March - Reading 19

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good morning -

    I hope you are all keeping up with our schedule but if you aren't we have a six day break right around the corner in which you can catch up!

    I have not been commenting on Deuteronomy as it is fairly redundant from our readings in Exodus and Leviticus, but the Book is actually quite fascinating. Bear in mind that Deuteronomy is quoted in excess of 100 times in the New Testament. Moses, in his farewell address is establishing the groundwork for a new nation.

    In Romans, we read eight powerful verses. The preceeding eleven chapters have been leading up to this passage. By being alive in Christ we are of a new mold and the ways of the world are not acceptable anymore. I particularly like Paul's emphasis on contributing to one's ability.

    Finally, in Matthew, we see Judas' end. I will await another of the Gospels to comment on my thoughts about Judas. I will say, I don't think it was about the money in his mind.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. RodH

    RodH
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    In the reading from Deuteronomy although much of it is review like Clint posted above, I hadn't read the last part of chapter 17 before. I didn't realize that before they entered the Promised Land, the issue of having a king had already been addressed. With their great leader Moses not able to go with them, it makes sense that they might want to imitate nations around them and select a king. When the time came, God was to choose their leaders. Earlier in chapter 17, the role of judges and priest in making legal decisions was dicussed. So before they go into the land, they already have some guidelines for governing the people.

    The passages from Romans are pretty clear without commentary so I hesitate commenting on them. The points that really speak to me out of todays passage are:
    Verse 2: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Our goal as Christians should not be to be like the world around us, we should be striving to be more like Christ.
    Verses 4-5: "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
    Just as our arms, legs, etc. are different in function but all part of one body, Christians each have different functions and gifts within the body of Christ. For the church to function properly, each person must properly use the gifts and abilities they have been given.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson – 1/1/06

    Romans 12:1-8

    Thus far Romans has been a theological treatise exploring and building a philosophical explanation of the righteous act of God in sending us the Gospel as revealed in Jesus Christ. Each section has been built upon the last making a logical structure of the Christian faith and experience. This section continues the building of the argument but there is a shift from the theological understanding of why Christ came and what it all meant to a practical application of that knowledge.

    It should be understood that though the practical message now presented is different than what has gone before, it is nonetheless an extension. Genuine faith produces right belief, Right belief yields proper behavior. Proper behavior evidences genuine faith. Paul’s opponents vehemently attacked his philosophical stand of justification by faith and salvation by grace. The opponents took the position that if none of us are deserving and grace comes not by our actions then Christians could behave in any manner they chose. Such is not the case and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer produces good deeds, not to bring about our salvation but to demonstrate its existence.

    Most of Paul’s Epistles take a similar course pointing to the narrow ridge that separates legalism from libertinism. If man is to pursue the vertical course towards God he must do so through the horizontal course through his neighbor. Our behavior and actions upon this sphere in this age are what separate us from the rest mankind. The righteousness that we have attained through Jesus Christ is to shine out into the darkness of the world.

    Today’s Passage is related to many other segments of the New Testament. Paul gave similar messages to most of his audiences: the Galatians, the Corinthians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the Thessalonians, and to Timothy. Likewise, James in his Epistle lectured that saving faith was evidenced by good deeds. Peter and John also touched upon these same points. Our good deeds that evidence God’s love for us are one of the highest forms of worship we can manifest.

    Romans 12:1-2 Introduction: the Living Sacrifice

    Once again the “therefore” in the first verse is pivotal. Paul is stating that because of your unworthiness, because of God’s great act of love in sending Christ to reconcile us, because of your adoption into the family of God, the following instructions are a matter of logic. The fact is also stated that we are all brethren. Christian brotherhood is underscored by the fact that the Christian experience is not only personal but also communal. As such we are to present our bodies (plural) as “living sacrifices.” We are to do this because of the “mercies of God.” The word “mercies” in this instance denotes the favor shown to the undeserving.

    The term “living sacrifices” has been interpreted as many as being in contrast to the dead animal sacrifices of the Old Testament system of Law but it is also a possibility that Paul has in mind here a reference to the new life attained by the believer of sacrificial love created by the Spirit. This giving of one’s life for the service of God and mankind is done freely under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By sacrificing ourselves we give up claims to our own determinations in this life and allow God, the One to Whom the sacrifice is given, to use us in whatever way He sees fit to promote His will and purpose.

    In order to be a sacrifice in the Old Testament system, the propitiation had to be without any blemish of defects. It could not be blind or lame or sick. It was then consecrated, set aside, for the purpose of being offered. It was only that which was consecrated and without blemishes that was acceptable as a sacrifice. In Paul’s analogy, he calls for us to be consecrated and without spiritual defects. It is this that makes us holy.

    The sacrificing of ourselves is described then as literally “our reasonable service (KJV).” Though quite literal and co9rrect, this translation misses certain overtones in the meaning of the phrase. “Reasonable” here refers to thinking, or conforming to the dictates of reason (Webster). It is rational and thought out. The term “service” refers to “worship.” The offering of our bodies is the logical voluntary and thought out conclusion to a recognition and acceptance of the Gospel.

    Further, we are instructed to not be conformed to this world. Our place in salvation history is the same as that of Paul’s original audience of Romans. We are blessed to live in the time after the revelation of the Gospel but burdened to be in the time before the coming glory. The Christian is called upon to be conformed from within. Do not, Paul says, let yourselves be molded by the evil age around you. In 1Corinthians 7:31 we are told that this world is passing away and in 1John 2:17 those who conform to it will pass away with it. When in Rome, do NOT do as the Romans do! Do as a holy and acceptable sacrifice to God would do!

    Instead of conforming to the world we must be changed by the renewing of our minds. The intellect after recognizing the Gospel must cease the vain pursuit of earthly treasures and hedonistic pleasures. We are a new creation and our personalities reflect that newness. We are not what we once were. Our new minds primary function is to prove what is the will of God. That is our purpose and the life of sacrifice we choose.

    It is this life and outlook upon life that is what makes us an acceptable sacrifice. Jesus Christ is the model upon which we are to conform our actions as He was the One first acceptable to God. When we reach this goal of renewing our minds we are made perfect and worthy of being a living sacrifice. Christ told us that being perfect as God was perfect involved loving our enemies, a feat accomplished only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The love God showed mankind in the sending of His Son for their salvation must be evidenced in our behavior. “On the way to God, man always meets his neighbor. (Moody)”

    Romans 12:3-8 The Christian Community as a Body

    The word “for” is evidence that Paul is about to now add some further considerations upon the concept of not being conformed to the world. Recalling the favor (grace) that he was shown in being called to the office of apostle, he tells his audience to not be high minded about themselves as individuals. It is through the diversity of the Christian community that we are able to minister to each other and the world.

    God does not create separate orders of Christians. We are all important and all serve a function within the body. For one person to think himself more important in the church is to deny that God granted his standing there. We were called into this body in order that we may serve. Once again by relying on our intellect, thinking wisely, with sober judgement, we come to the conclusion that it is God who granted our positions. There is no room for human pride in accomplishments in the Christian body. It is always God who should receive the glory.

    There can be no upward relationship to Christ apart from a lateral relationship to each other. There are no independent Christians. We are interconnected not only to the Head which is Christ but to the individual members who are the brethren. Participation in the Christian experience means participation with each other.

    Paul’s recollection of grace being the source of his apostleship reminds us that grace is the source of all our spiritual gifts. Just as the analogy of the human body is a familiar analogy throughout the Pauline Epistles, so too the list of spiritual gifts is a recurring theme. Though the lists vary from Epistle to Epistle one important commonality among them all is that they are “gifts.” They are given to us. Therefore, humility is the proper attitude to assume for the display of these abilities.

    The first mentioned by Paul after apostleship is prophecy. Though we often visualize diving the future from this term, it is also a synonym for preaching. A prophet is one who gives the word of God to the other members as guided by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles established the churches, the prophets built them up. As the voice of the Divine Will, there was always a danger that a prophet could slip into the role of being the voice of the people or his own voice and so Paul qualifies his exhortation to the prophets as being “according to the proportion of their faith.” This is a rather difficult phrase to interpret as it is rare in the New Testament but it is generally taken to mean that the prophet was to speak only in accordance with that which was given to him. The prophet was to employ his talents for the purpose for which God gave them and no other.

    The term “service (ministration – KJV)” referred to those who aided others socially. The Greek has the same base as the term we translate “deacon.” These are the members of the body who help out with physical and emotional needs of their brethren, the ministers of the church. “Teaching” as it applies to the Pauline Epistles refers to the class of elders who taught doctrine. Though related to prophecy, this was the education on principles established in the Scriptures or through teachings of the Apostles. Prophecy was revelation through Divine inspiration. “Exhortation” is encouragement or excitation. This duty seems to have been viewed as a distinct function in the early church though we are also called upon by the Scriptures to exhort each other. This individual would call his brethren to application of the principles learned from the teachers and the prophets..

    The one who is “giving” or “sharing” must do so with his whole heart, willingly and cheerfully. This likely refers to monetary donations but can be applied to any service offered to the community at large. It is also a reasonable interpretation to assume that this refers to those elders who were in charge of distributing the offerings made by the congregation. Aiding the poor and helpless was a major function of the early church. There is no room for misers in such a position.

    Those who “leadeth (plural)” are in authority over the church. Paul calls for these individuals to be diligent in their work. Who these individuals were has been the subject of much controversy over the years. Some contend that this was some permanent office within the church such as the presbyter. Others contend that it was a position necessitated by early “business meetings” of the congregation. In either case these men were to give attention and care to their tasks. The one who is doing kindness insinuates helping others in distress. This may refer to illness, want, mourning or even hunger. Such a task is to be performed with cheerfulness.
     
  5. ILoveTheLord

    ILoveTheLord
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    Hey, I've read the Bible though only once I'm sad to say I've read it a lot but just skipped around mostly.

    Is there any where on here that has an archive of the previous days of this years reading schedule?
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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