Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge– even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you– so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 ESV

Security

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would look at verses that seem to support the eternal security teaching and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these passages.

Today’s passage is found in 1 Corinthians 1:8, but I would like to consider the passage from verses 4 through 9.  Is Paul seeking to instruct the believers in Corinth about eternal security?  Or is he breaching upon their lack of stability?

Security and Confirmation

Verse 8 clearly states that Jesus Christ shall confirm them unto the end, which must surely mean that once a person becomes a true believer, Jesus Christ is responsible to independently supply the believers security and deliver that person to God at their death.  At least that is how I read it in the past and suppose it is the common understanding among those who lean toward the eternal security teaching.

But I do have a few concerns.

I would like to start with Paul’s description of the Corinthians confirmation in verse 6. The passage is telling me that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in the Corinthians. This is the very same word that Paul uses two verses later in verse 8.

So lets consider what is going on in these verses.

In verse 7, Paul states the purpose of the confirmation described in verse 6.  The testimony of Christ – that is the witness/proof of Christ, was confirmed in the Corinthians via the gifts they received, the knowledge and utterance they experienced.  The confirmation had a purpose.  The confirmation had two participants, that is, God supplied the gifts, but the Corinthians exercised these gifts of knowledge and utterance. This is important to consider.

In verse 8, Jesus Christ is confirming the believers for the purpose of presenting them as blameless in the day of Christ.

Lets think about this.

Security Synonym?

Is confirmation a synonym (a word that means the same) for security?

As I read this passage in my earlier belief of eternal security, I would have to say yes! But the question begs to be answered honestly.  Please remember that security has synonyms such as safety, defended, protected, sheltered, unharmed and shielded.  Confirmation does not relate to these concepts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Additional Questions

Is this confirmation something that is performed only in heaven?  Or is this confirmation something that is being accomplished within the believer’s life?

Of course, if it is some type of mystical confirmation in heaven that is a completely independent activity of Jesus Christ alone without the participation of the believer, then adherents to the eternal security may have a valid argument with this verse.

But if the believer participates in this confirmation by obeying the direction (however imperfectly ) of the Master, following His teaching and seeking His direction, then somehow verse 8 includes a human component, a willingness and desire to conform to a blameless life, under the power and enabling of the Lord.

The greek word used in both verse six and eight is βεβαιόω, and the root meaning is “to be firm”.  When used of persons, it signifies someone who is trustworthy, someone who inspires confidence.  In verse eight, the verb is in the future tense and active voice. The active voice represents Jesus Christ (the subject) as the doer or performer of the action.   Let me ask this simple question – As Jesus is confirming these believers to be blameless, would it not be obvious to all about?  Remember that to confirm someone is to produce someone who is firm, trustworthy, and one in whom you can trust and depend on. Would not this fruit be evident in the believer’s life?  A life that is becoming more like Jesus.

He is certainly firm, trustworthy and One in whom we can place our confidence!

This is most interesting since many in the eternal security camp may speak of those who have no outward witness of Christ living in them as still being believers that are eternally secure and guaranteed entry into heaven, simply due to some statement of belief in the past.

Of course this is a very difficult statement to say in these days of sensitivity, where we must not offend any.  But I wonder what engenders God’s trust in some believers who break covenant without concern about His teachings and who claim a vital relationship with Him in the midst of obvious sin and rebellion.

Consider.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #161

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #161
Description
He will send the Spirit of God
Old Testament Prophecy
 Prov 1:23
If you turn at my reproof,[a]
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 16:7
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

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

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

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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – A Flashing Red Alarm

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

What I do speaks volumes. To others that is. Can I learn from my own actions during the day? I can convince myself of glorious intentions and many sacrificial acts of love I have performed, (that no one knows about!) and feel pretty good about myself. But is that wise?

Self deception is rampant is this day and age, where we are encouraged to abandon long held cultural standards, and to tell ourselves anything that is pleasing to our heart and mind. Our culture will tag along and actually force others to comply with our delusion, to reinforce our self styled righteousness, that may be utterly against not only the eternal Word of God, and age long ethical norms, but even recently accepted societal standards.

Let’s Consider the Bible and a short passage in the book of Acts that may provide some guidance, but first some background. The church has been preaching in the nation of Israel for a few years now, and the political masters were stepping in. King Herod actually jailed James, and martyred him, with a reaction that may have surprised him, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Let me introduce “the Jews”. “The Jews” (a term often used for the political/religious ruling body of Israel) were the purveyor of all things God to the people, supposedly mirroring God’s actions on earth. They knew the Scripture and the key message of who God is, and of our proper response to Him of love to Him and our neighbor.

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mar 12:28-34 ESV

“The Jews” were the icons of righteousness, the religious leaders of all Israel, those who held the keys and had the knowledge. They often got together and reinforced this thought amongst themselves during their meetings and social affairs.

Now this has been a bit of an introduction, but suffice it to say, the Jews during the first century, and some religious groups in our current time, were self deluded. And as I have been listening to the Book of Acts in my morning drive to work, a passage popped out that helped me to recognize this and look at my own heart.

About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. Act 12:1-3

What? This passage has nothing to do with self delusion Carl.

Hang with me for a moment. Note the phrase .. When he (King Herod) saw that it please the Jews… What pleased the Jews? The killing of James, an Israelite man who followed Jesus. This killing pleased the Jews. “The Jews” knew of their responsibility to love their neighbor. But the killing “pleased the Jews”

They spoke of their love of God. They spoke of their dedication to God. They spoke of their faithfulness to God. They showed their heart in the death of a fellow Israelite.

Where was their heart? This is simply a continuation and reoccurrence of the religious heart that crucified our Savior. Religious hearts have been killing for God for millennium.

If you haven’t heard the phrase “religion kills”, take a few minutes and consider what that means. How that phrase may apply to you.

Are you religious? If you claim you are a believer, and yet reveal a pleasure in something that is against God and His commandment to love Him and your neighbor, check your thoughts at the door. That pleasure meter may actually be the equivalent of a flashing red alarm to help you know where you stand.

Don’t be self deluded.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #160

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #160
Description
The earthly ministry of Christ described
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 147:3-6
He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;[a]
    he casts the wicked to the ground.
New Testament Fullfillment
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,

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

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

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Questions

Questions I’ve Been Asked – Application of Scripture

Question GIF

I admit it – This is a question I have asked myself. 

How much freedom do we have as believers in the application of Scripture in our daily lives?  The key issue in this post is the freedom aspect.  Can I take a verse that contextually speaks of topic “A”, and apply it nowadays to a completely different topic, let say topic “B”.

Let me give you some background as to why this has cropped up in my mind lately.  I belong to a great Sunday School class and they have a group text system to inform us of prayer needs and reports of praise as we go about our days.  

This past week, a fellow believer had to undergo a serious, life threatening operation, and as we all prayed, we were excited to see that after the operation, our brother’s wife informed us of the success of the operation.  Of course this brother is an elderly man, and the operation was a serious threat to his immediate health.  

Upon informing the group of our brothers success in the operating room, many of us spoke praises to God for the success of the operation, and spoke of our continued prayers for him and his family.  He is not out of the dark yet!

One brother, bless his heart, spoke boastfully (I fear) of his continued recovery, stating…

He will complete the good work of recovery and restoration that he has started.

I am sure my brother is seeking to simply encourage the wife, and I assign absolutely no bad motivation or malice to him in this statement, but I wonder if this is a wise message to offer a believer in this circumstance.

First, it sounds like it is a free interpretation of Phil 1:6, which, as some may know, I believe is speaking of monetary gifts given to Paul by the local church of Philippi (See Conditional Security – Philippians 1:3-11), and not of a unilateral promise of God in continually restoring one’s health. 

This is an impossible interpretation, in that we all eventually die!

Now of course if my brother is a prophet, that is another ball of wax that may be considered at a later date, but from all the discussions I have had with him, he has never claimed to be apostolic or prophetic.  

As I have ruminated previously, providing a promise to a fellow believer (or a non-believer) as if directly from God but taking liberties in applying a promise, brings potential shame on the name of the Faithful One. (Truth is invincible, only if applied truthfully)

In an earlier post I have recounted a story of when I discussed the word of faith teaching with a preacher of the same persuasion and of some of the unintended fall out of this teaching.  (See Story Time in  Ezekiel 34 – Shepherds & The Sick – 5)  This fallout, not only of putting words in God’s mouth, and of the potential shame as mentioned above, but also includes the weakening (or decimation) of a believers faith, if the promise is not fulfilled.   I am convinced this is a totally unintended action but if considered in the light of Scripture, may have incredibly serious implications. 

In this culture that is completely free of all moral bonds, as believers, we need to cling to the truth, and yet not overextend it’s application.  Truth has boundaries (an essential characteristic of truth), and at the risk of sounding faithless, only God knows the immediate future of our brother in the hospital.  We all seek his wellness, and I believe we all know his future depends on the the wisdom of God and His tender mercies. 

Let your speech always be graciousseasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

The Lord has instructed us to be gracious in our communication, and informed us that in this gracious attitude, we would know how to answer each other. To encourage a brother is to include truth, not to simply make us feel better in the immediate context. That may be the reason (at least one reason) Paul included the mention of salt. Salt sometimes stings. Gracious words are not to avoid truth, which may sting.

I look forward to comments and questions, especially passages of Scripture that may help in understanding this topic better.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 38 – B

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

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

In our last post, we considered David’s experience under God’s hand, considering verse 1-10, and 17, 18

Todays post will deal with David’s experience with men while in the same condition of sin we considered in the last post. (Psalms for Psome – Ps 38 – A)

May I simply state that there are some differences that are somewhat enlightening. Let’s take a few moments to read through the remaining verses of this wonderful psalm.

Psalm 38

11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off.
12 Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long.
13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear, like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
15 But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!”

In our previous post David refers to the light of his eyes having left him (v 10), but in relation to his distress before God, he mentions nothing of diminished hearing.

When God “remembers” ,

it is synonymous with taking action!

As a matter of fact, his groaning and cries were expected to be answered by the Lord, especially when you consider the psalm is a remembrance psalm (v 1), a psalm that speaks of God “doing” something, of remembering and acting.

David was all ears for a response from God, but not so with men. He has become like a deaf man, he “does not hear”. I am taking this as a choice on his part, not that he had for some reason become physically deaf. David makes a choice to go deaf to men.

Although I cannot say I have been under the intense scrutiny that David is experiencing, the council he provides is invaluable. How often have we heard a comment or statement from a friend or foe, that has intimidated, coerced, or simply discouraged us from the truth of God in our lives. Might it me better to be “deaf” to some of the statements made by our fellow man.

Also, it is revealing that the recounting of God’s dealing with David in verses 3 – 8, there is no mystery, no injustice or duplicity hinted at. God is dealing with his servant and the servant understands God is dealing with him. David knew of God’s actions and was asking for mercy from God, since God is bountiful in mercy.

Not so with men. Mercy isn’t hinted at in the verses David pens in relation to men. No, it is not so with men. David speaks of men seeking his hurt, even his seeking his death. David describes men laying snares, or spreading lies and treachery to inflict pain.

It appears the only way for men to relate to David is through the poisonous tongue, a lie here, and a deception there. They spend time thinking of ways to cause hurt and pain on the King. Meditate on evil intent. Spread their disinformation, trusting that others will simply accept the gossip, the lies and deception. It costs men nothing to lie (in their minds) and provides the effect they want (they think they want!)

This is instructive for those of us who are living in ‘1984’, as it seems we are slipping/falling into a culture where truth is an image and “facts” can be manipulated to an end. Blatant lies are rampant and pushed as truth, and we cannot afford to simply take every news report or headline as a fact. We must be grounded in the truth of Scripture, the hard information that David reveals to us in this passage, that there are men out there seeking our hurt, our poverty or weakness and our very lives. Simple acceptance of a human authority is a risky thing nowadays. Selective deafness, may have an advantage. Selective deafness and a discerning spirit, based on the written word of God.

19 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.

Our foes are very real, and their strength may seem to be gaining in these days. As believers in the Chief Shepherd, we should expect to be hated wrongfully, and we need to follow after good, no matter the response from those around us.

David’s final prayer is worth dwelling on, for only the Risen One can help us.

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #159

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #159
Description
The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 138:1-6
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.[a]
On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.[b]
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 2:2-6
saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;

and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”

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

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

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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Romans 8:17

and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. – Rom 8:17

Paul is in the middle of one of the greatest chapters in the New Testament, speaking to the church in Rome about the gospel, the justification, sanctification and glorification of the church due to the faithfulness of God. Of course, God’s faithfulness becomes an issue in the very next chapter and Paul spends three chapters explaining the faithfulness of God to Israel. Speaking on those chapters is for another post (or 40 posts!)

This post is to deal with Paul’s description of the church’s / believer’s glorification, and the relationship we have in our suffering for Him. Paul, according to my understanding, is linking the glorification of the saint with the suffering we undergo.

We are “heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him..

Now this sticks in my craw since I have always believed it is the blood of Christ that has provided sonship for all that believe, that trust the message God has provided. How can the glorification of the child of God discussed above be dependent on the child of God’s suffering?

I suppose a viable reading would be that as children of God, based on our faith, we will inevitably suffer with Him. This may be the possible reading, but then I would imagine that the verse should be read as

 …..if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we since we definitely shall suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Italics inserted by author

If suffering is inevitable for the believer (and I think it is – see Acts 14:22), what is Paul telling the church? Why does he introduce the “fellow heir” topic and link it, make it dependent on our suffering with Him. If suffering is inevitable, a simple admonition to endure may have been expected. (But then the Bible often does not provide what is expected!)

I think the logic for the short passage goes like this

  • Sons of God – led by the Spirit of God Romans 8:14
  • Not Sons of God – have spirit of slavery, live in fear Romans 8:15
  • Children of God – witness of Spirit of God Romans 8:16
  • Children of God = heirs of God, proven by suffering with Him Romans 8:17

As an aside, it is interesting that Romans 8:9 also introduces this “possibility” or “conditional” (if so be..) thought into a passage that for many years I saw as one of the strongest passages defending the OSAS (once saved always saved) position.

So can a person be a child of God and experience no suffering? In other words, if a child of God experiences no suffering, will they experience glorification?

This is a short post, primarily due to my lack of ability to understand this verse without my previous position influencing me.

I am very open to discussion on this (and any other post) that may cause you to question my thinking. Your challenges to my thoughts are warmly invited and I look forward to some giving my some clarity on this passage.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #158

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #158
Description
He was scourged
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 129:3
The plowers plowed upon my back;
    they made long their furrows.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 27:26
Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

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

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

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Devotional · Old Testament · Psalms

Let Me Tell You a Story – Gardenias

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

I love the smell of gardenias, and living in the south as we do, we have the climate to grow those bad boys. A few years ago, my wife recognized my hankering for the smell of gardenias and bought four or five plants for our back yard.

A few years passed and this year, the “hills were alive” with the essence of gardenia. It was glorious. For approx. 2 weeks, the plants exploded in blooms, and the yard was awash in the most glorious aroma. I ended up sitting on the grass for periods of time, just downwind from one particular plant that produced more flowers than leaves. It was truly unbelievable. One of those times when the goodness of God was experienced in a very unexpected way.

Since then, my wife and I have been busy with a number of tasks that have drawn us away from the back yard, but yesterday I had a reprieve and entered our gardens out back. Our nectarine trees are full of fruit, so much so that we have had to brace the branches from snapping off – our peach tree lost the central trunk three years ago from too much fruit on it! The plums are actually producing fruit this year – a first!

God is good, and the fruits of our labor in the back yard is a reflection on the work of God in nature.

But as I mentioned earlier, the gardenia bushes were my first target, hoping to smell that smell again, but alas, the bush had browned out. The bush was still plenty healthy, with vibrant green leaves, and plenty of life, but the flower had browned. out.

Sad day to say the least, but I decided I wanted to smell that smell again, so I got my pruning shears and started “hacking” (pruning for those of you who are knowledgeable of horticulture!).

As I mentioned above, this particular bush had been thick with flowers, so the hacking was fairly extensive. As I hacked and hacked, I thought of the next crop of gardenias and the joy it would bring, and also of the last crop of gardenias and the surprise and delight we experienced with the flowers.

And then I thought of Psalm 1, where the saint is described as having seasons of fruit bearing, but that the leaves were evergreen (See Psalms for Psome – Psalm 1). This gardenia produced such an abundant harvest of flowers, and in such an unexpected time, but the season of the flower had passed. After all, it was but for a season. The leaves continued, showing life, but the fruit / flower was but for a time.

And as soon as that thought settled in my mind, John 15 also nudged it’s way into my thinking, especially when I considered that my hacking was fairly aggressive.

If my wife had been there, she may have asked my to take a little less “off the sides”, if you know what I mean. No, this bush, to produce again, needed to be aggressively hacked, reduced in size so the root stock could support vigorous growth in the future.

As God may be “hacking” at your life consider two take aways from my day in the back yard.

First – Occasional Fruit Bearing

Psalm 1 speaks of seasonal fruit bearing, and yet consistent green growth. A consistent growth based on a plants roots near to the source of water, and yet fruit bearing in its season.

Secondly – Maximum Fruit Bearing

John 15 speaks of the Master gardener “hacking” at our lives for the purpose of greater fruit bearing, whatever that fruit bearing may consist of. He may be aggressive in His “hacking” at times, but His purpose is to get rid of the brown flower – it has served its purpose – and for the bush to produce fresh flowers that will please the gardener and visitors of the garden. As the hacking hits home, remember that the hacking doesn’t hurt the root, simply the branches. Not the invisible, only the visible. Not the life, but the evidence of life at one time.

Remember the importance of the root. And hack away!


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #157

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #157
Description
The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body)
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 132:11
The Lord swore to David a sure oath
    from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body[a]
    I will set on your throne.
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 1:32
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
 Act 2:30
Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,

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

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

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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

The security of the believer pops up often in the Word, under various topics.  The general topic in this post is the widows list.

Widows in the early church commanded a large part of the concerns of the apostles writing when discussing church issues with Timothy.  Not only did Paul direct Timothy about the support of deserving widows, but the danger the young widows fell into if included.

Paul actually commanded Timothy to refuse to “honor” (or assist) the young widows!

If I understand the situation, the churches would aid widows by supplying the widows needs. The list would contain the names of the widows being assisted and Paul is trying to define the character of a widow that is deserving of inclusion on the list.

Conditional Security

Lets read the passage before we dig in.

1 Timothy 5:11-15

But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

Security Problems

Some may imagine that the description above is simply Paul’s way of keeping young widows free from being on the “widow list”, locking into some benefit from the church, but not able to maintain their faithfulness to the Lord.  Since the young widows have not been tested (like deacons – see 1 Timothy 3:10 – “proved”) they may slip from a faithful lifestyle to that of being idle, tattlers and gossips.

What shocks me when I read a passage like this is that of these Christian widows, some have turned aside after Satan.  That can’t be good no matter how you slice it.  Unless, of course, the doctrine of eternal security is true, where a Christians security is based on a single act of saving faith, and lifestyle, character and conduct have no bearing on a relationship with Jesus.

As a matter of fact, when the Lord called His disciples, He did so using the same terminology Paul uses of the widows turning aside after Satan.  A very interesting passage reflecting this is found in Matthew 16.

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:23-24

When Jesus states If any man will come after me…. it is the same term Paul uses of the widows actions toward Satan. Those who follow Jesus are commonly considered Christians.  If a Christian follows Satan, is that person still a Christian?

If I am thinking properly, and a Christian maintains their identity as a Christian while following Satan, it empties the power of the original call on the disciples.  When Jesus said to follow, He meant to follow HIM, not simply follow anything or anyone!

But what I find even more interesting is the previous verse, where Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him.  When Paul tells of the widows turning aside after (or behind) Satan, some word studies explain that the term is identical to Jesus telling Satan to get behind Him.

So let’s get this picture clear – widows who once followed Jesus are beginning to follow after (behind) Satan.

Jesus simply commands Satan behind Him.

You see – Jesus is in charge of all – He has all authority – He is the only One risen from the dead, never to die again.

Following anyone else is foolhardy, and in the end,  life threatening. He is the only One placed on King Davids throne, reigning  over the Church and all creation. Security is found in the person of Jesus, and following Him is the key.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 38 – A

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

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

As mentioned in our introduction Psalm 38 is a psalm of David in sin. The next two posts will consider…

  • David’s experience under God’s hand
    • Verses 1-10 with verses 17 & 18 giving a summary.
  • David’s experience with men
    • Verses 11-16 with verses 19-20 supplying a summary.

In verses 1-10, David gives us his experience in relation the the Lord, his God. One subject that David does not resort to is excuse making. He does not deny his sin. Denial of sin is not the intent of David’s cries. He is addressing the what, not the why of his experience in this psalm

Lets look to the Psalm

1 A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!
2 For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

Anger and wrath. David realizes the effect of his sin on his relationship with the God of Israel. He is not denying the anger, or the justification for the wrath, the slow burning wrath that is welling up in God towards His servant. He is asking God, his God, to relent, to find mercy. Discipline is actively working in David, Gods arrows reside in David, a wounded warrior. David expresses his condition as an enemy of God, one who is at war with Him, and who is currently wounded with a God’s weapon of choice.

Both the “arrow of God” and the “hand of God” is pressing into David, a relentless piercing of a dart in David and a terrible pressure is on David, constantly present with the King of Israel. The King of Israel is not privileged in his stand with God. It doesn’t work like that in the Christian life. Sin will be exposed! As a matter of fact, he is more responsible since His ministry and work for God is so public!

Sin will be exposed. Sin may be forgiven. Guilt may be absolved, but the repercussions of acts of sin are deep, painful and may be long lasting. David, in the following portion, describes the deep, painful experience of God’s displeasure in his life. His spiritual life is in shambles and his entire existence has lost purpose. Everything he has desired is now up in smoke, and his greatest confidant has become a most powerful enemy.

His existence is tragic. Take a moment and consider.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness,
6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning.
7 For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

David, the sweet poet of Israel, is using his skill in describing his pain. Festering wounds (like on a battle field) and no soundness of flesh. Is he describing actual physical wounds on a battle field or describing the battle weary condition of his spirit? You be the judge, but I can’t help but see this as David’s inner life, his connection with God being in tatters!

It is interesting that at this time in his life, David was, to all appearances, peaking! He was the King of Israel, and had consistently led his armies to victory. Saul had been defeated, and the nation was unified. The potential for greater dominion was almost indescribable. He had promises directly given by God for his dynasty.

And yet, he was feeble and crushed, groaning out pleas of mourning and sorrow. How different our inner life may be from our appearances.

Take note of this truth, my friends. As we rub shoulders with our brothers and sisters on a Sunday morning, we get the impression all is well in everyone’s life. Not until we gain trust through relationship do we begin to know what is going on inside a brother! And this relationship is only begun in a church meeting. For trust to grow, we have to walk with a brother, share with a sister, do coffee, have lunch, attend to hospital visits, discuss loss jobs, assist in sickness, and experience disappointments.

If you are like myself, we naturally turn away from the pain of others, from those who are “under judgement”, whatever it may be. This is the recipe for a surficial Christianity, where we convince ourselves everything is good, while we sink into a despair and loneliness, a self deception that will cause us to experience our own inner battle.

David has opened up and given us a chance to view his thoughts, fears and struggles. We are reading the writings of a man looking to God, looking for relief, a ceasefire!

9 O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes–it also has gone from me.

How conflicting it must have been that the One David was in battle with, is the very One to which he longed for, that he sighed for. God is the All in All, and His position in our lives is multifaceted. He is not a simple deity that we have constructed in our vain thoughts, but the God of the heavens.

David is on his last legs. He has described his festering wounds, heavy burdens, his mourning and groaning, his failing strength and the light of his eyes – the light is gone!

17 For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me.
18 I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

David was ready to fall. Constant pain and sorrow were all he could see in his future. There was no hope in his own efforts, and his longing for God was ever present. What conflict! What a dead end for him.

Until confession was offered, there was no resolution. Confession of sin before his holy and loving Father is the only resolution David had.

It is the same for us my friend. It is the only way we may find our way back from a time of rebellion, back to experiencing His loving kindness.

At the risk of repetition, lets consider the last two verses as a conclusion, reminding us of the Kings plea before the Almighty.

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

The King was heard. Amen.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #156

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #156
Description
To come while Temple standing
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 118:26b
    We bless you from the house of the Lord
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 21:12-15
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,

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

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

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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Romans 11:29

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. – Rom 11:29 ESV

In the midst of a discussion on the security of the believer, it is important to find passages that deal directly with the topic.

Many believers who follow after the eternally secure (OSAS) teaching find support in the passage we are looking at.  God’s faithfulness is emphasized in the passage above, but the application of the truth to the security of the believer seems to be misapplied.

You see, a characteristic of God (His faithfulness) is revealed in this passage, but the object of God’s faithfulness is the nation of Israel, not the salvation of the individual believer.

Regarding the security of the believer, the passage is not particularly comforting.

Conditional Security

This verse is found near the end of Paul’s eschatological (end time) discussion (Romans 9 – 11) on the Jewish nation.  Paul is addressing the complex topic of God’s faithfulness to the nation of Israel, and how the church is relates to the promises given to the nation of Israel.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord made promises to the nation of Israel.  To be considered faithful, God must keep the promises to those who are of the nation of Israel.

But that is the point.

Security Question

How can the promises to the nation of Israel be taken away without reflecting adversely on the faithfulness of God?  Is God an “Indian giver”?  (I have actually heard this type of accusation in church about the character of God.)

Earlier in the passage, Paul defined Israel as the people of God, those faithful to His covenant, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Such as Peter, James and John.  Such as Simeon and Anna in the Temple, Zechariah, Malachi, Hosea and the host of prophets and believers that were in the physical nation of Israel.

In other words the remnant.

The Israel of God.

Today we call this group of believers the Church.

By the time Paul gets to the last few verses of Romans 11, he is making his closing argument.  God’s gifts and calling are without repentance.  All those who follow the Messiah receive the gift and calling of being of the nation of Israel, with all of its promises and benefits.

But please notice that it is God’s gift and calling that are without repentance.  Since it is a covenant between two parties (God and the believer), we cannot assume the second party in the agreement has no bearing on the successful completion of the covenant.  Paul is defending God’s faithfulness to the covenant, not the believers responsibility in the covenant.

Earlier I mentioned that the passage gives little comfort to the eternally secure position. It is important to remember that this topic had to be addressed due to the loss of covenant that the physical nation of Israel was experiencing in the early days of the church.  As a matter of fact, the reason the physical nation of Israel lost the privileged status of the Sinaitic Covenant was their constant rebellion against the covenant the nation entered into with God.

The faithlessness of the physical nation of Israel resulted in the loss of covenant privilege.  Paul is reminding us that we cannot shift the blame to God, or assume God’s faithfulness will ignore rebellion.

The Babylonian and Roman seiges on Jerusalem seems to lay that false security to rest.

Consider.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #155

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #155
Description
The Blessed One presented to Israel
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 118:26a
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 21:9
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

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

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

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


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 38 – Intro

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

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

Psalm 38 is a psalm of David in sin. He exists in the midst of knowing his own sin before the Lord, of the adultery, the deception, the murder. He has fallen, and is wallowing in a cesspool of condemnation, both in his thoughts, emotions and feelings.

This psalm is a second in a series of psalms that catalogues David’s writings while he is in the throes of his estrangement from God. Psalm 6, our current Psalm, Psalm 51 and Psalm 32 gives us an overview of King David’s struggles in processing through this self inflicted personal and public tragedy. This psalm provides David’s inner doubts and despair, much like Psalm 6, but prior to his full confession and repentance in front of the Living God in Psalm 51.

This psalm may be considered seeing two “persons” impacting David and his sin.

First off, David describes his Experience with God. We will look at verses 1-10 and summary verses 17 & 18 in our next post. A concluding post will look at verses 11-16, recording David’s Experience with men. Verses 19-20 will supply a summary regarding men and their “mercy” (ahem) towards David.

The last two verses caught my attention this morning, and I would like to settle on them for a wee bit. It is a common refrain through the psalms that although many psalms start out in sorrow and in pain, each psalm ultimately ends with hope. This particular psalm describes a saints heart when in despair, a hope the saint may have while under trial, while being abandoned, while alone and under conviction of sin.

Let’s take a moment to read the last two verses and consider.

Psalm 38

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

Take note my friends, that David, in the midst of all the pain and loss he describes in the verse 1-20, knows Who to call out to. He knows the One that can be approached, that will act. He calls out to God, claiming three names in his relationship with him.

He calls out to God as

  • LORD (Yᵊhōvâ)
    • The God of the covenant, of the promise. David call’s out to the One who initiated relationship, who pursued and promised.
  • my God (‘ĕlōhîm)
    • The name Moses used to describe the all-powerful creator of all things. The One to whom nothing stands in the way, the One to whom David claims as his own, his God, his powerful God
  • O Lord (‘ăḏōnāy)
    • A reference to David’s personal Master, his Lord, not just the Lord, but his own Lord. Even in the midst of his pain and distress, he never disowned his Lord. The very pain he went through may have been because he hung on, he persevered with a faith that accepted his sin, that owned his culpability and brought it before his Master.

But let us not stop with the three primary names David refers to in his closing plea. He also tags on “my salvation” and I realize I may be taking license in my next statement, but consider.

Many times in the Old Testament, God is referred to as the salvation of the nation of Israel and of individuals. Two verses as examples.

But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. – Isa 45:17

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. – Lam 3:26

Let’s remember whom God has designated as the One we are to look to for salvation, for His very name is Jesus.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Mat 1:21 ESV

When David tagged on “my salvation”, was he looking to the One who would walk amongst us, live a spotless life, speak truth to hearts and experience physical, emotional, spiritual sufferings we know nothing about. I like to think he was.

My salvation is found in no one else, not even my own self effort or supposed obedience to any moral code I may have erected in my mind.

David was in the midst of his deepest failure, and in the middle of this deep valley of despair, he looked to Him who was the salvation of Israel, and did not promise to “do better”, or “act nicer”. No – his trust was in someone outside of himself, in the ever living One.

Jesus is worthy of our trust. He is the only One we can approach in the midst of our sin, whom we can have confidence in that He will not utterly reject us.

He is good. Look to Him in your despair, in your pain, in your disappointment. He has suffered beyond our comprehension, understands deep despair, and disappointment and is waiting there for us.

Truly, He is good!

I do hope you will join me as we begin at the beginning of this psalm in our next posting. (I think I may have gotten a bit ahead of myself!) Hope to hear from you – Thanks for visiting!



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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #154

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #154
Description
The rejected stone is Head of the corner
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 118:22-23
The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 21:42-43
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

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

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

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


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Philippians 1:3-11

Philippians 1:3-11

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Recently I attended a Sunday School class that was decidedly of the “once saved always saved” persuasion and we were spending some time in the passage below.  Once we arrived at verse 6, the teacher mentioned how important this passage was and how he found comfort in it.  He was exulting in the good work of God, that is, to supply Christian security to believers based solely on initial faith at the moment of conversion.

But I had questions.

I don’t think Paul is addressing the eternal security of the believers in Philippi.

He is writing to one of his very favorite church groups.  The context is their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Lets break this down a bit.

When Paul mentions fellowship, what is he talking about?  The word Paul uses for fellowship can also be translated as partnership, or participation.  The Philippians were partnering with Paul in the gospel.  Is it simply the fact that they were Christians like he was and therefore they had fellowship?

Possibly.

But why is he defining the time limits so precisely, why does he have the ending clause of “from the first day until now”.  I think when Paul uses “now”, he is referring to a very specific partnering, but is being incredibly delicate.

Out of all the churches planted by Paul, the Philippians had one (of many) qualities that made it stand out from the rest.

They loved Paul.

And he was reminded of this love on numerous occasions.

Consider what we know about the first day of Paul’s experience with this group of people.

Acts 16:15

And when she (Lydia) was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:33

And he (the Philippian jailer) took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34 And he brought them up into his house, and set meat before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.

Also, the last time Paul visited with the fledgling church, after his release from the jail.

Acts 16:35-40

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the jailor reported the words to Paul, saying, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore come forth, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they now cast us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and bring us out.
38 And the serjeants reported these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans;
39 and they came and besought them; and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city.
40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

These three passages teach us a number of important characteristics of the Philippian church.

They were an inviting church.  Both of the main characters of the church (Lydia and the jailer) invited this trouble maker into their homes.  I did a quick review of the book of Acts and could not find another church that was as inviting to the apostle.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t find any church that expressly accepted Paul into their lives as the Philippians did.

Verse 35 to 40 need a bit more background to understand what possibly happened during Paul’s final moments with the church.  You see, the Philippian church was a Roman colony and as such had the Caesar’s eye on it more so than some of the other churches in the area.  A government town.  Paul, I think, used the injustice of the beating and imprisonment to broker a deal with the leaders of the City.  I think it may have went something like this.

Paul “You realize I am a Roman citizen and the beating and imprisonment you subjected us to was highly illegal”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul “The law of the Romans strictly forbids the beating and imprisonment of a Roman citizen without trial”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul  ” I have friends in the City that I care deeply for”

City Official “?”

Paul “Do we understand each other?”

In the final moments of Paul’s time with the Philippians, he may (or may not have) mentioned that he had discussed some issues with the city officials,  He definitely encouraged the new believers, sharing the love of Jesus with them and saying their goodbyes.

But wait – remember in chapter 1, verse three, where the apostle state they have shared in the gospel from the first day?  It is obvious that the Philippians shared with Paul and his companions their homes, their lives and their goods.

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul.

Granted, that may be a stretch, but they loved him and I think they gave him some moolah, you know – cash.  Also, if you look at the end of the book, specifically verse 15 of the fourth chapter, you will find that this church was the only church that supported Paul when he left them behind.

Consider

Philippians 4:10-19

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So lets get this straight.  The Philippians supported Paul at the following times
* When he left the Philippian church the first time
* Twice in Thessalonica
* At least one in Corinth
* At least once in prison (the reason for the writing of this epistle)

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul in Corinth.  (My my my –  nothing gets by you now, does it?)

Consider

2 Corinthians 11:9

and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Paul could take gifts from the Philippians since they loved him.  (They were not questioning Paul’s motives or reluctant in supplying his needs as some others were.

So, lets get back to the original issue.

What is the good work that Paul is referring to in the beginning of the book?

I humbly submit that he is referring to the Philippian church actively partnering in the gospel through supplying the apostles physical needs.

The “once saved always saved” teaching simply isn’t there!

Guess we will have to look somewhere else for that teaching!

Maybe a commentary?


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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – Head Coverings

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In my pilgrimage through this Christian life, I have attended a number of denominational churches, some of which adherer to the practice of a head covering of the ladies heads.

The passage referred to by my brethren friends is found in 1 Corinthians 11:13-15.

Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. – 1Co 11:13-15 ESV

Many times I discussed this topic with a good friend who believed it’s modern application, and though I never fully understood both sides of the argument, I did seek to come to a settled conscience.

Of course, their were distractions, such as the couple who strictly followed this practice, but when out of the church meeting, it was obvious who was the head! Or when a fellow believer could not worship since I was not leading my wife into submission by forcing her to wear a covering.

But as I said, these were distractions, and not a basis upon which to understand the text. Eventually we moved from the town we were in, settled in Texas, and the issue faded away since we no longer attended this type of church.

Fast forward over 20 years, and as I was driving home from work on a Tuesday afternoon, lo and behold, I tripped over a podcast call “The Naked Bible” by Dr. Micheal Heiser. The podcast intrigued me since I understand our modern thinking is not what the prophets and apostles were speaking to, and if I can understand the audience the Bible writers were speaking to, I might find better understanding for myself. This is Dr. Heisers intent. And this is where the podcast on 1 Corinthians 11:13-15 gave me some clarity.

Dr. Heiser’s message speaks of the 1st century’s Greco-Roman’s understanding of a persons hair in relation to reproductive activity. It is an amazing study of which I am thankful to have found. Note that the material in this podcast is sexual in content and it may be wise to restrict it to times when no children are present.

Naked Bible 86: The Head Covering of 1 Corinthians 11:13-15

The relevant information begins about 10 mins in, and although the discussion is close to an hour long, I found it to be very illuminating.

Let me know if you listen and of your thoughts. Perfect for a listen as you travel on your way to or from work.

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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