August - Reading 22

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

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    Good morning -

    As Aaron and I were discussing yesterday, the true theological value of the Book of Esther lies in its recognition of the Sovereignty of God. That point is demonstrated well today in verse 4:14. Here we see that Mordecia has faith that the Jews will be delivered from the threatened genocide by Haman. We can surmise that Haman is an Amalekite by verse 3:1. Agag was a king of Amalek according to 1Samuel 15:20 so the term Agagite shows a strong support for this theory. It was the Amalekites who first opposed the Jews in Exodus 17:8-16 and in that passage we see that Israel would always be at war with these people. The threat of genocide was a direct affront on God's chosen, however, if the first wave of Isrealites had indeed returned to Jerusalem, this may have very well worried the faithful theologians among them.

    To me, this theme of God's Sovereignty spills over to our reading in Luke as well. The Triumphal Entry was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 and in this prophecy it was stated that there would be shouting in Jerusalem upon the entry of the Messiah. Christ indicated to the Pharisees that there would be shouting, whether it came from his disciples or not!

    Paul's point in Ttus is the generosity of God in saving us. The obvious comparison is that this grace could be extended to the citizens of Crete, if the Christian body does what is right and presented itself as a good example. Doing what is right is profitable for all.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 1/25/04 Part I

    Proverbs 16 - 22:16

    This week our reading schedule takes us through the second section of the Book of Proverbs entitled "The Proverbs of Solomon." Again, for review, we are dealing with a literary style known as the "Wisdom Sentence," a two-part saying that shows either contrast or affirmation in the second phrase of the sentence. Many of these are probably quite familiar to you. There is a bit of repetition, testifying to the fact that this is probably a compilation of these sayings.

    Just as we did last week, I will hit a point or two in each chapter tying the Old Testament wisdom of Proverbs to the New Testament wisdom of the teachings of Christ.

    Proverbs 16:1,2, 9

    The first nine verses of chapter 16 are dealing to a great extent with the sovereignty of God over the course of men's lives. Though the "plans of the heart" are in man, they must be in harmony with the Spirit in order for a man to be successful. Man in and of himself is insufficient to be capable of anything wise or good.

    In Matthew 10:19-20, Christ promised His Apostles that they would have this same guidance from the Holy Spirit as they faced martyrdom. We see this promise fulfilled in the speeches given by Peter and John as they faced down the Jewish Council in Acts 4. We also see Paul use his words to form an escape in Acts 23:6-7. Even those whose speeches ended in martyrdom such as Stephen in Acts 7 met a reward from God Himself as Stephen witnessed in Acts 7:55 Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 5/30/04

    Titus 3

    As Paul instructed members of the family, the most basic social unit, in chapter 2, chapter 3 begins by broadening the social scope to include our behavior towards other elements of society. Again, the reader must bear in mind the overall character of the Cretans and the way in which they were perceived by the rest of the world to fully grasp these instructions. Also remember that these basic instructions on conduct were being presented as a remedy against the false teachings of the Judaizers on Crete who were infiltrating the church.

    Chapter 2 concluded with a synopsis of the Gospel Message speaking of God's Grace. Paul now furthers that concept with a view on those outside of the church.

    Titus 3:1-8 - Proper Attitudes Towards Non-Christians Based on God's Kindness and Generosity

    Paul begins his final imperatives with instructions to "remind" the believers of what they should already know. The verb "remind" is written in present tense suggesting that these instructions needed to be constantly repeated.

    The first imperative of which the believers are to be reminded is towards the "rulers and authorities (KJV - principalities, powers, and magistrates)." Titus is to instruct the church to be "submissive" towards them. Again, submission is a voluntary compliance towards authority. Submission is an important element in the Christians character. The Scriptures specifically tell us that wives submit to husbands (Colossians 3:18), slaves submit to their masters (Ephesians 6:5), children submit to their parents (Colossians 3:20), church members submit to their leaders (1Corinthians 16:15-16), and, indeed, a mutual submission of all Christians to one another (1Peter 5:5). This concept of submission is here extended to those to whom God has given authority in the government. The Scriptures are also quite clear that these authorities are instituted by God and therefore we are subject to them (Romans 13:1-3; John 19:10-11). The positive outcome of good citizenship is that it gives us a readiness to do "any good work."

    That Paul calls for obedience to the magistrates of Crete implies that at this point in time the rulers were not requiring mandatory emperor worship as instituted by Nero, though the numerous references to God as "Savior" would suggest that the practice had begun. Had this been the case, the New Testament Scriptures are specific that when one's convictions towards Christ are compromised by governmental order, the Christian must choose God (Acts 5:29).

    Paul adds four other virtues to the role of a good citizen. We must not speak evil of anyone, we must not be fighters (brawlers), we must be gentle, and the summation of these three virtues is stated as showing "meekness," or "courtesy" to all men.

    The rationale for good citizenship is the new life we have in Christ. Paul employs a familiar device of "once…now…" in order to show his point. Including himself in the group, he speaks of the once "old selves" that were "foolish, disobedient, deceived, slaves to our passions, and hateful." This list of vices shows the character of those who do not know God, just as we at one time did not know God. Those in this state are "foolish" blind to the reality of God and His law. They are "disobedient," contemptuous and impatient with any and all authority. Assuming they are wise when they are not, they are "led astray" or "deceived." They give themselves over to material and fleshly pleasures. As such they live in "malice" and "envy". The final result of living such self-indulgent lives was that they became hated and hating.

    For those, however, who now have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, this destructive lifestyle should no longer prevail. To fortify this assertion, Paul quotes another hymn fragment or confessional statement. In this quote it is stated that at the time of the incarnation of Christ, God's "goodness and loving kindness" was manifested. In this act, entirely unmerited by men, "God saved us." It is not what we do that secures our salvation; it is what God has done. Though the hymn of confessional does not use the word "Grace" in verse 5, it fully describes the concept. It should be noted that Paul does occasionally interchange the words "Grace" and "mercy" (Romans 15:8-9).

    The hymn continues on to say that the vehicle through which God saved us was by "the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit." While many commentators see the word translated "washing" as a reference to a spiritual regeneration through water Baptism, this is not necessarily the correct interpretation. After all, it is not God who baptizes with water and such an interpretation would counter the concept of the first part of the verse: "not because of deeds done by us…". Further, in verse 1:15 and 16 Paul denounced Jewish ceremony as useless for the purification of the inner man and in 2:14 he recants that it is Christ who does the purifying, not man. Albert Barnes made these observations:

    The "pouring out" of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ is likely a direct reference to Pentecost as accounted in Acts 2:17 and as the fulfillment of Joel 2:28. It is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit through which we are brought into Grace (1Corinthians 12:13; John 1:33). Those who believe in baptismal regeneration have confused the two types of baptism: the one with water done by man is a symbol, or an "emblem" as Barnes phrases it, of the true baptism done with fire by the Holy Spirit.

    The Apostle underlines his quotation of the hymn with the now familiar formula of "this saying is sure (KJV - a faithful saying)".
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson 1/23/05 - conclusion

    Luke 19:41-44 The Lament over Jerusalem

    As Jesus and His entourage crest the mountains they catch their first glimpse of Jerusalem. The sight of the city brings out strong emotions in Jesus causing Him to weep. “Wept” is a strong verb used to describe the sobbing of people at funerals in Luke 7:13; 32; and 8:52. Jerusalem, whose name means “mount of peace,” was quickly drawing to a confrontation with Rome, a confrontation they would be fated to lose. Here they had right in their midst the true entrance of the Kingdom of God in the person of Jesus the Christ but they instead rejected Him and pursued their ambitions for the Kingdom through earthly means by taking up arms.

    Verses 43 & 44 describe the siege and destruction of the city. A common tactic of the Roman garrisons when confronting a defended city was to siege it. By cutting off supply and communication, the patient garrisons could simply starve their opponents out. Once the city broke under siege, the invaders would ravish the city and destry it and its inhabitants. Verse 44d gives the true theological cause of the Jew’s defeat, however. It was because they had rejected God when He visited them in the form of His Son, Jesus. They had lost their salvation both spiritually and physically.

    Luke 19:45-48 The Cleansing of the Temple

    At this point, Luke who has been closely following his Markan source (1:2-3) departs from the account we have in the Gospel of Mark. Mark has various other instances, which Luke omits, including the fruitless fig tree and the related teachings nor of the lodging in Bethany. Also, Marks account of the cleansing consists of sixty words as opposed to Luke’s twenty-five.

    Luke takes us directly from the Triumphal Entry, which was not an entry to the city, to the entry into the Temple. The Temple cited here is the Herodian Temple constructed by Herod the Great begun in 19/20BC and still under construction until 63AD. While the outline of the Temple still resembled Solomon’s basic floor plan (which in turn resembled the Tabernacle) Herod’s Temple had an outer courtyard surrounding the main edifice known as the Court of the Gentiles. Each section of the Temple was considered holier and holier as one approached the inner most room known as the “Holy of Holies.” The Court of the Gentiles was, however, an area in which all people of all nations could enter, including Herod, a non-Jew.

    In this courtyard, private entrepreneurs had taken up the enterprise of setting up booths and tables at which those entering the Temple could buy animals for sacrifice or exchange foreign coins for the half-shekel needed by male Jews to pay the Temple tax (Mark 11:15). This had probably become a very lucrative business especially during times of feasts and holy days. In other words, these businessmen had begun to use religion as a means for commercial exploitation.

    When one looks at a modern estimation of the vastness of the Court of the Gentiles, we see that it was not the violence and rage of a sole man that stopped this trading business. Indeed, some estimates say that the Temple area covered fourteen acres. Instead it was Jesus’ righteous indignation, His lordship over men and possibly even their own guilt which halted, at least temporarily, this unethical enterprise.

    After the cleansing, Jesus sets up His ministry in the Temple as a site for His final teachings. The cleansing and this base of operations was an affront to the high priestly family and to the Saducees whose power base was the Temple and the Sanhedrin. The “chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people” were the groups from which the Sanhedrin was comprised. Now these various sects of religious power in Jerusalem join forces in an attempt to destroy Jesus. Their one main obstacle, however, is the people with whom Jesus is so popular. This attraction has stripped them of their influence and has set a boundary between them and those whom they had governed. This cleavage between the religious leadership and the people is another return to a common theme in Luke’s Gospel.

    http://www.ida.net/users/rdk/ces/Lesson21/Herods_Temple.html
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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