August - Reading 17

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 17, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. bb_baptist

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  3. Aaron

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    This verse is incontravertibly proven true every April 15th. :mad: :rolleyes: ;) [​IMG] :D [​IMG]
     
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  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Thank you once again, gentlemen -

    In Nehemiah, we see the listing of the individuals who would repopulate the city of Jerusalem. In the first verse we see the use of lots to make decisions. One thing that I have noticed during the course of this Bible reading program is how often this procedure was used in Biblical times. Often this procedure was done for a position that was desirable to the contestant but in this case it appears that most folks would have preferred staying in their own towns. One thing that is interesting to me in the lists of names is that the tribe of Benjamin had the most members represented in the rebuilt city. This is interesting since they were nearly anniahlated in the Bokk of Judges.

    In Luke tonight we read the account of the Rich Ruler, an account found in all three synoptic Gospels. I don't remember if it had been pointed out before in this forum but it would bear repeating anyway: the rich young ruler's stumbling block to salvation was not his riches in and of themselves. Rather it was this one individuals inability to part with them for the sake of his witness. Even at this, however, Christ definitely implies that the man is not necessarily lost. God's grace could still be poured out on the rich, young ruler. Indeed it is a miracle in and of itself that ANY of us will be able to enter Heaven for we all have stumbling blocks.

    I will add to the Gill commentary submitted by the webmaster that the writing of Paul in 2Timothy reflects the abject loneliness being experienced by Paul. The request for the cloak is likely because of the cold dank conditions of the dungeon in which Paul was held. Even through this, however, Paul recognized that this was to do God's Will and used the opportunity to witness as shown in verse 17.
    This was a very heart-wrenching passage. Paul is looking back over 30 years of ministry with little physical hope for the future. Even 2000 years later, however, he still shows us hope for our spiritual future.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 1/18/04 Part IV

    Proverbs 13:21

    In this verse we see more of a correlation between these Writings and the teachings of Christ. Luke 6:37-38 ties together the ideas of not judging others and the concept of good being rewarded with good. The allegory of "good measure" is also found extensively in Proverbs in verses such as 11:1.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture 5/9/04

    2 Timothy 4

    As we move into the final chapter of 2Timothy we see Paul giving his final written charge to Timothy. While these first 5 verses carry the formal instructions of an Apostle to his protégé, a father to his son, officer to a soldier or a coach to an athlete, the final 14 verses give us a wonderful glimpse at Paul, the man. The reader would do well to remember the circumstances under which Paul is writing in order that one may get a full flavor of the chapter.

    2Timothy 4:1-8 Preach the Word

    The chapter begins with one final solemn charge to Timothy. In the tradition of their Jewish heritage, Paul calls upon three witnesses to make the oath valid: God, Christ, and Christ's appearing and kingdom. The chief component of the oath is that Timothy continues to proclaim the Gospel. The implementation of such is spelled out in five imperatives:

    1. Preach the word. "The word" refers to the Gospel Message.

    2. Be urgent (instant) in season and out of season. The word translated as "urgent (KJV - instant)" carries the nuance in the original Koine Greek of "standing fast" as a soldier would do at his post. The same word in verse 6 is translated as "be at hand." "In season and out of season" can be interpreted as (a) whether you feel like it or not, (b) in the face of opposition, or (c) both.

    3. Reprove (Convince) applies to the hearer's reason. It is taken from a legal or philosophical term with reference to cross-examination or questioning. Thus it carries a negative connotation - "refute" or "prove wrong." Ephesians 5:13

    4. Rebuke applies to the hearer's conscience. Paul uses the noun form of this verb in 2Corinthians 2:6 (translated as punishment) to designate moral discipline by majority within the church.

    5. Exhort applies to the hearer's will. The term "exhort," used often in the New Testament, has a double nuance - comfort and urge. "Encourage" is often used as an English equivalent.

    The entire ministry is to be conducted with patience (long-suffering) and care in teaching. Notice that there is no insertion of the verb "be" before the phrase. The virtues of patience and care are to be exercised in all five imperatives.

    Verses 3&4 explain Paul's call for urgency in verse 2. He speaks in a future tense of a time that will come when men no longer endure sound doctrine. Again for review, the term "sound" in the pastorals refers to good health. Therefore in essence, Paul is speaking of men craving spiritually unhealthy teaching. They will not put up with healthy teaching. As they desire fabrication over the truth of the Gospel, Paul describes them as having "itching ears" and to satiate that itch they will gather to themselves teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.

    To counter this threat to orthodoxy, Paul exhorts Timothy to have an exemplary ministry. He is to watch in all things. This phrase is also translated as "be sober minded". He is to endure afflictions and sufferings. He is to do the work of an evangelist. The term "evangel" is literally defined as "bearing the message of the Gospel." Finally, he is to fulfill his ministry.

    In verse 6 Paul states the reason for being so emphatic about these imperatives. That Paul was nearing death was a strong reason for Timothy to endure in his ministry. Timothy, the somewhat timid apostolic assistant, will in effect be acting in the well-known and outspoken Apostle Paul's place. Paul uses two metaphors to describe his approaching death. The first is drawn from the Jewish heritage the two men shared. The phrase "I am ready to be offered" as translated by the KJV is stated in the ESV as "I am already poured out as a drink offering." The implication of the verse seems to rest best between the two. The word "ready" in the KJV should not be read as "willing" though Paul certainly was willing to die for this cause. Instead the image here is that Paul himself has been "prepared" as a sacrifice. Wine was poured onto the victims of sacrifice in the Old Testament to prepare them before their immolation (cf. Exodus 29:40).

    The second metaphor borrows from nautical or military imagery. "Departure" in verse 6 was the word designated for the releasing of ropes from their moorings in order to set sail or the breaking of camp by soldiers.

    Verse 7 employs three more metaphors conveying Paul's attitude as he looks back on his soon to end ministry. "Fight[ing] the good fight" displays the imagery of a wrestling or boxing match. "Finish[ing] the course" once again calls the imagery of the Olympic runner to mind. "Keep[ing] the faith" is a stewardship metaphor. "The faith" may refer to (a) the Christian doctrinal Message, (b) the deposit entrusted to a minister, or (c) continuing the athletic metaphors, the athlete's promise to keep the rules. The third translation is quite plausible as the "crown" in verse 8 may refer to the laurel wreath placed upon the heads of athletic victors in Greek competitions.

    2Timothy 4:9-18 Come to Rome but Beware

    We can not be absolutely certain of why Paul wanted Timothy to come see him. It may have been for final counsels. Perhaps it was a wish to make his good-byes face to face. It may have been from sheer loneliness as only Luke from the original entourage remained with him. Some have surmised that perhaps he even wanted Timothy there for the execution. In verse 9 Paul stresses urgency in making the trip soon. This is indirectly explained in verse 21 as Paul speaks of the approach of winter. Travel by ship at that time in winter could be quite perilous and Paul having survived three shipwrecks certainly knew the danger. 2Corinthians 11:25

    Paul does state personal circumstances that would warrant Timothy coming to Rome, bringing Mark with him. He is practically alone as most of his troupe have deserted him or been sent on missionary tasks. Demas, a companion in his previous imprisonment whom we first encounter in Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24, deserted him and went to Thessalonica. That he was "in love with the present age" contrasts the Christian's expectation and hope of the time when Christ appears as Paul wished for in verse 8. This does not necessarily imply apostasy but rather a desire for ease and comfort or perhaps a fear of suffering. Crescens and Titus had evidently been sent on missions. Some of the ancient manuscripts read that Crescens was sent not to Galatia but Gallia (Gaul), or what we would know roughly as the area of France. Roman writers called Gaul Galatia, so this translation may be correct to Paul's intent. According to Romans 15:19 Paul had been to Dalmatia, also called Illyricum, earlier in his ministry and had probably dispatched Titus to check on the affairs there. That Luke alone was with him indicates that he was now short handed for conducting such a widespread ministry.

    Mark in this instance is almost certainly John Mark who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey. Though the Book of Acts records a split between the two men Paul commended him to the Colossians (Colossians 4:10). It is possible that the missionary was at Colossae at the time of this writing, thus Timothy would "get him" and "bring him." Mark would have been "useful" to Paul as an amanuensis, messenger, etc. He would replace Tychius.

    As Tychius had been sent to Ephesus where Timothy now was indicates that he may have been the bearer of the Letter. This emissary had also carried the Letters to Collosae and Ephesus as well as accompanying Paul to Jerusalem in Acts 20:4.

    Another task that would warrant Timothy's journey to Rome was so that he could retrieve Paul's cloak from Troas. Paul had traveled through Traos numerous times as recorded in Acts. The cloak was a heavy pancho-like garment that would give Paul some comfort in the cold of the dungeon or prison where he awaited final trial. We know nothing more of Carpus than this reference. From this Passage, however, we can envision that Timothy would travel from Ephesus across Macedonia via Traos, across the Adriatic and then to Brundusium and on to Rome.

    The "books" of which Paul speaks were likely papyrus rolls. They may have contained Old Testament writings. The parchments were inexpensive leaves of paper on which Paul may have had Paul's citizenship documentation or perhaps some of Paul's own Christian writings.

    At this point Paul interjects a warning against Alexander the coppersmith. This may well have been the same Alexander whom Paul "delivered unto Satan" in 1Timothy 1:20 but the name was so common in that time that we can only speculate on this. Despite whatever harm may have been done, Paul himself does not pronounce judgment. Judgment belongs to God alone (Romans 2:5-6). Paul's quotes reflect the Psalmist in Psalm 62:12.

    In verse 16 Paul returns to an explanation of his current circumstances. The phrase "my first defense (KJV - first answer)" may be interpreted in three ways:

    1. The trial commencing from the first Roman imprisonment as described in Acts 28.

    2. The first recorded trial in Acts 24 before Felix.

    3. The first preliminary hearing concerning the current circumstance.

    That no one stood with him or took his part indicates the lack of witnesses or advocates that Paul had. Perhaps cowardice had kept them away or perhaps the dissenters in Rome, mentioned in Philippians 1:15, had swayed the community against Paul. In either case Paul prays that their lack of involvement not be held against them.

    Despite the abandonment of men, however, Paul states that the Lord stood with him and gave him strength to proclaim the word fully. Just as in Philippians 1:12-18, prison became Paul's pulpit. Rather than impeding or halting the Gentile mission, incarceration only served to bring Paul to a new audience. The Gentiles of whom Paul speaks here may mean all the Romans of the city but more likely refers to the cosmopolitan audience which watched the proceedings. Though some have interpreted Paul's rescue from the lion's mouth as literal it is more likely figurative speech referring to either Nero or satan as in 1Peter 5:8.

    At the mention of his rescue, Paul bursts into a confession of faith. His boast of protection does not counter his expectancy of physical death but rather that God would protect Paul from the ultimate source of evil and bring him into Heaven. Matthew 10:28

    This Passage ends with a doxology speaking in present tense of all glory belonging to God.

    Mutual Greetings 2Timothy 4:19-21

    This concluding paragraph adds a bit of insight into Paul's personal affairs and drops clues that Timothy was still in Ephesus.

    Prisca and Aquila were the husband and wife missionary team who was forced to leave Rome due to Claudius' edict expelling Jews (Acts 18:2). Further on in Acts 18 we learn that they settled in Corinth and then went to Ephesus with Paul. The mention of Priscilla's name first in the duo indicates her great ability and the diminuitive of her name is believed to be an affectionate nickname.

    As mentioned in our study of chapter 1, the greeting to Onesiphorus' household rather than to the man may indicate that he was dead at the time of the writing.

    Erastus is mentioned in Romans 16:23 and is there named as the city treasurer. We first encounter him in Acts 19:22 where he and Timothy are dispatched to Macedonia.

    Trophimus was a Gentile Christian and resident of Ephesus whom we meet first in Acts 20. We see him awaiting along with others Paul's return to Troas after his trip through Greece collecting for the poor in Jerusalem. The Jews had accused him of entering forbidden areas of the Temple in Acts 21.

    The mention of the final for names, Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia, do not necessarily contradict Paul having no one with him at his first defense. More likely they did not have the status to be considered formal defense. However, Pudens, Linus and Claudia are all Latin names confirming the Roman origin of the Letter.

    2Timothy 4:22 Benediction

    The final benediction is two-fold: both to Timothy and the Ephesians. The Lord may be God or Christ, probably the latter. The spirit is that part of a man that is subject to divine action and influence. The singular "your" makes it clear that this is addressed to Timothy himself.

    In the phrase "grace be with you," the you is plural indicating that Paul fully expected the Letter to be shared with the Ephesian church.
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson 1/9/05 - continued

    Luke 18:18-30 The Rich Ruler

    Jesus had said that one must receive the Kingdom as a child, but what does that mean in the experience of a full-grown man? The man in this other well known Passage asks specifically what he must do to “inherit” the Kingdom, just as a child would inherit something from his father. This is the second figure in Luke to ask what he must “do” to inherit eternal life. The first was found in Luke 10:25. They both make the mistake of thinking that some particular act, something they “do,” will wrest eternal life from the hand of God.

    While the lawyer had asked in an effort to trap Christ, this character in chapter 18 can be read as quite sincere. Matthew tells us that he is young and Luke tells us that he is a ruler, probably meaning that he was a ruler in a synagogue or perhaps on some political council. He had likely achieved this position because of his “good” character before men. He calls Jesus “good” as well, an adjective Jesus rejects. The Jewish religious order had established a model for what was “good,” but such a term was dangerous to men. It led to the same self-righteous attitude held by the Pharisee in the Parable. Only God is good, man can only strive. The term “good” implies that man could reach a point where he would not need Grace, a point completely contrary to the necessity of the Gospel.

    Jesus begins His answer by asking the man if he knows the last five Commandments, those that deal with man’s relationship to man. The answer to the man’s question lies in the Scriptures which the man feels he is following and has been following since he was a youth. Jesus, however, shows him that to demonstrate that he is truly following them by selling all that he owns and distributing the proceeds to the poor, his fellow man, and then to follow Him.

    Instead of responding with joy to the answer to the ultimate religious question, the man becomes sad. If he had been required to sell a tenth or a half, perhaps he could have done so, but to sell all he had and become a pauper was to staunch a requirement. The young ruler was worshipping God and mammon at the same time and in doing so he was an idolater, a transgressor of the First Commandment. Wealth had become the ruler’s idol. Loyalty to God requires putting away idols no matter how painful the process might be. We now see what it means to enter the Kingdom as a child. The ruler was not acting as a child with dependence upon God. He was depending upon his goodness and his wealth.

    So, indeed, it is easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. In other words, it is an impossibility. Therefore, the Disciples pose the logical question: who then can be saved? Can anyone make it through an opening as small as a needle’s eye? The answer is that it is an act of God in any case for such a thing to occur. The salvation of a man’s soul is a miracle that can only be wrought by God.

    Peter quickly speaks up that he and the other eleven have met the test put before the ruler. They gave up their homes, their jobs and their lives to follow Jesus. Christ reassures him that all who have given up their lives to follow Him will be rewarded both in the temporal and the ethereal plane. The problem is that most people, like the ruler, prefer the tangible assets of this age. They do not recognize the assets received from being a disciple. Mark furthers and expounds the thought in his parallel (Mark 10:29-30).
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

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