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Showing posts from July 17, 2015

Rule, Authority, Power, and Dominion

Rule, Authority, Power, and Dominion
Ephesians 1:21
Verse 21 describes the supremacy of Christ as the ruler over all powers; the text in Greek continues without a break from verse 20, “above every rule …” etc. Most translators will find it better to begin the verse with a new sentence, as TEV does. The four synonyms (RSV “rule … authority … power … dominion”) indicate spiritual powers which are here not primarily regarded as evil, but which simply exist. In Jewish thought these powers were viewed as angels, of which there were ranks and degrees, or as spirits (evil); in Greek thought they were seen as lesser gods and powers. The author here takes their existence for granted and does not argue about it. See a similar list in Colossians 1:16, where the words appear in the plural; of the four words used here in Ephesians 1:21, three of them are also in the Colossians passage; the only difference is that Colossians has “throne” (first word) and Ephesians has “power” (third word).

It is go…

The Census In Luke

The Census In LukeLuke 2:3 Luke’s reference to the census under Quirinius serves two purposes in his Gospel. First, it provides a date for the birth of Jesus. Second, it explains why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem at that time. The census under Quirinius was probably for purposes of taxation, since the Romans exempted the Jews from military service. The requirement to return to one’s hometown, reflecting the patriarchal element in Hebrew religion, probably also reflects the general willingness of Caesar Augustus to let the Jews follow their own customs.
Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 260. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

The Book of Proverbs

The Book of ProverbsProverbs 3:1-12PROVERBS, BOOK OF. †The twentieth book of the Old Testament according to the Christian canon and third of the poetical books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs) in the Hebrew canon included among the Writings. The book of Proverbs is a collection of largely proverbial Wisdom Literature traditionally associated with Solomon, the Israelite king famed for his divine gift of wisdom (1 Kgs. 3–4); the Hebrew title for the book (Heb. mišlê; Prov. 1:1) reflects this association. It is clear from literary analyses and internal evidence that the contents of the book must be attributed to a variety of authors over an extended period of time. At least three authors are named in headings (Solomon, 1:1; 10:1; 25:1; Agur, 30:1; Lemuel, 31:1), and other segments are attributed anonymously to “the wise” (22:17; 24:23). The designation of the whole collection as “proverbs” (LXX Gk. Paroimiai; Vulg. Lat. Liber Proverbiorum) is not entirely apt since large portions of the contents…

Saul's Conversion

Saul's Conversion The Damascus road
This experience is described in detail in three different places in the book of the Acts, which shows just how important it was not only in Paul’s life, but in the entire history of the early church. In Acts 9:3–19 there is Luke’s summary account of what happened, then 22:6–16 presents a personal account given by Paul when defending himself before a Jewish mob in Jerusalem, and finally in 26:9–23 there is yet another account given by Paul, this time in his defence before Herod Agrippa II.
The three accounts do not agree precisely in every detail, and it is clear that Luke used them to build up a composite picture, exploring the different nuances of the experience that would be specially relevant to the concerns of the different circumstances depicted in his narrative.

Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Completely rev. and updated. Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000. Print.

"Save Me, O God"

"Save Me, O God" ‎Psalm sixty-nine turns to tell again of the earthly sorrows of the righteous. Of all the psalms of personal suffering, it is perhaps the most widely known. It opens with a picture of the human soul alone amid the flood waters of sorrow. “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. ‎“I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me."“I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.” ‎The sufferer confesses to both folly and sin, “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee,” yet clings earnestly to hope in the infinite mercy of God, “Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.” Again and again comes that picture of the rising flood. “Let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon m…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 17

  Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing
James 1:4
Are you where God would have you be? If not, come out, and at once, for you certainly ought not to be there. If you are, then be afraid to complain of circumstances which God has ordained on purpose to work out in you the very image and likeness of His Son.

Mark Guy Pearse

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 17: Emotion versus Logic
1 Samuel 30:1–31:13; 1 Peter 2:18–25; Psalm 131:1–132:18

Reacting is easy. What’s difficult is overcoming emotions in a time of adversity. Although emotions are not bad, they can lead us astray. At the same time, when we stray too far in the other direction and rely entirely on reason, we risk using logic without empathy. The answer to this conundrum is not to pit emotions against reason, but instead to pray.
Throughout his life King David struggles to balance emotion and logic. Sometimes he is an emotional wreck; other times he is so calculated that he seems almost brutal. Yet in many moments in his life—especially in his early years—he seeks Yahweh when it would be more convenient not to.

In 1 Samuel 30:1–6, David returns to the town of Ziklag to find that two of his wives and many of his warriors’ wives have been captured, and the city has been burned down. The text describes the emotional atmosphere of the discovery: “David and the people who were with…

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

July 17th
The miracle of belief

My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words. 1 Cor. 2:1–5 .

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the first rank; he is not speaking out of abject humility, but saying that he would veil the power of God if, when he preached the gospel, he impressed people with his “excellency of speech.” Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the efficacy of Redemption, not by impressiveness of speech, not by wooing and winning, but by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of the Redemption comes through the preaching of the Gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher. The real fasting of the preacher is not from food, but rather from eloquence, from impressiveness and exquisite diction, from everything that might hinder the gospel of God being presented. The preacher is there as the representative of God—“as though God did beseech you by us.” He is there to present the Gospel of God, not human ideals. If it is only becaus…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, July 17                                                Go To Evening Reading

“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” 
         — 1 Thessalonians 1:4
Many persons want to know their election before they look to Christ, but they cannot learn it thus, it is only to be discovered by “looking unto Jesus.” If you desire to ascertain your own election;—after the following manner, shall you assure your heart before God. Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty sinner? go straightway to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus so, and tell him that you have read in the Bible, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Tell him that he has said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Look to Jesus and believe on him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for so surely as thou believest, thou art elect. If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust him, then you are one…