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1 For [gar] I would [thelo] that ye [humas] knew [eido] what great [helikos] conflict [agon] I have [echo] for [peri] you, [humon] and [kai] for them at [en] Laodicea, [Laodikeia] and [kai] for as many as [hosos] have [horao] not [ou] seen [horao] my [mou] face [prosopon] in [en] the flesh; [sarx]KJV-Interlinear
1 For I want you to know how
great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and
for all those who have not personally seen my face, NASB
The key to this verse
is the word for struggle or conflict or agony, agon. It refers to the efforts endured by
competitors, combatants, contests, struggles, efforts in public games, the toil
and conflict required and endured in order to obtain a victory. It refers to the anxious care or mental
conflict, the earnest attentiveness which Paul had in their behalf, in view of
the dangers that his readers or listeners were exposed to in their daily lives.
12 Therefore, since we
have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every
encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us, NASB
We have surrounding us
untold numbers of angelic witnesses, not to mention any human witnesses, that
observe our lives from day to day.
Life, in this life, is
a contest, with two sides struggling for your attention.It is often said that if you win the minds of
the people then you own them.And Satan
is a master of propaganda and deception.He doesn t even have to choreograph the activities of the media, or
society, since there are so many people out there who fall all over themselves
in doing his bidding, simply because of the lack of truth within them.
On the one hand there
is the world, run by the laws of the jungle, following the policies of evil.
On the other hand there
is doctrine, run by the laws of Christ, following the policies of truth.
We are all taught
through warning and instruction.We
covered this concept just the other day. And because of this conflict, there
enters into our daily lives, great stresses which make it difficult to advance
in our spiritual life, pushing us constantly toward worldly views and
Those who are
indifferent toward doctrine, unknowingly are caught up
in the worlds swift moving current, carrying them further and further away from
Those who try to
maintain some semblance of a positive attitude in their spiritual life,
discover that there are many obstacles, opinions, views, situations that they
have to overcome over and over, day after day, for all of their life.This is the contest for your soul.And what is at stake is you eternal future.
We have never seen
Paul, but we read the words he recorded almost 2000 years ago.We have never seen Christ, and yet we look to
Him through faith, relying exclusively on faith, in our struggle through this
On the side of faith are
words written long ago.On the worlds side are the enticements, pressures, stresses, temptations,
lures, inducements, incentives, tangible things, instant gratifications, peer
pressures and more.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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