March - Reading 13

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. SeaFlower

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    Hi All,
    Well, Matthews reading makes me want to go out a do some soul-winning! But it also made me think of how many Christians are hiding their lights under a bushel...or their talents in the earth.

    I have a note in my Bible that a talent was worth about $935.00, not a small amount.
    And one servant was given FIVE talents = $4,675.00

    I love this portion of Romans.
    The expounding that *nothing* can separate us from God...things present or things to come.
    We can rest in the fact that the future, no matter what it holds, it cannot separate us from God....What a bond!

    Psalms 60..well, Lol, the thing that stood out to me was the "wine of astonishment" in verse 3.
    It struck me as funny.. :D

    Numbers sees the tribes of Reuben & Gad deciding to claim land on that side of Jordan, instead of going with the rest.

    Glad to have the opportunity to post...and read your posts, as I sit here drinking my "water of unadornment". ;) :D
    Hugs,
    ~SeaFlower~
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hello all -

    Nice to see you, seaflower! Been a while.

    I continue searching the web for battlemaps on the subject of the Book of Numbers but have yet to find them. I wish I had the scholarship to pursue the task of creating a site myself. One thing I did run across was this site: http://www.crmspokane.org/oldtestament.htm where I found this quote:
    I will also add that the modern definition of the word "talent" came from our reading of today in Matthew!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson – 11/27/06

    Romans 8:28-39

    We enter today an interesting, controversial and much loved Passage of Scripture. The Apostle, having spoken of three benefits of the indwelling Holy Spirit (leading, inheritance and intercession), now begins an introduction to the next three chapters on the subject of predestination. Paul introduces that topic with a discussion of the subject of God’s Love.

    Much has been written on the subject of predestination and it would be ludicrous to think that the entire subject could be approached in a mere half-hour lecture. By the same token, it is a difficult matter to prepare a lesson on this subject without interpreter bias entering the essay. Nonetheless, it is my intention to enter upon the subject with a straight reading of the text at hand and a fair display of both veins of interpretive thought.

    Romans 8:28-30 The Purpose of God’s Love

    Various translators have approached verse 28 in a variety of ways. The literal ordering of the Greek reads: we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for good (YLT). While the emphasis of the overall Passage before us is on God’s love for man, this verse is in reference to those who respond to that love in a positive way. Of course, God loved man before man loved God, much in the same way a father loves his child before the child can respond likewise, however, God works out His purpose only in those who respond in faith.

    “We know” expresses a positive conviction among the brethren. They are all aware of the fact that in everything in creation including persecution, trials, hardships, all the groaning with which the Spirit intercedes, God is sovereign and those misfortunes and blessings cooperate with the overall plan of the Almighty for those who love Him. That plan is that which is “good,” or to our benefit.

    The word “purpose” in this instance is synonymous with “plan.” God’s purpose, in this case, is the plan he had for those who love Him. These are the same as those that are called. Restated, then, verse 28 states that The Christian is committed to the fact that all the trials and all the joys of life cooperate in accomplishing what is beneficial for those of us who respond to God’s love in a positive way.

    Paul’s thoughts turn from the purpose of God in all creation (all things) to the purpose of God in the life of the Christian in verse 29. Likewise there is a shift from the love of man for God to the love of God for man. It is at verse 29 that the disputes among different schools of theology begin to clash. There is no debate over the meaning of the word “foreknow.” It properly means “to know beforehand,” that is, to have knowledge of future events. The dispute arises among what exactly God foreknew. The extremist’s view on the matter is that God knew from the beginning of creation who would be a Christian and who would receive His grace. This school of thought likewise espouses the notion that God also knew who would reject the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and therefore would be condemned.

    In other schools of thought, the foreknowledge is not of specific individuals and their acceptance or denial of Christ. This school of thought allows for a more flexible use of free will among men in determining their own fate. For those who follow these lines, those whom He foreknew are the Christian community in general.

    Certainly it can be said that God predestined all of mankind to come to a saving knowledge of His Son. The fact of the matter is, however, that not all of mankind responds positively to God'’ love shown in the righteous act of sending Christ. An airplane can be “predestined” to fly to Atlanta. That does not mean that it will arrive at Atlanta or even that it will take flight. The plane arrives if it follows its course. Likewise, Christ was sent to save all the world. However, only those who follow the course of God’s purpose will arrive in Heaven. Predestination will be the primary theme of chapters 9-11.

    The course of God’s purpose (or plan) was that men would be “conformed to the image of His Son.” In other writings Paul tells us that Christ is the very image of God (Colossians 1:12-16). This and similar Passages root back to Genesis 1:26-27 in which we see that man had been created in the image of God in that he had dominion over the creation before him but full conformity will not occur until the resurrection.

    Related to the concept of being conformed to the image of Christ is that Christ is the firstborn. The idea of the firstborn carries with it the connotation of preeminence and priority. In Jewish society it was the firstborn who received the inheritance and the major blessing. As the brethren of Christ, we all share in that priority and inheritance.

    Another crucial theological term in this Passage is the concept of God’s “calling.” The call, is not just an external invitation of the Gospel for it leads to justification and glorification. This calling is attributable to the Spirit and leads one to respond with faith.

    Of no little significance is that Paul uses the past tense in this Passage to speak of calling, justifying, and glorifying. The use of the past tense reflects back upon the concept of predestination as the foreknowledge of God.

    Romans 8:31-19 The Power of God’s Love

    While verses 28-30 act as the introduction for the prolonged discussion of predestination in chapters 9-11, Paul pauses here in the final verses of chapter 8 to offer praise to God for the position the Gospel offers us. Once again, Paul incorporates a hymn into his writing to convey his message.

    The first two stanzas of the hymn have to do with the freedom from condemnation we are afforded. This freedom is made possible by the death of Christ. The question is raised in the familiar diatribe style of what can be ascertained from the facts thus far presented? This is followed by a second more rhetorical question. If God has adopted us and made us one with Christ, what secular power is there that can condemn us? If He who gave us His Spirit to guide us and His Son to act as the vicarious sacrifice for our sins has made us His own and laid a plan for our redemption is our ally, what effect can our enemies have upon us? If God was willing to offer these great gifts to us, does it not follow that all lesser things in life are to be expected? Certainly men can harm us physically, but there power to destroy us is nullified by the gracious love of God (Psalm 118:6).

    The second stanza (verses 33-34) advances the notion that God is on man’s side against the adversary. God alone possesses the power and authority to justify us in His sight. With both God and Christ on the Christian’s side, the adversary stands no chance in court. God’s elect are those that receive His love and therefore His favor. If God has pardoned the sinner by making him one with Christ, it is absurd to think that He would once again condemn him. This is the eternal security we possess as believers.

    The judgment of the wicked belongs to the Son of God, He who sits at the right hand of God and it is He who makes intercession for us. As the adopted children of God we stand on the inside track. He who intercedes for us will not condemn us. Our place in eternity is therefore assured. Christ went to the extreme to save us. He died. If He went that path for our salvation why would He condemn us when He was brought back to life?

    The third stanza of the hymn states that there is no separation from the love enjoyed by those adopted with Christ. The term "“love of Christ” is a bit ambiguous. It may refer either to our love for Christ of His love for us. In either case the hymn asks the question of who will cause that love to cease. Either sense can be correct but the former seems to fit better with the context. It is plainly stated that there is nothing that could accomplish such an act. The love of the Christian for his redeemer surmounts all affliction and outside force.

    Tribulation comes from without and refers usually to trials. Anxiety comes from within and is brought about by man not knowing where to turn. Persecution was something the early Christians were quite familiar with. Famine may be in reference to the hunger experienced by those who had been exiled because of their faith. Peril was danger of any kind. The sword is typically in reference to the government and its God given power to punish. This subject will be pursued in chapter 13.

    Paul then turns to the Psalmist once again by quoting Psalm 44:22. Though the Passage was not originally written about Christians, it certainly applied to Paul’s original audience. It was on account of their attachment to God through Christ that they were being killed. Their enemies viewed them as no more than sheep.

    Notwithstanding the persecutions, trials and anxieties of the primitive Christian, however, Paul declared them victorious. Despite the efforts of the enemies of the church, the Christians maintained their love for Christ and for God. The faith they displayed could not be taken from them no matter what type of might man be able to display.

    It was not through their own efforts that this was accomplished, however. It was “through Him that loved us” that they found the strength. As an observer of the Christian condition in the 1st century, Paul was totally convinced (persuaded) that there was no power in, on nor above earth that could tear Christ and His Disciples from each other. He names several examples of powerful influences that are unable to sever us from the love of Christ. There is death, most probably the fear of death. There is life, perhaps referring to the practice of persecutors of offering pardon and freedom to a believer if he would renounce his faith. The angels mentioned in verse 38 are likely the fallen angels in league with satan as mentioned in Matthew 25:41. Principalities typically refers to civil; governments as it may in this case. This interpretation follows well as Paul has been naming opposite extremes and the ethereal angels would be set against the corporeal governmental officials. However, in some instances the word principalities refers to evil angels or spirits, just as the word “powers” does. The things present and the things to come encompass all of the Christian experience.

    Height and depth have been understood to refer to human emotions, rank or status in life, astrological positions or angelic positions on the scale of good and evil. Paul sums up his list by saying that no other thing created has the power to separate us from the love of God. Were that love rooted in man himself, any or all of these powers may have that type of influence. Our love of God is unshakable, however, because it is rooted in Christ Jesus. It is produced and secured in His work and it is only through Him that a man can truly love God.

    Albert Barnes summarized chapter 8 thus:

     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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