Monday, February 14, 2011

How do the pulpit pimps stack up against The Truth?

Philippians 1:1a Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus

I was curious about the word bondservant because neither the ESV, nor King James had the word bondservant like the New King James does; so I looked up the Greek definition for the word that was used in the King James:
doulos (doo'-los)
a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): - bond (-man), servant.
As you can see from the definition slave or bondservant is probably the best choice; however, as we can see, the context would be of a “volunteer, willing” slave. Paul and Timothy were, as we should also be, slaves by choice and by the will of God. We have the free will to live for this world and the lusts of the flesh; which actually makes us slaves to sin; or we can be slaves to Christ. Either way we are slaves. One leaves us in bondage and eternal condemnation, the other leads us to freedom and eternal life.

Paul is addressing this letter to the saints. Yes, it is to the saints in Philippi, but, just like the rest of Paul's letters, it is for our encouragement, instruction, reproof and rebuke as well. It is always important to know who the writer is addressing, lest we get confused and fall prey to universalism. It is very easy for people to be led astray by pulling verses out of context. For example, many times at funerals we hear John 14 quoted. There is only one way to say this; John 14 is NOT for everyone! Jesus is not preparing a place for everyone! He is preparing a place for His followers.
John 14:2-3 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Paul is in prison and the Philippian church sent him a gift. Paul is writing this letter because he is thankful and over joyed by the fellowship he has with them:
Philippians 1:5-6 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Isn't that awesome! The Philippians remained in fellowship with Paul and the other believers from day one. I wish I could say that. Unfortunately I had a season of disobedience after I learned The Gospel. I praise God for His patience and goodness!

Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

You want to know what a great prayer is for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? This is about as good as it gets:

Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Then Paul gives us the ultimate paradigm shift. Keeping in mind, Paul is in prison, bound by chains to prison guards and having faced all kinds of brutality up to this point...and what does he say about that. “Woes me! Help me! Get me out of this place!” ? No, this is what he says:

Philippians 1:12-14 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

WOW! .....WHAT ? ! ........ Paul is in brutal conditions and what does it do to the brethren? They are more bold! Preaching The Word more! Sharing The Gospel without fear! You atheists out there, do you want more evidence of The Truth? Name any other religion, movement, or group that has ever faced complete brutality and death and it has only emboldened the others.

Philippians 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

Does Paul want to die? He's torn. But, he's not torn like most people would be. Paul is torn because he wants to die, but it is better for others that he remain alive:

Philippians 1:21-24 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.

Then Paul gives them some instruction and expectations. Was the expectation what we hear from the pulpit pimps that say, “Sow a seed in to our ministry and have enough faith and you will be rich, life will be great and trouble free.” Not quite:

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

No comments:

Post a Comment