Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1
Thesis: The "ministry" is dominated by the issues of "power", "motivation", "determination", and "intention".
Introduction: In our last study we considered the intensity of Paul's desire to see the Thessalonians as it was expressed by his extraordinary intensity in prayer. We also looked into his stated motivation: to provide for the "lack" that existed in the "faith" of the Thessalonians.
This evening we are going to look at something a little larger than the desire to see the Thessalonians. We are going to look at how Paul handled his desires when it became obvious that God was not going to grant them.
October 5, 2014
- I. Paul's View of the Issues Involved in "The Ministry".
- A. It is undergirded by the omnipotence of "The God Himself".
- 1. This is his view in spite of his rather candid declaration that Satan had thwarted him on more than one occasion.
- 2. At any time one both declares that omnipotence is involved and that the adversary is having some "success", we have to fall back upon something other than sheer "power".
- B. It is executed by the motivation of "The Father".
- 1. The issues of "father" are, fundamentally, two.
- a. At the "father" level, there is the issue of a father's superior wisdom and intentional oversight under a legitimate obsession with the child's well-being.
- b. Also at the "father" level, Jesus made a specific point of making sure that we do not make a terrible mistake: likening "The Father" to human fathers on the earth (Matthew 23:9).
- 2. With wisdom and intentional, loving oversight, "power" is fundamental, but not determinative.
- C. It is determined by the decision of "The Lord".
- 1. The issue of "Lord" is the question of "who" will make the decision(s) that the circumstances require (John 5:22).
- 2. Philippians 2:10-11 makes a large point of the fact that "knees bow" before Him Who is "Lord".
- D. It is pursued according to the intentionality of "Jesus".
- 1. The textual traditions have a conflict over the presence/absence of the term "Christ".
- a. The Authorized Version has Paul writing, "...our Lord, Jesus Christ...".
- b. The later scholarship says "...our Lord, Jesus...".
- 2. At issue is the meaning of the name "Jesus" and the overall objective that name brings to the table.
- a. "Salvation" includes the necessity of standing firm on your own.
- b. This necessity can be undermined by too much outside "help".
- II. Paul's Reality.
- A. The only way "Satan" can thwart an activity is if God permits him that "success".
- B. In Acts 16:6 "the ministry" is clearly revealed to be under the dominion of the Holy Spirit.
- C. In Acts 18:9-11 Paul was, in effect, told by God to stay in Corinth for a year and a half to do the work of the ministry.
- D. The combination of these facts, added into the "salvation" necessity of standing firm, means that Paul is not going to be going back to Thessalonica any time soon.
- III. Paul's Words.
- A. Clearly he wants to be "directed to Thessalonica".
- B. But he puts the "power", the "motivation", the "determination", and the "intention" under the "optative" wishful thinking.