August - Reading 6

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Good afternoon -

    Our Scriptural passages for our schedule today are:

    Luke 14:25-35

    1 Timothy 4

    Proverbs 6

    Ezra 8

    One further note: If any of you have been using our links and wish to keep reading from the NIV, until Bible Gateway restores their on line version, you can find an online copy of that version here: http://www.aaais.net/niv/

    May God bless the reading of His Word.
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,648
    Likes Received:
    223
    I can never read about the cost of being a disciple without shaking in my boots! [​IMG] Judas kissed the Son of God, but he was not willing to give up all to follow Him. I wonder sometimes, have I betrayed the Son of God with a kiss? Am I merely content with the trappings of religion, but loathe to give up all things?
    Have I truly counted the cost?

    Let us exhort one another daily, lest any of us be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin! Heb. 3:13.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Good evening -

    Today in Ezra we read of the approximately 900 mile journey of the second wave of returning exiles. This was a large mass of people (nearly 1500 + the individuals mentioned + 38 Levites + the unnamed women and children). They were carrying, in modern standards, millions of dollars worth of gold, bronze, silver and artifacts. I find it very interesting that Ezra was embarrassed to ask the king for an escort for this journey. This could be described as "holy shame," a very interesting concept. One can read more accounts of this in Jeremiah 48:13, 49:23 and Micah 3:7. Nehemiah will not feel this same conviction when he returns with the final entourage of exiles. He will ask for military support (Nehemiah 2:9). Nonetheless, Nehemiah is not considered a man of lesser faith by any means!

    In Luke today we read that Christ instructed us to weigh the costs of being a disciple. Just as a builder estimates costs and a military general considers his opposition, so to are we expected to know the costs of our allegiance. Christ does not need naive followers. Quite the contrary, we should know full well what may be expected of us.

    1Timothy 4 covers the admonishment of those who teach false doctrines. To be a good minister, one must point out these heresies. Verse 10 is an interesting statement and at first glance appears to run counter to doctrine. Christ came to save men, but not all believe in Him. Matthew Henry had this to say about this verse:
    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sunday School lecture – 1/11/04 PartIII

    Lessons on Economic and Social Behavior (Proverbs 6)

    Against Dealings with a Moneylender (6:1-5)


    The warning against becoming "surety" is repeated numerous times in Proverbs (11:15; 20:16; 22:26; 27:13). In this context the father's advice seems to be directed against borrowing from "strangers" which usually means non-Israelites. However, the instruction then turns to "neighbor" who may be a financial broker, a common trade in the ancient world. The instructor tells the student that he must not rest in either case until the debt is paid. In that time there was no bankruptcy and no way to get out of an oath. Poverty and slavery awaited a man who did not pay his debts.

    The Ant as a Model (6:6-11)

    Here we see the ant presented as a model of self-discipline and industry. The ant has the foresight to prepare for the winter with harvesting in the fall. Preparing for the future allows the ant to not be surprised by it. It works by personal choice with no need for an authority commanding it.

    In verses 9-11, the sluggard is admonished because as he sleeps, poverty and want overtake him like a vagrant, a thief or a beggar. These act maliciously and are not bound by ethical consideration.

    The Troublemaker (6:12-15)

    There is little need for explanation in these verses except to say that they typify the type of person that the wisdom instructor did not want the student to become. The worthless, wicked man is indirect, malicious, and perverted. He is not only headed towards his own destruction, but also causes ruin for society as a whole.

    The Folly of Adultery (6:20-35)

    The opening line of this Passage looks as though it was adopted from Deuteronomy 6:7 and 11:19, in which Moses commanded the Israelites to teach the Law to their children. However, as stated earlier, the wisdom teacher/student relationship was modeled on the parent/child relationship. The formal language of Proverbs reflects this.

    Obeying these types of parental instructions would protect a man from the "evil woman" and the adventuress. Verse 26 tells us that the man will come to poverty as the adultress is a gold digger who takes him for his wealth up to his very life. She is more damging than a harlot who is content with a single payment. A man can no more escape the consequences of adultery than he can scorching his feet walking on coals. It is more dangerous than robbing someone. If a robber is caught he can pay restitution or serve time in jail. A man caught in adultery, however, has to deal with an angry husband and an outraged community. A man could not buy his way out of such a predicament.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sunday School Lecture – 3/21/04

    1 Timothy 4

    Paul has now established his reason for this Letter to Timothy. Generally speaking, in verse 1:18, it was so that Timothy could "wage the good warfare" against the troublemakers within the Ephesian church. Specifically he states in 2:14-15 that these are instructions for conduct within the church and the worship service. After stating his purpose for writing this Epistle Paul now moves into a variety of general instructions in chapter 4 and continues through to verse 6:2.

    False Asceticism Refuted - 1Timothy 4:1-5

    Paul now becomes quite specific about the nature of the Ephesian problem. He states his refutation in the form of a prophecy. In this way he cast condemnation on not only the present problem he addresses but future problems that will arise within the churches as well. Some scholars feel that the Ephesian church may have been grappling with a group known as the Essenes, a mystical, Jewish group resembling the Pharisees that arose about 100BC and disappearing from history at the time of the destruction of the Temple in 70AD.

    The term "in the latter times" or "in the last days" is a theological expression referring to the time between Christ's Ascension and Second Coming. While the final days certainly fit within this definition, Paul is certainly referring to events within his own lifetime.

    The Apostle attributes the present departure from sound doctrine to some "giving heed to the doctrines of demons." This phrase can be explained in two possible ways:
    1. These errorists spent much time talking about demons and evil spirits, but more likely;
    2. The errorists had been taken control of by satan and his minions and were therefore teaching demonic doctrines.

    In either case, as men the errorists acted "in the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared." Their weak or defiled consciences led to two specified errors: prohibition of marriage and abstinence from certain foods.

    Though the word asceticism is not used in the Scriptures, the behavior being described here and other various portions of the New Testament defines it Colossians 2:20-23; Luke 7:34-35. Asceticism is practicing strict self-denial for the purposes of spirituality. The Scriptures do condone certain ascetic practices. John the Baptist lived as a recluse denying himself clothes that would befit the son of a priest and a full diet. Christ spoke of those who refrained from sex making themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven.

    However, Paul here is refuting those who require such practices in order to be in God's favor. Such an attitude is a rejection of the doctrine of Grace. Grace is unmerited favor. There is no work nor act that can be done by man that will earn one the favor of God short of the act of Christ on the Cross!

    Paul does not go into any detail concerning the prohibition of marriage as he had already addressed the problem indirectly in 2:15 when he spoke of women being saved through childbirth and he will return to the issue in 5:14 encouraging young widows to remarry. However, concerning the issue of dietary regulation, Paul refers to the Old Testament account of creation (everything created by God is good) and the Christian concept of thanksgiving (thanksgiving and the Word of God consecrate food). The concept is that through thanksgiving at mealtime, God Himself consecrates the food anew, as if by a fresh act of creation. We then, as believers, enjoy its benefits.

    The Superiority of the Spiritual Life - 1Timothy 4:6-10

    As Paul returns to more personal counsels, he begins by instructing Timothy concerning his conduct within the Ephesian church itself. He is told to put "these instructions" before the brethren of the church. As he does in the Letter to Philemon and throughout all his Epistles, Paul chooses the word "brethren" to make an analogy of the church being like a family. The term is in fact used a hundred times in the Pauline Epistles. There is no note of command or authority in the word. Those in Timothy's charge are fellow Christians, equals in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    In fact, if Timothy puts these instructions before the brethren, he will be a "good minister," a "diakanos." In this context, diakanos is not the title of "deacon," an office in the church, but is being used in the general sense of a servant. Proper service, of course, requires proper preparation and this is to be acquired by "nourishing" oneself on the "words of the faith" and "good doctrine." Timothy would know "good" doctrine from the "doctrine of demons" for he had learned the Message from Paul. Paul taught some basic form of doctrine at every church he encountered and insisted that this base required strict adherence (1Corinthians 4:17; Galatians 1:8).

    Paul then exhorts Timothy in strong terms to avoid the Judaistic "myths (fables - KJV)" and he denounces them as "profane," meaning Godless, and "silly". The KJV rendering is quite literal. These Judaistic fables are more suited for an old women's gossip circle than for real theological debate within a church!

    While some interpret the phrase "trustworthy statement" in verse 9 as referring to verse 10, it is commonly agreed among scholars that it instead refers back to verse 8. The commentary for the remainder of this Passage reflects this view.

    Instead of falling into debates over the Judaistic myths, Paul tells Timothy to train himself in godliness. To illustrate his point, Paul draws on what may have been a popular Stoic or Cynic maxim on the value of godliness: that training in godliness is more valuable than training in physical endeavors. He is not implying that our spiritual or pious exercises will save us. He has already insisted in 1:15 that God's Grace through the Coming of Christ alone is sole and sufficient for that end. Rather, his argument is that spiritual development has far more reaching reward than physical in that it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

    Verse 10 then is an additional commentary by Paul on the maxim. The basis of missionary labor arises from the fact that "we have our hope set on the Living God, who is the savior of all men." The heavy emphasis on the term "all" is likely set in opposition to the exclusivity of the Judaistic sect. Again, we must temper our interpretation of the universalistic nature of the statement against what we know of our means to salvation. However, the Living God is not an exclusivist, judging men by their faith in Christ rather than their rituals and religious prescriptions.

    Pastoral Duties - 1Timothy 4:11-16

    As stated early in our studies, Timothy may have been entertaining notions of leaving the church at Ephesus and Paul chose the "commander to soldier" motif to address Timothy. He returns to this motif in verse 11 telling Timothy to "command and teach" the things discussed in this Letter.

    The phrase "let no one despise your youth" has caused some interpreters to doubt Pauline authorship of the Letter. Though New Testament dating is at best presumptuous, most scholars agree that Timothy would have been in his mid-30's at the time of this writing. However, the Greek word for youth, "neotes (neh-ot'-ace)," was a general term that described anyone up to the age of forty. That Paul tells Timothy not to let any despise his youth, however, may be an indicator of one of the primary attacks the errorists were making on the Apostolic apprentice. This may have worn on Timothy and he may have communicated to Paul that he was indeed too young.

    Paul, however, accepts no excuses in this matter and instead tells Timothy to "set the believers an example." This example involves both action in speech and deeds and Christian character. The Christian example is summed up well in the Pauline triune of love, faith and purity and the combination of action and character that reflect these would provide the true believers at Ephesus with the proper example.

    In order that he may handle the controversy effectively in the church, Paul tells Timothy to continue with an instructional ministry until he can return. He lists three functions of the ministry that Timothy should promote:
    1. Public reading of Scripture;
    2. Preaching;
    3. Teaching.

    The Public reading of Scripture at this time would have involved primarily the Old Testament, the first Christian Bible. The practice of publicly reading Scriptures was an inherent part of Jewish worship and was one of the practices we inherited (Luke 4:16; Acts 13:15). Paul's Letter would likely have been read during formal worship as well and Apostolic Instructions were regarded as Scriptures early in the formation of the church (2Peter 3:16).

    Preaching was also a part of the Jewish worship service that involved exposition and commentary on the Scriptures. Though the early sermons probably concentrated more on the Messianic prophecies in Scripture, moral lessons were also likely taught.

    Teaching refers to the more extended instructions given to new converts. Elsewhere in the Epistles Paul refers to spiritual gifts for both preaching and teaching. Romans 12:8; 1Corinthians 12:28-29

    Paul now makes mention of how Timothy received his gift, or charism, of leadership. English translations are a bit misleading in their wording regarding this giving. The passive verb "was given" means God gave, not "prophecy gave" as a literal reading may indicate. Instead, it is insinuated that the Spirit pointed out Timothy through prophetic utterance. There is also a bit of a problem with what role the laying of hands had in the giving of this gift. It is supposed by some that the laying of Apostolic hands endowed Timothy with a power that he did not have before. Others argue that the ordination was a confirmation of the gift already recognized within the man. Generally, as Baptists, we accept an interpretation that the laying of hands is an accompanying act rather than a means.

    Verses 15-16 return to the athletic metaphor first introduced in verses 7-10 and emphasize the virtues of verse 12, the instruction of verse 13, and the Spirit imparted power of verse 14. Timothy is to practice and devote himself to his duties. The purpose of this charge is so "that all may see your progress." The word for progress returns to the military motif and means promotion, as in rank. While already an authority in the Ephesian church, Paul must make himself a leader! By remaining steadfast in character and doctrine, Timothy would show himself to be mindful of his own actions. In doing so he would secure the salvation of souls, both his own and his listeners. That Paul tells Timothy to "take heed of himself" reflects Paul's own anxieties about his own ministry as shown in 1Corinthians 9:27.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sunday School lesson – 12/5/04 - conclusion

    Luke 14:25-35 The Costs of Discipleship

    To those who accept the invitation to the banquet, those from the multitude that followed Him, Jesus now gives the warning of what that invitation will cost. In the preceding Parable, the host was angered at the preoccupation that the first invited guest had had with earthly matters. Though with the coming of Christ the scope of the invitation to salvation had changed, the need to accept the invitation at the cost of all else had not.

    The demands of Christ in verse 26-27 are phrased more mildly in Matthew 10:37-38. Matthew uses the term "love more" instead of "does not hate." Matthew also says "is not worthy" instead of "cannot be my disciple". Nonetheless, the instructions are quite clear. Discipleship may cost one peace in his family as religious beliefs clash. Members of a family may be hostile towards Christianity or make demands that conflict with the teachings of the New Testament. However, when these conflicts of loyalty present themselves to the believer, the contest must go to our Lord. Even our basest desire for self-preservation must give way to our loyalty to Christ. Many, many before us have shown us the way to God sometimes requires martyrdom.

    I am reminded of the story of Clarence Jordan, the 20th century preacher and commentator who had a conversation with his brother, Robert. The account is reported to have gone:

    One of the things they needed a lot of was legal help, so Clarence went to his brother Robert, who was a lawyer, and asked him to represent Koinonia Farm. Robert said, "Clarence, you know I can't do that. You know I'm going into politics. If I represented you, I'd lose everything. It's different for you."

    Clarence said, "Why's it different for me? You and I were baptized and joined the church on the same Sunday when we were boys." (These guys are Baptists. They weren't babies when they got baptized.) "The preacher asked us both the same question, 'Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?' I said, 'Yes.' What did you say, Robert?"

    Robert said, "Clarence, I follow Jesus up to a point." Clarence said, "Would that point by any chance be the cross?" And Robert said, "That's right. I follow him to the cross, but not on the cross. I am not going to get crucified."

    “Then I don’t believe you are a disciple. You’re an admirer of Jesus, but not a disciple of his. I think you ought to go back to the church you belong to, and tell them you’re an admirer not a disciples."
    http://www.gutlesspacifist.com/gp/archives/000705.html

    Under Roman rule, Jesus' audience had learned well the atrocity of the cross. However, for the modern reader it is essential that we recognize this figure in the context of what it meant to Christ. To bear a cross is to show an unswerving commitment to God. It is to face the loneliness, the humiliation, and the pain that the cross brought Jesus. The decision to follow Christ may call for our all some day and we, as disciples must be willing to give it.

    People should not enter ventures without considering the costs and consequences of their decisions. Jesus gives two analogies to making the decision to be a disciple. The first is of building a tower. If the builder does not sit down and figure the costs, he may get no further than the foundation. Secondly, a king who is about to wage war must sit in counsel to decide whether he is able to win. Though many convert to Christianity in an emotional maelstrom, once that initial euphoria subsides they must stay the course even when the day to day realities of the world tests them.

    If a disciple is unable to manifests the characteristics of true discipleship, he becomes worthless like salt that has lost its flavor. The salt in the Palestinian area in the time of Christ was gathered from the Dead Sea and contained many impurities. This adulterated salt was prone to losing its saltiness and was therefore useless as a seasoning or a preservative. When this occurred, the salt was not fit for consumption and could not be thrown on any place where plants were being grown or even where manure piles used for fertilizer were kept as i9t would poison the plants. The only thing that could be done with such useless material was to throw it away.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4

Share This Page

Loading...