‘Truth Be Told' was birthed out of an encounter with a man who had lost it all because of a series of his own bad choices, but he was somehow clinging to one of God's greatest promises in a way that made me feel that he expected God to bless him even though he continued to make poor choices. As I thought about the truth of that great promise that he wanted to pluck from its context, I realized that it is so easy to do. In fact, as I thought back over my years of ministry, I found that I too was guilty of misquoting verses and clinging to them in the wrong way just because I heard someone else do it. Too much of Christendom is groomed by poor theology and poor hermeneutical guidelines. This book will take some of the verses that have been misused and shine the light of proper interpretation upon them. You will see that encouragement and application from God's eternal truth can come without the cost of compromising Scripture.
The Truth About One of God's Greatest Promises;
The Promise of Strength, Philippians 4:13
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is a promise that we all love. Philippians 4:13 is a favorite for many people, especially those in the fields of athletics and sports. Many times you will see it on the eye shadow stickers that Christian sports players wear under their eyes. There may be a big play that needs to be made, and a Christian athlete will encourage the team with, "Come on guys, we can do this. I know we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength."
I remember my ninth grade year when I was on the wrestling team. I wanted to be a witness for the Lord. I have not been to a wrestling match in a while but back then, you would go out onto the mat to meet the referee and your opponent. You would shake your opponent's hand, and the referee would hand you either a blue or red Velcro anklet. It was used to help keep score. When I would bend down to put it around my ankle I would always bow my head and pray for a few seconds. I was not praying for victory,
but that I would honor God and that no one would get hurt. I remember a time when my competitive spirit got the best of me. It was at the Pepsi Invitational Tournament at Lancaster High School. I was in the semi-finals for my weight class, and I was wrestling a guy that I had wrestled before in a scrimmage match. I did not really like him. Maybe it was due to the fact that I thought he acted cocky, or maybe it was just that our personalities did not click. When we were on the mat and waiting for the whistle to blow, I looked him in the eye and said rather loudly, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." He kind of looked at me funny, and then the whistle blew and we went at it.
I won the match, but I don't think it had anything to do with Philippians 4:13. Think about this, I was clinging to the promise of that verse for that match. If I would have lost that match, would that have meant that Christ let me down, and that He did not keep his promise? If I would have lost that match, could my opponent have said, "I guess your Christ isn't very strong because you just got a beat down."?
There are times that this verse is used out of its context, and it paints a corrupted picture of Christ. It presents a flawed witness. This verse cannot be applied to everything. I cannot bench 800 pounds through Christ who gives me strength. I cannot jump off of the Empire State building and defy gravity through Christ who gives me strength. Do not get me wrong. I believe that God can do anything, and if He chose to,
He could give you strength in the same way that He gave Samson strength, but that is not what Philippians 4:13 is about.
So what is Philippians 4:13 really about? We are going to put this verse in its proper context, and I am going to tell you what this verse is really about and how we can Biblically apply it to our lives. Let us read Philippians 4:13 in its context so that we can better grasp what it is about.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound, everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.
There are three ways in which we can consider applying this verse to our lives. First of all, Philippians 4:13 is about having
I.)Peace In Your Problems
If you just pluck this verse out of its context, like so many people do, you can use it to say that you can get Jesus to give you strength for anything, from passing that hard exam, to beating Michael Phelps in a swimming race. Even though God can give you strength to do extra-ordinary things if He so chooses; to claim the promise of this verse
out of its context is not Biblical. You say, "But Jesus said that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can move mountains." Yes, but that pertains to your will being in line with God's will, and that mountain being moved is moved for God's glory and God's purposes not your own.
Brandon McManus came to a saving faith at the age of eight and has been preaching since the age of fifteen. He has always been confident in what God had in store for him. He did not know when, where, or how, but he knew his purpose was preaching. Now he is seeking to broaden the pulpit through publishing his work. Brandon McManus served in youth ministry for about ten years and is now a pastor in South Carolina. No matter the age or the audience, he loves to teach and preach God's Word. He graduated from Fruitland Baptist Bible College with an Associates degree, Appalachian Bible College with a Bachelors degree, and Liberty University with a Masters degree in Theological Studies. Brandon loves spending time with his wife Heather, and two sons; Keith and Mason. He loves engaging in epic hero vs. villain battles with his boys. He enjoys reading the Greatest Book, other good books, jogging, ping-pong, basket-ball and the great outdoors.