Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 10 – Romans 9:16

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the third portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

God gave to the man Jesus the spirit without limit. God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to according to Romans 9:16 John 1:12-13.

My friend is trying to teach me that God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to, and he refers to Romans 9:16 to support this claim.

So let’s read the passage and try to understand his point.

Romans 9:16 – So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

Ok. I may be a bit daft, but I am not sure where faith is referred to in this verse, unless faith is the “it” at the start of the verse.

So what is “it”?

Let’s consider the immediate context.

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!
Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

So the “it” in Romans 9:16 reaches back to the question posed in verse 14 – that is “Is there injustice on God’s part?” Faith doesn’t seem to be referred to here. As a matter of fact, this chapter does not address faith until verse 30, (14 verses later!) where it appears that the gentiles received a righteousness by faith. Verse 32 speaks of the Jews not attaining righteousness by faith, but by seeking to attain it by works. This is the only two references to faith in the chapter, and it doesn’t appear to address God’s willingness or reluctance to provide faith to anyone.

Oh, and the subject of faith (or belief) was last referred to in Romans 6:8, speaking of the resurrection, but not of God restricting faith or belief from anyone.

I am not sure why he referred to this verse to teach me that God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to. Let’s see if the next set of verses in John 1 help us understand his thoughts.

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.



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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #60

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #60
Description
To own the title, Anointed (Christ)
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 2:2
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
New Testament Fullfillment
John 1:41
He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
 Acts 2:36
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Interpretation · Doctrinal · Calvinism

Calvin’s Concerns – Philippians 2:13

A few weeks back, I published the first of a series of posts offering 60 second video discussions on alternatives to the popular Calvinistic teaching in our churches these days.

The videos were provided by Dr. Leighton Flowers, and addressed a number of topics that related to Calvinism and it’s resultant effects on the believer.

Since then I have provided a few additional videos describing different aspects of a provisionalist perspective on the Scriptures.

The following video supply’s a good review of Philippians 2:13 and is offered to you for your consideration.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #59

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #59
Description
The enmity of kings foreordained
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 2:1-3
Why do the nations rage[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
    and cast away their cords from us.
New Testament Fullfillment
Acts 4:25-28
who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Bible · hymns

Sweet By and By – Simon Khorolskiy

A classic

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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #58

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #58
Description
The Resurrection predicted
Old Testament Prophecy
 Job 19:23-27
“Oh that my words were written!
    Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
Oh that with an iron pen and lead
    they were engraved in the rock forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in[b] my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!
New Testament Fullfillment
John 5:24-29
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice

and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – Forty Years

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

Today, forty years ago, I found myself in a very small room, off the sanctuary of the church I had begun attending, waiting and watching for the notice.

Eventually, I heard the good news and began to breathe easier. Her brother had finally arrived, and we could get started!

You see, eight months earlier I had met a young lady that would become my wife. This lady, was the most beautiful person I had ever met, had captivated me from the very first moment I met her, and introduced me to the One who died for my life.

Since then, I have come to recognize a lady who is not only the “pertiest girl” at the dance, but has a depth of spirit that has been a rock for me, an encouraging soul that has never given up on an ol’ fool, even when I was a young “ol’ fool”

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart – You truly are my favorite! I just wanna hold your hand as we venture through this life and onto the next!


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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 9 – John 6:65

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the second portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

Scripture says God is sovereign in his decision to whom he will have mercy which is in accordance with Romans 9:16 and other scripture Romans 9:15,18 The natural man doesn’t come and can’t come 1 Corinthians 2:14 John 6:44 John 6:65 He doesn’t have the ability because he lacks spiritual discernment because he doesn’t have the spirit.

This is another favorite verse of the theologically deterministic thinking folks, Calvin’s disciples that is.

John 6:65 – And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Why? Why did Jesus tell them that no man can come to Him unless it is granted him by the Father? Let’s take a few moments to check the context.

John 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
John 6:61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
John 6:62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
John 6:65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Jesus had just finished teaching a hard saying, that is that He was the bread of Life. In verse 51, Jesus equates Himself with the true manna, and instructs those who would live forever to eat of this bread. This is a very very hard saying for a good Jew to understand, since it may imply cannibalism.

Fun with words: cannibal - languagePRO

Of course the Lord meant it spiritually, and this was a genius move on the Lords method of winnowing out the ones who were simply following for the wrong reasons.

Are you following for the sake of the food (and miracles)? Or are you following because I am the true Deliverer, even if my message seems hard or difficult?

The Jews were in a tizzy, taking the message literally.

There are two audiences in this passage – the literalists – those who question the ability to eat of the Messiah’s actual flesh (WOW) and those who understand the message as a symbolic or spiritual message. Note that verse 60 opens the immediate context, where the disciples speak of the “hard saying” The message is the topic!

Jesus responds, asking if they are going to take offence at the message. After the bread message, Jesus actually warns them of more difficult saying that will be coming, such as in verse 62, speaking of His ascension. Things weren’t going to get easier for those who sought to follow Him!

Verse 63 is a defining verse. My very first preaching in a church was based on this passage, and looking back, I had it all messed up. Nevertheless, my understanding now is as follows.

  • The Spirit gives life. (The Spirit doesn’t force life)
  • The flesh is no help (Eating the body of the Messiah is not the message!)
  • The words that Jesus spoke are spirit and life. Jesus, in giving the message, was providing the spirit of the message and was the method the Father was using to bring men to the Messiah and life.

Now to our supposed proof passage.

.. “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Jesus is speaking of the reception of the words He provides to the masses, not of some secret mysterious will that is conjured up in the minds of some theologians.

Lets consider the action of the Father in this verse. The one coming is granted by the Father. It seemed a funny word to use in this translation, but after reviewing some study books, found it is synonymous with “enabled”. The same idea of the Father enabling the one coming is similar in our previous post on John 6:44.

Enable / Compel

There is a difference.

To be enabled does not equate with to be compelled. I can enable my children to attend a function by inviting them, providing times and addresses and durations for the event. Many may come, but one may not come. Enabling my child to attend does not compel them, or force them to come to the function.

So lets wrap up some of our thoughts. The words of Jesus are the focus, and the words of Jesus include the enabling of those coming. Peter admitted to understanding this when challenged if they will leave the Messiah. He answered – “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

The gospel is the invitation. The words of Jesus is the life giving message. The message was believed, and Peter (along with most of the remaining disciples) knew that Jesus was the Holy One of God. This belief was a result of hearing the message Jesus preached and taught.

As an aside, for my friends who are leaning in the deterministic camp, consider that Jesus chose Judas (vs 6:70), yet was the very one that betrayed the Lord, that fell from grace. That is if he ever walked in grace at all! How is it that the one chosen should be the one who betrays? This is confusing if the choices were made before the foundation of the world!

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.



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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #57

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #57
Description
Mediator between man and God
Old Testament Prophecy
 Job 9:32-33
For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should come to trial together.
There is no arbiter between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
New Testament Fullfillment
1 Tim 2:5
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Lost Coins

This parable continues with a theme that the Lord is emphasizing, and will culminate in the lost son, or the prodigal son.

This theme is two fold in my mind, and includes the reckless tenacity of seeking out a lost article (sheep, coin, son) and the joy experienced in heaven when a seeker find the sought, and the sinner repents.

Luke 15:8-10

8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

It is important to understand the original audience to understand a bit better the intent of the message. This second parable is no exception. Lets read the first three verses to ensure we know who is hearing this story for the very first time!

Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:3 So he told them this parable:

As we pointed out in the last post, we have tax collectors and sinners drawing near to Him! But look – them Pharisees and Scribes are lurking about, checking out this preacher, protecting the nation from heresy and false prophets. What heros!

When did the Lord give this parable?

This parable was given within three months of the passion week. For a helpful document, providing a list of all the events in Jesus Life, check out the following download.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

During the last three months of the Lord’s time in Israel, much of it was spent in Perea, on the eastern side of the Jordan, and finally in Jerusalem.

Why did the Lord give this message?

This “middle” parable continues with the theme mentioned above, that is of reckless love for the sought and rejoicing with neighbors when the sought is found.

Of course a coin can’t repent, which introduces a wrinkle in the story, emphasizing the seeker and not the sought. The coin has no “will” in this story, such as the sheep in the previous portion, or which will be discussed in the next parable of the lost son.

The coin was misplaced by the owner, (or some stranger in the home) and has no responsibility for it’s condition. This additional wrinkle is interesting and may be a portion of the reason the Lord used this particular example. Would He be describing a parallel condition found in the one sought, or is He emphasizing the efforts of the seeker?

What was the message for the original audience?

As it was described in the previous parable of the lost sheep, one of the messages that shouts out to the original audience is the importance of each possession the seeker looks for.

In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd risked 99% of his flock in order to find 1%. I will admit this is ludicrous to my thinking, but for a shepherd in old Israel, that shepherd knew the sheep.

In this parable, the woman sought out one coin, 10% of her silver coins. She tears up her home in order to find that one coin! The coins referred to here are likely drachmas, which represented a days wages. Yet for a common woman, a peasant woman, most of her livelihood is taken care of by making her own cloth, growing her own food, bartering and generally being self supporting, from day to day. These coins may represent her savings and not simply “a days wage”.

This woman wanted all of her coins, just like the shepherd wanted all of his sheep, and upon finding the lost, rejoicing was shared with the seekers friends. Rejoicing! No grumbling or complaining allowed.

What is the message for us today?

In the last parable I asked of your attitude towards “sinners”. Do you receive them as the Lord, accept them and seek to love them, show interest in their lives and trials, or do you simply consider them to be lost and it is their decision, their fault and most can not repent if they wanted to, so….

In this portion of the three parable message, the woman seeks out an inanimate object, a silver coin that has a value associated with it. The coin cannot help in the search. It is simply waiting to be found.

The woman is the seeker, and we understand the woman represents God the Father, as the shepherd in the story before. So we can leave this parable, knowing that we have no responsibility in seeking out the coin, knowing that it is God alone that will search for the coin, will find the coin, and will rejoice over the found coin.

Such may be the conclusion of some who would lean toward a deterministic theology. Taken alone, this parable would seem to support this thinking, but we must admit that the previous and next parable fights against that.

Remember that the sheep in the previous parable wandered off from the flock, which was an unnatural action. The sheep did not wander from the fold simply for no reason. I suggested the attitude of the established religious order within Israel may have been a reason.

The established religious order did not seek those “out of the club”. Jesus did. He received and looked for the ones who were not “in the club”.

If you are “in the club”, whatever that may mean to you, consider those who are not included. The reception of “them” (as opposed to “us”) is at the very heartbeat of these last two parables.

If Jesus has three parables back to back with the same message, that of rejoicing over lost items found, let me ask you – When have you truly rejoiced over a lost one being found? Be careful – the implied message many may hear is of rejoicing that a sinner is converted, get’s baptized, joins a church, begins tithing…

That is not the message that I understand. No conditions are being placed on the lost article in these parables. The rejoicing is over the receiving of the lost one, not the lost ones reaction to being found. This may seem like splitting hairs, but as a believer, I sometimes apply many conditions to my unconditional love for those I know.

Can we love/receive one who is constantly against us, who is arguing against our position, who is mocking our life or who is seemingly settled in a lifestyle of rejection?

Where is my faith, my desire for lost relationships to be reestablished. Jesus is teaching us of His reckless love for all of His “sheep” and for all of His “coins”.

Consider relationships that are broken in your life. Ask for forgiveness. Seek out restoration. Ask for forgiveness for actions you may have committed against them, whether real or perceived! Give up your self importance that may be restricting you from humbly approaching one that the Lord Jesus loves, that you may have inadvertently offended, and you may not even know of.

Ask for forgiveness. Admit your weakness and the love you have for the relationship, the desire you have that considers others, that carries a burden for a neighbor, that seeks out the good of others.

Of course, to be following the Lord, we will not be carrying any grudges, malice, ill will, or resentment towards any, that is, we will have forgiven them of any acts we may have experienced at their hand – it is the way of the Master! Hanging on to offenses from others will only cause the separation to continue, the separation of our lives from the Living God, and from the one who supposedly committed the offence.

How are you receiving others? Have you “found” a coin lately, and the rejoicing that comes with it?



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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #56

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #56
Description
“I will be His Father, He…my Son.”
Old Testament Prophecy
 1 Chronicles 17:13
I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you,
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 1:5
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Bible · hymns

I am Dreaming of the Mountains – Simon Khorolskiy

Another beautiful song to rest in

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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #55

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #55
Description
To reign on David’s throne forever
Old Testament Prophecy
 1 Chronicles 17:12-13
He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 
I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you,
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 1:32-33
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Devotional · hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 31

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 31

1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
6 I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,
8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.
9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many– terror on every side!– as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!
17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.
18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.
19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
20 In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

I would like to dwell on three verses from this beautiful psalm this evening. The first verse we will consider most will recognize.

5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

This is the passage that the Lord cried out while on the cross, yet He only declared the first phrase. Knowing that those who were at the feet of the cross, especially those who sought His crucifixion, were Bible scholars, and knew the facts of the Psalms, they must have recognized this phrase from this psalm. But more importantly, they knew the context of the psalm, and even as He hung on that cruel cross, He was declaring the redemption He looked for.

He was quoting from a psalm that spoke of the LORD as being a faithful God, One that had redeemed Him. In the suffering and agony He was experiencing, He declared His victory through God

17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.

How contradictory this must seem. The Lord is considering this Psalm in the very act of dying for our sins, and it speaks of not being put to shame. He was spit on, beaten, mocked and humiliated. He was described as a demon, a false teacher, a heretic and a rebel. He was an outcast of His own people, a reject from the leaders who should have bowed down to Him

Oh, He was experiencing shame, but He is not experiencing this shame now, for He has been exalted to the highest, and one day, all will openly and joyfully confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.

As He suffered, He may have considered the 21st verse. He knew of the steadfast love of the Father, of being in a besieged city. Jerusalem was a city that killed the prophets and that was besieged with anti-God attitudes. He walked amongst those who despised Him, and yet walked in the steadfast love of God, even to the witness of those whom He walked amongst.

God the Father had shown His love to the Son in many ways during His ministry amongst the besieged city, through miracles and the witness of His teaching, through His sinless life and constant love for those who had been rejected by the religious community.

This religious community acted in pride and arrogance, determining their truth when looking at the truth. Their visitation would be soon and complete!

One last verse – I know I said three earlier, but this verse sums up the Psalm beautifully.

23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.


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Uncategorized

Song Squawk – Personal Jealousy

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!


This post will not need to have the volume lowered – It is a great song that a stellar artist published years ago.

Professional Jealousy – Van Morrison

Professional jealousy, can bring down a nation
And personal invasion, can ruin a man
Not even his family, will understand what’s happening
The price that he’s paying, or even the pain

Professional jealousy, started a rumour
And then it extended, to be more abuse
What started out as just, black propaganda
Was one day seen to be, believed as truth

They say the truth is, stranger than fiction
But a lie is more, deadly than sin
It can make a man very, bitter and angry
When he thinks that there’s someone, is going to win

Professional jealousy makes other people crazy
When they think you’ve got something that, they don’t have
What they don’t understand is it’s, just not easy
To cover it all, and, stand where you stand

Professional jealousy, makes no exception
It can happen to anyone, at any time
The only requirement is, knowing what’s needed
And then delivering, what’s needed on time

The only requirement is to, know what is needed
In doing the best you know how, deliver on time
The only requirement is, to know what is needed
Be best at delivering the, product on time.

Van Morrison is an artist’s artist. Just a great song with some good lyrics

Take a listen!

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #54

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #54
Description
David’s Seed
Old Testament Prophecy
 1 Chronicles 17:11
When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 1:1
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matt 9:27
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Lost Sheep

This is a tremendously popular parable, especially for use as an evangelistic motivator. I want to warn you though, that when I read it, I find there are other challenges that the Lord may have intended that should cause us and the original audience some pause.

Don’t get me wrong. It is obvious that the intent of the parable is the joy that is experienced in heaven over the restoration/repentance of the sheep/sinner. And yet I personally find other challenges in the parable that I feel we need to consider.

First off though – lets read the passage.

Luke 15:4-7

4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

It is important to understand the original audience to understand a bit better the intent of the message. This parable is no exception. Lets read the first three verses to ensure we know who is hearing this story for the very first time!

Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:3 So he told them this parable:

Ok – so we have tax collectors and sinners drawing near to Him! But look – them Pharisees and Scribes are lurking about, checking out this preacher, protecting the nation from heresy and false prophets. You see, these Pharisees and Scribes are the guardians of the people, the ones who protect the nation of (from?) unwashed sinners, tax collectors, thieves and generally all round bad people – you know anyone that isn’t in their club!!!

When did the Lord give this parable?

This parable was given within three months of the passion week. For a helpful document, providing a list of all the events in Jesus Life, check out the following download.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

During the last three months of the Lord’s time in Israel, much of it was spent in Perea, on the eastern side of the Jordan, and finally in Jerusalem.

Why did the Lord give this message?

Why did the Lord give this message? It seems obvious, given that tax collectors and sinners are the audience. The Lord describes the reckless love of the shepherd, in abandoning the safe, “obedient” sheep, in order to seek out and find the rebellious sheep, the sinner that had wandered off from the sheep fold, from a safe area.

By the way – why do sheep leave safe areas? Sheep have a very strong flocking instinct and feel safe when gathered together. For a sheep to leave the flock is generally against its nature.

Notice that the Lord opens the parable describing a man, not as a shepherd, and questioning his apparent care for the sheep. It is only a normal shepherd’s care for all His sheep that He recovers the one that is wandering, that He recovers the sinner that is not in the flock. The normal shepherd would seek the sinner!

Sheep also will follow a leader they trust and know.

The normal shepherd would then receive the sinner! And the reaction in heaven is joy, but alas, the reaction on earth by the earthly shepherds seems to be a wee bit different!

What was the message for the original audience?

A normal shepherd loves the lost sheep. A normal shepherd seeks out the abnormal, rebellious sheep. A normal shepherd rejoices in finding the lost sheep.

This “normal” shepherd in the parable is used to describe God the Father in His method of care and love for His sheep in sending the True Shepherd, the One who receives the rebellious, lost sheep of Israel.

Remember the context here – the lost sheep were of the house of Israel. The tax collectors and sinners that were being drawn to the Lord Jesus were those who had rejected the religious leadership of the nation, a leadership who had become oppressive overlords, using the people, instead of caring for them. (Consider a study in Ezekiel for some thoughts on the shepherds of Israel – Ezekiel 34)

Having the lost sheep returned was a matter of great joy for a normal shepherd, in that he would advertise his great joy to his neighbors and friends, speaking of his happiness and not of the lost sheep’s original rebellion. (This might be a topic to consider in another post, but not now!)

Although this parable is often rightfully used to speak of the Lords great love in seeking out the lost sheep, I see also a back handed slap to the Pharisees and Scribes in this parable. They murmured and complained, finding ways to hinder the return of Israel to the living God. They sought to cause resistance to the move of God amongst them, the obvious appeal of the Lord Jesus in accepting, even receiving losers!

What is the message for us today?

Where are you at in “receiving sinners”? It seems to be a priority for the normal shepherd! At work or at home, in the grocery store or at the hardware store, how do you live in front of others? Are you an accepting person, one who is open to those about, or are you suspicious, fearful and self protective? I know I tend that way, and fight against being “offended” by those that are not like me. This is wrong. Of course, accepting the person is not the same as accepting the sin that they may being trapped in. Yet I need to see the person as the one who needs to be received.

The 99

One item that I haven’t discussed in the parable is the normal shepherds abandonment of the 99. As believers, I would consider each of us as a part of the 99. Are you alright in this scenario? With the Lord leaving us behind in seeking out others?

I want to be careful in speaking this way and not extending the parable beyond it’s intended purpose, and yet the message seems to be appropriate. The Lord is always with us, protecting, guiding, providing, and comforting us. And yet the normal shepherd left the 99 behind, making an assumption that they could care for each other, and themselves.

Is that fair? Can we care for ourselves in a manner that would allow a normal shepherd to have confidence in leaving us for a period of time?

In your church, if the shepherd is gone for a period of time, do you pick up the slack, visit those who may be weak, supply for those who have needs, comfort those who are suffering? Or do you take the attitude of simply hanging on until the preacher gets back?

If you are dependent on your local preacher for security, guidance, comfort and protection you may be dangerously close to become one of the sheep that would wander off.

The sheep left behind were not a concern to the normal shepherd in the parable.

What type of sheep are you?



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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #53

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #53
Description
The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated
Old Testament Prophecy
 2 Kings 2:11
And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 24:51
While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Devotional · hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 30

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 30

1 A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple. I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
3 O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”
7 By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me! O LORD, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

So often I read the psalms as a personal letter reflected in my own life. A psalm that describes a common struggle, or trial, or praise that all believers share in. This is a fair estimate of one of the values of the psalms. They were written with the intent of providing comfort to the battle weary believer.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

I would like to consider this psalm from a different angle this morning, as a number of verses shout out to me that the Lord Jesus must have identified with this psalm in a completely different manner than you or I.

Resurrection

Psalm 30:3 O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

I can imagine that during our Lord’s time on earth, He dwelled on the verse above. Sheol is the Hebrew term describing the grave and it is obvious that He knew His death was the focus of His ministry for those He loved. This verse speaks of the restoration of the author from the pit, from the grave. Of course the author wrote it figuratively, since David did not actually die, and was not physically resurrected. It was a description of the danger he faced, and the saving outcome he experienced.

Not so for the One who came to die. He most assuredly understood the reference of resurrection and clung to the promise, veiled as it may be in our eyes.

Joy

30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

His death on the cross was His experience of anger produced by our sins against the Godhead. Our sins resulted in the “piling up” of anger that was poured out on the Son. The psalm speaks of anger, “but for a moment”. I refuse to consider the time of suffering He endured to be slight, or momentary, for it is surely something I will never fathom, understand or comprehend. It is beyond me, and rightly so.

Yet the Father’s favor is for a lifetime, to be experienced continuously. Yes, there is weeping for the night, and I can’t help but think of His suffering in the garden. His battle was in the garden, the tremendous burden He carried in those hours before His arrest.

Yet the joy was in front of Him, beckoning Him to follow through with His sacrifice for us.

Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Praise

30:9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?

This verse again speaks of the outcome of His death, of the intent of His death. Praise that will ascribe the faithfulness of God in the resurrection of His Son. The profit of His death is our deliverance and justification, but ultimately to the glory of the self sacrificing God, who stooped to our condition and entered death to provide forgiveness and life for an undeserving and rebellious people.

We have a God that is beyond our comprehension. He is above our thoughts and to praise Him is simply a natural result of glimpsing at the Son, thinking of His time on earth, seeing His focus and dependence on the Father. He is truly the only One we are to look to and to praise.

Praise Him for His mighty love.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #52

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #52
Description
David’s house established forever
Old Testament Prophecy
 2 Samuel 7:16
 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.[a] Your throne shall be established forever.’
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 3:31
the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
 Rev 22:16
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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