Do You Like Being Told What to Do Over and Over Again?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 11, 2009
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. (Philippians 3:1)
Do you like being told what to do over and over again? Do you like repeating yourself? Without exaggerating, as a parent, I am sure that you, like me, have had to repeat yourself at least a million times! Well, maybe not a million, but quite a few! You get my drift. Why? I believe it goes back to our sin-thick nature. We do not like being told what to do, when to do it, or what we are up to as individuals. After all, whose business is it anyway but mine? Right? Not if you are a believer!
Paul addresses this problematic narrow-mindedness in the lives of fellow Christians. He does it in kind of an off-handed way by first reminding the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord!” No matter what happened to Paul in prison, and no matter what might occur with the Philippians because of their faith in Christ, he wanted them to rejoice in the salvation and relationship they enjoyed because of Jesus Christ in their lives. However, he also off-handedly writes, “It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again.” Again? Yes, again! Over and over Paul had to continually remind his thick-headed readers to remain strong in their faith. Why? These people had lived one way for so long in sin that they needed to be constantly reminded of what their faith in Christ meant for them now. Paul had the hope that if he repeated himself often enough that the spiritual truths he was trying to teach these new believers would finally sink into their sin-thick heads. Never fear Paul – it didn’t! Pastors are still trying to remind their fellow sin-thick-headed Christians to “rejoice in the Lord,” over and over and over again. Perhaps the old adage that “repetition is good for the soul” holds true here?
I am constantly amazed at the number of folks who call themselves “Christian,” but yet have absolutely no coherent and logical notion of what that truly means, what Scripture teaches about joy in the Lord, the end of all things, creation, baptism, salvation, eternal security, heaven, hell, predestination, judgment, the sacred, holiness, the Trinity, the church, discipline, spiritual gifts, abiding in Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, and who Jesus truly is!
Paul repeated himself because it was “a safeguard” for the Philippians. He knew that if he repeated himself enough that at some point down the road, when these new believers were faced with ungodly theology or legalism (more about that next time), they would hopefully remember what Paul had told them over and over again.
Now, let me ask you dear one in the Lord, do you need to be constantly reminded of what to believe, why you should believe it, and why it is important? I would ask you then, why? You must like being told what to do over and over again…
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