Tag Archives: christian blogger

THORNFUL ROSE: INTRIGUE

My wife (Laura) and I had a great conversation about the “thorn” in the Apostle Paul’s side, “a messenger of Satan” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Laura found through Dr. Constable’s Notes p. 167 different interpretations about the thorn:

“Three basic suggested interpretations of the thorn are as follows: (1) If flesh is a reference to the body, then it is a physical ailment like an earache, headache, eye trouble, epilepsy, or recurrent fever. (2) If flesh is a reference to the fallen nature, then the thorn could be a temptation. (3) If the expression is figurative, it could refer to persecution or opposition. Most commentators interpret it as a physical ailment.”1

“Many early church Fathers and Reformers understood the thorn to be a spiritual temptation—perhaps a tendency toward pride, or the opposition of Paul’s enemies. Some modern Roman Catholic interpreters take it as a fleshly temptation that assailed Paul’s moral purity. Many modern Protestant interpreters see it as a bodily suffering, namely, some physical illness or infirmity such as bad eyesight, a speech impediment, malaria,2 or epilepsy (cf. Gal. 4:13-15).3 Since the scriptural data does not provide a definite answer, it seems best to suspend judgment on any conclusion. Various commentators have made good cases for every one of the explanations
described above. Probably Paul avoided being explicit so his readers would not focus on his particular form of affliction exclusively.”

In light of Dr. Constable’s Notes given above, there seems to be 3 different approaches to the Apostle Paul’s thorn:

  1. Spiritual Temptation
  2. Fleshly Temptation
  3. Physical Illness or Infirmity

However, what was profound to my wife was how “God used evil for good”, which struck me odd at first because my brain does not make sense of good using evil for good; that to me sounds like evil is nothing more than a tool rather than a force necessitating justice, and thereby making good and evil indistinguishable.

I’m intrigued. So, let’s explore!…

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 4

So what did I mean by… “But that does not mean we continue to find ourselves in sin.”? The Bible is an awesome recourse for us to explore what the Source reveals to us about sin. While the Bible is a recourse, it is not the Source convicting us of sin, and please test me by checking—John 5:39-47 & 16:5-15. The Bible functions much like a collection of school books, a tutorage for the person learning about their soul in relation to sin, and God (Gal 3:23-29). I can add scripture verses all day supporting my delusions—as though the Bible has that authority—but the Bible does not have authority to give anyone eternal life (John 5:39-47). It is the Bible that contains the Scriptures testifying about Jesus coming to us in His Father’s name with His Father’s power, to give us life by receiving Him—the Source. This brings me back full circle to the initial question—So what did I mean… ? I mean that the Holy Spirit is our Source to find ourselves in the Lord our Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; 10 about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.

John 16:7-11 (AMP)

But how do I keep from sinning? How do I stop finding myself in sin? How do I do as Christ instructed, like when He said to the woman found in adultery… “Go. From now on do not sin any longer.” (John 8:11)? What do you think Jesus meant by that? And how do I remain healed after Jesus tells me—like He told the man He healed—“See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14)? What do you think Christ meant by “…or something worse may happen to you.“?

Do those instructions apply to you and me right now, tomorrow, next year; … at the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:1-5)?

[I pray you, the reader, will experience these posts and this blog as a safe place to comment; express yourself—with love in mind.]

I argue the worst thing to happen to someone who continues to find themselves in sin/s… is regression into possession of that/those sin/s as a lifestyle where many evil spirits are coming to reside:

24 “When the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest; and not finding any, it says, ‘I will go back to my house (person) from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the place swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in [the person] and live there; and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first.”

Luke 11:24-26 (AMP)

When I refer back to my previous essays—thinking about sin—I ask myself:

What sin am I in?

Am I still in sin?

If so …

How?

When and how does an unclean spirit come out of a person as quoted above?

What do you think?


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 3

FELLOWSHIP

From the time Laura and I joined Watermark Community Church and were welcomed into a community group with two other couples 5 years ago, the idea of fellowship within the Body of Christ took on new meaning, which brings me to the idea aforementioned in my previous essay…

However, because I am still building out my perspective on what might be titled “Two Distinct Spirits” — the Holy Spirit and human spirit — am going to leave that alone for now. I’m having fellowship with a specific brother in Christ about this biblical perspective, and not to mention; I might build the case for “Three Distinct Spirits” as opposed to Two.

Rather, my objective is to test whether there are any compromises (2 Cor. 13:4-6) in the structure of my spiritual fortification (Matt. 12:25-29).

Now… because the foundation to my fortification is built on Christ, there should be no way for the enemy to breach (1 Cor. 3:10-15). However, that has not always been the case for me while professing to be a Christian as you’ve might’ve learned from my previous essay, and that might be the case for you reading this now.

Are you someone who professes to be Christian and yet finds yourself in sin or a sinful lifestyle?

That is not a trick question although can see how it might be interpreted that way considering what the Bible teaches:

23 …for all [b]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…

Romans 3:23

And so I do NOT mean to insinuate that we can find ourselves without sin:

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:8-10

Because obviously …

We sin!

But that does not mean we continue to find ourselves in sin.

Until next time…


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—