For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
I read this verse and wrote it down. I know it meant something to me but I wasn’t quite clear on how to explain it.
I struggled with the second half, “and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
The reason for my confused feelings towards this second half was “with the mouth” or talk.
Talk is cheap. Continue reading
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.
I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before. This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.
Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well feed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Why Paul is saying this to the Philippians is not important to what I am writing. But in the verse that precedes these verses Paul writes:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
Paul is glad the Philippians have taken an interest in him, not because he wants them to take care of him, but because he knows he can lead them to God and Christ and show them the contentment he has discovered in getting his relationship with God and Christ.
This is what led me to write down these verses. Continue reading
2nd Corinthians 1:9
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
When I read this verse I knew I wanted to write about it. It wasn’t clear on my thoughts or how to explain them. I knew this verse meant something to me.
I turned to reading the commentary written about this verse by John Gill. Continue reading
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.
In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work. For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.
But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life. Continue reading
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things..
In verse 17 Paul writes:
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The righteous shall live by faith. So very hard to do. Continue reading
If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
I took some time to read commentaries by biblical scholars and theologians in regards to this verse. All of them seemed to deal with civilizations, tribes, congregations, etc.. They were all saying this verse could refer to the church, meaning Christ was the first fruit, the root, thus making the early Christian church holy. Some of them also referred to the Jews, going back to Abraham as being the first fruit. And some referred to the Gentiles, who through their acceptance of Christ were the first fruit and were made holy.
I took this on a more personal level, which is how I tend to treat the whole Bible. Continue reading