When the Apostle Paul swore

Can you believe that the Apostle Paul swore in the New Testament?

We’re currently journeying through the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, in Church At Home.

Last Sunday, Amy shared some thoughts on ‘The Principle of Pressing On’ with some reflections on Philippians Chapter 3.

In the early part of Philippians Chapter 3 (verses 3-6), Paul lists off all his impressive worldly achievements and titles. Prior to encountering Jesus, the goal of Paul’s life was to look, and be, great!

And then he writes these words in verses 7-8…

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

The New Living Translation, written above, considerably tames the comparative language Paul uses in verse 8 between Jesus. He literally writes in the original Greek, “…everything is dog s**t (Greek word: skybalon) compared to the excellency, best, supreme (Greek word: hyperechō) of knowing Jesus.”

That certainly got everybody’s attention!

Here is a man who had discovered that nothing – absolutely nothing – holds a candle next to how amazing Christ is. Nobody loves us like Christ. Nobody can save us like Christ. Nobody can care for us like Christ. Nobody can change us like Christ. Nobody can bring us to eternal life with God like Christ.

Paul’s consuming passion (his ‘Zeo) was to know Christ, and become like Him. Paul had come to understand and experience, that knowing and becoming like Christ would bring divine healing and wholeness to his life, and then could flow through him to the world.

When I read these words it challenges me about my own priorites! Am I that passionate about knowing Jesus? Not knowing about Him. But really knowing Him in my heart and soul, and experiencing His life flowing through me. What about you?

St Patrick’s day was celebrated on the 17th March. St Patrick clearly had caught this same passion. So much so that he wrote the following prayer. May his prayer, become our prayer. May it become our very life!

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”



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