Summary: Paul was flexible in his ministry. So we too must learn to flex.
An Impromptu Walk of Faith OR Paul, the Apostle of Rubber
1. Nowadays, whenever I do pre-marital counseling for a couple planning
to marry, I administer a personality inventory test called, "Prepare."
2. Part of this test deals with the "family of origin," and looks at how the
man and woman were raised. This is then graphed out.
3. One of the graphs plots how flexible or inflexible the family of origin
was. The ideal, according to the psychologists, is between the two, a
moderate level of flexibility.
4. In moderation, flexibility is a virtue. Pliability, versatility,
adaptability, elasticity---this quality helps keep us from breaking.
5. The heart of being a rigid person is that everything must be deliberate,
thought-out, pre-determined, outlined beforehand, well-considered.
6. Some of us are rigid in some areas, but flexible in others: food variety,
color, decorating, organizing a house, brand of car....
7. One quality of successful foreign missionaries is the ability to cross
cultures, to be flexible. The Dawsons are being flexed this very moment,
and the Aldridges will soon be.
8. As for me, moving from Chicago to Central Indiana was a stretch!
But as a pastor, I have been stretched and flexed in many ways.
9. God’s ways are often flexible. So many times we emphasize the fact
that there are absolutes that we recognize absolutes that really are not.
10. Our society recognize no or few absolutes; the rigid have too many
absolutes; but there is a balance revealed in Scripture.
Question: Why is it that sometimes it is right to respond to a certain
situation one way, and yet it is right to respond to a similar situation in a
TS-------------->Let’s look at some examples of this.
I. Timothy and Titus (1-5)
1. Timothy, from Lystra, replaces John Mark
2. Mixed parentage
(1) Dad--a Greek (gentile)
(2) Mother--Jewish (a Messianic Jew)
(3) Timothy--never circumcised (required to be a Jew)
(4) Paul was FALSELY accused of discouraging Jews to continue in
the Law....so he has Timothy circumcised...
3. But Titus he did not (Gal.3:3)
4. Difference: Titus a gentile, Timothy could be considered a Jew...
5. In early church, Messianic Jews continued w/customs, law, but
Gentile converts were not required to convert to Judaism....
II. God’s Leading By Wisdom Vs. Clear Cut Direction (6-10)
1. Paul had chosen Timothy w/the recommendation of God’s people
(16:2), though he probably "checked in" with God...
2. He had plotted his missionary trip by reason...but....
3. One of the most important directions in history: Paul was planning to
head east, into Asia---God gave Him a vision....man in Macedonia...
4. God can lead us in many ways, but we are more likely to be led if we
are actively working for the Lord and communing with Him...there is no
III. Targeting Women vs. Targeting Men (11-15)
1. Paul came to Philippi, a Roman colony
(1) but not many Jews around---why? (18:2)
(2) so he went to a place by the river where the few Jews around
were likely to meet (water needed for ritual washing)---only a few