May - Reading 25

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, May 25, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    My apologies for the lateness of the Scripture posting but we are having trouble with our local network provider. I have forgotten before, but this time it was the machine. 

    We finished three Books tonight, the first of which was 2Samuel. Chapter 23 appears to be typical of so many ancient warrior stories in that it contains a compiled list of 32 fighting men, preserving their names for history. It is interesting to me that Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband makes the list in verse 39.
    Chapter 24 had me scratching my head for a while. Verse 1 indicated to me that God commanded David to make a count of the troops of Israel. For this David suffers great guilt. I looked at my text notes and they were massive for this verse, so evidently I was not the first. The guilt that David felt is attributed to the fact that the numbering of the soldiers in his army was an act of vanity, very uncharacteristic of David. So back to verse 1, the Scriptures are always clear that God does not cause men to sin. When we break down verse 1 we see that the Lord is mad at Israel, not David, so he incites David to make the count, or possibly through His sovereignty, makes Satan tempt David into this prideful act as a means to bring Israel to punishment through their Divinely appointed king.
    Either way, I think I’m going to try throwing this up to the folks in the theology forum to kick around once my LAN gets straightened out.

    We also finished the Gospel of Mark. After the account of the resurrection I ran across a note that preceded verse 9 saying that verses 9-20 are doubtful as original to the text. The reasoning that the scholars who assembled the NIV added this note is because the earliest manuscripts do not include these verses. In addition to this, there are “peculiarities of vocabulary, style and theological content” in these final verses. Another red flag to these scholars is that in verse 18, it is stated that believers will drink poison with no ill effects. This type of behavior is not recorded anywhere in the New Testament. I think I’ll throw this one out to the folks in the translations forum.

    The final Book that we finished tonight was the Epistle to the Galatians. What I found interesting in this passage was Paul’s statement of the size of the letters written in his own hand. There are three possible scenarios to explain such a statement. 1) Paul had written the entire letter or at least this passage to the Galatians in a large script for emphasis; 2) Paul’s eyesight was becoming poor at this point in his life; or 3) a scribe had written everything up to this point and Paul now takes the pen to end the Letter.

    May God bless all of you who have continued in this scheduled reading of God’s Word.

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 7/20/03

    Galatians 6

    Today we conclude our study of the Book of Galatians. The sixth chapter is divided into two main passages. The first is a series of somewhat disjointed commands and the second is Paul’s final benediction.

    There are seven imperatives in the first ten verses. These are as follows:
     Verse 1: Restore the fallen – This command instructs the Spiritual believer to bring one who has sinned or is in the act of sinning back into the fold. Paul further instructs that this is to be done with an attitude of gentleness, meekness in KJV. Gentleness is one of the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit. Paul further states that we look to ourselves that we are also not tempted. As one who is more spiritual, the believer must be careful not to fall into one of the fleshy vices such as hatred, wrath, etc.

     Verse 2-3: Bear one another’s burdens - We should aid each other in regard to our specific temptations, and help one another to overcome them. This attitude of mutual support supports the notion of the characteristics of goodness and love. The counter of the flesh would be envyings and rivalries. This mandate is viewed as a summary phrase of the teachings of Christ in the term “the law of Christ.”

    Paul further states at this point that a man’s pride will prevent him from bearing another’s burden. If he thinks himself “something” apart from the Justification offered through Christ, he is “nothing” as he has denied God’s Grace. Legalism is once again shown as false piety. This leads directly to the next command.

     Verse 3-5: Avoid censoriousness (being critical) - Pride prevents the sharing of burdens. It demands superiority (as division does in the vices of the flesh). Peter sums this up well in 2Peter 1:5-9. (Read text in ESV) Envy, another vice, and rivalry still another can come into play and prevent one from burden bearing. All of this as discussed last week, is counter to the Walk in the Spirit. By puffing up with pride and thinking that he is “something,” the believer runs the risk of deceiving himself.

    Verse 4 offers the solution for this dilemma: self-examination. We do not judge ourselves by the works of other’s but rather by our own achievements. In this way we remain on our own path bearing our own burden.

    Concerning this seeming contradiction between verses 2 and 5, walking in the Spirit involves both bearing another’s burden and our own as well. The fact that Paul is telling us to “look to ourselves” sets the context in which the second set of burdens is seen.


     Verse 6: Share with teachers – In the context of burden bearing, this is a shared burden directed towards a specific group of believers. This may be the earliest indication of stewardship for ministry in the New Testament. It is possible that the teachers of the Galatian church were having to dedicate so much time to their lessons that they were unable to support themselves. Paul himself was not consistent about the receiving of funds for himself. He is firm that Christian workers were deserving of such compensation in 1Corinthians 9:7-11, but often did not accept monetary support as shown in 1Corinthians 9:12-18 and 1Thessalonians 2:9. With all that said, in Philippians 4:14-18 Paul gladly accepted funds as that church looked at the gift as entering into missionary work.

    More than monetary support, however, Paul instructed that “all good things” be shared with teachers. Prayer, food, encouragement and the reward of understanding would certainly qualify.

     Verses 7-8: Stop deceiving yourselves – We should look at these two verses as a new thought not related to verse 6. The contrast when we examine the intent is obvious. We have moved from the concept of mutual support to a general censure of the lack of generosity. As is his habit, Paul uses an analogy to demonstrate his point: that of gardening. If you plant potatoes, you can not expect to pull up onions. You reap what you sow. In the same way, those that sow discord, envy, hatred, or any other vice of the flesh will not reap virtues of the Fruit, neither here nor in the afterlife. To claim the Spirit but not walk in the Spirit or be responsible in the Spirit is a mocking of God, literally, a thumbing one’s nose at God. Mocking God always brings about consequence.

     Verse 9: Do not grow weary – Paul’s analogy is being carried over into this imperative. As any of you who keep a garden know, between sowing and reaping there is a long span of time that involves toil. Quitting is a temptation. “Well-doing,” the agape love, is our toil.

     Verse 10: Do good to all men – A fitting conclusion to the main body of this great Letter. Doing good is our Christian duty, the most obvious manifestation of the Indwelling Spirit.

    The next passage is the conclusion to this Epistle. There are some very remarkable points that we should notice in this benediction.

    In verse 11 Paul speaks of the large letters he is using in this portion of the Letter. Scholars at that time used secretaries known as amanuensis (a-man-you-in`-sez). Paul has obviously taken the pen from this scribes hand and is now writing himself, adding authentication to the Letter and accentuating his earnestness. Many believe that Paul had failing eyesight, perhaps related to the Light seen on the Damascus road. This is also a widely accepted interpretation of the “thorn in his flesh” spoken of in 2Corinthians 12:7. As a result Paul likely had to write with large letters, probably much more crude than the script of the trained scribe in his service, but uses that characteristic as an emphasis, just as we would use bolding or underlining.

    There are other distinctive characteristics to this benediction as well. There are no personal references as in Romans or Corinthians. There is no request for prayer. There is no disclosure of a travel itinerary. There is no instructions of greeting with a holy kiss, and there is no gratitude offered for past aid or favors. However, to me the most remarkable distinction to this letter is found in the final verse. Before the final “amen,” Paul inserts the word “Brethren.” A remarkable end to a remarkable document.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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