Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Doctrine of Contentment. Part 1. Your ability to adapt to any situation in life.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

PHI 4:11 Not because I am speaking with reference to poverty or lack; for I have learned in whatever circumstances I am to be content.

“Content” – predicate nominative – adjective autarkes = self-sufficient contentment.

A predicate nominative has the same value or grammatical weight as the subject.

Paul is saying – “I am nothing myself without this contentment.”

Autarkes, contentment = not just self-sufficiency, and not just contentment, but self-sufficient contentment.

It is adaptability to any difficult circumstance in life.

JOB 20:20 “Such God-denying people are never content with what they have or who they are; their greed drives them relentlessly.”

Autarkes or contentment is your ability to adapt, accommodate, adjust, or conform to any situation in life.

If it is something dull, then you just weave a little web of contentment around it, and you encompass it with happiness, with challenge, with blessing, with stimulation.

HEB 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

You make the circumstances, the circumstances do not make or break you.

A mature believer, a supergrace or ultra supergrace believer becomes content and self-sufficient, all in one package – self-sufficient contentment.

Contentment is a natural and authentic wealth.

Indulgence and riches are artificial prosperity.

The mature believer takes his contentment in his soul wherever he goes and when he walks into a dull situation, he just takes his contentment out of the soul and sprays the place.

ZEP 3:12-13, I’ll leave a core of people among you who are humble in spirit – What’s left of Israel that’s really Israel. They’ll make their home in GOD. This core of holy people will not do wrong. They won’t lie, won’t use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they’ll live at peace.

The mature believer is never a slave to circumstances, because of the blessings and provisions of the supergrace zoe life.

Message Bible – MAT 5:5 You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

Point 1. Definition.
a. Autarkes, contentment – from Aeschylus = sufficient for oneself, strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support; to be independent of external circumstances.

Amplified Bible – 1TH 4:12 So that you may bear yourselves becomingly and be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being dependent on nobody [self-supporting] and having need of nothing.

b. Autarkes = to be contented with one’s niche, with one’s means, even though little.
c. To be strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support.

d. In the spiritual realm, autarkes means to be spiritually self-sustained and to become sufficient enough to be in need of no one else.

1TI 6:6 But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity when accompanied by contentment or capacity for life.

e. Arkeo = “to be sufficient, to be possessed of sufficient strength, to be strong, to be strong enough for anything;” “to defend, ward off.”

f. “To be satisfied, contented with your wages,” LUK 3:14, with food and clothing; 1TI 6:8, with “such things as you have,” HEB 13:5.
Used negatively of Diotrephes, 3Jo 10, “was not content.”

Point 2. Godliness or Living the Spiritual Life That God Has Provided is a Means of Great Profit When Accompanied by Contentment.

Godliness = you are in the place where God can train you – residence, function, and momentum inside the spiritual life that God has provided.

Having perfect happiness, God then gives us the ultimate in suffering for blessing, evidence testing, and this is how “godliness is a means of great profit.”

“Contentment” = perfect happiness, begun in spiritual self-esteem, continued in spiritual autonomy, and completed in spiritual maturity.

Godliness [eusebeia] = you are in the place where God can train you – residence, function, and momentum inside the spiritual life that God has provided.

Contentment = the perfect happiness developed from living the spiritual life that God has provided for every Church-age believer.

The purpose of providential preventative suffering is to learn obedience, self-discipline, and enforced and genuine humility.

1CO 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise.
1CO 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

It insulates against the arrogance complex.

Providential preventative suffering is the provision of the sovereignty of God in compatibility with His grace policy to provide the power for spiritual self-esteem to advance to spiritual maturity – the power to advance through the valley of momentum testing.

Providential preventative suffering prevents, restrains, intercepts, insulates against sin and evil in the life while challenging your spiritual self-esteem to suffer for blessing and profit.

Illustration: a woman falls in love with a man who walks out on her just before the marriage. She is miserable temporarily, but this is better than a lifetime of misery with the wrong man.

a. Impersonal love for all mankind is the first sign of spiritual autonomy.
b. Authority orientation, or enforced humility.
c. Genuine humility, which insulates against arrogance during momentum testing.
d. Self-discipline.
e. Obedience to the Word of God.

PRO 19:8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul [spiritual self-esteem]; he who cherishes understanding prospers [spiritual autonomy].
Providential preventative suffering at spiritual self-esteem is designed to put you in a state of weakness in that there is no human solution to the problems that you are facing.

Whatever the solution, it must be a divine solution, spiritual common sense, which comes from your own soul’s resources of Bible doctrine.
1. People testing
2. Thought testing
3. System testing
4. Disaster testing

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