March - Reading 4

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    First of all tonight in Matthhew we read two very well known excerpts of this Gospel. The first was the question of taxes. This was a trick question that the Pharisees posed. If Christ had said "No, it is not right to pay taxes," the Herodians could have reported Him to the Roman officials for treason. If He had said, "Yes, it is right to pay taxes," the Pharisees could have denounced Him to the Jewish people. Christ's answer appeased both groups. Notice the flattery as they approached Him, calling Him "teacher (master)" and saying that He taught the way of God. They really were vipers!

    What stood out most to me in Romans tonight was verse 8. This is a description of Machiavellianism CENTURIES before the term was coined. The ends do not justify the means. Romans is well geared toward new believers. If one looks at the current threads in the all other discussions forum such as "what if a person never heard the gospel," you will see the same arguments of men still in play in our times.
    Remember also that Paul is still specifically addressing the Jewish recipients of his letter. He states that the Jews do indeed still have an advantage in that they are the holders of the word of God. Paul takes advantage of their knowledge in verses 10 through 18 by quoting Old Testament scriptures, some literal, some paraphrased, but all to the point. No one is truly righteous in the eyes of God. We are all in sin but it is the Law that makes us aware of our sin. I love the last verse, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

    In Numbers, the order of the offerings is the order of march. I would recommend a commentary that shows the concurrence of the naming of the tribes as reflected all through the Book of Numbers. I will recommend this one: Jamieson, Fausset, Brown

    I know the reading in Numbers was a bit "numbing" tonight. I appreciate you hanging in there!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    Romans
    In Romans Chapter 2 we learn that

    Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God(the circumcised Jews), but the doers of the law who will be justified.

    In Chapter 3 we learn that

    3:28For we consider that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law(ie circumcision).

    Is Paul teaching us two seperate views of justification? Absolutely not they are both two different ways at looking at the same process. Again Paul's stated mission in this book is to bring about the obedience of faith. This concept is repeated throuhout the NT. Here are just 4 examples from 4 different NT authors.

    Galatians 5:6
    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only FAITH WORKING through love.

    James 2
    24You see that a person is justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE.

    Matthew 19:17
    17And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS."

    Revelation 2
    5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

    Paul, James, Matthew, and John they are all teaching the same thing but I think Paul said it best what matters is a "faith working in love". (which ofcourse is impossible without the grace of God)

    So far so good but this is where protestants and Catholics typically start having troubles. Many but not all protestants will look at Justification as one time legal event where God declares us righteous and we are eternally secure. Catholics see it at as a process, and would see protestants POTENTIALLY falling into the same theological mistake the Jews did which Paul has been warning them about in Romans.

    As can be seen from writings of the times they had there own belief in eternally security that Paul had been warning them about. They believed that just because they were once circumcised which made them part of God's chosen people and if they remained Jew they were assured salvation regardless of the future sins they committed, nothing could nullify the fidelity of God. (see Romans 3:3) But in being just and inflicting his wrath God is being faithful to the covenant (see Romans 3:5)

    Therefore there circumcision(there security) was of no avail if there hearts remained uncircumcised and commited all sorts of sin. Likewise our faith is no avail if it is not a living obedient faith, it is just a dead faith that will incur God's wrath.

    To be fair some Catholics fall into the same trap, by just going to church on Sunday, they believe they are saved without a properly formed faith that is working in love. Which totally goes against Church teaching.

    Thus what Paul said about Jews and Gentiles could just as easily apply to Catholics and Protestants who believe they are serving God but are not.

    God Bless

    [ March 07, 2003, 01:16 AM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  4. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    Matthew

    Matthew 22:21
    21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

    Absolutely Brilliant, but we might take a moment and think what is it that we are to render to God.

    I believe it ties in directly into our dicussion in Romans we must render to God our faith and obedience or as Paul puts it the obedience of faith.

    God Bless
     
  5. Born Again Catholic

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    Numbers 7

    Their generosity is to be commended and could be emmulated by many.

    Numbers 8

    The dedication ceremony for the Levi's is similar to that of the priests except that the priest are consecrated whereas the Levites are only cleansed.
     
  6. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    Whose is this image and superscription?
    21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

    the clue to the answer to the question is in verse 20
    we were created in Gods image therefore we should have upon us a likeness of Him who created us ... "His image and superscription should be visible in us"..and we should give ourselves to Him.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture – 9/25/05

    Romans 3:1-20

    In this Passage Paul concludes his initial arguments for the need of justification for all people, both Jew and Gentile. Beginning in 2:1 he concentrated his diatribe towards the Jews in his Roman audience who, like Jews throughout the Empire, felt that because of their lineage and the promises of God to their ancestors were exempt from God'’ wrath. The primary point of chapter 2 was that God showed no partiality in His judgment between people. Each individual was accountable to God for his sins and each would receive reward for his deeds. Having established the premise that God would judge us all on equal footing, the question must then be addressed, why had God chosen the Jews in the first place?

    Keep in mind that Paul had never met these early Christians face to face but he had likely encountered the philosophical debates addressed in this section numerous times. With a lack of immediate, two-way communication available, Paul sought to address the questions that would arise among the Jews in his audience as if they were being addressed to him directly. This method of posing questions and then answering them is the nature of the diatribe.

    This section of Scriptures gives us a unique glance at the debates Paul likely encountered as he traveled throughout the Middle East. Paul never denounced his heritage. He, in fact, remained proud of his heritage, recognizing that it was his race that had been chosen as the people who would usher in the Messianic age. He recognized Christianity as the extension and fulfillment of Judaism, the next phase in salvation history. The Holy Spirit had chosen Paul as an Apostle because unlike the men in Jesus’ entourage who were called to Apostleship, Paul was first and foremost a philosopher. His recognition of Jesus as the Christ, however, made him a heretic to the orthodox Jewish community. They viewed his teachings and methods as a renunciation of the Law. As we read between the lines in this Passage, as Paul speaks to those within his own ethnic grouping, we see his defense against these charges. The most distinctive aspect of these verses is Paul’s extensive use of Old testament Scripture. He was meeting his Jewish opponent on equal ground by referencing a source they both recognized as authoritative.

    Romans 3:1-8 Jewish Objections Argued

    After Paul’s somewhat lengthy discourse of chapter 2 explaining the moral failure of the Jews in keeping the written Law, Paul now begins to contrast the ways of God to the ways of men. He begins with the questions: Then what advantage has the Jew and what is the value of circumcision?

    Two points should be made about the phrasing of these questions. First, though most versions put a question mark between them, they are in essence the same question. Paul is returning to his statements made in 2:17-24 concerning keeping the Law and 2:25-29 concerning the value of circumcision only if it accompanies a keeping of the Law in its entirety. Second, the student must not equate the word “advantage” with “superiority.” If one is given an advantage in life but does not use it, it does not make one superior. Paul will clarify this in verse 9.

    What advantage has the Jew? Paul’s answer may have surprised his audience after the preceding chapter. He states that they had much advantage in every way. First of all, the Jews had been entrusted with the “oracles of God.” This does not refer to just the promises made to the Jewish people but to the Old Testament as a whole. Possession of the Scriptures gave the Jews a great advantage towards knowing the Will of God as they were heard read every Sabbath in the synagogues.

    Yet hearing the Scriptures and acting upon them are not the same thing. This raises Paul’s next pair of questions: What if some were unfaithful? Does this nullify the faithfulness of God? Though the word “covenant” does not appear in this verse, it is the faithfulness to the covenants to which Paul is referring. A covenant is an agreement between two parties. Both sides need to uphold their end for a covenant to be successful. Paul has established that the Jews had not held up their end of the bargain – the keeping of the Law. God, however, had faithfully upheld his end – protecting Israel and guaranteeing her place in salvation history. Paul’s point is that God always keeps His promises. Even if every man should turn his back on his duty to God, God would never turn His back on him. This concept is not only true of Judaism but Christianity as well. The faithfulness of God is a cornerstone in Paul’s theology (2Timothy 2:13).

    To reinforce his point, Paul turns to the Scriptures as the authority accepted by both him and his opponent. The statement “all men are liars” is an echo of Psalm 116:11 but the main thrust of the argument extends from the Septuagint rendering of Psalm 51:4. The Psalm references David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba. In this great penitent Psalm the justice of God is established when confronted with the sin of man.

    The next group of questions in verses 5-8 turn from the subject of the faithfulness of God to the justice of God introduced by the quote from Psalm 51:4. Throughout this section of Romans (1:18-3:20) Paul has spoken of God’s wrath to describe the punishment for sin in both present tense (1:18) and in the future reckoning (2:5). This wrath is directed against Jew and Gentile alike. Paul now confronts the third Jewish objection to his theology. The questions of his unnamed Jewish opponent (O, man) are: If our wickedness serves to show the justice of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath upon us? Iif through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?

    Simply stated, Paul is confronting a notion that since he is contrasting God to man, man’s imperfections make God’s perfection that much more evident thus bringing glory to God. Paul now sets about showing the fallacy of such an argument. In answer to the first question, Paul immediately responds that his opponents can not have it both ways. If God is just, and will do right, then to allow sin to go unpunished would be against his nature. This premise was firmly established in Old Testament teachings (Genesis 18:25).

    In the next question (verse 7) Paul shifts from the plural “our” to the personal and singular “my” and “I.” It is unclear as to whether it is God or man that is condemning Paul as a sinner but the context suggests the latter. Paul was a renegade heretic worthy of damnation in the eyes of the Jewish leaders of his day. Such condemnation would not be logical if his so-called falsehood glorified God’s truthfulness. The whole Jewish attitude towards Paul and his teachings proved that they considered God’s wrath to be just.

    The third question in this grouping (verse 8) shows that any argument that states that evil promotes good destroys the moral order. If nothing is really wrong, if no sin could bring about God’s wrath, then no moral discrimination would be possible. Some slanderers had accused Paul of teaching this philosophy. He will address that issue more in depth in chapter 6 but for now passes by the charge with a statement that the condemnation of his accusers in itself displays God’s justice.

    Romans 3:9-20 The First Section Concluded

    The conclusion of the argument for the need of all mankind for justification contains two major factors. The first is the charge against both Jews and Greeks (in this case, a synonym for Gentiles). Verse 9 may at first seem to be a contradiction to what Paul has stated in verses 1-2. However, as stated previously, advantage does not mean superiority. Yes, the Jew had been given the advantage of the Scriptures, but he had done no better in behavior. Second. in verse 20 Paul speaks of “sin” in the singular, as in verse 9, being an entity with a power holding dominion over men. This will play a vital role in subsequent chapters.

    To support his assertion that everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, are in need of justification, Paul now cites a chain of six Old Testament Scriptures. The way that they are placed together has prompted many scholars to conclude that this may have been an early hymn. Though the quotes are from differing sources, we must remember that Paul was here acting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The use of a hymn, if this theory is accurate, imbedded into this Letter, reminds us of how the New Testament grew out of the life and worship of the early churches. It is a reminder of the value of this method of education apart from written sources.

    Many have also commented on the use of human organs in verses 13-17. This supports the view of sin as the corruption of both self and society. The throat being like an open grave (KJV – sepulchre) taken from Psalm 5:9 (Septuagint) in which the Psalmist is denouncing those who were liars and slanderers may mean that just as the grave is open to receive all into it, so too the throat of the liar is ever open to swallow the happiness and peace of those who encounter it. It could also mean that just as offensive vapors arise from a grave, so too does ruinous words arise from the throat of the slanderer.

    That their tongues are used to deceive is self-explanatory. The “poison of asp,” also taken from the Septuagint, Psalm 140:3, refers to the venom of a particularly lethal snake found in the Middle East that acts so rapidly that it is usually untreatable, even in the modern day. These snakes often lie concealed and strike before the victim is aware. That such toxin lies under the lips of the sinner shows the rapidity that slander and lies can destroy a reputation of life.

    The reference to the mouth is a paraphrase of Psalm 10:7 in which David is describing his enemies. Verses 15-18 are all taken from Isaiah 59:7-8. That section was written to describe the state of Israel during the time of that prophet. Paul does not quote the entire Passage but selects a few of the sins listed to make his point. “Their feet are swift” implies the eagerness of the nation to commit crimes of cruelty and injustice.

    The final words of the conclusion of this section bring to light two concepts of great importance. The first is the concept of “law.” Typically in Jewish thought, the Law refers to The Ten Commandments, the Book of Deuteronomy, or the Torah as a whole. In this case, however, as Paul is still in a train of thought from quoting Old Testament Scriptures, the Writings and the Prophets must also be included. Paul; has already spoken of the written “law” as it applies to the Jews and the natural “law” as it applies to the Gentiles. Here, the concepts seem to be combined as Paul speaks of those “under the Law” normally meaning the Jews yet he continues that the whole world would be accountable to God because they, too, were “under the Law.” Paul has placed us all in the same boat under one great law that draws from written revelation, conscience, and observation of nature. This concept of law is pivotal in our understanding the rest of the Book of Romans.

    The second important concept in this conclusion is the consciousness of sin. The Greek term translated “accountable to (KJV- guilty before) God” is found only here in the New Testament. The word translated “knowledge” in verse 20 is the closest English equivalent but falls short in conveying the whole meaning. It implies awareness of a state that has been brought out of the unconscious into consciousness. This revelation of knowledge of sin is one of the chief roles of the Law in Pauline thought. This will become abundantly clear in later chapters.

    Sunday School lecture – 10/02/05

    Roman 3:21-4:25

    Having established in the previous Passages the need for justification for every person, Jew or gentile, Paul now moves to the next level of his argument: the means of justification. Paul has demonstrated that God’s wrath in both the present tense and in the coming judgment is justifiable, literally, is a matter of justice. According to the law of nature, the law of conscience and the Law of Moses, man in his natural state is unfit to receive the blessing of God. He can not, in fact, even come into the presence of a holy God. This sad state is what is often referred to as “moral depravity.”

    The student should recognize that the argument has been built upon a legal term: justice. God is a God of wrath but He is also a God of love. Therefore there must be a “legal” way in which man can be reconciled to God. This reconciliation is what we refer to as the term justification. Justification is a fulfillment of legal debt. In theological terms it means vindication. Paul has already told us the means by which God justifies us in verse 1:17. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation. The Gospel being the birth, life, teachings, ministry, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    And so, Paul continues his theological treatise to the early, primitive church of Rome by expounding on the means of justification, specifically, the Righteousness of God.

    Romans 3:21-31 God’s Righteousness Demonstrated

    Romans 3:21-26 The Concept of God’s Righteousness


    The righteousness of God has already been introduced in Romans 1:17 but the subject turned immediately to the wrath of God. The need for justification that will spare man such wrath is followed by a presentation concerning the means of justification. God justifies man by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is related to faith in verses 3:21-31 and faith to circumcision and the law in 4:1-25.

    This Passage of Scripture, probably a quote of an early Christian hymn with a few expositions, is extremely important. The word “now” in verse 26 is pivotal. It moves us from the realm of promise to the realm of fulfillment. It also marks the line between the concept of righteousness based on law to the sphere of righteousness based on faith. The righteousness of the Law was created by God but insurmountable for man so God created a righteousness apart from the Law. This manifestation of righteousness, Christ, does not destroy the Law and the prophets for they both pointed towards Christ. To the contrary, the Law and Prophets bear witness to this righteousness of faith.

    In verse 22, the KJV inserts the article “the” in front of “righteousness of God” which may lead to some confusion. Certainly the righteousness through faith is not an attribute of God but rather it is “a righteousness of God” that men obtain through faith in Christ. In other words, Christ is the object of faith. The next line in the hymn, “unto all and upon all them that believe” supports this notion. God imparts righteousness, the synonym for justification, to both Jews and Gentiles who have faith. Paul inserts a parenthetical commentary to show this clarification.

    In verse 23, the term “fall short” is the English interpretation for the Greek word bearing the connotations of “missing the mark” or “failed to obtain.” There is no distinction between Jews and gentiles regarding the offer of salvation as both sets of people have failed in their sin. By some lines of interpretation, the “all” who have sinned is in reference to all of mankind missing the mark because of Adam, a concept called “corporate guilt that will be discussed more thoroughly in chapter 5, but it seems more likely, to this commentator, that Paul is still referring to individual sin as sated in Romans 3:9-20.

    In verse 24, the hymn turns from law to grace. Being justified, put right, vindicated by grace places the believer in a standing as if he had completely obeyed the Law. Paul has already adequately demonstrated that they were unable to hold to the law, be it Mosaic, natural or conscience. Therefore, if they are being treated now as if they had, it is not of their own merit. It is freely given as a gift. This is the nature of grace.

    While the terms “justification,” judge and just refer to the legal system, the word “redemption” in verse 24 refers to the slave market. Of the six times Paul uses the word in his Epistles, it usually means to purchase out of the market place but in this instance it refers to the act by which the slave is set free, in spirit in the present and in body in the future. The word rendered “redemption” here is used in the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament of Paul’s day, to describe the Hebrew deliverance from Egypt and the Jewish deliverance from Babylon. It is in Christ Jesus that deliverance from the dominion of sin takes place.

    The way in which Christ became the object of faith is that God “put {Him} forth’ publicly to be a propitiation. The meaning of “propitiation” is unclear. It literally means “a cover” and in theological talk it refers to the lid on the Ark of the Covenant. The blood of sacrificial animals for the sin offering was sprinkled on this cover. Scholars have wrestled with the exact meaning of this analogy. One line of thought is that it refers to Jesus’ substitution of Himself for us. A second view asserts that the word we translate as “propitiate” is better translated “placate” or “perform an act by which guilt is removed.” A third line of interpretation refers to a characteristic of the lid on the Ark. On this lid were two cherubim with their wings stretched forth and between these two sets of wings the Hebrews conceived as the “mercy seat” of God. It was from this mercy seat that God would pronounce pardon for the children of Israel. Time does not allow us to follow the lines of argument for each of these positions but we gain from the phrase that Jesus was pre-ordained by God to be the Sacrificial Lamb that paid the price for the redemption of the sins of those who have faith.

    Romans 3:27-31 The Corollaries of God’s Righteousness


    After completing the creedal hymn of verses 21-26, Paul returns to the diatribe style of answering anticipated questions. Certain conditions of the view of man, God and the law are here set forth. Simply stated they are: human boasting is excluded, God’s universality is affirmed, and the law is established.

    The question of human boasting was an old one in Judaism. The prophet Jeremiah excluded boasting in Jeremiah 9:23-24. Human boasting had already been ruled out in 1:18-3:20 by the demonstration of the universal nature of sin but here it is ruled out in a positive way based on the “law of faith.” The righteousness of God strips a man of any boasting rights and leaves him only with the Lord in whom he can boast. As demonstrated throughout the New Testament, humility becomes the proper Christian posture. The law of faith excluded the Mosaic Law that required works.

    The second condition set forth by justification by faith affirms the universality of God and highlights the early conflicts between Jews and Gentiles in the primitive churches. Is God the God of the Jews and the Gentiles? The answer is a ringing affirmative. For support, Paul refers back to the well-known Jewish creed of Deuteronomy 6:4 – Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is One!” This verse would have been as familiar to the Jews of Paul’s day as John 3:16 is to the modern Christian. This monotheistic message was the basis for all missionary messages. Since all had “missed the mark,” both Jew and Gentile, God could impart favor to all. No one was excluded from the One God.

    The third condition Paul states is that faith alone established the Mosaic Law. Judaism had evidently charged both Paul and Jesus with destroying the Law. Much of the Gospel of Matthew is written to support the thesis that Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill the Law. Paul’s argument here in Romans goes straight to the heart of the matter and boldly makes the claim that it is faith that established the Law in the first place! It is only by justification, vindication, through faith in Christ that one can fulfill the enormous moral obligations of the Law. Paul now begins to expound this concept as we enter chapter 4.
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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