While the engineers calculate mathematically the performance capabilities of a new aircraft, it is the test pilots who hazard their lives finding the “outer edge of the envelope,” the real limitations of a plane. Go behind that limit, and you die.
Of course, the cocky cadre of test pilots are always trying to go beyond the established “outer edge of the envelope” in typical male bravado and one-upmanship. There’s the drive to go beyond the extreme, to set a record, a new edge to the envelope.
Paul does this. He is searching for the most extreme pronunciation of God’s capabilities, he is pushing the outer edge of the envelope, the limitations of language, to most emphatically express the overwhelming power of God, when he says: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. — Eph. 3:20 NIV
The same verse in New Living Translation: Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish INFINITELY more than we might ask or think. (caps mine)
When I was studying Koine Greek, I realized this. Paul can’t find words to measure up to the reality. He employs multiple superlatives and still comes short. God’s power is far greater than any language can express.
Because of the limitations of language, do we limit our faith?
The bad attitudes
Blessed are those who have iPhones, for they are chill.
Blessed are those who have more than 1,000 “friends” on Facebook, for they can feel popular.
Blessed are the beautiful, the handsome, the athletic, for they will be desired everywhere.
Blessed are the lukewarm, for they shall not be called intolerant.
Blessed are those who hunger for good food, for they shall be filled (here in the United States).
Blessed are the texters, for they’ shall miss Sunday morning’s text and any resulting conviction.
Blessed are the pluralists, for they shall coexist in peace even when no one they know gets to know the Prince of Peace.
Blessed are the compromisers, for they shall not be viewed as fanatical.
Blessed are those who make no real sacrifice for God’s kingdom, for they shall enjoy the abundant life here on Earth. Your treasure is here.
Rejoice only if you have everything you could possibly want. Weep and mourn if someone else has something you don’t.
(based on the “Beatitudes” from Matt. 5:3-12) What is the base for your faith?
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Tagged beatitudes, Christian sarcasm, Christians iPhone, commentary Matt. 5:3-12, convictions, deep faith, sermon illustration beatitudes, superficial faith