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Showing posts from August 12, 2016

Bedouins with Captives and Spoil

Bedouins with Captives and Spoil

Remain in Me and I in You

Remain in Me and I in You

John 15:4

Excerpt


The first sentence of v. 4 can be taken in one of three ways; all of them make sense. (1) Conditional: ‘If you remain in me, I will remain in you’ (which is the assumption of the NIV's rendering). Read in this way, the believer’s perseverance in remaining in Jesus is the occasional cause, not the ultimate cause, of Jesus’ remaining in the believer (cf. 8:31–32; 15:9–11). (2) Comparison: ‘Remain in me, as I remain in you’ (the Greek allows this: the second clause has no verb, but simply ‘and I in you’). The thought is coherent enough; the ‘and’ (as opposed to ‘as’) is mildly surprising. In the context of the threats on both sides of the verse, it is indefensible to take the ‘I in you’ as an absolute promise regardless of the perseverance or fickleness of the ostensible believer. (3) Mutual imperative: ‘Let us both remain in each other’, ‘Let there be mutual indwelling’. Again, however, the syntax is strange: the strong second person imperati…

A Pool Called Bethesda

A Pool Called Bethesda

Excerpt


Jesus is back in Jerusalem at an unspecified feast. He visits a pool at the northeast corner of the city where people with various illnesses gathered to seek a healing. This pool was actually two large trapezoid-shaped pools with a twenty-one-foot-wide space between them. The whole structure was enclosed by porches on each side, with a fifth porch over the area dividing the two pools. The water was occasionally disturbed, perhaps from an underground source such as a spring with irregular flow or drainage from another pool. People believed one could be healed by getting into the pool when this disturbance occurred. It is implied that at least some of those who got into the pool when it was stirred actually were healed (5:7).


Whitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Sinai Symbolism: The Background of the Theological Significance of OT Religion in Hebrews

Sinai Symbolism: The Background of the Theological Significance of OT Religion in Hebrews

Excerpt


‎Although the phrase ‘Mount Sinai’ does not appear in Hebrews 12:18–21 it is clear that the author describes the event of theophany at Sinai in Exodus 19:16–19 and the Deuteronomic description of theophany at Horeb. Although there is a little dispute about the identification of the location of Sinai and Horeb, it is generally viewed that both Sinai and Horeb are called the mountain of Yahweh referring to the same place. Some scholars distinguish between Exodus tradition and Sinai tradition, and the Sinai complex is understood as the result of several different traditions. However, the exact geographical location of the mountain and the historical origin of the Sinai tradition1 are of no interest here for the purpose of this study is to appreciate the theological symbolism of the Sinai event, and its contribution to understanding the religious significance of the OT figures and cultic instit…

Love and Obedience

Love and Obedience

John 14:15

Excerpt


The uncompromising connection between love for Christ and obedience to Christ repeatedly recurs in John’s writings (cf. vv. 21, 23; 15:14). The linkage approaches the level of definition: ‘This is love for God: to obey his commands’ (1 Jn. 5:3). But what are his ‘commands’? The parallels that tie together ‘what I command’ (v. 15, lit. ‘my commands’), ‘commands’ (v. 21), and ‘my teaching’ (lit. ‘my word’ in v. 23, and ‘my words’ in v. 24) suggest to some that more is at stake than Jesus’ ethical commands. What the one who loves Jesus will observe is not simply an array of discrete ethical injunctions, but the entire revelation from the Father, revelation holistically conceived (cf. 3:31–32; 12:47–49; 17:6).


Carson, D. A. The Gospel according to John. Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991. Print. The Pillar New Testament Commentary.

The Galileans

The Galileans

Excerpt


Possibly the followers of Judas of Galilee, who, some twenty years before this, taught that Jews should not pay tribute to the Romans, and of whom we learn, from Ac 5:37, that he drew after him a multitude of followers, who on his being slain were all dispersed. About this time that party would be at its height, and if Pilate caused this detachment of them to be waylaid and put to death as they were offering their sacrifices at one of the festivals, that would be “mingling their blood with their sacrifices” [Grotius, Webster and Wilkinson, but doubted by De Wette,Meyer, Alford, &c.]. News of this being brought to our Lord, to draw out His views of such, and whether it was not a judgment of Heaven, He simply points them to the practical view of the matter: “These men are not signal examples of divine vengeance, as ye suppose; but every impenitent sinner—ye yourselves, except ye repent—shall be like monuments of the judgment of Heaven, and in a more awful sense.”

Jesus’ teaching on discipleship

Jesus’ teaching on discipleship

Excerpt


Disciples’ love, like the heavenly Father’s, must be “perfect” (v. 48), that is, all-inclusive (cf. neb). As God’s common grace is showered upon both the evil and the good (v. 45), so disciples’ love is to extend not just to those who love them (v. 46), nor just to fellow Christians (v. 47), but to enemies and nonbelievers as well (cf. Matt. 22:39; Luke 6:36).


Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Print. Baker Reference Library.

Connect the Testaments

August 12: At a Great Price
Isaiah 25:1–26:21; Luke 9:1–27; Job 6:1–13

It’s easy to be devoted to a leader or a vision when it doesn’t require much of us. In following Jesus, the disciples didn’t have that option. They were called to follow Jesus in difficult circumstances—ones that required them to put their lives on the line. After Jesus told His disciples about His impending death and resurrection, He defined the true meaning of discipleship. His words required their immediate response and intense loyalty:
“And he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross every day and follow me’ ” (Luke 9:23).

Daily the disciples needed to commit to Him, the kingdom He was ushering in, and the possibility of facing death. We like to quote this verse, but we might not think it applies in the same way today. Because we don’t face the same circumstances the disciples faced, we might not take the call to loyalty quite as seriously.

But loyalty should…

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 12 Go To Evening Reading

“The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.” —Psalm 97:1
Causes for disquietude there are none so long as this blessed sentence is true. On earth the Lord’s power as readily controls the rage of the wicked as the rage of the sea; his love as easily refreshes the poor with mercy as the earth with showers. Majesty gleams in flashes of fire amid the tempest’s horrors, and the glory of the Lord is seen in its grandeur in the fall of empires, and the crash of thrones. In all our conflicts and tribulations, we may behold the hand of the divine King.

 “God is God; he sees and hears
         All our troubles, all our tears.
         Soul, forget not, ’mid thy pains,
         God o’er all forever reigns.”

In hell, evil spirits own, with misery, his undoubted supremacy. When permitted to roam abroad, it is with a chain at their heel; the bit is in the mouth of the behemoth, and the hook in the jaws of leviathan. Death’s darts are under the Lord’s lock, and the …

My Utmost for His Highest

August 12th
The theology of rest


Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Matthew 8:26.

When we are in fear we can do nothing less than pray to God, but Our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His Name should have an understanding confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the reliable ones. Our trust is in God up to a certain point, then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God. We get to our wits’ end, showing that we have not the slightest confidence in Him and His government of the world; He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead.

“O ye of little faith!” What a pang must have shot through the disciples—‘Missed it again!’ And what a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced downright joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead.

There are stages in life when there is no storm, no crisi…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 12

  As for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do
Deut. 18:14
What a stepping-stone! We give thanks, often with a tearful, doubtful voice, for our spiritual mercies positive; but what an almost infinite field there is for mercies negative! We cannot even imagine all that God has suffered us not to do, not to be.

Frances Ridley Havergal

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