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Showing posts from November 12, 2015

Meaning and Purpose of Discipline

Meaning and Purpose of Discipline
Proverbs 3:11–12 While the idea of punishment is certainly present (cf. Job 5:17–18 and 2 Sam 7:14), “discipline” primarily involves teaching or training rather than punishment for wrongdoing. It is analogous to military training, in which, although the threat of punishment is present, even stern discipline is not necessarily retribution for offenses. Hardship and correction are involved, however, which are always hard to accept.
Garrett, Duane A. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Vol. 14. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993. Print. The New American Commentary.

God’s Judgment

God’s JudgmentRomans 9:19. Paul again anticipates an objection (“Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted [=anthestēken perfect tense, and continues to resist] His will?”) from his readers from what he has just argued: Mercy is neither a human right nor a divine obligation. Rather God extends mercy to undeserving men as He wills. Hence the objector thinks, if all rebellious men like Pharaoh serve God’s purpose why should God blame them? Could they have acted otherwise? Thus one may conclude: Is God’s will not the basis of human behavior instead of judgment?
Romans 9:20–21. Paul’s answer here concerns itself with how men, being the object of judgment, sit in judgment of God their Judge. It is as if man blames God for being formed or made a sinner. Yet, man has no right since it is by man’s (not God’s) choice that (beginning with Adam; cf. Gen 3:6–7) all sin (Rom 3:10–12, 23). Hence Paul quotes the parody of Isaiah 29:16; 45:9 to affirm this point. The creature talking back to …

Coin of Mazaeus with Baaltars

Coin of Mazaeus with Baaltars ‎About 340 B.C., Mazaeus (Persian “Mazdai”), Cilicia’s Persian governor, minted this stater in Tarsus. It depicts local Baal variant “Baaltars,” named in Aramaic characters (obverse). The reverse features a common Tarsus motif—a lion, representing mother goddess Kybele, attacks a bull representing divine Attis, Kybele’s dying and rising consort. Attis combined elements the Greeks divided between Adonis and Dionysus. The Aramaic inscription reads “Mazdai over Eber-Nahara [the Persian Empire west of the Euphrates] and Cilicia.” Tarsus was Paul’s birthplace, and home for part of his childhood. ‎Judg 2:11, Acts 9:11, 30, Acts 11:25, Acts 21:37–39, Acts 22:3, 2 Macc 4:30

The Affliction of Egypt

The Affliction of Egypt
Exodus 3 The affliction of Egypt refers to the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt. It is better expressed as “your misery in Egypt” (NEB). 3:17TEV’s adjustment to indirect speech becomes “out of Egypt, where they are being treated cruelly.” In some languages it will be more natural to say “from the place where the Egyptians are treating them cruelly.” To the land of the Canaanites, … repeats the list of the six ethnic groups mentioned in 3:8. (See the suggested translation of these names in that verse.) A land flowing with milk and honey means “a rich and fertile land.” (Compare 3:8 and the comment.)
Osborn, Noel D., and Howard A. Hatton. A Handbook on Exodus. New York: United Bible Societies, 1999. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Summary of Galatians 1:1-5

Summary of Galatians 1:1-5
The Judaizers who “bewitched” the Galatians (3:1) were telling them that Paul’s apostleship and message were not trustworthy because he lacked official endorsement from Jerusalem. “We have our credentials from Peter!” they would say, as though the approval of men is proof that a preacher is sent of God. Paul begins his letter by affirming that his message and ministry came directly from Jesus Christ. (Note Paul’s use of “not neither” in vv. 1, 12, and 17.) He immediately spells out the Gospel that he preached.
Paul’s Gospel was centered in Christ—His death, burial, and resurrection—and not in Moses or the Law. It was a Gospel of grace that brought peace. It was a Gospel of liberty: “that He might deliver us” (v. 4). The Judaizers were bringing the churches into bondage through the Law (see 2:4; 3:13; 4:9). Christ’s death has delivered us from this present evil age and has given us a new standing in liberty (5:1ff). No wonder Paul adds, “To whom be glory for…

“Get You Forth”

“Get You Forth” ‎ Imagine the sudden confusion that must have followed upon Pharaoh’s surrender, his cry of “Get you forth.” Then to all the awful tumult of that night of death, was added the tumult of departing Israel. “And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
“And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.” Therefore it is that their descendants still eat unleavened bread at the time of the “Passover” feast of commemoration.
‎The artist has tried to suggest to us in his picture all the confusion, the wailing in one place, the bustle in another. Even a dog lies stricken, and, as one biblical passage specially reminds us, “the captive that was in the dungeon.” Pharaoh, in the center, cries out in despair to Moses and Aaron, while those two alone stand firm amid the uproar, Aaron pointing up toward God, and M…

Mosaic Law is Fulfilled

Mosaic Law is FulfilledRomans 3:31. The final question is, Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Paul responded in his characteristic expletive, Not at all! (mē genoito, “Let it not be”; cf. comments on v. 4) and then explained, Rather, we uphold the Law. The purpose of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled and its place in God’s total plan is confirmed when it leads an individual to faith in Jesus Christ (cf. v. 20; Gal. 3:23–25). Paul repeatedly affirmed that faith, not works of the Law, is the way of salvation. He wrote the word “faith” eight times in Romans 3:22–31! (See vv. 22, 25–28, 30 [twice], and 31.)
Witmer, John A. “Romans.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 452. Print.

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, November 16      Go To Evening Reading
         “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.” — Lamentations 3:24
It is not “The Lord is partly my portion,” nor “The Lord is in my portion”; but he himself makes up the sum total of my soul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not his grace merely, nor his love, nor his covenant, but Jehovah himself. He has chosen us for his portion, and we have chosen him for ours. It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we shall never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing—

“Lov’d of my God for him again
         With love intense I burn;
         Chosen of him ere time began,
         I choose him in return.”

The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills himself; and if God is all-sufficient in himself, he must be all- sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man’s…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 12

  Examine yourselves
2 Cor. 13:5
If your state be good, searching into it will give you that comfort of it. If your state be bad, searching into it cannot make it worse; nay, it is the only way to make it better, for conversion begins with conviction.

Bishop Hopkins

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

Connect the Testaments

November 12: Exclusivity
1 Kings 15:25–17:24; Mark 9:38–10:16; Proverbs 4:1–7

We often think that God needs us—that we are His arms rather than His agents. When we see our work as integral to God’s kingdom, thinking that God needs us, our vision, our doctrines, or our ideas in order to further His kingdom, we might be guilty of something else entirely. These feelings are often motivated by our own feelings of inadequacy. We can sometimes be more concerned with proving ourselves than honoring God.

When the disciples learned that others were casting out demons in Jesus’ name, they tried to prevent them. “We saw … and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us,” they told Jesus (Mark 9:38). But Jesus only rebuked them: “There is no one who does a miracle in my name and will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name because you are Christ’s, truly I say to you that he will never…

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

November 12th
The transfigured life


If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor. 5:17.
What idea have you of the salvation of your soul? The experience of salvation means that in your actual life things are really altered, you no longer look at things as you used to; your desires are new, old things have lost their power. One of the touchstones of experience is—Has God altered the thing that matters? If you still hanker after the old things, it is absurd to talk about being born from above, you are juggling with yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the alteration manifest in your actual life and reasoning, and when the crisis comes you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it. It is this complete and amazing alteration that is the evidence that you are a saved soul.

What difference has my salvation and…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, November 12      Go To Evening Reading
 “The trial of your faith.”  — 1 Peter 1:7
Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven. No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert …