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Showing posts from July 22, 2016

Shops and Theater, Thessalonica

Shops and Theater, Thessalonica
‎Shops (foreground) and theater (background) in excavated ruins of ancient Thessalonica.

Believe in the Son and Enjoy Eternal Life

Believe in the Son and Enjoy Eternal Life

Excerpt


The “water and blood” refer to the terminal points in Jesus’ earthly ministry: his baptism (water) and his crucifixion (blood). This is the best interpretation and is followed by most scholars. Historically, Jesus “came” into his power by the “water” of his baptism and even more so by the “blood” of his cross. Unlike the previous two views, this explanation fits the historical context of John’s epistle. John writes this letter to counter the Gnostic tendencies of the false teachers. These false teachers, who at one time were part of the fellowship (2:19), were denying the humanity of Jesus, and so John emphasizes the reality of the Incarnation. John’s further qualification that Jesus came “not by water only, but by water and blood” is likely a direct renunciation of the false teaching (perhaps that of Cerinthus) that claimed that Jesus was born an ordinary human being but became God’s special agent when the heavenly Christ descended upon…

The Meaning of Glory

The Meaning of Glory

Romans 5:2

Excerpt


The meaning of the word glory is more difficult. Originally the word meant “heavy” or “weighty” and later came to be used in the specific sense of the revelation of some heavenly being, especially of God himself. So when Paul speaks of “the glory of God” he has in mind the revelation of what God is like, that is, God’s own character. In 1.23 Paul used the phrase “they exchanged the glory of the immortal God,” which is translated by the TEV as instead of worshiping the immortal God. In such a context “the glory of God” is a way of speaking of God himself. So in the present passage, when Paul speaks of sharing God’s glory, what he means is that the believer will share in the likeness of God himself. The ultimate hope of the believer is that he will share in the divine qualities and attributes. This is simply another way of speaking of the total salvation experience; Paul has already spoken of it in terms of being put right with God and of enjoying pe…

Unjust Masters

Unjust Masters

Excerpt


The masters had their faces dead set against these Christian slaves. We can understand that attitude when we remember that these slaves lived lives of singular purity, meekness, honesty, willingness to serve, and obedience in the households of their heathen masters. This was a powerful testimony for the gospel, and brought them under conviction of sin. All this irritated them, and they reacted in a most unpleasant way toward their slaves, whom they would punish without provocation. Yet they did not want to sell these Christian slaves and buy pagan ones, for the Christian slaves served them better. So they just had to make the best of the situation.


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

Mosaic Law is Fulfilled

Mosaic Law is Fulfilled

Excerpt


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.

Wisdom

Wisdom

James 1:2–8

Excerpt


The word wisdom is one of the important terms in this letter. It occurs again in 3.13, 15, and 17. The Greek concept of wisdom centers around “knowledge,” “cleverness,” and “learnedness.” In biblical usage, however, especially in the Old Testament, it is basically a practical, moral, and spiritual insight given by God (1 Kgs 3.7-9; Pro 2.3-6, 10-19; 9.1-6). It is the ability to discern right from wrong and good from evil. It is the power that enables a person to do and say the right thing at the right time.


Loh, I-Jin, and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on the Letter from James. New York: United Bible Societies, 1997. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Temptation

Temptation

James 1:12–15

Excerpt


The term is used in the Bible to convey two somewhat different ideas. The first is that of ‘testing’ or ‘proving. By testing,’ to determine the depth and integrity of one’s commitment to God (see, e.g., God’s command to Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice in Gen. 22:1-19; also the testing of Job in Job 1-2). In the NT, some of the writers thought of persecution as a ‘testing’ in this manner (e.g., 1 Pet. 1:3-9). The intent of this testing is ultimate to strengthen the person’s faith and devotion to God.

The other nuance of temptation is more in line with modern understandings of the term, namely, an enticement toward sin leading to a deliberate act of evil against God or one’s neighbor. The biblical writers are careful, however, to make it clear that God does not ‘tempt’ humans to do evil (e.g., James 1:12-15) and in fact makes available the resources necessary to resist temptation (e.g., 1 Cor. 10:13). The humble petition in the Lord’s Praye…

Pastor Terry K. Anderson 2016 | The Message In The Meal

Connect the Testaments

July 22: Showing Kindness to a Stranger
2 Samuel 9:1–10:19; 1 Peter 5:1–14; Psalm 138:1–8

When I was a teenager, I became serious about showing unsolicited kindness while working through a 30-day intensive devotional. The devotional required me to record an act of kindness each day. My efforts included things as mundane as taking out the trash before being asked and closing schoolmates’ lockers to prevent them from becoming the victims of pranks. Although the acts were simple and mostly meaningless, the effort taught me a discipline. Kindness should be intentional, not random. But what if your kindness stems from guilt?
In 2 Samuel 9, King David shows intentional kindness to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, by offering them Saul’s land after Saul and Jonathan have died. It’s hard to know why David does this, especially since it puts him at risk—his association with the previous regime could anger his warriors, who fought against Saul. Is David merely being a good…

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 21Go To Evening Reading

“The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.” —Isaiah 37:22
Reassured by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling citizens of Zion grew bold and shook their heads at Sennacherib’s boastful threats. Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. They kick against the pricks to their own wounding and rush upon the bosses of Jehovah’s buckler to their own hurt.

We know their weakness. What are they but men? And what is a man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. When the Lord ariseth, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and his truth may mak…

My Utmost for His Highest

July 22nd
Sanctification


This is the will of God, even your sanctification. 1 Thess. 4:3.

The Death Side. In sanctification God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side. Many of us spend so much time in the place of death that we get sepulchral. There is always a battle royal before sanctification, always something that tugs with resentment against the demands of Jesus Christ. Immediately the Spirit of God begins to show us what sanctification means, the struggle begins. “If any man come to Me, and hate not … his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

The Spirit of God in the process of sanctification will strip me until I am nothing but ‘myself,’ that is the place of death. Am I willing to be ‘myself,’ and nothing more—no friends, no father, no brother, no self-interest, simply ready for death? That is the condition of sanctification. No wonder Jesus said: “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” This is where the battle comes, and where so many of us faint. W…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 22

  … Sinners of whom I am chief.… Now unto the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen
1 Tim. 1:15, 17
Only those who have struck the deepest note of penitence can reach the highest note of praise.

A. J. Gordon

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