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Category Archives: Apostle Paul

Sin still dwells in me.

I am still thinking through this morning’s sermon from Pastor Pat. He preached through Romans 7:13-25. This used to Sin-Killsbe a confusing text for me until I understood that humans do not really do anything good or righteous. Even those folks who might call themselves “Christian”, think they are good now, but that is such a false assumption on their part. As the Apostle Paul states in the Romans 7, he does the very things that he desires not to do, and hates those things, and yet still does them. He has the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.

Now, come on, this is the Apostle Paul writing here. Surely if anyone had the ability to do good, it was him right? Not so, says the Apostle himself. For he states in verse 23 of chapter 7 that there is a war going on between the law of his mind (doing good) and the law of sin within his body. In the next verse he even refers to himself as a wretched man. Even as a follower of Christ.

He then poses the question that I did not totally grasp until later in life because I thought that since I became a Christian, I should now be doing righteous things. The question is this:

Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Or, who can save this wretched man that I am. The answer comes on the heels of the question in the form of gratitiude.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

It is only through the finished work of Christ, his life, his death, and resurrection that good things happen through man. Try as he might, he cannot do the good on his own. It is work of the spirit of Christ in him. As Christians we should never, ever boast about the good that happens through us. It is only Christ Jesus doing that good through us. We have no righteousness of our own.

If you’d like to listen to the enlightening sermon online go here. If you’d like to download it and listen to it later go here.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Posted by on May 24, 2009 in Apostle Paul, Patrick Abendroth, Romans, sin

 

Learning humilty through sarcasm and irony

Have you ever learned anything through someone’s use of humility by Chad Pollpetersarcasm or irony? I know I have. Some of the lessons I learned well I learned this way. Mind you I didn’t like it but it was a lesson learned. Learning through this method provokes an emotional response and engages the mind to think about something from an alternative angle. This method is used to teach the reader critical elements of the south in the 1950’s and 60’s through the fictional novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, considered one of the best books in American fiction.

The apostle Paul uses the method of sarcasm and irony to teach the Corinthian church humility in 1 Corinthians 4:6-13. I am currently reading though 1 and 2 Corinthians in my scripture reading, and when I encountered these few verses in 1 Cor. chapter 4 I was a bit confused at first. I then remembered how my own senior pastor sometimes uses sarcasm to drive home points in his sermons. Using this method the passage was made very clear.

Paul is teaching the Corinthian church not to be puffed up or proud by favoring one member over another. He is making it clear to the Corinthians that he is well aware of their wealth and riches. But this position of wealth and status was causing pride in the local church. The stinging sarcasm comes in verse 8 by writing:

Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you.

Ouch! He contrasts their attitude and position with that of the apostles, including himself, beginning in verse 9. Paul goes on to write that he does not write these things to shame them but to admonish them as beloved children. Webster’s dictionary defines admonish this way:

to express warning or disapproval to, especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner.

I believe that is the attitude of Paul toward the Corinthians. The Corinthians did not recognize that everything they had was a gift of grace from God. By recognizing and acknowledging that you actually have nothing. That anything you do have, you have received by God’s grace. Understanding this truth can have a truly humbling effect on how you live your life. I believe this is what Paul is trying to get across to the Corinthian church. It is a lesson we all need to learn.

Check out this sermon by C. J. Mahaney as an additional reference on these verses. It is excellent.

Deflating the Puffed Up Church

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