In the days of Peter, people struggled to understand the writings of Paul (2 Peter 3:15-16), and we are no different today. At that time there were many systems of interpreting the Bible with the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and others, and with many differing groups within the Pharisees. Today many more systems have been added, but which one is right? Or, if not right, best?
The responsibility of each believer to live a life worthy of the Lord pleasing Him in every way by bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 2:10).
Faith and deeds
The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 20:28) that Jesus Christ was the Word and the Word was God (John 1:1) that He was God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).
God is spirit. When we consider the wonder of God, His infinity, and the glory of His awesome majesty, we must ask ourselves the question, "How can we ever comprehend Him?" But this unfathomable God, whose ways are described as being past finding out, has provided a way by which we can come to know enough about Him that is life saving to our mortal sinful souls. He has shed His light and His love; and this is bound up in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). Essentially God is Spirit (John 4:24), but in the New Testament He makes Himself known as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and each are ascribed with true Deity and given equal glory as a consequence. These three expressions of Himself equal the one and only true God, or God absolute (Hebrew Elohim); "I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me" (Isaiah 45:5).
The correct handling of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) that in the interpretation of Scripture it is important to take account not only of what is written but of whom, to whom, with what words, at what time, to what intent, with what circumstances, and considering what goes before and what comes after.
by W. M. Henry of the Open Bible Trust
The study of the Scriptures as enlightened by the Holy Spirit, Who bears testimony through them to the Lord Jesus Christ, is the sure foundation for the continual growth in faith which is a necessity for every believer; for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
Last time we looked at a summary of the important issues of 1Corinthians as an Acts epistle. One issue is that those saved whether Jew or Greek were to remain in that state:
This has some important implications when one interprets many of the doctrines that are taught by Paul in his Acts epistles. One very important issue relating to this is the economy that the world was under and the nearness of Christ's second coming. Paul applies this to the subject of marriage. He continues in verse 29:
Last lesson mainly concerned the meaning of the 27th verse: "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1Co 12:27 KJV)" -- where it was discovered that the idea of the Corinthians being a body of christ was that they were made so by their "part" in the body -- they functioned particularly -- so would the body at Rome have a different combinatorial mix to satisfy the needs at that locality.
We will continue to ask the same question (slide above) as we compare the Acts body with the body created by God at the end of the book of Acts.
Last week we discussed the problem of divisions that developed in the Corinthian assembly under the context of a ministry began by the Lord and continued into the Acts period. How could "the Mystery" of Eph 3 or Col 1 have been revealed and expounded in Acts when the apostles were not to be interpreted as teaching different things? Surely the summary evidence of 1:10-13 is that the Corinthians were to be of one mind and Judgment because Christ's doctrine was also Peter's and Paul's and that this originated in the gospels and continued into the time of the Acts. Christ could not be divided, Peter and Paul were cardinally in agreement. While Paul called them alongside himself -- it was done by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul said be ye followers of me he also added "even as I also am of Christ" 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1Co 11:1 KJV)
It is within the context of begetting them through the gospel and his work "in Christ Jesus" Paul exhorts them: KJV 1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. (1Co 4:16 KJV)
The place and purpose of Israel is central to the correct understanding of the Bible. Philosophy is not a Biblical subject but the Bible contains a philosophy of life in the form of a "world view" that has different instantiations dependent on assumptions made. The particular world view adhered to and promoted by various expositors and "defenders of the faith" comes directly or indirectly through an understanding of Israel, its extent, demise or otherwise and future. These conclusions (posteriors) have developed throughout christendom in time and geography and have very informative "priors" which should be investigated carefully.
We seek to challenge many of these posterior conclusive world views by an appeal to the place and position of Israel as exhibited by the prophets in the old testament scriptures and the apostolic ministries presented in the new testament. Understanding Israel and how the present economy differes puts us in a place where we can learn from Israel's mistakes without taking what does not belong to us. The right division of scriptures "frees" us to see in Israel truths that are not unique to any particular age but which are universal in their scope.
It is with this premise that I would like to look at the time of "provocation" where Israel was tested in the wilderness. Lets look at some of her mistakes and find parallels in these three areas:
- This age where PAul the prisoner is the chosen vessel to bring us enlightenment.
- The Acts period when Paul was going to the Jew first with a Jewish hope.
- The National difference that comes to America through its founding generation.
- What makes America "different" and "exceptional"?
- What is the federalist and anti federalist issue?
- Are states sovereign?
- Should we as christians be involved or is this another entanglement to avoid?
Last time we looked at the tension between what cannot be done in truth revealing communion (see vs 10:21) and what can be done under liberty (10:25,27,28). The truth is that we who are saved by Grace cannot partake in the altar of an idol -- we have nothing in common and we cannot in truth "partake". So it is with our communion with the doctrines and manner of life associated with other ages.