July - Reading 2

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    There are many nuances in the genealogical recitations in 1Chronicles tonight. I’ll be honest with you, if it weren’t for my text notes in my study Bible I would not be gleaning very much from these passages. Thanks to the work of those scholars that preceded us, there are some interesting points to pick out. For instance, In verse 3:15, Johanan is not mentioned anywhere else in the Scriptures. It could be that he died in infancy or the chronicler is concentrated more on the lineage to the throne than actual birthright. Another possibility is that the scribes through the ages have made some minor mistakes in their penning these verses from early manuscripts. Also in 3:19, it is a point of note that Zerubbabel is mentioned in both of the New Testament genealogies of Christ, but none of the subsequent names appear.
    In verse 4:1 we see what may be one of the errors made by the early scribes.” Carmi” is either an alternate name for “Caleb” or the early translator made a mistake. With this enormous list of names, that would certainly be understandable. In verses 4:9-10 the short history that is inserted is typical of these types of genealogical records from the time. One of the most interesting anomalies in tonight’s lists is in verse 3:22. Shecaniah’ sons are listed and whether you count them forwards or backwards, they add up to 5. Yet the verse ends “six in all.” I honestly would never have caught any of this if it were not for the efforts of the scholars before us.

    It is a very interesting passage that we read tonight in Luke. The main concentration of the Writings is on John the Baptist. The scenario is that John’s disciples have come to Christ while John is in prison. It would almost seem that John is having his doubts in verse 20. Christ understands their concerns and sends word back to John that he should know of the miraculous healings and the preaching of the Good News to the poor. Both of these acts are Messianic as found in Isaiah 29:18-19, 35:5-6, and 61:1. John certainly got the message. It is obvious the message regarding “this generation” is directed toward the Pharisees who rejected John, who lived a consecrated life and then later rejected Christ who associated with sinners and tax collectors.

    In Colossians tonight we read a powerful message of the Identity of Christ. It is possible that Paul is indirectly addressing the subject of Gnosticism in some of this narrative. The Gnostics were a group of heretics who reached their climax in the second century but may very well have had their beginnings at the time of Paul’s writings. I found a link on this subject if you wish to explore it further: http://www.religioustolerance.org/gnostic.htm
    Paul’s writings reflect much of the philosophy and teachings of the Gospel of John , first chapter, in this passage tonight. He focuses heavily on the Resurrection toward the end of the passage.

    May God bless you

    - Clint

    [ July 02, 2003, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    The Prayer of Jabez became the subject of a vey popular devotional book which I read last year. The author, Bruce Wilkinson, gleaned some interesting insights from this passage.

    It was discussed on the board a number of times and I will link you to those threads in the archive. You will need the password "2002".

    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=58;t=001974

    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=58;t=001547

    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=58;t=000011

    Here, also, is a copy of CH Spurgeon's sermon on this passage:

    Spurgeon
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 11/2/03

    Colossians 1:15-23

    Every little kid who ever went to Sunday School knows that God is everywhere, and as Jesus is God, He must be everywhere as well. Today we examine the Scriptural proof of this claim. We will explore the preeminence of Christ in four phases from these 9 verses. Like Philippians 2:5-11, this Passage is a proclamation of Christology – an examination of the nature of Christ. In this presentation, Paul rebuilds a questioning faith and enriches the daily Christian life.

    Paul has moved from his thanksgiving and prayer of last week’s lesson to one of the major themes of the Letter. From what we can glean from the text, the errorists, like their later philosophical kin, the Gnostics, believed in a series of emanations from God that were reduced further and further in their divinity. The danger of this teaching was that as the Colossian heresy absorbed Christianity, it reduced the Nature of our Lord to one of lesser station. Since the errorists believed that all matter was inherently evil, the physical manifestation of Christ could not be divine.

    The Fullness of Christ Affirmed

    1.Colossians 1:15-20 The Scope of Christ’s Supremacy –


    This Passage is difficult to break down and diagram in a traditional way. Whatever outline I am using is a mere convenience for the purposes of this lecture. 15 bold statements are made that comprise this Christology. In them we find the fullness of Christ in four ways, three of which we examine from these verses:

    A. In relation to God – As we examined last week from Paul’s prayer in 1:13-14, Christ is the Son in whom we find redemption, the forgiveness of sins. In this, Christ is the image of the Invisible God. This concept is not new to Pauline thought as he had written the same thing to the church in Corinth in 2Corinthians 4:4. We see the word image (Greek – eikon - i-kone') used elsewhere in the New Testament for the image n coins, or a statue. That Christ is the image of the invisible God shows us that Paul is not referring to a physical reflection. It is also not probable that we should interpret this as a reference to Christ’s preincarnate state. Instead, the context lends itself to the assumption that Paul is referring to Christ’s exalted state. Christ is the image of God in that He is the manifestation of God. He makes the invisible God of the ethereal world visible in the physical one.

    B. In relation to the universe – Christ is the firstborn of all creation. The Colossian heresy had absorbed elements of Judaism as well as pagan thought. Being “firstborn” in Jewish thought gave one rank and title. Being firstborn in other cultures gave a creature supremacy in time. Either or both contexts fit well here. He is before all creation and over all creation as well as being accorded rights and privileges over all creation.

    Verse 16 - By Him all things were created … through Him and for Him. Christ is the sphere in which all things were created and all things were created by Him and for His purposes. The universe owes to Christ its unity, its meaning and its very existence. Christ was the mediating agent through whom God created all that is (John 1:3).

    The broken sentence of verse 16 illustrates the thrust against the errorist’s arguments. Thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities most likely refer to the aeons or emanations that the Colossian heresy promoted as worthy of worship (Ephesians 1:20-21). Basically, Paul’s proposition is: you name it, Christ is above it. He is before all things, reliant upon nothing save the Father for His existence. Once again we can interpret “before” as in time or in superiority. Either is acceptable and true.

    In Him all things hold together literally means that all things hold together or are cohesive because of Him.

    C. In relation to the church – Christ’s preeminence reaches even further in that He is the head of the church. The metaphor of the head and the body is found all through Scripture with the head being preeminent of the body. As the head has access to all five senses, houses the consciousness, and we perceive our essence somewhere between the ears and behind the eyes, it is easy to see why this analogy is so prevalent. The church has its center in Christ.

    Paul implies here that Christ is the head and origin of the church because he is the firstborn from the dead. He was the first to gain dominion over death and as such leads others to glory as well. The purpose of His being the head, beginning and firstborn is for the purpose of showing to us his preeminence.

    The Passage is summed up in verses 19-20. However, the meaning of much of the phrasing is not very clear and throughout Christian history, scholars have wrestled with the meaning of such. The term fullness in Gnostic thought was that the divine “plenitude” was the totality of the emanations, agencies, and energies which filled the void between the spirit and material world. Many scholars therefore interpret the phrase “fullness” as “the fullness of deity.” Some prefer “God was pleased for all fullness to dwell in Him” instead of “all the fullness was pleased to dwell”. The idea may be best captured in the paraphrase “in Him the complete being of God, by God’s own choice, came to dwell.”

    To reconcile all things in Heaven may point to the Colossian errorists bent towards reverence for Heavenly beings other than God. The point is that even these beings owed Christ their existence and played a non-supplementary role in Christ’s work. To reconcile all things on earth may be pointing to the dualism or the exclusiveness held by the errorists but debate has raged for many years over Paul’s exact meaning here. It is highly likely that he is using a term employed by his opponents. However, we can appreciate at face value that the unity of the physical realm owes its unity, past present and future to Christ.

    We can also speculate that this reconciling is in reference to man’s plight since the fall, that man will be reconciled once again to God . (Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:9-11)

    As for making peace by the blood on the Cross, The Cross, too has a cosmic significance (2Corinthians 5:18-19; 1John 2:2). The statement is quite condensed and we, from our knowledge of other Scripture, know that the blood is sacrificial, the final proof of love, and the final blow to the forces of evil. The Cross is a gallows; the blood is his death; and the making of peace is the atonement.

    D. In relation to experience (21-23)

    When the Gospel first reached the Colossians, reconciliation was necessary because they were separated from God in three ways:

    1. Religiously (estranged, KJV - alienated)
    2. Psychologically (hostile in mind, KJV – enemies in your mind)
    3. Morally (doing evil deeds, KJV – wicked works)

    Estrangement, or alienation, relates to not belonging to the family of God. In the Old Testament the term relates to the break between husband and wife caused by unfaithfulness to the marriage vow or to the diversion of property. In the New Testament, however, it refers to the turning of the soul from God.

    Hostile in mind implies that they were actually hostile towards God in their unrepentant state. The evil deeds confirm and show proof of the alienation.

    God reconciled their transgressions “in His body of flesh by His death.” The phrase “in His body” has been much debated by scholars. The phrase is deliberately inserted to stress the importance of Christ’s body. The general consensus is that Paul is here affirming the physical incarnation of Christ, an aspect of Christianity rejected by the errorists. However, we must also consider and lend credence to the interpretations of this phrase that suggest that:
    1. For Paul sin had its seat in the flesh and therefore Christ had need to conquer it there,
    2. The atoning sacrifice must be done in physical form, or
    3. Paul is here going against Gnostic teachings that reconciliation was made through knowledge.

    The result of this reconciliation is so that the Colossians could be presented holy, blameless and above reproach before God. We can see elements of both the present and the future here. Notice the balance between the first and last part of this verse. Where once we were estranged, we are now holy; where we were hostile in mind, we are now blameless; and where we once were doing evil, we are now above reproach (KJV - unreproveable). While we hold these qualities now through Christ, working towards perfection, they will be rewarded by our presentation of perfection in glory.

    This is conditional upon the continuation of the faith, stability, and steadfastness of the Colossians and their not shifting from the hope of the Gospel to some other hope that is false and deceitful. Faith here refers to personal faith, not orthodoxy. Stable and steadfast are both building terms and Paul has set before us a metaphor with the terms. Some scholars also believe that “not shifting” may be a continuation of the metaphor in that Phrygia (what we know as western Turkey) is prone to earthquakes (see introduction).

    Paul reaffirms from verse 1:6 that this is the Gospel that they first heard. It was necessary that the Colossians understand that they must be loyal to their spiritual heritage in the Gospel. It was not regional, exclusive, sectarian, nor private. It had, indeed, been preached in all creation under Heaven. The truth of the basic Gospel is as cosmic as Christ. Its truth was universal. Paul finishes this Christology by affirming that it was the same Gospel, and the same Christ, which led to his own conversion.

    Sunday School lecture - 11/9/03 part I

    Colossians 1:24-29

    The Christology of last week’s lesson ended with Paul’s declaration that he had become a minister of the Gospel. This week we will be examining a rather autobiographical section of this Letter pertaining to Paul’s call to this mission. This, however, is a secondary theme to the Passage. More importantly, we see Paul continuing to set up the groundwork on which he will make his appeal in verses 2:6-7. For some reason, Lifeway this session skipped verses 2:6-7. This, to me, is a grievous error as these two verses are the main theme and focus of the entire Letter. The lesson is distinctly divided into three sections but all operate under the theme of the fullness of Christ appealed to. In 1:24-2:5 we will be looking at the tactful preface to the appeal.

    Colossians 1:24-29 Paul’s Charge to the Gentiles

    From the textual evidence we have in this Letter and in Acts, we must assume that Paul never went to Colossae and here we see his justification for writing, warning and admonishing a church he never visited. He cites two reasons for his interest in these verses:

    1. His divine appointment to office for the Gentiles including the Colossians.
    2. His responsibility to make the Gospel known, particularly, “this mystery, which is Christ.”

    In context of both of these reasons, Paul is not at liberty to ignore either the present situation nor the fate of the Colossian church. Instead he rejoices to suffer for them. He is not interfering in the affairs of strangers. He is sharing their problem.

    Thus the synopsis of this Passage is clear but there are three phrases that require further examination:

    1. - v. 24b –ESV: in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

    KJV: fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

    Paul references the afflictions that he himself is receiving. We can conjecture two possible meanings for this. Perhaps he is referring to the trouble he had in the Province of Asia of which Colossae was a part (2Corinthians 1:8; 1Corinthians 15:30-32). The other is that he is possibly referencing his current situation of a prolonged imprisonment beginning in Caesarea and now (under our assumption of the Letter’s origin) in Rome. However, the phrase that requires exposition is “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” It would be a complete counter to Pauline thought as well as the whole of the New Testament to interpret this phrase as meaning that Christ’s afflictions were somehow insufficient.

    Scholars have wrestled with this phrase quite extensively. In verse 1:18 of last week’s lesson, Paul has established that Christ is the Head and the church is the body of Christianity. Therefore, we can view Christ and the church as one entity. This is a concept that we will refer to as the “corporate” Christ. Christians share in the suffering of Christ (Mark 10:29-30) and especially Paul as we see from his Letters. As stated in the introductory lesson of this session, also, joy or rejoicing is often set against the backdrop of persecution. It is through these trials, both the suffering of Christ the Head and Christ the body, that the Messianic age is brought into being. So what is “lacking” is not the afflictions of the corporeal Christ, but rather the corporate Christ represented in the saints.

    Paul may have chosen this phrase of “what is lacking” as it was possibly a term used by the philosopher errorists in Colossae. It seems labored in this verse, as it does not reconcile well with Christian thought.

    2. – v. 26a – ESV: the mystery hidden for ages and generations

    KJV: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations

    The idea of a “mystery” exclusive to certain people or revealed at some time to all is inseparable from any religion that claims divine revelation (Daniel 2:17-19; Matthew 12:10-13). Paul used the term “mystery” ten times in his Letter to the Ephesians, a community suffering the threat of a similar heresy and he addresses the same issue in more technical terms to the Corinthians and the Philippians. The errorists at Colossae were claiming such revelation for themselves alone, making them a selected sect that had the corner on salvation.

    Once one is in Christ the mysteries that were hidden before are made. This knowledge is made to all men. While in Galatians Paul headed off racial and religious exclusion, here he heads off intellectual exclusion, backing the words of Christ in John 14:17. Unlike the Judaizers and the errorists, Christianity has a place for every man.

    3. – v. 27b - Christ in you, the hope of glory

    That Christ was known among the Gentiles incorporated them into the body, that is the church. Some manuscripts have a marginal note of “among” instead of “in” but there is really no need to split hairs on the matter. Christ was among them collectively and in them mystically. These two thoughts are not counter but rather affirm each other. For Christ to be among us collectively, He must be in us mystically. This is our hope of glory.

    This glory is found now, not just for the Jew, but also for the Gentile. This is the source of Paul’s joy: that Christ is among us as the source of hope. It was this thought that fired the heart of Paul the evangelist. His sense of duty and his pride in his vocation more than balanced his suffering. It was an honor for him to experience persecution for such a noble cause. He was carrying the One God, the Creator to the rest of the world, making them heirs to the Promise, a Royal Priesthood, God’s chosen and peculiar people. By his teachings and evangelizing he was presenting men mature in Christ, both now and at the Parousia.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 10/17/04 (continued)

    Luke 7:18-23 John's Question

    Though Luke does not repeat the fact, John was imprisoned at this time. With the circulation of the report of these events, John wondered about the fulfillment of his prophecies. Remember, John had spoken of the eschatological judgment of the Messiah and how He would destroy the useless chaff. Instead, he sat in a prison cell while Herod remained in his palace and Caesar upon his throne.

    Therefore, John sent two disciples, the number of witnesses necessary to establish a fact in judicial proceedings, to question Jesus as to whether He was the One. Jesus' answer comes in the form of telling the disciples to report that "the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them." These were all clear indicators of the Messiah from the Writings of Isaiah and would have been recognized by John as such.

    Verse 23 speaks to those who think they have prophecy figured out, to my thinking. The Christ, though fully expected, came as a surprise to most. Men, many well meaning, had prepared a mold for Him as a militant who would destroy their enemies and return their nation to a thing of glory. They had shaped their image of Him through their own desires for revenge and power. They were even able to back their preconceptions with Scripture, but, alas, Jesus was not the image they had perceived. Even with Scripture, man can not predict God. The man who is truly blessed is the one who can remain sensitive to what God is doing without the handicap of preconceived notions.

    John's eschatology is no doubt correct, but God will do things in His time, and in His way.

    Luke 7:24-30 Jesus Evaluation of John

    After the disciples of John had left, Jesus turned to the crowd who may have begun to question the validity of the strange man in the wilderness. The term "reeds" refers to aquatic grasses that were typically a symbol of weakness. Men in soft raiment are found in the seats of power at the king's court. Prophets are found in the environment of the wilderness and that is why the people had gone to see John.

    Jesus goes further than just a simple affirmation of John's validity, however. John was more than just a prophet. He was the herald spoken of in Malachi 3:1. John played a unique role in salvation history. He stood on the line between the Old Covenant and the New. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets. As such, Christ declares that even though John was the greatest of his time, he is less that any that are the "least in the Kingdom." John lived in the time of preparation. Jesus disciples, including us, live in the time of salvation.

    Luke 7:31-35 The Children at Play

    Continuing His diatribe concerning John, Jesus compares the men of His generation to children. These men were those that rejected both John and Jesus. The analogy is of children who at first play joyous songs playing a game of "weeding" or "celebration" expecting their playmates to fall in line with their game. They then switch the game to "funeral" but still can not get their playmates to join in. This was how they had treated John and Jesus.

    John was an ascetic man living on an odd diet, dressing in strange clothes and preaching a heavy, solemn message. They could not get John to play "wedding". He refused the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Jesus, on the other hand, attended weddings and celebrations. He was social and had a zest for life. They could not get Him to play "funeral." Instead they criticized Him for his associations with sinners and tax collectors.

    God had sent both John and Jesus and only those receptive to God's redemptive activity could appreciate how appropriate they both were.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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