August - Reading 15

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    After the hearing of the reading of the Law and the repentant nature of the Israelites from last night’s reading, we move directly into the confession of sin by the people through a prayer by the Levites. As I had said when we began the Book of Nehemiah, this Book teaches us a great deal about prayer. We have seen the silent, personal prayers of Nehemiah seeking courage, support, strength, and revenge. Tonight we see what I consider an excellent example of public prayer when delivered by a single representative for a group. The prayer begins with a recognition of Who the Lord is and acknowledges His position. Then the prayer moves into statements of gratitude, which in this case doubles as a brief recount of the history of the Jewish nation. The prayer then begs forgiveness for sin. Finally, the prayer ends with a petition, asking the Lord to forgive and once again acknowledging the awesome power that is God’s to bring this about.

    Coincidentally, our reading in Luke also deals with prayer and Christ gives us the message that prayer DOES work as a petition to the Lord. Our God is not like the non-believing judge. He will swiftly move to our request without our having to pester IF the cause is right and to His Will. The widow’s perseverance is a model for those of us that live in the end times. It will be the faith that Christ seeks out upon His return as mentioned in verse 8.

    As another coincidence, 2Timothy addresses the end times and the lack of faith that will be so apparent at that time. At least we are comforted in knowing that the deceit of these particular false teachers will be apparent. One further note on this passage: Jannes and Jambres are not mentioned in the Scriptures except in this particular verse. They are the traditional names given to the magicians of Pharaoh who opposed Aaron and Moses before the exodus.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
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    The Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8):

    This was spoken that we "should always pray and not give up." But we should not think that God only answers our prayers just to get us off His back, so to speak, which is a natural assumption when reading this parable.

    God often witholds answers to develop our faith, and though God answers some prayers immediately, I seldom hear a testimony where a supernatural answer to prayer did not come after a long period of seeming indifference on God's part.

    Don't give up, keep praying.

    Often when God witholds an answer it is to motivate us to examine whether there is any sin besetting us and hindering our prayers.

    Don't despair at the discovery of sin. Repent and keep on praying. Don't give up.

    And sometimes, God is witholding answers so He can honor our faith and hold it in view of His disciples. (See Matthew 15:21-28).

    Don't give up. Keep praying.

    It is no mystery that is was in the teaching of this parable Christ wondered if He would find any faithful on earth at His return. So often we look to the world to fulfill our needs and to grow our churches, when prayer and fasting is the prescription.

    Don't give up. Keep praying.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 5/2/04 part I

    2 Timothy 3

    As we enter chapter 3, Paul continues his specific counsels to Timothy. He now turns his attention to the apostasies to be expected within the church and in contrast he exhorts Timothy to remain faithful to the truth as exemplified by Paul and testified by the Scriptures.

    2Timothy 3:1-9 The Destructive Ones Uncovered

    The term "the last days" in verse 1 has been the issue of some debate over the years. Often in Pauline thought this phrase refers to the entire church age, that is to say the time between Christ's Ascension and Return, in this context many scholars feel that Paul is referring to the final time immediately preceding the Second Coming. Paul spoke of a falling away from morality in a future sense in 2Thessalonians 2:3-4 and yet at the same time Paul was certainly referring to the Judaizers and Essenes of his time in 1Timothy 4:1- 3. The catalogue of vices that follows in verses 2-7 could be applied to any age to some degree and a judgment of whether things are worse then, now or in the future is rather subjective.

    Nonetheless, an examination of these vices reveals to us the attitude of irreverence that will prevail in the attitudes of some in the church. The Letters of Paul certainly show that these acts were occurring at the time of the Apostle and a cursory observation of the modern day shows us that we are far from immune to such apostasy today. It is these vices against which the servant of God must fight, whether this battle will rage now or in the future. Men shall be:

    1. Lovers of their own selves

    2. Covetous - These first two vices are in a certain respect a sum of the other 17. A 4th century monk, Chrysostom, summed up the thought well when he stated that love of self rather than love of God opens the way to all human fault.

    3. Boasters

    4. Proud

    5. Blasphemers - These three terms are typically grouped together. Boastful and proud are nearly synonymous and the RSV renders the triad as "proud, arrogant and abusive." The term "blasphemers" as translated by the KJV refers to abusive language not necessarily towards God but other men as well. When one slanders or belittles another, it is an effort to elevate oneself.

    The remainder of the list illustrates the animal-like quality of the apostates as they reject the claim God has on their lives.

    6. Disobedient to parents - As parents are a man's first authority instituted by God, those that rebel against them are likely to rebel against all authority up to and including God.

    7. Unthankful - This term, like "blasphemers," can apply to acts against man as well as God. The proud expect things to be done for them as a matter of course and therefore lack gratitude.

    8. Unholy - People who hold nothing sacred tend to define morality by their own subjective terms and apply it to what will advance their own agendas rather than God's Purpose.

    9. Without natural affection - Some versions render this term "inhuman." It displays an attitude of total self-absorption, as the apostate is unable to show love of his fellow man.

    10. Trucebreakers - The apostate is unyielding, considering forgiveness or compromise a weakness.

    11. False accusers - This term, translated as "slanderers" in many versions, is rooted in the same term translated "devil" or "accuser" elsewhere in Scripture. The motivation of their gossip is always malicious.

    12. Incontinent - This word is defined as "without self-control."

    13. Fierce despisers of those that are good - This term is also rendered "brutal." The lack of self-control and their brutality again show their animal-like qualities.

    14. Traitors - The same term is used of Judas Iscariot in Luke 6:16.

    15. Heady - The same word in Acts 19:36 is rendered "rashly." It is opposed to that which is deliberate and calm. Here it refers to that quality in the apostate in which he would be ready to do anything without consideration or concern for the consequences. He would engage in actions that would only cause disruption.

    The remainder of the catalogue is generally accepted as Paul's observation specifically of the Ephesian errorists.

    16. High-minded - In 1Timothy 3:6, this term is translated as "lifted up with pride." It indicates conceit and arrogance.

    17. Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God - Their hedonism marks the apostates as removed from God. They refuse to participate in any practice that interferes with their pursuit of pleasure.

    18. "Insincere in religion" - This paraphrase of verse 5 demonstrates the true nature of apostasy. These errorists held the "form" of Christianity. They probably professed Christ as Savior, participated in baptism and the Lord's Supper, and church membership. They may have said the right things within the church. However, their lives demonstrated that they were not truly in fellowship with Christ. Their false Christianity was for show and was not a life-changing part of their lives. Paul urged Timothy to "avoid" these people as they only served to hurt the church.

    19. "Captors" - This paraphrase of verse 6 describes the activities of such false teachers and how they gained influence in the church. They would stealthily "worm their way" into households with "silly" or "weak women"; literally, "little women", a term of contempt. Through the use of charm and deceit they would persuade these women who had little resistive powers. These women were weak because they were burdened with sin. In modern terms we would say that they suffered an extreme amount of guilt, making them prone to be led off in any direction. Being torn by their impulses they would listen to anyone. Though they sought truth, they could not gain insight as they followed a course led by the false teachers that differed from that of the Gospel.

    The names Jannes and Jambres do not appear in the Scriptures anywhere but here, but we know from history that Jewish tradition assigned these names to two of the magicians of Pharaoh who opposed Moses in Exodus 7:11-12. This analogy from the Old Testament displays the futility of false religion and counterfeit faith and Paul ends the discourse with the optimistic statement that the folly of the errorists will be quite evident and their ungodly plans will fail.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 1/9/05

    Luke 18

    The student should bear in mind that we are reminded in verse 17:11 that Jesus is in the final stretch of the traveling facet of His ministry, reaching towards the inevitable climax in Jerusalem. The first fourteen verses of chapter 18 conclude a section of Jesus’ teachings on the subject of the Kingdom of God and the Son of man. Luke then moves into some of Christ’s teachings concerning entrance into the Kingdom and the chapter concludes with the beginning of a section on the final approach towards Jerusalem.

    Luke 18:1-8 The Persistent Widow

    This Parable follows the teachings on the future and the inevitable return of Christ. But the problem facing the disciples being addressed and the disciples of today is: what about the interim? The church always faces the possibility of despair and a loss of faith that accompanies it. The central message in this Passage is that we not lose heart. To set ourselves against an attitude of despair, we counterbalance ourselves with lives of prayer. Prayer is an appropriate response in any situation, both rejoicing and despair. It is a testimony of our faith. There is One who always hears our prayers and that One always answers them.

    Just as in the Parable of the Shrewd Manager, this Parable has a central figure that is of reprehensible character. The judge described here is exactly the opposite of what a judge should be (Deuteronomy 1:16-17). In Old Testament thought, the prerequisite for bring a good earthly judge was a recognition and fear of the higher Judge that we will all face, the Lord. The judge in this Parable did not have regard for God and therefore no regard for man. The judge acts from self-interest motivated perhaps by bribes or politics. The poor widow has nothing to offer him and so he is, at best, disinterested in her case.

    The character of the widow is the most helpless in the society. She has very little power of any sort and is at the mercy of the legal system. Though the offense against her is not named, she is calling for vindication, not revenge. In other words, she is merely seeking justice. Perhaps someone was withholding money from her or in some other way she was defrauded. We are not told and it is not a necessary element. What we do know is that she is persistent in her pleas to the unrighteous judge.

    Finally, the judge acts in character and grants her request for the simple reason of getting her off his back. The argument here is from the lesser to the greater. If an unscrupulous earthly judge will eventually relent to a helpless widows pleas, how much more will God be moved by the cries of His elect. At the time of the Final Judgment, God will vindicate us against those who persecute the church. Though in this interim many will fall to despair, when the Son of man returns, He will find those who persevered in their faith and through their prayers.
     
  6. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
    Hi Clint,
    Could this be refering to those who are JW.
    Gwyneth
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Nehemiah 9:1-3 Fasting and Confession

    The change from rejoicing to fasting is abrupt and it has led to much speculation as to what event has sparked this type of corporate mourning. It has been speculated that it is a response to the marriage reforms that Nehemiah instilled. Others contend that it is a natural response to three weeks of intensive Bible study begun on the first of the month with Ezra’s reading of the Law. The “separation from foreigners” in verse 2 does not necessarily mean reform. The Jews already separated themselves for religious rites.

    The remainder of chapter 9 is a prayer that gives a recounting of Jewish history and involves the confession of the corporate sins of the nation. Terrible things had befallen the People of God since the King of Assyria had attacked two centuries before. The punishment was, however, just and deserved and God had dealt faithfully with His disobedient children. This prayer leads up to the climax of this section, the written renewal of chapter 10.
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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