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Showing posts from June 13, 2017

Saul’s Conversion

Saul’s ConversionExcerpt This experience is described in detail in three different places in the book of the Acts, which shows just how important it was not only in Paul’s life, but in the entire history of the early church. In Acts 9:3–19 there is Luke’s summary account of what happened, then22:6–16 presents a personal account given by Paul when defending himself before a Jewish mob in Jerusalem, and finally in 26:9–23there is yet another account given by Paul, this time in his defence before Herod Agrippa II. The three accounts do not agree precisely in every detail, and it is clear that Luke used them to build up a composite picture, exploring the different nuances of the experience that would be specially relevant to the concerns of the different circumstances depicted in his narrative. More Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Completely rev. and updated. Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000. Print.

Live as Servants of God

Live as Servants of GodExcerpt It is not easy to find the connection of this verse with what precedes or with what follows. Perhaps there were some members of the early church who opposed submission to the state because of the fact that Christ has made them free people. Or perhaps, Peter was anticipating the disillusionment among his readers when they read his admonition for them to obey the authorities, since such submission would be tantamount to denying their freedom in Christ. Toease these feelings, Peter now admonishes them to live as free people with the implication that they do not lose their freedom by submitting to the state; such submission is not coerced upon them, but something which they do voluntarily as free people. Free is used here in the religious and moral sense, referring to their freedom in union with Jesus Christ (compare GECL“ThroughChrist you are free”). More Arichea, Daniel C., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter. New York: United B…

Jesus’ Farewell Discourse

Jesus’ Farewell DiscourseExcerpt To love Jesus is shown to involve keeping his words or commands. Here the focus is on the latter—If you love me, you will keep my commandments. A response of love for Jesus will result in obedience to his commands and at the same time that obedience will be an indicator of whether genuine love is present. Talking of Jesus’ farewell instructions as his commandments may well be meant to recall the Mosaic law as the summation of the divine commandments and to suggest Jesus’ teaching as the new norm for disciples. The commandments immediately in view are to wash one another’s feet (13:14–15) and to love one another (13:34), though the command to believe in Jesus (14:1) should not be ignored. In what follows those who love Jesus in this way are made a number of promises. The first is I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth. This constitutes the first occurrence in the narrative of the term παρ…

Believe in the Son and Enjoy Eternal Life

Believe in the Son and Enjoy Eternal LifeExcerpt The “water and blood” refer to the terminal points in Jesus’ earthly ministry: his baptism (water)190 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 u…

Connect the Testaments

June 13: For It Is Better 2 Chronicles 31:1–32:33; 1 John 2:15–17; Psalm 104:16–35 “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your limbs be destroyed than your whole body go into hell” (Matt 5:30). We might struggle to relate to this outspoken Jesus; we prefer gracious Jesus, offering us a pardon from sin through His sacrifice. We like friendly, loving Jesus, who wraps His arms around us even when we act disgracefully. Jesus is all of these things, but He is also very serious about sin. One of the most tragic trends in church history is the increasingly casual attitude toward sin. We so badly want people to receive God’s grace that we’ve stopped expecting others—and ourselves—to fight against sin. Yet Jesus knew that fighting sin was necessary. In Matthew 5:30, He is not suggesting that we can be sinless by our own merit; salvation comes solely from the free grace He offers through His death. Jesus is telling us that we mu…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 13Go To Evening Reading
“Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” —Revelation 22:17
Jesus says, “take freely.” He wants no payment or preparation. He seeks no recommendation from our virtuous emotions. If you have no good feelings, if you be but willing, you are invited; therefore come! You have no belief and no repentance,—come to him, and he will give them to you. Come just as you are, and take “Freely,” without money and without price. He gives himself to needy ones. The drinking fountains at the corners of our streets are valuable institutions; and we can hardly imagine any one so foolish as to feel for his purse, when he stands before one of them, and to cry, “I cannot drink because I have not five pounds in my pocket.” However poor the man is, there is the fountain, and just as he is he may drink of it. Thirsty passengers, as they go by, whether they are dressed in fustian or in broadcloth, do not look for any warrant for drinking; its being there is th…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 13th Getting there Where the selective affinity dies and the sanctified abandon lives. Come ye after Me.Mark 1:17. One of the greatest hindrances in coming to Jesus is the excuse of temperament. We make our temperament and our natural affinities barriers to coming to Jesus. The first thing we realize when we come to Jesus is that He pays no attention whatever to our natural affinities. We have the notion that we can consecrate our gifts to God. You cannot consecrate what is not yours; there is only one thing you can consecrate to God, and that is your right to yourself (Romans 12:1). If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God’s experiments always succeed. The one mark of a saint is the moral originality which springs from abandonment to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint there is this amazing wellspring of original life all the time; the Spirit of God is a well of water springing up, perennially fresh. The saint realizes that it is …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 13 Come out from among them, and be ye separate 2 Cor. 6:17 With all the world in his choice, God placed His ancient people in a very remarkable situation. On the north they were walled in by the snowy ranges of Lebanon: a barren desert formed their eastern boundary; far to the south stretched a sterile region, called the howling wilderness; while the sea—not then, as now, the highway of the nations, facilitating rather than impeding intercourse lay on their west, breaking on a shore that had few harbors and no navigable rivers to invite the steps of commerce. May we not find a great truth in the very position in which God placed His chosen people? It certainly teaches us that to be holy, or sanctified, we must be a separate people—living in the world, but not of it—as oil, that may be mixed, but cannot be combined with water.

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

Connect the Testaments

June 13: For It Is Better 2 Chronicles 31:1–32:33; 1 John 2:15–17; Psalm 104:16–35 “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your limbs be destroyed than your whole body go into hell” (Matt 5:30). We might struggle to relate to this outspoken Jesus; we prefer gracious Jesus, offering us a pardon from sin through His sacrifice. We like friendly, loving Jesus, who wraps His arms around us even when we act disgracefully. Jesus is all of these things, but He is also very serious about sin. One of the most tragic trends in church history is the increasingly casual attitude toward sin. We so badly want people to receive God’s grace that we’ve stopped expecting others—and ourselves—to fight against sin. Yet Jesus knew that fighting sin was necessary. In Matthew 5:30, He is not suggesting that we can be sinless by our own merit; salvation comes solely from the free grace He offers through His death. Jesus is telling us that we mu…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 13Go To Evening Reading
“Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” —Revelation 22:17
Jesus says, “take freely.” He wants no payment or preparation. He seeks no recommendation from our virtuous emotions. If you have no good feelings, if you be but willing, you are invited; therefore come! You have no belief and no repentance,—come to him, and he will give them to you. Come just as you are, and take “Freely,” without money and without price. He gives himself to needy ones. The drinking fountains at the corners of our streets are valuable institutions; and we can hardly imagine any one so foolish as to feel for his purse, when he stands before one of them, and to cry, “I cannot drink because I have not five pounds in my pocket.” However poor the man is, there is the fountain, and just as he is he may drink of it. Thirsty passengers, as they go by, whether they are dressed in fustian or in broadcloth, do not look for any warrant for drinking; its being there is th…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 13th Getting there Where the selective affinity dies and the sanctified abandon lives. Come ye after Me." Mark 1:17. One of the greatest hindrances in coming to Jesus is the excuse of temperament. We make our temperament and our natural affinities barriers to coming to Jesus. The first thing we realize when we come to Jesus is that He pays no attention whatever to our natural affinities. We have the notion that we can consecrate our gifts to God. You cannot consecrate what is not yours; there is only one thing you can consecrate to God, and that is your right to yourself (Romans 12:1). If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God’s experiments always succeed. The one mark of a saint is the moral originality which springs from abandonment to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint there is this amazing wellspring of original life all the time; the Spirit of God is a well of water springing up, perennially fresh. The saint realizes that…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 13 "Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" Luke 14:11 … If you ask the way to the crown ’tis by the cross; to the mountain—’tis by the valley; to exaltation—’tis he that humbleth himself. J. H. Evans

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