Strength in Weakness - Peter Ng

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Strength in Weakness - Peter Ng Powered By Docstoc
					Strength in
The ultimate Christian

  Story of young man in wheel chair
There are no limits
2 Corinthians 12:1 I must go on
 boasting. Though there is
 nothing to be gained by it, I will
 go on to visions and revelations
 of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 11:2-5 2 I feel a
 divine jealousy for you, for I
 betrothed you to one husband, to
 present you as a pure virgin to
 Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as
 the serpent deceived Eve by his
 cunning, your thoughts will be
 led astray from a sincere and
 pure devotion to Christ
.   4 For if someone comes and
       another Jesus than the one we
       proclaimed, or if you
    receive a
       different spirit from the one
       you received, or if you
    accept a
       different gospel from the one
    you accepted,.
you put up with it readily enough.
 5 I consider that I am not in the

 least inferior to these super-
Fighting for the soul
   of Christianity
Paul vs Super Apostles
Another Jesus
     Another Jesus
     Another Spirit
   A different Gospel
You put up with it readily
                             Jan 1-6
You matter to God
If it matters to you it matters to God
God remembers your sins no more
Jesus Blood keeps on cleansing you
Righteousness is not right doing but
  right being
You have first class righteousness

Joseph Prince Destined to Reign Devotional P1-6
                         June 8-14
Release the Power in You
Jesus met every claim of GOD over you
The son’s heart beat for you
God’s Angels are watching over you
See the abundance within you
The blood alone saves
Have a large revelation of Jesus

Joseph Prince Destined to Reign Devotional P160-166
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 15 For we
 are the aroma of Christ to God
 among those who are being
 saved ……
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 15 For we
 are the aroma of Christ to God
 among those who are being
 saved ……
and among those who are
 perishing, 16 to one a fragrance
 from death to death,

   Like marrying your pen pal who tells you how one aspect of his life
           Irony            Saying one thing
                            Meaning the opposite

      Fool’s Discourse
 ..I wish you would bear
     with me in a little
foolishness. Do bear with
      2 Cor 11:1-12:10
Proverbs 26:5 5 Answer a fool
according to his folly, lest he be
     wise in his own eyes.
Highly paid
Well heeled
Well dressed
Great oratory
Signs and Wonders
2 Corinthians 11:24-27
24 Five times I received at the

  hands of the Jews the forty
  lashes less one.
25 Three times I was beaten with

  rods. Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked; a
  night and a day I was adrift at
26on frequent journeys, in danger
 from rivers, danger from robbers,
 danger from my own people,
 danger from Gentiles, danger in
 the city, danger in the
 wilderness, danger at sea,
 danger from false brothers; 27 in
 toil and hardship, through many
 a sleepless night, in hunger and
 thirst, often without food, in cold
 and exposure.
           The vision
2 Corinthians 12:2-7 2 I know a
 man in Christ who fourteen years
 ago was caught up to the third
 heaven- whether in the body or
 out of the body I do not know,
 God knows. 3 And I know that
 this man was caught up into
 paradise- whether in the body or
 out of the body I do not know,
 God knows-
                3rd Heaven
Paradise-park,         One Heaven
Eden, place for
souls of righteous
dead of where God        Three Heaven

                     Five Heaven
Seven Heaven
                     It was in this uppermost heaven of all that
                     God dwelt, and with him the archangels
                     (Testament of Levi 3). So the very fact that
                     Paul was transported to God’s abode
                     meant that he could compete with anything
                     his rivals boasted about. Jesus
4   and he heard things that cannot
    be told, which man may not
Mary K Baxter
5   On behalf of this man I will
    boast, but on my own behalf I
    will not boast, except of my
    weaknesses. 6 Though if I should
    wish to boast, I would not be a
    fool, for I would be speaking the
    truth. But I refrain from it, so
    that no one may think more of
    me than he sees in me or hears
    from me.
    It must have been Paul
2 Corinthians 12:1 I must go on
 boasting. Though there is
 nothing to be gained by it, I will
 go on to visions and revelations
 of the Lord.
12:2-7 2 I know a man in Christ
 who fourteen years ago was
 caught up to the third heaven-
.   5On behalf of this man I will
    boast, but on my own behalf I
    will not boast, except of my
   Why the literary device?
Distance from the event as he wanted
 to b e judged on his behviour not
 special revelation like other false
7   So to keep me from being too
    elated by the surpassing
    greatness of the revelations, a
    thorn was given me in the flesh,
    a messenger of Satan to harass
    me, to keep me from being too
                           Physical        Head ache
                                           Ear pain
                                           Speech defect
                                           Eye problems
Thorn                                      Malaria
                                           Sexual temptation

                                           False apostles..ministers of
                                           Satan in 11:15
                                           False brothers-sodomy
                                           Present enemies of church
                                           the true Israel Num 33:55, Ez
                                           28:24 in LXX

It happened after the vision so not congenital
Must be quite substantial as such a robust apostle who had gone thru so much
would not have strenously asked to have it removed thrre times
                          Divine passive

                     Immediate cause –messenger
2 Corinthians 12:7
                     of Satan

                     Ultimate cause –God

Leach –as far =
   as it is
   eating to kill
   you but as
   far as
Doctor is
"How dangerous must self-exaltation
  be, when even the apostle required
  so much restraint" (Fausset)
      To keep from conceit
God is more interested in our spiritual
 development than our physical
We always think in terms of our
 immediate short term horizon. God
 thinks further and looks at eternal
Our ultimate goal-His Passion
Romans 8:28-29 28 And we know
 that for those who love God all
 things work together for good,
 for those who are called
 according to his purpose.
29For those whom he foreknew he
also predestined to be conformed to
the image of his Son
      Pleading with God
2 Corinthians 12:8 8 Three times I
 pleaded with the Lord about this,
 that it should leave me.

Three times   Jewish practice as well as Greek
              Jesus- 3 times in Gethsemane

              Intense heartfelt imploring of God
Matthew 7:7-8 7 "Ask, and it will
 be given to you; seek, and you
 will find; knock, and it will be
 opened to you. 8 For everyone
 who asks receives, and the one
 who seeks finds, and to the one
 who knocks it will be opened.
St Augustine
God’s Power in our Weakness
2 Corinthians 12:9 9 But he said
 to me, "My grace is sufficient for
 you, for my power is made
 perfect in weakness

The promise is that whenever the
 messenger of Satan afflicts him, he
 will be given sufficient strength to
 bear up

The widow of Zarepath
…my power is made perfect in
The nature of God’s strength

it reaches its fullest measure and most
   powerful forms when issued in
   response to weakness
… power is made perfect in

      Is it deficient or less than perfect?
Perfect-to complete an activity or
 process, bring to an end, finish,
 complete, present passive tense –
 continuously process
Present passive tense
John 19:30 30
When Jesus
had received
the sour wine,
he said, "It is
finished," and
he bowed his
head and
gave up his
Implications for us
    1. We do not have to be
  ashamed of our weaknesses

Take heart if you are not as

 tall as
 eloquent as
 charismatic as
 as gifted as
 as pretty as
Greys Anatomy
Ugly Betty
        Ideas of strength
Adulation of community

         What if switch on the light
John 9

John 9:3 3 Jesus answered, "It was not
that this man sinned, or his parents, but
that the works of God might be
displayed in him.

Out of thousands
This one man chosen for impact
Exodus 3:11 11 But Moses said to
 God, "Who am I that I should go
 to Pharaoh and bring the
 children of Israel out of Egypt?"
Exodus 4:10 10 But Moses said to
 the LORD, "Oh, my Lord, I am not
 eloquent, either in the past or
 since you have spoken to your
 servant, but I am slow of speech
 and of tongue."
“nothing but dust and ashes
         Gen 18:27

  “How can I save
    Israel? My clan is the
    weakest in
    Manasseh, and I am
    the least in my
    family” (Judg 6:15)
David says, “Do you
 think it is a small
 matter to become
 the king’s son-in-
 law? I’m only a poor
 man and little
 known” (1 Sam
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 7 But God
 chose what is foolish in the world
 to shame the wise; God chose
 what is weak in the world to
 shame the strong; 28 God chose
 what is low and despised in the
 world, even things that are not,
 to bring to nothing things that
 are, 29 so that no human being
 might boast in the presence of
    2. Weakness = opportunity

2 Corinthians 12:9b…. Therefore I will
  boast all the more gladly of my
  weaknesses, so that the power of Christ
  may rest upon me.
                                              Skene= take residence in a tent
Do not let weakness drag you down
Do not let weakness give you an excuse
Great what is God going to do with me?
Drives us to pray, seek help, open to ideas, call up others, listen.
So many older ones have stopped listening years ago
Septuagint use of word
              Tent of Meeting
                                                  Nick Vujicic

Joni Eareckson after 39yrs in the chair
                                                  My future is not
"I would rather be in this wheelchair knowing
                                                  held hostage to
Him the way I do than to be on my feet
                                                  my disabilities
without Him... But this wheelchair is a
                                                  God has plan for
bruising of a blessing. It's a terrible mercy."
          David Ring
“from turning his tombstone into a milestone.”
Embrace the opportunity
 3. Be on our guard not to rely
     on our own strengths
Danger Confuse

Your power for God’s power
Your timing for His
Your light for His
Opening and closing prayer does not
 cut it
Our power

Transient…like a flower
            Our Power
Numerical only
Does not change people
Operates with a calculated comfort
No risk taking
            Our Power
Depends on props

 The way we dress
 The car we drive
 How we talk
We become controlled by popular
We are afraid to be transparent-appear
The continuing weakness is necessary
 so that man might not confuse the
 power of God with his own power and
 lose God’s power by attempting to
 rely on himself.
         Judges 16:30 Then he bowed with all his strength,
         and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the
         people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at
         his death were more than those whom he had killed
Samson   during his life.
  2 Corinthians 12:10 For the

 sake of Christ, then, I am content
 with weaknesses, insults,
 hardships, persecutions, and
 calamities. For when I am weak,
 then I am strong.
Philippians 3:10 10 that I may
 know him and the power of his
 resurrection, and may share his
 sufferings, becoming like him in
 his death,
The greatest power unleashed by
the greatest suffering and

         True power resides in obedience
Isaiah 57:15 15 For thus says the
  One who is high and lifted up,
  who inhabits eternity, whose
  name is Holy: "I dwell in the high
  and holy place, and also with him
  who is of a contrite and lowly
  spirit, to revive the spirit of the
  lowly, and to revive the heart of
  the contrite.

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