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Showing posts from January 9, 2017

The Dust of the World

The Dust of the WorldProverbs 8:26 Excerpt An intriguing point is Wisdom’s claim to be older than the “dust of the world” (v. 26). Although this could be taken simply at face value, allusions to the creation story in context imply that this is a veiled reference to the formation of Adam from the dust (Gen 2:7). The Hebrew of v. 26 literally reads, “Before he made … the head of the dusts of the world.”168 In Gen 1–2 “dust” is associated only with the creation of humanity; there is no account of the creation of dust itself. The “dusts of the world” is humanity, formed of the dust; and its head is Adam.169 The term “dust” also indicates our fragility and mortality and implies that the decision to accept or reject Wisdom is a life-or-death choice. When God cursed Adam, he told him that he was but dust and would return to the dust (Gen 3:19). This concept frequently reappears in biblical wisdom, where “dust” represents human mortality.170 The frailty that comes of being human only increases o…

Not Under Law but Under Grace

Not Under Law but Under GraceExcerpt The rhetorical question that begins this section (shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?) is quite similar to the one in 6:1. In verse 1 the potential error was sinning more to experience more grace, while here it is sinning freely because grace has replaced law. Paul anticipates a possible misunderstanding of his statement in verse 14that we “are not under law, but under grace.” Some might interpret the absence of law to mean they are free to do whatever they want, and the presence of grace to mean God will understand and forgive whatever they do. People today often have this same low opinion of the seriousness of sin, thinking that forgiveness is easy to obtain. Paul responds as he did in 6:1, By no means! This assumption is terribly wrong. More Osborne, Grant R. Romans. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Life Before or After Conversion

Life Before or After ConversionRomans 7:14–25 Excerpt The question that has plagued commentators for centuries is whether in this latter section of chap. 7 Paul was describing his experience before or after conversion. Both positions may be argued rather persuasively.91 In support of the first approach are a number of phrases throughout the account that seem to reflect a pre-conversion setting. Paul confessed that he was “sold as a slave to sin” (v. 14). He knew that “nothing good lives in [him]” (v. 18). He was a “prisoner of the law of sin” (v. 23), a “wretched man” who called out for someone to “rescue [him] from this body of death” (v. 24). Are confessions like these what we would expect from the very apostle who said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1)? More Mounce, Robert H. Romans. Vol. 27. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995. Print. The New American Commentary.

Paradigmatic Preaching: The Sermon on the Mount

Paradigmatic Preaching: The Sermon on the MountExcerpt Now Christ makes clear that he is not contradicting the law, but neither is he preserving it unchanged. He comes “to fulfill” it, i.e., he will bring the law to its intended goal. This is what the Pharisees and scribes have missed, who therefore need a greater conformity to God’s standards (v. 20). Both the Law and the Prophets together (v. 17) and the Law by itself (v. 18) were standard Jewish ways of referring to the entire Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament). Fulfillment of Scripture, as throughout chaps. 1–4, refers to the bringing to fruition of its complete meaning. Here Jesus views his role as that of fulfilling all of the Old Testament. This claim has massive hermeneutical implications and challenges both classic Reformed and Dispensationalist perspectives. It is inadequate to say either that none of the Old Testament applies unless it is explicitly reaffirmed in the New or that all of the Old Testament applies unless it i…

Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments

January 9: Noteworthy Stories Genesis 16–17; Matthew 12; Ecclesiastes 3:16–22 When God’s promises are lavished on Abram in Genesis, we can’t help but feel a bit surprised. It seems undeserved—mainly because we know nothing about Abram. We haven’t had a chance to weigh his wisdom or foolishness, something Ecclesiastes endorses. Yet God promises to make Abram’s children as numerous as the stars in the sky (a blessing in the ancient Near East). “I will make your name great,” He says. “I will make you a great nation.” He also promises protection: “I am your shield.” Even after the fact, God doesn’t disclose why He wants to bless and protect Abram. The greater context of the Genesis narrative shows that God’s blessing is certainly not just about Abram. Just before God promises to give Abram a great name, a nation, and land in Gen 12, He had scattered the nations over all the earth. At the Tower of Babel, God dispersed those who were grasping for a relationship with Him on their own terms. But …

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening

Morning, January 9                   Go To Evening Reading
“I will be their God.” —Jeremiah 31:33
Christian! here is all thou canst require. To make thee happy thou wantest something that shall satisfy thee; and is not this enough? If thou canst pour this promise into thy cup, wilt thou not say, with David, “My cup runneth over; I have more than heart can wish”? When this is fulfilled, “I am thy God”, art thou not possessor of all things? Desire is insatiable as death, but he who filleth all in all can fill it. The capacity of our wishes who can measure? but the immeasurable wealth of God can more than overflow it. I ask thee if thou art not complete when God is thine? Dost thou want anything but God? Is not his all-sufficiency enough to satisfy thee if all else should fail? But thou wantest more than quiet satisfaction; thou desirest rapturous delight. Come, soul, here is music fit for heaven in this thy portion, for God is the Maker of Heaven. Not all the music blown from sweet instrum…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

January 9th Intercessory introspection And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless. 1 Thess. 5:23. “Your whole spirit …” The great mystical work of the Holy Spirit is in the dim regions of our personality which we cannot get at. Read the 139th Psalm; the Psalmist implies—‘Thou art the God of the early mornings, the God of the late at nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea; but, my God, my soul has further horizons than the early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature—Thou Who art the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot trace, dreams I cannot get at—my God, search me out.’ Do we believe that God can garrison the imagination far beyond where we can go? “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin’ —if that means in conscious experience only, may God have mercy on us. The man w…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 9 He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much Luke 16:10 The least action of life can be as surely done from the loftiest motive as the highest and noblest. Faithfulness measures acts as God measures them. True conscientiousness deals with our duties as God deals with them. Duty is duty, conscience is conscience, right is right, and wrong is wrong, whatever sized type they be printed in. “Large” and “small” are not words for the vocabulary of conscience. It knows only two words—right and wrong. Alexander Maclaren

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