August - Reading 10

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Aaron

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    Yesterday's reading in Luke was the Parable of the Dishonest Steward, Luke 16:1-9. In conclusion of that Parable, Christ said, "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

    I think that exhortation is made more understandable by Paul's charge to Timothy in today's reading:

     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening –

    Today in the Book of Nehemiah we read of the massive consolidated effort put forth by the Israelis to rebuild the wall of the city of Jerusalem. Verse 3:1 begins at the Sheep gate and the final verse of the chapter ends at the same point. This single chapter is the most significant clue we have to the layout of the city and its surrounding wall. This chapter also shows Nehemiah’s ability to delegate responsibilities to those who were faithful to him.3:12 shows us that women also helped in the reconstruction efforts.

    In Proverbs today we move to a new section of the Book. This listing of single adages will continue through verse 22:16. We see in 1Kings 4:32 that Solomon had many, many more that this collection that we have today.

    Luke 16:16-18 parallels the lessons taught by Christ in Matthew 5:31-32 & 19:9 but excludes the reason for divorce (hardness of the heart) and the exemption for refraining from divorce (marital unfaithfulness.

    1Timothy ends very personally with Paul advising Timothy to avoid the pitfalls described from last night’s reading. Timothy had been entrusted with a great task in Ephesus, especially for a young man, and Paul seems to exhibit great confidence in his abilities. What struck me as we read through this Book is how pertinent the teachings are to today’s churches and pastors. In verse 6:21 the word “you” is the plural form and indicates that this Letter was intended to be read to the congregation there.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 1/18/04 partI

    Proverbs 10-16

    Proverbs 10 through 22:16 are a collection of the type of proverbs known as "wisdom sentences." In this style, we typically find a two-part statement that either offers contrast or reinforcement. These chapters are quite difficult to outline as they usually stand alone with little or no context to the sentences surrounding them.

    In our readings this week we encountered proverbs about wealth and righteousness, character, proper speech, temper, and so on. The message is inserted periodically that the fear of the Lord is the foundation for all wisdom and is the true source for a happy, well-lived life.

    Proverbs 10:2-3

    These two verses show a concept in which God enforces a moral order in relation to the behavior of the individual. Specifically, the author is addressing ill gotten gains. It matters how a man gets his money. God will not tolerate an imbalance between his treasures and his righteousness. Though they may provide the man with earthly wealth, they profit nothing because on the Day of Judgment Christ will cast away the substance of the wicked and judge all men poor and rich with the same justice.

    Jesus gave us the same lesson in Luke 12:15-21 in the Parable of the Rich Fool. While the man who has ill gotten wealth may have earthly luxury for the short time here on earth, he is not rich towards God.

    Albert Barnes made these observations about the Parable of the Rich Fool:

     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 4/4/04 Part II

    1Timothy 6:11-16 Paul's Charge to Timothy

    Paul will return to his warnings against monetary covetous in verse 17 but in this Passage he interrupts this warning with a final charge to Timothy. The exhortation takes the form of what appears to be a rather formal allusion to a baptismal discourse or perhaps an ordination address. The term "man of God" used to address Timothy echoes the Old Testament references to many of the old Jewish heroes including Moses, David, Elijah, Elisha, Samuel and many others. It is a term that denotes one whom God has chosen for his service.

    Timothy is to "shun" or "flee" the covetous and greed displayed by the Judaistic errorists. Instead he is to pursue the Christian values of faith, love, steadfastness (patience), gentleness (meekness), and godliness (righteousness). Such a pursuit will require discipline and Paul again returns to the motif of a military commander charging a subordinate. He tells Timothy to "fight the good fight of the faith." Such diligence will be rewarded, not with earthly treasure, but with eternal life, the reward that God Himself bestows.

    The "good confession" made by Timothy to "many witnesses" is a bit vague. It could refer to either a confession made at the time of baptism or during his ordination mentioned earlier in the Letter. As we have no record of confessions being made at the time of ordination, many, if not most, interpreters opt for a reference to baptism. Indeed, baptism is a call to share in Christ's self offering to God and He spoke of his own baptism by John as a connection to the servant role. Matthew 3:13-15

    Paul reinforces his charge by invoking God and Christ as witnesses. The allusion to God would give Timothy courage as God "gives all life" and Christ gave the ultimate example of one who gives a good confession when He stood before Pilate (John 19:37). So before these two Supreme witnesses, Paul charges Timothy to "keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach." The "commandment" references the baptismal charge and the command given in verses 11-12. Paul makes it clear that this charge is binding until "the appearing of our Lord, Jesus Christ." It is commonly speculated that Paul fully expected the return of Christ to come during His lifetime. While those who hold a premillineal view state that this has not yet occurred, the doctrine is quite sound. We should all expect and live as though the Parousia could occur at any moment.

    Verses 15 & 16 are probably another quote from an early hymn. While the hymn reinforces Paul's charge as binding until the Second Coming, it also sharply contrasts the Emperor worship of the time. That Christ is "King of kings; Lord of lords" shows that God is the final governor and authority of all earthly princes. God alone possesses immortality. Men receive this from Him. God dwells in "unapproachable light" not because He is obscure but because of man's sin. Hebrews 12:14

    The Passage ends with a typical Pauline doxology. Honor and power belong to God not because we give it to Him, but because they are His by right.

    1Timothy 6:17-19 A Charge to the Rich

    Paul now returns to his discussion of wealth. He focuses now not on those who use religion as a means to monetary gain but to those who have already accrued earthly riches. Paul here is not denouncing wealth but is instead counseling that those who have wealth should use it properly. He may well have had the teachings of Jesus in mind here: cf. Luke 16:11-13.

    First, he says that the rich must not be "haughty (high-minded)". Being haughty stands in contrast to the humility that Christians are commanded to display. Secondly, the rich are to put their trust in God, Who furnishes all things. They are to avoid placing their trust in money, which can let them down. Such trust puts ones hope only in this world when a Christian's hope should be in Christ. Third, the wealthy within the church are entrusted with good stewardship. Being wealthy with material goods enables them to be also "rich in good deeds." Good stewardship lays a good foundation for the future, that is, the eternal life to come. The "laying up" of a foundation Paul speaks of here strongly echoes the words of Christ's instructions of laying up treasures in Matthew 6:19-21.

    1Timothy 6:20-21 Closing Charge and Salutation

    The Letter ends with a final plea accented by an affectionate and emotional addressing of Timothy. Like a faithful soldier, Timothy was to guard what had been entrusted to him. We know from Paul's previous statements that this trust included sound doctrine, the truth of salvation, the mystery of godliness, in short, the Message of the Gospel. In contrast to guarding this trust, Timothy was to shun the teachings of the false teachers. The profane and vain babbling of these errorists was empty and hollow.

    The errorists falsely called their unsound doctrine "knowledge (science)". Their self-delusion did not lead to truth but it instead completely missed the mark of real truth: the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

    The Letter ends with a typical Pauline benediction. The plural "you" indicates that the Letter, though addressed to Timothy, was to be heard by the entire congregation.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson – 12/26/04 - continued

    Luke 16:10-13 The Right Use of Wealth

    In this Passage, Jesus speaks to God’s stewards and contrasts them to the character in the preceding story. First of all, God’s stewards, the children of light, are “faithful.” We recognize that all that the earth perceives us as having is actually God’s and is merely entrusted to us. Verses 10-13 contrasts the worldly wealth we may have against the Heavenly treasures we will someday have. The unrighteous mammon is worldly. The true riches are what we posses because God has bestowed it upon us. In these verses we see that our existence here on earth is a proving ground in which our character is shown. A basic test of that character is our attitude towards material possessions here on this plane. All that we have here is temporary as death will separate us from it. The treasures that God will someday give us will have no temporal limitations.

    The person’s concept of what he values in life is determined by the master which he serves. The verb translated “serve” in verse 13 is literally “be a slave to.” The point is that no one can give total allegiance to more than one master. We can be slave to the values and goals dictated to us between birth and the grave or we can be slave to those goals that transcend the body and ego. If we make things our gods, we will spend our lives acquiring and serving them. If we make the Lord our God, we will be able to devote ourselves to the pursuit of higher values.

    Luke 16:14-18 Comments to Some Pharisees

    Jesus now turns from addressing His Disciples and concentrates His attention towards the Pharisees. Even though we know through the teachings of the New Testament that the love of God and the love of money are mutually exclusive, the Pharisees did not view it as such. To them, wealth was a reflection of God’s favor. As such they viewed the poor with resentment and disdain.

    One of the ways in which the Pharisees showed their seeming piety was through religious acts such as almsgiving. However, their motivation nullified the significance of performing such acts because they sought to justify themselves to men, not to God. Righteousness was being falsely expressed in their ritual because God knew their hearts.

    The ultimate goal of the Pharisees was to keep the Law but with the coming of the Christ this goal was no longer valid. The Law and the Prophets constituted a specific phase of redemptive history that ended with John the Baptist. Jesus brought in the new era in which the Good News was preached. The phrase “presseth into it” in the KJV will vary widely from translation to translation as the meaning is somewhat obscure to translators. The most commonly accepted meaning is that even though the Pharisees were rejecting the Gospel message now being preached, many were anxiously seeking to become involved in it.

    In verse 17 Jesus confirms that the Law was indeed eternal but it was not the end of the Message. The Laws purpose was to point to the Gospel, not to be an inflexible tool of falsely pious men. As an example of this, Jesus attacks the attitude of the Pharisees that a man could divorce a woman for any reason (Deuteronomy 24:1-4}. The demands of the Kingdom superceded the Law in this regard and reestablished the unity that God had established for man and wife in the beginning (Matthew 19:3-9).
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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