Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 5 – An Accusation

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

In our last post, we found that Jesus culminated His logical refutation of the Pharisees claims by stating He is the ultimate authority.   Jesus applied logic to the situation, and yet the religious heart is so resilient in it’s stubbornness.  Irrefutable logic enters not a hardened heart.

The conclusion – He is Lord over the Sabbath.  He is Lord of all.

In the following posts, Jesus reveals His authority in the midst of the Pharisees, in their synagogue, reinforcing His logical argument with an act of love for a poor crippled man.

 Matthew 12:9-14

Let’s continue considering the Sabbath in relation to the Messiah, and by association with His followers

Matthew 12:9  He went on from there and entered their synagogue.

I get the impression that Jesus went directly from the field to the synagogue.  He entered their synagogue.  He went straight to the “fight”.  He didn’t shy away from a controversy, although there are many times when He simply refused to enter into an argument with someone.  This is wisdom personified.  (Lord give me wisdom!)

Consider when the Pharisees caught a woman in adultery (John 8:36).  He simply bent down and started writing in the sand. No defense or rebuttal.  A simple action.

But this is not the Messiah’s approach here.  It seems He sees the Sabbath laws that the people of Israel were under as an issue that required addressing and what better place than the very synagogue that produced the instigators in the previous passage.

Matthew 12:10  And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”–so that they might accuse him.

Will these folks never learn?

I am assuming that those instigators that met Jesus and His disciples in the field earlier in the day made it back to their synagogues just in time to enter into a discussion with the Lord.  Golly – If that is true, what a tenacious faith in the ultimate priority of the Sabbath.  They were soundly refuted earlier, but they just gotta keep trying.

How often do we keep trying to justify a practice, habit, lifestyle, religious way in front of the Lord before we give in, and finally admit that we are wrong.  That is, if we admit it.  Sadly we may have fought against a certain truth so long that it has become a non-issue for our lives. We won the argument, but sadly lost so much.

That is so so sad.  The importance of keeping short accounts with the Lord could not be more obvious for me out of this short passage.  Be quick to admit your error, confess, agree with the Lord on the rebellion you may be in.

He is merciful to the wayward.  They (we) only want to accuse Him.  May we be more like Him and less like me.


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Let Me Tell You a Story – Barnabas and his Field

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

I have been a believer for nearly 40 years and it amazes me how little I know of the Word.

Many times the Lord reminds me of my pride and arrogance, and the most recent experience was a few nights ago when my favorite wife and I were reading Acts chapter 4 together. During our reading, as we came to the end of the chapter, Luke writes that Joseph – otherwise known as Barnabas, “sells a field.”

For some reason, I was under the impression he sold everything he owned.  He simply sold a field.  Now I am not denigrating his act of love for the Lord and His followers, I am simply expressing my assumptions that were wrong.

No comment on the percentage of Barnabas’s assets that were sold off, or that Barnabas had a ceremony upon giving the cash to the family.  None of that!  Which makes me look forward to tonight when my wife and I consider the story in Acts 5 – You know – when Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira try to duplicate the gift but die trying.

The differences will be instructive!


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Discussions with an Atheist – Part 6

atheist

A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.
A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”
Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.
I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.
Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.
If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses.  I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment.  I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.
My comments and responses are in red.

-the avg life span of a human was approximately 40
I do not know where you got this data, but given the fact that infant mortality was extremely high during this time, the avg life span would have been definitely skewed. If a person survived the initial first years, “statistically” this person was, could it be said, an outlier, and very easily could live beyond the “avg” life span.
Be that as it may, average life span is not the issue.
The issue is the specific life span of the authors. Gospel writers are the issue, not the letters of Paul, or even the book of Revelation, since these books do not primarily record the historical life of Jesus.
Mathew, and Luke were working “stiffs” during the ministry of Jesus, so at the time of the writing of their gospels, they were somewhere in the upper 50’s / lower 60’s
Mark was a teenager during the ministry of Jesus, so his age at the time of his writing he also was in his 50’s
John was a teenager during the ministry of Jesus, and it is commonly thought that his gospel was written approx 85 – 90 AD. Therefore, he could have been as old as 70 yrs at the time of his writing.

Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend.  I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.


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Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 6

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the sixth post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

6. Both taught the same things about Christ’s identity – He is the Christ

Jesus

Matthew 16:16-17 — Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Paul

Acts 9:22 — But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ [Messiah].

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 1 Part B

that-you-may-know.jpgTest # 1 – Walking in Light – Continued

In our last post, we considered walking in the light and the natural growth of believers to walk as we look to Him.  In this post, let us consider the blessing accrued as we walk in the light, as He is in the light.

Let’s read our passage again.

1 John 1:6-7
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Blessings of Walking in the Light

If we conduct ourselves according to the Light of God that we understand, we experience two blessings according to John.

Blessing One

“The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin”.

I want to discuss this blessing first, since it is so bedrock to our faith!  John is speaking to believers and reminds us of the action of the blood of Christ with our sin problem.

Prone to wanderAs believers, we have been delivered from the life of sin and self, from our looking away from God.  But we all know that we are prone to wander, prone to want those leeks we left behind in Egypt.  Prone to return to our prior lives.  As we recognize these attitudes and actions in our life,  we are to repent, agree with God about our condition to God (confess) and request forgiveness from Him. (See 1 John 1:9)

In this verse, the verb “cleanses” is in the present tense in the Greek, representing a simple statement of fact viewed as occurring in actual time.  His sacrifice was a once for all act of supreme love for us.  The effects of this sacrifice are far reaching.

As we bang around and fall, learning to walk this life in His light, we must understand that His sacrifice for us is an active love that is always reaching out to us, seeking our good.

We do ourselves much damage when we ignore His loving provision.

Blessing Two

“We have fellowship with one another”  John states that as we practice the truth of God, and of His character, we have fellowship with one another.

Is he saying we have fellowship with God or with other believers walking in the light?  It seems obvious that if we are walking in light (truth), we would be in fellowship with the Source and Being of light.  Otherwise, John may be stating that we experience fellowship with others who are walking in the light.

This was an incredible blessing when I first considered it.  We had recently moved to a new town and hadn’t found a church yet.  It seemed we were all alone, and yet this verse instructed me that as I walk in the light, I did have fellowship with others of like mind.

We have fellowship with others.  A state of being, that as I walk properly, will experience that fellowship (or sharing together) with others.  Of course, being associated with a body of believers makes this much more “efficient” but it doesn’t take away from the fact that fellowship with others is based on “Light Living”.

We all know that some churches have folks that are walking in the dark, and some walking in the light.  This verse (and book) defines the difference between the two.  Notice that it is not based on personal likes or denominational distinctions.

Or that God agrees with us.  What do you mean with that remark Carl?

Let me give you an Old Testament example.

josh_5_14_captain_of_the_hostsPrior to entering Canaan, Joshua met “the captain of the Lord’s army”, and as the military man that he was, Joshua demanded whose side He was on.  The Angel simply stated “I am the Captain….”

He wasn’t on the side of the Israelite’s.  We often get this so mixed up.  He is the Lord.  They were to be on His side!  There is a difference!  Check out The Lord’s Enemy  post for a bit of teaching on this surprisingly forgotten concept for some!

He is the Lord and His people have fellowship with one another as they walk in His light.

John will describe that light throughout the remaining chapters of the book.  I hope you can walk with me through these truths and come out of them with renewed vigor to follow Him in His light.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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Judge Judge Judge – γνώμη – Study 4-A

 

Because of the CrossThanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.

Another purpose of this series hopefully is to understand the believers restriction on judgement. 

What can a Christian judge?  How is he to judge?  What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge.  So many questions and concerns. 

Our fourth greek word related to judging is…

gnōmē

G1106 – γνώμη – gnōmē

judgment, mind, purpose, advice, will, agree

This word is found 9 times in 8 verses within the New Testament.  A full listing of all verses may be found below for your self study.  I will consider the verses that are not clear, that create questions in my mind, with the remaining verses left for the reader to ponder.

1 Corinthians 1:10

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

I attended a medium size church for a period of time and one of the things I learned while their is that unity and uniformity are not equal.

The church sought the entire body to study one topic and a small group of us requested we continue with a separate study.  This desire was evidence of an unwilling spirit, showing a fruit of division.

Is this Paul’s concern above?

Consider Paul’s later lament, where he rails against the believers joining cliques, forming premature denominations, and seeking to cling with their own group think.  Finding folks that think the same way in church does not challenge our lives, but allows us to settle for a safe existence.  Being around folks that think differently, forces a believer to capitulate to a strong personality (definitely a danger) or to become firm in his convictions.

So is Paul wanting us to believe the same minutia of doctrines, and refuse to fellowship with those who differ?  I think not.

He wants them

  • to agree / speak the same
  • to have no divisions / schisms among them
  • to be united in the same mind and the same judgement

all yall.jpg

Check the context – the believers, in the previous verse, are told of their calling – and since I reside in Texas, I’m gonna give you the Texan translation.

… All y’all were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord

The focus of the fellowship, of the church body, of the gathering of the saints is to have fellowship with one another and the Lord Jesus Christ.

If Jesus is head, we look to Him for direction and guidance, we humble ourselves to accept that we may be wrong in our understanding of the will of God, and in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

If all y’all believers (including me!) sought this type of Christianity, there would be no divisions, and the world would see a group of believers united in the same mind and the same judgement concerning things of the Spirit of God.

  • Agree to speak the same thing (about Jesus) – that He is Lord.
  • Have no divisions, (although some believers may be at different stages of their pilgrimage)
  • United in the same mind (of humility) and of the same judgement, (based on the Spirit and the written Word)

Thanks for joining me in this study.  Hope to visit with you in our next post as we continue to look at the Greek term γνώμη.

Be Blessed.

 

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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OT in NT – 1 Peter

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 1 Peter and corresponding Old Testament references.

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


 

21-OT in NT – 1 Peter

 


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Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 4 – My Authority!

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

Our last post dealt with the Master comparing Himself with the Temple.  In this post, He continues to ramp up the argument by fully expressing His authority.

Two Authorities

Matthew 12:7  And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

This is the second time Jesus tells the Pharisees of Hosea 6:6.  It seems to fit the need for these Pharisees, to be confronted with a re prioritization of values for their lives.

Jesus states that the Pharisees didn’t understand the Scriptures they claimed to live by and declares His disciples as guiltless.

God despises religion that places a requirement beyond love, and this is what the nation of Israel had done.

Religion often reverses the intentions of God in His creation.  Note in the parallel occurrence, where Jesus add the following clarification

Mark 2:27  And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Religion grasps onto a gift and makes it a law.  The Sabbath was given to the nation of Israel as a gift to man.  The Pharisees had developed the Sabbath, with good intentions, I am sure, into a burden for man to carry.

Two authorities to choose from.  One authority based on the thought of man, and his desire to protect the law of God (which eventually crucifies the author of that very law!)

The greater authority is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

He is authoritative over the Sabbath, not the Sabbath over Him.

So Carl, are you saying that the Old Testament Sabbath day of rest has no authority over the believer.

Consider the New Testaments teaching on ultimate authority.

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Who is the authority in your life?

There can only be one authority in anyone’s life. If the Lord Jesus states we are to observe the Sabbath, we must observe the Sabbath.  If you are unsure if He has taught that, see my blog post “Commandments for Christians – No Working on the Sabbath”

 


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Book Look – Fight

fight-preston-sprinkle-9781434704924A while back I wrote a post “What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – Matthew 5:9“, in which I tried to explain the  difference between being a peace keeper and a peace maker. Check it out.

Based on my understanding of Jesus command to be a peace maker, (as opposed to simply a peace keeper), I have ventured into considering the Biblical argument for the passivist life, and why some believers – me included – naturally tend to justify violence in our lives.

In this journey, I tripped over a book by Preston Sprinkle, called Fight, and found it to be very challenging.

One of the more challenging portions of the book – there are many portions of the book that are challenging! – is his portion on the book of Revelation.

He lifts Jesus up as our example, and writes…

“The book of Revelation is all about how Jesus conquers Babylon.  The word conquer (verb: nikao; noun” nike) conjours up images of military victory and everyone in John’s world knows this”

A bit later he continues…

“The Lamb conquers by being conquered.  In fact, whenever Jesus is the subject of the verb nikao in Revelation, it refers to His own death.  Jesus conquers by dying.”

Lastly, Mr. Preston refers to Revelation 19:13

He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

His teaching shocked me, since I have always assumed the blood to be of His enemies.  Read the passage in context and tell me whose blood is on His robes.

Like I said, it is a very challenging book, and I highly recommend it – unless you like being comfortable…


If any who are reading this and have found what I am describing, please let me know.  If any are hungry for church life that “connects”, that is living and breathing, reach out.  Others may be able to help you.

Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.


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Discussions with an Atheist – Part 5

atheist

A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.
A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”
Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.
I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.
Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.
If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses.  I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment.  I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.
My comments and responses are in red.

I am back from the trip – It was fun, but I am burnt!
As for your last comments, I have responded to them individually, for your viewing pleasure (haha)
The bible was written an estimated 30-60 years after the death of Jesus
…The earliest NT writings are probably the books of James (43-58 AD), Galations (49-52 AD) and 1 & 2 Thessalonians (50 – 54 AD). The latest NT writing could possibly be the book of Revelation (96 AD) (which is apocalyptic in genre, not historically based on Jesus earthly life)
I personally believe the book was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but that is not allowing for a worst case scenario for your argument!)
So with these dates, your initial statement is invalid!
The NT was written an estimated 16 – 69 yrs after the death and resurrection of Jesus (27 AD)

Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend.  I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.


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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.

Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 5

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the fifth post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

5. Both taught the same things about Christ’s identity – He is the Supreme Ruler

Jesus

Matthew 28:18 — And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Paul

Acts 17:7 — and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Test 1 Part A

that-you-may-know.jpg

John provides our first test immediately after he gives his message, after he gives witness of who he has fellowship with, and reminds us that God is light.

Test # 1 – Walking in Light

1 John 1:6-7
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Light and darkness are two environments, two states, two authorities that we may live within.

As John gives us these tests, it is good to remember that his audience was first century, and it was common to speak of daily life as “walking”.

As believers, our lives are to be lived for God, and John (along with all the NT authors) spoke of walking when they refer to our living our lives. To walk is to live.

Walking entails a number of elements that may be instructive for us to consider.

A Focus for Walking

In the first century, walking was the primary way of getting from point A to point B. No one left point A without knowing where point B was. My point, in all these points, is that walking had a destination, or a goal in mind. Our lives also are to have a goal.

I recently began a new series titled “Let Me Tell You a Story”, and published a post speaking of walking with purpose. It may be of interest to you – Let Me Tell You a Story – Plowing.

A Manner of Walking

Prior to becoming a believer at 21, my life was a filled with confusion, and fear. Out of that fear, came an existence of drunkenness and drug abuse. I will forever be thankful for the mercy of the Lord in delivering me from that hell. During those days, I staggered through my existence. Often I would find myself in shameful conditions, or dangerous environments.

A believer is to live upright and circumspectly, understanding truth (light) and conducting themselves accordingly.

Consider yourself a Christian? Where are you at with practicing truth in your life. A little darkness known is darkness still!

Growth in Walking

I’m not sure if I have mentioned before, but I have 6.8 grandchildren, as of this writing. My oldest is 12 and my seventh will be born December 12, 2020.

Baby-Falls-Down-on-Sidewalk-in-Rain

Each of these little miracles will walk through life, and have to learn how to balance their body as they exercise their legs and feet to propel their body forward. It is a gargantuan effort for a little eight month old to stand, and even greater for that ten month child, risking the dangers of falling in order to do what daddy does. So far each grandchild has proven to want to walk like daddy. It seems to be “second nature.”

We have a second nature too, and as we love Him and watch His actions in our lives and the lives of others, we also will want to walk like our Father. The issue we need to address is whether we are watching Him or watching something unimportant.

I trust you will seek to watch the One who is worthy of our gaze.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post. Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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Judge Judge Judge – βῆμα – Verse List for Study 3

Because of the CrossFind the full list of verses for the word bēma below


Matthew 27:19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”

John 19:13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.

Acts 7:5 Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child.

Acts 12:21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.

Acts 18:12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal,

Acts 18:16 And he drove them from the tribunal.

Acts 18:17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

Acts 25:6 After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought.

Acts 25:10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well.

Acts 25:17 So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought.

Romans 14:10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Judge Judge Judge – βῆμα – Study 3-B

Because of the Cross

Thanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.

Another purpose of this series hopefully is to understand the believers restriction on judgement. 

What can a Christian judge?  How is he to judge?  What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge.  So many questions and concerns. 

Our third greek word related to judging is…

bēma

βῆμα – bēma – judgment seat, throne, to set (one’s) foot on

This word is found 12 times in 12 verses within the New Testament.  A full listing of all verses may be found below for your self study.  I will consider the verses that are not clear, that create questions in my mind, with the remaining verses left for the reader to ponder.

Judgment Seat of Christ

2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

First off, I don’t see a difference between judgement seat of God and judgement seat of Christ.  To all who may see a difference, let me know – I am open to discussion and learning!!)

Secondly, I found out a little something years back when I was teaching through the book of Corinthians that made me reconsider the type of God I serve.

Let’s refer to Vines one more time.  Note that the primary meaning of the greek word translated as evil is

“slight, trivial, blown about by every wind;” then, “mean, common, bad,” in the sense of being worthless, paltry or contemptible, belonging to a low order of things; in Jhn 5:29, those who have practiced “evil” things, RV, “ill” (phaula), are set in contrast to those who have done good things (agatha); the same contrast is presented in Rom 9:112Cr 5:10,

I’m not totally convinced of this thought but would like to float it for your consideration.  Follow me on this thinking for a moment.  The primary meaning of the greek word translated as evil is “slight”, “trivial”, “worthless,”  “belonging to a low order of things”.

That was not expected.  When I think of evil, I think of cruelty, malice, sinfulness, wickedness, depraved, villainous, corrupt, foul.

You get my meaning?

The BibleBut let us remember the context.  We are at the judgement seat of Christ.  The evil has been taken care of at the cross, but now we only have things that were done in the body as a Christian.

Also, Christians can’t be evil.  That list of synonyms above cannot consistently describe the believer.

Anything less than “good” at the judgment seat will be delegated to the worthless pile.  Kinda reminds me of a pile of wood hay and stubble, but that is a whole different passage, and may not directly relate.

I think this may need some good ol’ fashioned back porch ruminating, but for now I offer it to the gentle reader for their consideration.

How does this relate to judgment?  (That is the point of the study Carl!)

The judgment will be based on knowledge of the life lived, and this verse again informs us that it will be a “family gathering”, not a separate meeting with no one around.  All will be exposed, for the good and the worthless.

When I consider this situation, for a momentary thought, it is completely and utterly okay.

He is my Father, and the Lord was crucified for me.  Will I experience sadness for the loss of opportunity to serve Him.  Yes.  That is true.  I find no comfort in that.

Will my Father hug me when I get home?

He is our Father.

Thanks for joining me in this study.  Hope to visit with you in our next post as we look at the Greek term γνώμη which is commonly translated judgment, mind, purpose, advice, will, agree in the New Testament.

Be Blessed.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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OT in NT – James

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 James and corresponding Old Testament references.

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


 

20-OT in NT – James

 


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Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 3 – A Greater Temple

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

In our last post we saw that Jesus’s first response to the Pharisees, Jesus compared Himself to King David.  By extension, His followers were compared to Davids followers, and the “sinful” act they performed by eating food allowed only for the priests.

The story was perfect, and the comparisons of the two Kings refuted the Pharisees claim.  This first response could have completed the discussion but Jesus continues.

Two Temples

Matthew 12:5  Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?

During the Sabbath, the priests were super busy.  Work work work.  The blood was a flowing and them sheep didn’t die without help!  All the offerings and sacrifices were labor intensive and the priests had to supply on the Sabbath for the Temple activities.

The temple servants were not held to the Sabbath rules, as well did the Pharisees know.  Jesus takes advantage of this.

Matthew 12:6  I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.

Using this exception for the servants of the temple, Jesus laid out His second reasoning in defending His followers of their actions.

He is the Greater Temple.

And as they were discussing in the grain field, Jesus claimed that the Greater Temple was right in front of them.

The Greater Temple has the authority over the activities of His servants.

As an aside, when I first started to realize that all things in the Old Testament were simply shadows of the Lord Jesus Christ, my mind was blown.  I still come back to missing such truths as

  • Jesus is the real Promised Land
  • He is the new Jerusalem
  • The Lord is the Tabernacle, not made with hands

Are you “missing” the greatness of the Lord Jesus?  He is tha Alpha nad the Omega, and all things in the Old Testament were written as a type of His person and ministry.

One challenge for my reader – Consider all the sacrifices in the Old Testament, and how they typify the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus, of His character and actions while on this blue ball.

Please join me a s we venture into additional passages in the New Testament, and find out how Jesus relates to the Sabbath.


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Book Look – Life in Community

life-in-communityAs you have been following this blog, you may remember my conviction that I consider my Christian life to be influenced and exercised more through a small group environment than any other ministry I have been involved in.

Whether we have been involved in the conventional Sunday School group or the more open and relaxed, real life home fellowship/cell group, small groups of believers getting together to share life has always resonated with us.

We have hosted groups in our home, and it is evident that my wife has the gift of hospitality.  She loves to share and open her home.

Given our propensity to small groups, when ever I find a book that supplies encouragement in this area, I pick it up.  Recently I finished the little book “Community in Life” by Dustin Willis.  During my reading, I  found a description of hospitality that I would like to share with you.

This excerpt is attributed to Jen Wilkin.

Entertaining vs Practicing Hospitality

  • Entertaining is always thinking about the next course.  Hospitality burns the rolls because it was listening to a story
  • Entertaining obsesses over what went wrong.  Hospitality savors what was shared.
  • Entertaining, exhausted, says, “It was nothing, really!”  Hospitality thinks it was nothing.  Really.
  • Entertaining seeks to impress.  Hospitality seeks to bless.

I especially like the first point, since our schedules are sometimes fairly erratic and we simply end up pulling paper plates out and buying pizzas.

In summary, we need to remember the gospel is our license to be free to bless those around us.  We cannot do that without being involved in others lives and one of the best ways to know another is to invite them into your home.

The book is a very good treatment on the importance of small groups, and in this society of fear and dread, where we are told to restrict social interaction, the church needs to recognize her need to be intently fellowshipping with like minded folks to worship and honor the Messiah, and to serve one another.


If any who are reading this and have found what I am describing, please let me know.  If any are hungry for church life that “connects”, that is living and breathing, reach out.  Others may be able to help you.

Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.


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Discussions with an Atheist – Part 4

atheist

A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.
A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”
Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.
I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.
Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.
If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses.  I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment.  I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.
My comments and responses are in red.

The bible was written an estimated 30-60 years after the death of Jesus….the avg life span of a human was approximately 40…I’m sure if you do the stats you’ll find it’s unlikely that the same person(s) who witnessed these things were not first hand, and if it was the lucky individual who got to witness these events he/she still did not write them down immediately which again would dis condone the reliability of their experience.
As for mass hallucinations it is possible that water supplies could have been tainted or food supplies spoiled with certain mycilium who knows? But the power of suggestion is powerful as well….and who knows things could have been exaggerated or just lied about as well. These events are non-repeatable which means they have no hard evidence stating they could even be close to true…remember what someone thinks is true does not make it true, unless that person can back up their claims with more than anecdotal evidence.
Just an FYI I’m at work and typing on the go and yes I like to converse myself 🙂 but I see your catch 22 but the amount of information gathered has all pointed towards no real creator just transitional forms via evolution.
Hey Friend – things are really crazy for me for the next few days going on vacation with my wifey – until May 6th to be specific, so if I lag in responding, it is not because of a lack of desire but just “out of pocket” – (a texan slang)
Take care and I’ll “type” when I get back – k?
Sounds good Carl 🙂 safe trip and have fun!

Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend.  I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.


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Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 4

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the fourth post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

4. Both taught the same things about Christ’s identity – He is Son of God

Jesus

John 10:36 — do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming’, because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

Paul

Romans 1:3 — concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh.

Gal.2:20 —I live by the faith of the Son of God…

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Introduction

that-you-may-know.jpg

Heard a preacher once say that God tests in order for us to know, whereas we humans teach (supply knowledge) in order to be tested.

Which one of us is backwards???

Tests are supplied for the believer in order to know his status before God. I have come out of a denomination that taught 1 John as describing tests for the purpose of assurance of fellowship. John, I was taught, gave these tests in order for believers to know they were pleasing to God, in fellowship with Him.

It makes a lot of sense.

There are some who would refer to the tests John provides as tests of true or false Christianity. The tests define true Christianity, not whether you are a good or “bad” Christian.

A totally different ballgame here folks.

But what of it?

Is this it a manipulation of the texts in order to enslave believers into a legalism?

Wow Carl – settle down!
Keep a open mind and allow the Word to tell you without jumping to conclusions!

Join me as we go through testings in order to know, in the book of 1 John.

I trust that these tests will challenge you as they have I!


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