Creative Man

“”I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I,
not as one that beateth the air:”
“But I keep under my body, and bring it unto
subjection: lest that by any means, when I
have preached to others, I myself should by
a castaway.””        I Corinthians 9:26-27.

Man was given the singular ability to create as no other animal has this rare gift which has been bestowed upon other animals and plants. Yes it is true that animals can search for food, construct a place to live and birth the next generation. There has never been an animal which had the mental capacity to build an edifice as we humans do. It is a marvelous gift given to us by Almighty God. When he molded us from the earth he had touched us with Divine Power.

In Genesis 1:26 this is told to us even though we like to interpret this as just physical aspects. It has been your writer’s belief that God, Christ and the Spirit granted certain abilities to we humans when other animals do not know or understand. One of these is to create beyond the physical needs.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and
let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing
that creepeth upon the earth.”

Recently I heard about a man who said he did not believe in God. It would be time wasted to ask what about the strange power of man to create. There is no answer.

The gift is divine.

 

STRANGE CITY

Where Babylon once stood is now stones, sand and shrubs. It was once not this way. Babylon is mentioned in the Old Testament in two different ways. It was a city. It was an empire. For the purpose of this lesson we will use the word Babylon as a city where the king or emperor resided.

At the time of its glory days Babylon was situated in a valley. There were no great ore pits that we know about. It was not on a trade route between the East and the West. Babylon was not a seaport where great ships docked and goods were sold between traders.. We know of no great stone quarries nearby that building materials could be cut for construction. Then what was the course of its rise?

Historians have said there were seven ancient wonders of the ancient world. They were:

  • Great Pyramids of Gaza
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Temple of Artemis
  • Statue of Zesys
  • Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • Lighthouse of Alexander

What a strange situation where out of a spot on the earth where even in its inception the place was barren that a colossal wonder was made. The city of Babylon as for as we know had three things in its favor:

  1. A magnificent rivers
  2. Fertile soil in the valley and
  3. Men who had vision

Of the three the latter was the most powerful.

The Jews were captured and marched to Babylon.  II Chronicles 36: 6,7 tells this in detail:

“Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in
fetters, to carry him to Babylon.”
“Nebuchadnezsar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord to
Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.”

If this had not have happened we would not have the books on Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah. Then much of the minor prophets would not be.

This Babylon contributed to culture such things as record keeping, libraries, gardens, money, economics, and irrigation canals.  These were men of vision who built Babylon. There is no other possible explanation for its rise and success.

 

PAUL-ISSUES

Paul had trained himself to think beyond the immediate physical events. This man could write about problems and then give a solution to the immediate problem. All one has to do is to read the problem of sin as laid out in Romans. He told what has happened to all mankind; then Paul gives the answer to the issue of sin. It so happens he gave the answer before laying out the problem is Romans 1:16.

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth ; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

 

HisPeopleKnox.com/201-210.html

CREDIT: HisPeopleKnox.com/201-210.html

He knew that the criticisms would be hurled that he was being paid from the collections.
of the church. Paul said he had a right to receive this but the choice was his. The example had been set out in the Old Testament. In I Corinthians 9:13,14, Paul brought up the issue himself. He could not live by the collections.

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things
of the temple? And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?”
“Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should
live by the gospel.”

It was smart what he did. Paul would let the church start to grow on its own. No one could ever accuse him of grabbing money or wealth from the body of the church. This was intelligent. What Paul did was to thwart any criticism from people.

The reason was obvious. No person could wrap him up in criticism. He was pure in that area of his life. This sole passion was to preach the gospel. I Corinthians 9:15,16.

“But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things,
that it should e do done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that
any man should make my glorying void.”
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid
upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

Paul knew what his task in life was. There was no excuse for him to do anything but proclaim who Christ was. I Corinthians 9:16 says it.

“For though I reach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid
upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.”

This Apostle knew who he himself was and the he would receive a reward. There are few people who can make this statement as found in I Corinthians 9:17.

“For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against y will,
a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”

There was a man who sat in my office several days ago and told me this story. His Cancer doctor had told him an operation was needed on his kidneys, because it appeared his cancer had spread. The operation was necessary – but, he may die on the gurney in the operating room.

This man said he was not afraid because he knew where he would go at death.

Paul was not going to force himself on anyone. This was laid out in I Corinthians 9:18.

“What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make
the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.”
He knew what people would attack him about so what he did was to anticipate that thrust. As far as we know it did work. That remark about his money and the church’s money was not used against him.

 

PAUL’S DEEP LOVE

When Paul went to a city to preach,  he first went to the  synagogue  to tell the Gospel of Christ to the Jews who were there. From what we know about his endeavor, almost all of  the Jews rejected his teachings.   Unfortunate  —  Yes!   People today reject the Gospel – just like the Jews did back then.

Paul was concerned and saddened that the Jews did not respond. This unique man with a quest to enlighten the world that the Christ had come is written in I Corinthians 9: 19-21.

“For though I be free from all men,
yet have I made myself servant unto all,
that I might gain the more.”
“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them
that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under
the law.”
“To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God,
but under the law to Christ.) that I might gain them that are without law.”

Here was a man who all of his energy to the Gospel was given. He saw what was taking place in the world around him. This demanded action from him.

In this world most people do not know what their task is and how to perform it.

The world is becoming more and more corrupt in that people are telling others how to determine what they do.

 

GOSPEL DEMANDS

Yes we must assume the way people around us are living. This is difficult especially if our way is different from or cultural way. As I look at the ridiculous singing that is perpetuated in the church today it nauseates me personally. It reminds me of a bar room where guitar playing woman shake their back ends and breasts in such a way that one thinks only of some sexual encounters. I see this and wonder what this motivation might be. The men are no better.

As I see these solutions I think of Paul when he wrote I Corinthians 9:22-23.

“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all
things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
“And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.”

Use some common sense.

REMEMBER

Everything we do should be done by keeping our eye on the final goal. Someone who is in a race never looks around.   Their attentio is always toward the final goal. They have  absolute concentration.  Keep in mind what you are doing. This was written in I Corinthians 9:24,25.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the
prize? So run that ye may obtain.”
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now
they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

Life is serious. It is not a meaningless situation. Life requires discipline and concentration. It is told to us this way in I Corinthians 9:26,27.

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:”
“But I have kept under my body, and bring it unto subjection: lest that by any
means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

 

CONCLUSION

There are responsibilities which are part of the Christian life. As a Christian I am required to accept them.

WE’VE  A STORY TO TELL TO THE NATIONS

“We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy,
A story of peace and light,
A story of peace and light.’
“We’ve a Savior to show to the nations,
Who the path of sorrow has trod,
That all of the world’s great peoples
Might come to the truth of God,
Might come to the truth of God.

COLIN STERNE
Gerald Fugit

September 20, 2015

www.diggingoldwells.com

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