Archive for January, 2008

Preserving God’s Word

THURSDAY

 After God revealed and recorded His will through men and into written form, He next preserved the written form so that all ages could be exposed to His revealed will. He has been faithful to preserve and warn against tampering with His written will.

NAU Deuteronomy 10:5 “Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”

NIV Deuteronomy 10:5 Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD commanded me, and they are there now.

KJV Deuteronomy 10:5 And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.

 
NAU Romans 3:1
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision ?  2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.

NIV Romans 3:1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.

KJV Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew ? or what profit is there of circumcision ? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

 
Read also Jeremiah 36: 20 –  32 to see how serious God is at preserving His Written Word.

 
But note also how serious God is about tampering with His written Word.

 
NAU Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

NIV Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

KJV Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

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Revelation and Inspiration

WEDNESDAY

Once God has prepared the man, He reveals His thoughts to the man for communication to others.  Some examples of the modes of revelation from God through His men are direct speech, direct writing, dreams and visions.

Direct Speech

NAU Exodus 33:11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

 
NIV Exodus 33:11
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

 
KJV Exodus 33:11
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

 
Direct Writing

NAU Exodus 31:18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.

 
NIV Exodus 31:18 When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

 
KJV Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Dreams

NAU Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.

 
NIV Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

 
KJV Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. {had: Chaldee saw} {matters: or, words}

 
Visions

NAU Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

 
NIV Ezekiel 1:1 In the {1 Or my} thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

 
KJV Ezekiel 1:1
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. {captives: Heb. captivity}

Once God has revealed His will, He many times had it recorded in written form.  From verbal to written so that men through all ages would benefit from exact communication. This transferal process is known as inspiration. In the Greek language, to inspire means to BREATH OUT (not breath in as the English language implies). To say that God inspired the Scriptures is to say that God breathed out or sourced the Scriptures.  And please note, the verse says that the Scriptures (not the man) are inspired.

 
NAU 2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work

 
NIV 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 
KJV 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. {throughly…: or, perfected}

 
Notice what the inspired Scriptures do in verse 16 and why they do it in verse 17.

Preparation of the Man

MONDAY

 
After a brief (two week and 1 day) break, I am now ready to return to writing. I was ministering in Eastern Europe in a place where internet connection was not as good as I would have liked to continue ‘blogging’! But now I am back and ready to go.

 
I taught on the subject of Eastern/Russian Orthodox Church History and Theology. One of the areas of discussion was the role of the Bible in the church. With Protestants, it should be major. With the Orthodox, liturgy takes precedence. I wish had more time to develop this for you rather than this quick summary.

 
However, when discussing the role of the Bible in the life of the Christian, one question that inevitably arises is ‘How did we get the Bible’. So, this week we will look at how the Bible was produced. There were seven steps:

 
Preparation/Revelation/Inspiration/Preservation/Illumination/Interpretation/Application. 

 
We will begin with Preparation.

 
2 Timothy 3:16 says that ALL scripture is sourced (the meaning of the Greek word inspired) from God. But the Scripture did not go directly from the ‘mouth’ of God to the pages of a book. There was an intermediary – a man! So, the beginning of Bible production is God’s preparation of a man through whom God’s thoughts will be revealed.

 
NAU Jeremiah 1:4
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

 
NIV Jeremiah 1:4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew {5 Or chose} you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

 
KJV Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. {ordained: Heb. gave}

 

 
NAU Galatians 1:15
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased  16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles

 
NIV Galatians 1:15 But when God, who set me apart from birth {15 Or from my mother’s womb} and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles,

 
KJV Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Exalting in the Cross

FRIDAY

The focus on good behavior to obtain favor from God and with man is a distraction from a focus on the cross. The pursuit of good behavior keeps us from remembering the impossibility of this task. It is also an attempt to avoid rejection by the enemies of the cross.  A focus on the cross causes us to remember how far we fall short of the good behavior required by God and our need for the work accomplished our Savior, Jesus, on its beams.

 
NAU Galatians 6:12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

 
NIV Galatians 6:12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.

 
KJV Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

The Foolishness of the Cross

THURSDAY

The mark of a Christian is his/her exaltation of the cross. The Christian recognizes the power of its work. The distinguishing mark of a non-Christian is his/her rejection of the cross. The work of the cross to him is foolish.

 
NAU 1 Corinthians 1:
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 
NIV 1 Corinthians 1: 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 
KJV 1 Corinthians 1: 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The Centrality of the Cross

WEDNESDAY

The centrality of Christian life is the cross. Christ’s work on the cross motivates our living and our ministry. Without His work on the cross there is no Christian mission because proclaiming the cross is the mission. All other activities are ancillary.

 
NAU 1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

 
NIV 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel– not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

 
KJV 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. {words: or, speech}

Reconciled Through the Cross

TUESDAY

The cross is God’s idea for re-uniting Himself with man. Man briefly lived in harmony with God….until the sin of Adam and Eve. The result has been separation. But the cross has brought us back into fellowship with God. How blessed is the cross to the Christian!

NAU Colossians 1:19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.


NIV Colossians 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


KJV Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. {having…: or, making}


Not only does the cross restore harmony between God and man, but it restores harmony between man and man.


NAU Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.


NIV Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.


KJV Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {thereby: or, in himself}