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Sunday, August 2, 2015, 5:23 AM
Bible Study- Part 9/3- Essay Study on Philippians 2:12
God set aside the Jews as His chosen people and expected them to live by certain standards. God warned the Jews in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28 and 29, and in many other places of the consequences of not living up to His standards. They were told that failure to comply with His standards would lead to calamity. This was not intended to be too harsh; it was an act of love intended to guide them back to a better life. Calamity was designed to demonstrate the seriousness of living according to God's intended purpose. However, consistent and/or continued non-conformance would result in more calamities to try to bring people to a realization of their errors. These ‘calamities’ as I termed them would become successively harsher and more severe until compliance was realized.
All people may call upon the Lord for deliverance. The Bible teaches that those who come to know the Lord will become new creatures with enlivened spirits and God's law will be written on their hearts. Paul could teach that such people were free from the law, because when God puts His law in a person's heart, then that person would have a natural propensity to strive to do that which is right within the law. Yet Paul teaches that Satan fights a fierce battle to drive God's children away from the good works set aside for them, and to lure them into the wicked works which are contrary to God's intended purpose. Paul consistently warns Christians not to fall back into the old ways from which they were delivered.
Now the Jews were given their law written on tablets of stone, but the law for Christians is written on the heart. People can be free from the letter of the law when the law is a very real part of their being, written as it were, on the very fabric of their lives. But Paul warns Christians that Satan is fighting to distort the understanding of God's law of love. This is the struggle the Christian must fight when Paul says to "Fight the good fight." Paul warns Christians not to conform to this world or fall back into their old ways of life before they became the children of God.
Now when the words of the Bible were framed, whether in Hebrew, Greek, King James English, or later versions reflecting changes in various languages, it has been generally understood that when a child did not please his father, he would likely have cause to have some dread of the consequences. Now it is revealed that we are the children of God. So much the more should we please such a mighty and glorious Father. But Satan has a mighty army of demons patrolling the earth seeking to lure away those who are striving to please God. When they fail to lure someone away from God's purpose, they look for some way to cause havoc for the child of God. If a demon cannot reach a Christian directly, he may use another person to affect that Christian.
God is a mighty defender and protector for His children, but we are expected to fight the good fight of faith (Paul to Timothy), and sometimes we fall. We must get back up and get into the battle. It is not always easy, but the Lord is ever ready to help us. Free from the law does not mean there are no consequences for not living up to God's standards. If His children do not please the Heavenly Father, then He will gently lead them. If His children consistently fail to follow His law of love in their hearts, then He will become less gentle and more forceful in His guidance.
1st Corinthians 5 speaks of a man who had strayed so far from God's purpose that Paul told the church to separate themselves from him that the Lord may deliver his fleshly body to Satan for destruction so that his soul might be saved. It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. Carefully note that he did not say he would lose his salvation. His ‘body’ may be delivered to Satan that his ‘soul’ might be saved. In extreme cases the Lord may allow such extreme scourging. The ultimate intended result was the salvation of his soul.
1st Corinthians 5:5- To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved...
Only the Lord could know if the person had truly believed and had been accepted as one of His children. But the Father is more powerful than Satan, and never loses His child to Satan. Once the Father has given the gift, He never takes it back. Romans 6:23 says the free gift is eternal life. John 3:16 says the believer has everlasting life. If a person has that which is eternal (or everlasting) and then he loses it, then it would not have truly been everlasting.
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 7:38 PM
Bible Study- Part 9/2- Essay Study on Philippians 2:12
(Remember- we are talking about Bible Study by applying it to an essay study on Philippians 2: 12. The topic is on fear and trembling. We said that salvation is ‘worked out’, but that is different from ‘worked for’. We do not work to obtain salvation, but work it out in our lives. Fear and trembling is to be discussed later, but for now, we are still looking at this ‘work out your salvation’.
So therefore, except for that work of God, which is to believe on Him whom He has sent, our salvation is not at all dependent on works. But from salvation comes a life of good works that come from love. Any works which come from debts or obligations are not works to be credited to our profit, for they are payment on a debt, not a surplus for our profit. Anyone who is saved has no right to boast of his works which followed his salvation, because he is only fulfilling a debt that we will truly never be able to pay out. This is a debt we owe the One Who loved us so much that He suffered and died, while we were yet sinners, to pay the debt our sins had earned.
Also any works performed for show or boast are empty works because they are not performed for love but for a show. And works performed begrudgingly, out of malice, or otherwise without love are empty because they are without love.
We have noted that salvation leads to good works. God's law is love. In love we are to serve one another. Once we have received the free gift of salvation, then out of a heart of love, we are to work out our saved life. If any individual works for any denomination in teaching a class, visitation, or service in any capacity, that individual should decide whether such works come naturally from a heart of love for others, or does he feel an obligatory compulsion to work because it is expected. This is not to preclude the fact that love itself has its own compulsion. One must weigh for himself if his compulsion is from a sense of duty or love. The Lord searches the heart's motives.
Having discussed "… work out your own salvation …," let us now consider "… with fear and trembling."
It has been correctly asserted from many pulpits that the fear of the Lord refers to a proper respect for the Lord. Many today seem to have a simplistic understanding of the meaning of the term respect. I support the concept that the Lord has a sense of humor, but that sense of humor does not apply to sin, human suffering, or any matter involving eternal consequences. The Lord's sense of humor does not allow for levity in handling His Word or His Worship in a flippant manner. He is love and love does not allow for a sense of humor that treats Him or any human being with a lack of concern for feelings or conscience.
The Bible has much to say about the anger of the Lord and the Lord's wrath. Though the fear of the Lord involves a proper respect, it is certainly incorrect to drop the "fearsomeness" from the meaning. If we try to dilute the meaning of fear too much, then we would be left searching for a way to dilute the meaning of trembling.
Hebrews 10:30- 31- For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
Having given a great deal of thought to how the meaning of "fear of the Lord" became diluted, it occurred to me that the real meaning had been changed in understanding the word "respect." Many today seem to think that respect means little more than "to hold in high regard." Respect would be a good assessment of the term fear, I think, if one went back in time to a stricter meaning of the term respect. Old fashioned discipline with a strong work ethic and sure rewards for slothfulness to me seems to have deeper implications in understanding the term respect than many people today attach to the term. A father could be loving and caring, and a child could respond with love; but certain standards were expected. Certain lassitude in those standards could bring a certain respect that involved the fear and trembling that did not diminish the quality of love, but trained the child not to take his father's standards too lightly.
Hebrews 12:6- For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth [a term here involving a gentle instruction], and scourgeth [herein may lie the fear and trembling] every son whom He receiveth.
(My paraphrase)- The Lord accepts His children and gives them gentle instruction. Sometimes, because of human nature and the hardness of man’s heart, gentle instruction is not enough. In such instances the Lord is not one to spare the rod.
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 5:46 AM
Bible Study- Part 9/1- Essay Study on Philippians 2:12
Theme: Work out Salvation & Fear of the Lord
Philippians 2:12 (KJV)- … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(TEV)- … Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation …
(AB)- … work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
(Phil)- … complete the salvation that God has given you with a proper sense of awe and responsibility.
(Wuest)- … carry to its ultimate conclusion [likeness to the Lord Jesus] your own salvation with a wholesome, serious caution and trembling.
Do these words seem difficult to hear and understand? How do we work out our salvation? What works are we to do? What sort of fear and trembling are we to experience. First, let us consider these works. Let us see what our Lord Jesus had to say about this.
John 6:28-29-Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, That ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.
John 13:34-35-A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
In the John 6 verses, Jesus had fed a multitude of people and the people followed Him because they wanted to be fed. Jesus told them to work for food that led to eternal life. They asked what that work was. Jesus responded that it was to believe in Him. Paul teaches us that we were created for a life of good works (Ephesians 2:10). The first of our good works is to believe in Jesus whom God sent. The next work involves a life of love which results in a multitude of good works. Love involves caring, sharing, and serving. If I have food, and see someone hungry, it would be a lie for me to say, "I love you," without offering food. But in no way, in no place, does the Bible teach that it is our works that save us. We are able to work good works because we are saved. It is love that enables good works; and it is God that enables love.
Romans 3:28-Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
James 2:17-Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
It is not at all our labors that earn or attain unto our salvation. It is our salvation that stirs within us the love which produces the works. Our salvation is a free gift to us. The gift was not entirely free because Christ paid the price on the cross; but it was given to us entirely free.
John 3:16- … that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Acts 2:21; 13:39; 15:11; 16:31- And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. … And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. … But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved … Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …
Romans 5:8; 6:23; 10:13- But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. … For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9-For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The list of verses that explain the simplicity of salvation goes on and on, but these should suffice. Two of these verses tell us that salvation is a gift, two that it comes by God's grace, a few that it depends on our believing faith, and two that all we have to do is call on Him. Now understand that anyone who "calls" on Him without "believing" is not really calling but mocking. You do not call on someone you do not believe in unless it is in mocking.
Friday, July 31, 2015, 5:03 PM
Bible Study- Part 8/3: Cross-Referencing; Versions; & Word Studies
*C*. God's Search for Man; Man's Search for God
Ever since man strayed from God, God has sought out fellowship with man. Genesis 3:9; 4:9. Luke 19:10.
It was not God who turned His back on man, but man who turned his back on God. Genesis 6:5-6; 8:20-21.
Man's heart is revealed before God. 1st Samuel 16:7. 1st Chronicles 28:9. Proverbs 13:3; 21:2; 23:7.
It is up to man to search for God with all his heart. Numbers 15:39. Deuteronomy 4:29. 2nd Chronicles 7:14. Isaiah 55:6. Jeremiah 29:13. Lamentations 3:25-26. Matthew 6:33. Luke 18:10-14. Hebrews 11:6.
Men began early to call upon the Name of the Lord and to worship Him. Man's worship did not always come from the heart. Genesis 4:26. Psalm 80:18; 105:1. Isaiah 12:4; 29:13. Joel 2:32. Zephaniah 3:9. Zechariah 13:9. John 4:24. Acts 2:21; 17:24-31. Romans 10:12-13.
God allows nothing to come before Him:
Other gods-Exodus 20:3;
Graven images-Isaiah 44:8-20; 45:20;
Riches-Matthew 6:19-25; 1st Timothy 6:10;
Things of this world-Colossians 3:1-2; James 4:4; 1st John 2:15;
This worldly life-Matthew 10:38-39; John 15:18; Romans 12:1-2; 1st John 3:13;
Military might-Psalm 20:7; Isaiah 31:1;
Choose you this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:14-15, 23; Psalm 40:8.
*D*. Two final cross-reference word studies
(a) Peace, Comfort, & Freedom—
Numbers 6:26. Psalm 29:11. Proverbs 17:22. Isaiah 9:6; 26:3; 40:1-5, 28-31. Matthew 11:28-30. John 8:32; 14; 16:20-33. Romans 5:1; 8:37-39. Philippians 4:5-7.
(b) Fellowship in the Light—
Genesis 1:3-4. Exodus 13:21. 2nd Samuel 21:17. 1st Kings 11:36. 2nd Kings 8:19. Job 24:12-13; 28:11; 38:15. Psalm 27:1; 36:9; 56:13; 119:105, 130. Proverbs 4:18; 6:23; 13:9. Ecclesiastes 2:13. Isaiah 2:5; 9:2; 10:17; 42:6, 16; 49:6; 60:19-20. Micah 7:8-9. Matthew 4:16; 5:14-16; 6:22-23. Luke 1:78-79; 2:29-32. John 1:1-9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5. Acts 13:47; 22:6-11. 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6. Ephesians 5:8. 1st John 1:3-7. Revelation 21:22-25; 22:5.
Friday, July 31, 2015, 5:01 AM
Bible Study- Part 8/2: Cross-Referencing; Versions; & Word Studies
*B*. Faith, Hope, and Love
1st Corinthians 13: 13 (TEV)- Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
Hebrews 11: 1, 6- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen … without faith it is impossible to please Him…
Faith and hope are closely related. In modern English if someone hopes for something, it usually means much the same as "wishes for" but not necessarily "expects" anything. From the actual definition and the Hebrew and Greek words there is not only the connotation of wishing and yearning for, but also the expectation that what is hoped for will come to pass. In early English the word hope also carried to some extent this expectation. But many times today when people use the word hope, this expectation is not always included with it. (i.e. I made a wish upon a star- I HOPE it comes true.)
People today readily see the connection between believing and faith. If you truly believe something, then you will expect it, though it may not be what you wish for. Hope, as used in the Bible, means expecting what you yearn for. A deeper understanding of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ could today be expressed as believing with a yearning expectation of both salvation (deliverance), and the Lord's return. It also means a firm holding onto (from the Hebrew ‘aman’- as in our ‘amen’ at the end of prayers), or firmly grounded in.
In the Bible the word love is translated from no less than eleven Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek words. These various words reflected different shades of meaning such as family affection, brotherly love for friends, social love for mankind related to kindness and common courtesy, and God's perfect love which involves the deepest meanings of love that Christians seek to attain.
Before we begin a cross reference study on faith, hope, and love from 1st Corinthians 13: 13, let us look at the first chapter of 1st Peter. From this chapter we can see a number of directions to go in cross referencing besides just our present subject. You may wish to study some of these on your own at a later time. All of the following themes are touched on in 1st Peter 1 as well as in the verses following Read the first chapter of 1st Peter and compare with these verses.
faith, hope, and love— 1st Corinthians 13:13
gird up (renew) your minds, do not be conformed, be holy (present yourselves holy)— Romans 12:1, 2
sufferings and glorified— Romans 8
destined before the foundation— Ephesians 1:4; 2:10; Revelation 13:8
born anew— John 3:3; Romans 7:6
Now read Romans 5:1-10 to see what you can learn about faith, hope, love, and redemption (Christ paying the price for our sins).
Aside from the following references, you may wish to consult a good concordance and look up believe (-ing), faith, confidence (-dent, -dently), hope, expect (-ing, -ation, -antly), love, charity, and affection.
Faith: Genesis 15:6. Habakkuk 2:4. Matthew 17:20. John 1:12; 3:15-16,36; 5:24; 6:28-29, 35-37, 40-47; 7:37-39; 11:25-26; 12:36; 14:1-3; 20:29,31. Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; 15:11; 16:31. Romans 3:24-28; 4:2-5. Galatians 3:6. Ephesians 2:8-9. Hebrews 11:1-3, 6. James 2:23.
Hope: Psalm 39:7. Lamentations 3:26. Romans 4:16-18; 8:20-25; 12:12; 15:4. 1st John 3:1-3.
Love: Deuteronomy 6:5. Leviticus 19:18. Ezekiel 33:31. Matthew 7:12; 22:37-40; 25:40. Luke 3:11. John 14:15, 21, 23, 31; 15:9-19. 1st Corinthians 13. 1st John 3:17-18; 4:7-11.