Meditation Monday is where I share my reflections on Sunday’s sermons from my church, Watson Chapel Baptist Church, Pastor Todd Howard.
Currently we are going through 2 Corinthians and Genesis. Yesterday the passages we were in were 2 Corinthians 2:12-17 and Genesis 1:26-2:1.
Why God Created Man
In the Westminster Catechism it states;
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
In our evening service we learned we were made to glorify God and enjoy him but we also learned how we glorify and enjoy him here on earth. Here are some nuggets from last night.
* We are to glorify God by being His image bearers on earth. For Christians this means we are Gospel Focused people living the Gospel on earth continually being conformed to the image of Christ. Awaiting our full glorification when Christ returns.
* We are to exercise dominion in every area of our life. Bringing order and meaning to a world full of chaos. We do this in our homes and in our jobs but also by spreading the Gospel through missions so others join you in glorifying God by exercising dominion.
* We are to build Gospel Homes and Gospel Churches to glorify and reflect God’s glory to the world.
* Finally, we are to enjoy God and His creation.
Now in the world Adam and Eve lived in, pre fall, this may have been easier. In a fallen world it is down right difficult, discouraging and even depressing sometimes. Which leads us to our Corinthians passage.
Paul was experiencing discouragement even to the point of depression. He has spent 1 and 1/2 years with the Corinthian church, that we know of, has written to them more than any other church. Yet the Corinthians were following after false teachers and attacking Paul and his character. This was very discouraging to Paul, to the point of hindering his Gospel effectiveness.
How did Paul snap out of this discouragement and depression?
Paul began to focus upward, to Christ, instead of what was going on around him. Paul brought his “thoughts captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5b), something he would tell the Corinthians to do in Chapter 10.
How did he do this?
He focused on the work of Christ and gave us a word picture from Roman Triumphant Procession/Parade. I couldn’t write down all that Pastor Todd was saying but found a good description of the word picture written by Moyer Hubbard at the good book blog.
In 2:14-16, Paul alludes to one of the most spectacular and important celebrations in antiquity, the Roman Triumph. Awarded by the senate to honor a victorious general, the Triumph was essentially an enormous parade through the heart of Rome. It was designed to display the glory of the Roman general and offer thanks to Jupiter for granting the victory.
The festivities could last several days, and the entire populace of Rome would turn out to view the spectacle. The city would be copiously adorned to embrace her conquering hero, with incense wafting from every temple. Josephus, an eyewitness to one such Triumph, remarks, “It is impossible to describe the multitude of the shows as they deserve, and the magnificence of them all” (Jewish Wars 7.132).
The pageant included plunder taken from the enemy, the victorious soldiers, and especially captured soldiers and leading officers of the enemy. The captives would be led before the chariot of the conquering general, to the mockery and taunts of the onlookers. In recounting the events of his reign, Augustus boasted, “I waged wars on land and on sea. … In my Triumphs nine kings or children of kings were lead before my chariot” (Acts of Augustus1.4). The climax of the procession involved a sacrifice to the Roman deities and the execution of any eminent captives in the forum.
Do you see it now? Paul is recognizing God’s Sovereignty over his life. No matter what situation or circumstance you are in Christ and He is “always leading” you in the triumphant procession. This passage reminds me of the words of Christ;
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Life in this fallen world gets hard, discouraging sometimes even depressing but we need to look up to Christ and follow His leading in the triumphant procession. Trust in Christ when life is hard realize through Him we are more than conquerers because He overcame and we are following behind him rejoicing in the procession of our Glorious and Gracious General.
Which leads to the other point it seems when we get discouraged and depressed we are focusing on our circumstances and situations. You know what Christ whispered loudly to my heart yesterday in this message. “It’s not about you!”
Christ is not leading you through triumphant procession so you can be happy and wealthy. Christ is leading you through the triumphant procession so people can smell the aroma of the Gospel message. He is parading you so people can see what Gospel Grace can do. So they smell the aroma of the Gospel of life and drink of the well. So they to can look to Christ as the only hope and bring Him glory.
May we become the aroma of life for the glory of God to the perishing.
Until next week may Christ lead you in His triumphant procession.
Soli Deo Gloria Glory to God Alone