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Showing posts from December 30, 2015

Righteous as a Moral Term

Righteous as a Moral Term
Philippians 3:9

In Scripture, righteousness is often a legal term, not a moral one. It means that a judge would pronounce someone righteous. Naturally, the ideal was that the person would actually be righteous, but the focus is on what the judge said. The verdict did not necessarily depend on the moral realities. In accord with that, the primary question of both Judaism and Christianity was “what must a man do if God is to declare that he is in the right and so give judgment in his favour? The Jewish answer was that he must obey the Law of Moses.” For Paul, a righteousness attained by the law was only a relative self-righteousness. The best that could be hoped for was the blamelessness of which he spoke in 3:6b, but which he nonetheless had found inadequate for gaining salvation. Thus, the law provides one approach to righteousness, but it is a flawed approach. The problem is not the law. Paul taught that the law is good (Rom 7). The problem is the sin …

The Sphinx

The Sphinx
‎What is the Sphinx? It is the body of a lion couchant, with the head of a man—“a symbol of animal power and of human intellect.” The whole figure was typical of kingly royalty and set forth the power and wisdom of the Egyptian monarch. One traveler describes the present appearance of the great Sphinx as, “a ball of stone rising on a neck some forty feet above the sand.” Miss Edwards says, “the sphinx is purely an Egyptian monster and of immemorial antiquity. The great sphinx of Gizeh is probably the oldest monument in Egypt. There are thousands of sphinxes in Egypt of various sizes, but the great Sphinx is this one at the base of the pyramids. It is carved out of the summit of the original rock from which it has never been separated. Its body is over one hundred feet long; its head is thirty feet long and fourteen in width; the marks of paint still remain on the face—on the eye-brows and on the right cheek. The face is much mutilated; the body is hidden by drifting sands …

Ephesus Structural Details

Ephesus Structural Details


Tiberias ‎Leaving Nazareth on the morning of the 8th of May, 1894, the artist and one of the editors passed through Cana of Galilee, and by twelve o’clock reached the high hill which looks down upon the Sea of Tiberias. In the picture we are looking to the east. The lake, because of its distance, appears to be a river not wider than the Mississippi. It is in reality about six miles wide where we now see it. Below us is the little city of Tiberias hugging the shore. The country rising beyond the sea is the region of the Gaderenes, where the swine ran violently down the hill into the sea. The city itself, which is a mere miniature from this point of view, is now called Tubariyeh. Herod Antipater named it Tiberias, after the Roman Emperor. According to Josephus, the building of the city began A. D. 16, and was completed A. D. 22. It was the capital of Galilee for many years, and was the most important town on the coast in the time of Christ, and the only one which has escaped the ruin o…

All Authority

All Authority
‎Only gradually did the knowledge of all their curse come home to our first parents. “The sins of the fathers are visited upon their children.” Science joins with religion to warn us of this solemn fact. The evil that we harbor within ourselves, we transmit in some form to our children. They inherit always something of our weaknesses as well as of our better gifts. Perhaps when Cain was born his father and mother still harbored something of resentment and bitterness toward God; for the boy grew into a man sullen of mood and selfish, stern and fierce of wrath.
‎The parents taught both him and Abel to worship God, to sacrifice to heaven some portion of their possessions by building altars and burning the offered gifts, so that the smoke rose to the sky. Abel made his offerings gladly, so that God was pleased by his pure and trusting faith. But Cain acted as Eve and Adam had in paradise, with suspicion of the Lord, distrust of His intent, and with secret anger. Therefore G…

Respectful and Pure Conduct

Respectful and Pure Conduct

The word “behold” in the Greek text refers to the act of viewing attentively. How carefully the unsaved watch Christians. The word “chaste” in the Greek means not only “chaste” but “pure”. The phrase “with fear” is to be understood as referring to the wives, not the husbands. It is their pure manner of life which is coupled with fear that is used of the Lord to gain these husbands. The Greek word “fear” here is used also in Ephesians 5:33 and is there translated “reverence.” The word in a connection like this means “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience.”

Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. Print.

The Brazen Sea

The Brazen Sea ‎The brazen sea was a huge bronze basin with a diameter of about 5 m. At the beginning it was put on twelve oxen, but they were removed later. In the Near East, there are several parallels for such basins that represent the freshwater subterraneous ocean. In erecting such a basin in the temple, it was made clear that the god worshiped here is lord over the freshwater, and thus he is the one providing people with water and fertility. ‎1 Kings 7:23–26; 2 Kings 16:17

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, December 30      Go To Evening Reading
 “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.”   — Ecclesiastes 7:8
Look at David’s Lord and Master; see his beginning. He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Would you see the end? He sits at his Father’s right hand, expecting until his enemies be made his footstool. “As he is, so are we also in this world.” You must bear the cross, or you shall never wear the crown; you must wade through the mire, or you shall never walk the golden pavement. Cheer up, then, poor Christian. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.” See that creeping worm, how contemptible its appearance! It is the beginning of a thing. Mark that insect with gorgeous wings, playing in the sunbeams, sipping at the flower bells, full of happiness and life; that is the end thereof. That caterpillar is yourself, until you are wrapped up in the chrysalis of death; but when Christ shall appear you shall be …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 30

  Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord
Gen. 6:8
Noah found grace in the same way that Paul obtained mercy (1 Tim. 1:16), namely, by mercy’s taking hold of him.


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

Connect the Testaments

December 30: The Proverbs 31 Woman
Lamentations 3:1–66; Romans 15:22–33; Proverbs 31:1–19

A Proverbs 31 woman is hard to find, but it isn’t for lack of effort. She’s been the topic of more than a few Bible studies. She can be recognized by her many positive traits—strong, courageous, and trustworthy. She is hardworking, discerning, giving, dignified, business savvy, wise, and kind. If we’re looking for a vice or an Achilles heel, we’ll have to turn to another passage in the OT (we’re sure to find more failures than achievers within its pages).
As we look through the list of qualities, though, it’s hard to check them all off, even for Type-A personalities. But the key to understanding the list of characteristics isn’t found in what we can attain. It’s found in the last verse—the crux of the poem. The crown of the woman’s wisdom isn’t her charm or her beauty or even her ability to “get things done.” It is her fear of Yahweh. This relationship with God guides all of her actions.

If we’re …

My Utmost for His Highest

December 30th
“And every virtue we possess”

All my fresh springs shall be in Thee. Psalm 87:7 (P.B.V.).

Our Lord never patches up our natural virtues, He remakes the whole man on the inside. “Put on the new man”—see that your natural human life puts on the garb that is in keeping with the new life. The life God plants in us develops its own virtues, not the virtues of Adam but of Jesus Christ. Watch how God will wither up your confidence in natural virtues after sanctification, and in any power you have, until you learn to draw your life from the reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus. Thank God if you are going through a drying-up experience!

The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues, because they are not promises of what we are going to be, but remnants of what God created man to be. We will cling to the natural virtues, while all the time God is trying to get us into contact with the life of Jesus Christ which can never be descri…