September - Reading 8

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Aaron

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    The above is the introduction to John Bunyan's classic The Holy War. Or, as he titled it, The Holy War Made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the Regaining of the Metropolis of the World, or The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul.

    Reading in Isaiah today did not seem like Good News. Chapter 21 was a prophecy against Babylon and Edom and Arabia. Chapter 22 was a prophecy against Jerusalem. 23 was against Tyre. The main theme?

    God is going to win this fight, and you will lose.

    My spirit rejoiced. I found myself saying, "Amen, Lord. Amen, Lord." Much like what John Donne prayed:
    Break open my stubborn ear gate that I might hear the Gospel and be saved. I want the Babylon in my heart destroyed. So to the Edom, the Tyre, and yes, even the Old Jerusalem. Tear it down! Let not one stone rest upon another until you, Emmanuel, are Lord of all!
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good morning -

    In Luke today we read Christ charging His disciples to use servant leadership. Humility is for many of us one of the most difficult Christian attributes to exercise. For people in authority it is human nature to lord over those who are subject. This Christian attribute is a hard line to walk. Humility begins with our attitude toward God. In practicing this meekness we emulate our Savior.

    Hebrews 5 speaks of "Spiritual milk and meat' in its closing verses. The recepients of this letter were not recent converts. Their infancy was ending but they still needed to always rest on those basic principles of faith. Chapters 6 & 7 will go much deeper into this subject and define the differences between milk (basic principles) and meat (higher teaching).

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Proverbs 22:1

    We are all familiar with the old saying, "you can't take it with you." We have all known people who have passed away, but how often do we hear someone who is dead being described as "rich" or "poor"? To the contrary, it is generally a man's character about which people will speak.. We remember the names of Peter and Andrew because they left their businesses to follow Christ. Levi left his tax booth. Zacchaeus repaid those he had cheated. These names have been immortalized in the pages of Scripture not because of their enterprise or shrewdness, but because they attained a good name.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 1/16/05 - continued

    Luke 22:24-27 The Dispute over Greatness

    In their dispute, the Disciples were following the patterns of the pagan world. In the structure of the Gentile society, the great and noble people exercised power and control over others. However, in the new order these patterns are to be completely reversed. For the greatest to become as the youngest reflects the times when the youngest in the family received the least respect and the most tasks. In the Christian order, the leader who serves is he who fellowships in humility and love and gives himself to serve others just as Jesus came to serve others.

    Luke 22:28-30 The Promise of the Kingdom

    Since Jesus came into the world to serve, he had to accept the consequences of that choice – His trials. The word here rendered “trials is translated as “temptations” in verse 4:13. Though this may refer to the continuing pressure to conform to the messianic role that some (Judas?) were attempting to thrust upon Him, it more likely refers to the hostility and threats that now beset Him. In am matter of mere hours from these statements, He will be abandoned by His followers and left to the hands of His enemies. The text, however, looks beyond that time to the loyalty that would later be displayed by these same men after their lapse.

    Satan had offered Jesus kingdoms during the temptations of chapter 4. Jesus refused him and the tangible assets in preference to His loyalty to God. Now He was facing the consequences of that choice. Yet even in that moment of seeming helplessness when the evil of the world would rush in upon Him, He confirms God as King of the universe and speaks of a Kingdom, which had already been appointed to Him by the Father. This serves as an example to those of us who turn on God when life becomes difficult. Sharing in Christ’s victory is directly related to sharing in His trials (Philippians 3:10-11).

    There is likely an analogy between the Twelve Disciples and the Twelve sons of Jacob for whom the tribes were named. The new Twelve represent the beginning of the new community.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hebrews

    Hebrews 5:1-6 Human Qualifications of Jesus as High Priest

    The preacher at this point specifies the qualities of a great High Priest. First, he is humane and secondly he can not appoint himself.

    Had Christ never taken the incarnate form of the historical Jesus, He would not have first hand experience of what it means to be human. For the sake of mankind, however, He took that position, lower than the angels and became sympathetic to our plight. Because of this, He can deal gently with the ignorant and the wayward. The ignorant and wayward are those who sin because of the weakness of our human nature. These people realize that they are weak, they confess to the High Priest and He makes the offering to atone for their sins.

    Dealing gently refers to the fine line between extravagant grief and hard apathy. We daily provoke God with our sin but because of Christ’s atonement, His anger is abated.

    It was not Jesus who declared Himself the Messiah but God announced it from the Heavens at the beginning of His ministry. The preacher relates this once again to Psalm 2:7. The preacher then goes on to explain how one who was not in the order of Aaron could become a priest. To do so he draws upon the order of a priesthood much older than Aaron but very much a part of Jewish history: the order of Melchizedek, which point h3e will raise again in the next Passage.

    Hebrews 5:7-10 Moral Qualifications of Jesus as High Priest

    As the purely divine Christ who existed from the creation of the world and the exalted Christ who sits at the right hand of God, Jesus could not have qualified Himself to be a high priest. That burden was borne during the time He walked among us as a flesh and blood human being. Four things stand out in His qualifications: (1) prayers; (2) agony and tears; (3) faith; and (4) obedience.

    As we read the Gospel accounts of the historic Jesus, we are reminded many times of His humanity. The courage He displayed through His faith in facing the anguish of life and death are the very acts that the preacher views as redemptive. To offer up prayers with tears represents the most emotionally intense type of prayer. For the Jews, this was viewed as the deepest type of prayer.

    God heard these prayers because of reverent submission to the Father. It was the basis for the answer to all of those prayers. Godly fear is a demonstration of one’s recognition of God’s will being sovereign.

    Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He learned obedience through His suffering. This is not to say that He was predisposed to disobedience before He suffered but in His incarnate form he experimented with obedience while in agony to test the nature of such obedience in the midst of woes. Pain and agony could not break His resolve and so He is sympathetic to us in our sins.

    Through that experimentation with obedience in suffering He became perfect. This is not to say that there was ever a time that He was not perfect but living within our flesh in our world made His qualifications as High Priest perfect. He came to have first hand knowledge of temptation and the decreased resistance to temptation we have while in agony. He could have called down angels to free Him of the cross. Yet he did not yield. He stayed obedient to God’s will for mankind.

    And so, after the testing and the pain He was appointed our great High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament. He, too, was a High Priest but his story begins centuries before Aaron and his sons were anointed by Moses. The preacher will explain this connection in chapter 7.

    In the first half of chapter 5, the preacher of Hebrews asserted and defended that Jesus was a great High priest in the order of Melchizedek. While this doctrine is central to the Book of Hebrews, the author also realized that it was not a basic Christian tenant. For the preacher, there were two types of Christians: the mature and the immature. In today’s Passage, he chides those who had not moved towards maturity.

    Hebrews 5:11-14 Sluggishness

    The preacher is here picking up his last thought which had been Christ as the High Priest. That topic will be explored much more thoroughly in chapter 7 but before moving on to his explanation he takes time to state that the meaning will be lost on some of his audience. In order to understand this higher theology, one must have mastery of the more elemental principles of the Christian faith. When he states that “this is hard to explain,” the fault was not with the subject but with the hearer.

    Becoming “dull of hearing” was a common term for sluggishness. The Hebrew Christians had allowed themselves to stagnate in their learning. Their lackadaisical attitude towards striving for maturity had in fact become a sin.

    They had obviously been established for some time as the preacher tells them that they should by now be teachers. They had had proper instruction and resources enough to better themselves in the knowledge one gains from a study of God’s word and applying that knowledge to daily life. Instead the preacher was put in the position of having to remind them of the fundamentals of Christian faith before moving forward to this much deeper teaching.

    Milk and meat were common metaphors of the day in Biblical and a-Biblical teachings. The analogy is clear even today. Milk is the food of infants. It sustains one until he is strong enough to start taking more substantial nourishment. These Christians had not sought to advance themselves as they were still milk drinkers. Though they had had time to develop more intricate questions regarding theology, they stayed on the basics.

    Meat is for the mature. It requires more work to chew and digest but it stays with one longer and is more satisfying. It is robust in its satisfaction. This solid food was necessary for an understanding of Jesus as the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. This would require more thought, deeper conviction. This moved beyond blind acceptance into a reasoning of what had happened in God’s plan of salvation.

    The term “by reason of use” in the KJV refers to the habitual practice of the person’s reasoning and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The mature are not easily led astray for they have learned discernment of thought. They are not easily defeated in debate for they are firmly grounded and have thought their theology through. It was to these members of the Hebrew congregation that the preacher wished to speak. It was necessary for the church as a whole to move forward in their understanding. In this way the mature could teach the immature.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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