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Showing posts from April, 2010

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is.."

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Faith –

Vine's Expository Dictionary has this definition of faith. The Greek word is pistis, and means a firm persuasion, or a conviction based upon hearing.

Scripture also defines faith.
See: 2Thess 2:11-12; (2) a personal surrender to Him, John 1:12; (3) a conduct inspired by such surrender.

We can also use the words persuasion, assurance, belief, faithfulness, and still convey the same meanings.

The KJ concordance shows the word pistis used 221 times. 215 times it is translated as faith, but has also been translated as effect, and fidelity.

Webster's says faith is: Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth.

To assent to something is to admit that it is true; to agree; yield or concede, or rather to express an agreement of the…

Hebrews 11:3 Comments by a man struggling to grasp the greatness of God.

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which appeared.(WBS)

Through pistis (faith), we concede that God formed or created the universe. How He did it, is irrelevant. The fact that we now walk upon this earth is evidence enough that it exists, but at some point, it did not.
The Greek says that by persuasion we are able to conclude that God created the universe. What is it that persuaded us?

".. we understand..."
Understand is the Greek word noieo, and means to "to exercise the mind (observe).
You want faith to be simple. I suppose it is if you do not think.

So far we can rewrite the passage to read - by the exercise of the mind, we can observe things that convince us that God made the universe. We must therefore concede…

Since we have this confidence.

Hebrews10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

"...since we have confidence..."

Do you have confidence? If so why? What was it that gave you the ability to have confidence, and what do you have confidence in?

Confidence seems to convey the image of a person that walks boldly into a situation, undaunted by the task that is before them or the people that they are to encounter. This makes me think of the last speech class that I took. I can compare it to the first one. When I gave a speech, the last time, I came prepared. I had done my research; I knew my subject matter (no, I was not an expert.); I rehearsed my speech several times, and although I had notes as a back up, I typically only used them to keep myself on track. I felt very confident, but that was not the case with my first attempts at public speaking. I had been unprepared and intimidated. I literally walked out crying on one occasion.
Webster's di…

A word to the body, It was valid then, and it is valid today.

God has grabbed my attention and shown me an image like a noisy drill sergeant, which snaps out commands to soldiers under his authority. You soldiers are Marines, and he gives a series of instructions, finishing with an energetic “Semper Fi” (Always faithful.)

Why? Knowing little about the background of those under his command, he must create in these new recruits a skill level, so that during times of war they will not have to be coached on how to survive and who they are.

God called and you enlisted you; now through God’s word He has trained you and you have become the person God designed you to be. You have questioned your standing with God and wondered why you have struggled with the simple sins; it seems as though you cannot rise above life’s circumstances.

Romans 5:15 Gives you an answer.
… For if by the transgression of the one (Adam) the many died, (the entire human race) much more did the grace (favor though undeserved) of God and the gift by the grace of the o…

Thoughts and commentary on John 5:19

John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

He healed a man, changed everything about him beginning with his circumstances, ordered him to take his bed roll and get out of the place he was in, and now He has told the Pharisees that he is the Son of God. They want Jesus dead, and will probably feel fairly justified in doing so. That is what has just happened.

Watch any of the television show COP's and you will observe human nature in its purest state, broken. Confronted with accusations, the defense system kicks in, and the mouth starts going. Attorneys are trained to give a strong defense and so are Christian apologists. The attack by the Jews is only verbal at this point; it could get worse, and according to the law they would be right in doing so.
Jesus responds to them, but watch the direction that he takes them. He goes t…

Thoughts and commentary on John 5:18

John 5:18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

" For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him"
Does that register with anyone. If this was where we started reading we would miss out on a tremendous amount of drama. Drama was not exactly John's purpose in writing. John fully intended for you see Jesus as God. Jesus had just told them that God was his Father. If they were reacting badly to the bed roll, imagine their reactions now. If picking up firewood was worthy of stoning, certainly this arrogance demanded more.

This certainly implies something that John had not previously spelled out for us, and that was that they had already tried to kill him, and had not diminished in their vigor to do so.

"..not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father,.."
Jesus own disciples have not been with…

Thoughts and commentary on John 5:17

John 5:17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

They were already furious with him. He had, contrary to the law, ordered the man to carry his bed roll on the Sabbath. It did not matter that the Sabbath belonged to God; It did not matter that this man, a man they recognized (maybe) was now well; It did not matter that this kind of thing, a healing, was a rarity, and there should have been great excitement over that.

One of the early incidents, as Israel wandered, was someone caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath. Those that caught the man brought him to Moses for a judgment. The man was stoned to death. That should cause you to think that these Pharisee's, the keepers of the Jewish law, took this very serious.

Now, in response to their attack about the Sabbath issue, Jesus says, "My Father is..."
Father is the Greek word pater and means no less. The KJV also translated the word as parent.

Let's ass…

Thoughts and commentary on John 5:16

(John 5:16) So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.
Jesus comes into the pool area, on purpose, but we do not really know that. God has a reason for everything, and this may be no different.

Did he pick out the man and the location because it represented how broken and abused the Jews and their religion were at the time?

Was the man singled out, like Judas, knowing that he would rat out the Savior after being healed?

The man was clearly a Jew, because the first place he goes after being healed is the temple. I suppose it is like being in shock after a car crash, you may not make the clearest decisions, but you go to the familiar place, in his case the temple.

Had he been put out and declared unclean because of his illness, and now going to the temple to show them, hoping to be declared clean, and reestablished back into the community.

The crazy part of his return to the temple is that he carried his mat with him. That mat had been his close fr…

Thoughts and comments on Hebrews 10:1

(Hebrews 10:1) The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-- not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

"The law is only a shadow..."
Only? What then was the purpose of the law? Consider the days of Noah; men did what they thought was right, and it was only evil.

The Greek word for shadow is skia, meaning shade or a shadow.

".. of the good things that are coming..."
What was coming?
- Christ, the Messiah
- The New covenant (it was part of the plan all along.)

".. for this reason it can never ..."
it? - the law, a shadow
What can a shadow do? Nothing

".. can never.."
But making sacrifices is what they did for years. Was it all just a waste of time?

It does not take that much effort to look and you will see the source of what caused the shadow. Is it possible that God intended for all this, to get them to look…

Commentary on Hebrews 9:7

(Hebrews 9:7) But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

Here is the lead in to this verse.
 "The first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary." Exodus 26:1; Exodus 36:1

"..the priests entered regularly into the outer room... But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood,.." Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:34

"This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, ...He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal salvation." Hebrews 9:12

Having obtained eternal salv…

Hebrews 8:10-12 God forgave us all. So why do we struggle so?

Hebrews 8:10This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time.." This prophetic word is taken from Jeremiah 31:33. He goes on to explain the covenant. The question is, what does "after that time.." mean.
The Greek word for time is hemera, and means (figuratively) a period. In Jeremiah the Hebrew word used is yowm. This is the same word used in Genesis 1:5 when God called the light "Day". It too carries the meaning of "a space of time defined by an associated term". This terminology is used throughout the Bible. Most often it has to do with end times events. I have yet to find a determinate for the phrase that will tell me specifically what it applies to in this case. I choose to believe that it has to do with Christ a…