Sunday, January 31, 2010
2Peter Chapter Two
I received an email requesting me to quickly validate my bank account number with Wachovia. To click here and sign in to both confirm my current online banking settings as well as to fortify the security that protects me against fraud. How thoughtful that Wachovia would care about my security. Oddly though the email was full of spelling errors and poor grammar. Turns out this wasn't really a well concerned bank watching out for my best interests but anEmail phishing scam. The email had the appearance of validty, the logo, the desire to watch out for my best interests but in reality it was a fraud, a deception, set upon robbing me, and defrauding me. The email was not based upon truth by Lies and Falsehood. Today as we examine all of 2Pet 2 we will do well to learn also to be discerning, to watch out for those who would lead us contrary to God's word.
Chapter two is dedicated to discerning false teachers.
Today we will do a fly over of the forest as opposed to examining each tree - or each verse in detail.
There is such a thing as TRUTH.
What does not conform to truth is False.
Remember last week as the apostle Peter reminds us of the sources of truth. Not myths and fables, human ideas and human opinions, BUT men moved by the Holy Spirit speaking God's Truth.
Jesus said: "Thy word is truth."
Peter communicating "We do well to pay attention when God speaks."
A few example verses wherein we are warned:
Jer 23:16-18, Jer 23:21-22
Both Peter and Jeremiah describe these prophets as "FALSE."
1828 Websters on FALSE:
CONTRARY TO WHAT EXISTS
Modern Dictionary 2004 on FALSE:
Not genuine, intentionally untrue, intended to mislead.
SO according to these dictionaries there is such a thing still today as TRUE and FALSE. We still have true and false tests in school. Teachers know that if the answer is "true" and you write "false" then you answer is wrong.
There is such a thing as truth, that which does not conform to truth is false.
John 17:17 "thy word is truth" therefore what does not conform to the word of God is FALSE.
John Piper: "False teaching dishonours God and hurts people. True teaching honors God and helps people."
D. A. Carson: (paraphrased) "False teachers do not stand in the pulpit and say, I disown Jesus, I reject Jesus. Rather they relativize Jesus. And thus making his word relative to what they want to say, No absolute authority, thus they in reality disown Jesus. "
FALSE TEACHERS WILL EXPLOIT YOU: 2Pet 2:3
Like the email asking for your bank account# in order to verify it and protect you, there true goal is to exploit you, to gain access to your funds.
FALSE WORDS: 2Pet 2:3 (where we get the word plastic)
Changeable, moldable, to what ever we want it to become. Not according to truth.
How do you know false teachers:
Mat 7:17-20 looking good in one way but by their FRUITS you will know them.
They will have rotten fruit.
1Joh 4:1 Test the spirits. Discernment is called for, know the scripture.
Acts 17:11 The Bereans searched the scripture diligently to see if what the apostles said were true.
We are not talking about all truths related to the scripture where differences may result on minor points. We are talking about truths, like the deity of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, Saved by Grace, Justified by Faith alone through Christ alone, etc. Differences on minor points does not indicate a false teacher doomed to eternal darkness. But differences on Christ, who He is and what He has done are of eternal importance.
It is a cruel lie to say that you may embrace what every thought you want as long as you are sincere. It is lovingly to warn people about the dangers of false teachers and teaching.
We are to be patient and gentle but we must also tell the truth, correct.
Eph 4:15 - Speaking the truth in love. Not blast people with truth, not just loving people, but speaking the truth in a loving way. It is loving to tell the truth.
Joh 1:14 Jesus did this perfectly, he is full of grace and truth.
Being like Jesus is to care about being a gracious person and to care about TRUTH.
Do you know how to have a relationship with God? DO you know the truth in this regard?
Renounce the myth that says: "I am basically a good person." That's a lie. Rom 3:10-15
We are helpless to restore or come into a relation ship with God by our own efforts.
Joh 14:16 He alone is the way, the truth, the life.
Only Jesus' death can take away the problem of sin.
His righteousness alone. He is our righteousness who believe.
Acts 16:31 - Believe on Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
From my own reading I will never regret what this article taught me both about abortion, pro-life and the centrality of the Gospel as touching both these subjects.
IN TODAYS POST - THREE REMARKABLE GENEVA NOTES - AND FOR THREE DIFFERENT REASONS.
Gen 13:11 Then Lot chose unto him all the plain of Jordan; and took his journey from the east: and they departed the (1) one from the other.
(1) This was done by God's providence, that only Abram and his seed might dwell in the land of Canaan.
Is this keen insight? Why did Lot choose the best, why was it necessary to separate. There was strife, the land was not able to bear the "stuff" of both Lot and Abraham. But especially that God by his providence would have Abram dwelling in Canaan. This note is remarkable to me for the view to God working all things according to his own good pleasure ---- PROVIDENCE.
Gen 12:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked and exceeding (1) sinners against the Lord.
(1) Lot thinking to get paradise, found hell.
Succinct - with a lesson for us all. I love it. Sticks with me.
Gen 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (1) forever.
(1) Meaning a long time, and till the coming of Christ as in (Exo 12:14, Exo 21:6; Deu 15:17) and spiritually this refers to the true children of Abram born according to the promise, and not according to the flesh, which are heirs of the true land of Canaan.
I'll be referring to this comment again in upcoming notes. As we read of certain promises and statutes that mention -- "forever." The Geneva notes remind us that Christ is coming as this note does. "Meaning a long time...till the coming of Christ."
This note also very ably distinguishes between Carnal and Spiritual. Between Canaan and "TRUE LAND OF CANAAN."
Thursday, January 28, 2010
It has been my experience that reading whole books from Henry is very profitable. I praise God to this day that nearly 20 years ago I followed Matthew Henry through Job. He helped me immensely, so that a book that often confused me is now a great blessing. I have a good friend that advised an earnest inquirer to just buy Matthew Henry and start reading from the Psalms. If you don't have a set, go get one, and buy the full multi-volume unabridged.
Kwame on Numbers Chapter 4:
Even cooler applications still in the commentary about chapter 4. In reading I can see the unchanging nature of God, the care for what is His is absolutely amazing even as He tells us he will never leave us...you know that that is truth! The coverings for the holy things, the carrying of them, the presence of the tabernacle with the people whereever they went signifying how He instructs us to utterly value the truths and doctrines and how our lives where ever we may be, should have the presence and evidence of the divine God about us because we are His temple(2 Cor 6:16) and tabernacle (2Cor 5:1). With respect to the details and extent to which God covers and protects and ensures that the holy things are kept and not defiled, Matthew Henry also says this care is rightfully needed to preserve the truths and doctrines taught in the bible.
After I read Kwame's email above, I was especially intrigued to discuss further with him on his final statement: "Matthew Henry also says this care is rightfully needed to preserve the truths and doctrines taught in the bible." I wrote to him as follows:
"This is a very important understanding which has helped me greatly in comprehending the purpose of the Old Covenant. Not that it was salvific. Not that they were saved under the law in the Old and now by grace in the New. But that it stood to do what you describe in this way:
"With respect to the details and extent to which God covers and protects and ensures that the holy things are kept and not defiled, Matthew Henry also says this care is rightfully needed to preserve the truths and doctrines taught in the bible."
To this Kwame responded:
"Amen and amen."
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
In the experience of my Christian Life I am from time to time faced with the hard fact that I have been harboring an unfounded bias; that in my processing and my world view, I have held to untruth; that my thoughts processed the world around me with a plank that was rotten. Because the air I breath is so pregnant with the false concept I don't even smell it. Unawares until somehow it is brought to light and raised to my conscious evaluation for the first time. THE BOOK I AM NOW READING is exposing me to biases I never knew I held. It is revealing my own ignorance in certain areas. And best of all, so-called AXIOMS and TRUTHS which I years ago adopted, when drinking unawares from the influences around me are now falling away as the LIGHT of Understanding dispels the darkness of my own embraced falsehoods. Maybe I'm overstating the case - but I'm excited about the content of what I'm reading in Jay W. Richards book, Money Greed And God - Why Capitalism Is The Solution And Not The Problem.
Pretty strong words, huh?
When I hear the phrase: "That man is a capitalist." or if I am to say, "By all means I myself am a capitalist in which I favor a capitalist free market system," there is something within me that cringes. The word, "Capitalist" for some reason has connotations of greed and twinges of guilt afflict me. If I do use the word, it is very important that it be qualified as in "I don't mean that greedy kind of capitalism." Culture and Hollywood has colored my feelings for a market system that has made the citizens of the United States of America much more prosperous than their socialistic, or communistic, or tyrannical counterparts across the globe. The far majority of us that are poor, are poor so relative to those that are quite rich. But yet the majority of us that are poor have a car or two, a TV, even half of us that are poor own our home, have satellite. But in those countries where the property rights of individuals are not protected providing ability and incentive to invest and improve upon what they have there is a horrific amount of ABSOLUTE POVERTY. Children dying of starvation and preventable diseases (every year 10 million), slavery, massive slums, over 1 billion people living on less that $1 a day. Whereas in the United States of America even the income for most of the poorest of us increases annually yet in poorest African countries the income per person has fallen by 25% in the last twenty years.
It is absolute poverty in situations where 11 million children die before their fifth birthday.
The book, Money Greed and God, speaks to poverty and methods to alleviate it. And the author believes and sets forth that Capitalism Is The Solution And Not The Problem.
A couple of quick examples from the book, Money Greed and God:
(1) Richards shows that the free market system of Capitalism is a WIN-WIN system. No time for me to reiterate his argument here, but his case is compelling. I probably before reading his book might have acquiesced with this statement. But yet with some nagging reservations that someone must lose while someone else wins. But very strongly and in easy-to-understand illustrations Richards demonstrates why this is so.
(2) For me to gain in wealth someone else must lose. Again Richards shows how this view is patently false. He uses a Cherry Pie to illustrate how we wrongly view wealth or capital like a fixed baked pie cooling on our kitchen counter. If you have a family of seven and one person like ME receives a great big fat piece of pie then by default everyone else must share a smaller remaining piece of pie. I got more pie and they by necessity must get less, the pie can't grow. Richards writes "The cherry pie is actually a pretty good analogy, but for the wrong thing: it completely misrepresents a market economy. What it represents perfectly is the myth about the gap between rich and poor in a market economy. " Richards demonstrates with examples, statistics, and illustrations that wealth grows, that capital grows. That it has been growing. A pie can't grow. The pie analogy fails to portray that wealth is created, it is not static piece of matter.
(3) I certainly didn't have a bias against the ownership of private property. but Richards in his book demonstrates the importance of a rule of law that protects an individual's title to his property. Without it you don't really have security in it. Rule of law is critical to the success of a free market economy. You can not use property with a shaky title as collateral in future investments. You will not sink hard work and effort to improve upon and build up property which because of the lack of LAW to protect it, may no longer be yours next year.
I think maybe, I'm boring in my examples, Richards isn't.
To illustrate how engaging and well written this book is, tonight I read out loud from selected portions to both my wife and twenty-two year old daughter for over an hour and half. They listened with great attention, conversations were sparked, observations were made, anecdotes were shared. When I paused to catch my breath, my wife encouraged, "Keep reading - don't stop - read some more." Who would have expected this from a book on economics?
I purchased this book after reading the following endorsement from Pastor Sam Storms of Enjoying God Ministries, when he recently listed his top ten books read in 2009. This book was his number 1.
Sam Storms said:
"You may find it strange that the best book I read this year is on economics, and in particular a rigorous defense of capitalism. But in a season where our country is drifting all too swiftly in the direction of socialism, this is precisely the book everyone needs to read. You don’t need to be a scholar to understand it. Richards is clear and concise and convincing. Please don’t pass it up. [JT note: hardback is 60% off at Amazon, probably while supplies last.]" That last note was from Justin Taylor where I read this list.
Also from Justin Taylor's blog:
Here’s the table of contents along with list of the myths that Richards sets out to dispel:
- Can’t We Build a Just Society? Myth no. 1: The Nirvana Myth (contrasting capitalism with an unrealizable ideal rather than with its live alternatives)
- What Would Jesus Do? Myth no. 2: The Piety Myth (focusing on our good intentions rather than the unintended consequences of our actions)
- Doesn’t Capitalism Foster Unfair Competition? Myth no. 3: The Zero-sum Game Myth (believing that trade requires a winner and a loser)
- If I Become Rich, Won’t Someone Else Become Poor? Myth no. 3: The Materialist Myth (believing that intellect cannot create new wealth)
- Isn’t Capitalism Based on Greed? Myth no. 4: The Greed Myth (believing that the essence of capitalism is greed)
- Hasn’t Christianity Always Opposed Capitalism? Myth no. 5: The Usury Myth (believing that charging interest on money is always exploitive)
- Doesn’t Capitalism Always Lead to an Ugly Consumerist Culture? Myth no. 7: The Artsy Myth (confusing aesthetic judgments with economic arguments)
- Are We Going to Use Up All the Resources? Myth no. 8: The Freeze Frame Myth (believing that things always stay the same—for example, assuming population trends will continue indefinitely or treating “rich” and “poor” as static categories)
- Conclusion: Working All Things Together for Good
- Appendix: Is the “Spontaneous Order” of the Market Evidence of a Universe without Purpose?
Links to the above two articles:
Click here for the first article
click here for the second article
So whether you favor socialism or consider your self quite conservative you may, like me, find some of your own biases challenged. For myself, I love it when what I formerly held as an axiom of truth is discovered to be nothing more than a preconceived notion, or a culturally generated bias.
Monday, January 25, 2010
This morning I read some of commentary (Matthew Henry's) notes on Chapter 5. Maintaining the purity of the camp is stressed in chapter 5 and Matthew Henry talked about the need for the church to be kept pure. He mentioned how "the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable" Also the church must "separate between the precious and the vile, and purge out scandalous persons, as old leaven" This very thing God would do on the great day as He "will thoroughly purge his floor" Rev 21:27
There was a lot more but this is just a taste for this morning. Just adding to your desire to taste-that-which-is-good.
Note: In past posts, I made some minor spelling updates to the text from the Geneva Bible. For the u's look like v's and v's look like u's and there is not a 'j' to be found in the entire text. Tonight I thought I would leave the original text untouched. My copy, which I purchased from Reformation Bookstore, has all standardized and modernized spelling but the e-sword text closer to the original Geneva Bible in appearance does not.
Lots of Good Notes in Chapter twelve - the four which I marked specifically listed below:
Gen 12:1 For the Lorde had said vnto Abram, (a) Get thee out of thy countrey, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house vnto (b) the land that I will shewe thee.
(a) From the flood to this time were four hundred and twenty-three years.
(b) In appointing him no certain place, he proves so much more his faith and obedience.
Spans of time are sometimes very interesting to me. Adams Map of History reports Bishop Ussher as dating the time of the flood at 2348 BC. Adams also has from the flood to the call of Abraham as 427 years. So the dates are pretty close on this.
Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and will blesse thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be (c) a blessing.
(c) The world shall recover by your seed, which is Christ, the blessing which they lost in Adam.
The Notes very good to point us to Christ in the promise.
Gen 12:9 (k) Againe Abram went forth going & iourneying toward the South.
(k) Thus the children of God may look for no rest in this world, but must wait for the heavenly rest and quietness.
The note makes a Personal application to the reader. We have no rest here. We must WAIT, wait for the HEAVENLY rest and quietness. Amen. I wrote above the verse, "going and journing - no rest in this world.
Gen 12:10 Then there came a famine in the land: therefore Abram went downe into Egypt to soiourne there: for there was a great (l) famine in the lande.
(l) This was a new trial of Abram's faith: by which we see that the end of one affliction is the beginning of another.
Again the note makes PERSONAL application to the reader. As if they said, "See how what occurred with Abraham teaches us that the END of one affliction is the BEGINNING of another." In this world expect trials and tributions, don't be surprised when they come. But know with all our going and journeying that our heavenly rest awaits. What a glorious rest - what a marvelous saviour!!!!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Gen 11:6 And the Lord said, (1) Beholde, the people is one, and they all have one language, and this they begin to do, neither can they now be stopped from whatsoever they have imagined to do.
(1) God speaks this in derision, because of their foolish persuasion and enterprise.
God is all powerful, his counsel and purpose can NEVER fail. So the note-makers tell us that when God says that they cannot be stopped from doing whatever they want, He speaks in derision. IS THIS THE RIGHT INTERPRETATION??? I had never seen it in that way in all my previous readings, but had rather thought, that this was GOD's PURPOSES unfolding that he would divide the world. That a world united was not in his purpose, that man's pride should be checked. Matthew Poole agrees with the Geneva bible here, John Gill does not, writing in his commentary:
...behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; which some think is spoken ironically; but I see no reason why it may not be understood seriously, that the people who were concerned in this building were unanimous, not only in their religious principles, such as they were, as Aben Ezra, but in their counsel, purpose, and design in building; they went on with great concord, harmony, and vigour, and being of one language, they understood one another, and so could carry on their work with the greater expedition:
and this they begin to do; to build the city and the tower, and had made considerable progress in it:
and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do; they had prepared bricks, and slime or bitumen, a sufficient quantity for their use, or could easily come at more if they wanted; and they were not to be prevailed upon to desist from their work, by any advice that the sons of God could give them; they were obstinate and self-willed, and not to be argued with and persuaded to leave off; and there was no power on earth superior to them, to oblige them to it; they could only be restrained from their enterprise, and hindered from executing it, by divine power; and which was judged necessary to exert, as appears by what follows: and the words may be rendered, "shall they not be restrained? &c." they shall.
Gen 11:7 Come on, (1) let us go down, (2) and there confound their language, that every one perceive not another speech.
(1) He speaks as though he took counsel with his own wisdom and power: that is, with the Son and holy Spirit: signifying the greatness and certainty of the punishment.
(2) By this great plague of the confusion of tongues appears God's horrible judgment against man's pride and vain glory.
Love here the note's insight into the Holy Trinity, ie. Let US...
Also this judgment in which the world is divided, cultures are created, is one which IMPACT is seen and felt across the globe to this day.
(Experimenting today with the layout of the notes. Green font indicates scripture verse from Geneva bible. Blue Font indicates Note from Geneva Bible. The verse is larger than the note. My comments on why I chose this particular note of interest in largest font of all. Red Font when quoting others.)
He was a mightie hunter before the Lord. wherefore it is saide, (1) As Nimrod the mightie hunter before the Lord.
(1) His tyranny came into a proverb as hated both by God and man: for he did not cease to commit cruelty even in God's presence.
In all my previous readings of Genesis I never caught the idea that Nimrod became a proverb. Which is really fairly clear from this verse. This is why they say, "As Nimrod the mighty hunter." People become proverbs. "He is a Hitler." "Don't become someones ... insert name of annoying acquaintance," As in parents speaking to children advisingly, "Don't become someones Tom Smith." Or "Do become someones Martha Jones," when her character and service of love is worthy of emulation.
Gen 10:21 Unto (1) Shem also the father of all the sonnes of (2) Eber, and elder brother of Japheth were children borne.
(1) In his stock the Church was preserved: therefore Moses stops speaking of Japheth and Ham, and speaks of Shem extensively.
(2) Of whom came the Hebrews or Jews.
The Geneva note-makers always catch my attention at their notice of the church. Also, John Owen in his book, Biblical Theology, makes an extensive case which I like for "sons of Eber" to ascribe this man, Eber, as the name giver to the Hebrew People, as opposed to other theories.
In regards to the idea that there was NO CHURCH of God until Acts Chapter two, Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: (Spurgeon acknowledges One People of God.)
Distinctions have been drawn by certain exceedingly wise men (measured by their own estimate of themselves), between the people of God who lived before the coming of Christ, and those who lived afterwards. We have even heard it asserted that those who lived before the coming of Christ so not belong to the church of God! We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed at one time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement. Why, every child of God in every place stands on the same footing; the Lord has not some children best beloved, some second-rate offspring, and others whom he hardly cares about. These who saw Christ's day before it came, had a great difference as to what they knew, and perhaps in the same measure a difference as to what they enjoyed while on earth meditating upon Christ; but they were all washed in the same blood, all redeemed with the same ransom price, and made members of the same body. Israel in the covenant of grace is not natural Israel, but all believers in all ages. Before the first advent, all the types and shadows all pointed one way—they pointed to Christ, and to him all the saints looked with hope. Those who lived before Christ were not saved with a different salvation to that which shall come to us. They exercised faith as we must; that faith struggled as ours struggles, and that faith obtained its reward as ours shall [emphasis ours].
Following is Kwame's email response to my question -- I enjoyed it so much I'm pasting it below. I would add that as I am currently reading through Exodus, I want to be very careful to learn and to see Christ - which sometimes is difficult for me. When I read of the showbread - do I see Christ the bread life? When I read of the Manna from heaven, do I see Christ who came from heavenly glory who is my daily bread? When I read of the veil separating the Most Holy from the Holy do I see Christ through whom alone we must come to the Father? When I read of the angel of death who passes over Egypt, do I see Christ whose blood covers and protects me from eternal judgment? When I read of the Sabbath rest, do I see Christ in whom I may rest from my own sinful works? Sometimes this is easy, but often I get lost in the "taches" and "knops" and fail to find Christ and fail to properly hear with understanding the Word of God to His Glory.
SO WITH THIS IN MIND Here is the Email I received from KWAME in hopes that OUR READING MAY BE EDIFIED IN CHRIST.
Wow that is a great question and I would love to just briefly type some of the awesome things that I have come to learn as it pertains to Numbers. I have only read chapters 1 - 5.
I wish i could list all the verses thus far but I would write these down off the top of my head anyway.
Numbers is about God!
Numbers is about God's word
Numbers is about God's holiness
Numbers is about God's power and sovereignty
Numbers is about God fulfilling his promises
Numbers is about God's election of a people
Numbers is about God's commission to man
Numbers is about man's need for God our Saviour
Numbers is about life being a warfare
Numbers is about God's work that man is to do
Numbers is about man's fellowship with family
Numbers is about the protection/preservation of holy precious things
Numbers is about the purity of this tabernacle/temple
Numbers is about God's redemption of those who are His
Numbers is about roles and leadership
Numbers is about army formations and processions
Numbers is about the truth of that first commandment to children that has a promise
Numbers is about God's provision for forgiveness of sin
As you already know, it's full of Gospel!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Chap 1: Without Excuse
Chap 2: The Law Condemns
Chap 3: There is none righteous
Chap 4: Imputation/Logizomai
Chap 5: Headship/Representation and 1st Adam - 2nd Adam, or 1st Adam - Last Adam.
Chap 1: The Indictment Begins (Rom 5:18)
Chap 2: (open for suggestions)
Chap 3: All have sinned, Total Depravity
Chap 4: Counted Righteous
Chap 5: Federal Headship (the theological term)
Extended Memory Verses
Chap 1: Rom 1:1, Rom 1:8, Rom 1:16-20
Chap 2: Rom 2:12-16
Chap 3: Rom 3:10-12, Rom 3:18, Rom 3:21, Rom 3:23, Rom 3:28-29
Chap 4: Rom 4:23-25
Chap 5: Whole Chapter (If I had to select only two more Rom 5:8, Rom 5:14)
As we begin to look at Romans Chapter Five, I wanted to preface with a quick discussion of Rom 5:13. I have for many years found this a tough verse to fully understand. Maybe you have it down, but I always pause on this verse to wonder exactly how it should be understood.
Rom 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Until the Law: The Law the came through Moses, that period of time from Adam to Moses.
Sin was in the world: There was sin in the world even before Moses brought the law.
But sin is not imputed when there is no law: Sin will not be accounted against anyone when there is no law to be broken.
Q. How can there be sin at all with no law? It says plainly sin was in the world.
Q. Was there no law before Moses? This verse seems to suggest that.
Q. If sin is not accounted against anyone prior to the law then why was there judgment?
Q. Isn't judgment evidence that sin is counted against those judged. For example the Flood was judgment upon all except eight souls, ie. Noah, his sons and wives.
Q. Didn't individuals evidence a work of the law in their hearts when they approved some things and disapproved others.
For proof that there was evidenced a work of the law written on the heart, not in a regenerative way but as a remnant of that stamp of God's image. As also expressed in:
Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Consider the following instances:
Abimelech appealing to the justice of God:
Gen 20:4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
Abimelech acknowledging the sanctity of marriage and the great sin of violating this union:
Gen 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
Abimelech again in the case of Issac and Rebekah, once more acknowledging the great sin of breaking the marriage union and evidencing that he does by nature things contained in the law:
Gen 26:8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
Gen 26:9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
Gen 26:10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lain with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
Gen 26:11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
We could also mention the nature of Abrham's intercession for Sodom:
Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
ALSO SIN was imputed upon Cain who was judged for killing Abel. Also imputed to Sodom and Gomorrah judged by God not having even ten righteous men.
Perhaps the proper understanding of Rom 5:13 is this:
Look what Adam brought! Adam stood as the HEAD of the whole human race. Death passed upon all men from Adam's representative act.
Since where no law is made, then no man would then be punished. But men were punished and therefore were considered guilty, therefore sin was imputed to them, and thus then there was some law even before Moses. Look what Adam, the Head of all mankind, has brought upon us!
Verse Rom 5:12 enforces this:
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
And Rom 5:14 takes us to the next connection, that as Adam was the HEAD of all that are in Him, he was a figure of CHRIST, who is the HEAD of all that are in HIM.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
I leave with you with several commentaries on Rom 5:13 so you can weigh some of the same helps I have been reviewing.
Geneva Bible Notes:
That this is so, that both guiltiness and death began not after the giving and transgressing of law of Moses, is evident in that men died before that law was given: for in that they died, sin, which is the cause of death, existed then: and in such a way, that it was also imputed: because of this it follows that there was then some law, the breach of which was the cause of death.
but sin is not imputed when there is no law. This looks like an objection, that if there was no law before Moses's time, then there was no sin, nor could any action of man be known or accounted by them as sinful, or be imputed to them to condemnation; or rather it is a concession, allowing that where there is no law, sin is not imputed; but there was a law before that law of Moses, which law was transgressed, and the sin or transgression of it was imputed to men to condemnation and death, as appears from what follows.
Further, to clear this, he shows that sin did not commence with the law of Moses, but was in the world until, or before, that law; therefore that law of Moses is not the only rule of life, for there was a rule, and that rule was transgressed, before the law was given. It likewise intimates that we cannot be justified by our obedience to the law of Moses, any more than we were condemned by and for our disobedience to it. Sin was in the world before the law; witness Cain's murder, the apostasy of the old world, the wickedness of Sodom. His inference hence is, Therefore there was a law; for sin is not imputed where there is no law. Original sin is a want of conformity to, and actual sin is a transgression of, the law of God: therefore all were under some law. His proof of it is, Death reigned from Adam to Moses
But sin is not imputed, etc. Without the law reproving us, we in a manner sleep in our sins; and though we are not ignorant that we do evil, we yet suppress as much as we can the knowledge of evil offered to us, at least we obliterate it by quickly forgetting it. While the law reproves and chides us, it awakens us as it were by its stimulating power, that we may return to the consideration of God’s judgment. The Apostle then intimates that men continue in their perverseness when not roused by the law, and that when the difference between good and evil is laid aside, they securely and joyfully indulge themselves, as if there was no judgment to come. But that before the law iniquities were by God imputed to men is evident from the punishment of Cain, from the deluge by which the whole world was destroyed, from the fate of Sodom, and from the plagues inflicted on Pharaoh and Abimelech on account of Abraham, and also from the plagues brought on the Egyptians. That men also imputed sin to one another, is clear from the many complaints and expostulations by which they charged one another with iniquity, and also from the defenses by which they labored to clear themselves from accusations of doing wrong. There are indeed many examples which prove that every man was of himself conscious of what was evil and of what was good: but that for the most part they connived at their own evil deeds, so that they imputed nothing as a sin to themselves unless they were constrained. When therefore he denies that sin without the law is imputed, he speaks comparatively; for when men are not pricked by the goads of the law, they become sunk in carelessness. 165165 This verse, as bearing on the argument, maybe viewed rather differently. This and the following verse contain an explanation or an illustration of the last, Romans 5:12. He states in this verse two things: a fact and a general principle; the fact is, that sin, the first sin in its evident effects, (for he speaks throughout of no other sin, as to Adam, or as producing death,) was in the world before the law of Moses was given; and the general principle he avows is, that no sin is imputed where there is no law. Having made this last admission, he proceeds in the Romans 5:14 to say, that “nevertheless,” or notwithstanding, death, the effect of sin, prevailed in the world, and prevailed even as to those who did not actually or personally sin as Adam did. He takes no account of personal sins, for his object was to show the effects of the first sin. And then he says, that in is respect Adam was a kind of type, a figure, a representative of Christ who was to come; and in the three verses which follow, Romans 5:15, 16, and 17, he traces the similitude between the two, pointing out at the same time the difference, which in every instance is in favor of the last Adam. That τύπος signifies here likeness and not identity, is quite certain, whatever may be its common meaning because its import is exemplified and illustrated in the verses which follow. — Ed.
But Paul wisely introduced this sentence, in order that the Jews might hence more clearly learn how grievously they offended, inasmuch as the law openly condemned them; for if they were not exempted from punishment whom God had never summoned as guilty before his tribunal, what would become of the Jews to whom the law, like a herald, had proclaimed their guilt, yea, on whom it denounced judgment? There may be also another reason adduced why he expressly says, that sin reigned before the law, but was not imputed, and that is, that we may know that the cause of death proceeds not from the law, but is only made known by it. Hence he declares, that all became miserably lost immediately after the fall of Adam, though their destruction was only made manifest by the law. If you translate this adversative δε, though, the text would run better; for the meaning is, that though men may indulge themselves, they cannot yet escape God’s judgment, even when there is no law to reprove them.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Gen 7: 23
So he destroyed everything that was upon the earth, from man to beast, to the creeping thing and to the fowl of the heaven: they were even destroyed from the earth. And Noah only remained, and they that were with him in the Ark.
Learn what it is to obey God only, and to forsake the multitude, (1Pe_3:20).
The Geneva Notes often take this form - counsel to the reader. SO LEARN....
Also the (b) fear of you, and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the heaven, upon all that moveth on the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered.
(b) By the virtue of this commandment, beasts do not rage as much against man as they would, yea and many serve his purposes by it.
As I read through Genesis this time, I noted that so much of this book is an explanation of the World in which we live now. Why things are the way they are. Why it is broken. Why there is death. Why sickness. Why marriage. Why wear clothes. I could go on and on here. But I think the notes like this in Gen 9:2 have helped me to see that. The beasts do not rage as much as they would by virtue of this command.
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, (f) by man shall his blood be shed: for in the (g) image of God hath he made man.
(f) Not only by the magistrate, but often God raises up one murderer to kill another.
(g) Therefore to kill man is to deface God's image, and so injury is not only done to man, but also to God.
What it really is to MURDER, to deface God's image. It is a sin against God.
Gen 9:27 - God persuade (t) Japheth, that he may dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.
(t) He declares that the Gentiles, who came from Japheth, and were separated from the Church, should be joined to the same by the persuasion of God's Spirit, and preaching of the gospel.
I wrote about Japheth in a previous post, when I read Christian in Pilgrim's Progress telling the porter, "I came of the race of Japheth. click here I found this a most incredible thought then, and still do marvel at the promise that the Gentiles shall also partake in God's promises through Jesus Christ.
Friday, January 15, 2010
On Jan 12, 2010, Over on Church Matters: The 9Marks blog was an article about the recent news piece concerning the apparent affect Avatar was having on some people. After watching Avatar some people were reporting falling into serious depression or even suicidal thoughts. 9Marks, Michael Mckinley quotes one fan as writing:
"Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it... I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.' "
Then Michael Mckinley goes on to say:
"...I think the reaction that people are having is completely reasonable; in fact I am amazed that it takes a movie to make them depressed. The world is a broken place. We instinctively know that it shouldn't be this way. Something has gone wrong.
It uses Biblical Theology to communicate the gospel message. I find it particularly helpful because most unbelievers nowadays don't begin with the assumption that they are sinners. There's no "point of contact" there. But people do know that the world's a broken place, and we all feel a desire for a better world to live in. Hence all the Avatar-inspired depression.
TWWAW begins at that point of agreement and works back (or forward) to the idea of sin, redemption, and restoration. We've used it in evangelistic Bible studies and I've used it one on one with people. It's a great resource."
Mckinley's article arrested my attention and I ordered The World We All Want. Received the book yesterday and read it over my lunch hour over the past two days. Short book. I think the main body of the book was 77 pages long. I really liked it.
The book is written for an audience that has no biblical background. The subtitle of the book was "a course on how the Bible really works."
The booklet contains several "biblical extracts." Usually these are about a page to a page and half of text straight out of the NIV translation of the bible and relevant to the aspect currently under discussion.
Writing from memory, here is how I recollect the flow of the book:
God promises the world we all want
Revelation 21-22 and Mark 5
A discussion of what kind of world we want, with quotes from Revelation concerning no more tears and no more dying. Kind of an open discussion format also, hoping for a world without sickness and without poverty, without war and famines and tragedies and disasters. A world where we all get along in peace and happiness.
Jesus shows us God's new world
Mark 4-5 and Mark 8
Quotes from the gospel showing how Jesus gives us glimpses of "The world we all want." Jesus raising the dead, Jesus healing the sick, Jesus feeding the multitude. Demonstrating that Jesus, himself, has the power to create "The world we all want."
We have spoiled God's good world
We go to Genesis, to the garden Eden, where we see what happened there. How sin entered into the world resulting in the GREAT FALL. Death entered and disease and hardship through the rebellion of Adam the representative of all mankind. God made the world very good but we messed it up.
God promises a new world
Genesis 12 and 15 and Romans 4
Next to Abraham and the promise God made. A promise of a people who would believe in him and enjoy a land of plenty. I really liked in this chapter how the authors showed that GOD PROMISED A PEOPLE. Not just that God promised "to a people" but that he promised there would be a people. He made this promise to Abraham saying through the seed of Abraham many Nations would be blessed.
We cannot create the God's new world
Nehemiah 9 and Ezekiel 36
It must be a world that God will create. To illustrate this we go to the nation Israel. A nation to which were given good laws through Moses. A nation that again and again proved that WE cannot create this world, God must do it. We mess it up. There was some quotes from Nehemiah and others where the long history of Israel is rehearsed.
We can enjoy God's new world because of Jesus
Here is shown how Jesus made the way for his people to come to this world we all want and how therefore it was good that Jesus died. Jesus died in our place and for our sins. He did what he did as a representative so that all that are in Him will be counted as righteous. Some quotes here from the gospels and Romans 4. Also, that he rose from the grave on the third day having accomplished the work he came to do.
The bible is a book about God from beginning to End. And what he is doing here, he does for his own glory. We are even taken to Eze 36, to see how God said "it wasn't for your sakes but for my holy names sake that I will do this."
Christians are God's people waiting for God's new world
Here there was an emphasis on the community of believers who comprise his people and how this community should be and is intended to be a foretaste of the World we all want. The gospel is tied in with God's Church and God's purposes that his church should be to his glory. In this chapter we read that "Christians are a people who wait for the world God will create."
I probably haven't done justice to the book here. But perhaps this will provide a flavor of how this book might be used as an evangelistic tool. Part of the methodology used in the book includes intermittent thought provoking questions. And questions to test the comprehension of the reader or student as you discuss your way through the book. Also, the book includes a series of pictures to correspond to each of the seven sections. The pictures were designed simplistically enough that one could draw them up during a course of discussion if so desired. Which is the author's purpose in the picture simplicity.
At the back of the book is about two pages of Leaders Guide material, with suggested methods and web links to talks corresponding to the sections of the book. Talks that could be used straight up as an aid in teaching or simply as a learning device for the leader. The book could be used in a variety of settings including: one on one, home groups, Sunday schools, and especially in these settings as an evangelistic aid. I actually purchased the book with my wife also in mind as a possible help in jail ministry.
I probably enjoyed it most for the reason: the book took me from Genesis to Revelation unfolding the gospel revelation in very simple terms, God-Centered and Gospel rich.
SOME LINKS OF INTEREST RELATED TO THIS ARTICLE:
Online Outline of The world we all Want, plus the pdf's for the talks through the chapters are found also at this link. click here
The Article, itself on 9Marks: http://blog.9marks.org/2010/01/avatar-suicide-and-the-gospel.html
A description of the book: http://www.thecrowdedhouse.org/books/what_we_all_want
Blog Post on Avatar, The Gospel According to James Cameron, http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2009/12/21/avatar-the-gospel-according-to-james-cameron/
Boomer-in-the-Pew's reaction to Avatar: http://www.boomerinthepew.com/2009/12/avatar-on-imax-3d-pantheism-and-ross-douthat.html
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Genesis Chap Six:
Gen 6:2 - Then the (a) sons of God saw the daughters (b) of men that they were (c) fair; and they took them wives of all that they liked.
(a) The children of the godly who began to degenerate.
(b) Those that had wicked parents, as if from Cain.
(c) Having more respect for their beauty and worldly considerations than for their manners and godliness.
I've been looking forward to this comment. I much prefer here the understanding that:
Sons of God - is equivalent to "children of the godly."
Daughters of Men - is equivalent to "those that had wicked parents."
John Owen in his book, Biblical Theology, points out that in Gen 4:26 we read "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. " He said it is here that the True was distinguishing and separating from the generality of mankind. He even suggested that not only did they begin to call upon the name of the Lord, but that they called themselves by the name of the Lord. In otherwords this is where they began to be known as "Sons of God." So that in Gen 6:2 when we read that the Sons of God took from the daughters of men for wives, what should be understood is that the visible church then began to so degenerate into ungodliness as to co-mingle even with those who were not part of the visible church.
John Gill concurs with John Owen in this writing in his commentary on Gen 4:26 and Gen 6:2:
"...but called themselves by a different name; for so the words may be rendered: "then began men to call themselves", or "to be called by the name of the Lord" (p); the sons of God, as distinct from the sons of men; which distinction may be observed in Gen_6:2 and has been retained more or less ever since: "
"but rather this is to be understood of the posterity of Seth, who from the times of Enos, when then began to be called by the name of the Lord, Gen 4:26 had the title of the sons of God, in distinction from the children of men; these claimed the privilege of divine adoption, and professed to be born of God, and partakers of his grace, and pretended to worship him according to his will, so far as revealed to them, and to fear and serve and glorify him."
So also does Matthew Henry:
"The sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name), married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness. The posterity of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own purity and in detestation of the apostasy. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain: They took them wives of all that they chose."
This is in contradistinction to another interpretation that "sons of God" should be understood of as being fallen angels. And fallen angels cohabiting with men or women were producing an offspring that must be destroyed by the flood. I prefer much Owen, Henry and Gill on this verse.
Genesis Chap 5
Gen 5:2 - Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name (b) Adam, in the day when they were created.
(b) By giving them both one name, he notes the inseparable conjunction of man and wife.
This first note makes me think, "what do they mean inseparable conjunction of man and wife." I like it. But I have to stop and think about it, is the Note correct in really why they both were called "ADAM." I know in Hebrew the word means "MAN" sometimes as in "mankind." Reminds me of the previous note concerning "ish=man" and "ishah=woman." And isn't it neat how that's not so different from our English equivalents.
Gen 5:6 - And (d) Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
(d) He proves Adam's generation by those who came from Seth, to show the true Church, and also what care God had over the same from the beginning, in that he continued his graces toward it by a continual succession.
This is similar to what I'm seeing in other notes. Kind of an attention to the BIG PICTURE. "to show the true Church..." There is a continuous regard to Christ and His Church reoccurring throughout the notes.
Gen 5:24 - And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for (g) God took him.
(g) To show that there was a better life prepared and to be a testimony of the immortality of souls and bodies. To inquire where he went is mere curiosity.
Here I did not think before that I should learn even from this verse "To show there was a better life prepared." I certainly believe it, but never had I previously considered of exactly that as I read the verse. Good feature of the notes to make me stop and think.
You can find a PDF here: http://www.mountzion.org/PDFs/ Holiness Part 1. This excerpt starting on page 20.
Or Read Online Here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/ryle/holiness.iii.ii.html, taken, It is from the section titled Sanctification, next to the marker .
A quote from Ryle at the end of this article highlights the importance we should give to this understanding, "I am persuaded that one great cause of the darkness and uncomfortable feelings of many well-meaning people in the matter of religion, is their habit of confounding, and not distinguishing, justification and sanctification."
In addition, the confounding of these two truths diminishes the glory of Christ in our minds. While we are robbed of our peace he is robbed of his Glory. But the pondering of these two truths their similarities and their distinctions, exalts Christ in our hearts, is a true preaching of the gospel to ourselves, and satisfies the conscience, and brings peace.
HOLINESS by J C RYLE, II. SANCTIFICATION
(approx beginning at the 38th paragraph)
III. The Distinction Between Justification and Sanctification
"I now propose to consider, in the last place, the distinction between justification and sanctification. Wherein do they agree, and wherein do they differ? This branch of our subject is one of great importance, though I fear it will not seem so to all my readers. I shall handle it briefly, but I dare not pass it over altogether. Too many are apt to look at nothing but the surface of things in religion, and regard nice distinctions in theology as questions of "words and names," which are of little real value. But I warn all who are in earnest about their souls, that the discomfort which arises from not "distinguishing things that differ" in Christian doctrine is very great indeed; and I especially advise them, if they love peace, to seek clear views about the matter before us. Justification and sanctification are two distinct things we must always remember. Yet there are points in which they agree and points in which they differ. Let us try to find out what they are.
In what, then, are justification and sanctification alike?
(a) Both proceed originally from the free grace of God. It is of His gift alone that believers are justified or sanctified at all.
(b) Both are part of that great work of salvation which Christ, in the eternal covenant, has undertaken on behalf of His people. Christ is the fountain of life, from which pardon and holiness both flow. The root of each is Christ.
(c) Both are to be found in the same persons. Those who are justified are always sanctified, and those who are sanctified are always justified. God has joined them together, and they cannot be put asunder.
(d) Both begin at the same time. The moment a person begins to be a justified person, he also begins to be a sanctified person. He may not feel it, but it is a fact.
(e) Both are alike necessary to salvation. No one ever reached heaven without a renewed heart as well as forgiveness, without the Spirit's grace as well as the blood of Christ, without a meetness for eternal glory as well as a title. The one is just as necessary as the other.
Such are the points on which justification and sanctification agree. Let us now reverse the picture, and see wherein they differ.
(a) Justification is the reckoning and counting a man to be righteous for the sake of another, even Jesus Christ the Lord. Sanctification is the actual making a man inwardly righteous, though it may be in a very feeble degree.
(b) The righteousness we have by our justification is not our own, but the everlasting perfect righteousness of our great Mediator Christ, imputed to us, and made our own by faith. The righteousness we have by sanctification is our own righteousness, imparted, inherent, and wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, but mingled with much infirmity and imperfection.
(c) In justification our own works have no place at all, and simple faith in Christ is the one thing needful. In sanctification our own works are of vast importance and God bids us fight, and watch, and pray, and strive, and take pains, and labour.
(d) Justification is a finished and complete work, and a man is perfectly justified the moment he believes. Sanctification is an imperfect work, comparatively, and will never be perfected until we reach heaven.
(e) Justification admits of no growth or increase: a man is as much justified the hour he first comes to Christ by faith as he will be to all eternity. Sanctification is eminently a progressive work, and admits of continual growth and enlargement so long as a man lives.
(f) Justification has special reference to our persons, our standing in God's sight, and our deliverance from guilt. Sanctification has special reference to our natures, and the moral renewal of our hearts.
(g) Justification gives us our title to heaven, and boldness to enter in. Sanctification gives us our meetness for heaven, and prepares us to enjoy it when we dwell there.
(h) Justification is the act of God about us, and is not easily discerned by others. Sanctification is the work of God within us, and cannot be hid in its outward manifestation from the eyes of men.
I commend these distinctions to the attention of all my readers, and I ask them to ponder them well. I am persuaded that one great cause of the darkness and uncomfortable feelings of many well-meaning people in the matter of religion, is their habit of confounding, and not distinguishing, justification and sanctification. It can never be too strongly impressed on our minds that they are two separate things. No doubt they cannot be divided, and everyone that is a partaker of either is a partaker of both. But never, never ought they to be confounded, and never ought the distinction between them to be forgotten."