September - Reading 25

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

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Aaron

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    Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

    That is what we need, and that is what those to whom we witness need. We need Jesus to open our minds so we can understand the Scriptures.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening -

    The final two chapters of Isaiah are strong with the Gospel theme of salvation for all the nations. This hope would come from Jerusalem (representing all of Israel). The chapter ends with the assurance that this Messianic age would come to pass. The final verses speak much as Revelation at the coming of the New Heaven and the New Earth. These are the prophecies of our future. The accuracy of the earlier prophecies concerning Assyria, Babylon and Persia bear testimony to how accurate Isaiah's vision was. This was a Brilliant book by a brilliant man. We have just concluded a reading that believers have read for 2700 years. That's something to think about, isn't it?

    The closing exhortations of Hebrews urge the audience to be careful not to fall back upon Judaism. This is a very gentle benediction for such a powerful Letter. One note that should be made is that the mention of Italy in verse 24 does not necessarily indicate that this Letter was written from that location, but merely that the author shared friendships with the Hebrew recipients to believers in Italy.

    I will also "amen" Aarons post tonight and once again thank him for his continued contributions to this forum.

    Tonight marks the 3/4 mark in our schedule. [​IMG]

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Proverbs 31
    The Instruction of Lemuel

    Proverbs 31:1-2 - Title


    This week we conclude our study of the Book of Proverbs. As was the case with chapter 30, we have some ambiguities to address with chapter 31. First of all, we do not know who Lemuel was, nor even if the translation as a proper name is correct. There are no other sources, Biblical nor non-biblical, that speak of such a king. We are also uncertain of the term "Massa" which the KJV translates as "prophecy." It may also be a tribal name. These are mysteries that may some day be solved through scholarship as new sources are uncovered and revealed.

    That these teachings originated with Lemuel's mother is quite unique in the wisdom teachings of the time. Jewish tradition has put forth that Lemuel is a pseudonym for Solomon and that the mother is Bathsheba, however, there is no evidence to support such a notion.

    Proverbs 31:3 - Warning Against Women

    Here the king is warned against spending his strength on women, which would diminish his effectiveness in ruling. This may refer to keeping a large harem, a common fixture of kings in the ancient world. This would have put a burden on the king that was financial as well as physical, and certainly in the case of Solomon, spiritual as well as we read in 1Kings 11.

    Proverbs 31:4-9 The Proper Use of Wine and Justice

    As a ruler needs a steady mind, wine and strong drink are improper for him. There is little need to comment on the negative consequences of alcohol consumption except to say that for a king these consequences affect the entire population including the afflicted.

    By remaining sober the king is able to plead the case of the dumb, the poor, and the needy. A sober king recognizes his responsibility to those under his charge that can not plead there cause themselves.

    On the other hand, however, alcohol does hold medicinal value, especially at the time of this writing before pharmaceuticals. The king is here instructed to give alcohol to the dying and to the distressed.

    Jesus warned us against drunkenness also in Luke 21:34.

    Proverbs 31:5-31 The Virtuous Woman

    The Book closes with this acrostic poem. Each verse in the original language begins with a sequential letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This explains in part the length and structure of the poem. This same technique is used in several of the Psalms, Lamentations 1-4, and Nahum 1:2-10. The only guiding principles in the poem appear to be the acrostic and the virtues of the woman.

    Traditionally, this poem was spoken by Jewish children and husbands at the Sabbath table on Friday nights. In Christian circles this poem is commonly recognized as a paradigm for godly women. Some have seen this poem as a description of the Lady Wisdom of earlier chapters personified. She is the starkest contrast to the adulterous woman and Lady Folly. Others read the poem literally as an ideal for a wife.

    Among the virtues listed about this woman we find these:

    1. She is a good wife and renders assistance to her husband. In verses 11-12 it is said that he trusts her and she merits his full confidence. In verse 23 it is implied that through his association with her the husband's status is enhanced at "the gate" which was the commercial, legal and social center of the town. In verses 28-29 we see the husband join in with her children in praising her.

    2. She is adept at business. She likes to work in verse 13. Verse 14 implies that her work extends beyond just the domestic setting. She has a keen sense of business opportunities such as real estate ventures in verse 16. Verse 18 tells us that when she perceives that her merchandise is selling well, she keeps her lights on at night for maximum production. In verse 24 we learn that she deals with merchants, literally in the Hebrew, a Canaanite.

    3. She looks after her household according to verse 27. She does not allow her merchandising to interfere with her domestic responsibilities. Verses 21-22 tell us that she provides her house with clothes of quality. She works at making sure this is so in verses 13 & 19.

    4. She is charitable to the poor. Aside from her duties at home and work, the virtuous woman displays the wisdom teachings of Proverbs 19:17 & 28:27. She is capable, and therefore helps the poor according to verse 20.

    5. She is a wisdom teacher according to verse 26.

    6. The most striking of her virtues is found in verse 30. She fears the Lord and as we have learned in our studies, this is the basis of all wisdom. This is her real worth. Luke 10:38-42

    The roles of women have changed throughout history and one can support nearly any theory on the role of women Biblically. It is the task of the Christian to find balance and discernment on the instructions we are given.

    For example, 1 Corinthians 14:34 commands that women remain silent in church, yet in the same Book in 1 Corinthians 11:5 Paul is speaking of women praying and prophesying. 1 Timothy 2:11 gives the instruction for women to learn in silence with all subjection, yet in Titus 2:4-5 the older women are instructed to teach the younger and Priscilla is credited with helping to instruct Stephen.

    While it was the woman who was first tempted in the Garden, it was also a woman, Mary, who first received word of the coming of Christ. In Luke 7:37-38 it was a woman who washed Christ's feet with her tears and her hair. In Mark 14:33 it was a woman who anointed Christ, preparing His Body for burial In Mark 15:47, women were the last at the Cross and in Mark 16:1, they were the first at the tomb. In Matthew 28:8, they were the first to proclaim the Resurrection. It was a Caananite woman who was the first Gentile to beg for and receive the healing power of Christ for her child. Women ministered to Christ and his Disciples according to Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:41 and in Luke 18:33 we learn that they financed His ministry. The woman at the well was the first to carry the Message of Christ to the Samaritans. Lydia was the first of the Philippians to receive Paul. Women labored with Paul to spread the Gospel according to Romans 16:1; 3; 6 and Philippians 4:3. It was a widow woman with only a couple copper coins that Christ used as an example to illustrate the worth of our offerings.

    The virtuous woman is not a slave to an overbearing man, but a person in her own right. She has a place of honor in the home, the business world and the community.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson 2/27/05 - conclusion

    Luke 24:44-49 Interpretation of Scripture

    In His final earthly association with His disciples, Jesus gives them the proper perspective of understanding the Old Testament Scriptures. Only here in the New Testament is Psalms grouped with the Law and the Prophets. However, these three sections of Scripture had been accepted by the Pharisees and most of the Jews as authoritative at this point in history. Not all Hebrew Scripture is related to the suffering and Resurrection of Christ but Jesus helps them understand everything written about Him.

    Jesus goes on to tell them that what has happened is a fulfillment of these prophecies but there yet remains one aspect that had not been fulfilled. The Gospel must now be preached to all nations. The time of the church our time from the Resurrection to the Parousia, had also been foreseen (Isaiah 2:3).

    It is noteworthy that in this entire section of the -Resurrection in Luke there is no mention of the Parousia – the Second Coming of Christ. Luke’s emphasis is on the entrance into Glory and not the Return. In the Divine plan, the church must patiently play her part and leave the end of history in the hands of God (Acts 1:7-8).

    As believers, we are representatives of Jesus and proceed under His authority to preach the Gospel “in His name.” We do not appeal to any higher authority as justification for calling men to repentance. When we preach the Gospel we are fulfilling His Will. This mandate began in Jerusalem and proceeded throughout the world.

    Those who had witnessed Jesus’ ministry and His death and Resurrection served a special function in the redemptive plan. They were the witnesses of these things and served as the foundation for the historical truth of the Gospel. It is through them that we know that a man named Jesus lived, died and arose. The very foundation of Luke’s Gospel is the report of these eyewitnesses (Luke 1:1-4).

    Jesus Himself would send the Promise of the Father upon them. As interpreted by Acts 2:17-21, this Promise is the pouring out of the Spirit as foretold by Joel. The vacuum left in the church by the absence of the physical Christ would be filled by the Spirit. It is through that Spirit that we receive our direction. The disciples were instructed not to leave Jerusalem until they had received that power from on high. After the experience at Pentecost, the believers would be equipped for their missions.

    Luke 24:50-53 The Final Parting

    Again, Luke seems to indicate at this point that the events of chapter 24 occur all in one day. It is from Luke’s accounting in Acts, however, that we know that Jesus was on earth in His Resurrected body for about forty days (Acts 1:3). After blessing the disciples, Jesus “parted from them” and ascended to Heaven.

    Jerusalem and the Temple remain the centers of faith in this interim before Pentecost. The Gospel of Luke begins there and ends there with the righteous praising God. Judaism is still of great importance at this juncture as the converted Jews will be the emissaries of Christ. The first mission of the church will be to confront Jerusalem with the message of the Gospel and give it one last opportunity to repent and claim the Promise of God to Abraham.

    The hopelessness and frustration of the Disciples in chapter 23 has been transformed to joy by the end of chapter 24. They finally “get it,” that God’s Will and Purpose was much, much higher than their own interpretation of the Chosen One. They now understand that suffering and Glory are insolubly linked and that through suffering their Lord has been exalted to the right hand of God. Their own journey into that glory through suffering remains to be told in the Book of Acts.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Hebrews

    Hebrews 13:9-16 Sacrifices Which God Approves

    The diverse teachings mentioned in verse 9 are likely the dietary requirements espoused by the Jews and Essenes of the first century. It was a difficult notion to overcome by many early converts that God did not reward one for eating special foods done with special preparation. The Christian heart is not strengthened by meat, but by the knowledge that grace has saved him.

    The early Jews viewed their abstinence from certain foods as a sacrifice pleasing to God. However, we know that true sacrifice to God has nothing to do with eating. What is pleasing to God is our servitude and fellowship with our fellow man. The sacrifices for sin including dietary regulation and animal offerings were, in a sense, self-centered acts that put God in a position of having to respond with forgiveness. The sacrifice of praise and sharing with our fellows is a non-conditional act that gives all glory to God.

    The ultimate act of sharing was found in Christ who gave His life for our sins. To follow that example, we must go “outside the camp.” This phrase has been interpreted in various ways, each with equal merit:
    • The cross stood outside of the camp which was Jerusalem. As Jerusalem was the holy city, no crucifixions could occur within her walls.
    • In Leviticus, the camp was the assembled forces of Israel. To walk outside the camp meant danger and possible peril.
    • The camp is Judaism in general and the early converts must make the conscious decision to lay aside the antiquated ceremony of Mosaic Law.
    • The camp is the safety of the established organization of the church. In order to fulfill our commission we must leave those safe confines into the unseen world.

    Hebrews 13:17-19 The Appeal

    The responsibility of the pastor is to care for every member in his charge. Therefore, the author instructs us to obey and to submit to them. This imperative is rooted not in the prestige they may have but for the heavy responsibility they carry. He keeps watch over our souls. The word “watch” carries the connotation of sleeplessness. The pastor remains vigilant like a shepherd over a flock. If a member of a congregation is not submitting and acts in such a way as to consume the pastor’s time and energy, then other members will receive less, and worse, those who do not know the Gospel will also receive none.

    No pastor should be thought of as a demigod, but because of the enormous responsibility they bear, the words submit and obey are quite appropriate. In addition, the pastor as a Christian leader holds in his possession the Book inspired by God with the Word of God. Therefore it is not only the pastor who is instructing and the Christian who is receiving, but there is also that third party of the Holy Spirit involved in the lessons. It is this union that undergirds his authority.

    Having established the exhortation to submit and obey other pastors, the author now makes the appeal for himself that the Hebrew audience pray for him. He knows that his motivation is noble and it is his desire that God’s will be done through him. In praying for this pastor, the Hebrews would truly be serving their own interests. In verse 19 he makes it clear that he believes that his return to the audience was contingent upon the prayers of those whom he served.

    Hebrews 13:20-21 The Benediction

    Immediately after asking for prayer, the preacher turns and offers his own for the congregation. It is interesting to note that where Christ is repeatedly referred to as the High Priest throughout the rest of the Book, here He is called the Shepherd of the sheep.

    God is the God of peace because He has triumphed over evil. Even in the midst of the violence of the 1st century, the saints enjoyed the tranquility of the knowledge that God was in control. God, through the gift of His Son, had brought harmony between Himself and man.

    The final triumph over evil was accomplished in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The Shepherd will never leave His flock. Even the bonds of death could not separate Him from caring for us. The wages of sin is death. The consequence of sin is death. Christ, who overcame sin, was not worthy of death but of eternal life. It is in this way that His spilled blood marked the beginning of the New Covenant.

    It is also through that blood that God not only made His will known but equipped His flock to follow it.
    All of this was done through Jesus Christ, God’s final word.

    Hebrews 13:22-25 The Prayer

    Despite the enormous volume of knowledge in this Book, the preacher felt that he had only written briefly. He felt there was much more that he could impart to them if time allowed.

    Most scholars assume that Timothy is the same man who accompanied Paul but they also agree that this Passage does not indicate that he was imprisoned. The term “set free” in verse 23 should be interpreted as meaning “sent on his way.” The writer hopes to meet Timothy at the church to which he is addressing. He includes in his salutation both leaders and members, naming no one, possibly inferring that they were too numerous to name.

    The phrase “those who come from Italy” can mean either those who were then residing in Italy or those from Italy who were now residing elsewhere. The greetings and descriptions in this salutation remain so general that we are left no conclusions about author, recipients, carriers, or place of writing.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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