fight?
Human and Human
Dog and dog
Cat and Cat
A. End up hurt
B. End up on the wrong side
PAINT THE PICTURE, EVOKE THE EMOTION
Somebody thinking of giving up
There are some fights you just have to leave alone
• Video on Facebook
• Just have to Walk away
• I’m not getting involved
◦ After the fight they buddy buddy again
◦ You have a black eye
◦ Hated
There are some fights you must fight
• It could mean the difference:
◦ Peace and Chaos
◦ Life and death
◦ Hell and heaven
◦ Your faith and backsliding
HISTORY
CONTEXT
PAUL SUFFERINGS
Paul’s
1. Imprisoned, beaten, being near death (Verses 23b–25)
Imprisoned, beaten, being near death
Verses 23b–25:
Imprisoned, beaten, being near death
5 times he received 39 lashes (maximum allowed) by the Jews
5 times he received 39 lashes (maximum allowed) by the Jews
3 times the Gentiles beat him with rods
He was stoned
3 times shipwrecked
2. Challenges on his journeys (Verse 26)
Endangered by rivers, bandits, Jews, Gentiles
Faced dangers in the city, wilderness and at sea
Dangers from false Christians
3. Suffered hard labor, a had to work hard (Verse 27)
Sleepless nights
Suffered hunger, thirsty, cold and nakedness
4. He carried the anxiety for all the churches (Verse 28-29)
Christian Tension Story
In medieval times there was a particularly horrible form of torture, an elaboration of the notorious “strappado,” which consisted in laying the victim on the broad of his back upon the ground, his arms and legs spread-eagled, and then attaching each limb by means of a strong cord to a highly mettled horse. Whipped to furious speed the animals raced off in different directions, and the hapless victim was literally torn asunder.
The illustration is perhaps rather melodramatic, but it does serve to call attention to the tensions of the Christian life suggested by this autobiographic sentence from the pen of Saint Paul: “I am in a strait betwixt two.” The follower of Jesus lives, as P. T. Forsyth put it, “at the crisis of two worlds.”
AFTER FIRST FLOGGING - QUIT
Philippians 1:23–25 NIV
23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,
Philippians 1:24–26 NIV
24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Selfless
Sacrifices are difficult when we are selfish
Self centered ------->>>>>> God-centered
Romans 12:1 NKJV
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Renewed -: God-centered
Solution # 1
Romans 12:1 NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
---------------------------------
----------------------------
Renewed -: God-centered
Must present your body first
A basic requirement
Christian Tension Story
In medieval times there was a particularly horrible form of torture, an elaboration of the notorious “strappado,” which consisted in laying the victim on the broad of his back upon the ground, his arms and legs spread-eagled, and then attaching each limb by means of a strong cord to a highly mettled horse. Whipped to furious speed the animals raced off in different directions, and the hapless victim was literally torn asunder.
The illustration is perhaps rather melodramatic, but it does serve to call attention to the tensions of the Christian life suggested by this autobiographic sentence from the pen of Saint Paul: “I am in a strait betwixt two.” The follower of Jesus lives, as P. T. Forsyth put it, “at the crisis of two worlds
----------------------------------
HERE IT IS! 1. There is the tension between the world behind and the world before.
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters 1.1. The Most Comprehensive Catalog

1.1. The Most Comprehensive Catalog. In 2 Corinthians 11:23–29 Paul’s trials and afflictions are listed in great detail. The passage falls into four parts, each reflecting a different aspect of these afflictions:

(1) Verses 23b–25: imprisonments, beatings and being near death, including five occasions when he received the thirty-nine lashes (i.e., the maximum allowed minus one) at the hands of the Jews, three times when he was beaten with rods by Gentiles, one stoning and three shipwrecks.

(2) Verse 26: frequent journeys, with their accompanying dangers of rivers, bandits and Jews as well as Gentiles; dangers in the city, in the wilderness and at sea; and dangers from false Christians.

(3) Verse 27: toil and hardship, including sleepless nights (whether as privations or vigils), hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness.

(4) Verses 28–29: anxiety for all the churches.

Philippians 1:23 NIV
23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters 1. Catalogs of Afflictions

1. Catalogs of Afflictions

The trials and afflictions which Paul experienced were many and varied, and this is reflected in the catalogs found in his letters (Rom 8:35; 1 Cor 4:9–13; 2 Cor 4:8–9; 6:4–5; 11:23–29; 12:10).

1.1. The Most Comprehensive Catalog. In 2 Corinthians 11:23–29 Paul’s trials and afflictions are listed in great detail. The passage falls into four parts, each reflecting a different aspect of these afflictions:

(1) Verses 23b–25: imprisonments, beatings and being near death, including five occasions when he received the thirty-nine lashes (i.e., the maximum allowed minus one) at the hands of the Jews, three times when he was beaten with rods by Gentiles, one stoning and three shipwrecks.

(2) Verse 26: frequent journeys, with their accompanying dangers of rivers, bandits and Jews as well as Gentiles; dangers in the city, in the wilderness and at sea; and dangers from false Christians.

(3) Verse 27: toil and hardship, including sleepless nights (whether as privations or vigils), hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness.

(4) Verses 28–29: anxiety for all the churches.

1.2. Parallels in Ancient Literature. The attitude reflected in the writings of the Hellenistic moralists (e.g., Epictetus Diss. 3.12.10; 4.8.31; Seneca Ep. Mor. 13.1–3; Dio Chrysostom Diss. 3.3) and in some Jewish writings of the period (e.g., Wis 3:5–6; Sir 2:1–5; Jdt 8:25–26; Pss. Sol. 16:14–15; T. Jos. 2:7; 4 Macc 17:11–16) is that hardship functions as a test of character.

Lists of afflictions were used by the Hellenistic moralists to depict serenity in the midst of suffering and to provide a model of endurance for their readers. They believed that sufferings played a part in the divine plan. In these respects they parallel Paul’s attitude to hardships and his use of lists of afflictions. However, Paul differed radically from those who minimized the impact of afflictions and saw in their triumph over them a demonstration of their own power. Paul frankly admitted the distress caused by his afflictions (2 Cor 1:8–9), and gloried in the fact that it was God’s power, not his own, which enabled him to endure (2 Cor 12:9–10). These similarities and differences suggest that, if Paul was familiar with the lists of the Hellenistic moralists, he adopted and adapted the genre to suit his own purposes. Such adaptation was influenced by OT traditions about the sufferings of the righteous, by Jewish apocalyptic ideas of end-time woes, and most importantly by Paul’s own theology of the cross.

2. Persecution at the Hands of Jews

Of the afflictions which Paul experienced, none receives more attention in his letters than persecution on account of the gospel. He was persecuted by Jews, Gentiles and false Christians (2 Cor 11:26), but it was persecution at the hand of the Jews to which he referred most frequently (cf., e.g., Rom 15:31; 2 Cor 11:24, 26; Gal 5:11; 1 Thess 2:14–16), suggesting he found this hardest to bear. Paul’s letters provide several hints concerning the reasons for this persecution.

2.1. He Preached the Faith He Once Sought to Destroy. According to Acts 9:1–2, Paul formerly persecuted the church with the backing of the high priest. Following his conversion he switched sides and preached the faith he once sought to destroy (Gal 1:23; see Jealousy, Zeal). It is no wonder that the Jewish leaders felt a great antipathy toward him, leading to his persecution.

2.2. He Regarded Cherished Elements of Judaism as Rubbish. Following his conversion Paul underwent a reversal of values. He now regarded the most cherished elements of Judaism as “rubbish” compared with the excellency of knowing Christ (Phil 3:4–8). If he was known to have adopted such an attitude towards Judaism, and to be promoting a similar attitude among others, it is little wonder he drew down Jewish persecution upon his head.

2.3. He Encouraged Jews to Neglect the Law of Moses. Paul strongly rebuked Jewish believers for not being prepared to free themselves from the Law’s demands for ritual purity when these kept them from sharing table fellowship with Gentiles (Gal 2:11–21). Thus it would not be surprising if he fell foul of zealous Jews who persecuted those of their nation who encouraged violations of the Law.

2.4. He Did Not Preach Circumcision. The reasons why Paul suffered Jewish persecution mentioned so far can only be inferred from hints found in his letters. For this fourth reason we have the evidence of an explicit statement: “Why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed” (Gal 5:11 NRSV; see Circumcision).

2.5. He Relaxed Ethical Demands. While Paul would have pleaded guilty to the charges lying behind the reasons for persecution suggested above, he strongly denied the charge that he relaxed ethical demands. It was, as far as he was concerned, a piece of blasphemous slander (Rom 3:7–8). Nevertheless, because this was what his Jewish opponents believed of him, it probably contributed to the reasons why he suffered persecution at their hands.

3. Paul’s Attitude Toward Trials and Afflictions

The apostle did not offer a comprehensive solution to the problem of suffering. However his letters do reveal something of the ways in which he came to understand its meaning.

3.1. The Destiny and Privilege of Believers. When seeking to encourage his converts, Paul reminded them that they had been granted the privilege “not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well” (Phil 1:29 NRSV). This was something for which they had been destined (1 Thess 3:3–4; cf. 2 Tim 3:12).

3.2. Sharing Christ’s Sufferings. Paul believed that his sufferings filled up what was lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of the church (Col 1:24). This should not be taken to mean that there was something lacking in Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Rather Paul shared the sufferings of the Servant-Messiah (see Christ) inasmuch as he too suffered for the sake of the elect in bringing the gospel to them (cf. 2 Tim 2:10).

3.3. The Discipline of Afflictions. One of the fruits of justification is that believers are enabled to rejoice in afflictions (Rom 5:3). Believers do not find affliction less hurtful than others, but they know that under God’s good hand it produces endurance, character and hope in God (Rom 5:3–4). It was through despair of life itself that Paul learned not to rely on himself but on God (2 Cor 1:8–9).

3.4. Suffering and Comfort. During the struggle with his “thorn in the flesh” Paul was comforted when the Lord told him that the power of Christ is made perfect in human weakness (2 Cor 12:8–9). Paul came to understand that one of the reasons why he suffered was that, as he experienced the comfort of God in the midst of his sufferings, so he might be able to comfort others (2 Cor 1:3–7).

In medieval times there was a particularly horrible form of torture, an elaboration of the notorious “strappado,” which consisted in laying the victim on the broad of his back upon the ground, his arms and legs spread-eagled, and then attaching each limb by means of a strong cord to a highly mettled horse. Whipped to furious speed the animals raced off in different directions, and the hapless victim was literally torn asunder.
The illustration is perhaps rather melodramatic, but it does serve to call attention to the tensions of the Christian life suggested by this autobiographic sentence from the pen of Saint Paul: “I am in a strait betwixt two.” The follower of Jesus lives, as P. T. Forsyth put it, “at the crisis of two worlds.”
1. There is the tension between the world behind and the world before.
Tension from the world behind
Tension to go back to the way you use to live
Restrain, languages, actions, way of thinking
Tension from the world before you
Career, Future, Destiny
How am I going to do this
What the stock market doing
Romans 12:2 NIV
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Rom
-------------------------------
2. There is the tension between the world below and the world above.
Philippians 1:23 NIV
23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
phil
Tension in this world
Social pressure
Mental pressure
Spiritual pressure
Financial pressure
Demonic pressure
Tension in the world above
The desire to escape this world
Paul content for staying was for them
For there progress and joy
--------------------------
3. There is the tension between the world within and the world without.
Tension from the world within
Systems
Tension from the world without
------------------------

THIS IS HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT

Romans 12:1 NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
----------------------------
PROBLEM
We are so self centered
Renewed -: God-centered
What will God get out of this
How will God be gloried
What is the will of God
What is God's plan here
Must present your body first
Where is your body?
I want to think different
Where is your body?
A basic requirement
-----------------------------
Solution # 1
Philippians 3:14 NIV
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Run with a purpose - why?
phil
Tension reliever
Romans 8:28 NIV
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
LOOK AT ME NOW
DESPITE ALL THE HELL I’VE BEEN THROUGH
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 NIV
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8–12 NIV
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2cor4 8-
NKJV
[8] We are
hard-pressed on every side
• but not crushed
◦ Compress - Can’t shut me up
‣ KID - Puffing up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
◦ Cramp - Can’t confine me
‣ ESCAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• We are perplexed
◦ to be without resources - COULDN’T AFFORD
◦ to be in bind - WITNESS? THAT PAUL WASN’T THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER FIND HIMSELF IN A BIND!!!!
◦ to be left wanting - CHECK DIDN’T MEET ALL THE BILLS!!!!!!!
◦ to be embarrassed - CAME TO CHURCH EMBARRASSED!!!!!!!
◦ to be in doubt - DOUBT GOD IF HE IS STILL UP THERE!!!!!!!
◦ not to know which way to turn - YOU HAVE NOBODY TO CALL FOR HELP!!!!!!
• but not in despair
◦ but never looses hope
◦ I never gave up!!!!!!!!
◦ I never loose hope in God!!!!!!!!
• Persecuted
◦ to pursue (in a hostile manner) - The devil tried to kill you
◦ to be mistreated
• but not forsaken
◦ abandon, desert
◦ leave in straits, leave helpless
◦ totally abandoned,
• Struck down
◦ Bad-mouth you - criticize you
◦ Dismiss you - act like you not in the room
◦ Diminish you - to make you feel and look like a nobody
◦ Depreciate you - to lower in honor or esteem:
‣ Illustration: People don’t respect you because of how they see you
• but not destroyed
◦ to put out of the way entirely
◦ I am still here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-----------------------------------------

THE RIGHT NOW AND THE NOT YET

Lack of understanding of the Right Now and The Not Yet!
Trick you into believing
This is it
You don’t need to fight
If you could see your not yet, you would shout about your right now!
Why you would shout, Because your right now and your not yet don’t look the same
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TEMPORARY INSANITY
IGNORANT - IS THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OR KNOW HOW
STUPIDITY - IS WHEN YOU KNEW BETTER AND DO IT ANYWAY
INSANITY - IS WHEN YOU KEEP DOING THE SAME THING AND EXPECT A DIFFERENT RESULT
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Romans 12:1 NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
----------------------------
We are so self centered
Renewed -: God-centered
Must present your body first
A basic requirement
-----------------------------
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