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Showing posts from July 11, 2015

The Revelation of Mystery

The Revelation of MysteryEphesians 1:9

Praise for the Mystery—God’s Plan to Sum Up All Things in Christ, 1:9–10
9 God intended that we should understand his saving purposes. He therefore lavished his grace upon us ‘in all wisdom and insight’ by making known 89 to us the mystery of his will,90 the content of which is the summing up of all things in Christ (see v. 10b). Although v. 9 is syntactically dependent upon and explains the meaning of God’s grace poured upon us (v. 8), with these words about the divine mystery there is a significant development in the eulogy, leading to its climax. God’s saving purposes, planned from eternity, had as their final goal the uniting of all things in heaven and earth in Christ, the details of which are spelled out in what follows.
‘Making known a mystery’ refers to the disclosure of a previously hidden secret. In Paul’s world ‘mystery’ was employed in the ancient pagan cults, philosophy, secular usage, and Gnosticism. Recent biblical scholarship, how…

Ephesus theater

Ephesus theater   Could the text of 3:5 then possibly refer to Christian baptism? The answer is certainly not a simple one. Birth from above for John was the equivalent of salvation or eternal life. Such birth, as some scholars have noted, is in John similar to being children of God in the Synoptic Gospels (e.g., Matt 18:3; Mark 10:15).78 In the early church baptismal language could be used in contexts that refer to the salvation process. Examples are numerous, but a few will suffice, such as being buried and raised (e.g., Rom 6:1–11), or the putting off of the old way and the putting on of the new (e.g., Col 3:1–17), or in the commission to evangelize (e.g., Matt 28:19).
In such contexts baptism and salvation were clearly linked within the thinking of early Christians. Was the same true for John, who later in the first century was writing reflectively on the significance of the Nicodemus story for his community of believers? In trying to answer this question, we are trying to make s…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 11
  Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue 2 Peter 1:5
You will find it less easy to unroot faults than to choke them by gaining virtues. Do not think of your faults, still less of others’ faults; in every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; rejoice in it, and, as you can, try to imitate it; and your faults will drop off, like dead leaves, when their time comes.
John Ruskin

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

July 11: Best Friends Forever
1 Samuel 18:1–19:24; James 5:13–20; Psalm 120:1–7

This generation has more opportunities for communication than any before it, with email and social networking making it possible to interact with others 24/7. Yet suicide rates are higher than ever, and antidepressant medications have become almost standard fare. We have more connections than ever before, but they’re not relationships. We still feel alone. People need authentic community—a sense of communing with someone—to feel whole and healthy.

The story of David and Jonathan portrays the true nature of friendship: “the soul of Jonathan became attached to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam 18:1). Jonathan could easily have been jealous of his friend; David was a great warrior and had just been brought into the household of Jonathan’s father, the king, as the king’s protégé (1 Sam 17:48–58; 18:2). Instead of being jealous, Jonathan responded with love and kindness, and the t…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

July 11th
The spiritual saint


That I may know Him. Phil. 3:10.

The initiative of the saint is not towards self-realization, but towards knowing Jesus Christ. The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is a reckless abandonment about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of life, and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we do. Self-realization leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jesus Christ in his work. Whether it be eating or drinking or washing disciples’ feet, whatever it is, we have to take the initiative of realizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realized His relationship to the Father even in the most menial work. “Jesus knowing … that He was…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readi

Morning, July 11                                                 Go To Evening Reading

 “After that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”           — 1 Peter 5:10
You have seen the arch of heaven as it spans the plain: glorious are its colours, and rare its hues. It is beautiful, but, alas, it passes away, and lo, it is not. The fair colours give way to the fleecy clouds, and the sky is no longer brilliant with the tints of heaven. It is not established. How can it be? A glorious show made up of transitory sun-beams and passing rain-drops, how can it abide? The graces of the Christian character must not resemble the rainbow in its transitory beauty, but, on the contrary, must be stablished, settled, abiding. Seek, O believer, that every good thing you have may be an abiding thing. May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no “baseless fabric of a vision,” but may it be build of materia…