Sermon Tone Analysis
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When you see this picture what two words come to mind?
This is a term used by Alaskan’s who have had their fair share of winter’s in Alaska.
It is a sign of the end of summer and the beginning of a long winter.
When you see this picture what words come to mind?
It is the same time of year and in the same state.
As people who have lived in Alaska for a while we somewhat chuckle when we see this now knowing that new comers to Alaska will eventually lose excitement about snow flurries.
With life under the curse of sin, there will always be the groaning going on about the cursed circumstances of life.
We would say that the excitement in the second picture is due to someone being new and naive to a situation.
However, I think we would agree that termination dust and “commencement” dust are both interpretations of the same circumstances.
Do we just conclude that one sees the “cup half-full” and the other sees it “half-empty?”
Is there a correct interpretation?
If so what is needed to get the correct and keep the right interpretation?
After the prayer of Paul at the beginning of the letter, Paul moves on to give an interpretation of the circumstances that he is facing.
Later in the letter, he writes that he is reporting with tears about those who have become enemies of the cross.
In other letters, we see Paul appalled at believer’s toleration of sin or false doctrine.
Yet there is a panoramic interpretation that seems to cover all of the interpretations of life.
In verse 12 we hear him offer the interpretation of his circumstances as that of an advance.
At the end of the section that we are looking at tonight (vers 25), we hear the assuring tone of continuing with them for their advance and progress in the faith.
This panoramic interpretation is needed in our lives, for our shortsighted perspective often leads to terminating attitudes and actions.
I think by faith we can agree to the need to live with a panoramic view.
This is really not a new theme for us to hear.
But what do we do, in our endeavor to obey God, when we face halting set backs: weakening health, relationship complications, lack of cooperation with people you are trying to help, annoying and complicated school work (for both parent and child).
There is not only the question of ‘what do we do?’ but also the question of ‘how do we measure forward progress?’
Also How should we think- does God ever face set-backs in his plans/”
Difficulty (termination dust) is always an opportunity for advancement.
Difficulty presents an opportunity for the advance of the gospel (v.v.
What is the advance of the gospel?
Witness for Christ can always be advancing (12-13)
Boldness can always be advancing
This comes from a trust in the Lord (v.
The bold ones are noted for their kindness and love rather than competitive race for being number one (15-16)
They also submit to God’s sovereign directing of circumstances.
Purifying can always be advancing
Purifying of the motive to advance self and put down others (15, 17)
Illustration: There is a line that is crossed when a young man moves from declaring something is heavy to when he now considers it a show to life more weight.
Example of folding chairs
Application: Disputes in the home are opportunity to declare the power of the gospel.
Rejection is an opportunity to display God’s mercy.
Skepticism is an invitation to ask questions for clarification, understanding and to display patience.
“Challenge: You can’t take the Bible too seriously because it was only written by men, and men make mistakes.
Ask questions: Do you have books in your library?
Were those books written by humans?
Do you find any truth in them?
Is there a reason to think the Bible is less truthful or reliable than other books you own?”- Tactics p. 44
Summary: Solidify (A deeper trust in Christ); Purify (motives for selfish ambition), Recognize (God has directed these difficult circumstances) Mobilize (keep proclaiming Christ)
Difficulty presents an opportunity to rejoice (v.v.
Joy is a choice in the presence of something annoying
Joy has a reason that supports the choice
Christ is proclaimed and honored (v. 18, 20)
It is important to emphasize that a self-centered proclamation of Christ is not being encouraged.
However, the mercy of God is highlighted in that He continues his advancement through frail people
His power and tenacity is also highlighted in that His work continues in spite of sinful people.
A deliverance from destructive ways is continually taking place (v.
This saving process is guaranteed but not natural (prayer and the help of God’s Spirit is essential)
Emphasize the “this”
A sufficiency for what is ahead (v.
The future does not end in disappointment
Fresh supplies of courage are along the way
Illustration: Getting a call from people coming down the camp road about the puddles being too big or wandering if they have passed up the entrance.
I don’t explain away the muddy condition.
I point to the rocky conditions under the puddles and the exactness of the distance from the road to the camp entrance.
Application: Joy by faith finds its supply from that which is solid.
You will weep now, but your sorrow will turn to joy (John 16:20); rejoice in suffering because great is your reward in heaven (mt.
5:12); joying in suffering that brings about the growth in people’s lives (Col.
1:24); joying in the endurance that character and endurance that is being built in my life (James 1).
I don’t know that joy can be measured by whistling, singing, or smiling.
What do we do with all the heaviness now that seem to put a damper on joy?—What
I am facing is my fault.
This person has altered my life forever.
Christ so wants me to partake of his permanent pleasure that He will not settle for fleeting pleasure.
He will be honored in my body in life or in death.
Summary: Solidify (God is working through prayer; God’s Spirit is present and providing; hope is growing); purify (deliverance from self is taking place); recognize (Christ is actually being proclaimed and honored); Mobilize (Choose to rejoice)
Difficulty presents an opportunity to really live (v.v 21-26)
Standard of living is measured in personal terms- for a person, by a person (v.
Address the imbalance; If living is a person, dying would be without the person.
If dying is a gain, then living would be a loss.
Because living is Christ, dying is gain.
Death cannot terminate something that is permanently living.
So death is only a departure.
It is the preferred choice.
It is actually more profitable.
Because of this standard of living, life in this body has a cost (all standards of living do)
There is a pay now enjoy later mindset.
There is a pay now so that other can enjoy now mindset.
There is labor, hard choice, emotional turmoil, greater necessity- the terms of cost
Because of this standard of living life in this body has a gain
The gain is measured in benefits to others
Spiritual advancement and growth
Increased joy (That is what Paul has in mind through his corrective letter)
Boasting in God
Solidify (living is Christ); Purify (the false standard of what I think living is); Recognize(the preparation of Christ for my future dwelling) Mobilize (another selfless choice to see someone else progress and joy)
May we look to Christ.
On the cross, He did not quit and walk away from what seemed to be a useless cause.
Christ does not stop intercession when termination dust enters in our life.
He died to give us lasting peace and joy not the fake fading joys.
Because of Christ I can enjoy these momentary gifts of life without serving them.
Interaction with Christ.
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