Pauls Vision

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  • 1. Paul‟s Vision Paul‟s Vision 2 Corinthians 12:2-10
  • 2. Paul‟s Vision  On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith had a “vision.”
  • 3. Paul‟s Vision  On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith had a “vision.” ◦ “A personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor . . . . Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorified beyond description . . . . [He] said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do.”
  • 4. Paul‟s Vision  On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith had a “vision.” ◦ “A personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor . . . . Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorified beyond description . . . . [He] said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do.” ◦ Obviously, we cannot believe Smith‟s claims.
  • 5. Paul‟s Vision  On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith had a “vision.” ◦ “A personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor . . . . Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorified beyond description . . . . [He] said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do.” ◦ Obviously, we cannot believe Smith‟s claims.  Such visions have ended.
  • 6. Paul‟s Vision  On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith had a “vision.” ◦ “A personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor . . . . Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorified beyond description . . . . [He] said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do.” ◦ Obviously, we cannot believe Smith‟s claims.  Such visions have ended.  The message of Smith‟s “visions” contracts the message of Jesus‟ apostles.
  • 7. Paul‟s Vision  But, in Paul‟s day, many did receive revelations from God.
  • 8. Paul‟s Vision  But, in Paul‟s day, many did receive revelations from God. ◦ It seems that many well-meaning Christians had trouble separating the claims of true visions & the claims of visions like Joseph Smith‟s.
  • 9. Paul‟s Vision  But, in Paul‟s day, many did receive revelations from God. ◦ It seems that many well-meaning Christians had trouble separating the claims of true visions & the claims of visions like Joseph Smith‟s. ◦ In Corinth, some false prophets were upsetting the faith of some.
  • 10. Paul‟s Vision  But, in Paul‟s day, many did receive revelations from God. ◦ It seems that many well-meaning Christians had trouble separating the claims of true visions & the claims of visions like Joseph Smith‟s. ◦ In Corinth, some false prophets were upsetting the faith of some: “If someone comes and proclaims 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” (2 Cor 11:4, ESV).
  • 11. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets apparently wanted to discredit Paul.
  • 12. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets apparently wanted to discredit Paul. ◦ In the final four chapters of 2 Corinthians, Paul defends himself against the claims of these “super-apostles.”
  • 13. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets apparently wanted to discredit Paul. ◦ In the final four chapters of 2 Corinthians, Paul defends himself against the claims of these “super-apostles.” ◦ “I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works” (2 Cor 12:11-12, ESV).
  • 14. Paul‟s Vision 2 CORINTHIANS 12:2-20
  • 15. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets were apparently boasting about receiving so-called “revelations” from God.
  • 16. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets were apparently boasting about receiving so-called “revelations” from God.  Paul basically says, “They boast about revelations. Let me tell you about a real revelation I had from God.
  • 17. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets were apparently boasting about receiving so-called “revelations” from God.  Paul basically says, “They boast about revelations. Let me tell you about a real revelation I had from God.  Paul writes in the third, rather than the first, person.
  • 18. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets were apparently boasting about receiving so-called “revelations” from God.  Paul basically says, “They boast about revelations. Let me tell you about a real revelation I had from God.  Paul writes in the third, rather than the first, person. ◦ This was a common method among the rabbis in order to avoid pride.
  • 19. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets were apparently boasting about receiving so-called “revelations” from God.  Paul basically says, “They boast about revelations. Let me tell you about a real revelation I had from God.  Paul writes in the third, rather than the first, person. ◦ This was a common method among the rabbis in order to avoid pride. ◦ The context makes it clear that Paul speaks of himself.
  • 20. Paul‟s Vision  These false prophets were apparently boasting about receiving so-called “revelations” from God.  Paul basically says, “They boast about revelations. Let me tell you about a real revelation I had from God.  Paul writes in the third, rather than the first, person. ◦ This was a common method among the rabbis in order to avoid pride. ◦ The context makes it clear that Paul speaks of himself. Why else would God send a “messenger of Satan” to torment Paul unless he himself received the message?
  • 21. Paul‟s Vision vv 2-4 GOD’S MIND
  • 22. Paul‟s Vision  “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. 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—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” (vv 2-4, ESV).
  • 23. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm.
  • 24. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm. ◦ As Paul defends his apostleship, it‟s quite clear that the “super-apostles” were boasting about their position.
  • 25. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm. ◦ As Paul defends his apostleship, it‟s quite clear that the “super-apostles” were boasting about their position.  “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (10:17, ESV).
  • 26. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm. ◦ As Paul defends his apostleship, it‟s quite clear that the “super-apostles” were boasting about their position.  “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (10:17, ESV).  “Whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that” (11:21, ESV).
  • 27. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm. ◦ As Paul defends his apostleship, it‟s quite clear that the “super-apostles” were boasting about their position. ◦ Paul says, quite tongue-in-check, “I must go on boasting” (12:1, ESV).
  • 28. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm. ◦ As Paul defends his apostleship, it‟s quite clear that the “super-apostles” were boasting about their position. ◦ Paul says, quite tongue-in-check, “I must go on boasting” (12:1, ESV).  Paul then “boasts” about the vision he received.
  • 29. Paul‟s Vision  Both of Paul‟s epistles to the Corinthians are laden with sarcasm. ◦ As Paul defends his apostleship, it‟s quite clear that the “super-apostles” were boasting about their position. ◦ Paul says, quite tongue-in-check, “I must go on boasting” (12:1, ESV).  Paul then “boasts” about the vision he received.  But, in his boasting, Paul can‟t say if the experience was in or out of the body & he can‟t repeat what he heard.
  • 30. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.”
  • 31. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.”
  • 32. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know?
  • 33. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know? ◦ What things did Paul hear?
  • 34. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know? ◦ What things did Paul hear?  Paul heard “things that cannot be told.”
  • 35. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know? ◦ What things did Paul hear?  Paul heard “things that cannot be told.”  KJV: Paul “heard unspeakable words.”
  • 36. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know? ◦ What things did Paul hear?  Paul heard “things that cannot be told.”  KJV: Paul “heard unspeakable words.”  This simply means that Paul cannot tell what he heard, for he heard things “which man may not utter.”
  • 37. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know? ◦ What things did Paul hear?  Paul heard “things that cannot be told.”  God knows what Paul heard in “the third heaven,” but we don‟t.
  • 38. Paul‟s Vision  Paul‟s point in his mock boasting is to say: “There‟s no point in boasting about what one can do or what one has seen, for it‟s God who determines those things.” ◦ Paul had no idea whether he experienced “the third heaven” “in the body or out of the body.” How could we know? ◦ What things did Paul hear?  Paul heard “things that cannot be told.”  God knows what Paul heard in “the third heaven,” but we don‟t. Paul knew what he heard in “the third heaven,” but the Corinthians didn‟t.
  • 39. Paul‟s Vision The point: GOD KNOWS MUCH THAT WE DO NOT KNOW.
  • 40. Paul‟s Vision  “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut 29:29, ESV).
  • 41. Paul‟s Vision  “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut 29:29, ESV).  “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25, ESV).
  • 42. Paul‟s Vision DOES THAT NOT REALLY PUT MAN IN HIS PLACE?
  • 43. Paul‟s Vision GOD IS THE ONE WHO KNOWS ALL.
  • 44. Paul‟s Vision v7 DIVINE MEEKNESS
  • 45. Paul‟s Vision  “To keep me from becoming conceited because of 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 becoming conceited” (v 7, ESV).
  • 46. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan.
  • 47. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul.
  • 48. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul.  The purpose of this “messenger” was to keep Paul from becoming too conceited.
  • 49. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul.  The purpose of this “messenger” was to keep Paul from becoming too conceited.  Satan would have loved Paul‟s becoming conceited, wouldn‟t he?
  • 50. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul.  The purpose of this “messenger” was to keep Paul from becoming too conceited.  Satan would have loved Paul‟s becoming conceited, wouldn‟t he?  Imagine the benefit to Satan‟s kingdom if this “messenger” hadn‟t been sent & Paul became conceited!
  • 51. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul.  The purpose of this “messenger” was to keep Paul from becoming too conceited.  Satan would have loved Paul‟s becoming conceited, wouldn‟t he?  Imagine the benefit to Satan‟s kingdom if this “messenger” hadn‟t been sent & Paul became conceited!  This messenger‟s purpose makes clear he was sent by God.
  • 52. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul. ◦ God‟s control of the universe even extends to Satan.
  • 53. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul. ◦ God‟s control of the universe even extends to Satan.  Satan can only do what the Lord allows!
  • 54. Paul‟s Vision  This verse demonstrates God‟s control over Satan. ◦ It‟s God who sent the “messenger of Satan to harass” Paul. ◦ God‟s control of the universe even extends to Satan.  Satan can only do what the Lord allows!  Satan cannot tempt us beyond what we can handle (1 Cor 10:13).
  • 55. Paul‟s Vision  The word “thorn” can mean either “thorn” or “stake.”
  • 56. Paul‟s Vision  The word “thorn” can mean either “thorn” or “stake.” ◦ The word was used for stakes that were used for torture.
  • 57. Paul‟s Vision  The word “thorn” can mean either “thorn” or “stake.” ◦ The word was used for stakes that were used for torture. ◦ It‟s not clear if “thorn” or “stake” is intended, but it doesn‟t matter.
  • 58. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.”
  • 59. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ The only hint from the text is that it was “in the flesh.”
  • 60. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ The only hint from the text is that it was “in the flesh.” ◦ That likely rules out temptation or guilt or any other psychological issue.
  • 61. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.
  • 62. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.  It‟s quite obvious that Paul had poor eyesight.
  • 63. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.  It‟s quite obvious that Paul had poor eyesight.  Tertius wrote the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:21).
  • 64. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.  It‟s quite obvious that Paul had poor eyesight.  Tertius wrote the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:21); it‟s highly likely that most, if not all, of Paul‟s epistles were dictated to someone who wrote them down.
  • 65. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.  It‟s quite obvious that Paul had poor eyesight.  Tertius wrote the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:21); it‟s highly likely that most, if not all, of Paul‟s epistles were dictated to someone who wrote them down.  “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand” (Gal 6:11, ESV).
  • 66. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.  It‟s quite obvious that Paul had poor eyesight.  Tertius wrote the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:21); it‟s highly likely that most, if not all, of Paul‟s epistles were dictated to someone who wrote them down.  “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand” (Gal 6:11, ESV).  Some have suggested that the reason Paul took others with him on his journeys was so that they could lead him around.
  • 67. Paul‟s Vision  Through the years, scholars have tried to identify this “thorn.” ◦ Some have said that this refers to bad eyesight.  It‟s quite obvious that Paul had poor eyesight.  If, as some have suggested, the poor eyesight is a result of the light on the road to Damascus, this cannot be the “thorn in the flesh,” for Paul‟s thorn came after his conversion.
  • 68. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity.
  • 69. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity. ◦ “You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus” (Gal 4:13-14, ESV).
  • 70. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity. ◦ Gal 4:13-14.  Granted, the next verse (15) says that the Galatians would have plucked out their eyes for Paul.
  • 71. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity. ◦ Gal 4:13-14.  Granted, the next verse (15) says that the Galatians would have plucked out their eyes for Paul.  But, it‟s difficult to imagine that a visual difficulty would have been a “trial” for the Galatians.
  • 72. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity. ◦ Gal 4:13-14. ◦ “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (1 Cor 10:10, ESV).
  • 73. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity. ◦ Gal 4:13-14. ◦ “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (1 Cor 10:10, ESV).  “His bodily presence is weak” makes me think Paul had more physical problems than poor eyesight.
  • 74. Paul‟s Vision  There are clues that Paul had some sort of physical deformity. ◦ Gal 4:13-14. ◦ “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (1 Cor 10:10, ESV).  “His bodily presence is weak” makes me think Paul had more physical problems than poor eyesight.  His ailment could have been a neurological condition or injury that affected both the way Paul saw & the way others saw him.
  • 75. Paul‟s Vision  Early church tradition describes Paul‟s appearance in a less than aesthetic way.
  • 76. Paul‟s Vision  Early church tradition describes Paul‟s appearance in a less than aesthetic way. ◦ A document from the late second century says that Paul was “a man little of stature, thin haired upon the head, crooked in the legs, [and] a nose somewhat hooked.”
  • 77. Paul‟s Vision  Early church tradition describes Paul‟s appearance in a less than aesthetic way. ◦ A document from the late second century says that Paul was “a man little of stature, thin haired upon the head, crooked in the legs, [and] a nose somewhat hooked.” ◦ While it‟s not certain, this tradition may contain a kernel of truth.
  • 78. Paul‟s Vision  It doesn‟t matter what Paul‟s “thorn in the flesh” may or may not have been.
  • 79. Paul‟s Vision  It doesn‟t matter what Paul‟s “thorn in the flesh” may or may not have been.  The important thing is that this “messenger of Satan” was sent to Paul to keep him meek.
  • 80. Paul‟s Vision  Suffering can have quite positive effects.
  • 81. Paul‟s Vision  Suffering can have quite positive effects. ◦ “We do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:8- 9, ESV).
  • 82. Paul‟s Vision  Suffering can have quite positive effects. ◦ 2 Cor 1:8-9. ◦ “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (Js 1:2-4, ESV).
  • 83. Paul‟s Vision  Suffering can have quite positive effects. ◦ 2 Cor 1:8-9. ◦ Js 1:2-4.  When we face suffering, we dare not forget that it can have quite positive effects on our lives.
  • 84. Paul‟s Vision vv 8-10 DIVINE MIGHT
  • 85. Paul‟s Vision  “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, „My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‟ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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” (vv 8-10, ESV).
  • 86. Paul‟s Vision  Paul pleaded with the Lord three times that the messenger of Satan would leave him.
  • 87. Paul‟s Vision  Paul pleaded with the Lord three times that the messenger of Satan would leave him. ◦ But, the Lord refused to send Satan‟s messenger away from Paul.
  • 88. Paul‟s Vision  Paul pleaded with the Lord three times that the messenger of Satan would leave him. ◦ But, the Lord refused to send Satan‟s messenger away from Paul. ◦ We dare not forget that the Lord‟s refusal to answer a prayer the way we want does not mean that he does not hear or that he does not care.
  • 89. Paul‟s Vision  Paul pleaded with the Lord three times that the messenger of Satan would leave him. ◦ But, the Lord refused to send Satan‟s messenger away from Paul. ◦ We dare not forget that the Lord‟s refusal to answer a prayer the way we want does not mean that he does not hear or that he does not care.  Jesus prayed three times in the Garden for the Father to remove the cross, but the Father did not do so.
  • 90. Paul‟s Vision  Paul pleaded with the Lord three times that the messenger of Satan would leave him. ◦ But, the Lord refused to send Satan‟s messenger away from Paul. ◦ We dare not forget that the Lord‟s refusal to answer a prayer the way we want does not mean that he does not hear or that he does not care.  Jesus prayed three times in the Garden for the Father to remove the cross, but the Father did not do so.  If the very Son of God did not have his prayer answered the way he wanted, who are we to think that God will always answer our prayers the way we want?
  • 91. Paul‟s Vision  God did not refuse to answer Paul‟s prayer.
  • 92. Paul‟s Vision  God did not refuse to answer Paul‟s prayer.  Instead, the Lord says to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
  • 93. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face.
  • 94. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face. ◦ Thus, we can put our confidence in God regardless of what transpires in life.
  • 95. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face. ◦ Thus, we can put our confidence in God regardless of what transpires in life. ◦ “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer‟s; he makes me tread on my high places” (Hab 3:17-20, ESV).
  • 96. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face. ◦ Thus, we can put our confidence in God regardless of what transpires in life. ◦ Hab 3:17-20.  The Book of Habakkuk is a series of dialogues between the prophet & God.
  • 97. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face. ◦ Thus, we can put our confidence in God regardless of what transpires in life. ◦ Hab 3:17-20.  The Book of Habakkuk is a series of dialogues between the prophet & God.  Habakkuk simply cannot understand how God can be just, for evil is all around him.
  • 98. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face. ◦ Thus, we can put our confidence in God regardless of what transpires in life. ◦ Hab 3:17-20.  The Book of Habakkuk is a series of dialogues between the prophet & God.  Habakkuk simply cannot understand how God can be just, for evil is all around him.  God responds that he is sovereign & he acts according to his will, not Habakkuk‟s.
  • 99. Paul‟s Vision  God‟s grace is abundant regardless of what trial we face. ◦ Thus, we can put our confidence in God regardless of what transpires in life. ◦ Hab 3:17-20.  The Book of Habakkuk is a series of dialogues between the prophet & God.  By the end of the Book, Habakkuk trusts God & says that regardless of what transpires, he will place confidence in God.
  • 100. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness.
  • 101. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him.
  • 102. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.
  • 103. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.  At Lystra, Paul healed a man who was lame from birth (Acts 14:8-10).
  • 104. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.  At Lystra, Paul healed a man who was lame from birth (Acts 14:8-10).  In Philippi, Paul healed a girl possessed by a demon (Acts 16:16-18).
  • 105. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.  At Lystra, Paul healed a man who was lame from birth (Acts 14:8-10).  In Philippi, Paul healed a girl possessed by a demon (Acts 16:16-18).  “God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11-12, ESV).
  • 106. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.  It had to be obvious that Paul wasn‟t healing through his own power.
  • 107. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.  It had to be obvious that Paul wasn‟t healing through his own power.  The power Paul used to heal had to be the power of God.
  • 108. Paul‟s Vision  The Lord also tells Paul that his power is made perfect in weakness. ◦ If Paul had an illness obvious to others, think about the ironic power God displayed through him. ◦ Paul could heal others, but he could not heal himself.  It had to be obvious that Paul wasn‟t healing through his own power.  The power Paul used to heal had to be the power of God. Nothing else made any sense at all!
  • 109. Paul‟s Vision IS IT IMPOSSIBLE THAT GOD CAN DISPLAY GREAT POWER THROUGH OUR WEAKNESSES?
  • 110. Paul‟s Vision How much might be accomplished for the cause of Christ through our sufferings? IS IT IMPOSSIBLE THAT GOD CAN DISPLAY GREAT POWER THROUGH OUR WEAKNESSES?
  • 111. Paul‟s Vision ARE YOU READY TO DISPLAY GOD’S POWER THROUGH YOUR SUFFERING?