Hi Y'all! Sorry I haven't been posting. I hope y'all's week is going off to a good start! Remember to pray before we start studying today.
We are going to go on with verses 10-13, since I came to an abrupt stop last time. :)
10. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11. Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
The first thing we are going to look at today is where. Where Paul was persecuted and afflicted. Verse eleven says, these things "which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra." Three places Paul writes about that he was persecuted at. I really didn't know where these cities were until just a second ago (literally!). I googled "map of cities in Asia Minor," and the second one down was this. I don't know anything about this site except for that it has a great map of Asia Minor with all of these three cities clearly shown. Now, one thing that I just saw on it, is that there are two cities named "Antioch." I don't know which Paul is referring to, but I think that it is probably the more northerly one because it is closer to Iconium and Lystra.
What happened at these three cities? Well, it is clear that Paul was not wanted there, for they persecuted him. Were these the only cities in which he was persecuted? I don't think so. He was persecuted in Rome, and probably other cities. Then why does he mention these three??? I don't know. Maybe those were the most hostile to him, or maybe those were his first or last to visit, or maybe he just picked three cities where he remembers the persecution most, or it might just be that he just picked three random cities he was persecuted in. I don't know.
What does Paul write next? He says, "what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me." I personally, think that is a very important part. Paul does not give himself credit, or say that it was pure chance. No. He gives all of the credit and glory to God. That is what we all should do! For example, when we run a race and win a prize, we should say that "God made my legs, my heart, my brain, and all of me! All glory to Him!" Not the creature, but the Creator. God loved Paul, and delivered him out of prison/bondage. He saved his life even when he was stoned three times! What an amazing God we serve! We should, and must, give Him the glory.
In verse twelve, he says something that he has said many times before in this chapter. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." If we love God, and obey, and honour Him, and trust Him, then we will be persecuted. It may be great, or it may be small. But Paul makes it clear that every Christian will be persecuted. He is not telling us this to scare us, but to get us ready, to trust God with everything. To put our lives in His mighty hands.
Verse thirteen is kinda confusing the first time you read it. I have read it many times, and still it sounds a tad weird. "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." What are seducers? I didn't know until I looked it up. Dictionary.com defines it as, "to lead astray, as from duty...corrupt." So, Paul writes about evil men and people who lead others astray and/or corrupt them.
What does he say about them? He says that they will "wax worse and worse." What?!? Wax?! What does he mean by wax? Well, I know of the kind of wax that's in your ear and something like candle wax. But he is not talking about either. Dictionary.com defines wax in a bunch of ways, but I finally found something that fit! "to increase in extent, quantity, intensity, power, etc....to grow or become." So, these people will become worse and worse, their worseness (that's probably not a word :P) will grow.
Next it says that they won't only get worse and worse, but that they will deceive other people, and themselves. They will lead themselves and others astray.
Well, that's all for now. I've gotta go! I would love to hear what y'all think of this, and really, the Bible study so far as a whole. Tomorrow (I should have time) we'll finish chapter three! God bless! ~Buttercup~