September - Reading 5

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Aaron

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    Wow! A lot of beautiful reading today. I can see it will be a challenge to keep my posts short. If I had to pick my favorite books of the Bible, I would have to say Isaiah and Hebrews rank right up there.

    I mentioned earlier that Isaiah is chock full of good news. It has been called "The Fifth Gospel" by some. Chapter 11 is a description of the character of Christ and of His Kingdom. Just beautiful. I can hear the singing of "Fairest Lord Jesus" in my mind right now. So much I want to say! But...

    Chapter 12 is a song of praise:
    Sweet, sweet comfort for the soul tormented with the sense of his own sin and shame! See Psalm 103.

    Chapter 13 is a fearful prophecy of complete destruction upon Babylon. Though God will deliver Judah to Babylon because of their iniquity, He will not spare Babylon for hers, and especially because she dared to vaunt herself agains the people of God. The end of the world, and judgment upon worldly pride and idolatry is also prefigured here.

    And now Hebrews chapter 3. This will sound wierd, but I don't care! [​IMG]
    Isn't that an odd way of speaking? "As long as it is called, 'Today.'" Think about that. Yesterday can't be called, Today, but it was; and the Future can't be called, Today, but it will be. The word "today" only has meaning for us who still experience a moment by moment existence. In other words, those who experience time are the only ones to whom the word "Today" has any meaning at all. In heaven it can't be called, "Today." Neither in Hell. Only we who are still upon the earth have any use for the word.

    There is no room for repentance when Jesus returns.

    [Corrected my atrocious grammer. Aaron]

    [ September 06, 2002, 07:35 AM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening and thanks, Aaron –

    Isaiah chapter 11 continues in the strong Messianic prophecies with the rendering of the prose concerning the “Branch from Jesse.” Jesse is of course the father of David. In verse 1 the reference to the stump of Jesse is in reference to the near destruction of Judah by the Babylonian Empire. The coming age (from the perspective of Isaiah’s audience) of the Messiah would be marked by peace, characterized by a child being in no harm’s way even among wild and dangerous beast. This vision has been portrayed by many, many artist throughout history. Just to break it up a little and to see the mental images of other believers concerning this era’s description, I will provide you with a few links to some artwork:

    http://www.thinker.org/fam/education/publications/guide-american/02.html

    http://www.reynoldahouse.org/peace.htm (check the links at the bottom of the page as well)

    http://www.christcenteredmall.com/stores/art/hallmark/peaceful-dwelling.htm

    In Luke Christ finishes prophecy concerning the times to come. In verse 32 the words “this generation” can be taken quite literally as the destruction of Jerusalem would occur approximately 40 years after he had spoken these words. If you remember in the story of Moses it was 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and this equated to a generation ( Numbers 32:13). The term this generation could also be applied figuratively if Christ was (also) referring to the Jews as a race that had been promised existence until the end times. The term may also very well apply to us, if it is God’s Will.

    Chapter 3 of Hebrews demonstrates through allegory how Christ, the messiah, is greater than Moses, the Law. Christ is God who is the builder, while Moses is a part of the structure. There is more honor in the builder than the house. This particular passage is an exposition on Psalm 95:7-11. Drawing further on the anology of the story of Moses we are shown that those who lack faith or don’t believe will be abandoned in the wilderness and left there to die. It is only those who believe who will enter.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson - 2/6/05 - conclusion

    Luke 21:29-33 The Sign of the Fig Tree

    The sprouting of leaves from a fig tree or all other trees is a sure sign of the coming of summer. In the same way, the tribulations of which Christ spoke are a sure sign that the Kingdom is near. The phrasing here is subject to interpretation. The term “Kingdom of God is near” when used elsewhere in Luke (10:11) does not refer to an end time event but a present time. Though one could interpret the statement to mean that tribulation will immediately precede the Parousia, it could also mean that the perseverance of those afflicted is indicative of the presence of God.

    Further, the term “generation” has a wide array of interpretations. Most easily taken, it could mean Jesus’ contemporaries of the time. It can also mean mankind in general. It can also be taken to mean “the generation at the end of time,” that is, those who see the signs of the end. Regardless, verse 33 gives Jesus’ words the finality and authority of the Torah. Everything that He spoke will come to pass.

    Luke 21:34-36 The Need to Be Alert

    There is always a danger for Christians that they will become too involved in the affairs of this world. Debauchery and drunkenness dull the mind. The cares of this life, i.e. financial security, food, clothing etc., can take precedent over our thoughts of the coming Kingdom. For those who become immersed in the affairs of the world, the Second Coming will come suddenly like a snare. It will not be greeted joyously as it should be but as a surprising unwelcome event.

    As opposed to the directed and limited judgment upon Israel in 70 AD, the Parousia will affect all of the earth. While the Judeans had the opportunity to flee to the mountains, those at the final judgment will have no escape. For those who are not prepared, it will be an inescapable crisis. Disciples therefore must continuously pray for strength to withstand the temptations of the modern life so that they may stand unashamed before the Son of Man when He returns. The faithful followers of Jesus have no need to fear when the new age is ushered in.

    Luke 21:37-38 The Conclusion of the Temple Ministry

    This editorial note brings Luke’s account of the public ministry of Jesus to a close. For four days (traditionally) Jesus spent His days at the newly cleansed Temple teaching the crowds and at night (according to Luke) He retired to the mount called Olivet. Mark describes His nightly retirement in Bethany, the town quite near the mount as we see in Luke 20:29. Luke omits the story of the anointing in Bethany and concentrates primarily on the teachings at the Temple.

    We see in the final verse the continued polarization of “all” the people and the religious leaders who were plotting to undermine Christ. His exposition of the Scriptures and teachings of the Kingdom were to oppositional to their preconceived notions about the nationalistic and militaristic characteristics they wanted the Anointed of God to display.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hebrews



    Now that the preacher of Hebrews has firmly established the superiority of Jesus over the prophets and angels and has named Him as the High priest and helper to the tempted, he moves swiftly into the main point of the Sermon: the perils of diminishing faith.

    A study of Hebrews brings to the forefront again and again the question of eternal security. The student may better know this doctrine as “Once Saved, Always Saved” or Perseverance of the Saints.” This teaching, prevalent in most Southern Baptist churches, states that the truly regenerate Christian endures to the end. One can not lose one’s salvation once it is attained. The doctrine is strong enough that it has been a part of the Southern Baptist Faith & Message since 1925.

    So aside from the sight of the giants of theology from whose shoulders we look, can a person lose their salvation? It will not be my purpose to take a position on the subject firmly to one side or the other but the question will nag us throughout the Book of Hebrews.

    The Old Testament is the shadow of the things that would come. The Law was our teacher. The preacher implements that device in these 15 verses to show us by example from the wanderings in the desert the dangers inherent in a wayward faith. Jesus is superior to the angels, this has been firmly established. Now we face the question of whether He was superior to the deliverer of the slaves of Egypt, the man to whom God gave the Law, the man who actually came to face god upon a mountaintop. Was Jesus superior to the most important man in Jewish history?

    Hebrews 3:1-6 Greater Than Moses

    The opening of this Passage clearly demonstrates that the sermon was addressed to converted believers. The preacher calls them “holy brethren.” We often perceive of the word holy as meaning moral perfection. While that definition can apply in other cases, in this particular instance the word holy should be equated with “consecrated. We are set apart from others by God. Our holiness comes in our desire to face and move towards God. That is the effect of our Heavenly call. A key to understanding Hebrews is recognition of the author’s view of two worlds. There is the world we see and the world towards which we are moving.

    The preacher admonishes his audience to “consider” Jesus. The implications of the word consider are deep pondering or meditation. The audience is told to consider Jesus in order that they may learn the lessons He teaches as the helper to the tempted and as the High Priest. They are told to consider Jesus because the rekindling of a low burning faith is not found in a theological treatise or a profoundly explained doctrine. The answer to an ebbing faith lies in the Person of Jesus Christ.

    Verse 3:1 is the only point in the Bible in which Jesus is called an Apostle. While the word generally means one who carried the word of Christ for the early church, the base definition means “one who is sent.” Jesus was sent to deliver the Message of the Kingdom of God and is therefore, by definition, an Apostle. The Book of Hebrews is also the only Book to call Jesus our High priest, an important theme that will be revisited frequently.

    For the Jews, there was no one greater than Moses and for anyone to suggest that someone superseded him would be staggering. Yet here the preacher carefully lays out an undisputable argument drawing from the lessons of Jewish history. It should be noted that the author in no way is seeking to denigrate Moses. The point being made here is that without a leader greater than Moses, the newly formed Christian community could face the same fate as the first generation Hebrew nation in the wilderness.

    Jesus’ superiority to Moses is shown in three ways:
    (1) Christ was One with God in the building of a nation. Moses was a part of the nation. No matter how great a house may be, the one who is both builder and architect is greater.
    (2) Christ is superior to Moses in that He is a Son of God. Moses was a servant of God. No matter how great a servant, he will never attain the status of a son.
    (3) Christ is superior to Moses in what He achieved. Basically the preacher will ask the question, “Why do you insist on following Moses when Moses failed?” This is a very bold question to ask a Jew but the arguments put forth are undeniable.

    Before continuing the preacher reminds his listeners that they, too, are members of the house of God. They were the church. The question must be addressed of when does a church become a house of God? It has nothing to do with imposing buildings or large memberships. It does not have to do with superlative music or eloquent preaching. A church becomes a house of God when we have learned to hold fast in our confidence in God and when that hope in God holds us fast to the end. When this happens our faith is nourished by God and we begin to receive the benefits the Lord brings: redemption of our sins, restoration of our humanity and the sympathy of the Great High Priest, and open access to God. This can only begin, however, when we “consider Jesus.”
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Hebrews 3:7-15 The Peril of Disobedience

    When man is apart from God, he is restless and wayward. We read in Psalm 95:11 “Therefore I swore in my anger that they should not enter my rest.” The author of Hebrews cites this line and attributes the authorship to the Holy Spirit, another witness in his belief of the doctrine of inspiration. The lessons of history teach us that that which happened to Israel during her forty years in the wilderness will happen to those who refuse to hear the voice of God, harden their hearts, grieve God, and go astray.

    Psalm 95:7-11 describes the fate of the first generation of Hebrews who were led from bondage in Egypt. They began their march in faith but they did not persevere. The author of Hebrews shows us, the Christian community in a second type of Exodus. We had been in bondage to sin and were liberated by Christ. We are heading toward the Promise. For the Hebrews, including Moses, the promise of the Land of Milk & Honey was never attained.

    Why did they fail? The Psalmist recalls the story of Massah and Meribah in Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-13 where the children of Israel came before Moses complaining of the lack of water. They accused god of leading them from slavery to death in the desert. The floundering faith of the people and the disobedient attitude of Moses at this point in their journey spelled their downfall. The generation died away and Moses came to the very shores of the Jordan and was told, “Thou shalt not enter.”

    The analogy is laid plainly before us, says the preacher. We who have a much greater leader than Moses face a much greater peril if we are disobedient. We may go so far and never enter God’s rest.

    The term “God’s rest” requires further exploration. God’s rest is the peace and satisfaction one has at the end of a task. It is the removal of the anguish that accompanies the labor of a person who has had to face his task alone. God’s rest is the abiding sense of security we gain through faith.

    God in the Psalms attributes man’s lack of attaining rest to his inclination towards sin. The author of Hebrews concludes that nothing has changed. Therefore he exhorts his audience to be mindful of their own hearts and exhort one another to proper daily living. Our faith and the reflected obedience is not an individual experience. As a church, as brethren, we carry the burden of watching out for one another.

    Today’s Passage ends with the description of when this vigilance should occur. Today is the answer. This is our one opportunity to be obedient and to safeguard one another. Tomorrow may be the day when we see the opposite shore of the Jordan. Tomorrow we may finally enter God’s rest. How awful the words must have been to Moses – Thou shalt not enter.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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