Tag Archives: story

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!…

INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

It’s been a productive morning. I plan on heading to the house here in a few minutes from my office on the road, but before I do I am thinking about where I left the story off about “Salvational Engineering”. I left it off wanting to write about our “machines” (bodies) as the outermost circle of our Person of three circles. Right now my body is gradually declining into the desire for sleep after having worked overnight, and so this machine is preparing to shut down for a few hours.

Did you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

There are a few things I want to distract myself with once I get to the house, one of them being to watch an episode from a series or a movie as down time. However, I know that will not be wise because there are other responsibilities I need to take care of aside from reaching my goal for this site, and career path with my wife. So what I’m going to do is go to the house and prepare for sleep. 

Romans 6:12-14
12 Therefore sin is not to reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your body’s parts as instruments of righteousness for God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace.

Right now I’m under the grace of God to exercise my body’s parts as instruments of righteousness. To do that I need to leave. This machine of mine is ready to rest, and I know in the past when I was beyond tired I acted delirious. When in a state of delirium I was more vulnerable to unrighteousness and susceptible to sin. Wisdom teaches me to be aware of the state of my body, to manage each moment at a time to present my mortal body as alive from the dead. So that’s what I’m going to do.

MACHINE

Good morning reader… it might not be morning by the time I finish this writing but that’s alright. I pray all is well. I’m feeling much better today, a little sore throat and some coughing, but my strength is coming back! That’s good news! I’m thankful to rest even though it’s not in my nature to rest like this, I don’t like being isolated. I’m a dagum peacock and I need to fly!

Alright, I’m thinking we continue on the “breakthrough” journey.

In the previous post you’ll get an idea of the functions for our body, soul, and spirit, that make up our entire Person (Being) – and I want to go deeper starting with what I’ll probably refer to a lot as mine and your “machine”, the body.

This is where I hope to bring back full circle my experience as an engineer (salvational engineering) to provide the reader with a unique perspective when applying diagnostics to a person’s spiritual well-being and eternal salvation. I also believe this framework will be an excellent resource; having the knowledge of the truth is very important, but what good is an engineer with knowledge of the truth yet without the skill of love to apply that knowledge to a machine broken by lies? The engineer is useless without the skill of love and tools to apply his or her knowledge of the truth!

So next… let’s talk about our machines!