Posts Tagged ‘bible’

See how many you can get right.  Be sure to click through the bottom to check your answers.  One reason I like these questions is they are not just dependent on you memorizing a few verses or knowing a few famous episodes, but rather they are dependent upon you knowing to some extent the breadth of Scripture.  See how you do…

1. What lesson from the life of Jonah did Jesus talk about?
(a) Jonah learned to obey God, because disobedience is punished.
(b) God forgives the repentant as he forgave Nineveh.
(c) God rescues us as he rescued Jonah when he was cast overboard.
(d) Jonah spent three days in the fish as Jesus would spend three days in the tomb.
(e) People are as wicked today as they were in ancient Nineveh.

2. Melchizedek, king of Salem, met with which biblical figure? How is Jesus like Melchizedek?

3. Besides Jesus, name five biblical figures who rose from the dead.How were these incidents different from Jesus’ resurrection?

4. Name four biblical instances where the number 40 is important.

5. Whose faithfulness is contrasted with the Israelites’ grumbling in Exodus 16-18?

6. Name the four women besides Mary who are included in Jesus’ genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17), and describe their circumstances.

7. “No prophet is accepted in his hometown,” Jesus said after his inaugural sermon (Luke 4:14-30). He then gave examples from the lives of two other prophets. What were they?

click here to see how you did

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The Revelation to John

Dec 8:              Who is this Jesus?                     (Rev 1.9-20)

 

“Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts:  the knowledge of God and of our selves.  But while joined by man bonds, which one precedes and brings forth the other is not easy to discern.” –Calvin, Institutes Book 1.1.1.

 

Our topic today is “Who is this Jesus,” and if we are to take the quote seriously from John Calvin that I have just read, and I hope that we do, then we see that the answer to this questions hinges upon knowing two things:  Jesus and Self.  We cannot know Jesus unless we know self and we cannot know self unless we know Jesus.  The selection of the verses for today exhibit both in profound ways.  Let us turn then to knowledge of self.

 

“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the Kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus…”  In Roman Catholic, and unfortunately some Protestant churches, it is common to refer to John as “Saint.”  Aside from the fact that Scripture clearly defines the household of confessing believers as saints (Eph 3.18), the appellation “Saint” assigned only to certain Christians has unfortunate pastoral consequences.  For one, what are the adjectives most commonly associated with a saint? Righteous, perfect, holy, innocent, sinless etc.  In other words, NOTHING LIKE YOU.  But the grace of this particular scripture is that John seeks not to differentiate himself from us with exalted titles, but he seeks to identify with us by calling us “Brother.”  John can call us “brother” because he is made from the same stuff we are.  He has the same shortcomings, the same weaknesses, the same vulnerabilities and the same fears.  He has the same need for salvation.  So he begins this section of Revelation with “I, John, your brother.” (more…)

latimer1Hugh Latimer, Anglican Bishop and Oxford Martyr, below extols the benefits of preaching long, deep, Gospel centered sermons.  It was common for him to preach TWO hour long sermons every Sunday, thoroughly reformed in content.  When I read some of the great Anglican theologians and preachers of the past I wonder how we arrived with some of the unBiblical, short, shallow, humanistic “deep thoughts” of so many Anglican sermons today. 

“the preaching of the word of God unto the people is called meat: scripture calleth it meat; not strawberries, that come but once a year, and tarry not long, but are soon gone: but it is meat, it is no dainties. The people must have meat that must be familiar and continual, and daily given unto them to feed upon. Many make a strawberry of it, ministering it but once a year; but such do not the office of good prelates. For Christ saith, Quis putas est servus prudens et fidelis? Qui dat cibum in tempore. “Who think you is a wise and a faithful servant? He that giveth meat in due time.” So that he must at all times convenient preach diligently: therefore saith he, “Who trove ye is a faithful servant?” He speaketh it as though it were a rare thing to find such a one, and as though he should say, there be but a few of them to find in the world. And how few of them there be throughout this realm that give meat to their flock as they should do, the Visitors can best tell. Too few, too few; the more is the pity, and never so few as now.”

-Hugh Latimer, Sermon on the Plough, Jan 18, 1548

I. God wishes us to study Christ

Again and again He opens out His ‘unsearchable riches,’ and gives us another and another view of the ‘unspeakable gift.’ Study His person; study His work—the wisdom, and the power, and the love of God are there! Study all His fullness, and, as you study it, drink it in! Study the cross; study the resurrection; study the present majesty of the ascended and interceding Christ; study His coming glory as Judge, and King, and Bridegroom. There is none like Him—neither shall ever be. He is the chief among ten thousand; the only perfect One; the all-perfect One; the representative of the invisible Godhead; the doer of the Father’s will; the accomplisher of the Father’s purpose—both of vengeance and of grace.

 II. Christ wishes us to study himself
‘Look unto me,’ He says in this book. Jesus showed to His servant John the things concerning Himself, that the Church in all ages might see and know these things. He unveils Himself in His glory, and says, Look on me! Here Christ is all and in all; and He would gladly teach us here what that all is, and what that in all implies.

 III. Christ uses ‘human’ messengers.

He is head over all things to the Church, and He makes use of all things as His servants, saying to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes. Though invisible now and in the heaves, He uses human agencies still. He speaks through men; He teaches through men; He comforts through men; He warns through men. ‘We beg you, in Christ’s stead be you reconciled to God,’ are words which show us how He stands towards us.

IV. God uses ‘angelic’ messengers.

In the government both of the church and of the world He makes use of angels. They are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation. Jesus comes Himself to John; yet the Revelation comes to John by an angel. How the angel communicated with John we know not. Who he was, whether Michael or Gabriel, we know not. But it is an angelic messenger that is made use of here. This whole book is full of angelic agencies and ministries. God lifts a little of the veil, and shows us angels at work in conducting the affairs of earth. This is the book of ANGELS—for the word occurs in it seventy-six times. They minister to man; they execute God’s judgments; they do His will here; excelling in strength, and able to counteract the power of Satan and his angels.

V. God annexes a ‘special blessedness’ to the study of this book.

Few believe this; fewer act upon it. The Apocalypse is too many like the Sibyl’s books, or the Iliad of Homer. The so-called philosophy of the age is undermining the prophetic word, reducing it to a mere collection of figures, or symbolic representation of principles or abstract truths. Prophecy as the direct prediction by God of what is to come to pass on earth is set aside, and the prophetic books are studies merely in reference to their poetry or their lofty ideas. Blessedness in studying them is seldom thought of, even by many Christians. Yet the word of God here stands true. Prophecy is a sure word, and it is as blessed as it is sure. Woe to him who slights it! Blessed are all those who meditate on it, seek to know it, and take it for guidance and counsel in the evil day!

 

Bonar’s entire commentary on Revelation can be found here

AwakeningGrace readers continue their fixation with Hell.

1) To Hell with it…(or) why Americans are losing their belief in Hell
2) John Lennox and Richard Dawkins duel over God, monkeys, and martians
3) Canadian doctors hate that Sarah Palin kept her down syndrom baby

and this one was climbing fast but didn’t make the top three. The first in our “Help me read the Bible” series led out by no one less that Martin Luther! Check it out here

the good Doctor himself

the good Doctor himself

Read the rest in this series here

If you’ve ever visited my office you will have noticed fifty-five red and black volumes to the right of my computer on a bookshelf behind my desk. Those volumes are the American Edition of Martin Luther’s collected works. Of the fifty-five volumes, thirty are dedicated to Martin Luther’s verse by verse exposition of the Scriptures. Martin Luther’s commentary on Genesis alone is eight volumes long. Luther’s exposition of the Old and New Testaments fills literally hundreds of thousands of pages, so who better to turn to for help reading the Bible than this German theologian who dedicated so much of his life to understanding it?

First off all, let us start with some practicalities.

  1. Luther would tell us first to buy a good translation that you can read and understand.  One of Luther’s immediate goals was to translate the entire Bible into the language of the people. However, this did not simply mean that Luther translated the Hebrew to the German, but he translated the Hebrew into the popular German of the time so that it could be easily read by all.  For modern day North America, I would reccomend to you the ESV or NIV.  Sadly, it might be time to hang up the ole’ King James Version until Elizabethan English makes a comeback. 
  2. Luther would also tell us to spend a lot of time in Scripture.  It is said that Luther was so saturated in the language of the Bible that he often quoted it without even being conscious of it (Pelikan, Exegetical Writtings, 49).  Luther would be an advocate for spending hours upon hours in the Scriptures.  Maybe you don’t have hours upon hours.  Well, how much time do you have?  Fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes?  Don’t fritter them away by pushing the snooze button for thirty minutes.  Get up early and get in the Scriptures.  Let them saturate you. 
  3. Finally, Luther would say if you want to understand the Bible better you need to sit under the feet of a good preacher.  Luther once said, “the church is not a pen-house but a mouth house!,” and also “Christ did not command the apostles to write, but only to preach.”  Luther thought that one could read the Bible many times over and yet fail to understand it or apply it.  But when it is was proclaimed by another, Spirit inspired insight, clarity and personal application followed. 

So how did Luther read the Bible?  Of the many things we could focus on, let us look at two that may help you as you read the Scriptures.  These two things have typically been identified as “Law and Gospel.” (more…)

I’m very excited about starting a new series available on the blog called “Help Me Read the Bible!” This will be an ongoing series with a wide range of contributors. We will take one major Christian thinker per post and examine (1) how he read Scripture and (2) how he applied Scripture. Each entry will be no more than four or five paragraphs. We hope to keep these short so that they can be read easily and applied effectively. Over the coming weeks be on the lookout for John Chrysostom, Ambrose, Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Geerhardus Vos, and Karl Barth (though not necessarily in that order) just to name a few.