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
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
The above verse is from Paul’s letter to the Romans and another piece that confirms my faith in the simplicity of Christ and God.
The law is what you know in your heart is right. What is right, the right thing to do, is placed in your heart by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
I thought this was a nice follow up to my previous post “Biblical Teamwork”.
Romans 12:3-9 was the first reference that I had found in the Bible to teamwork, it was Paul’s first reference to synergy. I’m sure when I do my next read through of the Bible I’ll be looking for earlier and more subtle references but for now it’s the first time it clicked for me. Continue reading
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
This is a verse to read when you are going through some tough times. I wrote it down on a piece of paper many years ago. I wrote it down during a time when the frustration and stress of my job was literally starting to kill me.
I had a piece of notebook paper where I copied inspirational and comforting verses from the Bible. I kept this piece of paper in my front pocket and carried it with me throughout the day. I would take it out of my pocket and read the verses, especially when the stress levels were rising. Reading them would calm me down just a bit.
I carried this piece of paper for over a year.
It was folded and unfolded so many times from reading it and adding new verses to it that the folds in the paper had started to come apart.
Then one day my cherished piece of paper was gone. Continue reading
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
This verse caught my attention when I read it. What made me stop and write it down was the paradigm shift I had when I read it.
I originally thought this verse to mean you think and act according to worldly wants and desires and you pay the price. You think and act of God and you are saved.
I still believe that, but this time I saw an affirmation of my belief in the simplicity of life and God. I saw the simplicity of getting your relationship with God and in doing so you are filled with the energy, the will, the Holy Spirit of God. 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
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
Paul breaks it down to one simple word, love.
And he’s not talking about wanting to go over and boink the neighbor.
He’s talking about simply respecting another life.
King Solomon talked about the folly of pride and vanity. Paul is taking that further.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” By neighbor Paul means every human life, everyone is your neighbor.
It’s a simple concept but don’t confuse simple with easy. Continue reading