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Showing posts from February 28, 2014

Fire as Symbol and Imagery

Fire as Symbol and Imagery Exodus 3:2 Excerpt ‎Fire is a common symbol of holiness and in some cases of protection (cf. Zech. 2:5). It represents divine action, with God himself presented as ‘a consuming fire’ (Heb. 12:29; cf. Deut. 4:24). Fire is God’s servant (Ps. 104:4; Heb. 1:7), and his word is like fire (Jer. 23:29). In reference to God’s action, fire is most frequently a symbol of destruction associated with the wrath of God and his jealousy. As a metaphor of God’s holiness, however, it may also purge or purify. The Babylonian exile is described as purification by fire (Ps. 66:12; Isa. 43:2), and certainly the Day of the Lord will purify Israel (Zech. 13:9; cf. 1 Cor. 3:13-15). 
‎Fire is a central element of the description of theophany throughout biblical literature. God’s appearance for covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:17), the appearance in the burning bush (Exod. 3:2), the leading of Israel with the pillar of fire by night (Exod. 13:21-22), and the appearance in fire on Moun…

Why Quote the Old Testament?

Why Quote the Old Testament?Acts 2:16-21
‎The variety of methods of interpretation and application of the OT parallels the fact that the OT was used for a variety of purposes. People tend to think only in terms of the use of the OT to show that Jesus was the Messiah, but there are a number of other uses with a variety of goals. Many OT texts are used to show Jesus is the Messiah, the fulfillment of the OT promises (Lk 4:16–21). Without lessening the fulfillment emphasis, however, other verses are applied to Jesus for other purposes: to evangelize (Acts 8:32–35); to demonstrate or convince (Acts 13:33–35); to rebuke (Mk 7:6, 7; Rom 11:7–10); to describe (Rv 1:12–15); and to worship (Phil 2:10, 11).
Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 1813. Print.

Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology Excerpt ‎Biblical theology is theology drawn from the Bible rather than theology imposed onto the Bible. Biblical theology helps Christians understand the broad biblical message, discern discern developments in the canon, and see how each particular text fits in with the larger story of Scripture. In studying biblical theology, interpreters try to determine what the authors of the Bible thought or believed in their own historical contexts and on their own distinctive terms.
‎Historical research plays a significant role in biblical theology. Interpreters focus on understanding what the biblical texts meant for the original author and readers, rather than on the development of doctrine over time (historical theology). Before Christians can apply Scripture accurately to the present or systematize it around various topics, they must first interpret it correctly in its historical context and with its original intended meaning. Biblical theology lays a foundation upon whic…

Wonders and Miracle Signs

Wonders and Miracle SignsActs 2:43
Excerpt ‎Wonders (terata, “miracles evoking awe”) and miraculous signs (sēmeia, “miracles pointing to a divine truth”) authenticated the veracity of the apostles (cf. 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4). The apostles performed many such “signs and wonders” (Acts 4:30; 5:12; 6:8; 8:6, 13; 14:3; 15:12). Christ too had performed many “wonders” and “signs”—and also “miracles” (dynameis, “works of power”).
Toussaint, Stanley D.“Acts.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 360. Print.

Laodiceans Were Neither Hot Nor Cold

Laodiceans Were Neither Hot Nor Cold ‎The city was in the southwest of Phrygia, on the river Lycus, not far from Colosse, and lying between it and Philadelphia. It was destroyed by an earthquake, a.d. 62, and rebuilt by its wealthy citizens without the help of the state [Tacitus, Annals, 14.27]. This wealth (arising from the excellence of its wools) led to a self-satisfied, lukewarm state in spiritual things, as Rev 3:17 describes. See on Col 4:16, on the Epistle which is thought to have been written to the Laodicean Church by Paul. The Church in latter times was apparently flourishing; for one of the councils at which the canon of Scripture was determined was held in Laodicea in a.d. 361. Hardly a Christian is now to be found on or near its site.
Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

An Introduction to Paul's Presentation of the Gospel

An Introduction to Paul's Presentation of the Gospel Excerpt ‎How many steps does it take to lead a person to Christ? That is not an easy question, for there is so much that enters into the receptiveness of the counselee which may hinder him from grasping the details of the gospel. Or on the other hand the primary Soul-winner, the Holy Spirit, already may have prepared him and enabled him to grasp and respond to the gospel readily. For that matter, no single passage in Scripture gives a final answer to the question. Indeed, I suspect that the answer is one which must be answered by the Holy Spirit as the one who is witnessing cooperates with the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing that man or woman to Christ. This seems to be suggested by Christ’s words in that great Upper Room Discourse. In it He marvelously prepared the disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit after His own resurrection and departure for heaven 40 days later. …
Northrup, Bernard E. True Evangelism: Paul’s Pre…

Abel's Faith

Abel's Faith Excerpt ‎Abel represents the righteous man referred to in 10:38, whose acceptance before God was based on a superior sacrifice. Like Abel, the readers found acceptance before God on the basis of the better sacrifice of the New Covenant. Their unbelieving brethren, like Cain, found no such divine approbation. Even death does not extinguish the testimony of a man like Abel.
Hodges, Zane C.“Hebrews.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 807. Print.

Uses of Church History

Uses of Church History Excerpt ‎The Epistle to the Hebrews describes, in stirring eloquence, the cloud of witnesses from the old dispensation for the encouragement of the Christians. Why should not the greater cloud of apostles, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, fathers, reformers, and saints of every age and tongue, since the coming of Christ, be held up for the same purpose?

They were the heroes of Christian faith and love, the living epistles of Christ, the salt of the earth, the benefactors and glory of our race; and it is impossible rightly to study their thoughts and deeds, their lives and deaths, without being elevated, edified, comforted, and encouraged to follow their holy example, that we at last, by the grace ofGod, be received into their fellowship, to spend with them a blessed eternity in the praise and enjoyment of the same God andSaviour. …

Schaff, Philip, and David Schley Schaff. History of the Christian Church. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910. Print.

Protect Me and Help Me

Protect Me and Help Me Excerpt ‎In these two verses the psalmist pleads with Yahweh to rescue him from his oppressors, for he has always done what is just and right (verse 121). He calls his enemies my oppressors because they persecute and mistreat him; the same verb oppress is used in verse 122b. In verse 122a the Hebrew verb form translated Be surety by RSV is a legal term describing the action of someone who makes himself responsible for another’s debts; here the term has the general sense of helping. The meaning of the line is well expressed by NJV, “Guarantee your servant’s well-being” (also NJB); frcl has “Guarantee me that everything will end well.” Be surety for thy servant may also be rendered, for example, “Be my protector and helper” or simply “Protect me and help me.” For thy servant see verse 17a; for the godless see verse 51a. (It is to be noticed that in verses 121–122 there is no reference to God’s law.)
Bratcher, Robert G., and William David Reyburn. A Translator’s H…

Christ: The Fulfillment of Prophecy

Christ: The Fulfillment of Prophecy  Excerpt ‎Of all the attacks that have ever been made upon the Scripture, there has never been one book written by a skeptic to disprove the prophecies of the Scripture. Though the Bible has been attacked at every other place, the one place where God rests His inspiration is that the things He foretells come infallibly to pass.
‎The Bible prophecies are altogether unexpected! I know of no one ever prophesying that any other human being would rise from the dead and ascend into heaven. That is exceedingly improbable. The chance of it happening by coincidence is incalculable. No, the Bible is not merely a book written by men; it is a book written by God through men, and the heart of its prophetic message is Jesus Christ. … Kennedy, D. James.“Christ: The Fulfillment of Prophecy.” The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith. Ed. Ted Cabal et al. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007. xxix. Print

How to Study the Bible

How to Study the Bible Excerpt ‎As you begin to study the Bible, determine your goals, methods, and resources. If you simply want to be a more careful reader of the Bible, perhaps begin by reading a small portion of the text daily with a Bible reading plan. If you want to put serious effort into learning the Bible, further commitment is needed. This approach may involve several hours a week of focused study and the use of resources such as commentaries. If pursuing this level of Bible study, you will benefit from acquiring at least one dictionary and two kinds of commentaries to help you. Valuable resources include a Bible dictionary, a one-volume Bible commentary, and a set of individual commentary volumes on individual books of the Bible. Using these as you study the Bible passage-by-passage will provide some of the same help you’d get if you were to study the Bible in an academic institution.
‎No matter which group you're in, there are some basics that apply …
Barry, John D. e…

Not Commending Ourselves

Not Commending Ourselves
‎Paul’s appeal to the consciences of his readers is not to be misunderstood. We are not commending ourselves to you again. Paul has already made this disclaimer (3:1; see the notes). He is in a difficult position, for though he has no intention of using any commendation beyond that of the Gospel itself, which authorizes those who preach it, it is necessary, or at least desirable, in the interests of the apostolic mission, that his good faith should be recognized by those who form the churches founded by him. The present verse is of great importance because it shows that this necessity arises out of the presence of others who work on different lines.
Barrett, C. K. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. London: Continuum, 1973. Print. Black’s New Testament Commentary.

Today's Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From 1 Samuel 12:14 KJV Translation: If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: NKJV Translation: If you will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both you and also the king that reigns over you continue following the LORD your God: Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

February 28
Neon GodsLeviticus 26–27; John 10:22–42; Song of Solomon 8:10–14
Idolatry seems archaic. Who worships idols anymore?

We all know that in other countries, traditional idol worship of gold and wooden statues still goes on, but we often forget about our own idols. What does all our furniture point toward? Why do we care who is on the cover of a magazine? How do you feel if you miss your favorite talk show? If we’re really honest, what do we spend the majority of our time thinking about?

Idols are everywhere, and most of us are idol worshipers of some kind. When we put this in perspective, suddenly the words of Lev 26 become relevant again. The problem that is addressed in Leviticus is the same problem we’re dealing with today.

Leviticus 26 and its harsh words against idolatry should prompt each of us to ask, “What are my idols?” and then to answer with, “I will end my idolatry.” And if the temptation is too great with these things present in our lives (like the TV), we should s…