OT in NT – Acts

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of Acts and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand Luke’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

5-OT in NT – Acts

 


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Ezekiel 34 – Shepherds & The Sick – 5

shepherd-carrying-sheepGood Shepherds Heal the Flock.

the sick you have not healed

We are going to continue in Ezekiel 34:4, and with this blog, we will look at the second clause of Ezekiel 34:4.

Good shepherds heal their flock, seek the flocks health, look for signs of life and pray for the best for the flock.

Ezekiel 34 :4
The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

Remember that the principle complaint against the shepherds of Israel in Ezekiel’s day was that they did not feed the sheep. The following clauses show how their utter disregard for the sheep, (typified by their not feeding the sheep) was expressed in other ways. The issue in this blog is that the shepherds were not healing the sheep.

True Shepherds Heal the Flock Spiritually

Luke 4 :18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

I have placed the passage in Luke 4:18 as a primary reference due to the clarification it gives me about what is being healed. Jesus healed physical sickness when He was on earth (and He still does) but the emphasis of His healing ministry is spiritual.

True Shepherds Prioritize the Healing

If I get healed of a sickness today, tomorrow I may die. Healing of sickness is a wonderful gift of God, something that is granted to the believer and non-believer based solely on the mercy of God.

The great physician

Spiritual healing is a potentially eternal condition, that has ramifications in this life and the one to come. His ministry is to heal the sheep of a greater sickness than mere cancer, heart disease or a brain tumor.

Of course the very verse I am referring to above may speak of physical healing (recovering of sight to the blind), but considering how Jesus spiritualized various promises in the Old Testament (see previous blog “A Literal Bible”) the recovering of sight may be referring to spiritual understanding.

Luke 9 :11

When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.

This verse is definitely speaking of physical healing, but the point I would like to draw your attention to is that He healed them that realized they needed healing!

He came to call the sick so that He might heal them. To find healing, one must admit to their illness. This admission of illness (spiritual) may seem counter-intuitive, even fearful, but this verse teaches me of the desire of the Good Shepherd – He will heal all those that need healing.

Is it too much to say that He is anxious (I speak foolishly) to heal those who seek Him.

A True Shepherds Motivation for Healing

Lets consider the motivation for the two types of healing (physical and spiritual) from the perspective of the Great Healer.

1 Peter 2 :24

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Of the many verses that speak of healing, the passage in 1 Peter draws me in. Did the atonement grant physical healing to those who have enough faith?

Story Time

A while back I was chatting with a Word of Faith preacher concerning physical healing and the miracles that his church regularly experiences. I asked him about a couple of issues that concern me.

My first question was “Does 1 John 1:9 describe forgiveness as an act of mercy on God’s part?” He agreed, yet I drew his attention to the phrase “faithful and just” in the verse. This phrase tells me that the reason God forgives His people of the accidental sins they commit is due to His faithfulness to the righteous (just) conditions His people are under, not an emotional response based on our strong(?) faith.

1 jn 1 9

When we confess our sins, HE FORGIVES.

In other words, God forgives His people because of the “covenant/contract” He has entered into with His Son, due to His Son’s obedient sacrifice, and our relationship in Him.

It is not an act of mercy that motivates God primarily, but His faithfulness and justness that motivates Him to forgive His people, if we confess our sins to Him.

The second concern was logical. I pictured what I imagined as a typical gathering at his young preachers church. Say one person gets a healing due to their faith. What about the “99” others. Granted some may not need healing. Some may, but do not receive. What does that say about their status of being a believer?

It seems that if I were in the crowd, and listening to the teaching that the death of Christ afforded all believers (who had enough faith) to claim their physical healing, and yet not receive a healing, I would begin to question my salvation.

After all, if God won’t heal a temporal sickness, what makes me think He will heal my eternal sickness.

This young preacher admitted to not having considered these topics. He seemed to be an honest man and I appreciated his willingness to discuss these issues. I believe he has a sincere desire to be healing the flock, but his zeal for God may not be according to knowledge.

The important issue is that God has supplied a Good Shepherd to the church and that Good Shepherd heals His flock.

bad_shepherd 2

If you are associated with a group that is abusive or harmful, and not reflective of the Good Shepherds character, it may be wise to consider the Master and listen to His voice.

His sheep hear His voice


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Chatting with a Dispy – 4

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.

I’m open to discussion to the extent that the Bible commands; I’m to try to be able to give a ready answer to all who ask for the reasons for my faith; and yet also, given the limited amount of time in life, I’m also directed to not waste time with people who are unworthy, or who are blind, or people who simply are not yet able to bear truth.

1 Corinthians 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

That being said, to discern what kind of person you are, I have one basic question; why did you write the following:

RE: Disagree

1 Corinthians teaches that “the trumpet shall sound” and 1 Thessalonians that the Lord descends “with…the trump of God.”  Only 1 Cor specifically teaches the sounding of the trumpet.

Can you read the following, and why didn’t you see it, or do you have an explanation, or apology?  Or, how do you react when proven wrong?

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

See, it’s one thing to be ignorant, it’s another to be willfully ignorant.  In the first case, people just don’t know where in the Bible it teaches about the rapture.  In the second case, like yours, you have known for 30 years, and you specifically claim that the Bible does not say what it so clearly does.  What can explain that kind of willful blindness?  I’m very curious.

Sincerely, Brother

Brother – I am a little confused – the text in 1 Thessalonians is merely stating that the Lord is descending with the trump of God.  (He may be blowing it, but 1 Thessalonians doesn’t specifically say that! – As a matter of fact, 1 Corinthians doesn’t say that the Lord will be blowing the trump, just that the trump sounds …”at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound”….)

I am a little confused about who I owe an apology to?  I asked you some questions because a brother informed me that you were open to discussion and debate.  (I find it very profitable to engage with believers in discussion to sharpen my own understanding.)  When I am proven wrong I would like to think I accept it.  (Admittedly, I sometimes become quiet, but eventually realize that truth is more important than my ego or traditions.)  If I have offended you or caused you any conflict, I will not continue this discussion.  If you would like to continue, please do so, understanding that my concern is – “What does the text say!”

In any case, may God bless you and draw you into His love.

Carl


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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A Jealous God – Part 3

jealousy
 

Last we discussed the jealousy of God, we considered the first two Hebrew words in the Old Testament that are translated jealousy.  

We understood jealousy to be in the nature of God and in the nature of man, and yet there is a difference.  Jealousy is a characteristic of God that is a part of His image, and as such, when man was created, became a part of man’s being.

Of course sin twisted the entire image of God in man, including jealousy.

As I mentioned above, we looked at the first two Hebrew words translated jealousy in the Old Testament, and with this post, will proceed with one additional Hebrew word. 

This word includes a corollary emotion that needs to be considered in it’s relationship with jealousy.  (Can you guess what that emotion this is?)

Gods Jealousy קַנּוֹא

One additional word is used when referring to God’s jealousy.

The Hebrew word H7072, קַנּוֹא (qannow’), jealous or angry:—jealous, which occurs 2 times in 2 verses

Joshua 24:19

But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.

I have never really understood what Joshua is trying to say here.  It turns out that Joshua’s statement is true, but it seems so anti-motivating to bring it out to the people of God.  I can’t see it as a prophecy of the future of the nation, because he says “they can’t” so it isn’t associated with destiny or free will, as far as I can tell.

Also, the admonition to serve in verses 14 – 15, which includes Joshua’s commitment to serve, adds tension to the passage.

Joshua 24:14 – 15

“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua’s first verb in verse 19 is a clue I think.  They are not able.  They have no strength?  Maybe. 
 
Let’s continue with the verse. God is described in two ways.  He is holy.  He is jealous.  They are not able to serve the Lord because He is Holy.  He is a jealous God.
 

I think the issue is the differences of nature in man and God.  With Israel’s decisions of the past 40 yrs in Joshua’s rear view mirror, he is calling them to repentance.  He is telling them they are not able to serve Him in the manner they live.  He is a jealous God and will not accept their current manner of life.

Could it be similar to the Master’s statement in Matthew 6?

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Joshua 24:19 will continue to give me more questions than answers, but the core truth is the challenge to live according to God’s nature, and not our own.

I intended to get to the corollary emotion associated with jealousy, but didn’t quite.  I promise to address it with the next post.

By the way, have you got a thought on what emotion might be linked with jealousy?

Hope to see you next time as we continue Considering the Bible.

 


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Faith – Peíthō – Obey

Faith 2As mentioned in my introduction to faith post, I was in Sunday School class a while back and had the opportunity to discuss Christian maturity with the teacher, and as you may have guessed, we wandered off into the subject of faith.

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

faith 4I’m glad he challenged me to look it up and I think we were both sort of correct.

The root word found in each of the above greek words is pistos/pistis, and when checked in that web site I like (see above), both are derived from the Greek word “peíthō”.

Strong’s Definitions
πείθω peíthō, pi’-tho; a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):—agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
For future posts, I would like to explore the concept of faith, and each of the terms found in the table above.  But for now, I would like to consider the root word peíthō.

Peíthō

In the Strongs Concordance definition above I have italicized a number of synonyms that are synonyms for the root word Peíthō.  
Consider the following shade of the Greek word Peíthō.
Obey

This has got to be the hardest synonym to discuss, given the current condition of the modern church and my own weakness and failings.

Many times in the New Testament, Jesus tells His disciples that to love Him is to obey Him. 

John 14:15

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:23

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Yes – but I think there is even more to it!.

John 13:35

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If we obey Him, we show the world that we love Him.

And as I try to understand the gospel, it is becoming apparent to me that one who realizes I love Jesus due to my obedience to His will is the one who is typing this message.  Yes, although I am in the world, and have been told I am not part of it, I still gain (have) confidence (see above) through my active participation in the known will of God for my life.

Consider.

To “Peíthō” is to obey the One who is the object of faith.

One more post on the word Peíthō, and I will ask you to YIELD to the desire to visit.  Hope to see you then.

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Commandments for Christians – No Working on the Sabbath

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-Law

As mentioned in a previous post, I was sent to studying the New Testament by a dear brother years back to understand the believers relationship to the Ten Commandments.

This post will continue with

Commandment #4 – No Working on the Sabbath

Exodus 20:4

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy

Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,

but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Lets remember the key questions we are looking to resolve as we go through each of the commandments.
  1. Is each commandment included in Jesus or the Apostles teaching?
  2. If so, was there anything different about the command as expressed by Jesus or the Apostles?

The NO WORKING ON THE SABBATH command is NOT included in Jesus and the apostles teaching.  Nothing to see here folks – Let’s move along.

Hope to see you next time.


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Surprise!

Surprise

Space

Another poem that reminds me of the unexpected mercy of God. I believe the author is Len Dean

I dreamt death came the other night

And heaven’s gate swung wide.

With kindly grace an angel came

And ushered me inside:

And there to my astonishment

Stood folk I’d known on earth,

Some I had judged as quite unfit

Or but of little worth:

Indignant words rose to my lips

But never were set free,

For every face showed stunned surprise

NO ONE EXPECTED ME!


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OT in NT – John

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of John and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand John’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

4-OT n NT – John

 


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Ezekiel 34 – Shepherds & The Weak – 4

shepherd-carrying-sheepA Good Shepherd Strengthens the Flock.

The weak you have not strengthened

Verse 4 has a number of clauses that define the actions of the evil shepherds.

The Good Shepherd is described in the New Testament as fulfilling each of the activities God addresses when He rebukes the evil shepherds.

I loved seeing this – how that the Good Shepherd supplies the very needs of the sheep as opposed to those who simply abuse the flock for self-gratification.

Ezekiel 34 :4

The weak you have not strengthened,

the sick you have not healed,

the injured you have not bound up,

the strayed you have not brought back,

the lost you have not sought,

and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

Strengthening Shepherds are Gentle

Remember that the principle complaint against the shepherds of Israel in Ezekiel’s day was that they did not feed the sheep. The following clauses show how their utter disregard for the sheep, (typified by their not feeding the sheep) was expressed in other ways. The issue in this post is that the shepherds were not strengthening the sheep.

Matt 12 :17-21

17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

The Good Shepherd will be gentle with the flock, seeking to encourage some, as one would encourage a smoking flax to reignite, and refusing to damage a bruised reed.

Matthew 12-20 A Bruised Reed-portrait

This truth has been very refreshing to me, teaching me that the Lord’s attitude toward a weak child is not that of sneering at them, or despising them or ridiculing them. He will strengthen them, even at the point of their greatest weakness.

A bruised reed has no structural strength. It is literally useless. So often, I consider those that are damaged to be useless, but this seems so anti-Christlike. His attitude is to strengthen the flock, and the verse above exhibits His attitude towards the weakest and most hopeless condition. Ever try to get smoking flax to reignite?

Strengthening Shepherds Supply Strength to Others

Luke 22 :32

32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

The true Shepherd strengthens His people, sometimes through very unexpected methods. This passage is reflecting the time of Jesus speaking with Peter after his denial. How small Peter must have felt, how unworthy! Yet Jesus, in giving the command to strengthen the brethren, strengthened Peter. Peter needed to know how Jesus felt about him and Jesus trusts him with caring for the flock.

This is something wonderful!

The Spirit of the Good Shepherd will be reflected in mutual encouragement among His people, in their communion with each other.

Who is your Good Shepherd? Your Pastor, Priest, Minister?

good shepherd

His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. But if you are in a religious system that does not allow you to obey your Lord, either through your conscience, the written Word or otherwise, it may be profitable to compare your earthly shepherd with the Good Shepherd.

As we venture through the remaining parts of the verse, it will become obvious that Jesus is the perfect anti-type of these wicked shepherds.

The sheep hear His voice and they follow.


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Chatting with a Dispy – 3

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.

Revelation 19

Of the many methods of interpreting Revelation, you have opted for the “futuristic” method. 

What is going on in Revelation 6:1-2? Could this be a picture of the Christ going out to conquer?

What about Revelation 7:15 – 17? I bring this passage into the discussion only due to the reference to the living waters, which I believe you may associate with the millennial kingdom, after the return of Christ.

What is Revelation 11:15-19 describing? Could this be a picture of the return of Christ? How can you place the return of Christ in chapter 19, when it also seems to be taking place in Revelation 11

What about Revelation 14:14-16? It seems that if I were to take this passage literally, the earth will have been reaped by the end of this passage. This is usually associated with the second coming(?)

Although chapter 19 is commonly thought of as being a picture of the return of Christ (and I think it is, for whatever it is worth), these other passages also have some merit to them.

My point is this – Revelation is a book of the revelation of Christ, and is apocalyptic in nature, which demands that we look at each passage carefully, considering each argument. With so many (valid) interpretive methods for the book of Revelation, it seems unwise to depend on a debatable passage to build a highly detailed doctrine.(ie. the return of Christ after the tribulation. (There is no absolute time line given in Revelation, nor should we expect one, since it is written in a highly symbolic form.)

Carl


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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A Jealous God – Part 2

jealousy

 

Let’s continue our study on the jealousy of God, looking at one more Hebrew term translated as jealous in the Old Testament.

God’s Jealousy קַנּוֹא

The following words for jealous are used only of God, and the remainder of the post will consider God’s jealousy

The Hebrew word H7067,קַנּוֹא qannôwʼ, kan-no’; jealous or angry:—jealous, which occurs 6 times in the following 5 verses.

Exodus 20:5

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Jealous for me

Moses, in the first occurrence of this concept of God’s jealousy, directly links jealousy with worship and service.  This is a recurring theme in the verses we will look at.

Jealousy is also rooted in covenant, since the law is being given in this passage, and this passage is the establishment of the Sinaitic covenant, the covenant that establishes Israel as a Theocratic kingdom on earth.

Consider the marriage covenant.  Two people promise themselves to one another.  One breaks the promise by being unfaithful.  Jealousy rears it’s head.  As humans, we tend to immediately seek selfish revenge.  Can we attribute this selfish revenge to God?

The covenant warns those entering into it the severity of the covenant.  Iniquity will be visited up.  There were no secrets, or hidden clauses that Israel could accuse God of.  And yet, the visitation of God upon the nation of Israel was not swift and severe.  It tended to be forgiving, patient and merciful.

Now Carl you have gone to far!  

Consider the verse we are looking at. Note that God will visit the iniquities of the fathers generations later.  The average Israeli could expect judgment upon his life, or 60 to 80 years after the sin, (if I read this right, given that a generation is 20 years).

Exodus 34:14

(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),

A reiteration of the above conditions the nation entered into at Sinai.
 
Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Deut-4-24-200x300
This verse should sound very familiar if you read the New Testament.  The author of Hebrews quotes this passage, warning the people of Israel of the coming judgement on their nation.
 
The nation’s rejection of the Messiah certainly roused the jealousy of God.  They not only serve other gods, and worship other gods, but they wholesale murder the God whom they were to worship and serve.
 
And yet note, that the judgment that fell on the nation that killed the Son of God was held off for about 40 years.  Did I mention one of the differences between our selfish jealousy and God’s jealousy is the merciful forgiveness and patience He exhibits.
 
Please be clear that God’s jealousy is not to be discounted, assuming He is different somehow today than He was under the Old Covenant.
 
The author of Hebrews bring this passage into the Christian experience in order to remind us He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Deuteronomy 5:9

You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,


As the book title means “Second Telling”, this verse repeats Exodus 20:5

Deuteronomy 6:14-15

You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—

for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

God’s jealousy in this verse is directly associated with anger.  We will find this concept of anger /wrath associated with the second Hebrew word translated jealousy also, which we will look at in our next post.
 
But let us consider this verse for the time being.
 
The Lord their God in their midst is a jealous God.  Does this not imply that the Israelite’s were currently chasing other gods?  As many readers may know, this habit of chasing other gods became a consistent sin for the nation.
 
Due to this sin, the Jealousy of God was kindled and many passages in the Old Testament speak of this anger and wrath. (I may look into the difference on the two terms of anger and wrath in a separate post at a later time.)
 
The nation hobbled along for approximately 500 years before the Babylonian exile took the nation away from the land.  Even then, the Lord watched over His people for 70 years, sending them prophets and leaders to give them direction.  Eventually, the people returned to the land, with God again sending prophets and teachers for close to 600 years eventually culminating in the Messiah.
 
We are talking of approximately 1200 years of the Jewish nation, in varying degrees of idolatry, being patiently dealt with by the Father.  Yet the verse says He will destroy you (the nation of Israel) from off the face of the earth.
 
The Jealousy of God is so different from the human counterpart in many ways. 
Is anger a common thread?  Yes.  Is the competition of ones devotion involved in both?  Yes. 
Is both jealousies patient and concerned about the “traitors” life?  Not so much. 
Human jealousy is selfish and impatient, concerned only with my rights and refuses to consider the responsibilities of the relationship.
 
Father Son HugGod is not so.  When a relationship is broken, the Father heart of God seeks restoration. 
 
When the idolatry/adultery is raging, and the anger is building, the heart of restoration continues to beat in the breast of God.
 
Jesus pronounced woes on the nation of Israel throughout the 23rd chapter of Matthew, speaking of the judgement to fall upon that generation.   Jesus left the mount of Olives that last time, speaking of the broken heart of God, and giving a lament of the stubbornness of the nation to the patient kindness and long suffering of God.

Matthew 23:37

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

God is a jealous God, and His patience and longsuffering in the midst of His anger is beyond understanding. 

But it isn’t beyond some limit.

 


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Faith – Peíthō – Have Confidence

Faith 2As mentioned in my introduction to faith post, I was in Sunday School class a while back and had the opportunity to discuss Christian maturity with the teacher, and as you may have guessed, we wandered off into the subject of faith.

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

faith 4I’m glad he challenged me to look it up and I think we were both sort of correct.

The root word found in each of the above greek words is pistos/pistis, and when checked in that web site I like (see above), both are derived from the Greek word “peíthō”.

Strong’s Definitions
πείθω peíthō, pi’-tho; a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):—agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
For future posts, I would like to explore the concept of faith, and each of the terms found in the table above.  But for now, I would like to consider the root word peíthō.

Peíthō

In the Strongs Concordance definition above I have italicized a number of synonyms that are synonyms for the root word Peíthō.  
Consider the following shades of the Greek word Peíthō.
Have Confidence
Confidence As mentioned above, and as further clarification (I hope) of the thought above, having confidence I feel is the continually growing and deepening of the initial belief.
As I have falteringly followed the Master through this journey, I have found His trustworthiness to be beyond my original hopes.  His mercies are new everyday and I have sensed a growing confidence in the Saviors ability (not mine!) to guide and protect, to supply and correct, to help and to encourage.
To “Peíthō” is to have confidence in the One who is the object of faith.
Will you OBEY your curiosity and come visit my next post?  Hope so, since I am really enjoying this study and hope to hear from those who find value in the posts.  Thanks again!

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Commandments for Christians – No Dishonoring God’s Name

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-Law

As mentioned in a previous post, I was sent to studying the New Testament by a dear brother years back to understand the believers relationship to the Ten Commandments.

This post will continue with

Commandment #3 – No Dishonoring God’s Name

Exodus 20:7

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Lets remember the key questions we are looking to resolve as we go through each of the commandments.
  1. QuestionsIs each commandment included in Jesus or the Apostles teaching?
  2. If so, was there anything different about the command as expressed by Jesus or the Apostles?

The NO DISHONORING GOD’S NAME command is included in Jesus and the apostles teaching, but again, primarily from the positive perspective, from the love angle, not the rule angle.

There is a difference.

Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.

Jesus exalts the name of the Father, speaking of His holiness, and that is, that His name is holy.  Jesus is making a declaration in this prayer.  I can’t see a command.  Jesus loves the Father, intimately knows the Father and the holiness the Father inhabits.

It is interesting that Jesus says to “pray like this”..  Back in verse 7, Jesus is reiterating the relationship aspect of prayer.  Don’t heap up empty phrases…

That is awesome, you know, the phraseology.  How often I have prayed a prayer and walked away feeling like I have done my duty.  Said a lot of words, completing a duty I feel I have, and then walked away, feeling kinda proud of myself, for “my many words.”

walking alone at nightI remember as a young believer, being out late at night, on a lonely street, walking and talking to Him.  For some reason, I decided to forget about all my requests, and just remind Him of His great qualities, His magnificent character, His unbounding love.  You know, I don’t remember how many words, or the time I spent.  I was simply realizing who I was praying to.

And I was content in prayer.

Philippians 2:9 – 10

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth

Therefore symbolAlways ask why the “therefore” is there for. Some action is taken and then the consequence of that action is described.

These verses give the consequence, that is that the name of Jesus be honored and worshiped.  But to have His name honored, surely the verses before describe a harsh command given, a strict law supplied, or a very serious threatening voiced.

No command.  No – He was crucified for our sins, and God the Father raised Him from the dead.  That singular action was performed in order that His name be honored.

James 2:7

Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

There are some who dishonor the honorable name by which we were called.  The rich.  Notice that the rich James is referring to are the rich that are attending meeting.  What?  And James is ticked off about the distinctions the church elders are making, favoring the rich.

The church elders have it all upside down.

Why are they favoring the rich who do not favor God’s name, and yet do not honor the poor man, who has been called by the honorable name of God?

A good take away from this post for today is to open your eyes to see those who are poor in the family of God and honor them.  Ignore the rich – they got their money…


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***By the way, how many of you recognized the symbol for therefore?

Proverbial Thoughts on Children

Proverbs 4 23Thoughts on the topic of children from the book of wisdom

My wife and I have 5 beautiful children, whom we love and cherish. Each of them are out of the house now, but not out of our heart.

We understand better now than ever the wisdom the following passages supply to parents, and my regret is in not paying better attention to the details of the precepts supplied below.

Oh – we sought to obey the following verses, but I have to admit, that discipline was administered sometimes without the child’s best interest considered.

Proverbs 13:24
Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Proverbs 19:18
Discipline your son, for there is hope;
do not set your heart on putting him to death.

All those parents out there who have sometimes disciplined thier child without seeking thier child’s benefit, but only a release of frustration, please raise your hand. I admit my weakness in this.

And yet the Lord has been very kind to this family.

When reading a passage such as above, keep in mind the one below.

Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

A very wise lady, who was raising a teenager on her own, being abandoned by her husband, once told me a great secret on raising kids, specifically teens.

Are you ready? Talk to them and with them. That’s it! If you can maintain communication with your child from the preteen years through the teenage years, the battle is half done.

Teenagers

Sometimes when a teenager is fearing the discipline, it creates a wall that blocks discussions.

Do teenagers need discipline? Yes. I am not advocating a free for all.

What I am advocating is communication. Talk. Chatting. Chewing the fat. About the weather, drugs, the price of rice in China, or why the sky is blue. If your child knows he or she can talk to you, the chances are better (not guaranteed) that they will weather the storm of the teenage years.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

autism_011

Notice that the verse does not say – Train up a child in the life you dream of. (Ahem – every child is not a sports superstar!)

Nor does it say, Train up a child in the way you are living. In other words, passive training. Kids are sponges, and they will soak up the bad habits the parents exhibit easier than the few good habits practiced.
Train up a child in the way he should go. The only way a parent will know that is through understanding the Word & Will of God and prayer. Oh and one more thing. The parent needs to understand the child. Which means back to the talking, chatting, discussing, chewing the fat – oh never mind – I think you get the idea.

Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

These passages do not quantify the amount of the rod of correction. Each child is different and a wise parent will know that. Correction should be done as much as possible, privately, since shaming of the child is not necessarily to his or her benefit. Of course if the child has done something against a sibling, the discipline may need to be observed, but the wise parent will understand each of the children’s character to best decide how to accomplish that.

Finally, when raising children, seek to make thier paths easy. The world will chew them up and spit them out on a daily basis. As a parent, follow after God, and walk in integrity.

Your children will be blessed.

Proverbs 20:7
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!

Drop me a line to discuss. Love hearing from you.


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OT in NT – Luke

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of Luke and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand Luke’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

3-OT in NT – Luke

 


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Ezekiel 34 – Shepherds Compared – 3

shepherd-carrying-sheepShepherds Compared

In an earlier blog, I mentioned how the passage describing shepherds in Ezekiel 34 seems so very modern.

Many times I have come across men (and women) who say they are shepherds and yet might not like to consider what Ezekiel says. Some may say they have had a calling, a vision, a dream.

Ezekiel doesn’t seem to care about stories. He is looking at the impact of the shepherd’s shepherding on the sheep.

Stories are fun and lately have become outlandish as to how some are “called” to be His shepherds. But in the end, they are simply stories, stories that the gullible or (too) trusting want to believe, because of dry skin on thier ears (itchy ears – get it?).

Lets consider what Ezekiel is trying to teach us. In the following blogs on Ezekiel 34, I would like to settle on the 4th verse for a bit.

Ezekiel 34 :4
The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

This verse defines the failures of the shepherds of Israel during Ezekiel’s time. Instead of simply finding fault, (due as it may be), I would rather contrast these shepherds with the Good Shepherd that we seek to follow.

The Good Shepherd Is Against The Bad Shepherds.

Ezekiel 34 :9-10a

9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:

10 Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

God will put a stop to these bad shepherds from feeding His flock. The food these shepherds were feeding the sheep must have been bad food, food that might be described as “leavenous” in a few hundred years after Ezekiel preached! (Jesus ofter warned His disciples of the leaven of the….)

The Good Shepherd God Has Placed Over Us.

Ezekiel 34 :23-24

23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken.

God’s servant David, otherwise known as the King of Glory, Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Great and Good Shepherd, He shall feed us.

Are you being fed by the Master? Are you in communion with Him? Do you hear His voice? He is teaching us, are we listening?

By the way – I didn’t ask if you are going to church regularily, or doing good things in the sight of men, or obeying some preachers wishes.

Is He teaching you?

In the next few posts, let’s look at each of the complaints against the bad shepherds. Hope to visit with you again.

May God bless you and your loved ones!

He is Good.


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Chatting with a Dispy – 2

mount-olives-split-2

A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website. I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred. I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction, lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”

There is no debate that Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 teach on the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power after the tribulation.

Disagree

There is much debate that both Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 teach on the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power after the Tribulation

Let’s discuss Zechariah 14 first. Zechariah is considered an apocalyptic book, with the last chapters containing visions that are difficult to understand, and is very similar, in some aspects as the book of Revelation. For Zechariah to mention that “His feet shall stand on the mount of Olives” and considering the highly symbolic nature of the vision (see below for considerations on the symbolic nature of the vision), it is difficult for me to take this completely literally.

It is important to compare scripture with scripture, so with that in mind, consider some of the OT prophets who spoke of similar circumstances – ie His feet on mountains….

Amos 4:13 – God “treads on the high places of the earth”

Does God literally walk on the mountains?

Micah 1:3-4 – states “the LORD cometh forth out of his place” and that He will “tread upon the high places of the earth” causing the mountains to be “molten under him” and the valleys “shall be cleft, as wax before the fire…”.(v4)

Will God literally come down out of heaven and walk on the high places causing the mountains to melt?

It seems Zechariah, along with many of the prophets, are describing future times of judgment (for at least the prophets current generation) in pictures that communicate to the Hebrew mind. (Remember that we live in a scientific, analytical age, that might not be as conducive to understanding the prophets as it is to understanding physics or mathematical concepts.)

Symbology of Zechariah

A few question to address if we take Zechariah in a literal manner

Zechariah 14:8 – the “fountain of living waters,” Could this phrase represent a spiritual truth? Zechariah 13:1 states “a fountain will be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity”

If we understand the fountain literally, the natural conclusion would be that the waters cleanse from sin.

Zechariah 14:10 – All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.

I assume that if the Mount of Olives will be literally split, the same interpretive stance would be used to understand verse 10. If so, all of Jerusalem will be lifted up. Comparing scripture with scripture, I see Micah making some similar comments about Jerusalem (house of the Lord) in Micah 4:1

Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

Taken literally, the house of the Lord will be close to 6 miles above sea level (Mt Everest, at 29,000′ above sea level is 5.5 miles above sea level) How people will flow into this is hard to understand, with winds up to 177 mph, and temps dropping to -76^. (I hope the living water has antifreeze in it!)

I hope you understand that I am being a bit facetious, and I hope it is taken in with a “grain of salt”. (You see, even nowadays, we understand each other using phrases that are particular to our culture – ie a grain of salt.)

I find it to be a great challenge to try to understand the mindset of the OT prophet, and it takes time and patience to fit it all together.

One example is that when a prophet mentions “mountains” in a vision, he can sometimes mean a “kingdom. Check it out – it is a quick study that helped me in a somewhat better understanding of the Old Testament prophets.


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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A Jealous God – Part 1

jealousy

I was in my favorite Sunday School this morning, when the teacher challenged us to find out more about the God we serve.  He suggested attributes such as grace, mercy, and jealousy.

Jealousy?

Jealous muchI told him that would be my topic for study for the following week and I would get back to him about my findings.  Hence this series on the Jealousy of God


During class he did warn us that when studying the attributes of God, a natural reaction is seeing the sin in us.  I fully expect this, and was surprised when, as a young believer experienced this for the first time.  I was hanging out with the brother who led me to the Lord, and was discussing how dirty I felt. He asked me what I had been studying and told me to get used to it.

OLD TESTAMENT JEALOUSY

To start with, I wanna know if the jealousy that God is defined by is the same as that which, by association, is evil in us.  

General Jealousy

The English word jealousy is first found in Genesis 26:14.

Green eyed monster

Genesis 26:14

He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him.


The Hebrew word is H7065, קָנָא qânâʼ, kaw-naw’; to envy, be jealous, be envious, be zealous.

This word occurs 42 times in 29 verses. 

I understand this word to define common or general jealousy, since it seems to be dealing with jealousy and envy between men.

Another good example of this jealousy being displayed is between the sons of Israel (God’s people?).

Genesis 37:11 describes Israel’s sons attitude toward Joseph.

Genesis 37:11

And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.


In this world we tread, suspicion, fear and competition enter into our experience and create a sometimes irrational emotion described as jealousy.   Actual (or feared) loss of the love of a friend, sibling or parent will cause jealousy to rear it’s ugly head.  The results of this jealousy is at most times evil.  From spreading slander to fits of rage, to murder and self destruction, jealousy has some wicked fruits.

To be jealous is to see true love slipping away, to fear the attention of your love to be directed to someone else.  The results or outcome of jealousy can vary wildly.  I believe this will become obvious as we venture on.


As you can see from a cursory glance of the verses following, jealousy is closely associated with worship, the act of love from the saint to the Savior. 

This makes sense since jealousy is closely related to the competition for ones love. 

Hope you can visit with me next time we look at this topic of jealousy.  In the mean time, Love God and His Son.  


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.

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Faith – Peíthō – Believe

Faith 2As mentioned in my introduction to faith post, I was in Sunday School class a while back and had the opportunity to discuss Christian maturity with the teacher, and as you may have guessed, we wandered off into the subject of faith.

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

faith 4I’m glad he challenged me to look it up and I think we were both sort of correct.

The root word found in each of the above greek words is pistos/pistis, and when checked in that web site I like (see above), both are derived from the Greek word “peíthō”.

Strong’s Definitions
πείθω peíthō, pi’-tho; a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):—agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
For future posts, I would like to explore the concept of faith, and each of the terms found in the table above.  But for now, I would like to consider the root word peíthō.

Peíthō

In the Strongs Concordance definition above I have italicized a number of synonyms that are synonyms for the root word Peíthō.  
Consider the following shade of the Greek word Peíthō.
Believe
Believe 2
I suppose it is obvious that the root word for faith has a synonym of believe, but it may be instructive to consider that the next synonym given, is the term “Have confidence”
Difference?  I don’t know “off the top” what the difference is, but I am willing to consider a difference since both descriptive terms were supplied.  To believe, I sense is to have the mental assent of a fact, to consider a message true.
To believe is to accept an opinion, a statement, a message, a thought or a concept.  It is the seed of faith, out of which all confidence, agreement, obedience and yielding grow.  It is the germ of life out of which grows the fully mature Christian life.
To “Peíthō” is to believe the One who is the object of faith.
Come visit our next post.  I HAVE CONFIDENCE you will gain a bit more appreciation for the full meaning of Peíthō.  See you then!

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Commandments for Christians – No Idols

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-Law

As mentioned in our introductory post, I was sent to studying the New Testament by a dear brother years back to understand the believers relationship to the Ten Commandments.

This post will begin with

Commandment #1 – No Idolatry

Exodus 20:2 – 6

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,

but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Lets remember the key questions we are looking to resolve as we go through each of the commandments.
  1. QuestionsIs each commandment included in Jesus or the Apostles teaching?
  2. If so, was there anything different about the command as expressed by Jesus or the Apostles?

Matthew 22:37

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

The NO IDOLS command is included in Jesus and the apostles teaching, but primarily from the positive perspective, from the love angle, not the rule angle.

There is a difference.

Please don’t miss the command to love here.  By the way, when was the last time that worked.  To command to love is not to love.  That implies the loss of free will, does it not?  And love requires the exercise of free will.  So is Jesus commanding to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Maybe He stating a fact, that is, after realizing what love God has for you, you shall love Him.  You will naturally respond to love by loving that one who initiated the love.

1Corinthians 6:9 – 10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

warning 1

Paul supplies a warning in the above verses, and it is interesting that he is speaking of the unrighteous, those folk within the church group who have not conformed to the Spirit of life which is the character of God.

Paul is seeking to communicate that self deception is deadly, (ie the lie that my character does not have to reflect the character of God, for God to accept me)  That non conformity to the character of God is a signal that all is not well.

Don’t hear me say that sinless perfection is required. Our acceptance is in the Beloved, in the Messiah.  Not possible in this life, if I understand 1 John 1:9 correctly.

But our acceptance in the Beloved means we have the Spirit of God, and that the fruit of the Spirit, the love joy peace will be evident in our lives.  It is the desire and growth of the believer into the character of Jesus that is the issue.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  The Spirit of God does not lead me into adultery, theft or idolatry.  That, my friends is the flesh!

1 Corinthians 10:14

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 John 5:21

Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

Both John and Paul relate to their audience, their brothers and sisters in the Lord, by framing this command in love.  Being beloved, I am more apt to listen to my brother’s warning.

Telling me to NOT have idols, tends to make me want an idol.

Wow Carl, are you saying the ten commandments were supplied only to stir up sin?  Did God provide the decalogue to create sin in us?

Rant #1

Lets consider some of what the Bible teaches about the law.

Romans 4:15

For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 5:20

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

Romans 7:5

For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

Let’s get it right.
The law brought wrath, not sin.  The sin was in us all along.  The law revealed it to those who were sensitive to the Spirit of God.
By the way, are you recognizing sin in your walk with Him?  The Christian life is a life of repentance.  And Christians are to flee idolatry.
This may be the western churches greatest challenge, given the tremendous wealth we enjoy.
Please feel free to comment.  I look forward to discussions, in order to learn from you.

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