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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin Today at 9:34 pm

Colossians 2:6-10
(6) As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (7) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. (8) Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (9) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (10) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
New King James Version   

In verse 8, the word translated as "basic principles of the world" refers to elementary things. Compared to Christ, in terms of being, every other being is lesser because he or she is created. In terms of teaching, every other instruction is elementary, basic, even demonic. In terms of salvation, no other is able to save human beings.

In verses 9-10, Paul again emphasizes Christ's primacy and superiority, including the facts that He is divine and over demons in authority. He adds in verses 11-15 that, for Christians, Jesus has already defeated the principalities and powers, along with their purposes, through their conversion.

As Colossians 1:16 states, Christ's rank extends back to the very beginning, as the One used to create all things. Thus, He is the God (John 1:1) referred to in nearly every place in the Old Testament where God is mentioned. This is especially important to grasp.

John 14:10 aids us in understanding His operations as a man: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." Matthew 26:52-53 clarifies this through an example: "But Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?'"

While He was human, His power as a God-Being was suspended as part of His emptying Himself to become a man (Philippians 2:5-8). He thus operated on the same level as all other men, except for the innate power He possessed due to His divine nature, enabling Him to live by faith sinlessly. Better than all other men, He understood the purpose God is working out, and He believed it. Notice to whom He said He could turn in time of need.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin Yesterday at 2:07 pm

 Romans 2:12-13
(12) For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (13) (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
New King James Version  

Why is this term, "law," so repulsive? Law implies authority, and human nature likes no authority over it, even if the law expresses the authority of God and defines love. It is especially interesting that Paul says we will be judged according to what we actually know. Know of what? The law of God. The good works he mentions earlier include the works of keeping the law. Obviously, it is God's will that we live moral lives. Morality must have standards, or there is no such thing as morality. Laws define morality. We will be judged against what we know of the laws of God. Thus, he says in verse 13 that the doers of the law will be justified.
Despite what these verses say, theologians attempt to justify their "no-law" theology by claiming that Paul writes here of the natural man, not converted people. While partially true, it avoids the fact that this epistle was written to a church of God congregation (Romans 1:1-7) and that Paul repeatedly uses the personal pronoun "you"—as in "you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge" (Romans 2:1). This usage, combined with the fact that it is written to a church of God congregation, easily catches the converted in its purview.
In addition, it also avoids the fact that one reason God gives His Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). This includes the truth regarding morality, lawkeeping, and good works. As God leads us to greater depths of knowledge and understanding of His truth, it builds in us a more responsible knowledge of God's will. This raises the stakes in judgment because "to whom much is given, from him much more will be required" (Luke 12:48). Growth results in closer scrutiny against a higher standard of morality.
In the broader context of Romans, it becomes clear that each person—Jew or Gentile, converted or unconverted—is judged against what he knows, and God holds him responsible for working to produce obedience at that level. This is similar to what teachers expect of school children. They hold children in the higher grades more responsible for knowing and doing than those in lower grades. Courts use the same general system, holding adults more responsible for their crimes than children. Thus, for the same crime, an adult will receive a sterner punishment.
The called must realize that, because of their calling, the requirements—and thus the judgments—are much stiffer since they know so much more. This is why Paul says in Romans 3:31, "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." Faith upholds law or makes it firm because the law points out what righteousness, love, and sin are, and guides us in how faith is to be used.


— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:33 pm

  Luke 4:16
(16) So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
New King James Version  
There is no argument in the world of religion over which day the Old Testament reveals Israel was to keep holy. Jesus kept it. What is one supposed to think - that God goes to all the trouble to record all that information about the Sabbath in the Old Testament, and then after four thousand years, He has second thoughts and changes one of His royal laws? He changed no other law of that rank, so why that one? That demands an answer, especially since God-in-the-flesh kept it.
If anyone knew how to live life in a way that would please God, it was His Son, Jesus Christ, who never committed a sin. He kept the Sabbath. It was His custom, not only to keep it, but it was also to fellowship with His fellow Israelites and to read and expound Scripture to them (see Luke 4).
Do we worship some kind of unstable God? How can we have faith in Him and His way, if we fear that God might have changed something and we are not aware of it?
The truth about those ceremonies, rituals, and laws is not done away. Jesus' own testimony to this effect is found in Matthew 5:17-18, "Not one jot or tittle will pass from the law." They are still in effect but elevated to their spiritual application. The Head of the church, the One whose example His disciples are to follow in all things, kept the Sabbath. He did not keep it because He was a Jew but because the Word of God - the Old Testament - instructed Him to do so, and He set an example for His followers.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 9:40 pm

Titus 1:14-16
(14) not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. (15) To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. (16) They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
New King James Version 
Reflect on Genesis 3. What did Satan do in the Garden of Eden? He promoted disbelief of God, and this lies at the root of the difference between us and those in the world, whom Paul characterizes as turning from the truth.
Can a person be a Christian without believing? Can a Christian pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe? Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9), and he deceives by subtly promoting disbelief of God's Word. It is so simple. And there it is, brought to our attention right at the very beginning of the Book. It is related so very simply to help us understand a principle that can be the foundation of great understanding and insight.
In Genesis 3, God clearly shows what delineates His people from the world. What Adam and Eve did was lay the foundation of the world. The world as we now see it, with all its cultures and all of its political, educational, economic, business and religious systems, grew or was built following the same general pattern of disbelief in what God said. Our world contains that same general pattern of good and evil—some from God, some from Satan.
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Thu 10 Oct 2019, 9:56 am

1 Samuel 15:23
(23) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king."
  Isaiah 30:1
(1) "Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD, "Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
  Isaiah 63:10
(10) But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;
So He turned Himself against them as an enemy,
And He fought against them.
New King James Version   
God hates rebellion! He hates the attitude of lawlessness it produces, as well as the crop of wicked fruit that results from it.
The prince of all rebellion is Satan the Devil, also known as "the sum of all moral impurities." Though we do not see this demon physically, the influence of this arch-rebel permeates our society. We need not look far to see children rebelling against their parents, artists rebelling against the status quo, and fringe groups rebelling against the government.
Satan personifies rebellion. It was rebellious action of Helel that saw him tossed out of heaven and renamed Satan, Adversary:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [Hebrew Helel], son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [angels]; I will also sit [rule] on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north [God's government]; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Helel rebelled against the laws of God, thus he rebelled against God Himself. Desiring independence from God's legislation, he tried to depose God and become the sovereign ruler of the universe. Great chaos and destruction resulted among the heavenly bodies and on earth (Genesis 1:2) when God "cast [him] as a profane thing out of the mountain of God" (Ezekiel 28:16).
Because of his rebellion, we are today experiencing its evil fruit. Notice how Isaiah describes the reaction of people who will look back upon Satan's career after God casts him into the Lake of Fire:
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying, "Is this the man [Hebrew ish, male, individual, person] who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?" (Isaiah 14:16-17)
These people are describing the effects of Satan's rule on this earth now!
— John O. Reid (1930-2016
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 10:15 pm

Romans 12:1-2
(1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
New King James Version   
Paul makes a strong, urgent appeal to Christians to devote their lives to sacrifice. Sacrifice suggests the giving up or forfeiture of something or oneself for something or someone considered to be of greater value. In this context, the "Someone" is Jesus Christ and the "something" is God's way of life. The apostle is urging those of us who have had the revelation of God given to us to devote ourselves entirely to living it.
He urges us to sacrifice our bodies. He does not mean to imply giving up merely our skin and bones but the totality of what we are—our entire beings including our minds with all of their character, energy, knowledge, experiences, skills, perspectives, and attitudes—with nothing held back, since we are likely to hold a portion of our life in reserve just for ourselves. In other words, he is asking us to consecrate our entire lives to God. Note that Paul does not call this "extreme," but "reasonable."
Why would one even consider taking on the potential for such costly pain? No one really grasps the fullness of what God asks of those who make the New Covenant with Him at baptism. This witness in Romans 12:1-2 is nonetheless part of His Word to testify against us. There is a good reason, succinctly given in Romans 5:5: "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." We do it because God's love for His Son has been given to us and is growing. His investment in us, His grace, is beginning to be returned.
The love of God, the biblical love, is not a mere affection but an outgoing concern equal to or greater than self-concern. This love, which we do not have by nature but is given by God as a gift, will sacrifice itself for the well-being of others. It will pay the costs of forfeiture of self-interest for the well-being even of enemies. It will choose to lay down its life following the pattern shown in Jesus' life.
The love of God is an unearned, dynamic gift from God that influences one who has it toward oneness with God and fellow man. It must be deliberately chosen, though, in order to be put to use.
At this juncture, its costs come to the fore because, despite conversion, human nature remains. Though considerably weakened, it still exerts its influences toward the self (Romans 7:14-23; Galatians 5:16-17). We must overcome human nature's influences, but in virtually every case, we must make a sacrifice to fulfill the influences of the love of God. Sacrificing almost always involves the potential for loss, at times a considerable loss.
A number of verses reveal that, in one sense, choosing whether to sacrifice oneself in obedience to Jesus Christ is not a realistic option to anyone who claims to love Him. In John 14:15, Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." He adds in John 14:21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." Verse 15 is a direct command and challenge to anyone claiming to love Him, and verse 21 says that one's following through in submissive obedience is the proof that the claimant loves Him. I John 5:3 adds a resounding confirmation to verse 21 by providing the Bible's definition of love: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."
Love comes at a high price, but it is also rewarding because, as we make the sometimes costly choices to please God by following Jesus Christ, we transform more fully into His image due to following the pathway our Savior blazed before us. Becoming a living sacrifice is one of the costs that observing Passover should recall to our memories, giving us substance for sober reflection aimed toward revitalizing our understanding of the significance of this important day.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 4:45 pm

1 John 2:29
(29) If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

  1 John 3:3
(3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

  1 John 3:9-14
(9) Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (10) In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (11) For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, (12) not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous. (13) Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. (14) We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

  1 John 5:1-4
(1) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (4) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

  1 John 3:22
(22) And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
New King James Version   Change Bible versions

In several places, such as I John 2:29; 3:3; 3:9-14; and 5:1-4, John expressly states what the responsibilities of a converted person are. In these verses, the work of keeping the commandments is plainly shown.
The application of Paul's statement in Ephesians 2:10 is becoming ever clearer. He writes that we are indeed saved by grace through faith. However, he adds, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Sanctification is a process involving a period of intense work: walking in love, keeping the commandments, and overcoming sin and the world, as John's first epistle clearly stipulates. This process within a relationship with the Father and Son brings us to completion.
Sanctification does not consist only of a lot of talk about religion. Nor does it consist only of spending large amounts of time studying the Bible and commentaries. As helpful as these might be, God also calls for a great deal of action. The apostle John again supplies helpful exhortation: "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (I John 3:18). It could not be stated more clearly that the love of God is an action. Further, Jesus exhorts all His disciples, "If you love Me keep My commandments" (John 14:15). "Keeping" indicates consistent effort to obey as a means of expressing our love, loyalty, and submission to Him.
Paul writes in Romans 5:5, "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which was given to us." The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is essential to salvation, and God gives it to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). As we saw earlier, Paul says in Romans 8:9, "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." God gives His Holy Spirit for the very purpose of making one His child. It also allows one to witness on His behalf, to produce the fruit of the spirit in preparation for His Kingdom, and to glorify Him.
Jesus says in John 15:8, "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." Sanctification is the period of our converted lives when God expects us to provide evidence that we are indeed His converted children. In fact, the fruit produced by our works, themselves enabled by God, are the evidence of our conversion. Some things in life are absolute certainties: Where the fruit of the labors of conversion are, there the Spirit of God will be found. Where those fruits are absent, the people are spiritually dead before God—they lack the life of the Spirit. Put another way, where there is no holy living, there is no Holy Spirit.
The works of sanctification are the only sure sign that one has been called of God and imbued with His Spirit. Notice something Peter writes on this: "[Christians are] elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 1:2). Paul adds in II Thessalonians 2:13, "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."
He also writes in Ephesians 1:4, ". . . just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." When Paul saw the Ephesians' attitudes, their manner of life, and the evidence of their conversion, he knew they were part of the elect of God. He could thus honestly write to them with glowing praise. Many more similar verses could be added to these.
Out of ignorance, weakness, or lack of understanding, a person may break some of God's commands. However, anyone who boasts of being one of God's elect while willfully living in sin is only deceiving himself—and his claim may very well be wicked blasphemy.
Thus, because of the works that are performed during sanctification, it will always be a visible condition. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:18-20: "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 10:06 am

 Isaiah 40:3-5
(3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
" Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
(4) Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
(5) The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

New King James Version 

Isaiah begins with "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." The voice prophesied was that of John the Baptist, which Scripture confirms in Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 3:4; and John 1:23. Who would John be speaking to, proclaiming his message of repentance? To all who would "hear" him! Those "who have ears to hear" (see Matthew 13:9, 43, etc.), which would be all those with whom God is working, His firstfruits!

What did that "voice" say? What did he call on his audience to do? "[P]repare the way of the LORD." The instruction becomes more specific: ". . . make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low, the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth." Filling up valleys and removing the tops of mountains seems like a lot of work for one man. This is where the firstfruits come in. Why are we to do this? So that "the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

Albert Barnes, in his commentary on Isaiah written in 1851, remarks on these verses:

The idea is taken from the practice of Eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered on a journey or an expedition, especially through a barren and unfrequented or inhospitable country, sent harbingers [forerunners] or heralds before them to prepare the way. To do this, it was necessary for them to provide supplies, and make bridges, or find fording places over the streams; to level hills, and construct causeways over valleys, or fill them up; and to make a way through the forest which might lie in their intended line of march.

Those who went before, to mark and improve the route, were the forerunners. They were "the scouts, the pioneers, the ones sent before a king to prepare the way," as forerunner is defined. Recall Daniel Boone and his party of thirty expert woodsmen laying out a 200-mile-long route. Over time, as more people came over the trail, it was improved, widened, and smoothed. It all began, however, with one man. That man then led others, and it multiplied from there.

John the Baptist was one man "crying in the wilderness," yet he prepared the way for the Son of God. Each of us, in our daily lives, interacts with family, coworkers, neighbors, and others who may know little or nothing of God and His Word. Our words and deeds could well pave the way for any of them to answer God's call at another time. Each of us has opportunities to set an example that will affect their lives, hopefully in a positive way. In this way, each of us is a forerunner, marking and improving the trail through the conduct of our lives.

— Mike Ford
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sun 06 Oct 2019, 10:12 am

Matthew 5:6
(6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

New King James Version  

Some have argued that the righteousness Jesus refers to in Matthew 5:6 is what comes to all through Christ upon repentance. The Bible, though, shows three kinds of righteousness, and each is important in its own right. The first is the righteousness of faith that comes when God justifies a sinner by grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. This results when Christ's obedience is imputed to him, thus giving him legal righteousness before God. David writes in Psalm 14:1, "There is none who does good, no, not one"; Paul changes the wording in Romans 3:10, "There is none righteous, no, not one."

God makes these powerful indictments against a world in which most people undoubtedly consider themselves as "good." But it is a goodness perceived through their own standards - in a mind not awakened to God's righteousness, filled with the pride of self-righteousness, deceived and blinded by the god of this world (Revelation 12:9; II Corinthians 4:3-4). Such a mind can be, like the unconverted Paul, an accomplice in killing and persecuting God's true children and think all the while it is righteously doing God service (John 16:2). They are like those described in Titus 1:16: "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work."

According to God, all of us have been somewhere in this picture. As sinners we frequently broke God's law in word, thought, and deed, and in many cases, were ignorant of doing so because of the deception and blindness Satan has wrought. But God in His calling removed the veil that was over our minds and revealed Himself, His purpose, and His standards. We convicted ourselves of spiritual bankruptcy. Where we formerly thought of ourselves as perhaps involving ourselves in a "little" sin - but basically okay as measured against our neighbor and the evil people in society - we now begin to see ourselves in a far different light. We do not have a leg to stand on before God.

Romans 2:4 makes it clear that only by God's mercy are we led to see ourselves to some degree as He sees us: "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" God enables us to measure our goodness, our righteousness - which He describes as "like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) - against Him rather than our neighbor. We realize that certain death for sin is staring us right in the face, yet He has graciously provided us with a perfect righteousness in Christ. This offer is not free, though, because we must totally surrender our lives to His rule. Even as it cost Jesus His life to provide this deliverance, it also costs us our lives, as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1), to take advantage of God's offer. Nonetheless, it is amazing how hungry and thirsty we become for God's offer of justification leading to salvation.

However, we cannot stop here. Hunger and thirst have brought us this far, but it is only a beginning. If it is a true, godly hunger and thirst, it remains, even though we are justified, because the justified person realizes God has only begun a good work in us (Philippians 1:6). The hungry person will recall Romans 5:1-2:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Justification brings reconciliation and therefore peace with God and access to Him. But it also brings with it the hungering and thirsting for the very glory of God! What an awesome thing to consider that, once we have an imputed righteousness, having God's very image created in us, imparted to us by His Spirit, is the goal of the process we began through God's calling. It can be ours!

It is a profound but nonetheless true purpose that everyone who catches this vision must surely desire with all his being! Have we ever been offered anything greater? Can any other goal in life even begin to compare? We must not "neglect so great a salvation" (Hebrews 2:3)! We must not let this great potential slip from our grasp! No wonder Jesus used such strong language to describe the driving desire for God's righteousness that pleases Him. And when He sees it in us, He will also satisfy it.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sat 05 Oct 2019, 9:05 am

Proverbs 16:25
(25) There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
New King James Version   
"Way" can be understood both as a narrow, single issue within one event or an entire package of values within a course of conduct. The proverb's point is that humanity is frequently driven by blind self-deception or ignorance. It often has no absolute certainty regarding right and wrong because its standards have been merely absorbed and never seriously compared against God's. How do ours compare?
This is a fair question because, since our calling and the fact that we are no longer blinded, we have the opportunity to make a fair assessment of this. In one sense, God is challenging us in this proverb either to defend our body of beliefs and practices, or to drop them and change to His. He is also warning us in advance that our way of life—if it is wrong—is going to kill us.
Any system of ethics and morality is by definition an expression of religion because religion, again by definition, is a way of life containing some measure of worship. Worship is merely a respectful response to one's god. A system of morality concerns itself with values and the way one lives, even as God's moral code does. The major overall difference is that His way works because it leads to life, even though in a given instance it may appear more wrong than ours.
Because these principles are true, they lead to the fact that each one of us is technically the god of our system of values and its way of life in opposition to the Creator God, if our code of conduct is not in alignment with His. We are serving, and thus in a limited way, worshipping ourselves.
Law, therefore, is codified, enacted morality. Whether it is God's or man's does not matter. The difference is in what they produce. What does man's law produce on earth? History makes this obvious: confusion, warfare, constant competition, pain from all the collisions of values, and ultimately death.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Fri 04 Oct 2019, 11:26 am

Ephesians 2:8-10
(8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
New King James Version   

The right works do not earn us salvation, yet we are created for good works. God ordained this from the very beginning. It is the right works that make life worth living, that prove to God our understanding of His purpose, and show His love in us. That love is then shown to the world and ensures that the proper witness is made for Him.

It is incredible but true that people worry and argue whether keeping the commandments of God are required as works. Of course they are! Remember, "By grace are you saved," as well as that we have been created for good works.

The book of Ephesians is about unity, about diverse people—the Gentiles on the one hand and the Jews, primarily the Israelites, on the other—living together as part of a common body. What we have in common is Jesus Christ; He is the Savior of both. What do we have to do so that we can live together? What will make life worthwhile? The right kind of works, righteous deeds and acts.

It is the same principle as in marriage. What enables two different people to live together in marriage? The right kind of works, that is, how they conduct themselves.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Thu 03 Oct 2019, 6:32 pm

1 John 4:20
(20) If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
New King James Version   

What concerns God is whether a person is actually and practically following Him with his mind, actions, words, time and energy. This proves to Him whether one sincerely loves the truth or merely sees his religion as an intellectual profession or social occasion.

Our deceitful mind can find multitudes of ways, reasons and excuses to avoid confronting the real issue of life—overcoming, allowing God to form and shape us into His image. Knowing this very well, Satan works to involve the intellectually inclined among us in pursuits that though they may involve religion and are stimulating and challenging, have little or nothing to do with overcoming. The issue, however, becomes so "big" that God's focus is lost under the ever-growing mounds of research.

He distracts others through conspiracy theories. Though these things may be occurring at least to some extent, and though people reason they are "watching world news," it is not preparing for God's Kingdom. It becomes so "big" in their minds that they are nearly consumed by it—it is all they can talk about!

Jesus said what is in the heart comes out the mouth. Where is there room for God in the heart when this other pursuit is crowding Him out? Are these people in danger of being swept away by the flood? I have noticed that people involved in this gradually become very suspicious and cynical of others, especially those with some authority. Satan subtly destroys the fabric of trust that any institution—be it a relationship, family, church or nation—must have to function.

The Day of the Lord is not yet upon us, but we are in the headwaters of the flood that is swiftly approaching. The flood of deception is a precursor of more physically persuasive tactics designed to deceive the whole world into accepting the lie. But for now, Satan is surely concentrating primarily on God's called-out ones.

God is permitting a sifting to take place. Paul uses the word "delusion" in II Thessalonians 2:11, indicating a "wandering out of the way." Does that not happen to people who are confused and have lost direction and motivation? They wander. They drift. They get tossed about in the winds and currents. But the love of the truth will keep a person clear-minded, focused on the right areas of life and motivated to overcome. And this will lead God to save them.

We need to examine honestly what receives our time and attention. We need to evaluate truthfully what is the focus of our lives. This will reveal whether we love the truth or merely profess to. Those who only profess to love it will be the ones sifted by the flood now swirling around us.

Jesus cried out in John 7:37, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." Brethren, this is our salvation. He says He is the way, the truth and the life. Now is the time to dig deeply into His Word to make that foundation sure. And let's truly live and build upon what we find there!

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Oct 2019, 9:40 pm

Genesis 3:16
(16) To the woman He said:
"I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you."
New King James Version   
The first curse includes the whole processes of childbearing, from conception to birth. The Hebrew word rendered "conception" in the New King James version (NKJV) includes the entire pregnancy, while "bring forth" can mean both the beginning or end of the birth process. The Revised Standard Version translates these clauses as, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children."
A human female is unique among mammalian creatures in this respect. Animal females generally bear their young without pain and rarely sicken and die during or from the experience. Women, on the other hand, always experience pain and grief throughout their pregnancies—from morning sickness to contractions—and have historically had a very high mortality rate from childbirth. Better nutrition and hygiene have cut the numbers of deaths dramatically, but the pain and grief remain.
Fortunately, God is a God of mercy. He put within the human female the ability to "forget" her pains in childbirth soon thereafter. Jesus Himself mentions this in John 16:21:
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
This curse on Eve has a direct relationship with the end of the curse on the serpent, which involves the woman's "seed," both general and specific (Genesis 3:15). We can infer that God intends us to understand that, because of sin, producing "seed" to fight Satan and his seed will be made more difficult. In a spiritual sense, the church, "the mother of us all," endures great hardship in producing children of God.
Thus, the Bible testifies, "the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12), "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22), and "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (II Timothy 3:12). Even the sinless Christ, the promised Seed, was "a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3), forced by sin—yet willing—to bear the agonies of human life and death to become the Son of God, the Firstborn among many brethren.
— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 12:56 pm

 John 21:2-3
(2) Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. (3) Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
New King James Version   
John presents the narrative without Christ commenting on the disciples' decision to fish. Though His promises to go before them to Galilee are clear, in the opening verses of John 21, we find seven of the disciples following Peter to go fishing. No casual occasion for leisure, this fishing trip is a commitment to many hours of hard work.
Obviously, these are difficult days for the disciples. They had spent most of the past three-plus years in the direct company of Jesus. Even though He informed them several times of His impending death and resurrection (Mark 8:31; Matthew 16:21; 26:2), the disciples are still deeply troubled by the former and confounded by the latter (Luke 24:36-41; Matthew 28:17). Peter is particularly distraught, still shamefaced from having denied Him three times (Luke 22:61-62; John 21:17).
Even though they are filled with joy in the presence of the post-resurrection Christ, they also realize that times are changing. They recognize that their future is more uncertain—and probably more difficult—than they desire. We can easily understand their need to engage in an activity with which they are familiar and comfortable, and which removes them from prying eyes and ears.
— Martin G. Collins
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 8:50 pm

Galatians 6:9-10
(9) And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (10) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  2 Thessalonians 3:10-13
(10) For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. (11) For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. (12) Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. (13) But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
New King James Version   

If somebody who was known to you—maybe even somebody who was close to you—came up to you, and seemingly with no provocation whatsoever, punched you right in the nose and you fell on your backside—of course, wondering "What in the world is going on?"—the chances are that the very first emotion that would hit you would be one of surprise. "What did I do to deserve this?" You would be ready to gather yourself together, and get up on your knees. As one foot is pushing you up off the ground, and just as you get up again—wham!, right in the ol' kisser. By now, the attitude is beginning to change. It is no longer surprise. You begin to feel the color coming up in your neck, and maybe the hair standing on the back of your head. Anger is beginning to surge into you.

Nonetheless, you get up again. Just as you get on your feet—wham!, right in the nose again. By this time the anger is giving way to rage. Still, you gather yourself together and stand up again, and, wham!—you get hit right in the kisser again, and down you go. Now the rage is beginning to give way to another reaction. Another emotion is beginning to enter your mind, and you are beginning to think, "When is he going to quit? When will this end? I can't stand it much longer."

But you drag yourself again, just as you confront the problems that hit your life. You gather yourself and you get up. Just about the time that you get steady on your feet, whoop!—right in the kisser you get hit with another one, and down you go. Eventually, brethren, you are going to come to the place where you think, "I don't care what he does any more. I just wish he would stop." You will have reached the point of apathy. You no longer care.

That was described by Abraham Maslow, and it is a true cycle. It is a series of emotions that we go through when we are hit by a seemingly unending set of pressures. We eventually become apathetic to what is going on around us, and we stop caring.

That is what happened to the people in the book of Hebrews. It was not a bloody persecution. It was constant pressures being applied to the mind: Economic pressures, health pressures, persecution on the church pressures, social pressures, family pressures—you name it—one coming right after the other in a wave that never seemed to end. We need to confront this because things are not going to get any better! The pressures are going to continue to build. We had better have a Resource that we can go to in order to weather the storms of psychological damage that might be inflicted upon us because we have nothing to resist the tribulations (pressures) that are coming upon us.

Apathy has an effect: we not only no longer care about life itself, but we no longer care about God. It begins to wane.

Apathy makes a person feel tired, like not doing anything. But there comes a time when we have to 'buck it up', and sacrifice ourselves, and push ourselves, and do right things that we do not want to do, and not allow the weariness to overtake us. That kind of psychological weariness can make us sick of body, so that we will not be able to do anything.

Doing good is a witness that God wants from us. He knows how much we can bear, and He wants to prepare us for the things that are coming. So trial upon trial upon trial is going to come upon us. It is part of the preparation that we have to go through, to see whether or not we are going to endure to the end (Matthew 24:13).

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 10:59 am

Genesis 3:7-10
(7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (8) And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (9) Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" (10) So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
New King James Version   


Genesis 3:7-10 illustrates how no one is ever quite the same after sinning with knowledge. Notice Adam and Eve's sin occurs after God had instructed them (Genesis 2:16-17). Nobody had to tell them they had done wrong—they knew! Now they looked at things differently than they had before; a sense of wrong rushed in on them immediately. Just moments before, all had been friendly and joyful. All of nature seemed obedient to their every wish, and life was good. Suddenly, however, they felt guilt and fear, and it seemed as if every creature in the Garden had witnessed their act and condemned them. Feeling exposed, they sought to hide, illustrating that separation from the purity of God began immediately. The virtue of their innocence began to lose its luster.
David writes in Psalm 40:11-13:
Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me!
Sin creates a sense of estrangement from God, leaving a tarnishing film on a person's mind. Paul reminds Titus, "To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled" (Titus 1:15). Sin perverts the mind so that one does not look at life in the same way as before. Jeremiah 6:15 describes a sickening end to repeated sin:
"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down," says the LORD.
Some children are adorable because we love to see the beauty of their innocence. But what happens on the trip to adulthood? Sin alters the way a person looks at life and the world. With maturity, people become distrustful, sophisticated, competitive, cosmopolitan, cynical, suspicious, sarcastic, prejudiced, self-centered, and uninvolved. It is sin that drives people apart and creates fear.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 8:16 pm

  1 Peter 1:17-19
(17) And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; (18) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, (19) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
New King James Version   

Redeem means "to buy back." The essential purpose of biblical redemption is to deliver a person or thing from captivity or loss, and as such, it becomes an almost-perfect image for God's saving actions in behalf of sinning mankind. How much would we be willing to pay for the life of someone we love dearly? Kidnappers take perfidious advantage of this desire for the safety of a loved one. They steal a person precious to another—usually a child but sometimes a mate—and hold them for ransom to extort a grand sum of money they think will put them on easy street.

God the Father was willing to pay the ransom price for us by giving up the life of the One He loved most, His own Son, the only other being in all of creation that lived life on the same level as He did. He freely made this sacrifice in exchange for our liberty from our bondage to Satan and our debt to death at the same time. Likewise, the Son willingly volunteered to be the payment in full.

Now, let us turn this reality around and examine it from the perspective of the one released. As one released, how great a sense of loyalty and obligation born out of gratitude do we feel toward the One who came to our rescue by paying such a huge price for our freedom? Plainly and simply stated, this is the issue in regard to our spiritual obligation. This aspect of our salvation is one of the major themes of the book of Ruth. At one point in the narrative, Ruth prostrates herself at her redeemer's feet (Ruth 3:7-14), illustrating her recognition of her obligation.

The book of Philemon relates an interesting event in Paul's life in which he calls upon Philemon's sense of gratitude and obligation to him. In verse 8, Paul says he could use his authority to order Philemon to accept the slave Onesimus back, charging any debt he owed Philemon to Paul. However, he appeals to him through other means. In verse 19, he delivers a double-barreled proposition. First, Paul himself writes in his own hand that he will repay any of Onesimus' indebtedness, putting Philemon in greater-than-normal obligation. Then, Paul reminds him that he owes Paul his very life spiritually. He implies that Philemon's spiritual indebtedness to him should more than cover any material debt Onesimus owed to Philemon.

Therefore, Paul suggests that Philemon charge it to his account. What Paul did for Onesimus reflects in a small way what Christ did for us. As Paul laid himself out for Onesimus, Christ did for us in a much greater way to pay our spiritual indebtedness and set us free. As Paul claims Philemon's indebtedness to him, so Christ claims our indebtedness to Him.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Sep 2019, 8:53 am

Galatians 3:2
(2) This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
New King James Version   

Paul is continuing his stern rebuke here, and it seems he intends his argument to settle the question ("this only would I learn of you"). His rhetorical question is whether the Galatians received God's Spirit through their personal accomplishments or by hearing and believing. This is in no way a condemnation of "works of the law," as Christ Himself commands that we display "good works" to set the proper example to the world, after which He says in no uncertain terms that He did not come to destroy the law (Matthew 5:16-17). These are the same works that Jesus did (Matthew 11:2) and praised (John 3:21; 8:39; Revelation 2:26). Acts 26:20 shows that there are works involved in repentance, and much of James 2 shows the place that works have within our responsibility. To each of the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, Christ says He knows their works—and they are judged accordingly.

Clearly, there is nothing wrong with following God's law; indeed, the New Testament is filled with verses that show that lawbreakers will not enter the Kingdom of God. The question in this verse is not about whether the law is still in effect, whether following it is still required, or whether there is anything wrong with the set of laws that God codified. Rather, the critical point is what part the law plays within our conversion and sanctification, and consequently, what part God plays in the process as well.

On the one hand, there is the implication here that a person does not receive the Spirit by the works of the law, and on the other hand there is the definite statement in Acts 5:32 that the Spirit is only given to those who obey God—those following His law. As with the apparent disparity between Galatians 2:16 and Romans 2:13, these statements are easily rectified when we separate the means by which something is accomplished from the requirements.

According to Acts 5:32, one of the requirements for a person to receive the Holy Spirit, even in a small measure, is obedience to God (lawkeeping). God will not give a measure of His life-giving Spirit to someone who is rebellious or disobedient to Him! The story of Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24) illustrates this. Simon had the gospel preached to him, and he "believed" and was baptized. These events seem to fulfill Paul's statement in Galatians 3:2: He heard the gospel, and he believed. Would this not qualify as "the hearing [having the gospel preached] of faith [he believed]"? Should he not have then received the Holy Spirit?

Simon the Sorcerer did not receive the power of the Holy Spirit because he did not fulfill the requirement of Acts 5:32. Simon was not obedient to God—he did not submit himself to God but tried to bribe the apostles to lay hands on him. His heart was not right in the sight of God; his actions and intents were "wickedness"; he was "poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." This was not someone that God wanted to entrust with a measure of His mind and power! God only gives His Spirit to those who obey Him.

Even though keeping the commandments is a requirement, it does not entitle one to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a gift (Acts 2:38; 10:45; Hebrews 2:4), something freely given and not earned. This is the point the Galatians were stumbling over: They did not understand, or did not want to believe, that God's forgiveness, justification, sanctification, Holy Spirit, etc. are all things that God is responsible for. These are His prerogatives, and nothing we do can force Him into doing anything! Romans 9:11 shows that it is by God's election that determines who has his mind opened, not the choice (or the works—same verse) of the individual. John 6:44 shows clearly that God chooses who will enter into the covenant relationship, and without God drawing a person to Him, it is impossible for that person to even know God. I Corinthians 1:26-29 also illustrates that God does the "calling," and He purposefully chooses the weak, the foolish, the base things of the world. A large part of the reason is that nobody can boast (glory) that God called them because they were exceptionally righteous or in any way deserved to be called.

The Galatians seem to have rejected the overwhelming part that God and Jesus Christ play in the salvation process. They thought they were righteous enough, on their own, to have been justified, to receive the Holy Spirit, to attain salvation, etc. The reality is that we are God's workmanship, and He is the only one that can bring our salvation to pass (Ephesians 2:10). While we have a responsibility—to yield, submit, obey, overcome, etc.—even if we perfectly fulfill this responsibility, we are still then doing only the bare minimum. Our works are necessary, but they are not the means by which we are saved, nor, as Paul is saying here, are they the means by which we receive the Holy Spirit.

— David C. Grabbe



Ecclesiastes 1:15
(15) What is crooked cannot be made straight,
And what is lacking cannot be numbered.
New King James Version   

When Solomon speaks of crookedness, he is not specifically speaking about sin. In fact, some crookedness is actually good, because it is created by God (Ecclesiastes 7:13)! But in general, sin and crookedness overlap in many ways because, when one person is wrenching something from another, whether physically or metaphorically, sin is almost always involved. It is the “way of get”; it is an act of self-centeredness.

On a human level, the crookedness in the world began in the Garden of Eden, when Adam upset the order of things by heeding the voice of Eve rather than the voice of God. He made a choice, and that choice introduced crookedness into the relationship between God and man. What Adam made crooked could not be made straight by any subsequent human action.

In fact, the more people there were, the more crooked the world became until finally God intervened by, not only drowning most of mankind, but also by shortening the human lifespan. In doing so, He dramatically reduced the amount of time during which any single person could make things crooked. Yet, even with only his allotted three-score and ten or perhaps four-score, each man has plenty of time to make things crooked in his and others' lives.

Crookedness began on a human level with Adam, yet it goes back even farther, to another being who was in the Garden (Ezekiel 28:13). The crookedness in God's creation began with a created being, Satan, whose heart was lifted up, who thought of himself more highly than he should. After his own heart and will became crooked, he began wresting the wills of other angels, then those of mankind. He is the source of this kosmos—this anti-God world—as well as human nature, and thus wherever those are found, we can also expect to find some crookedness.

What this means is that, even though God has redeemed us, any place in our lives that the world still holds sway, or any area where we allow human nature to get the upper hand, something will be made crooked. Our will will assert itself and be manifested in a perversion of justice, in wronging someone, in turning a matter upside down, in dealing deceitfully, or in upsetting the relationship with God by overlooking His will for us.

— David C. Grabbe
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Sep 2019, 1:37 pm

Luke 4:31-39

(31) Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. (32) And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. (33) Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, (34) saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!" (35) But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. (36) Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, "What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." (37) And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region. (38) Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon's house. But Simon's wife's mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. (39) So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.

New King James Version  





What Jesus did on the first Sabbath of His ministry is to signal an attack against the forces of evil. He began a holy war to free mankind from Satan and sin. The demon knew it, which is why it reacted the way it did. It threw a tantrum. If we would put what the demon said into modern, colloquial terms, it snapped at Jesus, "Why are You interfering here?" And Jesus came right back, with authority, "Shut your mouth! And come out of him."
The demon was not about to give up easily. It was probably a strong demon, but it did obey its Master and came out - yet not without thrashing the man around. Fortunately, the man was not hurt.
So the first shot that was fired in this war was a spiritual healing: Jesus liberated a man from a demon on the Sabbath day. He may have done a few other things before, but this was the first public act as part of His ministry.
This began the war for control of the earth, for the right to rule over it after He had defeated the demons' master, Satan. Jesus was showing that the demons would not fare any better than he. By casting out the demon, He restored order and peace to the congregation, as the possessed man had been causing trouble.
The second thing He did, then, was a physical healing that resulted in service to others. This unfortunate woman, who was bound by a disease, is relieved of it by Jesus Christ. Then she rose and immediately served everybody else. This ought to give us a clue - those of us who receive healing - as to what we are supposed to do with our healing. We are to rise and serve.
Here, in a nutshell, are major principles by which our Sabbath activities can be judged. The Sabbath is for redemption, liberty, joy, peace, and service that comes through fellowship and instruction that reorients our devotion to the right direction.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Sep 2019, 6:16 pm

Genesis 4:7
(7) If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
New King James Version   

In all its forms, sin is marked as mankind's enemy. It must be defeated to God's satisfaction for Him to accept us. If not, our relationship with Him will not be continued for eternity.

Because sin is an ever-present reality of life, it is essential that we have sufficient knowledge to recognize it before its fiery darts strike us down. This requires consistent, thoughtful study of God's Word and effort to build an awareness of its presence, enabling us to beat it to the punch, so to speak.

Overcoming sin is indeed a formidable task, but not a hopeless one. One reason why it is not hopeless, when rightly thought through, is quite encouraging. Jesus teaches in Luke 12:48:

But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

We are admonished to be alert because our enemy is at the door (Genesis 4:7), stalking us as we make our way through life. However, we are also encouraged to understand that we are all judged individually. God judges everyone against the same standard, yet He judges individually according to our natural talents, gifts, dedication, faithfulness, discipline, time sacrificed, and energies exerted to overcome against what God knows we are capable of.

We stand alone, as it were, not measured against any other person. Though the ultimate standard is the holy, righteous character of the Father and Son, we are neither measured against their performance nor any other human's performance. We are not in competition against others.

Though not measured against the performance of the Father and Son, we are nonetheless urged to strive to be at one with them. They are in complete and total agreement with each other. It is to this oneness that God wants to bring us, not merely intellectually, but also in attitude and conduct. They do not sin, and imitating this sinlessness becomes our great challenge in life.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9:31 am

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
(3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
New King James Version   
We are not carrying on a physical war, but the battle for us is no less real. We need to understand that we are not fighting for material success, earthly power, or social prestige. We are not even trying to make our enemies look bad. The real issue is the victory or defeat of God's purpose for our lives.
We must realize that we have merciless, implacable, and powerful spiritual enemies, so that such things as human cleverness, ingenuity, organizing ability, eloquent arguments, charm, or forcefulness of personality are simply not the answer. Those things may impress men, but they in no way impress demons. Those things are the weapons of carnality, of flesh.
The good news is that the Captain of our salvation has already defeated their Goliath. Their leader is defeated, beaten, and the Victor lives in us, lending us His strength and insight.
Paul indicates that the enemy invades our minds, our imaginations. He does this through opinions, convictions, and feelings that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Paul uses the phrase, "casting down arguments," in verse 5. Some Bibles render arguments as "reasoning," "convictions," or "opinions." Even "feelings" would be appropriate to the thought. Whatever the application, these arguments exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.
These satanic thoughts or attitudes are designed to affect or alter first our minds and then our behaviors. Satan did this to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). These wrong reasonings are the key to understanding what Satan is trying to accomplish.
God created humans with the ability to reason, but what line of reason should a Christian follow? We can grasp what not to follow by considering Paul's phrase, "against the knowledge of God." In other words, the thoughts that invade our mind, which come from this evil, wicked, subtle, deceitful spiritual leader, will lead us to exalt or prioritize our reasoning above God's knowledge.
This knowledge is not primarily about God, but the knowledge He has revealed. Knowledge about God is certainly included, but what Satan desires is for us to exalt our ideas over godly and true knowledge and understanding.
Why would he want to do this? Because we have a relationship with a Person—a Being with personality, character, and a wonderful, wholesome way of life that produces every good thing. Satan tries to destroy that relationship by getting us to doubt either the Person and His goodness or the rightness and goodness of His promises and way of life.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Sep 2019, 11:18 pm

Luke 13:11-12
(11) And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. (12) But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity."
New King James Version  
The woman has a strange derangement of the nervous system, having its source in the mind rather than in the body. Her stooped condition results at least partially from psychological instability, making her depressed. Her strange malady, then, is partly physical and partly mental. Satan has had his hand in her disability to the extent that her mind is susceptible to his influence, and her body has malfunctioned, producing a severe case of an unhealthy, hunched condition.
Jesus' words in verse 16, “whom Satan has bound,” do not mean that Satan's involvement here is demon-possession but more like demon-oppression. Luke does not indicate that Christ exorcised a demon from her, which would have been the case had she been possessed. Satan oppresses her in a way that affects her physical body, like Paul, who describes his affliction as “the messenger of Satan to buffet me” (II Corinthians 12:7).
God's people in every age—Job, for instance—have been aware of this work of Satan. “Whom Satan has bound” reminds us that Satan does not free anyone; he only enslaves. Not only does Satan bow people down, but so do sin (Psalm 38:6), sorrow (Psalm 42:5), and suffering (Psalm 44:25). Only God can set a person free. While creating the illusion that breaking God's law liberates, sin and Satan never truly free anyone (John 8:34). In reality, evil habits grip people with terrible tenacity. Unbelievers sometimes criticize believers, saying that their church and religious convictions restrict their fun and freedom, but such an argument is the exact opposite of the truth.
— Martin G. Collins
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 10:06 am

Amos 3:9-11
(9) "Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod,
And in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say:
"Assemble on the mountains of Samaria;
See great tumults in her midst,
And the oppressed within her.
(10) For they do not know to do right,"
Says the LORD,
"Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces."" (11) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
"An adversary shall be all around the land;
He shall sap your strength from you,
And your palaces shall be plundered."
New King James Version   
In Amos 3:9-10, the prophet is told to proclaim the tumults, oppression, violence, and robbery in the nation. The man on the street was not too disturbed at the lack of law and order. He did not seem to realize that this cancerous immorality plaguing the country from within would result in her being crushed and destroyed from without.
However, when the time came to defend Israel from foreign invasion, Israel would have no strength (verse 11). God says, "They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, but no one goes to battle" (Ezekiel 7:14). Because the people were so preoccupied with their own self-interests, they did not respond to the external threat of invasion. As a result, the nation fell easily.
In our own generation, we have seen that our adversaries could not conquer us on the battlefield when our general level of morality was high. But as our moral fiber weakened between 1950 and today, they began to destroy us in the business world. Our foes in World War II, in becoming our allies during the Cold War, learned our ways and now rival or outpace us in most economic categories—not only in the area of heavy industry, but in highly technological matters as well.
As our economic power is being sapped by moral cancer, our fighting spirit is being drained too. We are no longer able to present a united front on any matter. In addition, as the United States takes on the role of sole superpower, as our troops are used to enforce United Nations policies, our military strength is exploited and thinned. In our moral and social malaise, we find rousing ourselves to action as a nation gets harder and harder to do. Our allies know we are a weak branch to lean on.
And behind all this is God, who sees our corruption and warns us that the time is near.
"Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'An adversary shall be all around the land; he shall sap your strength from you, and your palaces shall be plundered'" (Amos 3:11). "Therefore" connects the preceding verses with a conclusion or result. Tumult, oppression, violence, and robbery beget weakness and destruction. Sin is inherently self-destructive. It holds out such promise of pleasure and fulfillment, but contains within it the seeds of destruction. Whatever is sown is reaped.
Why does Amos depict Israel as a powerless nation while she was at the height of her economic, political, and military power? The nation's religion was a sham! Morality and righteousness make a nation strong, but immorality and unrighteousness will always bring it to ruin (Proverbs 14:34). Where religion is powerless, government, business, and community become ineffective because their moral undergirding is gone.
"'For they do not know to do right,' says the Lord" (Amos 3:10). Unable to tell the difference between good and evil, Israelites finally reached the point where they called evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Not only is this in regard to spiritual truths but also to the marketplace. While they no doubt complained about the violence, they could not see that their own selfish ambitions actually produced the violence on the streets.
Evidently, even the religious people never made the connection between the moral and social breakdown in the nation and their own selfish ambitions. They may have been embezzling from their company or overcharging their customers, but they went to church every week! That is why God says He will destroy the religious system too (Amos 3:14).
Cold, calloused, indifferent, the common Israelite just did not care about the other guy. "So what if he suffers while I enrich myself—that's life in the big city, baby!" Whether politician or businessman or religious person, all Israelites, it seems, looked at life this way. It was a view of life almost totally devoid of a social conscience. Their lifestyle glorified amorality. But, most condemning of all, it was a lifestyle diametrically opposite to that revealed by God through Moses.
We, too, need to be careful of this attitude in our own self-absorbed culture. The media even calls the "baby boom" generation the "Me Generation," and a popular magazine found in supermarket checkout lines is boldly titled Self.
Notice the repetition of "palaces" and "houses" in verses 9-11 and 15. God instructs Amos to tell the kings of foreign nations (verse 9) about the Israelites' stockpiling "violence and robbery in their palaces" against themselves (verse 10). To paraphrase, He says, "Look, My people have weakened themselves through sin! They are ripe for destruction!" God empowers the heathen, so they, as His battle-ax, will punish His people. His ultimate aim, of course, is to bring them to repentance.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Fri 20 Sep 2019, 9:29 am

Isaiah 55:1-3
(1) "Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
(2) Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
(3) Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.

New King James Version

Isaiah 55:1-3 contains an appeal, continuing the theme that there is a spiritual food that nourishes the inner man and fills one's life in a way and with abundance that all of a person's material things cannot. That God is speaking about His Word is seen in the word "listen," which is directly connected to the phrase "eat what is good." This food is, of course, spiritual, and its source is God. Interestingly, He says to come and buy, but not with money. This food cannot be purchased with material wealth. All the money in the world cannot purchase it, but it still must be bought. Recall that the foolish virgins in Matthew 25 are advised to go out and buy oil from those who sell in preparation for the coming of the Bridegroom.

The "food" in Isaiah 55 and the "oil" in Matthew 25 can be bought only by means of the dedication and commitment of one's life in submission to Christ. By being a living sacrifice in prayer, study, meditation, and obedience, one becomes energized by the food of God's Word. In addition, one can "purchase" it only from those appointed by God to "sell" it. It can only be bought from those already converted and provided by God with the gifts to teach it to others. In most cases, this is the ministry of the true church.

Jeremiah 3:15 provides us with clear Old Testament evidence that the principle of feeding the mind with the correct instruction leads to good spiritual health: "And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." God clearly states that a mind fed with the right things can produce wisdom, holiness, and happiness. In other words, He promises that those who hear Him will be fed the elements of an abundant life through shepherds who exhibit godly character. God's Word, if it is believed and practiced, produces a unique perspective of life and a balance that cannot be found through any other means. Nothing that man has produced through philosophy or religion can even come close. These elements of human society have played major roles in producing restless, anxious, violent cultures.

We must choose to secure the best diet for the mind to utilize and assimilate into one's moral and spiritual character, as well as other expressions of personality. The world produces an almost overwhelming amount of spiritual junk food and outright spiritual garbage, and it is within easy reach of any mind anywhere no matter where one lives.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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BIBLE STUDY on VERSE Empty Re: BIBLE STUDY on VERSE

Post  Admin on Thu 19 Sep 2019, 1:41 pm

Jeremiah 3:8-10
(8) Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. (9) So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. (10) And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense," says the LORD.
New King James Version   

God is speaking about the two nations, Israel and Judah. Israel had gone into captivity over a hundred years before Jeremiah came along. God is relating what Judah did after it saw that Israel had gone into captivity for its sins.

He uses marriage as an analogy of His relationship with His people—first with Israel and Judah and later with the church—in order to help us see clearly what is required of us. He calls Israel His wife, but Israel was not faithful in that the people committed idolatry. God considers this spiritual idolatry as being the same as, or similar to, the committing of adultery in a human marriage.

This is why He calls idolatry "adultery." It is unfaithfulness to a vow, a contract, a covenant, or an agreement. The two partners in the agreement, God and Israel, said, "I do" to be Husband and wife. God was faithful, upholding His part of that relationship, but Israel was unfaithful to those vows, committing adultery through idolatry, by worshiping other gods.

Notice how strong God's language is: He uses the word "treacherous." He calls Judah's unfaithfulness, her idolatry, her spiritual adultery "treachery." It is a word that is reserved for the most despicable breaches of trust. We do not like to use it even when speaking of adultery, so we soften it, using a euphemism like saying he or she "had an affair." God calls it what it is—treachery, an egregious violation of allegiance, of trust.

Whether a person is treacherous, that is, unfaithful, or whether he is faithful to his vows, both results have to be worked at, but the former comes easier than the latter because treachery follows the natural course of human nature. We have all done what Israel and Judea did through sin, alienating ourselves from Him.

God does with us individually as He was willing to do with Israel and Judea as nations. He says, "Yes, you've committed these unfaithful sins, but if you'll just return to Me, I'll still accept you as my wife." He is willing to forgive. The condition, however, is repentance—real change in attitude and behavior.

— John W. Ritenbaugh
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