Tuesday, May 20, 2014

1Thessalonians 2:4-8 comments: Paul's method and manner

4  But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5  For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 6  Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

God has committed the gospel to faithful Paul in trust.

1Timothy 1:11  According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

His purpose was not to become a celebrity like some kind of itinerant Greek Sophist preacher going from place to place making great speeches for gifts of money. His purpose was not to please men, to tickle their ears, but to please God.

Romans 16:18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

He did not flatter his hearers nor did he attempt to deceive them for monetary gain. He was not interested in being lifted up as a great preacher and recognized by the mighty ones of the culture. Paul was a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. Those preachers who would make the following verses refer to church attendance are doing just the opposite of what Paul is talking about in the verses. This is not about being faithful to church attendance, but about being faithful to God’s word.

1Corinthians 4:1 ¶  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

7 ¶  But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8  So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

Paul’s mission was not to tear the hide from the people’s backs. His preaching was not just to get the Scripture out there in the air, no matter how loud, rude, hateful, or mean-spirited, just get it out there, like some street preachers do, shouting verses angrily as people hurry by.

Paul had a heart for the lost. He treated them kindly and brought the gospel to them as a nurse brings food and care to their charge. Paul’s arguing was for the argumentative, the self-righteous, and the disputers, but even with some of them who were not believers he showed kindness and reason and won converts.

Acts 17:22 ¶  Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23  For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

32 ¶  And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33  So Paul departed from among them. 34  Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Paul saved his hard speech for the religious elite who persecuted him, one of which he was at one time.

Acts 23:3  Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

Paul didn’t only give the gospel to the Thessalonians. He gave himself, out of a true affection and love for them.

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