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  #51  
Old 07-11-2009, 12:11 AM
Chris F
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Originally Posted by Tyburn
I dont know what it means to me personally I dont understand how to do that

I'm just trying to summerize what I think the text means and what that might indicate about all the characters involved
It is alright Dave not every one thinks in practicalities. Some are more concrete thinkers and thus do not worry about making it personal. Philippians was a theological letter to the church not a narrative where you should make personal applications. Often when we make it to personal we loose its original intent. I enjoyed your comments.
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  #52  
Old 07-11-2009, 01:47 AM
surveyorshawn
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Originally Posted by Tyburn
I dont know what it means to me personally I dont understand how to do that

I'm just trying to summerize what I think the text means and what that might indicate about all the characters involved
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!
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  #53  
Old 07-11-2009, 03:40 AM
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This is really awesome! I love Philippians....and there is so much in this first chapter!! I remember years ago when I did my first really in depth study of this book. I was going through a really hard time in my life, mush like I am now, and instead of letting that get the best of me, I was determined to press in to God. As I sought where to study during this time, I felt that God was leading me to Philippians, and boy was it ever affirmed when I read the first chapter.

At that time, when I studied it, I read it in several translations, read several commentaries about it, and used my Greek & Hebrew transliteration, as I intended to study it as in depth as possible, and the only way I knew to do that was through a thorough scholarly approach. I gained a lot from that, and learned a lot about the context, etc. The life-changing things I gained from it were far beyond the scholarly things I learned, though. As I took in God's word and He began to speak to me, personally, it really changed my perspective about the situation that I was in, and what God wanted me to gain from it and do while in the situation.

One of the greatest things I got was about Paul's attitude in his situation. He was in a much, much worse situation than me. He was in a Roman prison, chained to a guard 24 hours a day. It was not like our prisons. There was no cable tv, no gym, no basketball. Not even basic sanitary considerations like a toilet, etc. Yet, in spite of that, he was full of joy, and chose to look at his situation in a positive light, and more than that, as part of God's plan to further the Gospel.

That is much more than the "glass is half full" philosophy. It reminds me today of another scripture he penned, Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." That really spoke to me about the tough situation that I was in and the perspective I had in regard to it. Regardless of how bad it was, because I love God and am called according to His purpose, God either allowed or ordained that situation, and it was for MY good! I even told God, "I don't see that, but because You said it, I am going to believe it." And because my perspective changed, everything about the situation changed as well.

The other thing that God spoke to me about Paul and his situation is that not only was Paul's perspective right, but he used the situation for God's glory. As I read background information in the materials that I had, I saw that Paul was chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day, and that, according to the historical information, they Romans had to keep changing the guards because Paul kept converting them. Can you imagine being chained to the Apostle Paul for hours on end? He was doing exactly what he admonished the Ephesians to do in Eph. 5:15-16: "Be very careful, then, how you liveónot as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." He made the most of every opportunity to spread God's love.

So, what God spoke to me from chapter one was to change my perspective about the situations I find myself in, and not only to see them as something positive He is working in my life, but to use those situations for His glory and to show others the love of Christ. I am headed to the hospital for my son's heart surgery with that as my goal. God is truly awesome, and I am glad He is constantly speaking to us, changing us, and helping us to become more like Jesus!
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  #54  
Old 07-11-2009, 12:00 PM
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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
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  #55  
Old 07-11-2009, 02:41 PM
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That is an awesome observation, Dave! After reading your post, I went back this morning and reread the chapter. Paul is really trying to encourage this church, like you said. It is interesting, because most of his letters contain some kind of rebuke about things going on in the church along with encouragement and instruction. To this church, he is concentrating on encouraging them to keep up the fight and not lose hope because he has been captured and put in prison. As he opens the letter, he seems so excited to write them, and is even thankful when God reminds him to pray for them!

To me, one of the most encouraging things he says to them is in verse 6 : "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." It was truly an honor for them to receive that statement, because of the reverence and respect they had for Paul and his position in Christ. He was able to say, through all of his experience, wisdom, and godliness, and because of the things he knew about them, that he was totally confident God was going to continue to be with them and continue the great work that He started in them! Like you, I am curious to know what became of the Philippian church. Knowing that they continued would really be encouraging in light of all the things Paul said. I wonder if there is a history of it somewhere on the internet. If I have time today, I will search for it!

Now of course we could personalize that statement (about God carrying on the good work He started in the Philippians through to completion), and many people have. Many have used it as proof of certain theological doctrines, which I don't intend to get into here (perhaps in another thread), but honestly, this is a letter that Paul wrote to a specific group of people that he had intimate knowledge of. That being said, as I read it years ago, while going through such a hard time, I was really wondering where God was in all that and what was to become of me. When I read it, it was as if God was saying to me, "Shawn, I am still here, I have not left you, and I will finish the work I started in you." Certainly I am not making a broad statement about everyone God has called, and of course I had then and do now have the free will to stop following God or backslide, but at the time God really used it to encourage me and not to only stay the course, but to draw in even closer. I am glad Paul's letter to the Philippians survived until this day!
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  #56  
Old 07-11-2009, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by surveyorshawn

To me, one of the most encouraging things he says to them is in verse 6 : "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." It was truly an honor for them to receive that statement, because of the reverence and respect they had for Paul and his position in Christ. He was able to say, through all of his experience, wisdom, and godliness, and because of the things he knew about them, that he was totally confident God was going to continue to be with them and continue the great work that He started in them! )
I hadnt thought of that. You can see the obvious danger cant you. They NEED Paul to tell them something like that, because they dont trust enough to accept it from GOD. You can understand a little, why Three Centuries Later when the Church goes Global, there is a need for someone...human...and someone Temporaral in every generation to act, like Paul, as the Spiritual Mentor for the Church of that age.

I think thats WAY blowing out of proportion the Role of Paul...and I'm certain he would aggree...or you wouldnt see him write so personally to Timothy, about he's own inadequecies and downfalls...BUT you can understand why that Church mentality is dangerous....in setting up some Human to be GODs earthly representative.

Not wishing to be horrible...but perhaps the Church never matured. That could be one of the reasons why, three centuries later, the people felt the need for a Pope to have an apostolic Voice. The Laugh of it is the Pope is more of a Pauline Character, then a Petran. Peter was almost a silent Patriarch for the Heathen converts...and yet...The Pope ONLY talks to Christians....that Role is Saint Paul, NOT Saint Peter...and his whole Brief seems to be to act in the same way as Saint Paul...a figure of authority, and...dare I say it...a person to hide behind.

I kinda want to leave it there, because I dont want to screw the thread up...I'm just thinking out loud about the ramifications to Christendom of too many Phillipian Mannered Churches...how that immaturitiy might have become a norm by the time of Constentine.

Paul is encouraging independance of Discernment. He's actually saying "think for yourself" VERY Early Roman Catholicism DID adhere to that because the Celtic Church thrived as a set of Independant Monastic Communities that were linked by Bishops who would be like Paul in Missionary travel and writing.

Anyway...lets get back to the main topic. I'm ready for Chapter two already
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  #57  
Old 07-11-2009, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyburn
I hadnt thought of that. You can see the obvious danger cant you. They NEED Paul to tell them something like that, because they dont trust enough to accept it from GOD. You can understand a little, why Three Centuries Later when the Church goes Global, there is a need for someone...human...and someone Temporaral in every generation to act, like Paul, as the Spiritual Mentor for the Church of that age.

I think thats WAY blowing out of proportion the Role of Paul...and I'm certain he would aggree...or you wouldnt see him write so personally to Timothy, about he's own inadequecies and downfalls...BUT you can understand why that Church mentality is dangerous....in setting up some Human to be GODs earthly representative.

Not wishing to be horrible...but perhaps the Church never matured. That could be one of the reasons why, three centuries later, the people felt the need for a Pope to have an apostolic Voice. The Laugh of it is the Pope is more of a Pauline Character, then a Petran. Peter was almost a silent Patriarch for the Heathen converts...and yet...The Pope ONLY talks to Christians....that Role is Saint Paul, NOT Saint Peter...and his whole Brief seems to be to act in the same way as Saint Paul...a figure of authority, and...dare I say it...a person to hide behind.

I kinda want to leave it there, because I dont want to screw the thread up...I'm just thinking out loud about the ramifications to Christendom of too many Phillipian Mannered Churches...how that immaturitiy might have become a norm by the time of Constentine.

Paul is encouraging independance of Discernment. He's actually saying "think for yourself" VERY Early Roman Catholicism DID adhere to that because the Celtic Church thrived as a set of Independant Monastic Communities that were linked by Bishops who would be like Paul in Missionary travel and writing.

Anyway...lets get back to the main topic. I'm ready for Chapter two already
I definitely agree with leaving it there, as it would take away from our study of Philippians. My only comments on it, in agreement, are that the early church's over-reliance on Paul reminds me of ancient Israel's desire to have a physical, earthly king (they would up with Saul) rather than the system God had put in place for them. Perhaps that insecurity reflects a lack of or immature level of faith in things we can't physically see. I would agree that the church remained immature, and perhaps even regressed some. Anyway, on with chapter 2!!
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  #58  
Old 07-11-2009, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by surveyorshawn
I definitely agree with leaving it there, as it would take away from our study of Philippians. My only comments on it, in agreement, are that the early church's over-reliance on Paul reminds me of ancient Israel's desire to have a physical, earthly king (they would up with Saul) rather than the system God had put in place for them. Perhaps that insecurity reflects a lack of or immature level of faith in things we can't physically see. I would agree that the church remained immature, and perhaps even regressed some. Anyway, on with chapter 2!!
I think you've hit the nail on the head. I think all this shows, Israel/King, Paul/Early Church, Pope/Rome, Its the SAME thing happening over and over again.

There are four prongs to this problem.
First "If I cant see it, I cant Trust it"

Lack of Trust

Secondly "Someone has to be the Authority to settle disputes open to interpretation"

Lack of Discernment

Thirdly "If We're Wrong its because of him"

Lack of Personal Responsibility

Forthly "We want someone else to decide for us"

In all seriousness, anyone with any sense would know the answer to "Which Religion is Correct" or "Is there a GOD" must be the most important question ever faced by man

...so how come more often people say "I dont Know" AND are content to LEAVE IT AT THAT. Fear? Laziness? Inability to Choose or decide?

Its a puzzlement...One that GOD says in Revelations he finds most dissagreeable. Yes is Good, No is bad...but "Im aware of the problem, but dont know and dont care...." Thats intollerable sitting on the luke warm fence. He rebukes one of the Host who looks after the Church thats full of lukewarm people...niether good nor bad, no effort in, but no lack of it. Complete stagnation.

But I think your right...this shows a fundemental immaturity that has obviously been around in the Old Testament, The New Testament, and into the Cannonical epoch. People want to be told, want to be ordered...Love takes effort...people cant be arsed
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  #59  
Old 07-16-2009, 02:37 PM
Chris Wescott
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Default Did I miss last weekend?

Hey guys...I think I missed last weekends reading assignment.

Where are we?

Thanks,
Chris
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  #60  
Old 07-16-2009, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Wescott
Hey guys...I think I missed last weekends reading assignment.

Where are we?

Thanks,
Chris
Philippians Chapter 2! No one has posted anything about it yet, but feel free to post what you got out of Chapter 1 if you want as well!
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