Originally Posted by surveyorshawn
That's great, Dave!
You did fine! Not every passage is going to say something personal to you, lol. I never could personalize the genealogy of the sons of Noah, lolol. The point I was trying to make is to think along the lines of what God is saying to you in general as you read & study His word, in particular Philippians for now, instead of just restating the verses in our own words. What you got out of the passage may not necessarily be directed specifically to you or your life at the moment. Someone else may desperately need what you had to say, though. That is the beauty of the Body of Christ. Like I said above, another part of my challenge was to have us think in terms other than just restating the verses in our own words. I am sure that most people on here are capable of that, and if we are not careful, it can get a bit redundant. I will give my thoughts directly, as I just got in. I always look forward to what you have to say!
Well, I think I have to make some more notes on the very last portion of text in that Chapter...I covered why Paul said it...but not what he actually said, and it may have a lot of bearing on his Theology
One thing I had not picked up in prior readings of this, is the sense in which the Church he is writing to might be (to personify for a moment) a bit of a hyperchondriac. I had always thought more about Paul writing...then about who he might be writing to. What things can we draw out about the Church he is writing to from what he says....and when you think of it that way, the first Chapter certainly gives the impression, that he might write to it very regularly, and that it might actually be rather demanding in attention, and might suffer from more then the average case of spiritual blindness. Although he writes with love...he does basically tell them they have to grow, mature, and they have to stop depending on him. But we get the sense that its not because the church is full of heratics...infact the ones that would maliciously do Paul harm, are evidently not at that Church, for he mentions them to the Church, as almost a bit of church gossip. I think it the problem might lie in the fact this church is too cautious...its a little on the weak and timid side. It goes into shock and withers away at the thought of Paul arrested, let alone its own likelihood for persecution.
See...when we think something wont happen, we use the phrase "it would be a miracle if..." and that is exactly what Paul could be saying. It would be such a feat for this church to discern for itself, that it would be a miracle (miracles are of course designed to draw attention to GOD...hence the reference to GODs glory and a testimony) but that also tells you without a miracle, just how...inadequet Paul feels the Church is on its own.
He feels that SO poor is the Church, that GOD will put off Pauls martyrdom until such time as they can fend for themselves...thats the hint he's saying. "Hey I'm ready to die now...but you cant cope yet without me...and GOD knows that...so he'll wait for you to grow up before he calls me home"
Thats NOT really a version i've heard preached. But...I think that might be, in context, what Paul is saying. Now this would relate to what we know about GOD in the sense of sending people to help and aid us. If one was in tune enough with GOD one could possibly be aware of being sent. Most people are aware of it only in hindsight...but Paul seems to know..a little like an Angelic Host, that he has been sent by GOD to help this Church to mature...and GOD wont realease him from Enemy Territory until the Church can manage by itself, or someone else comes to relieve him of his Duties
out of interest...anyone know how long between this letter, and Pauls death? Anyone know what happened to the Church he is writing to? I'd be fascinated to hear anything...even if its more legend and folklaw then exact history.
I guess...the obvious personalization of it is, to put yourself in the position of the Church (we are all in the position of that church sometimes...lost without a spiritual mentor, or our close confident is taken away from us) and follow Paul's advise....
...buit its not gonna help if we arent in the position of that Church
I'm sure that somewhere Paul advocates Discretion aswell as vocalization