Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The secret of the mystery, Part 129. "Skubala" is what human power, human celebrityship, human ability, and human talent is.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The importance of understanding predestination, the preciseness of the plan, the procedure of the plan, the power in the plan, the perfection of the plan, the priorities in the plan, the purpose of the plan, and the policy of the plan.

Preposition kata + accusative singular noun zelon = with reference to zeal.
Zelon connotes religious activism, the function of the arrogant skills.

The sad thing today is that the majority of born-again believers are involved with religious activism because they have rejected the PPOG.

ROM 10:2 a zeal for God, but not in accordance with epignosis knowledge [metabolized doctrine].

Paul was a very moral person, but living morally is not the Christian way of life.

Morality is adherence to a moral system which produces a human righteousness, but the Christian way of life is a super-natural way of life executed by the Holy Spirit.

There is a great difference between the virtue produced by God the Holy Spirit and the morality produced by the law.

GAL 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it;

ACT 8:3 But Saul {began} ravaging the church, forcing himself into house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.

In the word of God, the worst of all sins are the motivational sins related to arrogance.

The first of the arrogant skills is self-justification: whatever you do you must justify it. Self-justification leads to self-deception.

GAL 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Self-deception eventuates in self-absorption.

“Gain” = noun - kerde = his great success standards from Judaism which he attained as a young man.

When a person believes in Jesus Christ and carries over all of those success standards, they are handicapped in ever fulfilling the PPOG because they want to use human power, human dynamics, the very thing that made them successful.

There is nothing wrong with success, but when success turns you away from the priorities of the spiritual life, you are in trouble and you will never get out.

“Those things” - demonstrative pronoun “tauta” = the pre-salvation standards of success, the celebrityship of Saul of Tarsus.

“For the sake of Christ ” - “dia ton Christou” = because of the Christ.
Count - pres-mid-ind - hegoumai = to consider, to conclude, to think, to regard as.

“Rubbish” - accusative plural noun skubala - a hapox legomena; it occurs only once in the New Testament.

Skubala is used as a metaphor - an application of a word or a phrase to an object or a concept it does not literally denote, in order to suggest a comparison with another object or concept.

The apostle Paul is equating his past accomplishments as a celebrity with “dung” or “excrement.”

Skubala = dung or human excrement; the King James version translates it correctly as “dung.”

The basis of this dramatic change is that he could identify all of his fantastic successes as “skubala, dung, excrement.”

The New American Standard says the word means “rubbish.” The American Standard Version says “refuse.”

Some go into the kitchen and say that skubala means “left-overs” or “scraps from the table,” or “what is thrown to the dogs” - anything to get around the word “human excrement.”

1SA 25:21 “He [Nabal] has returned to me evil for good. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”

Dr Fredrick Lang, says that, “Skubala means excrement or dung” and then quotes the Septuagint where skubala occurs only once - “It is used for lumps of manure remaining in the sieve to illustrate the refuse, impurity, and wickedness in the mind of man.” Dr Lang goes on to say, “Only with hesitation does literature seem to have adopted it from popular speech.”

“The choice of this vulgar word used by the apostle stresses the force and totality of this renunciation.”

“The intensification lies in the elements of resolute turning aside from something worthless with which one will have nothing more to do.”

The apostle Paul said in effect, “I will have nothing more to do with something that is worthless” - which is my plans, my goals, my power, my talent, my ability!!!

“Skubala” = what human power, human celebrityship, human ability, and human talent is when we try to enter it into the PPOG.

Skubala - used for the values of a celebrity who operated in human power and his own plan and not the plan of God!

Josephus tells us that the inhabitants of Jerusalem, during the famine when the city was besieged by Titus, had to search sewers and dung [skubala] for something to eat.

An American who also dealt with skubala in an objective way is Dr Homer Kent Jr. who was the president of Grace Theological Seminary. “The etymology of skubala, how the word originated, is uncertain” - no one has really given the etymology of the word in the English.

Dr Kent - “If Paul is understood to be rising to the crescendo in his explanation, replacement of ‘loss’ with a bolder term denoting dung, would not be unlike him.”

Skubala [the “s” word] or dung or human excrement is a great description of human greatness which represents human power and human dynamics.

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