Effectual Door

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“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #197

Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit” (1 Cor. 16:5–7).

Paul’s tentative plan was to pass through Macedonia, which was northern Greece. After that he planned to go down to Achaia, where Corinth was, and spend a bit more time there. He did not want to pass through Corinth briefly, such that he merely saw them “by the way,” but rather wanted to stay with them for a while. If the Lord permitted it, he hoped to spend the winter there with them. It is important to note that even the travel plans of an apostle are surrendered to the providential designs of God. He will do this if the Lord wills it.

But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor. 16:8–9).

After that stay in Corinth, he planned stay in Ephesus, which was eastward across the Aegean Sea. He was going to stay there until Pentecost. And then, in passing, Paul says something quite striking about why he wanted to be in Ephesus. He wanted to labor in Ephesus because a great and effectual door had been opened to him there. But at the same time he adds, “there are many adversaries.” It is important to note that for Paul the presence of many adversaries does not make ineffectual work more likely. He reasons the other way. He has effectual opportunities, and his spiritual adversaries know it. They know that he will accomplish much, so they deploy great resources in an attempt to stop him. Paul’s reasoning here is quite the opposite of those who reason from the existence of the obstacle to likelihood of great success. Paul reasons from the likelihood of great success to the likelihood of much opposition.

 

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whatdidJesusdo
whatdidJesusdo
6 years ago

“Paul reasons from the likelihood of great success to the likelihood of much opposition.” May we learn to be of the same mind.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago

Paul’s reasoning here is quite the opposite of those who reason from the
existence of the obstacle to likelihood of great success.

It is also…

quite the opposite (can a thing have more than one opposite?) of those who reason from the
existence of the obstacle to impossibility or great unlikeliness of great success.

Gianni
Gianni
6 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Timothy, I think that’s what Wilson actually meant.

Jane Dunsworth
Jane Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Gianni

Right — think of “likelihood” as a quantity, that could be any quantity. You derive the quantity of likelihood by that reasoning — and deem it to be approaching zero.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  Jane Dunsworth

grrrrrrr.

English meaning and grammar..bah! bah! I say!

(:

john k
john k
6 years ago

If Paul both “surrenders” to providence and “reasons” from providence, that means that he apparently (unlike us modern evangelicals) does not look for inklings and assurances of God’s “will” about where to go and minister.