March - Reading 2

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

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    Tonight in Matthew, we read the parable of the Tenants. This is an obvious simile of the Jewish people and the prophets, Judges and Covenants the Lord made with these people since the beginning of the Abrahamic Covenant. It is good we are reading the Old Testament along with the Gospels. I think it will illustrate the roller-coaster relationship that the Jews had with God.

    In Romans, the passage tonight could easily be applied to modern times. For those who condone homosexuality, I see NOTHING in this verse that supports their claim that Biblical references to perversion are relating to paganism and idolatry. Paul is obviously speaking of basic human immorality in this passage.
    It is believed that this Letter was written on Paul's third missionary journey (Acts 18:33 - 21:15) on his return to Jerusalem from Macedonia and Achaia (Corinth, Athens, etc.). The books of Corinthians are actually older by a few years it is theorized. It is fitting that Romans occurs first in our Bible, however, in that it clearly spells out the simple plan of the gospel, for Jew and Gentile alike.
    This Letter is written in preparation for his journey to Rome. Here, there were believers who had not yet received the instructions of an apostle. Rome was a decadent place and Paul being a worldly man knew this.

    I hope in Numbers you can see the massive organization occuring of the Jewish people. They are gearing up to move out!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    Dear Clint,
    In order for me not to get `bogged down` and frustrated with the L-I-S-T-S in our current OT reading, I am reading this part of the daily reading in a modern translation . Hope that it is ok to do this, but the going is much easier while we are in this part of the OT. I`m reading the rest of the daily readings in my `old faithful` KJV as I prefer the Psalms in the KJV and do not find the Gospel so difficult to read/understand.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hi Gwyneth -

    I do not believe you will lose any context or meaning by reading the censuses in Numbers or even the genealogies in 1Chronicles in a modern version. That, my friend, is entirely up to you. We're not holding anyone's feet to the fire here!

    The real significance in these tabulations, for me, is that despite the fact that the Hebrews were a nomadic, warring tribe with only a scant knowledge of medicine, their numbers continued to increase. This is not the outcome one would expect. Rather than clinging to survival during the time in the wilderness, they actually thrived! When we get to Joshua you will see how powerful a nation they became between Sanai and Canaan.

    Keep up the reading! [​IMG]
     
  5. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    I think the reading in the book of Romans today is really remarkable.

    A person can't say "I didn't have the Bible or the Church, or good parents etc to reveal God to me, I had no way of knowing God so I am innocent. "

    Paul teaches us that, God has revealed Himself to all through His own creation. Thus each of us knows God through nature and the use of our human reason (natural reason) apart from any faith or divine revelation (ie scripture etc).

    Thus when Paul speaks of them giving up "natural relations" he gives us an example of people turning away from what has been revealed to them through natural reason and thus break natural laws, which God has revealed to all.

    Thus as all men know God, homosexuality is not an intelectual problem (ie that they don't know better) it is a moral problem because all men do know better. Or as Paul put it they "supress the truth" and "they exchanged truth about God for a lie." (Homosexuality as well as other sexual perversions attempt to enjoy sexuality in a way that will not be fruitful.)

    The same goes for all the sins listed in Romans 1:29-32 just as through our natural reason we know that homosexuality is wrong we know these sins are wrong as well. Paul goes ahead and list internal sins , external sins, as well as sins of ommision.

    Those of us that also know God through scripture and what others have taught us really have no excuse for commiting these sins.

    And as always Paul is teaching us all this while effortlessly tying in references to the OT.

    The reading from Numbers today is also important The Levites replacing the role of the first born mentioned in Numbers 3 & 4 becomes important to our understanding of the rest of Numbers and Deuteronomy. I will try to discuss this later if I get a chance.

    God Bless

    [ March 03, 2003, 02:57 AM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture – 9/11/06

    Romans 1:18-32

    Having laid down the theme of the Book in verses 1:16-17, Paul is now ready to expound upon the principles and need for justification. Beginning in verse 1:18 he will explain the premise that all have sinned, that all exist in a state of moral depravity and that all are in need of the vindication that comes through faith in Christ. In verses 18-32 he begins this treatise with an explanation of the case of the Gentiles.

    Directly related to the subject of the need for justification for man is the subject of the righteousness (or rightness) of God. The concept is put forth that ours is a God of love, yet also a God of wrath. It is this seemingly two-fold nature that defines the justness of God in His relationship with mankind. While a system of justice includes vindication for the forgiven it must also include punishment for the non-vindicated wrongdoer. Therefore the question is raised: what of the Gentiles who never had the benefit of the revelation of God such as afforded the Jews? Can those who never had the benefit of direct revelation through the prophets and the Scriptures (verse 1:2) be held accountable?

    Verses 1:18 through 4:25 can be viewed as a courtroom setting in which God’s justice is put up for deliberation.

    Romans 1:18-25 Ungodliness

    Romans 1:18-23 Ignorance


    God’s act of righteousness in sending Christ to mankind was necessary because of His wrath. Paul states that the wrath of God is “revealed,” the verb being in present tense. God’s wrath is “being revealed.” It is not a future eschatological event in this particular instance. This wrath is revealed in both the created order, when it is disrupted, and in the social relationship, when there is disorder. It is related to both damnation and salvation.

    The wrath is directed against all “ungodliness” and “unrighteousness.” The two words correspond to the two tablets of moral law, the sins against God and the sins against man. God’s disclosure of Himself to man in the created order here and now is held down by unrighteousness. The ungodliness of man is evident in both religious ignorance and idolatry. This religious ignorance is a result of man’s rejection of the knowledge of God made possible in the created order. God shows what can be known about God to man without oral revelation in the created order. God’s invisible nature is made visible to man in creation.

    God is not a vague shadow filling in he gaps for what can not be explained. He is a purposeful Presence in the order of creation. This external revelation of God to man through nature is supplemented by a revelation of conscience within man (Romans 2:14-16).

    Yet for all this evidence of the nature of God through nature, man rejects God. If He is so prevalent in the created order, why is He rejected? The answer is in the sin of pride. Man in his sin does not honor nor give thanks to God but rather darkens his mind to the evidence, thinking himself wise. This is the first charge against man explaining God’s wrath against the Gentiles.

    Even so, though sin darkens the mind it does not negate the possibility of perception. Man, therefore sought to fill in the gaps himself. Verse 21 states that the Gentiles once knew God. The God who had revealed Himself in the created order so plainly became a blur. Through a sense of perception distorted by sin, man turned to speculation, empty reasoning.

    Speculation that does not acknowledge the God of creation evolves into idolatry. Idolatry is a great dishonoring of God. Those who practice it are not atheists; they are ingrates. The glorification of God that is the purpose of man becomes the glorification of man. This is sin in its most basic essence. Man displaces God and marks himself off as mortal, subject to death. This will lead Paul into the argument of the necessity of Christ. Our deprived reasoning and speculation that leads to mortality is replaced by the immortality we receive from Him at death, both spiritually (2Corinthians 5:4) and physically at the resurrection (1Corinthians 15:52-53).

    Sin had turned the great possibility of the revelation of God to man into the great perversion of idolatry. Paul builds upon the subject of idolatry in the next two verses.

    Romans 1:24-25 Idolatry

    The dishonoring of God mentioned in verse 21 has led to the dishonoring of the body. The defilement of the heart with sin has led to a defilement of the body. These become the main ideas in 1:26-32. God’s wrath is thrice described in these verses as God giving them up to indulge in idolatry (verse 24), immorality (verse 26), and animosities (verse 28). This “giving them up” is their punishment and their present predicament. Like their minds that had been designed to give God glory became perverted, so, too, did their desires. Man’s mind and man’s desires both have a purpose that is good, yet through the distortion of sin can be used for bad. Sexual immorality is a sign of the condition of living in the distorted world of sin.

    In utter disgust at the pagan morality, Paul turns to God with a praise of doxology. In Augustine’s writings he sums up the sentiment well: “It is not the corruptible flesh that makes the soul sinful, but the sinful soul that makes the flesh corruptible.”

    Romans 1:26-32 Unrighteousness

    Romans 1:26-27 Defilement of the Human Body


    In his writings, Paul tended to classify sins into two major moral categories: the sensual and the antisocial. The terminology that he most often used was “defilement of the human flesh” and “defilement of the human spirit” (2Corinthians 7:1). Defilement of the human flesh is the second charge against the Gentiles and is most clearly demonstrated in homosexuality for it is clearly unnatural and contrary to the natural order of propagation.

    It is also declared unnatural on the basis of the Old Testament man-woman relationship. Like the mind and desires, sex has a purpose that is good and one that is evil. It is good if it is between a man and woman completely committed to each other in marriage. Any other application of sex is a perversion of God’s natural order.

    Homosexuality is not a new age concept and the subject would have been quite familiar to the Roman audience of Paul’s day. It was, in fact, a very common practice in the pagan world. Most of the early Caesars were known homosexuals. The two perversions mentioned here (man with man, woman with woman) are not an exhaustive list of sexual immorality by any means. Again, any act of sex outside of a man and woman committed in marriage is immoral by Biblical standards (Matthew 19:4-5).

    Romans 1:28-32 Defilement of the Human Spirit

    The final argument presented by Paul vindicating God’s wrath against the Gentiles is found in their refusal to acknowledge God. As punishment, God once again “gave them up” this time to base minds and improper conduct. This improper conduct is shown in sin directed towards our fellow man. In Pauline theology, sin against man is sin against God because it is against the order of society.

    Typical of Pauline writing, Paul now gives us a catalogue of vices. In this list, there are 21 different sins against which God has shown His wrath. Scholars typically group these vices in four categories. The first four are crimes against the community in general: fornication, wickedness, covetousness, and maliciousness. Fornication is self-explanatory. Wickedness indicates that which is against righteousness and the desire to harm others. Covetousness or greed is the overwhelming desire to acquire more, especially that which belongs to others. Maliciousness is the desire to do evil.

    The second category is twelve terms that indicate sin against another person – one’s neighbor. These are envy, murder, debate, deceit, and malignity. Envy in this instance is the discomfort brought about by another’s success. Murder is the unlawful taking of a human life, particularly that which is premeditated. Our modern concept of debate is somewhat different than the Biblical usage here. Debate in this terminology is heated contention connected with anger. Deceit denotes fraud or falsehood. Malignity is not only the desire to be injurious to another, but also carries the connotation of misinterpreting the words and actions of others and putting the worst construction against their conduct.

    The next six vices are classified a sins of pride. These are personified as whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, and boasters. Whisperers are those who secretly, by hints and innuendoes, detract from others, or excite suspicion of them. Backbiters are those who speak publicly (as opposed to whisperers) against those who are absent. Haters of God is the highest charge that can be brought against man. Despiteful denotes those who are abusive or cruel to those who are present. Proud by Webster’s definition is “having inordinate self-esteem; possessing a high or unreasonable conceit of one's own excellence, either of body or mind.” Boasters are those who credit themselves with qualities they do not have and glory in it.

    The final six vices are those that are destructive to natural human sentiment. These are inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, and the unmerciful. Of the term “inventors of evil things, Albert Barnes states, “This doubtless refers to their seeking to find out new arts or plans to practice evil; new devices to gratify their lusts and passions; new forms of luxury and vice, etc. So intent were they on practicing evil, so resolved to gratify their passions, that the mind was excited to discover new modes of gratification.” Disobedience to parents expresses the idea of not showing parents the respect, honor and attention they deserve. This was a crime punishable by death in Jewish law. Without understanding refers to foolishness or inconsideration. Covenant breakers are those who do not honor contracts or agreements. The term “without natural affection” refers to those who lack affection for children, a crime most obviously against the natural order. Implacable refers to those who will not settle a dispute or will even pursue those with whom they disagree in a vengeful manner. The unmerciful are those who lack compassion.

    The climax of Paul’s vindication of God’s wrath comes in verse 32. Despite the knowledge of God and the revealed knowledge of His moral law through creation and conscience, the Gentile continued to live in a manner that did not honor Him. This failure completely justifies God’s wrath against them. In short, there is a knowledge of God that comes apart from the written code of Scriptures with which all men are endowed. A failure to acknowledge this moral law condemns man to death through sin.

    Of course, the Jew, who had the written code as well as the natural law knew more and thus the dissertation against him is more complete. This argument begins in chapter 2.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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