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YOU ARE BORN TO SHINE

2 Corithians Chapter 4 verse 6

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Friday, December 30 2011

Introduction

Paul had been falsely accused, beaten with the intention of being killed and was arrested; bound in chains. All that orchestrated by the Sovereign God to create a podium to preach; an opportunity for Paul to share his testimony.

It was the first time many of them will hear what Paul had to say and for 21 verses he held them spellbound by his testimony. The major learning point; (although there are not very many points to learn) was the wisdom Paul applied in delivering a sensitive message to an angry mob. We shall consider this wisdom under the following points.

1.      HE SPOKE A LANGUAGE THEY COULD UNDERSTAND

 2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

Recall in Chapter 21: 37 he spoke in Greek but in this verse he spoke in Aramaic. All of a sudden, he was accepted (though momentarily) because he had identified with them. He was not that man teaching everyone everywhere against their people and their law and Jerusalem anymore. He was one of them and they became quiet and listened for 21 verses!

He did not belong to the category of preachers who use clichés or those with the philosophy of "why use one simple word when you can use 10 difficult ones?"

He wasn't going to appear sophisticated and speak Greek so he could get an interpreter. In other words, he brought the message to their level.

2.      HE CAPTIVATED THEM AND WON THEIR ATTENTION FROM THE ONSET Vs 3-5

  Then Paul said: 3 "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

In effect, Paul was saying; hey! I am just like one of you. He didn't approach them with piousness; he identified with them. He wasn't preaching at them! He'd been there and done that!

Note his approach in verse 3 ". . . was thoroughly trained in the law of OUR ancestors". At this point; they were at his finger tips. "They were going to stay till the end of service"

3.      HE NARRATED HIS MIRACULOUS ENCOUNTER - PREACHING JESUS, THE MIRACLE OF HEALING AND HIS BAPTISM Vs 6-20

In verses 6 to 20, Paul engaged his listeners. Remember that it was the same people who wanted him dead? (It was almost like in Tom & Jerry where Jerry stops to do a dance and Tom waits to watch and amaze himself before Jerry slams his face with a shovel or something). His narration of the encounter on the road to Damascus was graphical! (If you are not careful; you may be blinded by that same light!)

He covered his conversion, baptism and commission in a breath and the crowd listened . . .  quietly!

4.      HE WAITED FOR HIS MOMENT TO DROP THE BOMB Vs 21-22

 21 "Then the Lord said to me, ?Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'  22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, "Rid the earth of him! He's not fit to live!"  23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air

I am not sure Paul expected the response at this stage but the deed had been done. He had shared his testimony, taught about healing and baptism and preached Jesus. The only thing he couldn't do was take the offering and benediction! But do we think that God was not in their response? God was done with them; now He needed Paul to address the chief priests and Sanhedrin See verse 30

5.      HE WAS AWARE

24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty?" 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. "What are you going to do?" he asked. "This man is a Roman citizen." 27 The commander went to Paul and asked, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes, I am," he answered.  28 Then the commander said, "I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship." "But I was born a citizen," Paul replied.

Paul was aware; he knew what he had and the value of what he had. Verse 39 of Chapter 21

Paul answered, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people."

He used the fact that he was a Jew (nationality of Benjamin and Judah) - to be given the opportunity to speak to the Jews and in verse 25 he used the fact that he was born in the Roman province of Cilicia to get justice. Ignorance would have kept him in chains

 29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

God was simply fulfilling the scriptures in Paul's life. Luke 21: 12-15

 12 "But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

CONCLUSION

Paul demonstrated wisdom in the delivery of his message that stunned an angry mob. He displayed a wisdom that silenced his accusers. We cannot but conclude that wisdom indeed counts; it is the principal thing!  (Prov.4:7) The Bible says in Eccl 9:16a "So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength."

Jesus says in Luke 21:15 [MSG] I'll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.

Let's ask God for wisdom; He gives generously to all without finding fault.

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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