Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church
Messages, Sermon Comments and Testimonials
In all due respect, I think your answer is not very deep. Who among us has seen the ascended Christ with our own eyes, or heard Him speak audibly? Who among us has been called to be an apostle? Who among us performs miracles, knowingly writes scripture, corrects and adomonishes the church of Christ with power and authority? Have any of us been used to disrupt the commerce and religion of entire cities, or been required to stand before kings and rulers for the gospel? Certainly Paul was a man as we are, yet none of us have been given the authority that was given to Paul. Considering all of the above facts, it is too shallow to claim that Paul suffered shame in the same way we would suffer shame. It would be better to reason that Paul would be tempted to suffer shame because he knew what a miserable sinner he had been, even the chief of sinners. But then we know Paul gave counsel to Timothy to not be ashamed. Did Timothy live the same godless life before conversion? Appparently not, according to Paul's testimony of Timothy's youth. I believe that the only temptation to shame that Paul, Timothy, or any one of us could suffer, is the shame of speaking boldly of the Sovereign Creator's choice of those who will be saved, even the worst of sinners (I would argue Paul's assessment of that title if it had not been scripture!), and bypassing those who in the eyes of the world are righteous and good. All due respect.
Another viewpoint would be to consider the philosophy of the day, which is not that different from today. The Greeks aspired to humanist supremacy, the Jews believed in supremacy as a God-given right. Then Paul comes along and says both need to repent, but God has established the number of those who would be saved, nevertheless, the gospel call is to all men to repent. The backlash from all men would be great. What a contradictory view! God calls us to repent, but He has established the number who will be saved? How ridiculous to the human mind. It all comes down to the supremacy of God, and that none of us can look into the secret things that belong to Him alone.
Thank you so much as part of a Christ Loving Reformed Church I found this sermon very helpful - God bless.