(Mangapul Sagala. D.Th student)

Dear brothers and sisters,
First of all, I would like to begin this reflection with this good statement:
“It is good to follow the leader, if the leader follows the Master”.
Paul was one of the great leader of the early Church. Was he worthy to be followed? Indeed, many things we can learn from Paul’s letter which we just read.

But now, let us pick up one thing for our reflection. In v.16, Paul says, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me”. In other words, Paul says, “Follow my example”. Can you imagine how bold was Paul in saying this to the Corinthians? This command will be more interesting when we study it in its context. Paul was saying this in the context of many teachers who infiltrated in Corinth. We read in v.15: “Even though you have ten thousand guardians…” And yet, in the midst of so many teachers, he asks the believers to imitate him. Besides this condition, Paul also was being misunderstood by the Church in Corinth. Perhaps it was influenced by the false teachers who had infiltrated and competed against Paul, or because their misunderstanding of his letter. It is in this context Paul challenges the Church in Corinth to imitate him, to follow his example.

This Bible exposition was delivered by Rev. Dr. Gordon Wong, on 19-10-'05, at the Trinity Theological College, Singapore. Rev. Dr. Gordon W, was graduated from Cambridge University (Ph.D), and is now lecturing at TTC.

Thanks for his kindness that his sermon is available in this website.-
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
When God Seems like the Enemy
(Rev. Dr. Gordong Wong)
- Hide quoted text -

A study of the strategy of Paul’s Gentile mission

1. Introduction
Paul is, without doubt, the greatest theologian and missionary in the entire Christian history. There may be many theologians after him whose work inspired and even led to crucial church reforms and changed the entire course of history, but few of them did so without consulting the original work of Paul.

While Paul has laid the cornerstone for so many Christian doctrines, until recently few scholars paid attention to his theological foundation for his missionary activities. In fact, his mission work has long been separated from his theology; even today, mission and theology have not informed one another as they should. [1] A careful study will show that Paul had achieved unparalleled success in Christian missionary activities not only during his time but also in the entire human history. Hengel advocated that “Paul was the first Christian theologian precisely because he was the first Christian missionary”.[2]

(Rev. Mangapul Sagala)
First of all, I would like to assert that it is very important to study the concept of the miracles/signs of Jesus in the Gospel of John. The main reason is because in John, the miracles reveal its Christology. This can be seen clearly from John’s comment after John turns water into wine: “…He thus revealed his glory and his disciples put their faith in him” (2:11).

The Gospel of John reports that Jesus performs seven miracles. These miracles are commonly designated as shmeia in the Fourth Gospel. However, if we observe carefully, we will find that only two of them are termed explicitly as signs.[1] And if we compare the presentation of these miracles of Jesus in this Gospel with the Synoptic Gospels, we find some obvious differences.

Page 2 of 2