August - Reading 16

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Aaron

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    2 Tim. 3:12, "Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

    In an earlier reading we were presented with the cost of discipleship. Click here. Persecution is certainly on that price tag. This is a promise that you won't find in many promise boxes. "Everyone...will be persecuted." The opposite is also true. Those who do not want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will get along just great with everyone. Christ warned us to be wary if "all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." Luke 6:26 . It's a non-optional, universal principle.

    So, beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 1 Peter 4:12-14.

    Must Jesus bear the cross alone
    And all the world go free?

    No, there's a cross for everyone,
    And there's a cross for me.
     
  3. bb_baptist

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    Satan's subjects will always despise our King, twist His truth, and hate His people. Christians are STILL persecuted in every sense of the word in dozens of countries.

    "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." - Tertullian, 1st century AD

    Luke 6:22-23
     
  4. Aaron

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    Hello again, webmaster!
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    Thank you for your comments, gentlemen. Indeed if one does a search using the word "persecution" in the News affecting Baptist forum they will get a glimpse at how far this persecution is carried even in this modern age. In Matthew 5:10, Christ assured us that those who are persecuted for His Name are blessed. This passage from Paul carries even more weight when we bear in mind that he was writing from a prison cell awaiting execution for his ministry. He even says that God had rescued him from all of his previous persecutions.
    A few other notes on this passage: In verse 15 when Paul says that Timothy knew the Scriptures from infancy he is probably referring to the fact that most Jewish boys began formal training in the Old Testament Scriptures at age 5. Timothy having a Jewish mother, whom we know was Jew and a devout Christian, probably started Timothy on this path even before this time. This brings to mind what the definition of "Scripture" is in verse 16. The Old Testament was well established and some Books of the New Testament were already viewed as authoratative. I have posted a question in the Translations forum in hopes of finding some specifics on this (password 2002): http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=58;t=001733

    In Nehemiah we see some of the evidence that the Chronicler is the author of this Book. The fondness for list is very characteristic of this author's style. The storyline reflects a renewing of the agreement that the people had to following the Laws that God had given them in the times of Moses. A few exceptions to this occur in verses 10:31-33, 10:34, and 10:39. These new conditions reflect the need for new regulation due to changing times. Pertaining to verse 39, Haggai 1:4-9 accused the people of neglecting the Temple.

    In Luke 18 the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector should be an encouragement to those who are looked down upon. The story does not mention how their fellow men felt about them but rather focuses on the righteousness that is poured out by God's forgiveness. The emotion of the tax collector speaks volumes and shows through the writing of this account.

    May God bless you

    - Clint

    [ August 16, 2003, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 5/2/04 part II

    2Timothy 3:10-13 Adhere to Paul's Example

    Paul now contrasts Timothy to the false teachers of Ephesus. As Paul knew Timothy ran the risk of shrinking in the face of adversity, he once again drew on his own life as an example to Timothy. That Paul indicates that Timothy has "fully known" or "observed" his example carries the nuance that Timothy had "followed" these teachings with full understanding as to their purpose. This list of virtues set against the list of vices in verses 1-7, Paul warns, will lead to persecution.

    "Doctrines", or its synonym "teachings", implies not only what Paul taught but also the manner in which he taught. His "manner of life" or "conduct" literally refers to Paul's leading and training. His "purpose" or "aim in life" refers to the intense objective from which his missionary endeavors had sprung. "Faith" may mean "fidelity" as well as "belief." Long-suffering, charity and patience emulates God's attitude towards us (2Peter 3:9).

    The mention of long-suffering stirs Paul's memory to the personal cost of his mission. The persecutions and sufferings mentioned by Paul in verse 11 are recorded in the Book of Acts. In Antioch, the Jews stirred up trouble by inciting prominent women and city elders against Paul and Barnabas. In Iconium they faced such hostility that they were forced to flee. At Lystra, Paul was stoned until the people thought he was dead. Yet in the face of these adversities Paul gives credit to God who rescued him each and every time.

    Such persecution should come as no surprise to the Christian for Paul tells Timothy in verse 12 that all who seek to live a Godly life will be persecuted. Jesus Christ Himself warned us of this quite specifically in Matthew 10:22. We see here in this chapter a cycle that has repeated over the millennia. While the list of vices in verses 1-9 ends optimistically with the exposure of the apostates, this list of virtues ends rather bleakly in verse 13 with the prophecy that evil men will continue to abound, bringing about the image of the last days spoken of in verse 1.

    2Timothy 3:14-17 All Scripture is Breathed Out by God

    Despite the inevitability of persecution, Paul urges Timothy to continue in what he has learned and what he has believed. This continuity of commitment is firmly planted on two sources. The first is his knowledge of those from whom he had learned. This would include Paul, Lois, Eunice, the Apostles Timothy had met and devout ministers. Their faith and example should erase any doubt Timothy may have had in the validity of his own ministry.

    The second source of continuity of commitment, however, is the unchanging guidepost we still have today: the Holy Scriptures. Paul's reference here refers to the Old Testament. Though there was no official Canon in his day, the Books of the Torah, History and Poetry were regarded as authoritative as testified by Christ (Matthew 22:29). The Books of the New Testament were acknowledged as authoritative by the early church when canonized but were also regarded as sacred even before that as we see in 2Peter 3:15-16.

    The authority of the Scriptures is that they are able to make one wise to salvation. The Old Testament Scriptures of which Timothy was familiar since his early training lead the way to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture points to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is the key to understanding Scripture. Luke 24:27; John 5:39

    It is in this Passage that we gain part of our insight as to the way in which Scripture was compiled. As it suited his Purpose, God "breathed out" or "inspired" Scripture in order that He may reveal Himself to the faithful. 1Peter 1:20-21 rounds out this statement on the origin of Scripture telling us of the source and the medium through which Scripture originated.

    Aside from its ultimate purpose of pointing to salvation through Jesus Christ, the Scriptures are also "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." This tells us that the Scriptures are the positive and unique instruction for Christian teaching. "Reproof" refers to refutation of error and rebuking of sin. "Correction" refers to setting a wayward one back onto the correct path. "Training in righteousness" also has the positive connotation of education in Christian life.

    It is through the study and implementation of Scripture that the true minister is equipped for his role in the church. The instructions of the Scriptures are complete and enable the servant of God to do God's Will.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson 1/9/05 - continued

    Luke 18:9-14 The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

    To the Parable of the Persistent Widow is added another connected by the theme of prayer. The audience now shifts from the disciples to “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others.” In short, these were the self-righteous, the proud.

    The setting in this Parable is the Temple in Jerusalem. The scene set before us is of two men at opposite ends of the religious extremes in New Testament times. Both men, however, have come to the house of God to pray. The Pharisees in real life were quite proud of their piety and felt that it represented their relationship to God. This aspect of Pharisaism has always existed and the character represents any who throughout history and the modern day who have made religion a set of rules that fails to grasp the centrality of man’s relationship to God.

    The Pharisee in the story stands off by himself away from the crowd and delivers a prayer that is more a monologue that an open communication. The prayer begins alright with an address towards God but then quickly turns into a series of self congratulatory statements. The Pharisee conceives of his superior morality in negative terms. He has a legalistic concept of morality. He boldly states that he does not transgress the Law. He does not commit the acts of those who are unrighteous. In fact, this particular Pharisee went above the Law in his zeal. Fasting was not called for by the Law except on the Day of Atonement, yet this Pharisee, as was the custom of his sect, fasted twice a week. Also, the tithe was only required on certain agricultural gains, namely grain, wine, oil, and the firstlings of herds and flocks. This Pharisee, however, gave a tenth of all that got, whether farming, business or products not specified by the Law such as herbs or even purchased goods.

    The Pharisees problem was that he thought that he could attain righteousness. He, like all legalists, failed to grasp the nature of Grace. Her had attained man’s earthly standards and had fallen into the sin of moral pride.

    The scene then shifts to the tax collector (KJV – publican). Though he was in sight of the Pharisee meaning he must be in the same section of the Temple, he does not feel worthy to approach the sanctuary and so he stands far off. In an act of humility and despair the man can not even bring himself to look up to heaven but casts his gaze downward. He beats his breast in an expression of agony and makes the most simple and heartfelt of sinner’s prayers: Oh, God, have mercy on me. The tax collector has grasped the concept of Grace . He has hope that God is merciful.

    In verse 14, Jesus takes the prerogative of speaking for God. He embodies the Judgment of the Father. It is God who justifies the tax collector. Self-righteousness rules out receiving God’s righteousness. The tax collector was forgiven of his sins. The Pharisee is not condemned because of his virtues but because of his sins. Though his sins were not like those of other people, they were sins nonetheless. All men are sinners, all need forgiveness, all stand on equal footing before God. The Good News of the Gospel is that God is not the judgmental and punishing God of the Pharisee, but the caring and forgiving Father of the Prodigal Son.

    Luke 18:15-17 Jesus and the Children

    The remainder of chapter 18 has parallels in both Mark and Matthew. In this familiar Passage, “they,” presumably parents, bring their children, infants according to Luke, to Jesus to be blessed, only to find their way blocked by the Disciples. The Disciples had seriously misinterpreted their role in this instance. They felt that they were to guard Jesus’ time and energy from the “little people,” those whom society viewed as unimportant. Jesus had taught all along that he was particularly accessible to this group.

    Jesus overrules the Disciples and receives the children, using them to illustrate another point about entrance to the Kingdom. He says that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these infants. It is composed of those who know themselves to be God’s children, who call Him father, who are completely dependent upon Him.

    This illustration ties to the preceding Parable about the Pharisee who considered himself self-sufficient and autonomous. Religious virtue, however, does not “win” the Kingdom of Heaven. It is something that is received, a relationship into which one enters. Since God is our Father, we do not have to earn His love. We merely have to enter into the relationship that His love makes possible.
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

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    Nehemiah

    Nehemiah 9:38; 10:28-31 The Written Covenant

    After a rather lengthy list of names of those who actually signed the renewed covenant, the Chronicler gives a summary of the commitments made by the signers. It was not just these officials affected by this agreement, however. The people also accepted it as their own. Even the Jews who had not been deported in the exile were welcomed into the Covenant. They took a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law. This means that they would live by the Law and if they failed to do so they would accept the penalty for their disobedience.

    The marriage reforms were a central issue during this time. As a counterpart to this written proclamation to not intermarry we will see Nehemiah also extract oral oaths from offenders in chapter 13.

    Along with the oath concerning alien marriage, a vow is also made concerning a ban on commerce with outsiders on the Sabbath. Nehemiah notes many breaches of the Sabbath covenant and this written oath is designed to cope with the most troublesome of them. This vow is then extended to all holy days.

    Also a renewal of the Sabbath year is cited in verse 31. This part of the Mosaic Law allowed for the release of debts every seventh year to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

    Nehemiah 10:32-39 Commitment for Support of the Temple

    The renewal of the covenant ends with a series of vows directed towards support of the Temple and the clergy. The temple had historically been the central focus for the Hebrews. Nehemiah’s reforms would set it once again at the center of the community. The people respond with a pledge for support of the reconstruction and maintenance of the structure and its functions.

    Their support is shown in a tax of a third part of a shekel once a year. This would help the priest meet financial needs as they arose. In addition to money, the people also pledged themselves to supplying the many offerings that would go up on both special events and every day rites. Even the responsibility for supplying wood for the fire was shifted from group to group.

    The final vows made in chapter 10 are to tithe to the Levites and not neglect the house of our God. The tithe would become a major part of the Levites’ livelihood and the reinstitution of the tithe was critical to the religious center being reestablished under these major reforms.
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

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