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Showing posts from November 3, 2016

An Introduction to Paul’s Presentation of the Gospel

An Introduction to Paul’s Presentation of the GospelExcerpt ‎How many steps does it take to lead a person to Christ? That is not an easy question, for there is so much that enters into the receptiveness of the counselee which may hinder him from grasping the details of the gospel. Or on the other hand the primary Soul-winner, the Holy Spirit, already may have prepared him and enabled him to grasp and respond to the gospel readily. For that matter, no single passage in Scripture gives a final answer to the question. Indeed, I suspect that the answer is one which must be answered by the Holy Spirit as the one who is witnessing cooperates with the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing that man or woman to Christ. This seems to be suggested by Christ’s words in that great Upper Room Discourse. In it, He marvelously prepared the disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit after His own resurrection and departure for heaven 40 days later. … More Northrup, Bernard E. True Evangelism: Paul’s Prese…

Be Humble Toward One Another

Be Humble Toward One AnotherExcerpt Humility preserves peace and order in all Christian churches and societies; pride disturbs them. Where God gives grace to be humble, he will give wisdom, faith, and holiness. To be humble, and subject to our reconciled God, will bring greater comfort to the soul than the gratification of pride and ambition. But it is to be in due time; not in thy fancied time, but God’s own wisely appointed time. Does he wait, and wilt not thou? What difficulties will not the firm belief of his wisdom, power, and goodness get over! Then be humble under his hand. Cast “all you care;” personal cares, family cares, cares for the present, and cares for the future, for yourselves, for others, for the church, on God. These are burdensome, and often very sinful, when they arise from unbelief and distrust, when they torture and distract the mind, unfit us for duties, and hinder our delight in the service of God. The remedy is, to cast our care upon God, and leave every event…

What is God’s Kingdom?

What is God’s Kingdom?Matthew 5:3 Excerpt The kingdom of God is the major theme of Jesus’ teaching in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This concept, expressed in various ways, had been a central part of Jewish religious aspirations for generations. At the time of Jesus, it was popularly anticipated as a time when the promises of the Hebrew scriptures concerning the place of Israel in God’s plan would be fulfilled in a dramatic way: the hated Romans would once and for all be driven out of their land, and the people would enjoy a new period of political and religious freedom, and self-determination. It is no wonder, then, that when Jesus emerged as a traveling prophet after his baptism and the temptations and declared that ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand’ (Mark 1:15), people of all kinds showed great interest in what he had to say. This was what they were waiting for: a new kingdom of God that would finally crush the old kingdom of Rome. Moreover, they full…

Watch Out, You Need to Live a Godly Life

Watch Out, You Need to Live a Godly LifeExcerpt The gospel is a doctrine according to godliness, 1Ti 6:3, and is so far from giving the least countenance to sin, that it lays us under the strongest obligation to avoid and subdue it. The apostle urges that all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. If Christians, who should help one another, and rejoice one another, quarrel, what can be expected but that the God of love should deny his grace, that the Spirit of love should depart, and the evil spirit, who seeks their destruction, should prevail? Happy would it be, if Christians, instead of biting and devouring one another on account of different opinions, would set themselves against sin in themselves, and in the places where they live. More Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997. Print.

Paul Rejoices in His Imprisonment (1:12–26)

Paul Rejoices in His Imprisonment (1:12–26)Philippians 1:12–26 Excerpt ‎As Paul was imprisoned in Rome, it is very likely that he was chained twenty-four hours per day to a Roman guard, each guard on a shift lasting several hours. He could enjoy no privacy as long as these circumstances endured. How could he possibly give thanks in the midst of such difficulty? We will never understand this until we understand how Paul loved the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a gospel-centred and gospel-impassioned man. We have heard of people looking through rose-colored glasses. Paul wore Christ-coloured glasses. He could write: ‘For to me, to live is Christ …’ (v. 21). … ‎ More Ellsworth, Roger. Opening up Philippians. Leominster: Day One Publications, 2004. Print. Opening Up Commentary.

Aquinas on the Necessity of Revelation

Aquinas on the Necessity of RevelationExcerpt It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed God, besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee (Isa. 66:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered. It was necessary that a man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man’s whole salvation, which is in God,  d…

Words of “Sin” in the New Testament

Words of “Sin” in the New TestamentRomans 5:12–21 Excerpt The principal NT term is hamartia (and cognates), which is equivalent to ḥṭ’. In classical Gk. it is used for missing a target or taking a wrong road. It is the general NT term for sin as concrete wrongdoing, the violation of God’s law (Jn. 8:46; Jas. 1:15; 1 Jn. 1:8). In Rom. 5–8 Paul personifies the term as a ruling principle in human life (cf.5:126:12147:1720;8:2). paraptōma occurs in classical contexts for an error in measurement or a blunder. The NT gives it a stronger moral connotation as misdeed or trespass (cf. ‘dead through … ’, Eph. 2:1; Mt. 6:14f.).parabasis is a similarly derived term with similar meaning, ‘transgression’, ‘going beyond the norm’ (Rom. 4:15; Heb. 2:2). asebeia is perhaps the profoundest NT term and commonly translates pš‘in theLXX. It implies active ungodliness or impiety (Rom. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:16). Another term is anomia, lawlessness, a contempt for the law (Mt. 7:23; 2 Cor. 6:14). kakia and p…

Symbolism of Bread

Symbolism of BreadJohn 6:2331–35414850–5158 Excerpt That so vital a commodity should leave its mark on language and symbolism is not surprising. From earliest times the word ‘bread’ was used for food in general (Gn. 3:19 and Pr. 6:8, where Heb. has ‘bread’). Since it was the staple article of diet, it was called ‘staff’ of bread (Lv. 26:26), which is probably the origin of our phrase ‘staff of life’. Those who were responsible for bread were important officials, as in Egypt (Gn. 40:1), and in Assyria, a chief baker is honored with an eponymy. Bread was early used in sacred meals (Gn. 14:18), and loaves were included in certain offerings (Lv. 21:6, etc.). Above all, it had a special place in the sanctuary as the ‘bread of the Presence’. The manna was later referred to as ‘heavenly bread’ (seePs. 105:40). Our Lord referred to himself as the ‘bread of God’ and as the ‘bread of life’ (Jn. 6:33, 35)...  Martin, W. J. “Bread.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 146.…

Trust from the Heart

Trust from the HeartProverbs 3:5–6 Excerpt 3:5-6. To trust in the Lord wholeheartedly means one should not rely (lean) on his understanding, for human insights are never enough. God’s ways are incomprehensible (Isa. 55:8-9; Rom. 11:33-34); yet He is trustworthy. All the wisdom a person may acquire can never replace the need for full trust in God’s superior ways. Heart in Hebrew refers to one’s emotions (Prov.12:2513:1214:1013) but more often to his intellect (such as understanding, 10:8; discernment, 15:14; reflection, 15:28), or will (5:12).  Buzzell, Sid S. “Proverbs.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 911. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 3

  Be clothed with humility
1 Peter 5:5

Is it not one of the difficulties of church work that we have more officers than men? We need more of the rank and file, who are willing to march anywhere, and to do the lowliest of tasks. We shall succeed in doing greater things when we are all of us willing to be subject. It is the bayonet rather than the gold lace which is wanted when the enemy is to be subdued.

Thomas Champness

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

Connect the Testaments

November 3: Love and Commitment: Not Always Synonymous
1 Kings 3:1–4:34; Mark 3:1–3:35; Proverbs 1:13–19

Loving God and living fully for Him are not necessarily synonymous. If I love someone, does that mean I always show untainted respect and unfailing loyalty? Love should command complete devotion and commitment—but our lives are rarely as pure as they should be.
Like his father, David, Solomon acted out of passion and love, but his commitment and respect for Yahweh faltered at the same time: “Solomon intermarried with … the daughter of Pharaoh and brought her to the city of David … Solomon loved Yahweh, by walking in the statutes of David his father; only he was sacrificing and offering incense on the high places” (1 Kgs 3:1, 3).
Solomon didn’t marry Pharaoh’s daughter because he needed Egypt’s protection. Egypt, Israel’s ancient enemy, had enslaved God’s people once before, but it was not an imminent threat. Worse, Solomon committed himself to Pharaoh, an ally who viewed himself as a d…

Morning and Evening

Morning, November 3Go To Evening Reading

“Behold, he prayeth.”          —Acts 9:11
Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray the Lord heard him. Here is a comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of heaven. “Thou puttest my tears into thy bottle,” implies that they are caught as they flow. The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with a misty eye; but “prayer is the falling of a tear.” Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with “the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high.” Think not that your prayer, however, weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Jacob’s ladder is lof…

My Utmost for His Highest

November 3rd

A bond-slave of Jesus

I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless,I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Gal. 2:20.

These words mean the breaking of my independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me to the point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot put me through it. It means breaking the husk of my individual independence of God, and the emancipation of my personality into oneness with Himself, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. There is no possibility of dispute when once I am there. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ—“For my sake.” It is that which makes the iron saint.
Has that break come? All the rest is pious fraud. The one point to decide is—Will I give up, will I surrender to Jesus Christ, and make no conditions whatever as to how the break comes? I must be broken from my self-realization, and immediately th…