August - Reading 8

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Aaron

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    First Timothy was written some thirty years after Christ's resurrection, yet we see Paul quoting from Christ's words calling them, "Scripture." He said, "The labourer is worthy of his reward," (1 Tim. 5:18).

    One can readily see from the footnotes that Christ said that in Luke 10:7 (and also Matt. 10:10).

    That Paul referred to these particular words as "Scripture" indicates (to me) that Christ's words had already been committed to writing and well circulated among the churches at the time 1 Timothy was written (about 62 A.D.). Perhaps it was the book of Matthew or Luke itself to which he was referring!

    Paul's reference to the Law of Moses in the same verse indicates that the Law still applies to us, but in its spiritual or New Testament applications, NOT in the "oldness of the letter." In other words, Israel under the law focused on the oxen, but we look beyond to its true significance.

    "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox" really means "the labourer is worthy of his reward," and applies specifically to the compensation of the Gospel ministers, but indirectly to any who performs an essential service, thus the figure of the ox.

    One more before I quit:

    It was no dishonor to Christ to quote from the Law first. The Law was from God just as Christ is from God, and the Law testifies of Him, John 5:39.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening -

    As we finish our reading of Ezra we see a large decree issued throughout the reforming nation of Israel brought about by the intermarriages that had begun after the return of the second wave of exiles. Notice in verse 2 that Ezra waits for the people themselves to determine the correct cours of action. There were about 110 men who had married foreign wives. The mass divorce was not unanimously accepted and four men spoke out against it (verse 10:15). It is possible that one of these men, Meshullam was one of those who had taken a foreign wife (verse 29). E#ven the fact that some of these women had had children by these Jewish men was not enough to halt the decree.

    We also read Luke's account of the Prodigal Son. This coming on the heels of the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin is, of course, very timely. One interpretation of this parable is that the animosity of the Pharisees is represented by the son who never left home. Perhaps a better title for this passage would be 'The Father's Love" as it shows the joy that the father had upon the return of the prodigal, but yet he still cared for and consoled the son who remained.

    There are a few different points worth mentioning in 1Timothy tonight. Verse 16 continues the instructions on the care of widows. Beginning at verse 17 we see the instructions on the disciplining of an elder. Unfortunately, this is a very abused privilege in the Baptist denomination and is often done for the wrong reasons. In my opinion, unless a man is found guilty of embezzlement or sexual immorality or does not fit within the guidelines outlined in 1Timothy 3, a church has little right to exercise this type of discipline. That is, perhaps, a whole other thread...
    Verse 23 comes up from time to time on this board as well. I wish the folks back then had had Pepto-Bismol so that some folks would stop using this verse as a justification for drinking.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture – 1/11/04 PartV

    The Preaching of Wisdom (Proverbs 8)

    The Call of Wisdom (8:1-5)


    Here we see the location of Wisdom's teachings and those to whom her address is made. The author personifies her as being like a street preacher going into the most teeming locations of social life. She addresses the simple ones and foolish men. The simple are not the slow in mind, but the inexperienced and the foolish are those who lack the maturity to make wise decisions. Though they are untutored, they have the potential to be wise men.

    The Worth of Wisdom (8:6-11)

    Wisdom will speak to any that will listen to her. Her words are more valuable than silver, gold, or costly jewels. Her words are straight and right. They do not twist and turn. There is no need to fear ambiguity or subtlety. The principle is quite straightforward: if one receives Wisdom, they will understand Wisdom.

    The Power of Wisdom (8:12-16)

    Wisdom describes herself as showing that she has adroitness, shrewdness, and knowledge in earthly matters. She knows how to get things done. She is a counselor and a statesman. It is by her power that kings and rulers govern.

    Verse 13 is believed by some to be a later insert. The vocabulary and message are a bit strained to the more secular aspects of life in verses 1-12. It does, however, serve to blend education and religion together.

    The Rewards of Wisdom (8:17-21)

    Wisdom assures those who love her that she will respond. Not only does she promise material rewards but also honor, righteousness and justice. She guarantees not only wealth but a happy and satisfying life. The greatest reward of Wisdom is the way of life she will provide.

    The Person of Wisdom (8:22-31)

    Just as Christ was put into a cosmic context in Colossians, Wisdom is put into the cosmic context here. Wisdom's locale is not just the world, but the whole universe. From the beginning she has invited men to a better way of life. She calls through their many distractions to invite them to a discipleship established in her by God.

    She is a child of God, a witness to creation. She has seen all, knows all.

    The Admonitions of Wisdom (8:32-36)

    In the conclusion of the chapter, Wisdom encourages her listeners to keep a constant vigil outside her door. If they do so they will find favor with the Lord because her ways are God's ways. Any who miss her bring destruction on themselves.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School Lecture – 3/28/04 Part II

    1Timothy 5:17-25 Conduct Towards Elders

    While the following commentary will reflect the traditional view that "elder" in verse 17 is referring to the title of office, this view has been rejected by some and an examination of the newer view bears merit. Some scholars have contended that in this instance, presbuteros should be rendered in the informal "older man". The strongest support for this notion is found in the opening statement: Let the elders who rule well be worthy of double honor. We must ask ourselves, would there be two pay scales within a church, one for those who ruled well and one for those who did not? Many problems arise in the logic of this and therefore we should keep an open mind when viewing this Passage.

    However, following the traditional line of interpretation, effective leaders deserve "double honor" especially those that labor in teaching and preaching. "Honor" has commonly had a dual reference. It means both respect and pay. In context to the remainder of the Passage Paul likely has the latter in mind here. It is highly likely that at this time in church history there would not have been a salary but the congregation would have given gifts to the elders to support them. Elsewhere Paul insisted on the rights of ministers to receive pay (1Corinthians 9:7) but at the same time rebuked those who used the ministry for personal gain as we will see in 1Timothy 6:5.

    In support of his call for pay for the elders, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 12:4 and a quote of Christ from Luke 10:7. Interestingly, Luke's Gospel had probably not been written by this time. This quote evidences an oral tradition of the sayings of Christ before the penning of the Gospels. This statement also lends support to Luke being Paul's amanuensis for this Letter.

    Paul now turns his attention in verse 19 to the discipline of elders within the church. He offers two rules to follow when considering a charge against an elder: at least two or three people confirm the charge and any rebuke should be done publicly. The testimony of two or more witnesses is traceable to Old Testament law (Deuteronomy 19:15) and is the guideline set forth by Christ for grievance resolution in Matthew 18:16.

    If the elder is found guilty of sin the rebuke should be done in the presence of all, that is to say, publicly. He then appeals to those who will take part in the Final Judgment - God, Christ, and the elect angels. The term "elect angels" is probably in opposition to the fallen angels or it may refer to the angels who will return with Christ at Judgment (Matthew 25:31). Paramount, however, is that Timothy keep these rules without partiality. There is no room for favoritism in a matter of such gravity.

    It is difficult to determine how verse 22 ties in with the preceding verses. The laying on of hands was used for four primary purposes in the early church: (1) in baptism, (2) the restoration of penitent sinners, (3) commissioning missionaries, and (4) ordination. It is a safe assumption that in this context Paul is referring to ordination. Having such an important leadership role, in choosing elders hastily, Timothy could be suspect of "participating in another's sin." So Paul adds a personal warning to this command: Keep yourself pure.

    Verse 23 at a glance appears to be such a radical change in thought that some have conjectured that it is a scribal gloss. However, all early manuscripts support its authenticity. Therefore we can assume that Timothy may have been experiencing stress related symptoms due to the problems in Ephesus. Wine was valued for its medicinal value in ancient times though abstinence from it in certain sects was widely recognized. That this statement follows so closely the advice to keep himself pure shows that ignoring medicine in an effort to prove some type of piety was a false asceticism. The operative word in the advice is "little". The errorists within the church may have condemned anyone who drank, no matter what the reason.

    The chapter concludes with a return to the theme of discipline. Verses 24-25 explain why the laying on of hands should not occur hastily. The faults of some men are easily detectable, others are not detected until the final Judgment.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson – 12/12/05 - conclusion

    Luke 15:11-32 The Parable of the Lost Son

    Known more commonly as the Parable of the Prodigal Son, this Passage may be one of the most well-known of all of Christ's Parables. The story has three main characters and deals with the relationship between all three: the father to the older son, the father to the younger son, and the two sons to each other. The father represents God, the older son is the Pharisees, and the younger son is the sinner. Neither of the two sons is rejected by the father. His love is broad enough for both of them. On the other hand, the sons each sin in their own way and they demonstrate man's love as short-sighted, narrow, and selfish. Though the sons differ in many ways, they have one thing in common that should have transcended all differences: they shared the same father.

    As with Parables, the story moves on two different levels. The younger son is typical of the rebellious adolescent wishing to escape the family environment in order to be his own man However, even though it is a necessary step in maturity to establish independence, no person ever becomes so mature that they can declare independence from God.

    Luke 15:11-24 The Prodigal and His Father

    In Biblical times, a man's property would be divided amongst his sons after his death and in accordance to his will. However, it was also allowed for a parent to give property to the children as a gift. Customarily, the profits from such property would go to the beneficiary after the death of the parent. In the scenario presented by this Parable, however, the son also acquired the right to exchange his property for immediate, negotiable wealth.

    Further, it was a time-honored commandment and custom that honor of parents included the responsibility of caring for them in their old age. The young man in this story, however, completely severs ties with his family and travels to a far country. Therefore, the immediate sin of the younger son is not that he requested his inheritance but that he cut himself off from his father's care and love. This is the condition in which the sinner finds himself. They have forgotten who they are and in their desire for independence, they separate themselves from God.

    By alienating himself from his father's wealth, the younger son is limited in what he actually possesses. What appeared to be wealth is soon squandered and he finds himself destitute and forsaken. He left home thinking he would find meaning and fulfillment in the company of new friends but he finds instead that he left behind the one person who truly loved him.

    His financial problems are further complicated when famine comes into the region just as he had spent all he had. He became so desperate that he took a job that would be most despised by a Jew, that of tending hogs (Leviticus 11:7-8). The young man's plight is so great that he considers eating the pods that the hogs ate.

    In verse 17 a variance from the preceding two Parables emerges. In the Parables concerning lost and found animals and coins, the focus is on the one who has lost the thing. In this Parable, since the thing that is lost is a man, he can not be found until he himself wishes to be found. Therefore he had to come to himself, that is to say he had to come to his senses and become disillusioned about the dreamworld he thought he had entered. He had to recognize the mistake he had made. His error had begun when he renounced his sonship to the father. Even the servants in his father's house had enough to eat. It was his own pride and self-serving interests that had led him into the straits in which he now found himself. Therefore, the decision is made to return home. The title "father" is retained, even though he recognizes that he himself has lost the right to be called "son."

    He rehearses a speech meant for his father. His sin is against both the earthly father and against God as the commandment to honor one's parents carried much weight. He will return to his former home as a hungry man seeking a job. He knows now that he is better off living in his father's house as a servant than on his own a starving beggar. He arises and begins his trek home. This journey home beautifully represents repentance. It is the turning from self-will and self-indulgence with submission to God's love and Grace.

    The father in the Parable is waiting for the son to come back. He waits with the love and agony that only the father of a prodigal son can know. Every day brought the hope of his son's return and the anguish that he may have destroyed himself. The son does not even get all the way back home before the father sees him. Malcolm O. Tolbert phrased the return beautifully:

    From a distance, the father saw him. Neighbors would have seen the rags, the dirt, the bare feet. They would have classified him - just another alcoholic, or bum, or hippie, or whatever the current categories might be. A common human tendency is the failure to see people as persons. But the father saw him!

    The father does not give the son a grudging, reserved reception but races out to embrace him and kiss him. The son begins his rehearsed speech but the father cuts him short. Here we see what God's forgiveness means. All the father needed was an opportunity to show his love to the lost son. All the son needed to do was start back to the father. A clean robe, the best, is put on the son. A ring, signifying sonship, is placed on his finger. Shoes are put on his feet as only slaves went barefoot. The calf that has been fattened for some joyous occasion is killed and roasted. From all of this we see that sonship is not based on the worth of the son but on the love of the father. The scribes and Pharisees that resented Jesus' reception of sinners knew much about the depravity of man, but knew nothing about the grace of God.

    Luke 15:25-32 The Elder Brother

    We now return to the prodigal's older sibling who had remained at home. He had been living by the rules. He was even in the fields when his brother returns continuing to work for his father. When he discovers the reason for the merry making, he refuses to enter the home. Consequently, the father seeks him out.

    The older son is resentful. He tells the father that he has served him, literally, slaved for him. He had never disobeyed the father. In the analogy, he is legalistically pious. From the elder son's perspective, the younger son's sins were being rewarded while his own fidelity is unappreciated. A kid was much less expensive than a calf, yet the father had not even given him one of these to feast on. The older brother will not even call the younger his brother but rather tells the father, "This son of yours…" The tone implies that having such a son is the father's fault and also disavows him as a brother.

    The father explains that since the elder brother had never been lost, there was no call for such a celebration. Further, the arrival of the younger son did nothing to diminish the relationship between the father and the older son. He still would receive everything that he owned. He was still the older son and heir. The older son should have been just as overjoyed at the finding of a lost brother as the father was at finding a lost son.

    The story ends as an invitation to the elder son, the Pharisees, to join in the festivity of the recovering of the lost son, the sinner. The Parable goes no further. We are not told if the older son accepted. The father loved both of the sons. There was room at the feast for both. God did not reject either class in verses 1-2 of Luke 15, neither the sinner for his waywardness nor the scribe and Pharisee for his self-righteousness. Both were welcome if they repented. However, in their rejection of the return of the sinners into the grace of God, the Pharisees isolated themselves from the feast.


     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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