Saturday, October 8, 2016

TO STRIVE OR NOT TO STRIVE - - By Robert E. Hanna



TO STRIVE OR NOT TO STRIVE
Robert E. Hanna

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:29, II Timothy 2:24

One of the cardinal rules in the study of Scripture is  "considering what goeth before and what followeth after"  (quoted from Miles Coverdale). The Apostle Paul devotedly  attests that he is "striving according to His [Christ's] working,  which worketh in me mightily." Yet, shortly thereafter, Paul  writes to Pastor Timothy, "The servant of the Lord must not  strive."

Have we, then, a dilemma-a contradiction? By no  means! Considering "what goeth before and what followeth  after," we find that the entire context of the first quotation is  "God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this  mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope  of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching  every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man  perfect [mature] in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour,  STRMNG [contending, agonizing] ACCORDING TO HIS  WORKING, which worketh in me mightily."

The full statement of Paul to Timothy also clarifies the  meaning. "Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing  that they do gender strifes. And THE SERVANT OF THE  LORD MUST NOT STRIVE [quarrel, dispute]; but be gentle  unto all men, apt to teach, patient."

In keeping with our theme of spiritual unity, we find  instruction from the apostle commensurate with his  admonition to Timothy. "Let your conversation [manner of  life] be as it becometh the gospel of Christ .... Stand fast in one  spirit, with one mind striving [laboring] together ... "  (Philippians 1:27).

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