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Showing posts from January 15, 2016

The Divine Name

The Divine Name
Excerpt


In form the divine name Yahweh is either a simple indicative or a causative indicative of the verb ‘to be’, meaning ‘he is (alive, present, active)’ or ‘he brings into being’, and the formula in which the name is disclosed (Ex. 3:14, I am who I am) means either ‘I reveal my active presence as and when I will’ or ‘I bring to pass what I choose to bring to pass’. In the setting of Ex. 3-20 this refers both to the events of the Exodus as those in which Yahweh is actively present (and which indeed he has deliberately brought to pass) and also to the preceding theological interpretation (Ex. 3:1-4:17; 5:22-6:8) of those events vouchsafed to Moses. Yahweh is thus the God of revelation and history and in particular reveals himself as the God who saves his people (according to covenant promise) and overthrows those who oppose his word.


Motyer, J. A. “Name.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 801. Print.

Through Love Serve One Another

Through Love Serve One Another
Excerpt


In verse 1 Paul spoke of the Christian’s freedom and warned against the danger of lapsing into slavery. Here the apostle again reminded believers of their freedom in Christ and warned against its being converted into license. Specifically he charged the Galatians not to use their liberty as “a base of operation” for sin to gain a foothold. Rather than liberty being used for lust, the real goal should be love. Rather than being in bondage to the Law or to the sinful nature, the Galatians were to be in bondage to one another.(“Sinful nature” is an appropriate trans. of the Gr. sarx, used by Paul in that sense seven times in Gal. 5:13, 16-17 [thrice], 19, 24; 6:8.)

Having discouraged two forms of slavery as burdensome and terrible, he commended another form that was beneficial—a slavery of mutual love. In support, Paul quoted Leviticus 19:18 and stated that the entire Law was summarized in this single command to love their neighbors. Jesus affirmed th…

Test the Spirits

Test the Spirits
Excerpt


John begins with a warning about the false spirits in the world. Keep in mind that the NT was not yet completed and what had been written was not widely known; until the completion of the NT, the local churches depended on the ministry of people with spiritual gifts to teach them truth. How could a believer know when a preacher was from God and that his message could be trusted? (See1 Thes. 5:19–21.) After all, Satan is an imitator. John states that the false spirits will not confess that Jesus is the Christ (see 1 Cor. 12:3). The false cults today deny the deity of Christ and make Him a mere man or an inspired teacher. But the Christian has the Spirit within, the new nature, and this gives overcoming power.

There are two spirits in the world today: God’s Spirit of Truth, who speaks through the inspired Word, and Satan’s spirit of error that teaches lies (1 Tim.4:1 ff). Teachers sent by God will speak from God, and God’s children will recognize them. Satan’s wor…

Love God, Obey His Commandments

Love God, Obey His Commandments
Excerpt


John is not talking about how we know others have a vital relationship with God. He is discussing how a real faith in Jesus expresses itself in our lives. As we experience love for others and for God, and find ourselves choosing to obey His commandments, we realize that we truly have been born again.


Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

“Apostleship” Outside of the New Testament

“Apostleship” Outside of the New Testament
Galatians 1:1

Excerpt


The Greek word for “apostle” is not used outside the NT in the same sense as it is in the NT. It is derived from the verb “to send” and is at home in the language of the sea meaning a particular “ship” or “group of ships,” a “marine expedition” or “the leader” of such. Its usage is almost always impersonal and thoroughly passive. There is no hint of personal initiative or authorization, merely the connotation of something being sent. Later papyri use the word to mean “bill” or “invoice” or even a “passport,” continuing to reflect the vocabulary of maritime affairs.


Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 96. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

John the Baptist’s Final Testimony

John the Baptist’s Final Testimony
Excerpt


These verses, in placing the activities of Jesus and John alongside each other, provide the setting which will lead to the dialogue introducing John’s testimony. Jesus moves with his disciples from Jerusalem, where the conversation with Nicodemus has been set, into the Judaean country side and there he baptized. For those familiar with the Synoptic tradition, this description of Jesus’ activity would strike a surprising note, since nowhere in the Synoptics is Jesus said to have baptized. For the historical issues raised by such a statement and its later qualification in John 4:2, see the discussion below after the comments on this pericope. John’s similar activity is next introduced. He also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. John’s baptizing in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan was mentioned earlier in John 1:25–8. Now he has moved north, leaving Jesus baptizing in the general area of the lower…

Bethesda

Bethesda
Excerpt


Commonly interpreted House of Mercy; others House of the Portico. The readings also vary. Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort give Βηθζαθά, Bethzatha, House of the Olive. The site cannot be identified with any certainty. Dr. Robinson thinks it may be the Fountain of the Virgin, the upper fountain of Siloam. See Thomson’s “Land and Book,” “Southern Palestine and Jerusalem,”


Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887. Print.

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 15      Go To Evening Reading
 “Do as thou hast said.”           — 2 Samuel 7:25
God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; he intended that they should be used. God’s gold is not miser’s money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, “Lord, do as thou hast said.” We glorify God when we plead his promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches he has promised? Do you dream that he will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine he will be any the less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, “This is a preciou…

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

January 15: I Understand How They Felt
Genesis 26; Matthew 19:1–20:16;Ecclesiastes 6:1–4

“Allow the children, and do not forbid them to come to me, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:14).
This is the type of Jesus I want to know. It’s easy for me to think of Jesus as a man I see in film or in Renaissance paintings—to make Him somehow distant in the process—but this Jesus is very compassionate and close. This Jesus takes the lowest members in society, outside of slaves, and promotes them to the ultimate status of equality: members of the kingdom of heaven, being God’s kingdom.
The disciples didn’t understand this yet; instead they rebuke the people bringing their children to Jesus (Matt 19:14). The people bringing their children simply wanted Jesus to lay His healing hands on them and pray for them; the disciples saw a threat to Jesus’ image. The image Jesus wanted to portray was the opposite.
It seems more often than not that I find myself worrying about the concerns of…

My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

January 15th
Do you walk in white?


Buried with Him … that … even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4.

No one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a ‘white funeral’—the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision. There must be a ‘white funeral,’ a death that has only one resurrection—a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can upset such a life; it is one with God for one purpose, to be a witness to Him.
Have you come to your last days really? You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really? You cannot go to your funeral in excitement, or die in excitement. Death means that you stop being. Do you agree with God that you stop being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you have been? We skirt the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death. It is not striving to go to death, it is dying—“baptized into His death.”
H…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 15

  They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint
Isa. 40:31
This, my soul, is the triumph of thy being—to be able to walk with God! Flight belongs to the young soul; it is the romance of religion. To run without weariness belongs to the lofty soul; it is the beauty of religion. But to walk and not faint belongs to the perfect soul; it is the power of religion.
Canst thou walk in white through the stained thoroughfares of men? Canst thou touch the vile and polluted ones of earth and retain thy garments pure? Canst thou meet in contact with the sinful and be thyself undefiled? Then thou hast surpassed the flight of the eagle!

George Matheson

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