One Verse Podcast https://redeeminggod.com Liberating Scripture from the Shackles of Religion … One Verse at a Time. Brought to you by Jeremy Myers and RedeemingGod.com Mon, 18 Feb 2019 05:28:00 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 The Bible is often used by religion to manipulate people and control what we think, do, and say. In the One Verse podcast, author and blogger Jeremy Myers provides verse-by-verse Bible teaching to show how Scripture does not enslave us to the shackles of religion, but instead liberates us from religion by drawing us into a loving and dynamic relationship with God. <br /> <br /> These expository Bible lessons are based on Jeremy's many years of research and Bible teaching. <br /> <br /> They are short, to the point, and easy to understand. Listen to this podcast and see God and Scripture in a whole new light, one verse at a time. Jeremy Myers clean episodic Jeremy Myers jmyers@tillhecomes.org jmyers@tillhecomes.org (Jeremy Myers) 2006-2018 Liberating You from Bad Ideas about God ... One Verse at a Time jeremyers1@gmail.com The Bible is often used by religion to manipulate people and control what we think, do, and say. In the One Verse podcast, author and blogger Jeremy Myers provides verse-by-verse Bible teaching to show how Scripture does not enslave us to the shackles of religion, but instead liberates us from religion by drawing us into a loving and dynamic relationship with God. These expository Bible lessons are based on Jeremy's many years of research and Bible teaching. They are short, to the point, and easy to understand. Listen to this podcast and see God and Scripture in a whole new light, one verse at a time. TV-G Weekly You can have a Relationship without Fellowship, but it’s not what God wants (1 John 1:6-7) https://redeeminggod.com/1-john-1-6-7/ Thu, 14 Feb 2019 01:24:40 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=50022 Did you know it is possible to have a relationship with someone, but not have any fellowship? God wants us to have BOTH a relationship AND fellowship with Him and with other Christians. Passages like 1 John 1:6-7 show us how. There are many words in the Bible that often get confused with the concept of “gaining eternal life.” The word “salvation” is the primary word of this sort, but the word “fellowship” is similar. Often, when people read in Scripture about “fellowship with God” they think it is referring to having eternal life or being born again.

But the word fellowship does not refer to gaining eternal life, but to the experience of life within the family of God. This is especially true for the word fellowship.

The word fellowship is a translation of the Greek word koinōnia (2842). “Fellowship” is a good translation, but not if we think of “fellowship” as what typically happens on a Sunday morning in most church buildings.

fellowship 1 John 1 6-7

Your Church is Not Really a Fellowship

Though many churches call themselves a “Fellowship,” the people who gather there are not often good examples of genuine fellowship. The term refers to a friendship, a community, a partnership, of having common interests, desires, goals, directions, and even possessions.

The term “fellowship” is a favorite expression for the close, intimate friendship that exists between a husband and wife, and also for the unity one experiences in the context of brotherly love. So the word fellowship is not about gaining a relationship, but rather about maintaining the friendship, love, and unity within a relationship.

Relationship vs. Fellowship

To understand how this works, it is helpful to think of our relationship and fellowship with God as we think about these with other person.

There is a vast difference between being born into a family, and having a positive experience within that family.

For there to be a positive experience in a family, certain things need to happen. Everybody in the family needs to participate, help out, contribute, love, forgive, and work together as a team.

friendship fellowship

It is a lot of work to maintain harmonies and loving fellowship within a family.

Sometimes the friendships that are to naturally exist within a family begin to break down. A son might rebel against his parents. Parents might abuse or neglect their children. Such activities will result in a loss of fellowship, friendship, or “togetherness.”

It is even possible for families to be so broken that people who are related to one another by blood might not see or talk to each other for years at a time. In some cases, family members might spend most of their lives apart, such as when a parent abandons a child or gives them up for adoption, or when a child runs away from home and severs all contact with his or her family.

But note that even in these situations where the families are severely broken, this does not cause the relationship itself to stop.

From a biological, or “blood relative” perspective, children are always related to their parents, and vice versa, even if they break off contact for years at a time or never know each other at all. This is not an ideal situation, nor is it the way God intended families to function, but it is a very common situation for many people.

We could say that in such situations, while the relationship itself continues to exist, there is no fellowship or friendship between the separated family members.

They are related, and nothing can ever erase that relationship, but they do not have fellowship.

Even if someone changes their last name, considers their family members as dead, or gets legally-binding court documents to change their identity, the biological fact of the relationship remains unchanged and unchangeable.

This is exactly how it works with the family of God.

Once a person is born into the family of God, they cannot be unborn. Once a person is in the family of God, they have entered into an unbreakable and unchangeable relationship with God and with every other member of the family.

Even if this person says they hate God, hate Christians, and wants nothing ever to do with God or His people ever again (just as nearly every teenager says or thinks from time to time about their own parents or family), the fact of the relationship remains unchanged and unchangeable.

The relationship is eternal even if the fellowship is not.

But again, this is not God’s ideal, and this is not what God wants or desires for the people who have an eternal and unbreakable relationship with Him.

family fellowshipGod desires both relationship and fellowship with and between His children.

This also is the healthiest and happiest way to live within the family of God. This is why the Bible contains so much teaching about how to have fellowship with God and with one another.

In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that most of the Bible contains teachings of this sort. Though the word “fellowship” is not always used, the vast majority of Scripture is not about how to join the family of God or be born again into the family, but about how to live within the family of God so that we can have the healthiest and happiest relationships possible with God and with each other.

So when the Bible talks about fellowship with God, it is not telling non-believers how to gain eternal life or join the family of God, but is instead telling believers (people who are already part of the family of God) how to enjoy and fully experience their relationship with God and with other Christians.

One key passage that is helped by this understanding is 1 John 1:6-7.

Fellowship in 1 John 1:6-7

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If someone confuses the two concepts of fellowship and relationship with God, then passages like 1 John 1:6-7 will be radically misunderstood.

When people think that 1 John contains “Test of Life” then they read 1 John 1:6-7 as teaching that if we claim to have eternal life and a relationship with God, but we walk in the darkness by sinning, then this proves that we are a lair and do not actually have eternal life.

This is a very dangerous teaching.

In fact, since John goes on to say that we all still sin (1 John 1:8), then if John is saying that the presence of ongoing sin proves that a person really isn’t a Christian, then nobody is a Christian.

Thankfully, a proper understanding of the word fellowship helps clear up any confusion about this text.

John is giving instructions about fellowship with God rather than about gaining or keeping a relationship with God. He says that if we claim we are friends with God, but we walk in sin and darkness, then we’re lying, because God only walks in the light.

walk in the darknessOne cannot walk in the darkness and also be a friend with God.

While a person can be a child of God and walk in the darkness, such a child is living in rebellion and is not abiding with Christ or living in fellowship with God.  If we walk in the darkness, we obviously cannot be walking with God, because God does not walk in the darkness but in the light.

But if we walk in the light, then we will obviously be walking with God—going where God goes and doing what God does, because God walks in the light.

Walking in the light, however, leads to fellowship both with God and one another, as Jesus works to cleanse us from sin and help us live in unity and peace with each other.

This is a much more encouraging and helpful message, as it does not lead to doubt and fear about our standing with God or eternal destiny, but instead helps us move forward in our life with God on the basis of His infinite and undying love for us (1 John 4:7-19).

walk in the light 1 John 1:6-7

Fellowship vs. Relationship

Recognizing the difference between fellowship and a relationship is key to properly understanding several passages from Scripture. To see this difference, it is helpful to consider the difference between these two words in our normal, everyday relationships.

It is quite common for people to have a biological relationship with someone without participating in any fellowship with them at all.

It is not uncommon for some related family members to go days, weeks, months, and even years without eating meals together, celebrating holidays together, or even speaking to each other. In such tragic situations, the relationship still exists, even though fellowship is absent. Even where there has always been a complete lack of fellowship, the relationship remain intact and nothing can dissolve or break it.

It is the same in our relationship with God and other Christians.

All who have believed in Jesus for eternal life are part of the family of God. These relationships exist eternally and cannot be broken or dissolved. But this does not mean that all who belong to the family of God will live and exist in fellowship with God and with each other. For that to happen, we must seek to live in peace and unity with each other, while extending love, grace, and forgiveness toward others.

This is the only way to experience fellowship and friendship within the family of God.

Does this understanding of the difference between relationship and fellowship help you make sense of 1 John 1:6-7? There are other texts in the New Testament that are helped by this as well, which I discuss in my online course, The Gospel Dictionary.

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You can have a relationship without fellowship... Did you know it is possible to have a relationship with someone, but not have any fellowship? God wants us to have BOTH a relationship AND fellowship with Him and with other Christians. Passages like 1 John 1:6-7 show us how.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or question, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/1-john-1-6-7/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:30
Even the Demons Believe (James 2:19) https://redeeminggod.com/even-the-demons-believe/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 18:00:28 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=16815 Whenever I teach that eternal life is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, someone always quotes James 2:19 at me, that demons also believe. But if we study James 2:19 in context, we see that James is not refuting the gospel truth of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. This study shows what James truly meant in James 2:14-26. Almost every single time I write a post on my blog or on Facebook about how we receive eternal life from God by faith ALONE, someone  brings up James 2:19 and says “But even the demons believe!”

In this current series of posts on faith, I have previously taught about James 2:14-26 with a focus on the concept of “dead faith.” But in this final post on faith, I wanted to focus in on this famous verse of James 2:19, and show why people who quote it do not understand what James is saying.

(Note: ALL of these posts on faith are drawn from my book, What is Faith? So if you want them all in one place, along with an extended discussion about the nature of faith and how to know you believe, just get the book.)

Let me give you an example from Twitter… By the way, I dislike Twitter Debates. It is impossible to discuss anything tangible on Twitter.

Here is some of what we said on Twitter:

Note that I didn’t tweet the same thing to him over and over and over… he responded multiple times to one of my tweets, and I don’t know how to get rid of that when embedding a Tweet into WordPress… if anybody knows how, let me know!

https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296034017327853568
https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296063603138781184
https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296176863817129984
https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296176943513104384
https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296179013016240128
https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296180596982546432
https://twitter.com/jde4zion/status/296180824229949440

So what does James 2:19 mean?

Here is what I was trying to say on Twitter, which didn’t get stated very clearly at all:

People believe millions of things. I believe that this chair I am sitting in will hold me up. I believe that the earth orbits around the sun. I believe that my children love me. I believe that coffee is a delicious beverage which helps me wake up in the morning.

But none of these beliefs, even though they are correct, will give me eternal life by believing them.

The same holds true when it comes to beliefs about God and Jesus Christ. I can believe a lot of things about God and Jesus. I believe that God exists. I believe that God consists of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that God created all things, that He is holy, righteous,  loving, and good. Regarding Jesus, I believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose again from the dead. I could go on and on.

But guess what? Just as believing that the earth orbits around the sun does not give me eternal life, so also, none of the beliefs I have just stated in the previous paragraph will give me eternal life by believing them. 

The Bible is pretty clear that to receive eternal life, you don’t just need to believe. You have to believe in the right person for the right thing, namely, you have to believe in Jesus for eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47).

Eternal life is not given if I believe in Moses for eternal life. Nor is it given if I believe in Jesus for infinite wealth.

If I believe in Moses for eternal life, I am believing the wrong person for the right thing, but if I believe in Jesus for infinite wealth, I am believing the right person for the wrong thing.

According to Scripture, we must believe in Jesus for everlasting life.

So, what do demons believe?

Believe it or not (ha ha!), demons are probably more correct in their theology than most humans. Though I cannot be certain, I assume that demons believe that God exists as the Trinity, and that God is holy, righteous, and good, and that Jesus was God incarnate, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose again from the dead.

believe in GodIn fact, demons probably know more about God than we do. Demons probably have better theology than many Christians. That is, demons probably believe more accurate truths about God than many Christians do.

The problem with demons, however, isn’t in what they know about God, or in what they believe. Their problem is that they don’t like what they know about God and believe that they can rebel against God and win (this is where their beliefs are wrong).

When it comes to the book of James, and James 2 specifically, lots of people quote James 2:19 out of context. They hear a pastor, professor, teacher, blogger, or evangelist say that to receive eternal life, all you need to do is believe in Jesus for it, and the objector says, “That’s not true! Even the demons believe!”

Right.

Of course demons believe. Humans believe things. Demons believe things. Even  animals believe things. We have three cats. When I get up in the morning, one or two of them is always there in the kitchen, looking at me, expecting me to either feed them, or let them outside to do their business. They believe that I am the one who can make these things happen for them.

But so what? Do cats have eternal life because they believe in me for food and that I can open the door? Of course not! So also, demons believe many things, but they don’t get eternal life simply because they believe.

When it comes to receiving eternal life, it is not simple belief that matters, but believing in the right person for the right thing.

So yes, demons believe. But the real question is “What do demons believe?”

More specifically, what is James 2:19 talking about? What is the argument? What is the point?

James 2, Faith, Works, Demons, and Abraham

Below is a super brief synopsis of how to understand James 2:14-26.

James is writing to believers. 

First, James is not writing an evangelist pamphlet telling people how to receive eternal life. He is writing to believers about how to live as followers of Jesus and function within the church. 

Many scholars and pastors have noted the numerous parallels between the book of James and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Just as the Sermon on the Mount is the discipleship manual of Jesus, so also the book of James is a reworking of the discipleship manual for Christians under the pastoral care of James.

He is not telling these believers how to receive eternal life, but is writing to them based on the assumption that they already have eternal life, but need some advice on how to look and live like Jesus in the world.

James 2:14-26 deals with living a profitable Christian life.

The issue in James 2:14-26 is not about gaining or proving that one has eternal life, but rather, living as a profitable servant of Jesus Christ. James mentions profit several times (cf. James 2:14, 16) and the opposite of profit–being dead or useless (James 2:17, 20, 26).

The “profit” he is talking about, of course, is not monetary gain, but living as an energized, successful, fully-committed, faithful, generous, loving, caring follower of Jesus Christ. None of us want to live useless lives, but profitable lives that are useful to God and His rule and reign on earth.

In James 2:14-26 we are told how.

Don’t just pray and believe God; Do Something!

The main point of James 2:14-26 is that believing God can do something is good, but if we really believe God can do something, we will personally seek to be part of the solution.

Specifically, if you see someone who is hungry or without clothes, it is okay if you tell them you are going to pray for them, or if you believe that God can provide for them. But more than just pray for them, and more than just believe that God will give them food and clothes, why don’t you actually be an answer to your own prayers and your own faith, and give them food and clothes!?

That is what James is saying: “Don’t just believe; Do something!”

This is why people get so upset at Christians when we are faced with a troubling situation, or a dire need, and our only response is, “I’ll pray for you!” or “My thoughts and prayers are with you!”

When people are homeless, jobless, hungry, sick, dying, struggling, they don’t need thoughts and prayers. They need Christians do actually do something. This is exactly the point that James is making as well.

James is saying, “When someone is in need … don’t just believe that God can provide for them … YOU provide for them. Don’t just tell them you’ll pray for them …. Instead, you provide for them.”

Do you see? The “believing” (or faith) of James 2:14-26 has nothing whatsoever to do with eternal life. The person is believing that God can give food and clothing to the hungry and the naked. There is nothing here about believing in Jesus for eternal life, and you do not get eternal life by believing that God can clothe and feed someone. Nor do you get eternal life by giving people clothes and food.

Again, eternal life is given to those who believe in Jesus for it.

Now, if James had stopped writing at James 2:16, there never would have been the misunderstanding about the relationship between faith and works in this passage. Everybody would have immediately recognized that James wants us to do more than just pray for people and state our belief that God can help them. We should actually do something for those in need. This point of James is pretty clear in James 2:14-16.

But he goes on to write James 2:17-26, and this is where all the problems with this passage enter. In the rest of this passage, I am not going to work though the entire passage in detail, but just provide a few of the highlights, and point you to the text of a sermon I preached on James 2 several years ago, and I also have a shorter version in Podcast episode 124 when I discussed James 2:14-26.

But here is the main argument of James 2:17-26.

1. Faith Without Works is Dead

The word “dead” does not mean nonexistent, but useless, unproductive, unprofitable. Someone may still have faith, but if that faith is not put into action, it is not doing anybody any good. It does not help those who are hungry and without clothes, and it does not help the person who has the faith. Since the context of this passage is about profitable faith, then “dead” faith is unprofitable faith.

So we must never say “Dead faith is no faith” for that is absolutely not true. Dead faith exists, it is just unproductive and unprofitable.

2. The Objector States His Opinion in James 2:18-19

Someone does not agree with what James is saying, and begins to state an objection in James 2:18. On this, every Bible translation agrees. Where Bible translations do not agree is where the objection ends. If you compare Bible translations on where they put the second set of quotation marks, you will see that they are all over the place.

However, Greek did not have quotation marks, and so authors used other methods to show where the objection ends and the refutation begins. They indicated this by calling the objection foolish (cf. 1 Cor 15:35-36; Rom 9:19-20). In this way, the objector in James 2 is saying everything in James 2:18-19. (See my article on “Epistolary Diatribe.”)

Therefore, the statement “even the demons believe, and tremble” is NOT from James, and is NOT in support of his argument, but is from someone who does not like what James is saying, and is objecting to the point James is making.

In other words, when we quote James 2:19, “even the demons believe” we are siding not with James, but taking the side of someone who disagrees with James.

The basic point of the objector is that he believes there is no connection between faith and works. James says that if we have faith, we should do something with it to live profitable and useful lives. The objector says,

That’s rubbish. The two are not connected at all. Take the cardinal theological belief of Judaism as an example: the belief that God is One. The demons believe this, but  it doesn’t affect their behavior. All they do is shudder, but beyond this, this still rebel against God.” So their faith does nothing for them.

Note, by the way, that faith in Jesus for eternal life is NOT what demons believe.

Sure, we can assume that demons believe that if people believe in Jesus for eternal life then those people will receive eternal life, but the demons themselves cannot believe in Jesus for eternal life, because eternal life has not been offered to them by Jesus.

But this is not the belief of demons that James is writing about. The only thing demons believe in this context is that God is One, which is the central and most important belief in Judaism.

The Masterful Refutation by James

In the rest of the passage (James 2:20-26), James refutes what this objector said.

He notes that the objector used the most important belief in Judaism, so James says “Oh yeah? Two can play that game,” and to prove his point he uses the most important figure in Judaism: Abraham, the father of faith.

Faith of AbrahamAnd he uses a particular event in the life of Abraham to prove that Abraham’s faith led him to obey God and perform certain actions, which in turn, allowed people to recognize that Abraham was truly God’s friend.

It is important to note that the event James is referring to takes place in Genesis 22, many years after the initial faith of Abraham in Genesis 15.

Whenever Paul refers to the faith of Abraham, he is referring to Genesis 15, when Abram was declared righteous by God. But James is referring to the events in Genesis 22, when Abraham was declared righteous by men, that is, they saw what Abraham did, and said, “Wow. He truly does believe in the God he claims to serve, and look what happened as a result! He truly is the friend of God!”

James then goes on with the knock-out punch. He has proven his point with the Forefather of Faith, Abraham, so he now takes the opposite extreme and shows how his point applies to the foreign, sinful, prostitute Rahab.

Rahab also believed something about God, and when the spies came to her, she acted on what she believed to deliver and rescue them. If she had just believed in God and done nothing, she still would have had the faith, but it would have done nothing to deliver her, her family, or the two spies. But because she acted on her faith, her faith became profitable.

James has proved his case and proved the objector wrong. If all you do with faith is believe, that is well and good, and it is still faith, but to truly be profitable, effective, energizing, and helpful in your own life and in the lives of others around us, you must act on what you believe (James 2:26).

This is the meaning of James 2.

Eternal Life IS received by Faith ALONE in Jesus Christ ALONE

So don’t let anyone tell you that faith is not enough when it comes to receiving eternal life. Of course it is! Jesus Himself promises it! 

But when it comes to helping others, and getting rid of sin in our lives, and clothing the naked, feeding the hungry (James 2:14-26), taking care of orphans and widows (James 1:27), controlling our tongue (James 3:1-12), etc., etc., etc., just believing that God can take care of these situations is not enough.

Faith is the beginning, but in all these areas where God calls us to get involved, we must do more than just pray; we must do more than just believe. We must do something!

What do you think of this explanation of James 2:14-26, and especially the statement in James 2:19 about the faith of demons? Does it help this passage make more sense to you?

Does it help it fit better with what we read in the teachings of Jesus and the writings of Paul? Has it cleared up in your own mind some of the confusion around the role of faith and works?

Let me know in the comments below, and if you want more clarification, get my book, What is Faith?

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Some people use James 2:19 and the faith of demons in an attempt to refute the idea that faith alone grants eternal life. This shows a misunderstanding of James 2:19. Whenever I teach that eternal life is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, someone always quotes James 2:19 at me, that demons also believe. But if we study James 2:19 in context, we see that James is not refuting the gospel truth of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. This study shows what James truly meant in James 2:14-26. <br /> <br /> To view the transcript or leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/even-the-demons-believe/ Jeremy Myers clean 37:36
“Faithfulness” is not a good translation of pistis (Titus 2:10) https://redeeminggod.com/faithfulness-vs-faith/ Wed, 30 Jan 2019 22:31:55 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49910 There are Christian books and teachings out there which say that the Greek word pistis is best translated as faithfulness or allegiance. But is eternal life gained by allegiance to Jesus? No. This is a gospel of good works, which is no gospel at all. Indeed, I believe that there is not a single use of the Greek word pistis in the New Testament which is properly translated as faithfulness. faithfulness pistis

There are Christian books and teachings out there which say that the Greek word pistis is best translated as “faithfulness” or “allegiance.”

If this is true, then rather than eternal life being gained by believing in Jesus for it (and not by works of any kind), eternal life is instead gained by living a life of faithful obedience and allegiance to Jesus.

But is eternal life gained by allegiance to Jesus? No. This is a gospel of good works, which is no gospel at all.

Indeed, I believe that there is not a single use of the Greek word pistis in the New Testament which is properly translated as “faithfulness.”

Yes, The BDAG Greek lexicon does list six verses where pistis can be translated as “faithfulness,” but not all English translations of these passages translate it in such a way.

In fact, “major contemporary English versions translate pistis as ‘faithfulness’ or ‘fidelity’ in only three or four New Testament verses” (Brindle, “Faith in Christ Does Not Mean Faithfulness or Fidelity“). And even in these three or four verses, pistis could arguably be translated as “faith” (Matt 23:23; Rom 3:3; Gal 5:22; Titus 2:10).

Let me show you why this is so, and then we will consider a sample verse from Scripture which helps illustrate this view.

Note: The following is drawn from my book, What is Faith?

Faithfulness vs Faith for the Greek pistis)

For numerous reasons, it does not seem best to understand the word “faith” (Gk., pistis) as “faithfulness.”

faith pistis definition

While there does initially seem to be some evidence for this understanding in various biblical and extra-biblical contexts, such a view opens the door for a works-based approach to gaining, proving, or keeping our eternal life, and so should be rejected.

After all, if pistis can sometimes refer to allegiance, loyalty, or ongoing obedience, then there is nothing to stop someone from saying that most references to faith in the New Testament carry this idea, and therefore, eternal life is not gained by simply believing in Jesus for it, but instead by living loyally and obediently to Him.

This is indeed what some argue (see, for example, Michael Bates, Salvation by Allegiance Alone).

Yet once we properly understand that faith is a conviction or persuasion that something is true, we are then positioned to better understand the various texts in English Bibles which translate pistis as faithfulness (Matt 23:23; Rom 3:3; Gal 5:22; Titus 2:10).

When studied in their contexts, we see that these controversial passages do not require for pistis to refer to loyalty, allegiance, or ongoing obedience, but could instead refer to a persistent and ongoing faith.

Faith is like a light switch. When it comes to the various truths we can believe, faith is either “On” or “Off.” If it stays “On” for a long time, then it is persistent faith.

Not all beliefs stay “On” all the time. We often change our beliefs due to new evidence that is presented to us. Sometimes we change our beliefs as we learn more about God through Scripture and in fellowship with other believers.

In such instances, we turn away from falsehood and embrace the truth, so that our network of beliefs comes to more closely match what is actually true.

We can also stray from the truth and fall into dangerous and unhealthy teachings. It is not uncommon for true believers to fall prey to false teaching so that they come to deny the truth and turn instead toward lies and deceptive ideas.

But as long as a Christian maintains a belief in what is actually true, their belief is persistent. This persistent faith is which Scripture invites us to strive and long for.

Therefore, the texts that seem to require a translation of “faithfulness” are not referring to allegiance and obedience, but to this ongoing and persistent faith. It is a faith that remains.

The “Faithfulness of Jesus” is His Ongoing, Persistent Faith

faithfulness of GodThis is even true when the Bible refers to the faith of God or the faith of Jesus.

It is not necessary to understand these texts as referring to the faithfulness of God or the faithfulness of Jesus.

Since faith is the knowledge, conviction, or persuasion that something is true, then it is obvious that both God and Jesus can have faith.

Indeed, the Trinitarian God is the only being in the universe who has perfect faith.

All other beings in the universe do not have perfect knowledge of all things, and therefore, do not believe or know all things. Only God’s faith is eternally perfect and persistent.

Since faith or belief is the conviction that something is true, God knows everything that is true, and therefore, believes it and will always believe it.

Furthermore, He even has faith toward us. He knows what is true about us, even when we do not (Rom 3:3-4). He also knows what will be true about us, and He speaks these things to us so that we might be inspired by His testimony toward us to believe these things as well.

God wants us to live as He sees us; not as we see ourselves. God believes in us and invites us to believe in Him so that together, our belief will bring God’s vision of the future into reality.

Faith vs. Faithfulness in Tricky Bible Texts

This understanding helps clarify some of the tricky texts which seem to require “faithfulness” as a translation of pistis.

Such texts do not refer to allegiance or ongoing obedience, but to an ongoing and persistent belief.

And this belief can lead to other beliefs as well. For example, once we have believed in Jesus for eternal life, this does not mean that faith has no more place in the life of the believer. Just as we have received Jesus Christ, so also we must continue to walk with Him (Col 2:6). And how is it that we received Jesus? By faith. So we are to continue our life with Him by faith as well.

This is not only true because ongoing faith gives us the best life possible with Jesus, but also because other truths we can believe depend on continuing to believe previous truths.

Remember that all of our beliefs are interconnected like a vast Excel spreadsheet.

Many of the more advanced truths and ideas on this spreadsheet will not be discovered and cannot be believed unless we maintain our belief in some of the earlier, foundational truths.

In other words, future faith builds upon our former faith. Believing simple and elementary things allows us to later believe more difficult and hard things.

This is what Paul means when it talks about going from “faith to faith” (cf. Rom 1:17) and when he refers to faith as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). As we walk with God in faith and by the Spirit, we grow in our faith and come to believe things that draw us closer to God and make us more like Jesus.

So regardless of which stage of faith we are talking about, faith does not involve ongoing obedience.

Faith does not begin with simple belief and then end with allegiance and loyalty.

There are no works in faith, for faith is the opposite of works. While faith can lead to works, the presence or absence of works do not necessarily indicate anything one way or another about a person’s faith.

In all cases, faith is simply being persuaded and convinced about what we have been told.

When we believe in Jesus for eternal life, we are persuaded that Jesus, as the author and finisher of our faith, loves us, forgives us, and freely grants eternal life to us, not because of anything we have done but simply and only because of God’s grace toward us.

No commitment to allegiance or ongoing obedience are required.

Therefore, the word pistis is not ever properly translated as “faithfulness.”

Titus 2:10 faith

Faith vs. Faithfulness in Titus 2:10

Of the various passages that sometimes use the word “faithfulness.” as a translation of pistis (Matt 23:23; Rom 3:3; Gal 5:22; Col 2:6; Titus 2:10), I have already briefly considered Romans 3:3, Colossians 2:6, and Galatians 5:22 above.

In Matthew 23:23, the NKJV properly translates the Greek as “faith,” so let us consider the final text, Titus 2:10, here.

The first thing to note about Titus 2:10, is that it fits within the broader context of Titus 2. And Paul begins in Titus 2:1f by telling Titus to teach and encourage others to have sound doctrine and godly practices. In other words, Titus is to call others to proper beliefs and behavior.

And then Paul goes through various categories of people among whom Titus ministers. He gives instructions for older men (Titus 2:2), older women (Titus 2:3), young women (Titus 2:4-5), young men (Titus 2:6-8), and servants (Titus 2:9-10).

In each case, Paul encourages the various groups to watch their life and doctrine closely … that is, their beliefs and their behaviors. As for the beliefs, the older men are to be “sound in faith.” The older women are to be “teachers of good things.” The younger women are to be careful not to blaspheme the word of God. The younger men are to have integrity in their doctrine.

The bondservants are to have “good fidelity,” which is the controversial phrase. I propose it should be translated as “good faith” (as in the NAS).

Three lines of argument from the context show that this should be translated as “good faith” instead of “good fidelity.”

First, the word pistis is already used in the context. At the beginning of this section when he gives instructions to the older men, and most English Bibles translate this word as “faith.” The use of the same word here at the end of this section creates a nice frame for the entire section. By using  pistis at both the beginning and end, Paul shows that he desires both proper beliefs and proper behaviors from all.

And since pistis is best translates as “faith” in Titus 2:2, then it seems that it should also be translated as “faith” in Titus 2:10.

Support for this idea is found in the next phrase of Titus 2:10, where Paul goes on to write about the doctrine of God our Savior. This is the second reason “faith” is the best translation for pistis in Titus 2:10. The following phrase refers to doctrine.

What are you to do with doctrine, or theology, other than believe it? Doctrine is taught so that it can be believed.

Thirdly and finally, then, we know that Paul does not mean “faithfulness” or “fidelity” with the word pistis in Titus 2:10, because he has been referring to beliefs and behaviors of all the various groups of people throughout this passage. If the reference to pistis in this verse also refers to allegiance, fidelity, or faithful obedience, then Paul’s instructions to the servants is only about their behavior and not about their beliefs at all.

But shouldn’t servants also have proper beliefs? Of course they should! And just as Paul encourages the previous four groups of people to have good beliefs and good behaviors, he gives similar instructions to this final group, the servants. The word pistis must refer to the beliefs of the servants, while all the preceding terms refer to their behaviors.

Conclusion

It is not helpful to translate pistis as “faithfulness, allegiance, or fidelity” in any passage in the Bible. When Scripture wants to use terms for obedience and dedicated allegiance, it has good words to use in those cases.

But pistis always refers to faith or belief, and includes no actions or obedience whatsoever.

Don’t allow good works to sneak in the back door of the gospel by thinking that pistis can sometimes refer to faithfulness or ongoing obedience. Such a gospel is no gospel at all, for if we receive eternal life by ongoing, faithful obedience to God, then no person would ever receive eternal life, for no person can ever be “faithful” enough.

Thankfully, good works do not help us earn or keep the free gift of eternal life. It is freely given by God’s grace to anyone who simply and only believes in Jesus for it.

Get my book, What is Faith? to learn more about faith.

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Faith is the best translation of pistis There are Christian books and teachings out there which say that the Greek word pistis is best translated as faithfulness or allegiance. But is eternal life gained by allegiance to Jesus? No. This is a gospel of good works, which is no gospel at all. Indeed, I believe that there is not a single use of the Greek word pistis in the New Testament which is properly translated as faithfulness.<br /> <br /> To read the manuscript or ask a question, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/faithfulness-vs-faith/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:32
Bob Dutko Interviews J. D. Myers about Faith https://redeeminggod.com/bob-dutko-jd-myers-faith/ Tue, 29 Jan 2019 22:02:55 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49898 The Bob Dutko Show (noon – 4pm, Mon-Fri) is Detroit’s number one talk Christian radio show. He is heard on radio stations across the country, making him one of the most listened to Christian talk show hosts in the United States. Today he interviewed me about my book, What is Faith? Bob Dutko Jeremy MyersThe Bob Dutko Show (noon – 4pm, Mon-Fri) is Detroit’s number one talk Christian radio show. He is heard on radio stations across the country, making him one of the most listened to Christian talk show hosts in the United States. Go here to learn more about Bob Dutko.

Today he interviewed me about my book, What is Faith?

Here is a replay of this interview.

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/566815209-redeeminggod-142-bob-dutko-interviews-jeremy-myers-about-faith.mp3

 

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The Bob Dutko Show (noon – 4pm, Mon-Fri) is Detroit’s number one talk Christian radio show. He is heard on radio stations across the country, making him one of the most listened to Christian talk show hosts in the United States. Bob Dutko hosts the #1 Christian radio talk show in Detroit, and is one of the top Christian talk show hosts in the United States. Bob Dutko interviewed J. D. Myers (Jeremy Myers) on January 29. 2019 about his book "What is Faith?" Here is a replay of that interview.<br /> <br /> Go here to learn more about Bob Dutko: <br /> https://wmuz.com/programs/bob-dutko/<br /> <br /> Go here to leave a question or comment about this interview:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/bob-dutko-jd-myers-faith/ Bob Dutko and Jeremy Myers clean 24:10
What is childlike faith? (Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:17) https://redeeminggod.com/childlike-faith-matthew-18-3/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:31:41 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49713 Some Christians say that they don’t need reasons or explanations for what they believe, because they have faith like a child or childlike faith. When they say this, they mean that they don’t ask questions about their beliefs, nor do they wonder if what they believe is true. Childlike faith is often described as a faith that does not doubt, question, or seek explanations; it just believes. But this is not childlike faith. So what is childlike faith? What is faithI have previously written about faith like a child here, but in light of the release of my new book on faith, let me revisit the idea of childlike faith.

Some Christians say that they don’t need reasons or explanations for what they believe, because they have “faith like a child” or “childlike faith.”

When they say this, they mean that they don’t ask questions about their beliefs, nor do they wonder if what they believe is true. Childlike faith is often described as a faith that does not doubt, question, or seek explanations; it just believes.

But this is not childlike faith.

So what is childlike faith?

what is childlike faithIn seeking to understand what childlike faith actually is, let us look at four reasons why the lack of desire to ask questions is not “childlike faith.”

1. Those with “Childlike faith” sometimes look down on those who ask questions

First, while it is completely fine if a person does not want to ask questions about what they believe or seek answers about why they believe what they do, they should not look down upon those who do ask questions. Nor should they prohibit people from doing so.

Some who claim to have “childlike faith” wear it as a badge of honor, seeming to indicate to others that their unquestioning faith is superior to those who ask questions and seek explanations.

For this reason, “childlike faith” could actually be called “arrogant faith” for those who claim to have it sometimes look down on those who require reason, logic, and explanations for what they believe.

People who have this attitude will often say “I just believe the Bible” or “God says it, I believe it, that settles it.”

In reality, they don’t “just believe the Bible.” They believe a particular interpretation or explanation of the Bible, and often claim to “just believe the Bible” when someone comes along and presents a different perspective or explanation.

When faith is thought of as “blind faith” or a “leap into the void” in a way that does not require reason, logic, or explanation, those who are able to maintain this sort of faith sometimes have the tendency to look down on those who require reason, logic, and explanation for their beliefs.

Of course, the opposite is also true. People who use reason and logic to support their beliefs often condemn those who don’t for having an “ignorant and uneducated faith.” This is not good either.

So if a person does not want to ask questions, there is no requirement to do so.

Many people do not enjoy the “life of the mind” and should not be expected to engage in such practices.

However, this preference should not be equated with childlike faith.

Those who do not seek to dive deep into theology and seek answers to questions should not look down on those who do seek such answers as having a “lesser faith” (and vice versa).

So rather than say that a faith which does not question is “childlike faith” it might be better to simply call it an unquestioning faith.

childlike faithThis is the second reason that childlike faith cannot be equated with the lack of desire to ask questions.

2. Children ask LOTS of Questions

Childlike faith is not about the avoidance of questions, for children ask many, many questions.

As any parent will tell you, the unrelenting barrage of questions from a two-year old can become quite exhausting.

Therefore, it could easily be argued that true “childlike faith” is actually a faith that asks lots of questions.

So the desire (or lack of desire) to ask questions has nothing to do with whether or not a person has childlike faith.

3. Children always have reasons for what they believe

The third reason that a faith which does not ask question or seek explanations cannot be called “childlike faith” is because there are explanations and reasons for what a child believes … even if they themselves are not aware of what those reasons are.

In other words, children do not believe anything without reason. The most common reason that children believe what they believe is because someone they trust told them what to believe. Children often simply believe whatever their parents and teachers tell them.

Therefore, true childlike faith is not an unthinking faith, for the authority of the person who teaches is a factor that faith takes into consideration.

Something similar occurs whenever a person has a so-called “unquestioning faith.” They do not believe without reason; they simply have not thought through what the reasons and explanations for their beliefs might be.

Instead, they believe what a pastor or teacher taught them, or what seems to be the “plain reading” of Scripture (though careful, contextual studies of the text often reveal that the “plain reading” is not the best reading).

There is nothing wrong with not knowing exactly why you have the beliefs you have, but a lack of understanding about why should not be confused with a lack of explanation. There are explanations for why you believe what you believe, even if you don’t know what these explanations are.

And that’s okay.

Nobody has a complete explanation and understanding for why they believe what they believe. \

But everybody, over time, naturally and normally grows in their understanding and gains explanations for their beliefs. While initially, a belief might be gained because “I learned it in Kindergarten,” this belief will either remain unquestioned and unchallenged throughout life, or it will be challenged and questioned.

If it is challenged and questioned, the belief will either be supported and affirmed, or disproven and denied.

But nobody’s beliefs all stay the same throughout all of life. Instead, everybody matures and grows in what they think and believe. This is normal, natural, and just as God intended.

faith like a childJust as children grow and mature, so also does faith. This is the way God made humans, and this is the way God made faith.

4. The term “childlike faith” is not found in the Bible

Which brings up the fourth and final reason that unquestioning faith cannot be equated with childlike faith. And it is this: “childlike faith” is not found in the Bible.

There is no such thing as biblical “childlike faith.”

When people refer to “childlike faith” or “faith like a child,” they have in mind the sorts of things Jesus says in Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:14, and Luke 18:17, where He teaches that the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children.

But in these passages, Jesus isn’t talking about faith. In fact, He doesn’t mention “faith” at all. Instead, Jesus is talking about entering the kingdom of heaven, and He encourages His listeners to humble themselves like a child and receive Him like a child (Matt 18:4-5; Mark 10:14) if they want to see the kingdom of heaven.

In other words, there is something essential about the childlike perspective for the person who wants to see the kingdom of heaven.

But what is Jesus talking about? What is this childlike perspective that Jesus has in mind?
faith like a child Matthew 18:3

What does Jesus mean in Matthew 18:3 about entering the Kingdom like a child?

To begin with, it is critical to recognize that the kingdom of heaven is not eternal life. The phrase “see the kingdom of heaven” does not mean “go to heaven when you die.”

Similarly, “Seeing the kingdom of heaven” is not the same thing as “going to heaven.”

The two concepts of entering (or seeing) the kingdom and going to heaven when you die are not equivalent in the Bible.

It is important that we recognize this, because Jesus says that seeing the kingdom of heaven requires humility. If seeing the kingdom of heaven was the same as going to heaven, then the good work of personal humility would be required for entrance into heaven after death.

But eternal life is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47); not by living humbly before God.

Good works are not required to gain entrance into heaven.

What then is the kingdom of heaven?

In the Gospels, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” or “kingdom of God” refers to the rule and reign of God in our lives now on earth. It is about God’s will being done on earth, as it is done in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

All the kingdom imagery and terminology in the Gospels is not about “leaving earth and going to heaven when we die” but about “heaven coming down to earth while we live.”

Seeing the kingdom of heaven is not about life after death, but about living and experiencing God’s life in this life here and now.

This is what Jesus has in mind when He teaches about becoming like a little child. Experiencing the life of God in this life requires humility like a little child.

In what way? Not by remaining ignorant, for God gave us Scripture so that we might learn, grow, mature, reason (Isaiah 1:18), and become students, disciples, and followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2).

Instead, becoming like a little child means that we maintain the wonderful and beautiful characteristics and qualities of children that life in this sinful world tends to beat out of us.

Like what?

Like tenderness of conscience.

Openness about emotions and feelings.

Creativity and imagination.

Wonder and awe.

Joy.

Eternal hope.

Playfulness and humor.

Trust.

Easy forgiveness.

Undying love.

Boundless exuberance and energy.

Always thinking the best about life and other people.

Being willing to learn and grow.

These are the sort of qualities that tend to define children, but which get stripped out of people as they encounter the sin and brokenness of this world.

As adults, we get bored with flowers, bugs, and sunsets. We lose delight in talking with others about nothing.

We become jaded and disinterested.

Adults hold grudges, harbor fears, and stay angry.

Adults refuse to forgive.

Adults remember slights.

Adults lose hope because their hopes have been dashed and destroyed so many time.

Adults do things “because they’ve always been done that way” and have trouble imagining anything different.

But children do not behave in any of these ways. Nor did Jesus.

One of the things that attracted people to Jesus is that He was “childlike.”

Does this mean He lacked wisdom and understanding? Far from it. Jesus was “childlike” because He was full of the wonder of life, the hope for humanity, and the beauty of creation.

Jesus lived in awe of life, awe of God, and awe of humanity.

And this awe was contagious. People who saw how Jesus lived began to see how life should be lived. Jesus revealed how God intended life to be lived. In other words, those who begin to live life like Jesus are those who begin to see heaven come down to earth.

They begin to see the rule and reign of God unfold in their own life with all its beauty, majesty, glory, and creativity. This is what Jesus Himself lived, and this is what Jesus invited others to live also. He taught that if you want to experience God’s life in this life (the kingdom of heaven), then you need to become like a little child once again.

Do you want to enter the Kingdom like a child?

If so, then ask questions. Lots of questions.

But also have fun. Laugh. Play. Imagine. Sing. Dance. Hope. Dream. Forgive. Create. Trust. Live life to the full. Be excited. Be adventuresome. Be tender of heart.

And most of all, love. When you live this way, you will become like a little child, and will see the kingdom of heaven rise again in your life.

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Some Christians say that they don’t need reasons or explanations for what they believe, because they have faith like a child or childlike faith. When they say this, they mean that they don’t ask questions about their beliefs, Some Christians say that they don’t need reasons or explanations for what they believe, because they have faith like a child or childlike faith. When they say this, they mean that they don’t ask questions about their beliefs, nor do they wonder if what they believe is true. Childlike faith is often described as a faith that does not doubt, question, or seek explanations; it just believes. But this is not childlike faith. So what is childlike faith?<br /> <br /> To view the transcript or leave a comment, visit: https://redeeminggod.com/childlike-faith-matthew-18-3/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:12
Faith is NOT a Gift from God (Ephesians 2:8) https://redeeminggod.com/faith-is-not-a-gift/ Wed, 16 Jan 2019 22:53:35 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49709 Faith is not a gift from God. Every person is able to believe in Jesus for eternal life just as they are able to believe any other fact or piece of knowledge that is presented to them. Not even Ephesians 2:8 teaches that faith is a gift from God. faith is not a gift from god

Some teach that faith is a work of God performed in the heart or mind of a person. Another way of saying this is that faith is a gift from God to the heart of human beings.

Those who hold to this view say that God gives faith to those whom He has chosen for eternal life. There are three reasons that some people teach that faith is a gift of God.

People are Dead and Trespasses and Sins, and so Cannot Believe

First, some believe that since unregenerate people are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1), and have had their minds darkened or blinded (cf. (Eph 4:18; 2 Cor 3:14), they cannot do anything good, including believing in Jesus for eternal life.

Those who hold to this view teach that if a person is going to believe in Jesus for eternal life (or even believe anything good and pleasing about God at all), they can only believe if God sovereignly bestowed up them the gift of faith.

Various texts are often referenced in defense of this idea (cf. Acts 5:31; 11:18; 13:48; 16:14; Rom 12:3; 1 Cor 12:8-9; Eph 2:8-9; Php 1:29; 2 Tim 2:25; 2 Pet 1:1). But in several of these, faith is not even mentioned (e.g., Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim 2:25), and the others can all be reasonably explained in the context.

Sadly, I cannot look at all of these texts in this post … but we will consider the primary text below, Ephesians 2:8-9. (I also explain several of the other texts in my book, What is Faith?)

Note, however, that this entire line of thought stems from thinking that faith is a good work.

In other words, the idea that faith is a gift derives from the false idea that faith is somehow meritorious. After all, if faith is a work, then we must say that faith is a gift from God, for we cannot teach that humans are able to work for eternal life.

But Scripture is clear about faith, that it is not a work; it is not meritorious. Faith is the opposite of works (cf. Romans 4:4-5). Faith does not earn, achieve, or gain good standing with God in any way.

Therefore, faith does not need to be a gift from God. People are persuaded about all sorts of things, and no such persuasion is ever considered to be a good work or a meritorious action, or a gift from God.

So the faith to believe in Jesus is also not a gift from God.

But there is a Spiritual Gift of Faith!

The second reason that some people believe and teach that faith is a gift of God is because they confuse this idea with the biblical teaching about the “spiritual gift” of faith.

Even though Paul does write about the gift of faith in 1 Corinthians 12:9, this is the spiritual gift of faith, and is not the same thing as the so-called “gift of faith” which some teach God gives to people before they can believe in Jesus for eternal life.

Furthermore, Paul is quite clear that we all have different spiritual gifts (Rom 12:6). If everyone had to receive the “gift of faith” from God in order to receive eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47), then this would mean that all Christians have the spiritual gift of faith, which Paul says we do not.

So what is the spiritual gift of faith? As I wrote in my book on the spiritual gifts, a person  has the spiritual gift of faith when they firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises to accomplish His will and purpose and to display such a confidence in Him that circumstances and obstacles do not shake that conviction (1 Cor 12:8-10; cf. Heb 11).

People with the spiritual gift of faith know what they believe and why they believe it, and are able to inspire action in others based on their beliefs. Those with the gift of faith are often called upon to encourage others to step out in faith and follow God to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.

The spiritual gift of faith to some Christians for the edification and encouragement of others is not the same thing as God giving faith to all Christians so that they can believe in Jesus for eternal life.

So biblical passages about the spiritual gift of faith cannot be used to support the idea that God gives faith to unregenerate people so they can believe.

But Ephesians 2:8 says God gives the gift of Faith

The third reason that some people think faith is a gift from God is because of what Paul seems to say in Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8 faith is not a giftHe writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Some people see the phrase “and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” as referring back to the word “faith.”

They read Ephesians 2:8 this way: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and faith is not of yourselves, faith is the gift of God.”

There are numerous problems with this approach to Ephesians 2:8, the greatest being that it reveals a complete disregard for the Greek text.

Greek words have gender: masculine, feminine, and neuter. When relative pronouns (such as “that” and “it”) are used to refer back to a noun, they always agree with the gender of the noun. The word “faith” in Greek is feminine. Therefore, if Paul was intending to say that faith is not of ourselves, but faith is a gift of God, he would have used a feminine relative pronoun for the word “that” (the word “it” is not actually in the Greek).

But the word “that” is not feminine; it is neuter.

Therefore, it is impossible for Paul to be thinking about “faith” when he wrote “and that is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

It is grammatically impossible for the word “that” to refer to “faith” in Ephesians 2:8.

So what was Paul referring to, if not to faith?

Ephesians 2:8-9 in Context

You can read my longer explanation of Ephesians 2:8-9 here, or in my book What is Faith?but let me summarize the meaning of the text for you here.

As stated previously, Greek pronouns must agree with their antecedent in gender, number, and case. Faith is feminine, and the pronoun “that” is neuter, so the pronoun cannot be pointing back to faith.

So to what does the pronoun refer?

The problem is that there is no neuter noun in the preceding context.

So what was Paul referring to, if not to faith?

The answer is that Paul is referring to the entire “salvation package” that he has written about in Ephesians 2. The description of Paul about what God has provided to us in Jesus contains a mixture of masculine and feminine nouns. So Paul uses a neuter pronoun to refer to the entire “salvation package.”

Paul’s overall point in Ephesians 2 is about how God solved the problem of human division and strife that is caused by racial, religious, and political differences (Eph 2:1-4). Paul shows how God revealed the problem and the solution through the crucifixion of Jesus (Eph 2:5-10) so that we can all live in peace and unity with one another in this life (Eph 2:11-22), as God has always wanted and desired.

Everything Paul mentions in Ephesians 2 is the gift of God to us.

The gift is not faith itself, but everything else that God has done and taught and provided through Jesus Christ, and which we can benefit from when we believe in Jesus for it.

faith is not a gift

So faith is not the gift of God.

The gift of God is His revelation to humanity and the salvation which comes to us by His grace. When we see, understand, and believe what God has revealed to us and done for us through the life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus, it is then that the peace of God starts to become a reality in our life here and now.

It is then that all who were formerly at enmity with each other are fitted together to grow into the holy temple in the Lord, as a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:21-22). This is the mystery of the church, which Paul goes on to explain in Ephesians 3–4.

All of this is the gift of God, and when we receive it by faith, we begin to experience this new reality in this life and on this earth.

See my article here for more reasons why Faith is Not a Gift From God.

Therefore, since faith is not a gift from God, this means that every person is able to believe in Jesus for eternal life. Just as any person can believe that 2+2=4, or that gravity is a force of nature, so also, anybody is able to believe in Jesus for eternal life, once the truth is presented to them.

Since faith is not a work, but is the opposite of works, a person who believes in Jesus is not doing anything meritorious for eternal life, but is only accepting the free gift of God.

So … have you believed in Jesus for eternal life? If not, what is holding you back?

If you want to learn more about this, try my online course mentioned below, or get my book, What is Faith?

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Faith is not a gift from God. Every person is able to believe in Jesus for eternal life just as they are able to believe any other fact or piece of knowledge that is presented to them. Not even Ephesians 2:8 teaches that faith is a gift from God. Faith is not a gift from God. Every person is able to believe in Jesus for eternal life just as they are able to believe any other fact or piece of knowledge that is presented to them. Not even Ephesians 2:8 teaches that faith is a gift from God. <br /> <br /> To view the manuscript or leave a comment on this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/faith-is-not-a-gift/ Jeremy Myers clean 25:28
What is Great Faith and Little Faith? (Matthew 8:10; 15:28; Luke 7:9) https://redeeminggod.com/great-faith-little-faith/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 01:28:30 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49642 Many people get confused when Jesus talks about great faith and little faith in the gospels. This article shows the difference between great faith and little faith, and uses the faith of the Centurion in Matthew 8:10 as an example of great faith. What is FaithIf faith is best understood as reasonable certainty then this means that we either believe something or we don’t. If we doubt something, then we don’t believe it.

If we think of our network of beliefs as a vast Excel spreadsheet with each individual cell holding a single statement that we either agree with or not, then this means that there are no degrees of faith. You cannot have 10%, 50%, 90%, or even 99% faith. Each individual belief on the spreadsheet of faith is either “On” or “Off.”

But if this is true, then what are we to make of the statements by Jesus about people having “little faith” and “great faith”? (cf. Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Luke 4:14-30; 12:28).

There are also numerous passages in the Bible which seem to indicate that we must have “enough faith” before God answers our prayers (cf. Matt 13:58; 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 7:9, 50; 18:42; Jas 5:15-16).

But if there are no degrees of faith, then what do these descriptions of faith mean?

What is “Great Faith” and “Little Faith”?

The terms “Great faith” and “Little faith” simply mean this: Some truths are easy to believe while others are difficult. If you believe something that is difficult to believe, then you have great faith. If you do not believe something that is relatively easy to believe, then you have little faith.

Since faith is the conviction or persuasion that something is true, people who have little faith have not been persuaded or convinced of even the basic truths, whereas, people who have great faith have been persuaded or convinced of some of the hard and difficult truths which few people come to believe.

You and I do not have faith containers in our souls which overflow when our faith is great, but are nearly empty when our faith is little. Faith does not work like that.

Great faith and little faith have nothing to do with the size, amount, or degree of faith.

Rather, the terms “great faith” and “little faith” describe the difficulty of the truths that are believed.

When a person fails to believe even some of the simple or easy truths, this means that some of the basic, fundamental cells in their network of beliefs are turned “Off.” Since they do not believe these simple truths, vast segments of their spreadsheet are also turned “Off.”

Their spreadsheet is darkened with unbelief because they don’t even believe some of the simple, foundational, basic truths of life or Christianity.

They have little faith, that is, an undeveloped and unexamined spreadsheet of beliefs. On such a spreadsheet of faith, most of the basic truths are still turned “Off.”

On the other hand, there are some people who have great faith. These are those people who are persuaded or convinced of some difficult things to believe.

People who have great faith believe truths and ideas that relatively few people understand and believe.

There are truths in Scripture, life, and theology that are hard to believe, but people with great faith believe them. Such ideas often take great thought, insight, understanding, research, investigation, or deep spiritual experiences in order to believe them.

When people come to believe these things, they believe something that few others believe, and can therefore be described as having great faith. Vast segments of their spreadsheet of beliefs are lit up with the light of the truth of God.

faith

Some examples about great faith and little faith from Scripture

There are numerous truths from Scripture that are easy to believe.

These might include the statements that “A man named Jesus existed” or that “I am a sinner.” Almost everybody believes these, including most non-Christians.

Yet people with little faith do not even understand or believe these truths. People with little faith have trouble believing some of the simple, elementary, and introductory truths of Scripture, such as “God is love” or “Jesus gives eternal life to anyone who believes in Him for it.”

It is a telling fact of the condition of faith in our churches when most Christians don’t truly believe these things. As simple as these truths are, many do not believe them.

However, there are other truths in Scripture which are hard to believe. People who believe these difficult truths have great faith. For example, it is difficult to believe that “God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19).

Frankly, since I often worry about tomorrow, this means that I don’t believe this promise. I don’t believe that God will supply all my needs, and often find myself trying to supply for my own needs. So this means I don’t yet believe this statement. But those who have great faith believe it. (See “Now That’s Faith!“)

So great faith and little faith have nothing to do with the amount of faith one has, or the percentage to which one believes a particular fact. Faith does not come in degrees or amounts.

great faith

An Example of Great Faith from Matthew 8:10

There are two kinds of faith that amazed Jesus: great faith and little faith. As seen above, there were times when Jesus marveled at the little faith of His disciples (cf. Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Luke 4:14-30; 12:28).

But in Matthew 8:10, Jesus was impressed by the great faith of a Gentile. He said, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” (See my sermon on Luke 7:1-10 for a longer explanation of this text.)

In Matthew 8:10, Jesus praises a Roman Centurion for having great faith.

What did the Centurion believe that few others believe? He believed two advanced truths that are quite rare for people to believe (even today).

First, he believed in his own lack of merit. Though he was courteous, humble, and a good man, though he loved the Jewish people and built a synagogue for them, he knew he didn’t deserve anything from God, or from Jesus Christ. Despite his high standing and all he had done, he knew he was unworthy to meet with Jesus (Matt 8:8).

Most people do not believe this.

Most people think they do deserve favors from God. Most people think they are pretty good people and that God owes them something. It is much harder to believe that all we have and all we are given is simply and only by the grace of God. But the centurion believed this, and told Jesus that he was not worthy to have Jesus visit his house.

The second thing the Centurion believed is that healing could be done at a distance. He believed in the divine authority of Jesus, even over sickness and disease through space and time. He likened Jesus to a military commander who simply had to give orders for them to be followed (Matt 8:9).

The Centurion knew that what Jesus commanded would be done, even if Jesus was not present where the healing was to take place. He knew that the words of Jesus were sufficient to accomplish whatever He said.

Most people do not believe this. Most people believe, even today, that if a person is going to be healed, they need to be touched by the person praying for them. They believe that they have to go visit the healer, and have the healer lay hands on them, say special prayers over them, and anoint them with oil.

If a person was seeking healing for their friend and they want to one of the “miracle healers” of today for help, and the healer said, “Go home, your friend will be fine,” that person would feel like they had been ignored, slighted, or brushed off.

But this Centurion knew differently. The Centurion believed some truths that few others believed. He believed that if Jesus wanted to heal someone, He could do it with a simple word and from a great distance.

He told Jesus, “Only speak a word, and my servant will be healed” (Matt 8:8).

This truly is great faith, and few believe such an idea, either in the days of Jesus or today. As a result, Jesus marveled at this man’s great faith, and healed his servant from a distance, simply by the power of His word.

All of the other “great faith” passages in the Bible can be understood in similar ways. The context always reveals that someone is believing something that is difficult to believe, and that few people do believe.

So great faith is not a large amount of faith or a high percentage of faith. Great faith simply believes truths that are difficult to believe.

Do you have more questions about faith, how it works, and what various passages in Scripture teach about faith? Try taking my online course, The Gospel Dictionary:

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Many people get confused when Jesus talks about great faith and little faith in the gospels. This article shows the difference between great faith and little faith, and uses the faith of the Centurion in Matthew 8:10 as an example of great faith. Many people get confused when Jesus talks about great faith and little faith in the gospels. This study shows the difference between great faith and little faith, and uses the faith of the Centurion in Matthew 8:10 as an example of great faith. <br /> <br /> To view the transcript or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/great-faith-little-faith/ Jeremy Myers clean 22:16
Faith is Like an Excel Spreadsheet https://redeeminggod.com/faith-excel-spreadsheet/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:37:34 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49608 In an attempt to get people to not be afraid of questions and doubts, some suggest that faith includes doubt. I disagree. But how then do we keep our faith from collapsing like a house of cards? We do this by using a better illustration for faith, namely, an Excel Spreadsheet. This post explains the illustration and uses John 11 as an example of the Excel Spreadsheet of faith at work in the mind of Martha. I originally went to college to be a Mechanical Engineer. I have always enjoyed tinkering with things, trying to learn how they work so that I can understand what is happening, and either fix or improve whatever I am working on.

As a result of my engineering background, I often approach my study of Scripture and theology in the same way. I try to understand things and how they work, so that I can attempt to explain them more clearly to others.

This is also true when it comes to the inner workings of faith. For me, as a theologian and Bible scholar who has an engineering background, it is not enough for the Bible to call me to believe … I want to know how belief works … how faith works … so that I can not only believe, but also know why I believe, and how to help others believe as well.

So the following article might be a bit technical for some people as I try to explain how faith works, but I do provide an illustration for how faith works to help it make sense.

The reason I want to explain faith this way is because there is so much misinformation out there about faith. People write emails to me all the time, and when I teach in live settings, I get questions and objections all the time, about how a person can know if they have really believed, or if they have believed enough.

In seeking to answer these questions, I first had to figure out what faith is and how faith works.

In a previous study, we learned that Faith is defined as a certainty or conviction that something is true.

house of cardsSome do not like the idea of faith as certainty. For example, author and pastor Greg Boyd once criticized the idea that faith is certainty by comparing faith to a house of cards.

Greg Boyd argued that if we believe that our faith must be certain, then any time a challenge or question comes along which threatens this certainty, our entire belief system comes tumbling down like a house of cards.

I agree with Greg Boyd that we cannot have a “house of cards” faith in which all of our beliefs stand or fall together. But how can we avoid this if faith truly is defined as certainty?

The solution is to use a better analogy.

Rather than thinking about faith as a house of cards, a better analogy is to think about our network of beliefs as a giant Excel spreadsheet (I first heard this analogy from Dr. Dave Anderson, pastor in The Woodlands, TX).

Faith as an Excel Spreadsheet

If you are not familiar with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, it is an accounting tool which contains a series of rows and columns. At the intersection of each row and column, there is a “cell.” This cell can contain a bit of data.

Excel Spreadsheet faith

For example, a cell could contain a number or some sort of mathematical calculation. Spreadsheets are usually set up so that as you enter data into the cells, it automatically makes calculations in other cells.

Advanced Excel spreadsheets might contain thousands of cells set in a way so that a change in one single cell might affect the numbers or calculations in thousands of other cells. Each little change can have a ripple or cascading effect throughout the rest of the spreadsheet.

It is helpful to think about our network of beliefs in a similar way. We can think of our belief system as a giant Excel spreadsheet.

But rather than numbers and math calculations, each cell contains an individual fact. Since there are a nearly infinite number of facts, this giant spreadsheet has a nearly infinite number of cells.

“The sky is blue” is in one cell, “I exist” is in another, and “There is a God” is in third.

Furthermore, just like on any complex Excel spreadsheet, nearly all the cells are interconnected by functions, so that when one cell changes, it causes a cascading, rippling effect throughout the rest of the spreadsheet.

If we think about our beliefs in this way, we can see that when it comes to each individual statement, we can either believe it or disbelieve it. We can either know it to be true, or we can doubt that it is true. We can either assent and agree with the statement in the cell, or dissent and disagree.

While we will be reasonably certain about several statements on this spreadsheet, we will be either ignorant or uncertain about the vast majority of statements. And as we change what we think about any particular fact, this change will have a cascading, ripple effect through the related and connected cells on the spreadsheet of beliefs.

What this means is that as we come to believe new ideas, some of the beliefs which have not changed for decades might need to be reconsidered in light of new evidence. Therefore, while we can have reasonable conviction or confidence about the accuracy of any single cell (or belief), we nevertheless know that the content of that cell is based upon the ideas of other related cells, about which we are less confident.

To put it another way, the complete confidence of one belief in one “cell” can be based upon less confident beliefs of other “cells.”

This way of thinking about faith provides adequate responses to many of the objections that some pastors and theologians have to the concept of faith as certainty. Many who criticize the idea of “faith as certainty” seem to think that the entire system stands or falls together.

But this is not the true nature of faith. When we think about our system of beliefs as a giant Excel Spreadsheet, we see that it is impossible for the entire system of faith to collapse.

Instead, our beliefs constantly shift and change as additional information is presented to us, so that new beliefs are turned “On” in the spreadsheet while other beliefs are corrected and turned “Off.”

Best of all, with each cell that changes you gain a spreadsheet that is more accurate than it was before. One of these truths you discover quite soon (if you allow God to teach it to you), is that God does not require a spreadsheet of beliefs that is free of error.

faithQuite to the contrary, He desires a spreadsheet of beliefs that is constantly shifting and changing as we bring our life and thoughts into conformity with Jesus Christ and the revelation of Scripture. But this is a process, a journey, or an adventure that will last a lifetime (I suspect this adventure will last into eternity as well, as we forever unravel the infinite mysteries of glorious vistas of God), and so God is patient with us as we fill out our spreadsheet of beliefs with Him by our side.

Viewing faith in this way helps you see that although one changed belief often does cause a change in many other related beliefs, your entire belief system never collapses like a house of cards. It may initially feel like this has happened, but by taking a deep breath and examining the new evidence you have been given, you will discover that most of your beliefs remain intact.

You will also discover that you now have a better and more accurate belief system through which to view God, Scripture, yourself, others, and life in general.

The Spreadsheet at Work

Let us briefly see how this works with the truth claim that “Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it.”

I believe this truth with absolute certainty. I have many reasons for this belief, all of which reside in their own individual cells.

For example:

  • I believe that there is a God, and that only He gets to decide who has eternal life with Him and how they get it.
  • I furthermore believe that Jesus is God, and so He knew what He was talking about when He offered eternal life.
  • I also believe that the Bible can be trusted as an authoritative revelation from God.
  • I believe that I have properly understood the simple promises of Jesus to give eternal life to those who believe in Him (cf. John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47).
  • I believe that Jesus does not lie.
  • I believe that I am not able to earn or work for my eternal life on my own, because I can never be good enough to qualify for God’s perfect standard of complete righteousness.

If all these things are true, as I believe they are, then it is completely logical to be convinced and persuaded that Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it. And since I believe in Jesus, I know that I have eternal life.

But if any of these beliefs were to change, then this would likely cause me to stop believing that Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it.

If I stopped believing that God existed, or that the Bible accurately records the teachings of Jesus, I might stop believing in Jesus for eternal life.

However, the more I study and learn, the more evidence I find that supports all these beliefs. I now know too much to turn back on any of these truths and cannot imagine a situation that would cause me to reject them.

The more I study and learn, the more beliefs I gain, each of which further supports the belief that Jesus gives me eternal life.

Is it possible that the authors of the Gospels failed to accurately record what Jesus said? It’s possible, but not likely, so I don’t believe this.

Is it possible that those who copied the Bible and passed it down through the generations made a mistake? It’s possible, but manuscript evidence proves that this is unlikely, and so I don’t believe it.

Is it possible that I have incorrectly understood what Jesus said and meant? Well, this is the most likely factor that could cause me to stop believing in Jesus. But since the teachings from Jesus about how to receive eternal life are some of the simplest teachings He gave (even a child can understand and believe these promises), I do not think this is likely, and therefore, I believe I have properly understood His promises.

Since my belief in Jesus for eternal life is based on a large number of other reasonable beliefs, if any one of these other beliefs were to change, there would indeed be a cascading effect of changing beliefs. As numerous beliefs changed, it might indeed feel like Greg Boyd’s house of cards, as if everything I thought I knew was tumbling down around me.

However, note that there are many beliefs that can safely change without affecting my belief in Jesus whatsoever.

faith is certaintyMy belief in Jesus is not affected at all by belief (or lack thereof) that Methuselah lived to be 969, that the universe was created in seven 24-hour days, or that Jesus is going to return in the future to slaughter all His enemies with a reign of terror and blood (I actually don’t believe this).

These beliefs can change back and forth numerous times (as they have over the years), but such changes will not cause my entire belief system to come tumbling down like a house of cards.

Now the same sort of belief changes can be observed even with beliefs that are not “theological.” The “network of belief” concept applies to any individual belief.

For example, I believe the sky is blue because I believe I know what “blue” is, and because I believe my eyes are not deceiving me. I furthermore believe that I truly exist in this world rather than in a dream world or computer simulation as in “The Matrix.” Since all of these are reasonable beliefs, I can confidently believe (know) that the sky is blue.

However, if someone could persuade me that I did not exist, or that this world was a computer simulation, or that I have color-blindness and so do not accurately understand “blue,” then I might realize that I am wrong about the blueness of the sky.

But until these other beliefs change (which is extremely unlikely), I am fully confident that the sky is blue. (As a side note, I now actually believe that the sky is violet. I explain why in my book on faith.)

Let us consider an example from Scripture where we see this concept of spreadsheet faith being played out in real time.

An Example from Scripture

In John 11, Lazarus has died, and Jesus goes to Bethany to grieve with Mary and Martha. When Jesus arrives, Martha comes out to meet Him on the road and says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).

Jesus responded by saying, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23).

So Mary says, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:24).

Martha Jesus Lazarus John 11

Do you see what is going on here? Each of these statements is a factual statement that exists on Martha’s spreadsheet of beliefs. She believes that if Jesus had been present, Lazarus would not have died. Remember, they sent word to Jesus when Lazarus was sick, but he delayed in going to them until after Lazarus had died. So Martha is chiding Jesus a bit. She believes that Lazarus died because Jesus didn’t show up when she wanted Him to.

But then Jesus makes another factual statement. He says, “Your brother will rise again.” Now, does Martha believe this? She does. For she goes on to say, “Yes, I know, believe, agree that he will rise again … but on the future day of resurrection.”

Based on these beliefs, Jesus goes on to teach her some new ideas about Himself. He is going to make some factual statements to see if they are turned “On” or “Off” in her spreadsheet of beliefs.

So Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Jesus makes three factual statements here. Each one is a truth claim about Jesus, and each one is dependent upon the others, and dependent upon what Martha has already stated about the resurrection. Jesus is inviting her to build upon her previous beliefs and add some new beliefs to them.

Jesus claims that (1) Resurrection and life resides in Him, (2) that those who die in Him will also live in Him, and (3) that who live and believe in Him will never die.

After Jesus makes these three factual statements, He says, “Do you believe this?”

Notice how Martha responds. She doesn’t say, “Yes, Lord, I believe these three things. I believe that (1) Resurrection and life resides in You, (2) that those who die in You will also live in You, and (3) that who live and believe in You will never die.”

She does not restate the beliefs and affirm her agreement with them.

Instead, she says something that has confused a lot of people over the years. She says, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Lots of people read these words and get confused. They see Martha state her agreement with Jesus, but then she seems to say something back to Him that is not a restatement of what Jesus just said. She doesn’t state her agreement by summarizing what Jesus just said; instead, she states her agreement by stating her belief in something else entirely.

So people get confused by this and say, “Well, maybe to believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life is the exact same as believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”

And while we could say that the two concepts are related, the two concepts are not identical beliefs. That is, to say that Jesus is the Christ is not the same thing as saying that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We know this for a variety of reasons. There are lots of people in the days of Jesus who believed that He was the Christ, but did not believe that He could raise people from the dead, or even that He Himself would be raised from the dead.

Furthermore, there were many people throughout biblical history who were thought of as “Messiahs” or “Christs” (that is, deliverers, saviors), but nobody ever thought that these people could raise others from death.

So since believe that Jesus is the Christ is not the same thing as believing that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, why does Martha answer the way she does?

She answers the way she does because she is saying that because Jesus is the Christ, then she trusts and accepts whatever else Jesus says, including these recent three statements about the resurrection.

To put it another way, Jesus makes three truth claims about Himself, and then asks Martha if she believes what He has said. These are new ideas to her, and she has never been told these ideas before.

So she can either accept, acknowledge, and agree with what Jesus has just said, thereby believing His words, or she can disagree with Him, thereby not believing.

But since Martha already knows and believes something else on her spreadsheet of faith, namely, that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the son of God, this therefore causes Martha to realize that everything Jesus says can be trusted and accepted.

Therefore, because of her belief in Jesus as the Christ, Martha also believes these new statements about Jesus, that He is the resurrection and the life, that those who die in Him will live again, and that those who live in Him will never die.

Do you see? A cell on her spreadsheet of faith which said “Jesus is the Christ” was turned “On.” As a result of this cell, another cell on her spreadsheet of faith which said, “Everything Jesus says is true” was also turned on.

So when Jesus comes along and says something she has never heard or thought of before, and then Jesus asks her if she believes these new ideas, it does not take her long to turn these cells on as well. She didn’t fully understand the ramifications of what Jesus was saying, but she did know that Jesus was saying it, and that because He was the Christ, His words could always be trusted and believed.

So she believed Him.

Then, of course, to provide further support and proof that her believe in Him was well-founded, Jesus went and raised Lazarus from death.

believe in Jesus

This is just one example of how the network of beliefs that exists on our spreadsheet of faith works together to consider new ideas and incorporate new beliefs. We see it work very quickly with Martha, but it doesn’t always move this fast. Sometimes the process is much slower.

But regardless, I hope that with this illustration of faith, it can help you understand how faith works, and how you can come to consider and accept the various truth claims that bombard you each and every day.

No one is asking you to take a leap of faith. Each belief is built upon others that you might or might not have. Also, your faith is not a house of cards that can be knocked down by a passing wind of doubt or a troublesome question. Instead, your faith is a vast network of individual beliefs that are constantly moving, shifting, changing, and developing over time. It is not something to be afraid of, but can be enjoyed and anticipated as we continue to follow Jesus wherever He leads.

Now, I imagine that this illustration of faith might raise some further questions. For example, if this is how to think about faith, then what does the Scripture mean when it refers to great faith or little faith? How do these terms fit in with this concept of faith as a network of beliefs?

We will consider this question in the next study.

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In an attempt to get people to not be afraid of questions and doubts, some suggest that faith includes doubt. I disagree. But how then do we keep our faith from collapsing like a house of cards? We do this by using a better illustration for faith, In an attempt to get people to not be afraid of questions and doubts, some suggest that faith includes doubt. I disagree. But how then do we keep our faith from collapsing like a house of cards? <br /> <br /> e do this by using a better illustration for faith, namely, an Excel Spreadsheet. This podcast study of faith explains the illustration and uses John 11 as an example of the Excel Spreadsheet of faith at work in the mind of Martha.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or read the manuscript for this study on faith, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/faith-excel-spreadsheet/ Jeremy Myers clean 37:15
Is faith like getting in a wheelbarrow to be pushed across Niagara Falls? https://redeeminggod.com/faith-wheelbarrow-niagara-falls/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 23:27:27 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49539 Have you ever heard the wheelbarrow tightrope walk over Niagara Falls as an illustration for faith? It is a terrible illustration, because it does not accurately portray what faith really is or how faith works. This post considers the illustration and defines faith from Scripture. How do you define and explain faith? How do you know you have faith? What is faith?

What is FaithI have a new book coming out on January 15 which answers all of these questions about faith. The book is titled, What is Faith? and is available for preorder on Amazon.

But between now and then, I wanted to publish several Podcast episodes which talks about faith, and looks at several tricky and troublesome texts in the Bible about faith.

We will discuss the concepts of great faith and little faith. We will look at whether there is such a thing as head faith and heart faith. We will also discuss the faith of demons mentioned in James 2.

In today’s study, I just want to introduce some of the key concepts about faith that will help you understand what the Bible is talking about when it talks about faith.

Let me begin by telling you a story, which you have probably already heard.

The Niagara Falls Tightrope Illustration of Faith

There once was a man who walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. After the tightrope had been fixed in place, he started gathering a crowd to watch his daring and dangerous feat. “Come one! Come all!” he shouted into his bullhorn. “Watch me walk above Niagara Falls, balancing on nothing more than this little rope!”

faith tightrope walk

As people started gathering, he passed around a sample of the rope so people could see how small it was. “One little slip, and I will tumble to my death in the waters below!” he shouted. “You never know when I might fall. The rope is getting wet from the misting water. A wind is coming up the gorge. I don’t want to die, but today could be the day!”

As the crowd swelled even more, he shouted to those who had gathered, “Who believes I can walk across the falls and back without falling to my death below?”

Most of the crowd shouted that they believed he could do it. Many of them cheered him on to try it. So he climbed up onto the rope, and balanced his way across Niagara Falls. When he reached the far side, he turned around and came back. He didn’t slip. He didn’t fall. In fact, he barely wobbled or wavered. So when he returned to the safety of the shore, he motioned with his hands for the cheering crowd to quiet down.

“That was too easy!” he yelled. “That wasn’t a challenge for me at all! Let’s make it more difficult! Who believes I can do again, but this time, while pushing a wheelbarrow? If my hands are on the wheelbarrow, I will not be able to use them to balance on the rope. Shall I give it a try? Do you believe I can do it?” He motioned to a nearby wheelbarrow, which he had brought for this very purpose.

The crowd cheered their approval, which caused the number of gathering people to swell even further. So with the help of two nearby men, he lifted a wheelbarrow up onto the rope, and then started pushing it across the Falls. He went more slowly this time, and even had a few wobbles, which caused the crowd to gasp and cry out with fear, but he made it to the other side and back without any great problem.

The crowd went wild.

“That was too easy!” he yelled. “Who believes I can do it again, but this time, with another person inside the wheelbarrow?” The crowd roared their approval. “I would not only be risking my own life, but also the life of the person in the wheelbarrow,” the man shouted to the crowd. “With a show of hands, let me see how many of you believe I can do this!” Almost every person in the large crowd raised their hand. It was nearly unanimous.

“Wonderful! I am so glad to see that you have such faith in me! I think I will give it a shot!” the man yelled. “Now … among all of you who raised your hand, do I have a volunteer to get into the wheelbarrow?” Every hand in the large crowd went down. “What?” said the man. “You’ve seen me walk across Niagara Falls twice without any problems, once while pushing this wheelbarrow! And most of you believe I can do it with someone else in the wheelbarrow with me! But when I ask which of you wants to get into the wheelbarrow, none of you volunteer? Do you believe I can do it or not?”

But there were no takers, so the crowd did not see him push someone across Niagara Falls in a wheelbarrow that day.

This story is likely fictional, but it is often used by pastors and preachers as an example of faith. They say, “You see? It’s not true faith unless you get into the wheelbarrow. Those people didn’t really believe. They just said they believed. They raised their hand claiming they had faith the man could do it. But it is not enough to say you believe. It is not enough to claim you have faith. If you really believe, you have to get into the wheelbarrow. Otherwise, you have false faith. Spurious faith.”

faith tightrope walk niagara falls wheelbarrowThen the pastor goes on to tell the audience how they can have true and effective faith. Usually the pastor says that they need to “prove” the reality of their faith by their good works.

If they don’t have the good works which proves the existence of their faith, then they are just like the people who claimed to have faith, but didn’t prove it by getting into the wheelbarrow.

Most people go away from such a sermon wondering if they’ve really believed, and therefore, whether they are really a Christian.

But you can know that you are really a Christian and that you have really believed.

You can know that you have eternal life.

You can know that you are already in the wheelbarrow, and that it is the safest place you can be.

This knowledge of your safety and security in Jesus Christ begins by properly defining the word “faith.”

The Definition of “Faith”

When we begin to define the word “faith,” it is important to recognize that modern, English usage of the word “faith” does not match the ancient Hebrew or Greek usage. The way this word is used today bears little resemblance to the way the word was used in biblical times.

Today, when we use the word “faith” or “believe” we tend to use it as a synonym for “hope.” We say, I believe the Red Sox will win the Word Series. But really, we only hope they win. We do not know for sure that they will win.

But this is not how the word “faith” was used in biblical times. In the Greek New Testament, the word “faith” is most commonly used in reference to something that a person knows to be true.

For New Testament era Christians, to believe something, or to have faith, meant that they were persuaded or convinced of the truth of it. They knew it to be true.

Good synonyms for “faith,” therefore, are not “hope or wish” but rather “persuasion, conviction, or knowing.”

faith is certaintyNew Testament Greek Lexicons typically provides three basic definitions for pistis. When used with an article, as in “the faith,” it typically refers to the body of Christian beliefs that separates Christianity from other religious faiths. It is used this way thirteen times in the New Testament (cf. Acts 6:7; Rom 4:11; Gal 1:23).

Second, the word can be translated as “faithfulness” or “fidelity.” But even most of these could arguably be translated as “faith” (Matt 23:23; Rom 3:3; Gal 5:22; Titus 2:10). We will discuss this concept in a future podcast episode.

The third possible definition for pistis is also the most common. Over 180 times in the New Testament, pistis refers to “believing.” In context, this belief occurs when a person knows something to be true.

Therefore, the primary lexical definition for the verb is “to consider something to be true, to believe.”[1] Faith (and the verb “believe”) is a confidence, persuasion, or conviction that something is true.[2] We have faith when we are fully persuaded by the evidence presented to us. “To believe is to be persuaded that some declaration is true. … If you think something is true, you believe it.”[3]

Joseph Dillow says,

Faith is located in the mind and is persuasion or belief. It is something which “happens” to us as a result of reflection upon sufficient evidence … Saving faith is reliance upon God for salvation. It does not include within its compass the determination of the will to obey, nor does it include a commitment to a life of works. To believe is to be persuaded and be reliant and includes nothing else.[4]

So what then is biblical faith (or belief)?

We can do no better at defining faith than does the author of Hebrews, who writes: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). The author of Hebrews is saying that faith substantiates, or sees as reality, that which we have previously only hoped to be true.

Faith is the evidence, conviction, or confidence in things we cannot see. Certainly, we also believe the things we have seen, but the faith described in the rest of Hebrews 11 is the faith that is confident in God’s promises based on what is known about God’s character and God’s Word.

A Second Look at the Tightrope Illustration

This brings us back to the illustration of the tightrope walker pushing a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls. The people truly believed that the man could walk across the tightrope above Niagara Falls. They had seen him do it. They also believed that he could do it with a wheelbarrow. They had seen him do this as well.

In both cases, their faith was real and genuine. Based on what they had seen him do, they also stated their belief that he would be able to push someone across Niagara Falls in a wheelbarrow.

However, none of them were willing to get into the wheelbarrow themselves. Does this mean that they didn’t actually believe?

No, it does not. They did believe and their faith was genuine.

So why didn’t they want to get into the wheelbarrow?

First, walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope has inherent risks. This is why it is so thrilling to watch. And given all the various things that can go wrong in such a situation—many of which are completely out of the control of the man on the tightrope—there is no guarantee that he will make it across.

Even if he performed this feat a thousand times in a row and became so good at it that he could run across while blindfolded, there is still no guarantee that he would be able to do the one-thousand-and-first time. Maybe a stronger than normal gust of wind would knock him off balance. Maybe it would start to rain and he would slip. Maybe a reckless bird would hit him in the head. There are just too many variables.

No matter how many times the man completes this feat, it is a statistical certainty that eventually he will slip and fall to his death.

So while the crowd could state their genuine belief every time that the man will make it across the falls, they also believe that a time will come when the man will fall. None of the people on the shore wanted to be in the wheelbarrow when that happened.

So the people on the shore had two genuine, but conflicting, beliefs.

They believed that the man could walk across Niagara Falls, and would be able to do it many times, even with a person in a wheelbarrow. However, they also believed in statistics and science, both of which say that eventually, the tightrope walker will fall.

Related to this, while the people on the shore might have had full faith in the tightrope walker’s ability to maintain his balance, none of them had faith in their own ability. It is logical and reasonable to think that the man could take someone across the Falls in a wheelbarrow if the person stayed completely still and did not move.

After all, if the person in the wheelbarrow starts flailing about, screaming in terror, or even sneezes, such movement could throw off the balance, causing both people to plunge to their death below. And as all people know, we cannot always keep fear at bay, nor can we easily hold back a sneeze.

Therefore, here again, while a person might properly believe that a well-trained tightrope walker can push a person in a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls, there are too many unknown and uncontrollable variables for any person to believe that they themselves could hold still enough to complete such a dangerous journey.

The bottom line truth is that that this fictional illustration about how nobody from a watching crowd would get into a wheelbarrow so that they might be pushed across Niagara Falls on a tightrope does not illustrate the lack of faith in the watching crowd.

To the contrary, it shows their true and genuine faith in a variety of truth claims. They believed the man could do it. But they did not believe in their own ability to sit still enough inside the wheelbarrow. They also knew (i.e., believed) that there were millions of random variables in nature that could create problems as well.

So did they believe the man could push a person across Niagara Falls in a wheelbarrow? Yes, they firmly believed that the man could do it.

But did each individual person believe the man would do this for themselves if they got into the wheelbarrow? No, they did not believe this, for the various reasons mentioned above.

They probably had somewhere over fifty percent certainty that he would, maybe even approaching ninety percent certainty in some cases. But this was not enough reasonable certainty for them to gamble their lives on it.

God is not a Tightrope Walker!

But notice how different it is when it comes to the promises of God made to us through Jesus Christ.

God is not a tightrope walker who will eventually make a mistake if we just give Him enough time. If He promises to take us across a spiritual tightrope, He will fulfill that promise every single time forever and ever without fail.

There are no spiritual or natural variables which can wreak havoc with the promises of God.

faith in God

The same goes for Jesus. When Jesus makes a promise, it is a promise with a 100% guarantee. Like God, Jesus is fully reliable.

Eternal Life is Not a Wheelbarrow

Furthermore, many of the promises of God are not at all dependent upon our own effort or involvement.

If we were to equate eternal life to getting into a wheelbarrow for a trip across Niagara Falls, then we would also have to say that on this trip, we could jump around and do flips inside the wheelbarrow and Jesus will still not lose His balance or let us fall into the waters below.

We could even try to jump out, but He will not let us fall. Eternal life is His gift to us, and this gift has an everlasting guarantee. We are safe and secure in His hands, and He will never let us go (John 10:27-29). This is His promise.

When we refuse to believe His promises, it is simply because we are refusing to believe that Jesus knows what He is talking about and can be trusted to do what He says.

Jesus is fully trustworthy and reliable. So you can believe in Him for what He says. And when He offers eternal life to anyone who believes in Him for it, you can know that if you have believed in Jesus, then you have eternal life.

When you believe in Jesus, you are already in the wheelbarrow and He is taking you across the falls, and there is nothing that you, or anyone (or anything) else can do to stop Him (Rom 8:38-39).

Nevertheless, I imagine that you still have some questions about the nature of faith and how faith works. You also might still have some lingering doubts about whether or not you really believe. Maybe you have also heard people talk about head faith, heart faith, true faith, false faith, small faith, and great faith, and you want to know how these sorts of descriptions fit with what we have learned in this chapter.

We will continue to look at these sorts of questions and issues in future podcast episodes.

Notes for this Podcast Study on Faith

[1] Walter Bauer et al., BAGD,  816.

[2] Wilkin, Confident in Christ, 5, 7.

[3] Shawn Lazar, Beyond Doubt, 106.

[4] Dillow, Final Destiny, 276.

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Have you ever heard the wheelbarrow tightrope walk over Niagara Falls as an illustration for faith? It is a terrible illustration, because it does not accurately portray what faith really is or how faith works. Have you ever heard the wheelbarrow tightrope walk over Niagara Falls as an illustration for faith?<br /> <br /> It is a terrible illustration, because it does not accurately portray what faith really is or how faith works. This podcast episode considers the illustration and defines faith from Scripture. <br /> <br /> To read the manuscript or leave question about this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/faith-wheelbarrow-niagara-falls/ Jeremy Myers clean 36:15
Evangelism is Gospelism. But what is Gospelism? https://redeeminggod.com/evangelism-is-gospelism-part-1/ Wed, 21 Nov 2018 16:00:35 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=555 What is evangelism? What needs to be said in evangelism? Who do you say it to? How long does evangelism take? What Scriptures should you use? How do you know when someone has been evangelized? Since there is so much confusion around evangelism, maybe we should start talking about gospelism instead. What is evangelism? What needs to be said in evangelism? Who do you say it to? How long does evangelism take? What Scriptures should you use? How do you know when someone has been “evangelized”? Ask these questions to 10 people, and you will get 11 answers (because there’s always that one guy who gives two answers).

There is a lot of confusion today about how to evangelize and what to say and do in evangelism. I believe the primary problem lies in the word itself. The word proves the truth of the saying, “The translation is the traitor!” Let me show you what I mean.

Evangelism from the Greek

You would never know it in English, but in Greek, the words “gospel” (Gk. euangelion) and “evangelism” (Gk. euangelizomai) have the same root. In fact, the word “evangelism” isn’t really a translation of the Greek word at all, but is instead a transliteration. The translators, rather than translate euangelizomai, just changed the Greek letters into English, and left it:

euangelizomai
evangelism

evangelism is gospelismSometimes, the English translations use the phrase “preach the gospel” which is better than “evangelism” but tends to make us think that the gospel is spread only by preaching, which as we saw in a previous post, is simply not true.

Let me suggest a new term instead of evangelism.

How about “gospelism” (evangelizing = gospelizing)? This would help show a clearer connection between the gospel itself and the activity of spreading the gospel. This would really help clarify what gospelism is (i.e., what evangelism is) and how to carry it out.

What is Gospelism?

If (as we saw in a previous post) the gospel is more than a set of propositions which must be believed to receive eternal life, then gospelism is way more than just sharing a set of propositions to a person in the hopes that they will believe and receive eternal life.

Put another way, gospelism takes place whenever the gospel is revealed. 

And if the gospel contains all sorts of truths about the temporal and eternal benefits that are offered through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, then logically, any time we share (either by word or deed) any of the truths related to the gospel, we are gospelizing.

Since the gospel contains truths about how to live life in light of the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus, “gospelizing” is not only done with words, but with actions as well. Ideally, since the gospel is related to all aspects of life, our entire life – all we say and do – will be gospelizing.

Sermon Application

More concretely, since the gospel affects how we interact with others, how we spend our money, how we use our time, etc., we are gospelizing not only when we preach and teach about the gospel, but also when we treat others with kindness, fairness and honesty, when we show forgiveness and grace, when we stand up for the poor, the neglected, and the outcast, and any time we reveal the changes that the gospel has brought about in our own life.

When evangelism becomes gospelism, and we see that the gospel is for all of life, then gospelism is for all of life as well.

Gospelism is not just about eternal life, but about all of life … just like the gospel. 

Read these posts to learn more about gospelism:

Evangelism is Gospelism (Part 1)
Evangelism is Gospelism (Part 2)
Evangelism is Gospelism (Part 3)
Evangelism is Gospelism (Part 4)
Evangelism is Gospelism (Part 5)
Evangelism is Gospelism (Part 6)

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What is evangelism? What needs to be said in evangelism? Who do you say it to? How long does evangelism take? What Scriptures should you use? How do you know when someone has been evangelized? - Since there is so much confusion around evangelism, What is evangelism and how is it performed? By studying the word in the Greek, we discover that evangelism is not what most people think it is. <br /> <br /> This study looks at the word evangelism in the Bible and suggests that it should be translated as gospelism. We then look at three Bible verses where this understanding helps explain the texts. <br /> <br /> To view the transcript for this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/evangelism-is-gospelism-part-1/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:35
Does Jesus tell the Rich Young Ruler how to earn eternal life? (Matthew 19:16-21; Luke 18:18-23; Mark 10:17-22) https://redeeminggod.com/rich-young-ruler-matthew-19/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 21:47:45 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49363 There have been lots of strange teachings about the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16-21 (and Luke 18:18-23; Mark 10:17-22). Did Jesus really mean that the rich can earn eternal life if they give all their possessions away? No. By understanding the cultural and theological view of riches in the days of Jesus, we can better understand what Jesus was telling the Rich Young Ruler. In the account of Matthew 19:16-21 (and the parallel passages of Luke 18:18-23; Mark 10:17-22), a rich, young ruler approaches Jesus and asks Him what he must do to have eternal life. (Luke also contains the account of a lawyer who asks a similar question Luke 10:25-28. I have written about the Rich Young ruler before here.)

Jesus points the young man to the law, and specifically to the Ten Commandments. The man responds that he has kept all of the commandments since he was a boy.

So Jesus says that the man still lacks one thing: he must go out and sell everything he owns, and then give the money to the poor.

At this, the rich young ruler becomes forlorn and goes away, because he was very rich.

What is the Story of the Rich Young Ruler about?

Many pastors and scholars point to this passage as primary evidence that good works and obedience to the commandments are required to receive eternal life.

believe in Jesus for eternal lifeBut there are numerous considerations from the text which reveal that this is not what Jesus is saying, and this is not how we should understand the passage.

1. We must first understand the meaning of “eternal life”

What is eternal life, and how is it gained?

To answer this, let me briefly summarize some of what I teach in my online course, The Gospel Dictionary.

There are three main truths to remember about eternal life.

First, eternal life begins the moment we believe in Jesus for it.

Since eternal life is the life of God given to those who believe in Jesus Christ, it begins the moment we receive Him (John 3:16; 5;24; 6:47; etc).

Eternal life is not some future possession, but is something we receive now, at the moment we are placed in Christ Jesus through faith.

Since eternal life is the life of God, and since this life is in Jesus, then anyone who shares this life with Jesus, also shares this life with God. To put it more succinctly, since Jesus is eternal life (cf. 1 John 1:2), we receive eternal life when we receive Jesus.

Second, eternal life is eternal.

In other words, everlasting life is everlasting.

This means that once you have eternal life in Jesus, you can never lose it.

Earl Radmacher used to say that “If you can lose your everlasting life, it has the wrong name.” Just as you cannot be unborn after you are born, so also, when you are born again into the family of God, you cannot ever go back and become unborn.

Once a person believes in Jesus for eternal life, they receive it permanently, and no matter what they say, think, or do in the future, their new birth into God’s family is a historical fact and cannot be undone.

Every single passage in the Bible which appears to teach that eternal life can be lost is not in fact talking about eternal life, but is instead referring to something else, such as physical life here on earth, inheritance and reward in the future, or to some sort of deliverance (salvation) from temporal catastrophe or disaster.

There is no verse in the Bible which teaches that a person can lose their eternal life.

Finally, since eternal life begins the moment we believe, and since eternal life is forever, this means that we can begin experiencing eternal life now.

Some seem to believe that eternal life does not begin until we die, at which point we will float around on clouds and play harps. When people have such an idea, it is no wonder they are not all that excited or thrilled about experiencing eternal life.

But once we understand that eternal life begins in this life, when we receive the life of God through faith in Jesus, it becomes much more thrilling to think about it.

To experience eternal life with God means that we live up to our full creative, adventurous potential as human beings, so that we begin to experience true life now.

It refers to experiencing “the age to come” here and now in this age. Eternal life is not just a future experience to be longed for, but is a way of life that can be lived here and now.

It is helpful to think of eternal life as a whole new life in a whole new world.

We pass through the doorway into this new this world by faith in Jesus Christ. And the doorway is not a revolving door. It is a one-way door. Once you are through the door and in the new world, you can never go back.

But once we are through the door, there is a whole world to explore. Those who sit at the entrance, bemoaning what they have left behind, have not yet begun to experience all the lies ahead.

Newcomers are encouraged to do more than just sit at the doorway, content that they have entered into a new life with Jesus Christ. Instead, they are encouraged to follow Jesus into all the beauty and adventures that awaits them in this new world. Jesus calls people who have entered into new life with Him to follow Jesus wherever He leads, to go higher up and further in.

In this way, it is not wrong to recognize that while eternal life is a free gift and a present expression, it not only refers to the quantity of life (life that never ends) but also the quality of life (the experience of God’s life that only gets better over time).

This clarification is extremely helpful when trying to understand various tricky texts in the Bible about eternal life, and especially in those texts that seem to imply that eternal life can be earned or inherited. Such texts are not talking about how we can earn or work for the free gift of eternal life, but are instead referring to the ongoing experience of eternal life here and now.

Let me summarize these three truths about eternal life:

Eternal life is God’s life in us so that we can have life with Him that never ends, and it is freely given to all who believe in Jesus, and experienced in greater degrees as we follow Jesus.

While it is an eternal possession that is received by faith alone in Jesus, it can also be a present reality that is experienced when we follow Jesus in discipleship.

Eternal life refers to both an eternal possession we receive by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and a present experience we can enjoy here in this life as we follow Jesus by faithful obedience to His leading.

This brief study of eternal life helps us understand the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16-21 (cf. Luke 18:18-23; Mark 10:17-22)

The Rich Young Ruler Matthew 19:16-21

2. Matthew 19:16-21 is about inheriting eternal life, not earning eternal life

First, the passage is clearly about inheriting eternal life, not receiving it (cf. Matt 19:29; Mark 10:17, 30; Luke 18:18, 30).

Support for this is found in the following context where Jesus says that it is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23; Mark 10:23; Luke 18:24), and then equates the Kingdom of heaven with inheriting eternal life (cf. Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30).

So the rich young ruler is not technically asking about how to receive eternal life, but how to inherit it, or experience it, in this life. Jesus answers accordingly.

The man felt that he should be experiencing eternal life because of his strict obedience to the law, but he also felt that something was lacking. So he asked Jesus about how to inherit, or experience, eternal life now. Jesus ran a quick diagnostic test on the man, and quickly determined two sources of the man’s problem.

First, the man was proud.

He thought he had perfectly obeyed the law. He said he has obeyed it from his youth.

This, of course, is completely impossible, as Jesus knew. Yet rather than challenge the young man on his perceived moral perfection, Jesus “upped the ante” on the man as a way to show the man that he was not as righteous as he thought.

Jesus told the man to do something which the man could not do. He should sell all his riches and give the money to the poor. Yet even this was not the end, for after he did this, Jesus told the man to “Come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22).

The point of Jesus was that the young man would never “arrive.” The main thing holding the young man back from experiencing the life of God was his self-righteous spiritual pride. The words of Jesus were intended to begin dismantling this pride.

Rich Young Ruler

Second, Jesus recognized that wealth was the source of the rich young ruler’s problem.

This is why Jesus focused on the riches of this young man, instead of on some other area where the young man was blind to his own sin.

After all, even though Jesus asked about the commandments, there is no commandment or statement in the Mosaic Law to sell everything and give it away. So why does Jesus seem to shift from focusing on the commandments to giving up riches?

The answer is found within the law itself. The law promised wealth and riches to those who completely obeyed the law (cf. Deut 28:1-14). This young man was rich and wealthy at a very young age, which made him believe that he must have obeyed the entire law since his youth.

This is why Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give away all his wealth. It wasn’t exactly about the money. It was about the false sense of moral perfection that the money created in the man’s heart. When Jesus told the man to give up his wealth, He was saying that the man could not look to his wealth as a sign of God’s blessing.

In fact, it is quite possible that this young man did not keep the law as well as he thought. In the Ancient Mediterranean world, it was thought that wealth was a “zero sum game.” They believed that there was a fixed amount of material wealth in the world, so that the only way people gained more money and riches was if others lost it.

Of course, from a theological perspective, the only way someone would lose their riches and wealth is if they were sinful, and God displayed His displeasure by taking away their wealth and giving it to someone else who pleased Him.

But is this how the world really works? Is it only the righteous who are rich and only the wicked who are poor? No. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The same was true in biblical times as well, which is why some of the prophets wonder why the wicked prosper and the faithless live in ease (cf. Jer 12:1).

The sad reality is that the rich often (but not always) become rich because they murder, steal, and bear false witness, which are exactly the sins Jesus questioned the rich young ruler about (Matt 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 19:20). It is entirely possible that the rich your ruler became rich at such a young age because he, or his family, engaged in various practices which made them rich at the expense of the poor.

But this young man was ignorant or blind to such things, and thought that because he was rich, he was blessed by God, and therefore, obedient to the law. By telling him to sell his riches and give his money to the poor (who, according to this line of thought, were poor because they were sinners), Jesus was challenging this entire way of thinking.

So although eternal life is mentioned in this passage, the rich young ruler is not asking, and Jesus is not explaining, how to gain eternal life.

The rich young ruler isn’t asking about how to go to heaven when he dies. He is asking about the new world that God is going to usher in, the new era of justice, peace, and freedom God has promised his people. And he is asking, in particular, how he can be sure that when God does all this, he will be part of those who inherit the new world, who share in its life.

Jesus and the rich young ruler are talking about how to experience God’s life (eternal life) in this life.

While the commandments are mentioned, the instructions of Jesus are not even about keeping the commandments, but about spiritual pride and arrogance.

What is the Meaning of Matthew 19:16-21 and the Rich Young Ruler?

Therefore, when all the factors are considered, we see that the passage is primarily about how Jesus challenged the status quo theological belief that the rich are loved by God while the poor are under His judgment.

camel through eye of a needleJesus sought to reverse this entire line of thought, as the following contexts make quite clear (Matthew 19:23-30; Mark 10:23-30; Luke 18:24-30). It is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven because they rely on their riches as evidence that they are already living the life God wants for them.

Many of the rich people in the days of Jesus (and even many today) believe that their riches prove that they are under God’s blessing and are part of His family. Jesus is saying, “If you think your riches prove that you have eternal life, give up your riches. They don’t prove anything about eternal life one way or the other.”

Eternal life is received by believing in Jesus for it. And there is no amount of good works you can do to keep, earn, or prove that you have eternal life.

But once you have eternal life through faith in Jesus, you can gain a better experience of eternal life by following Jesus on the path of discipleship. This might require you to make some difficult decisions in life.

Bottom line: You DO NOT need to give away your wealth to receive eternal life … but you might need to be more generous with it if you want to experience the reality of God’s life in you.

Do you want to inherit, or experience, eternal life in this life? You first, of course, need to make sure you have received the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus.

But after that, to experience eternal life, you must not depend on your riches or worldly success, nor your self-deceived ability to obey all of God’s law (which doesn’t lead into love anyway, see Law), as signs that you are fully experiencing all that God has for you.

Instead, to live within the Kingdom of God and experience the joys and blessings of eternal life, you must humbly follow Jesus wherever He leads, even if it is into poverty and obscurity.

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There have been lots of strange teachings about the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16-21 (and Luke 18:18-23; Mark 10:17-22). Did Jesus really mean that the rich can earn eternal life if they give all their possessions away? No. In Matthew 19:16-21, a rich young ruler asks Jesus how he can gain eternal life. Jesus tell him to give away all his money. <br /> <br /> Is Jesus saying that you can earn eternal life by giving away your money and possessions? Can you WORK for eternal life? <br /> <br /> No. By understanding a few key things about eternal life, and also by recognizing a few truths from Matthew 19:16-21, we see what Jesus was REALLY teaching. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, visit here: https://redeeminggod.com/rich-young-ruler-matthew-19/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:20
Jeremy Myers interviews Shawn Lazar about his book, Chosen to Serve https://redeeminggod.com/shawn-lazar-chosen-to-serve/ Wed, 31 Oct 2018 15:00:24 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49316 In this interview with Shawn Lazar, we discuss his book "Chosen to Serve" and how divine election is to service; not to eternal life. After presenting the concept of election as it is taught in Scripture, we discuss Acts 13:48, 1 Peter 1:2, and 2 Peter 1:10-11. By listening to the episode, you can learn how to get 50% off his book. Shawn Lazar

I have been teaching a series on the doctrine of divine election in Scripture, and so am pleased to welcome Shawn Lazar onto the show to discuss his book, Chosen to Serve.

Chosen to ServeIn his book, Shawn shows what the Bible teaches about election, and discusses several key passages which are used to defend various views of divine election. Shawn shows us how to understand these passages in light of the rest of biblical revelation about this tricky doctrine.

When you properly understand divine election, you will no longer find yourselves in angry and heated debates about who God chose for heaven from eternity past … nor will you be anxious about whether or not you yourself are chosen by God.

Instead, you will discover the beautiful biblical truth that election is to service, not to eternal life.

By listening to the podcast episode, you will also learn how to get 50% off Shawn’s book, Chosen to Serve. Or you can pay full price on Amazon … if that is what you really want.

Here are other links we mentioned in the podcast interview:

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In this interview with Shawn Lazar, we discuss his book "Chosen to Serve" and how divine election is to service; not to eternal life. After presenting the concept of election as it is taught in Scripture, we discuss Acts 13:48, 1 Peter 1:2, In this interview with Shawn Lazar, we discuss his book "Chosen to Serve" and how divine election is to service; not to eternal life. <br /> <br /> After presenting the concept of election as it is taught in Scripture, we discuss Acts 13:48, 1 Peter 1:2, and 2 Peter 1:10-11. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/shawn-lazar-chosen-to-serve/ Jeremy Myers clean 47:19
Did God choose who would be Christians before the foundation of the world? (Ephesians 1:4-5) https://redeeminggod.com/election-ephesians-1-4-5/ Wed, 24 Oct 2018 20:23:11 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49218 In this teaching on Ephesians 1:4-5, I explain the biblical concepts of election, predestination, and adoption, showing you that God does NOT choose some to receive eternal life while everyone else receives eternal death. Election is to service; not to eternal life. Many people believe that in eternity past, before the foundation of the world, God chose (or elected) certain individuals to receive eternal life. Everybody else remains in a state of eternal condemnation. We looked at Romans 9 last week, and Ephesians 1:4-5 is another text that some people use to support the idea of God choosing who becomes a Christian. The verse says this:

… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will …

chosen elect Ephesians 1:4

In this study, we are going to briefly consider Ephesians 1:4-5, showing that while God has elected and predestined us, this does not mean that He chose whom to give eternal life to, and whom to condemn. Election is not to eternal life, but to service in the plan and purposes of God.

A longer version of this study can be found in two of my sermons on Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:4-5 is not teaching how God chose, predestined, or elected some people to receive eternal life (while condemning or passing over all the rest).

A careful reading of the text reveals the same truth we have seen elsewhere, that election is to service. These verses teach that it was God’s plan from eternity past to adopt all who believe in Jesus as His heirs so that we will become holy and without blame before Him.

This is seen in two main ways.

We were Elected to be Holy and Blameless (Ephesians 1:4)

First, in Ephesians 1:4, Paul writes that God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.

Note that the text does not say that we were chosen “to be” in Him (Christ), but rather that we were chosen “in Him.” This means that Jesus Christ is the primary elect one, and believers are chosen, or elect, because of our connection with Jesus.

We are among the elect because we are in Christ, and He is elect.

Ephesians 1:4-5

It should be obvious as well, that God did not choose Jesus so that Jesus could have eternal life. Eternal life is in God and is in Jesus Christ (John 17:3), and therefore, God did not elect Jesus to eternal life, but to serve a particular role and function within His sovereign plan for this world.

Therefore, just as the election of Jesus is to a specific task and purpose, so also, all those who are elect “in Christ” share the same task and purpose as Jesus. Jesus came to be a blessing, to serve others, to reconcile the world to God, and to reveal God to the world (cf. Luke 4:17-19).

Since are in Jesus, then we are to do similar things. As the elect in Christ, we must follow Jesus Christ wherever He leads and in whatever He does.

Since we are to do what Jesus does and to follow Him wherever He leads, there is a danger to the evangelical proclamation that “Jesus has done it all.”

While it is absolutely true that He has “done it all” in regard to what is necessary for making eternal life available to all humanity, He has not “done it all” in regard to God’s plan and purpose for this world. All that Jesus still intends to do, He does through His elect followers, the church.

Through us, Jesus does greater things than He did during His ministry (John 14:12).

The fact that we were chosen in Jesus for service is further supported by the fact that Paul goes on to write that we were chosen in Him to be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4).

We were not chosen to receive eternal life, but to a way of living that reflects God’s holiness and righteousness to the world.

We were not elected to eternal life, but to a way of living life. We are to live holy and blameless lives before a watching world.

We were Predestined to the Adoption as Sons (Ephesians 1:5)

Paul states much the same thing in Ephesians 1:5 when he writes about predestination. He says that God “predestined us to adoption as sons.” Predestination is about God’s goals for His people; “not the selection of who will become His people.”[2]

predestination Ephesians 1:5

Predestination is about the benefits, privileges, and blessings that God determines to give to all those who become His children by faith in Jesus Christ. Some of these blessings include adoption into God’s family (Eph 1:5), future glory (1 Thess 5:9, Rom 8:29-30; 9:33; 1 Cor 2:7), and the opportunity to do good (Eph 2:10).

One reason many people think that predestination refers to God’s choice about who receives eternal life is because they misunderstand Paul’s use of the word “adoption” here in Ephesians 1:5. The word “adoption” was defined earlier in this dictionary (see Adoption), but a brief summary of what this word means will help us better understand Paul’s point here.

Typically, when people read about adoption in Paul’s writings, they think of the modern practice of adoption where a mother and father, through legal processes, make a child their own who was not biologically their own. They find an orphan who has no mother and father and adopt this child into their family.

But this is not how adoption worked in biblical times.

In the Roman world of Paul’s day, adoption was not about making a child your own, but was instead about naming a child as an heir. While the firstborn son was usually the heir, a father might adopt one of his other biological children as his heir, or the child of some other family so that the two families could become one through adoption.

adoption Ephesians 1:5One famous example is when Julius Caesar adopted Octavian (who became Caesar Augustus) to be his heir, even though Octavian was not Caesar’s son. Caesar had a biological son with Cleopatra named Caesarion, but he was not named as heir.[3]

So biblical adoption has very little to do with picking a parentless child to join your family, and has more to do with choosing someone as an heir. In other words, adoption is not about bringing someone into your family, but with giving a child privilege and position within the family.

While God did predestine from eternity past that there would be a people whom He would adopt as His heirs, this does not mean that God individually selected which people would become those heirs.

Instead, He set in motion a series of events which would bring about the creation of this family of God called out from among all the people of the earth.

When viewed this way, we see that Ephesians 1 is in agreement with multiple other passages in Scripture that election is to service in God’s Kingdom.

Election is to Service in God’s Kingdom

We see that elect people are not “in Christ” before the foundation of the world, but rather, it is Christ Himself, as the ultimate Servant of God, who was chosen before the foundations of the world to perform a service to God in redeeming the world and revealing God to the world.[4]

Paul’s point in Ephesians 1:4-5 is that when we join with Christ by faith in Him (Eph 2:8-9), we automatically become connected with the eternal and divine purpose of God in Jesus Christ so that we can perform the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10).

Jesus is the one was chosen before the foundations of the world, and so all who join with Jesus in faith will be caught up together with Him in His purpose to love, serve, and redeem the world.

[NOTES]

[1] See my book God’s Blueprints for Church Growth (Forthcoming) for more on this way of understanding Ephesians.

[2] William W. Klein, The New Chosen People: A Corporate View of Election (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1990), 279.

[3] There is some dispute about whether or not Caesarion was actually Caesar’s son. During the tense period of time when Mark Antony and Cleopatra ruled in Egypt while Octavius Caesar Augustus ruled in Italy, Mark Antony declared that Caesarion was “the son of God” the “king of kings” and the rightful heir to Rome. This led to a war, which Octavius Caesar eventually won, after which time, Octavius took the titles of divinity for himself, along with Augustus (Most High) and Prince of Peace, for now there was peace in Rome (Pax Romana). As they say, history is written by the victors, and so the stories about Caesarion being illegitimate were spread and encouraged, thereby supporting Octavian’s claim to the throne.

[4] Some have noted that the term “the foundation of the world” does not refer to the creation of the world, but rather to the foundational principles and values of this world, that is, the values and activities that make human civilization possible. See, for example, Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (New York: Waterbrook, 2017), 113. According to Scripture, the foundation of civilization is accusatory scapegoating violence (Listen to my podcast episodes on Genesis 3–4).

So when biblical writers talk about something “before the foundation of the world,” they are not saying “before the world was created” but “before we fell into our habits of blame, accusation, scapegoating, and violence. In this view, the preposition “before” does not necessarily mean “before in time” but might mean “before in location.” Jesus did die “in front of” or “before the face of” the founding principalities and powers of this world, and in this way, exposed and humiliated them by showing the world a better way to live (Col 2:14).

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In this teaching on Ephesians 1:4-5, I explain the biblical concepts of election, predestination, and adoption, showing you that God does NOT choose some to receive eternal life while everyone else receives eternal death. Does Ephesians 1:4-5 teach that before the foundation of the world, God elected some people to receive eternal life, and everyone else to eternal death?<br /> <br /> In this teaching on Ephesians 1:4-5, I explain the biblical concepts of election, predestination, and adoption, showing you that God does NOT choose some to receive eternal life while everyone else receives eternal death. Election is to service; not to eternal life.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the manuscript, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/election-ephesians-1-4-5/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:43
What Romans 9 REALLY teaches about election https://redeeminggod.com/romans-9-election/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:03:35 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49181 What does Paul mean about divine election in Romans 9 when he writes about God loving Jacob and hating Esau, making what he wants from clay, and hardening Pharaohs heart? This article answers these questions from Romans 9, and also looks at what Romans 11 teaches about divine election. In a previous post I introduced the concept of what the Bible means when it talks about election. You will want to go read that post, or listen to the podcast, before you read this post, as it forms the foundation for the ideas presented below.

And if you really want to learn more about what I discuss in this article, you will want to get my book, The Re-Justification of God. It provides more information about how to understand Romans 9:10-24. (And yes, I know the title is strange and the cover is boring, but you can find out the reason for WHY by using the “Look inside” feature at Amazon. This will allow you to read the Author’s Note and the Preface to the book, which explains more.)

The Re-Justification of God

Here are the texts about election from Romans 9 that we want to briefly consider here:

And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger” (Romans 9:11-12).

For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Romans 9:17).

Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show … wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom he called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:21-24).

Brief Overview of Romans (for Context)

It is first of all helpful to recognize the overall message and meaning of the book of Romans.

Despite what some think, Paul’s letter to the Romans is not about justification, or even the righteousness of God. It is not about how great God is or how to go to heaven when we die.

Romans 9 in contextInstead, Paul’s letter to the Romans is about how the gospel “saves” believers and unbelievers alike (Romans 1:16-17) from wrath. This becomes clearer still when we recall that the word “saves” does not mean “justifies” but “delivers” (see my study on the word ‘saved’) and “wrath” does not mean “go to hell when you die” but refers instead to the devastating and destructive consequences of sin

Paul’s letter to the Romans is about how the gospel not only delivers people from the eternal and spiritual consequences of sin, but also from the temporal and physical consequences.

Romans 9 fits squarely within the second part of this theme.

Up to this point in Romans, Paul has argued that although sin is a universal human problem (Romans 1–3), God has a divine purpose and significance for all believers, so that if we live in light of our justification (Romans 4–5) and walk by faith (Romans 6–7), God will bless us and work with us to accomplish His will on earth (Romans 8).

In the last part of Romans 8, Paul sets out to encourage his readers that nothing can get in God’s way of accomplishing His purposes (Romans 8:28-39).

Yet there is one main problem with Paul’s logic up to this point.

Though Paul says that nothing can get in God’s way of Him accomplishing His purposes in us, the biblical record seems to indicate that something got in the way of God accomplishing His purposes for Israel.

Israel too was God’s elect, but by all appearances, God “set them aside” and turned to the Gentiles instead. So if God’s purposes failed with Israel, how can Paul say that God’s purposes will not fail for the church?

Romans 9–11 contains Paul’s response to this objection.

In Romans 9–11, Paul explains that God’s purposes for Israel did not fail, and for the most part, Israel herself did not fail.

Nevertheless, if we understand what happened to Israel, we will then be better able to protect the church from something similar happening to us.

Jacob and Esau in Romans 9

In the first part of Romans 9, Paul uses three biblical examples to show that God’s election of people and groups is to service.

Jacob Esau Romans 9The first example is Jacob and Esau, and it is important to note that both Jacob and Esau were elected, or chosen, by God. It is often assumed that only Jacob was chosen by God, but Paul clearly indicates that God chose the older brother, Esau, to serve the younger brother, Jacob.

This once again proves that election is to service.

Through the way Paul structures his argument and Old Testament quotations, he indicates that that while Isaac and Jacob were chosen to be recipients of the promise, Ishmael and Esau were still chosen by God, but for other purposes and tasks.

God’s choosing and election in Romans 9 is not to eternal life, but to vocation, mission, purpose, and service.

Esau’s election certainly was a different service than the one to which Jacob was called, but it is clearly a call to service nonetheless.

This call to various forms of service was not only true of the individuals, Esau and Jacob, but also to the nations that came from them, Edom and Israel. Just as Israel was chosen to perform a particular type of service to the world, so also Edom was chosen to perform a particular type of service to Israel.

Therefore, just as Paul is not saying that all Israelites have eternal life, so also, Paul is not saying that all Edomites (the descendants of Esau) are destined for eternal damnation.

The passage is not about eternal destinies at all.

Any Edomite has just as much opportunity to believe and receive eternal life from God as any Israelite. God chose Israel so that they might be a blessing to the surrounding nations, and God chose Esau and the Edomites to help Jacob and Israel in this task.

The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart in Romans 9

The same truths are then applied by Paul to why God raised up Pharaoh during the Exodus events.

The way Paul structures his argument in Romans 9:14-18, Paul shows that Pharaoh too was chosen, or elected, by God. But this says nothing about Pharaoh’s eternal destiny.

Romans 9:14-18 is not referring to where Pharaoh will spend eternity.

did God harden Pharaohs heartInstead, God raised up Pharaoh and solidified the proud and stubborn rebellion that was in Pharaoh’s heart so that those who witnessed and heard of what happened in Egypt would know that the God of Israel alone was God. Could not God, in His gracious sovereignty, do such a thing with Pharaoh without affecting whatsoever Pharaoh’s ability to believe in God’s promises and thus become part of God’s redeemed people?

Of course He could!

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, whether it is done by God or Pharaoh, or by some symbiotic combination of the two, has absolutely nothing to do with Pharaoh’s eternal destiny.

Even if the Exodus account laid all the responsibility for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart upon God Himself, and none upon Pharaoh, this still would tell us nothing about whether or not Pharaoh concluded His life as one of God’s redeemed.

Pharaoh’s eternal destiny is not under discussion in Exodus or in Romans, and so Pharaoh’s heart can be hardened so that God’s purposes are achieved, while still leaving plenty of room for Pharaoh to believe in God’s promises and become one of God’s people.

When Pharaoh’s kingdom came crashing down around him through the Ten Plagues and the destruction of his army in the Red Sea, one wonders if Pharaoh learned the lesson God had sought to teach him, and had returned back to his empty throne room where he threw himself upon the mercy of the One True God, recognizing God’s sovereignty and power over all—even over Pharaoh himself.

The Bible does not say this happened, but we can hope.

The Potter and the Clay in Romans 9

Paul uses the image of the potter and the clay from Jeremiah 18 as his third example of how election works. There are numerous interpretive issues with this portion of Paul’s argument, which I explain in more detail in my book, The Re-Justification of God. In that book, I propose that the following translation of Romans 9:22-24 best summarizes Paul’s point:

What if God, wanting to reveal wrath for what it is and make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of dishonor which were headed for destruction, so that He might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of honor—which is the plan He has prepared beforehand for glory—and He did this not only for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles?

potter and the clay Romans 9Read this way, God does not create two classes of people, one to destroy and one to bless. God does not create vessels for dishonor, but instead, endures with patience those who are dishonorable in the hopes that they would see His mercy and become vessels of honor.

God is longsuffering toward those who are in rebellion so that He can display His grace and mercy to them, with the hope that the vessels headed for destruction might instead become vessels headed for glory.

Either way, God’s creative wisdom enables Him to use honorable vessels for honorable purposes and dishonorable vessels for dishonorable purposes.

Once again, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the eternal destiny of these vessels, but instead concerns their role, function, and purpose within this life.

Romans 9 and Election

So Paul believes that election can be both corporate and individual, and that election is not to eternal life, but to service in this life.

Paul illustrates this teaching on election by pointing to Jacob and Esau and the nations that came from them, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, and God’s choice to use both honorable and dishonorable vessels to accomplish His purposes of blessing, reconciling, and redeeming the world.

Romans 9 is not about some strange act of God whereby He chooses some to receive eternal life while others get damned to hell by God’s sovereign eternal decree.

No, the point of Romans 9 is that God sought to bless the entire world by raising up Israel to be a light and a blessing to others. Having completed this task, God did not set Israel aside.

Instead, He transitioned from having an elect group of people in part of the world to calling all people in the world to join Him in the new elect people. So although Israel was elect, she fulfilled her task and became a non-elect nation so that the non-elect world could become elect.

This is what Paul continues to explain in Romans 11 as he answers the objection about how God’s promises and purposes do not fail even if God’s elect people do.

Romans 11 Supports this Reading of Romans 9

Paul returns to discuss election in Romans 11. Here are the pertinent texts:

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5).

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded (Romans 11:7).

Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers (Romans 11:28).

As seen in the discussion above about Romans 9, the entire discussion in this part of Romans is about how God’s promises to the church can be trusted, since God’s promises to Israel seem to have failed.

Since Paul argued near the end of Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from God’s loving plan for us, the natural objection to this is, “But what about Israel? Weren’t they separated from God’s plan due to their sinful rebellion and failure to serve as a blessing to the world?”

Paul’s initial response in Romans 9 is that election is not to eternal life and glorification, but to service in this life.

divine electionHaving made this point, Paul goes on to argue in Romans 10 that Israel did not fail, but actually succeeded, and in fact, can continue to be elect by joining the elect people of God in the church. This is why Paul calls the church to proclaim the gospel to the Jews as well.

If the church does her job of proclaiming the gospel, any Israelite who believes in Jesus will become elect and join God’s plan and purposes in this world. This is what Paul goes on to describe in Romans 11.

The church has not replaced Israel in God’s plan for the world, but has been grafted in to supplement God’s plan, which, as it turns out, was God’s plan from the very beginning.

Even within Israel as a whole, there is always a remnant of believers who carry on the original task and purpose which God gave to the people of Israel (Romans 11:5). Though most of Israel is blinded, those Israelites who believe in Jesus for eternal life are thus part of the church and elected to participate in God’s purposes for this world (Romans 11:7).

Furthermore, a day is coming when Israel will return to her true calling, thereby bringing about the resurrection of the world (cf. Romans 11:12-15). Though many Israelites are antagonistic to the gospel, they nevertheless continue to serve role in God’s plan, and will do so in the future as well. In this way, though they are “enemies” to the gospel, they are beloved friends regarding election (Romans 11:28).

Note that, once again, nothing in this part of Romans 11 has anything whatsoever to do with people’s eternal destinies.

Paul is not talking about whether or not people can lose their eternal life. He is talking about positions of service in God’s plan for the world. God wants to bless the world, and while He chose Israel for this purpose, He now seeks to do it through the church, until ultimately all will be blessed by God (Rev 21:23-26; 22:2).

Just as God elected Israel to serve His purposes in the world, God chose the church for similar purposes.

God’s election of Israel and the church is not His choice of who will receive eternal life, but His choice of who will serve Him by being a blessing to this world.

Such an understanding helps make sense of some of the notoriously difficult verses in Romans 11. For example, Paul writes in Romans 11:17-21 that the elect branches were cut off so that non-elect branches could be grafted in, which in turn will lead to the elect-which-became-non-elect to be re-grafted back in and become re-elect.

If Paul is referring to eternal life when he speaks of election, none of this makes any sense. How can a people or a nation whom God elected “to eternal life” before the foundation of the world go from being elect to non-elect and then re-elect?

Romans 11:17-21 makes perfect sense, however, when we recognize that election is not to eternal life but to service. God wants to bless the world through His people. Israel accomplished their role in this, which led to the birth of the church.

But this does not mean that the church replaced Israel in God’s plan, but that God grafted Gentiles into His overall plan, and now invites all Israelites to be included in this ongoing plan, just as God invites all Gentiles as well.

branches grafted in Romans 11 electionIn this way, when Paul writes about branches being cut off so others can be grated in which will lead to the cut off branches being grafted back in again, he is not talking about people losing and regaining eternal life, but about losing and re-gaining places of privilege and purpose in God’s plan for this world. God’s plan of redemption started with Israel, shifted to the church (consisting of both Jewish and Gentile believers), so that “of Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36).

Israel, the elect nation, became non-elect once she had completed her task of bringing Scripture, the Messiah, and the elect church into the world.

God now joins believing Gentiles with believing Israelites together to form the church so that as the elect people of God, they will be a blessing to the world.

God’s plan did not fail, but simply transitioned from one group (Israel) to another (the church), so that the second group (the church) could be a blessing to the first (Israel) as well as to the whole world.

Election, Romans 9-11, and the Theme of Romans

This understanding fits perfectly with Paul’s overall theme in Romans about the gospel as the power of God unto salvation for all believers.

Remember, salvation is not about believing in Jesus for eternal life (though that is a central part of the gospel), but is also about living with purpose and significance as members of the new creation in this life.

This is Paul’s message in Romans, and Romans 9–11 fit perfectly into this overall theme. The gospel is good news for all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile.

It tells believers that our God is on the move in and through us; that His plan is moving forward. If we follow Him in faith, we will play a thrilling part in His plan for this world.

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What does Paul mean about divine election in Romans 9 when he writes about God loving Jacob and hating Esau, making what he wants from clay, and hardening Pharaohs heart? This article answers these questions from Romans 9, Romans 9 is the most controversial text in the Bible about divine election. But when you see that election is to service, this passage makes more sense.<br /> <br /> What does Paul mean about divine election in Romans 9 when he writes about God loving Jacob and hating Esau, making what he wants from clay, and hardening Pharaohs heart? This article answers these questions from Romans 9, and also looks at what Romans 11 teaches about divine election.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the manuscript for this study, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/romans-9-election/ Jeremy Myers clean 35:35
Election is to Service https://redeeminggod.com/election-is-to-service/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:00:33 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49156 The biblical teaching on election is a controversial issue in the church. But it need not be so. By carefully defining our terms and then looking at how the word election is used in context, we see that what the Bible teaches about election is not something to be debated, but celebrated. The biblical teaching on election is a controversial issue in the church. But it need not be so. By carefully defining our terms and then looking at how the word “election” is used in context, we see that what the Bible teaches about election is not something to be debated, but celebrated.

So let us look at what the words mean, and then consider several texts which contain them.

The word election comes from the Greek noun eklogē (1589), the adjective eklektos (1588), and the verb eklegō (1586). All the words mean “chosen, select,” and I wish that Bible translators would have consistently translated them as “choose” or “chosen” as this would have reduced some of the confusion surrounding the term “elect.”

divine electionThere are many related terms as well, such as calling, foreknowledge, ordained, and predestined, but by considering the term election, or to choose, the basic meaning of these others words will become clear.

The key truth to remember about election, or “God’s choice,” is that God chooses certain people and groups of people to perform certain tasks in this world so that He can accomplish part of His plan in and through them.

And what does God elect, or choose, these people for?

God does not choose which people will receive eternal life and which ones will not. Instead, God chooses which people will have a prominent role in helping Him move forward His plan for this world.

In other words, election is not to eternal life, but to service.

Biblical Election and Governmental Elections

It is helpful to think of biblical election the way we think of any other type of election. Most modern countries occasionally have some sort of “election” process. During these elections, individual people or groups of people are chosen to serve in a specific role or office so that they can perform a particular purpose.

When those who cast their votes elect a person or group to an office or role, they are not saying that such elected people have eternal life. No, they are saying that these are their chosen people to perform certain tasks in society.

It is the same with divine election.

When God “elects” people or groups, He is not choosing who will receive eternal life, but is selecting them to perform certain tasks in His plan and purposes for this world.

Whom Does God Elect?

Since this is how to understand election, it is obvious that God can elect individuals or entire nations.

election of GodHe can elect believers or unbelievers.

Sometimes, the people God elects will later believe in Him and be justified (cf. Gen 12:4; 16:16; 17:1), while other times, they will not believe, and remain elect unbelievers (cf. John 6:70; Rom 9:10-24).

Of course, all who believe in Jesus are automatically elected by God, because all believers are “in Christ” and Jesus is the primary elect person in Scripture (cf. Luke 23:35; Eph 1:4-5).

Furthermore, just because God chooses, or elects, someone to fulfill a purpose in His plan for the world, this does not mean that the person will do what God wants.

God never forces anyone to do anything.

But if a person, or group of people, fails to fulfill the purpose for which God chose them, this does not thwart God’s plan or ruin His divine will. Instead, God, in His infinite wisdom and creativity, simply elects someone else to do what the first person or group failed to do.

When Peter failed to take the gospel to the Gentiles, despite being repeatedly instructed to do so, God raised up Saul (Paul) to become the apostle to the Gentiles (cf. Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 9–11; Gal 2:8; 1 Cor 15:8).

Ultimately, of course, God desires that those whom He chooses will carry out the task that He assigns them to do, but if they do not, God can even raise up people for Himself from stones (Luke 3:8; 19:40).

God can even choose groups of people, such as Israel or the church, to accomplish His will in the world. Again, just as with God choosing individuals, God’s choice of a nation, such as Israel, does not mean that all Israelites have eternal life. Election has nothing to do with eternal life. God can choose all Israel to perform a certain task in this world without requiring that all Israelites have eternal life.

It’s sort of similar with the church as God’s elect (cf. Rom 8:33; Eph 1:4; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 1:4; 2 Tim 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet 1:1-2; 2:8-9; 5:13; Rev 17:14), except that all members of the church do indeed have eternal life. But God’s election of the church is not because all Christians have eternal life or so that all members of the church will receive eternal life.

All Christians have eternal life and all Christians are elect, but this is not the same thing as saying that all who are elect have eternal life.

Maybe we could put it differently: All who have eternal life are elect, but not all elect have eternal life.

Election is to service; not to eternal life.

While all who have eternal life are elect, not all the elect have eternal life. God raises up whom He wills to perform tasks He desires so they will accomplish His plan and purposes in this world. With this central idea in mind, let us look at several key texts from Scripture that reveal this truth in more detail.

Matthew 20:16; Matthew 22:14

For many are called, but few are chosen.

Many people seem to think that the calling and election of God are two synonymous terms (cf. Romans 8:30). Yet here, Jesus clearly indicates that while many are called, only few are chosen.

In an attempt to explain this passage, some scholars tend to talk about two different types of calling, a general call and an effectual call, and then say that this text is only referring to the general call of God to all people.

But once we recognize that the election of God is not to eternal life, but to a role and purpose within God’s plan for the world, it is no longer a problem to think of God’s calling as simply an invitation to participate with Him in what He is doing in the world. While this calling can go out generally to all, God can also individually select certain people to serve Him in specific ways.

individual election corporate electionSo Jesus is not referring to the calling or election of some to eternal life, but is teaching the consistent biblical message that while God desires that all people will serve Him, not all do, and so God chooses to work with those who participate with Him in what He is doing in the world.

God issues a general call to everybody, but only chooses those who respond to the call and indicate a willingness to serve Him in this world.

This is exactly the truth taught in the context by the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15). The vineyard owner needs workers to harvest his grapes, and so he makes several different invitations over the course of the day for anyone in the marketplace who might want to work. He chooses to hire and pay any who response to his invitation.

Note that if this parable were about God’s unconditional election of some to eternal life, then the landowner would not have issued a general invitation at all, but would have gone throughout the marketplace and hand-picked several to be his workers, and none of them could have said “No.”

Furthermore, if this parable is about election to eternal life, the fact that they then work during the day and get paid when the harvest is brought in would indicate that eternal life is based on works.

Thankfully, this parable is not about eternal life, nor the false idea that we have to work to earn it. Instead, it is about Gods’ willingness to work with anyone who wants to work with Him, even if it is the eleventh-hour workers who have supposedly been standing around the marketplace all day waiting for someone to hire them (Matthew 20:7).

These men are either liars (if they had truly been there all day, they would have been hired to work), lazy (maybe they were there and heard the call, but didn’t want to work), or greedy (maybe they kept hoping a better-paying opportunity came along), but the landowner hires them anyway.

Jesus is showing here (and in the following two chapters of Matthew, as revealed by the inclusio of Matthew 20:16 and Matthew 22:14) that while many people are called to participate in how He runs the world, only those who show up are “chosen” to do so.

When God invites all to participate with Him in His rule and reign on earth, He does so without partiality or favoritism. All are invited, and it does not matter who shows up first or last; all will be welcomed.

Those who accept the invitation, however, must recognize that while they will be given blessings and benefits from the overabundance of God’s generosity, these blessings and benefits must be gained in the right way (by entering through the front door, which is Jesus), and must be used in the service of others.

God calls all to join Him in spreading His kingdom upon the earth, and those who respond to the call are chosen by Him to accomplish specific tasks and purposes.

Matthew 24:22, 24, 31

And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:22).

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24).

And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31).

To understand what these passages teach about election, several things must be noted.

First, the word “saved” in Matthew 24:22 cannot refer to “receiving eternal life” (cf. Matthew 24:13). In Scripture, this word means to be delivered from something, and context determined what kind of deliverance is in view. Here the deliverance is from physical death due to the calamities that come upon the world. The salvation in Matthew 24 is not about going to heaven, but is about deliverance from physical death during times of tribulation.

Second, note that the elect cannot refer to a select group of individuals whom God sovereignly chooses to receive eternal life, for the text says that some of them will be deceived by false christs and false prophets. If God sovereignly controls the beliefs and behaviors of His elect, how is it that they could be deceived by false teaching?

election and human freedomThird, the gathering of the elect from the four winds does not refer to some sort of future rapture event, but to God gathering Jewish people from all over the world to return to Israel so that His plan and purposes for them can be fulfilled. In the context, Jesus mentions the people of Judea (Matthew 24:16), and references the image of the fig tree which is a symbol for Israel (Matthew 24:32-35).

So Matthew 24:15-28 is not teaching that God elects some people to eternal life while passing over the rest. The passage is about God’s plan for Israel, and how dark and terrible days are coming for her.

Yet so that God’s purposes with Israel can be fulfilled, God will cut those days short and gather the people of Israel back together so that He can complete His plan and purposes through them. If God didn’t cut short those days, most of the elect would die and many would be deceived, and so God’s plan would not be accomplished.

The passage is not about who gets eternal life and who does not. If it was about this, as some assume when they see the word “saved” in Matthew 24:13, 22, then this passage only becomes more difficult to understand, for it then would be teaching that those who have eternal life can be deceived, and might ultimately not be “saved.”

Instead, it is much better to recognize that eternal life is not in view anywhere in the text. The election of Matthew 24 is an election to service, so that God’s plan and purposes are fulfilled through Israel to the world.

John 6:70

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”

In this text, Jesus says that He has chosen all twelve of His disciples, but one of them is a devil. Understandably, this verse causes great problems for those who teach that God’s election is only to eternal life. Jesus clearly chooses Judas, just as He chooses the other eleven. Yet Judas “is a devil.”

There are only three possible ways of understanding this text:

First, it is possible that this text teaches the doctrine of reprobation, which is the idea that while God elects some to spend in eternity with Him, He elects others to spend eternity in hell. Judas would be one such person.

The second possibility is that Judas was actually elect unto eternal life. There are, in fact, some who hold this view.

The third option is to recognize that election is not to eternal life, but to some task or service. This would allow Judas to be chosen by Jesus to fulfill a task, even though Judas may never have received eternal life.

Clearly, that third view is the most theologically attractive and reasonable. Jesus has chosen some from among His many followers (not all of whom were believers; See Disciple) to fulfill a specific task and purpose within His mission and ministry to this world.

Judas, whether he ended up as a regenerate believer or not, definitely fulfilled a specific and vital role in what Jesus intended to accomplish in this world. Judas was elect, yet just like the other eleven apostles, he was not elected to eternal life, but to a specific task and purpose in God’s plan (cf. Matthew 27:9-10).

John 15:16

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

John 15:16In John 15:16, Jesus provides an extremely clear statement about what it means to be chosen and why certain people are chosen by God, and by Himself.

Furthermore, we see exactly why Jesus chose those whom He did. He did not choose certain people to receive eternal life, but so that they could “go and bear fruit.”

In the context, the picture of bearing fruit is related to abiding in Jesus Christ so that He can do His work in and through us. It is a picture of fellowship and faithful living. The choice is not to eternal life, but to service.

That the choice of Jesus in John 15:16 is to service and not to eternal life is seen by comparing this text with the passages that actually describe the even where Jesus chose His apostles. One of these is found in Mark 3:13-14, where we are told that Jesus chose twelve apostles “that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.”

Very clearly, these twelve were chosen to a specific task and purpose, which included proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. This is how we can also understand Jesus’ statements to these same apostles in John 15:16. He is reminding them of the purpose for which they were chosen.

It is helpful as well to remember who Jesus is speaking to in John 15. This chapter is part of “The Upper Room Discourse” of John 14–16, where Jesus is speaking to the eleven remaining apostles (Judas already left, John 13:30).

The eleven apostles have many questions about what is going to happen to Jesus and what is going to happen to them, and Jesus explains over the course of these three chapters that He is going to die, but that this will enable to the Holy Spirit to arrive, so that they can continue with the work that Jesus began of advancing the Kingdom of God on earth.

So when, in John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you,” He is specifically speaking to His eleven apostles and reminding them that He chose them out of the wider mass of His followers for the specific task of learning from Him so that they could do the things He did (cf. John 6:70; 14:12-14; Luke 6:12-16).

This does not mean that Jesus has only chosen these eleven to do His work, for numerous other texts in the Scripture indicate that all who believe in Jesus are chosen, or elected, by Him to have a place in helping Him advance the Kingdom of God on earth.

Just as Jesus chose the eleven for this task, so also, now that the Holy Spirit has come, all believers are similarly chosen.

We too, like the eleven, were not chosen to receive eternal life, but, having received eternal life by faith in Jesus, we are chosen to serve God and love others.

So this is the basic teaching about election in Scripture. Election is to service; not to eternal life.

Future articles will be considering the famous election passages of Romans 9-11 and Ephesians 1, so make sure you come back! You can also get my book, The Re-Justification of God, which also addresses the biblical teaching on election.

For now, what do you think of this understanding of election? Does it make sense? Do you see how it will clarify various passages of Scripture? Does it improve your understanding of how God works in this world? 

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The biblical teaching on election is a controversial issue in the church. But it need not be so. By carefully defining our terms and then looking at how the word election is used in context, we see that what the Bible teaches about election is not some... The biblical teaching on election is a controversial issue in the church. But it need not be so. By carefully defining our terms and then looking at how the word election is used in context, we see that what the Bible teaches about election is not something to be debated, but celebrated.<br /> <br /> Though many Christians believe and teach that God elects people eternal life, the Bible teaches instead that election is to service. This study explains more.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the manuscript, visit <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/election-is-to-service/ Jeremy Myers clean 32:45
Eternal Life vs. Discipleship in the Gospel of John https://redeeminggod.com/eternal-life-discipleship-gospel-of-john/ Wed, 03 Oct 2018 15:00:14 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49055 While the Gospel of John shows that eternal life is the free gift of God to anyone who believes in Jesus for it, it also shows that the path of discipleship has numerous other conditions and requirements. The Gospel of John does a great job showing the different conditions and results between eternal life and discipleship. Many Christians seem to think that all who believe in Jesus for eternal life will automatically becomes a disciple of Jesus, and if someone says they believe in Jesus but don’t do a good job following Jesus, this proves they are not truly a believer. But this is not what Scripture teaches.

The Bible shows that there is a difference between believing in Jesus for eternal life and following Jesus on the path of discipleship. It is possible to be a believer but not a disciple, and it is possible to be a disciple and not a believer.

eternal life discipleship Gospel of John

The Gospel of John is the gospel of belief. It presents, better than any other book in the Bible, the single condition for receiving eternal life. The Gospel of John shows that eternal life is given to anyone who simply and only believes in Jesus for it (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; etc.).

But the Gospel of John is also great for discipleship. While the Gospel of John shows that eternal life is the free gift of God to anyone who believes in Jesus for it, it also shows that the path of discipleship has numerous other conditions and requirements. The Gospel of John does a great job showing the different conditions and results between eternal life and discipleship.

Over and over we see that after a person believes in Jesus for eternal life, He then invites these believers to follow Him on the path of discipleship. We also see that when some unbelievers have been following Him as disciples for a while, He invites them to believe in Him for eternal life.

Once you see the difference between believing in Jesus for eternal life and following Jesus on the path of discipleship, many texts in Scripture will make much more sense.

Understanding the differences between eternal life and discipleship will also liberate you from fear and legalism. You will see that God gives you eternal life freely. No good works are required to earn it, keep it, or prove that you have it. And you will see that all the passages in the Bible which call for obedience and good works are not conditions for eternal life, but for the path of discipleship and following Jesus.

Several passages from the Gospel of John make this distinction quite clear. Let us look at a few.

Gospel of John gospel of belief

Disciples who became believers (John 2:11)

This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

John 2 presents the first sign in the Gospel of John, the turning of water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-12). At the end of this sign, John records that some of Jesus’ disciples believed in Him (John 2:11).

In this way, John clearly reveals that these men were disciples before they were believers, but now that they had followed Jesus for a time, heard some of His teachings, and seen one of His miracles, they believed in Jesus.

Now, they were no longer just disciples; they were disciples who also believed.

So you see? It is possible to be a disciple of Jesus who has not believed in Jesus for eternal life. Jesus calls all such people to believe in Him for eternal life, and when they do, they continue on the path of discipleship as believing disciples.

But it is also possible to be a believer and not a disciple! John 2:23-25 shows this.

disciple

Believers who did not become disciples (John 2:23-25)

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Some look at this text and think that these people who believed in Jesus were not “true believers” because Jesus did not commit Himself to them. But nothing in the text indicates that they were not true believers.

Since John writes that they believed in Jesus, and since John consistently writes that anyone who believes in Jesus receives eternal life, the most logical and straightforward reading of this text is to take John at his word and understand that these people believed in Jesus, and therefore, had eternal life.

But if this is so, then why did Jesus not commit Himself to them?

The reason is stated within the text.

Jesus did not commit Himself to them because he knew what was in men. And what is in men? It is that humans are reliably unreliable. You can trust that humans are untrustworthy.

So when John writes that Jesus did not yet commit Himself to these new believers, this does not mean that they were not truly believers. No, it means that Jesus knew that some of these believers might not follow Him for very long, or might not stand by Him when things became difficult.

Jesus was not yet ready to decide which of these believing disciples would form His twelve apostles. He was not yet ready to trust these new believers with all of His plans and goals for His ministry.

Jesus knew that these people who believed in Him had eternal life. But He also knew that most of them had expectations and ideas about what the Messiah would do, and very little idea about what Jesus actually intended to do.

And so while most of them would have immediately “signed on the dotted line” to become a member of Jesus’ inner circle, Jesus wisely waited. He knew that many of them would stop following Him after they learned a little bit more about Him and what He had come to do.

But again, remember, even though they might stop following Him, this does not mean that they never believed in the first place. The text says they did, and only those who deny what the text says can argue that these people were not “true believers.”

And Jesus was wise to not entrust Himself to these believers, for a few chapters later, some of them do indeed turn away from Him. In fact, John 6:60-66 shows that there are five possible combinations of believers and disciples.

eternal life hard to believe

 

There are FIVE combinations of Believers and Disciples (John 6:60-66)

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? … But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. … From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more (John 6:60-61, 64, 66).

As John’s Gospel account of Jesus continues into John 6, we are introduced to some of the hard teachings of Jesus that caused some of his disciples to stop following Him. Jesus taught that His disciples that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood if they were going to participate with Him.

He was, of course, speaking figuratively, but some of His disciples did not like what He said, and so they turned away and stopped following Him.

Yet many of the listening Jewish audience also did not like to hear such things.

We do not know how many disciples were present when Jesus said this, yet John writes that Jesus knew which of them believed in Him and which did not. This means that among this large group of disciples, some of them were believers while others were unbelievers. But they were still all disciples.

However, after the hard teaching of Jesus, many of these people stopped being a disciple. The text says they “walked with Him no more.”

While the reader is tempted to think that it was only the unbelieving disciples who turned away from Jesus, John flips the table on such an understanding by revealing in John 6:71 that Judas Iscariot was among those who stayed. Since Judas appears to be an unbelieving disciple who continues to follow Jesus, it seems possible that there were believing disciples who stopped following Jesus.

Believing in Jesus is no guarantee of ongoing discipleship to Jesus.

So here in the context of John 6, there are five groups of people who relate differently to Jesus:

First, there are the unbelieving non-disciples of Jesus who do not follow Him and do not believe in Him (John 6:41-59).

Second and third, there are believing and unbelieving disciples who stop following Jesus (John 6:66).

Fourth, there are unbelieving disciples who continue to follow Jesus. Judas might have been one of these, though the text does not say if there were others (John 6:70-71).

Finally, there were the believing disciples who committed themselves to following Jesus no matter where He led, because He had the words of eternal life (John 6:67-69).

The reader of this text is supposed to ask which group they themselves belong to. Which group do you belong to?

John 8:30-32

As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

This passage is important because it clearly shows the two different conditions for becoming a believer and becoming a disciple.

In John 8:30, a group of people believe in Jesus, and since we know from elsewhere in the Gospel of John that whoever believes in Jesus receives everlasting life (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47) we can know that those who believed in Jesus here received everlasting life (see Everlasting Life).

However, in the very next verse, Jesus speaks to those who believed in Him and says that if they abide in His word, they will also be His disciples (John 8:31). To “abide” means to remain, stay, continue, or dwell (see Abide).

follow Jesus

If they stayed with Jesus in this way, they would come to know the truth, and the truth would set them free. The implication is that they were not yet His disciples, but if they remained with Jesus, and followed His teachings, then they would become His disciples.

Of course, the opposite is also true. If they stopped abiding in the teachings of Jesus Christ, then they would no longer be His disciples. They would not learn the truth, and would instead remain enslaved to sin and their rebellious ways.

But would they still have eternal life? Yes, of course!

Abiding is not a condition of eternal life; eternal life is a free gift of God’s grace to all who believe in Jesus for it.

Bob Wilkin says this:

The context clearly distinguishes between being a believer (John 8:30) and being a disciple (John 8:31-32). The former occurs at a point in time and is conditioned only upon believing in Christ. The latter occurs over time and is conditioned upon ongoing obedience and good works.

Many pastors and scholars go on to note, however, that in the following context, Jesus speaks to some Jewish leaders who were there and says that they are of their father the devil, and even says that they do not believe Him (John 8:44-45).

These pastors teach that these nonbelieving Jews are the same as the believing Jews that Jesus speaks to in John 8:30-32. But how can this be? If John says that these Jews did believe, and then a few verses later, Jesus says they did not believe, this is a clear contradiction in the Bible.

There best solution to this problem is to recognize that there appears to be two different groups of Jews in the context: believing Jews and non-believing Jews.

Most of the dialogue in the context is between Jesus and the nonbelieving Jews. Many of them are among the religious Pharisees (John 8:13) who only want to challenge what Jesus says and does.

They do not believe in Him, nor do they follow Him. In the context, they raise one objection after another to everything Jesus says (cf. John 8:19, 22, 25, 33, 39, 41). Charlie Bing says that such objections are “totally out of character with the inclination of those mentioned in John 8:31-32.”

So there are two groups of Jews in the text: a group of believing Jews, whom Jesus addresses in John 8:31-32, and a group of unbelieving, antagonistic Jews, whom Jesus addresses in the rest of the passage.

Admittedly, the pronouns in the text make it appear that Jesus is speaking to one group throughout the entire text, but if this is so, then the Bible has a contradiction within just a few verses, where John says they do believe and Jesus says they don’t.

It is far better to recognize that there are two types of people in a larger group. In this one large group, there are some who believe and some who don’t (this also fits with modern church contexts).

Jesus warns those who do not believe in Him that they will die in their sins (John 8:24) and are of their father the devil who leads only to murder and violence (John 8:44), while at the same time, He encourages those who believe in Him to follow Him further into freedom and liberty (John 8:32, 36).

Believing in Jesus is the sole condition for receiving eternal life, but abiding in Jesus and His word is one of many the conditions of being His disciple so that we can fully experience freedom in Him.

So if you have believed in Jesus for eternal life, what are some of the conditions for following Jesus as a disciple? The Gospel of John includes many of these as well.

Love the Poor

Love one another to be a Disciple of Jesus (John 13:35)

“By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In John 13:35, Jesus provides the defining characteristic of one of His disciples. He says that they will love one another.

Love for others is how people can recognize true disciples of Jesus Christ.

It is critically important to recognize that loving one another is not a condition for receiving eternal life, or else nobody would have eternal life, for nobody fully loves all the Christians they interact with.

Many Christians are quite difficult, if not impossible, to consistently love, and so if this were a condition for receiving eternal life, nobody would have it.

So thankfully, Jesus is not talking here about how to receive eternal life, but how to be recognized as one of His disciples.

Note as well that this is not even about saying that you love other Christians, but about being recognized by others for your love.

Far too often, the world looks at Christians and says that we are unloving.

Oddly, the default Christian response to such an accusation from the world is to argue. We say things like, “Well, you only say that because we don’t condone sin. We are only standing up for what is right. It’s not loving to hide the truth. I love the sinner, but I hate the sin. If you come to our church, then you will see how truly loving we are.”

If a non-Christian says that Christians are not loving, and our only response is to argue, we should not wonder why they don’t believe us.

In fact, far from being known for our love, some Christians seem to strive to be known for their hate. They seem to think that a true Christian will be hated.

I overheard two guys in the store the other day who were both wearing Christian t-shirts. One was saying to the other, “Yeah, they all hate me at work, but that’s okay, because I’m standing up for Christ.”

But Jesus says that we should be known by our love, which means that we will not only love others, but will also be loved by others. Just like Jesus was. The only people who hated Jesus were the religious elites. So if religious people love you, but “sinners” hate you, you are probably not following Jesus.

As a side note, the ironic thing about Christian T-shirts themselves is that people often depend on them to tell others that they follow Jesus.

But Jesus says that if you are His disciple, you won’t have to tell people. They will know it by your love. If you have to depend on a T-shirt to tell others that you are following of Jesus, you might not be following Him very well.

Jesus does say, of course, that His disciples will be known by their love for one another. Some take this to mean that love for other Christians is our priority, and we shouldn’t worry about whether or not non-Christians feel loved by us.

Jesus does say, after all, the since the world hated Him, it will also hate His followers (John 15:18; cf. 1 John 3:13). John writes elsewhere that we should not love the world or anything in the world, for friendship with the world is enmity with God (1 John 2:15-17; cf. James 4:4).

The best way to understand these texts, however, is to recognize that the term “world” is referring to the “world domination system” that is opposed to God and His ways. We should love all the people in the world, but not how they are enslaved to the values and domination system of this world.

In fact, religious people tend to be more enslaved to the world domination system than non-religious people. This is why it is mostly religious people, rather than the “sinners,” who hated Jesus during His ministry.

In the Gospels, the only people who really hated Jesus were the religious leaders who had sold out to the world domination system and were using it to control and manipulate others. It was those whom many would consider “worldly” that loved Jesus and were loved by Him. So if sinful, “worldly” people hate you but religious people love you, you might not be following Jesus.

Jesus friend of sinners

If you are not a friend to sinners, you are not a friend to Jesus.

So yes, Christians will first and foremost be known by their love for “one another.” But this love must overflow into love for “the other,” that is, into love for people in this world.

If we want to tell people we are followers of Jesus, we do it by loving them and loving one another.

The person who loves others unconditionally but doesn’t claim to follow Jesus is closer to the Kingdom of God than those who claim to follow Jesus but doesn’t love others unconditionally.

If love is of God, and everybody who loves is born of God and knows God because God is love (1 John 4:7-8), then it only makes sense that love will be the prevailing characteristic of one who is born of God and know God.

It is not a person’s words that make him or her a Christian, or what they post on Facebook or wear on their T-shirts, or even how many Bible verses they can quote, how often they attend church and Bible studies, or whether they can “take a stand for Christ.”

They will know we are Christians by our love.

If you have not love, they will never know you are a Christian, no matter how much you tell them you are.

In light of John 13:35, then, the question we should be asking is not “Am I a follower of Jesus?” but rather, “Do I love others like Jesus so that they know I am His disciple?” This question leads to related questions:

  • Do my words sound like words Jesus might say?
  • Do my actions look like things Jesus might do?
  • Do I love unconditionally, forgive freely, serve sacrificially, and accept all?
  • Do I challenge the religious status-quo for setting up barriers to God and creating groups of us vs. them?
  • Do I break down the walls of religion by eating with the so-called ‘tax-collectors and sinners’?

These are the sort of ways that others will know that you are a disciple of Jesus. When we love others in this way, we will be bearing much fruit as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is what He talks about in John 15:8.

disciple of Jesus

Bear Fruit to be a Disciple of Jesus (John 15:8)

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

There is a lot of debate over vine and branches imagery of John 15, and whether or not the branches which do not bear fruit are truly Christians or not.

Note that this passage is not about how to receive eternal life, but rather about living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Those who abide in Jesus Christ and His teachings will bear fruit (see Abide), and in this way, they will show that they are His disciples.

If a person does not bear fruit, all it proves is that they are not His disciple. Nothing is said one way or the other about whether or not such a person has believed in Jesus for eternal life.

Just as both believers and unbelievers can follow the teachings of Jesus and see positive results in their lives (and the lives of others), so also, both believers and unbelievers can ignore the teachings of Jesus and experience negative consequences in their lives as a result. These negative consequences are symbolized by the fire in John 15:6 (see Fire).

So neither good works nor the lack of good works prove anything about whether or not a person has eternal life.

Good works can indicate whether or not a person is following the teachings of Jesus, and while most disciples are also believers, this is not always the case, and so we should avoid trying to determine someone’s eternal destiny based on their works.

Instead, we should invite all people to look to Jesus Christ alone, and believe in Him for eternal life. Once they have done this, we can also invite them to follow Jesus so that they will bear much fruit and live the abundant life (see Abundant Life).

believer vs disciple

Be a Believer AND a Disciple

For the best experience of this life, it is important to BOTH believe in Jesus for eternal life AND follow Jesus on the path of discipleship.

But we must always make sure we understand the differences between these two.

Eternal life is the absolutely free gift of God by His grace to anyone and everyone who simply and only believes in Jesus for it. There are no strings attached. There is no fine print. There are no ongoing good works attached on the back end.

Eternal life is freely received, and once it is given, it cannot be revoked or taken back.

Discipleship, however, is where the real joy and fulfillment in Christianity comes from. It has numerous conditions, and requires much sacrifice and persistence. It is not free. It calls you to love, serve, and give.

Following Jesus as a disciple is the greatest challenge you will face in life, but also the greatest thrill, and it prepares us for what life will be like with God in eternity.

So for the best experience NOW in this life, and the best foretaste of what life will be like in eternity, believe in Jesus for eternal life AND ALSO seek to follow Jesus on the path of discipleship.

When you understand the difference between these two offers, all of Scripture will make more sense, and you will better understand where you are at with God and as a follower of Jesus.

Questions? Let me know in the comment section below! And also join the discipleship group, where we learn a lot more about these types of topics and questions.

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While the Gospel of John shows that eternal life is the free gift of God to anyone who believes in Jesus for it, it also shows that the path of discipleship has numerous other conditions and requirements. The Gospel of John does a great job showing the... While the Gospel of John shows that eternal life is the free gift of God to anyone who believes in Jesus for it, it also shows that the path of discipleship has numerous other conditions and requirements. The Gospel of John does a great job showing the different conditions and results between eternal life and discipleship.<br /> <br /> There is a difference between believing in Jesus for eternal life and following Jesus on the path of discipleship. The Gospel of John shows this difference.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the notes for this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/eternal-life-discipleship-gospel-of-john/ Jeremy Myers clean 41:56
Does the Sermon on the Mount tell you how to receive eternal life? (An Interview with Kent Young) https://redeeminggod.com/sermon-on-the-mount-kent-young/ Wed, 26 Sep 2018 15:00:09 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=49001 It is critical to recognize that the Sermon on the Mount does not contain the offer of eternal life, because if we get confused on this fact, we will think that one gains eternal life by fulfilling the conditions and requirements Jesus talks about in this Sermon. As part of this article on the Sermon on the Mount, I introduce the proper way to read and understand the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, and then I also interview Kent Young about his excellent commentary on the Sermon on the Mount.

In our discussion we look at these three Bible verses:

Matthew 5:22: “… But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Matthew 5:29-30: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that once of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Matthew 7:13a “… Enter through the narrow gate …”

Kent’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, titled Theirs is the Kingdom, is available as a free download on his website, or as a paperback on Amazon.com

Sermon on the Mount

How to Read and Apply the Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:1 begins the famous “Sermon the Mount” in Matthew 5–7.

At the beginning of this teaching, Jesus notices a multitude of people following Him, and so He goes up on a mountain to teach His disciples. At this point in His ministry, Jesus had not yet selected the twelve disciples to be His closest followers (cf. Matt 10:1-4; Luke 6:12-16), and so this time of teaching was not just to a select few disciples, but to the entire multitude of followers.

It cannot be imagined that every single person in the multitude of disciples was already a believer, and so this is a message that invited the followers of Jesus—whether they were believers or not—to listen to His teachings about a better way to live.

Nowhere in the Sermon on the Mount does Jesus talk about how to receive eternal life. Eternal Life isn’t even mentioned.

Why not? Because the Sermon on the Mount contains instructions about how to live this life, not instructions about how to receive eternal life.

And anybody, believer and unbeliever alike, can benefit from the instructions of Jesus about how best to live.

The Sermon on the Mount is not about Eternal Life

It is critical to recognize that the Sermon on the Mount does not contain the offer of eternal life, because if we get confused on this fact, we will think that one gains eternal life by fulfilling the conditions and requirements Jesus talks about in this Sermon.

For example, if Jesus is telling people how to receive eternal life, then we gain eternal life by being mournful, meek, and merciful, by being poor in spirit, peacemakers, and persecuted (Matt 5:3-12).

If Jesus is teaching about how to receive eternal life, then we must make sure our righteousness exceeds that of the most religiously righteous people in Jesus’ day (Matt 5:20).

If Jesus is teaching about how to receive eternal life, we must not hate or lust (Matt 5:21-28). If you do lust, you better pluck out your eye and cut off your hand if you want to spend eternity with God (Matt 5:29-30).

If Jesus is telling people how to receive eternal life, then according to Him, you must refrain from making oaths, go the second mile, and love your enemies even when they hate you and try to kill you (Matt 5:33-47).

Ultimately, if Jesus is teaching about how to have eternal life, you need to be perfect just as God is perfect (Matt 5:48).

All of the preceding statements come from the first chapter of the Sermon on the Mount. There are two more to go.

Matthew 5-7 sermon on the mount

If you believe the Sermon on the Mount is about eternal life, you will fall into legalism

When people think that the Sermon on the Mount is about “how to gain eternal life” they end up adding all sorts of good works to the free offer of eternal life through “faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.”

And when a person adds all the calls to obedience of the Sermon on the Mount to the free offer of eternal life, this causes many people to despair of ever gaining eternal life from God.

Indeed, if the Sermon on the Mount contains the conditions for receiving eternal life, not a single person would ever achieve it.

How to Understand the Sermon the Mount

Thankfully, there is a much better way of understanding this Sermon from Jesus.

Jesus is not telling people how to gain eternal life. Instead, Jesus is teaching His disciples about the best way to live this life.

Jesus teaches sermon on the mountJesus is teaching people about the requirements of following Him and being His disciple. Clearly, nobody can ever fulfill or accomplish all these requirements, yet there is something in here for everyone, and nobody will ever get bored in trying to follow Jesus.

So whether you are a believer or not, the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount will challenge you to live in the way that God wants and intends for humanity.

But never think that these teachings will help you earn or gain eternal life for yourself. To receive eternal life, the only thing that is needed is to believe in Jesus for it.

Difficult Texts in the Sermon on the Mount

With this understanding of the Sermon on the Mount, we are in a better position to understand some of the troublesome texts it contains.

To help with some of the tricky texts of the Sermon on the Mount, listen to the podcast interview I did with Kent Young, and then get his book, Theirs is the Kingdom, as a free download on his website, or as a paperback on Amazon.com

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It is critical to recognize that the Sermon on the Mount does not contain the offer of eternal life, because if we get confused on this fact, we will think that one gains eternal life by fulfilling the conditions and requirements Jesus talks about in t... It is critical to recognize that the Sermon on the Mount does not contain the offer of eternal life, because if we get confused on this fact, we will think that one gains eternal life by fulfilling the conditions and requirements Jesus talks about in this Sermon. I interview Kent Young about the Sermon on the Mount. He provides a paradigm for understanding the Sermon on the Mount, and we discuss several key texts. <br /> <br /> To view the manuscript and shownotes for this study, visit: https://redeeminggod.com/sermon-on-the-mount-kent-young/ Jeremy Myers clean 1:02:39
Are “believers in Jesus” and “disciples of Jesus” the same thing? https://redeeminggod.com/believers-vs-disciples/ Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:00:57 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48993 Here is a truth that will help you unpack many tricky and often-misunderstood Bible passages: Though all believers have eternal life, not all believers are disciples, and not all disciples are believers. Once you understand the difference between believing in Jesus for eternal life and becoming a disciple of Jesus during this life, many tricky Bible texts will make a lot more sense. Here is a truth that will help you unpack many tricky and often-misunderstood Bible passages:

Though all believers have eternal life,
Not all believers are disciples, and
Not all disciples are believers.

It seems a little confusing at first, but if we think through each statement a little more slowly, it all makes sense.

believer vs disciple

Let’s unpack the statements one at a time:

All believers have eternal life

We know from numerous Bible passages that anyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life.

Jesus makes this claim over and over in the Gospel of John (cf. John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47).

There should be nothing too controversial about this statement by Jesus, but strangely, many Christians don’t agree with Jesus on this matter. Many say that faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is not enough, for we also need to submit our lives to Jesus, obey Jesus, follow Jesus, and perform all sorts of good works to prove that we truly belong to Jesus.

But if you look at all of the Bible passages which contain instructions for these sorts of things, they ALL are talking about becoming a follower, or disciple, of Jesus. They are NOT talking about receiving the free gift of eternal life from Jesus.

This leads to the second statement from above:

Not all believers are disciples

Ancient discipleship was very close to what we call apprenticeship. A person would follow and learn from a master teacher or craftsman in order to become like him and do what he did (Matt 10:25; Luke 6:40).

This usually progressed in four stages: First, he listens to the master’s instructions. Second, he watches the master perform the action. Third, he performs the action with the master’s help. Fourth, he is able to perform the action on his own, and starts teaching it to others.

A mathētēs (disciple) who only listened to the master teach but never progressed out of the classroom, would never be considered a true disciple, even if they could recite from memory everything the teacher had ever said.

While “classroom” teaching and learning was part of the discipleship process, it was only the very first part. A student who never progressed past the classroom would not be considered successful. While learning was important, putting into practice what had been learned was the most important.

A true disciple not only learns what the teacher knows, but also practices what the teacher does (cf. Luke 6:40).

All of this means, of course, that true discipleship is a lifelong process, especially when we think of being a disciple of Jesus.

follow Jesus on path of discipleshipSince no person can ever fully learn everything Jesus has to teach, and no person can ever fully resemble and practice everything that Jesus leads us to do, all who are disciples of Jesus will spend their entire lives learning from Jesus and following in His footsteps.

Since this is so, is should be immediately obvious that there are major differences between believing in Jesus for eternal life and being a disciple of Jesus.

For example, once a person receives eternal life through faith in Jesus, they have eternal life forever. They receive the free gift of eternal life immediately upon believing in Jesus, and nothing they can say or do in the future will cause God to take away this eternal life from them.

Discipleship, however, is not instantaneous, is not a free gift of God, and has numerous ongoing conditions.

While a person cannot lose their eternal life, they can stop being a disciple if they fail to meet the conditions.

Therefore, as you can see, it is possible to believe in Jesus for eternal life, but fail in several aspects of discipleship. Such a person is still part of the family of God, but they are not properly participating in the activities of the family of God.

God will not kick them out of His family for such inactivity, but will continue to seek to teach, train, call, and maybe even discipline these children so that they will grow up from infancy and become productive members of His family.

But this leads to another surprising insight … the third statement from above:

Not all disciples are believers

Just as it is quite possible for someone to believe in Jesus, but not become a fully-committed follower of Jesus, it is also possible for someone to follow Jesus as a disciple, but never actually believe in Him for eternal life.

Judas Iscariot might be one example, but there are other examples in the Gospel accounts, such as those who follow Jesus for a while, but then leave Him when the going gets tough (cf. John 6). It appears that many of those who left didn’t believe in Jesus for eternal life.

believers and disciples

Even in modern times, we all know people who consider Jesus to be a good moral teacher, and try to follow His example and teaching, and yet who still believe that their own good works and moral living is how they will earn eternal life for themselves.

Such people are certainly disciples of Jesus, for they listen to much of what He says and follow His example, but they do not have eternal life because they have not believed in Jesus for eternal life.

Mahatma Gandhi repeatedly said that he did his best to follow the teachings and example of Jesus, especially what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. It is too bad we Christians do not follow the example of Gandhi in this regard! However, as far as we know, Gandhi never believed one of the main things that Jesus taught, which is that God gives eternal life to anyone who believes in Jesus for it.

Sadly, there are probably many who call themselves Christians who do their best to follow Jesus, and yet who have not believed in Jesus for eternal life but instead continue to trust in their own good works and effort to earn everlasting life for themselves.

Seek to be BOTH a believer AND a Disciple

If you want the full experience of the Christian life, you should not only believe in Jesus for eternal life, but also seek to follow Jesus in the path of discipleship. This way, you not only have eternal life from Jesus, but the abundant life with Jesus.

You not only get to be part of the family of God, but also get to join in the thrilling adventures that God goes on with His active family members.

Let me provide one example of how this helps us understand Scripture.

Matthew 10:37-39 is about discipleship; not eternal life

Matthew 10:37-39 contains several more costly and difficult conditions for the person who would be a disciple of Jesus.

In the previous context, Jesus said that His teachings would create division and strife between family members (Matt 10:34-36). Jesus says that if this happens, His disciples must choose to follow Him rather than stay committed to their family. In the parallel passage of Luke 14:26-33, Jesus says that His disciples must even “hate” their family members.

These passages have been widely misunderstood, primarily because we do not live in the honor and shame culture of Jesus’ day. In a culture that was governed by honor and shame, turning away from family business, family traditions, and family culture to follow other traditions was akin to hating your family.

In that culture, there was no greater way to bring shame on your family. If a person told their family that they were going to give up the family inheritance, not follow through on the family business, and not following the family traditions, the other family members would feel slighted, insulted, shamed, and even hated. They might say, “Why do you hate us so much to turn your back on your traditions?”

Jesus is saying that in such situations, there might not be anything one of His followers can do.

We should never hate our family members or treat them in unloving ways, of course. Such behavior has nothing to do with following Jesus.

But when we follow Jesus, other family members are likely to misunderstand. They might even (wrongly) feel that we hate them.

And while we are to always show our family members love, and invite them to follow Jesus along with us, if they force us to choose between Jesus and family, Jesus is saying that His disciples will choose Him.

This is not easy. It will feel like dying, which is exactly what Jesus says.

He invites His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. Following Jesus is following Him into the death of our old life.

We will die to old habits, old traditions, and old beliefs. We will lose our old life. But in the process, we will gain a new way of living with Jesus Christ. When we lose our life for the cause of Christ, we gain a new life with Him (cf. Matt 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-26).

This discussion in Matthew 10:39 about finding a new life with Jesus has caused some to think that Jesus is referring to eternal life. But typically, when Jesus is referring to eternal life, He refers to it as such. When He is simply talking about life, He is referring to the temporal, physical life here on earth, as is the case here.

This world has a certain set of values and goals, but they always and only lead to death. So when we try to hold on to our life in this world, we lose it. However, when we give up the values and goals of life in this world, and instead adopt and accept the values and goals of Jesus, it is then that we discover how to properly live this life with God and with others.

So do you want to follow Jesus on the path of discipleship? It won’t be easy. It might even cause some of your family members to condemn and hate you. But the life you will gain as an active member of the family of God will make it all worth it.

Matthew 10:37-39 is not telling you how to receive eternal life, but is telling you what you can expect if you truly follow Jesus on the path of discipleship. Following Jesus can be quite costly, but it is more than worth the cost.

A chart showing the differences between believers and disciples

Eternal Life Discipleship
Free Gift Costly
Received through faith Received through commitment and obedience
Not by works By works
Instant justification Life-long sanctification
Jesus paid the price The Christian
pays the price
Believe in Jesus Follow Jesus
as Lord
Believe in Jesus Obey the commands
Cannot be earned Earns reward

Are you a believer AND a disciple?

So … have you believed in Jesus for eternal life? Good! Now listen for where Jesus wants to lead you…

Are you trying to follow Jesus, but you are not sure you have eternal life? That’s a good start … but let me be one of the first to invite you to believe in Jesus so that you can KNOW that you have eternal life, and so that you can better follow the leading of Jesus in your life.

Make sure you understand the differences between believing in Jesus for eternal life and following Jesus on the path of discipleship. They condition and results of both are completely different, but both are necessary to experience ALL that God wants for us in the life.

Once you understand the differences, however, many troubling texts in Scripture will make a whole lot more sense.

If you want to learn more about this topic, join my online discipleship group and take the Gospel Dictionary online course:

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Here is a truth that will help you unpack many tricky and often-misunderstood Bible passages: Though all believers have eternal life, not all believers are disciples, and not all disciples are believers. Once you understand the difference between belie... Here is a truth that will help you unpack many tricky and often-misunderstood Bible passages: Though all believers have eternal life, not all believers are disciples, and not all disciples are believers. Once you understand the difference between believing in Jesus for eternal life and becoming a disciple of Jesus during this life, many tricky Bible texts will make a lot more sense.<br /> <br /> To view the manuscript and shownotes for this study, visit: https://redeeminggod.com/believers-vs-disciples/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:23
What is the second death? (Revelation 21:8) https://redeeminggod.com/second-death-revelation/ Tue, 11 Sep 2018 15:00:45 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48989 Just as eternal life is a life lived in eternity where we live life to its full potential, so eternal death, or the second death is a life lived in eternity where people achieve none of their potential. It is a life of everlasting death. Of no escape from the consequences of selfish human decisions. Revelation 21:8Revelation 20:6, 14 and Revelation 21:8 describe an event called “the second death.” It is contrasted with those who did not participate in “the first resurrection,” which is the resurrection of all believers at the return of Jesus Christ. Those who are not believers end up experiencing the second death.

So what is this second death?

To put the question another way, if Hebrews 9:27 says that it is destined for humans to die once, then how can John write in Revelation 20:6, 14 and Revelation 21:8 that there is a second death?

Here is what Revelation 20:6, 14 and Revelation 21:8 say about the second death:

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power … Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. … But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

The “Second Death” is not Annihilation

Some argue that the second death is annihilationism … that is, a person who experiences the second death will no longer exist in eternity. They say that at the first death, people die physically, and then at the second death they die spiritually, which means that they cease to exist.

This view would be possible if “death” means “non-existent.” But it doesn’t. The word “dead” never means “non-existent” in Scripture. 

Instead, “death” means to be separated from the plan and purposes of God.

When something dies, it no longer functions the way God intended. This is true of physical bodies, sexual reproductive organs, interpersonal relationships, and faith.

So here in Revelation 20:6, 14 and Revelation 21:8, the person who experiences the second death will not be living out God’s plan and purposes for them in eternity.

The second death is simply being separated in eternity from what God originally wanted and planned for humanity.

God wanted humans to live in perfect harmony and unity with Himself, each other, and all creation. But when a person dies apart from Jesus Christ, they will experience eternity apart from Jesus Christ as well.

Then how is the Second Death related to the Lake of Fire?

While John describes this eternal existence apart from Jesus Christ as “the lake of fire,” this does not mean that the unregenerate are swimming around in a lake of fire and brimstone any more than anyone who lives in “Salt Lake” is actually swimming around in a large, salt-filled lake in Utah.

the second deathThe “Fiery Lake” might be the place that unregenerate people live for eternity, but this does not necessarily mean that they are suffering and burning for eternity within the lake. Furthermore, as I point out in my forthcoming book on hell, the term “Lake of Fire” referred to the body of water we now call the Dead Sea.

So to say that someone was going to be case into the Lake of Fire, or the Dead Sea, is a symbolic or metaphorical way of saying that such people will end up in a place devoid of life.

This is what John goes on to describe. In the afterlife, as part of the second death, people will be subject to the same “lusts of the flesh” that humans are subject to right now here on earth. Just like in this life, people who live in the second death will be cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and liars.

So what is the Second Death?

The second death is not annihilation or eternal torment in flames of fire.

Instead, it is the continuation for eternity of what we experience in this life, but in an amplified way.

It consists of God allowing human beings to live life completely separated from Him. It is allowing them to live as slaves to hatred, violence, envy, immorality, deception, greed, lust and every evil thing.

As such, the second death is the opposite of eternal life. Eternal life is life lived as God always wanted, planned, and desired; eternal death (or the second death) is life lived in the complete opposite way, separated from everything that God intended for humanity.

It is existence in everlasting death. It is ongoing existence that is filled with all the problems and frustrations of this life, but without any end to them. The first death is a blessed escape from the frustrations of this life (which is why death is a blessing). But the second death has no end. It is an eternal existence without an end, while facing the frustrations of life lived without God.

second death in eternityJust as being “born again” does not mean to “start your life all over again,” but instead refers to the transformation of a person’s life so that they head in the direction God wanted, so also, to “die again” does not mean that a person dies a second time, but that a person’s life goes in a direction that is even further away from God wanted and desired.

The “second death” therefore, is not annihilation, or the death of the eternal soul. Instead, it is the act of being entrenched or solidified in the way of rebellion against God.

The second death is an irreversible step on a path that leads away from what God wanted and desired.

Did C. S. Lewis write about Hell?

C. S. Lewis’ theological fantasy book, The Great Divorce, depicts what this sort of everlasting death might look like. (He claims he was writing fiction … but was this really his view of hell and he was afraid of being called a heretic?)

The Great Divorce is a fascinating story of a man who gets on a bus in hell to take a trip to heaven. In the second chapter, Lewis describes what life is like for those who live in hell.

When people first arrive, Lewis writes that people find themselves in the center of a vast, sprawling town, which is very much like any town you mind find on earth, except that everything is free and nobody has any needs. So people move into any house they want, and start living in their new existence. But within a few days or weeks, they have a quarrel with one of their neighbors, and decide to move to a different street.

Lewis writes that this process continues forever, until some people get to the point where they live millions of miles away from anybody else.

In the everlasting second death, each person is allowed to be as selfish and mean as they want, and this causes them to eventually separate themselves from everyone else so that they finally live in complete isolation for all eternity, wrapped up in their own thoughts of everybody else’s faults and failures.

The Second Death is Everlasting Existence without God

In this life, there is an end to the choices we make. As we destroy our families, friendships, and health, we draw into ourselves and become more and more separated from others over time. Death stops this process of separation so that we can finally see ourselves and others as we really are, offer forgiveness and be forgiven, and begin to live in love and grace as God desires.

But in an eternal existence without God, where physical death is not an option, people will continue to separate themselves until eventually, they cut off all contact from everyone, and live solitary lives of self-centeredness and complete separation. For people who were created for community and relationships, this truly is a living hell. But it is a hell constructed by their own choices.

So just as eternal life is a life lived in eternity where we live life to its full potential, so eternal death, or the second death is a life lived in eternity where people achieve none of their potential. It is a life of everlasting death. Of no escape from the consequences of selfish human decisions.

Those who experience the eternal second death (living in the realm of death, but never dying) are living in a hell of their own making. Their eternal existence will be a life dominated by the sins mentioned in Revelation 21:8.

In eternity, where there is no death to deliver a person from the devastation they have brought into their lives, this ongoing death will simply continue forever and ever.

What are your thoughts about this concept? Do you agree? Disagree? Does it still sound like “hell” to you? Is it just and fair for God to let people live in eternity in such a way? Would annihilation be more loving? 

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Just as eternal life is a life lived in eternity where we live life to its full potential, so eternal death, or the second death is a life lived in eternity where people achieve none of their potential. It is a life of everlasting death. The second death is part of the lake of fire in Revelation 20:6, 14 and Revelation 21:8. But is it a fiery torture chamber that never ends? No. <br /> <br /> Just as eternal life is a life lived in eternity where we live life to its full potential, so eternal death, or the second death is a life lived in eternity where people achieve none of their potential. It is a life of everlasting death. Of no escape from the consequences of selfish human decisions.<br /> <br /> To view the transcript and leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/second-death-revelation/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:57
What does “passed from death to life” mean in 1 John 3:14? https://redeeminggod.com/death-to-life-1-john-3-14/ Tue, 04 Sep 2018 18:30:42 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48979 When John writes in 1 John 3:14 that we know we have passed from death to life because we love our brethren, he is not talking about how we know we have eternal life, but how we know we are in fellowship with God and one another. In 1 John 3:14, we read this:

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

meaning of 1 John 3:14Is John saying that in order to receive eternal life, you need to love other Christians? Lots of other pastors and Bible scholars teach 1 John 3:14 in just this way, but is that really what John meant?

If so, then how can eternal life be received “by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone”?

If eternal life is also earned by making sure we love other people, then eternal life is partially earned by good works, and is no longer by grace alone through faith alone.

So what is the meaning of 1 John 3:14?

The Theme of Fellowship in 1 John

To understand 1 John 3:14, it is first of all important to understand why 1 John was written.

The first letter of John is written so that the readers may live a life of fellowship with God and with one another (1 John 1:3).

What is 1 John all about

With this as his primary theme, John provides instructions throughout his letter about how to have fellowship with God and with one another.

Note that fellowship is not the same thing as a relationship (see Fellowship). You can be related to someone while not having any fellowship with them. Children are often estranged from parents, so that while they are still related, they never gather together to enjoy each other’s company.

The same thing can happen to those who are related to God and to one another through Jesus Christ. We can be spiritually related while failing to be in daily fellowship.

John writes his letter to make sure that those who read it maintain their fellowship with God and with one another.

With this theme in mind, John paints many contrasts in his letter, comparing the life out of fellowship with darkness and death, while describing life within fellowship as light and life (cf. 1 John 1:5-7; 2:8-10; 3:14-16; 5:11-13).

And while eternal life is mentioned in this letter (cf. 1 John 2:25; 3:15; 5:11), this is not because John is equating eternal life and fellowship, but because ongoing fellowship with God and one another is based on the unchanging fact of eternal life from God.

While you can have relationship without fellowship, you cannot truly have fellowship without relationship.

John knows his readers have the relationship with God and writes so that they might maintain their fellowship as well (cf. 1 John 2:12-14). To live out of fellowship is not to lose our eternal life, but to live away from light and love and in the realm of death and darkness.

1 John 3:14 is about fellowship with God and others

So when John writes in 1 John 3:14 that we know we have passed from death to life because we love our brethren, he is not talking about how we know we have eternal life, but how we know we are in fellowship with God and one another.

One way to know you are in fellowship with God is because you are in fellowship with other believers, that is, because you love one another.

The opposite is also true. Anyone who does not love his brother “abides in death.” The word “abide” means “remain, or to continually dwell” (see Abide), and so the one who hates his brother is not living in the fellowship that God wants and desires for us, but is instead continuing to live in the realm of death, from which Jesus rescued and delivered us.

1 John 3:14 is about escaping the realm of death in which we live, and experiencing true life

As seen in my studies on the word “Death,” the world is controlled by death. We engage in rivalry and accusation which leads to the death of others, and we kill others in the attempt to avoid our own death. We also believe that the death of our enemies will bring peace, but violence against our enemies only results in an increase of their violence against us.

passed from death to life 1 John 3:14

Jesus came to rescue and deliver us from this never-ending cycle of escalating violence, but if we Christians continue to hate our brothers and live in rivalry against them, we have not escaped the control of death but continue to dwell in it and be ruled by it.

So, John invites his readers to love one another instead of hate, and in this way, escape the realm of death.

The context provides further evidence that physical violence against other human beings is what John has in mind when he writes about death. He is not talking about spiritual death or the loss of eternal life, or even that the one who hates his brother proves that he really wasn’t a Christian in the first place.

The context has nothing to do with such ideas.

Instead, John directs the reader to the first death in Scripture, when Cain murdered his brother Abel (1 John 3:12). John also goes on to describe death as “murder” (1 John 3:15).

While John does go on to say that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15), he does not mean that no murderer can be a Christian, or that no Christian can murder someone.

He means that when a Christian hates someone or murders someone (for this does happen), it is because they are continuing to follow the ways of this world, rather than the ways of God (see the discussion of 1 John 3:14-15 under Abide).

The meaning of 1 John 3:14

1 John 3:14 is not about gaining or keeping eternal life, or proving that you have it. Instead, it is about living in the way of life that God wants for His people, rather than the way of death that this world is accustomed to.

So, do you want to know that you are living in God’s way of life rather than the world’s way of death? You can know this if you have true and genuine love for other people.

Does this help you understand 1 John 3:14? Please ask any follow-up questions you might have in the comment section below.

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When John writes in 1 John 3:14 that we know we have passed from death to life because we love our brethren, he is not talking about how we know we have eternal life, but how we know we are in fellowship with God and one another. When John writes in 1 John 3:14 that we know we have passed from death to life because we love our brethren, he is not talking about how we know we have eternal life, but how we know we are in fellowship with God and one another.<br /> <br /> To view the transcript and shownotes for this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/death-to-life-1-john-3-14/ Jeremy Myers clean 16:53
Frank Viola gives me the shivers (in a GOOD way!) https://redeeminggod.com/frank-viola-insurgence/ Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:11:02 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48466 Frank Viola, author of Insurgence, joins me to discuss the Gospel of the Kingdom and what it really means to seek the Kingdom of God in our lives here and now. They also look at Luke 17:20-21 and Matthew 11:12 and what these passages teach about the kingdom of God. I interviewed Frank Viola for my podcast today. We discussed his new book, Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and as we talked, I literally got goosebumps because of some of the things he said.

You’ll need to listen to the podcast episode to see if the same thing happens to you.

Frank Viola Insurgence

Along with presenting some revolutionary ideas about the kingdom of God, baptism, the world system (principalities and powers), and how to approach the divisive political landscape today, he also explained the tricky texts of Luke 17:20-21 and Matthew 11:12.

These two texts say this:

Luke 17:20-21. Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!” or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.

Matthew 11:12. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

Listen to the podcast to learn what these verses mean.

Here are the links that were mentioned by Frank Viola in the discussion:

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Frank Viola, author of Insurgence, joins me to discuss the Gospel of the Kingdom and what it really means to seek the Kingdom of God in our lives here and now. They also look at Luke 17:20-21 and Matthew 11:12 and what these passages teach about the ki... Frank Viola, author of Insurgence, and Jeremy Myers discuss the Gospel of the Kingdom, and what it really means to seek the Kingdom of God in our lives here and now. They also look at Luke 17:20-21 and Matthew 11:12 and what these passages teach about the kingdom of God. <br /> <br /> To view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/frank-viola-insurgence/ Jeremy Myers clean 45:15
What is dead faith? (James 2:14-26) https://redeeminggod.com/dead-faith-james-2-14-26/ Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:36:56 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48349 When James writes about dead faith in James 2:14-26, many people think he is referring to faith that does not exist. But this is not the message of James. What is dead faith? It is useless faith. It is faith that does exist, but is not accomplishing what God wants or desires for it.

When James writes about dead faith in James 2:14-26, many people think he is referring to faith that does not exist. But this is not the message of James. What is dead faith? It is useless faith. It is faith that does exist, but is not accomplishing what God wants or desires for it. Despite what many teach, dead faith is NOT non-existent faith any more than a dead body is a non-existent body.

I have written elsewhere on James 2:14-26 and the often-heard statement that “even the demons believe” (James 2:16). This passage is also discussed in my book, What is Faith?

To properly understand James 2:14-26, it is also important to understand three key terms in the passage.

Three Key Terms in James 2:14-26

what is dead faith James 2:14-26The three terms are faith, save, and dead. These three key terms in James 2:14-26 help bring clarity to this much-debated text.

The word faith is defined as the belief, conviction, or persuasion that something is true (see Faith).

The word save is defined as “deliver” (see Salvation). It does NOT refer to gaining forgiveness of sins so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. It instead refers to some sort of deliverance, usually from some sort of temporal calamity, such as sickness, enemies, physical death, etc.

And the word dead means to be separated from the life, purpose, or goal which God planned or intended (see Death).

With these three terms in mind, the troublesome text of James 2:14-26 becomes much clearer.

The Context of James 2:14-26

The context of James 2 also helps us understand what James is saying.

The immediately preceding context is that the church is showing favoritism to some of the wealthier members. The rich receive more attention and better seats at fellowship meals than do the poor (James 2:1-13).

Following this, James continues to address how the poor and needy in the church are treated. James says that when it comes to helping the poor and needy in their community, faith is not enough. It is not enough to tell someone that you believe God can clothe them and provide for their needs. It is not enough to promise someone that you will pray for them.

Such faith in God, while real and genuine, does absolutely nothing to clothe the poor or feed the hungry (James 2:15-16).

What good is it, James asks, if you tell the poor that you believe God will clothe them, and you tell the hungry that you have faith in God to feed them, but you yourself don’t do anything to feed or clothe them?

Will your faith do anything to feed or clothe the poor and hungry? No, it won’t.

faith without works is dead James 2:26If you are genuinely concerned about the poor and hungry in your midst, it is fine to believe that God can do something about it, if you also believe that God is going to do something about it through you.

Faith, by itself, is worthless when it comes to helping the poor.

Note that James is not saying anything whatsoever about faith in Jesus for eternal life.

This is not the point of this passage. He is talking about how our faith in God to feed the hungry and clothe the poor should lead us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.

If you believe God can meet these needs, but you yourself do nothing to meet them, then your faith is dead and worthless. This does not mean that your faith does not exist. It does exist. But your faith is separated from its intended purpose.

God wants our faith in Him to spur us to step out and do things that turn our faith into action.

When we pray for something, God then wants us to seek to become the answer to our own prayers.

When we tell God that we believe He can do something, He turns to us and says that He will do it through us if we step out in faith and let Him. Faith in God is not us “letting go and letting God” but is us “stepping up and taking action” trusting that God will work in and through us to accomplish His work in this world.

what is dead faith James 2:14-26

So what is DEAD faith in James 2:16, 26?

So the word dead in James 2:16, 26 is a symbolic way of referring to faith that is not accompanied or empowered by works.

Dead faith is real faith. It does exist.

But dead faith is nothing more than faith that is by itself (James 2:17). All James is saying is that if the Christian life is going to be powerful and effective, both faith and works are needed. To save our relationship with other Christians and to accomplish God’s work in this world, both faith and works are needed (See Dillow, Reign of the Servant Kings, 187-194; Zane Hodges, Dead Faith: What is it? (Dallas: Redencion Viva, 1987); John Hart, “How to Energize Our Faith: Reconsidering the Meaning of James 2:14-26,” JOTGES (Spring, 1999).

At the end of this section, James illustrates this point by equating faith and works with the body and the spirit (James 2:26). Just as a body without the spirit is dead, so also, faith without works is dead.

dead faith James 2:14-26When a person’s spirit leaves their body, does this mean that the body does not exist, or that it never existed? No, of course not. The body is still there, even after the spirit departs. But the body is no longer accomplishing the purpose and goal which God intended for it.

So also with faith and works. If a person has faith, but they do not have works, this does not mean that their faith does not exist, or that it never existed. No, the faith is still there, even though the works are not.

But in such a situation, faith is not accomplishing the purpose and goal which God intended for it. The faith is dead. The absence of works is not allowing the faith to carry out God’s plan and purposes in the world. This is the meaning of James 2:14-26.

James 2:14-26 has nothing to do with eternal life

I cannot emphasize enough that James 2 has nothing whatsoever to do with the gaining, keeping, or proving of eternal life.

James 2:14-26 is not teaching that if a person fails to have good works, then this proves that they do not have eternal life. The question of eternal life is not in view at all.

Instead, James is telling us that rather than just pray for someone, or bless someone, or tell someone that God can provide for their needs, it is we who should answer our own prayers, seek to be a blessing to them, and provide for the needs out of our own pocket or pantry.

dead faith is useless faithOnly in this way does our faith get put into practice and fulfill the plans and goals of God.

So what is dead faith? Dead faith is NOT non-existent faith. Dead faith very much exists.

People who have dead faith truly do have actual and real faith. But their faith is inactive and useless. It is not accomplishing what God wants their faith to accomplish in this life.

So do you believe God can help others? Great! Now go out and do something about it, and actually help those whom God places in your life.

You can also get a copy of my book, What is Faith? on Amazon.

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When James writes about dead faith in James 2:14-26, many people think he is referring to faith that does not exist. But this is not the message of James. What is dead faith? It is useless faith. It is faith that does exist, When James writes about dead faith in James 2:14-26, many people think he is referring to faith that does not exist. But this is not the message of James. What is dead faith? It is useless faith. It is faith that does exist, but is not accomplishing what God wants or desires for it.<br /> <br /> To view the manuscript or leave a comment, visit: https://redeeminggod.com/dead-faith-james-2-14-26/ Jeremy Myers clean 21:42
How are we “dead in trespasses and sins”? (Ephesians 2:1) https://redeeminggod.com/ephesians_2_1/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 01:44:07 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48299 Is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:1 that unbelievers cannot even believe in Jesus for eternal life unless God first regenerates them? Must God give unbelievers new life (regeneration) before they believe and so that they can believe? No. This is not what it means to be dead in trespasses and sins.

Ephesians 2:1 is a favorite passage among some theologians to defend the idea that unregenerate people cannot do anything in their life to move toward God.

In other words, some say that because people are “dead in the trespasses and sins” (shortened as “dead in sins“) they cannot do anything good, including believe in Jesus.

But is this what Ephesians 2:1 is teaching? The verse says this:

Ephesians 2:1. And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

Ephesians 2:1

Is Paul Teaching that Unbelievers cannot Believe in Jesus?

So is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:1 that unbelievers cannot even believe in Jesus for eternal life unless God first regenerates them? Must God give unbelievers “new life” (regeneration) before they believe and so that they can believe?

Do people receive eternal life from God before they believe in Jesus or because they believe in Jesus?

The answer is that Jesus and Paul and all Scripture consistently agrees that we believe in in Jesus for eternal life; we do not receive eternal life to believe in Jesus (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; Rom 4:4-5).

Since Faith is not a Work, Unbelievers are Able to Believe

The idea that unregenerate people cannot do anything good is silly. Unbelievers can do all sorts of good spiritual things, which includes believing in Jesus for eternal life (cf. John 5:25; 20:31; Rom 1:20; Gal 3:26; Col 2:12-13; 1 Pet 1:23-25; Heb 10:39).

But this does not mean that the person who believes in Jesus for eternal life has earned their eternal life, has worked for it, or has done anything good to merit it.

Since faith is not a work, but is the opposite of works (Romans 4:4-5), then faith is not meritorious.

Those who receive the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus do not in any way get “credit” for eternal life.

Faith is the persuasion that something is true, and when God persuades us that we can have eternal life through Jesus Christ alone, at that moment of faith we have received eternal life from Him (see the Gospel Dictionary entry on Faith).

When we believe, no works are performed. No effort is expended.

So what is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:1?

Dead in sin Ephesians 2:1-3This entire line of thought is completely foreign to what Paul had in mind when he wrote Ephesians 2.

The debate about spiritual death and spiritual life in Ephesians 2 has been imported into the passage from outside theological systems that rip various verses in this chapter out of context so that they can then be used as proof texts to defend ideas that are not actually found in Paul’s line of thought.

A couple of factors contribute to the widespread failure to understand Paul’s point in Ephesians 2.

We must understand the word “saved”

The most significant contributing factor to this misunderstanding is the word “saved” in Ephesians 2:8-9.

When most Christians hear the word “saved” or “salvation,” they immediately think of “eternal life,” “going to heaven when you die,” or some similar concept.

But the Bible never uses the word “salvation” or “saved” as an equivalent term for eternal life. Instead, the word “saved” (and the entire “salvation” word family) means “deliverance” or “to be delivered” and the context determines what kind of deliverance is in view (see The Gospel Dictionary entry on Salvation).

To be “saved” in Ephesians 2 is to be “delivered from sin”

When Ephesians 2:8-9 is examined in the broader context (see the first several paragraphs of this post on Ephesians 2:1-3 to see the context of Ephesians 2), we learn that salvation in Ephesians is not about receiving eternal life so you can go to heaven when you die, but is instead about being rescued and delivered from our addiction to accusation, scapegoating, and violence, so that we are brought into the way of life, love, and liberty that God always wanted and desired for humanity.

So what does Ephesians 2:1 mean?

When this point about salvation is grasped, we then see that the phrase “dead in trespasses and sins” in Ephesians 2:1 is not talking about some sort of “spiritual death” in which the unregenerate cannot even respond to God or believe in Jesus.

Instead, the phrase “dead in trespasses and sins” is referring to the pervasive and controlling disease of death which covers the whole earth.

The point Paul is making here is the same exact point made in Genesis 4–6. Sin was introduced to the world, and death came with it, not primarily the death that comes with old age, but the death that comes from human violence against one another.

In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul is saying that the whole world is addicted to the destructive power of sin, which leads us to scapegoat and kill others, rather than accept, forgive, and love them.

Paul describes this further in Ephesians 2:2-3. In speaking of the course of the world, Paul is saying that sin and death guide and control the world.

dead in sins Ephesians 2:1

Rivalry, scapegoating, and violence form the foundation of all human civilization, culture, and interaction (see the Gospel Dictionary entry on World). This is also what Paul is referring to when he mentions the prince of the power of the air which works in the sons of disobedience.

This is, of course, a reference to Satan, who is the accuser (see the Gospel Dictionary entry on Satan). The desire of sin which God warned Cain against (Gen 4:7) is what Paul describes in Ephesians 2:3.

So the great problem of Ephesians 2:1-3 is indeed sin.

Sin is the realm of death in which all humans live and function. Sin is seen through accusation and scapegoating that comes from the desires and lusts of the flesh. All humans live in this realm and know of no other way to live.

Further Evidence from the context of Ephesians 2:1

Ephesians 2 (the whole chapter) follows a Problem-Solution-Application outline. And to see what the “Problem” of death and sin actually are, we can reverse engineer the chapter by beginning at the end, and seeing how Paul applies the chapter.

And in Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul talks about doing away with hostility and dividing walls of separation that we use to keep human separate from one another and hating one another. Instead, we are called to live in unity, love, and peace, just like Jesus Christ.

Jesus teaches peace Ephesians 2

So if that is the application, then the problem is the opposite. If peace and the removal of human hostility on this earth is the goal, then the problem is not about how we’re headed for hell and need to go to heaven. No, if the goal is the end of hostility between humans, then the problem is hostility and violence between humans.

And of course, the solution to the problem is what was accomplished in Jesus Christ, which is what Paul discusses in Ephesians 2:4-10.

We can briefly summarize Ephesians 2:1-22 this way:

Since sin and the death that comes from human hostility is the great problem of the world (Ephesians 2:1-3), God took the initiative to send Jesus Christ and show us a way out of this problem (Ephesians 2:4-10), so that those of us who see and understand what Jesus did on the cross, can now live as He lived, in love and unity for one another (Ephesians 2:11-22).

“Dead in Sins” in Ephesians 2:1

So the term “dead in sins” in Ephesians 2:1 is not referring to some sort of “spiritual death” which makes people unable to hear or respond to God, or to believe in Jesus for eternal life.

No, Paul is instead describing human culture and civilization. He is describing the “atmosphere” of sin and death in which we all live, and which we all assume is normal.

dead in trespasses and sins Eph 2:1This is what it means to be “dead in sins.” We are surrounded by an atmosphere, a system, a world of sin, which leads to death … death through murder, warfare, hatred, killing, condemning, scapegoating, and all things related to this.

But this way of “life” is not normal, and it is not what God wanted, planned, or intended. This worldly way of life is actually death.

So Jesus came to show us another way to live … an actual way to live. Because of what Jesus showed us, we can now live in a heavenly culture and civilization, even while we are here on earth.

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Is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:1 that unbelievers cannot even believe in Jesus for eternal life unless God first regenerates them? Must God give unbelievers new life (regeneration) before they believe and so that they can believe? No. Is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:1 that unbelievers cannot even believe in Jesus for eternal life unless God first regenerates them? Must God give unbelievers new life (regeneration) before they believe and so that they can believe? No. This is not what it means to be dead in trespasses and sins.<br /> <br /> In Ephesians 2:1, Paul introduces the problem of human sin, which is characterized by death, and then shows the solution in Ephesians 2:4-22.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, visit: https://redeeminggod.com/ephesians_2_1/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:01
Adventures in Fishing for Men – A Humorous Satire of Evangelism https://redeeminggod.com/adventures-in-fishing-for-men/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 17:00:56 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=12396 Most Christians are doing more harm than good with how they attempt to share Jesus with others. Many of the modern evangelistic efforts of Christians only do harm to the cause of Christ and the message of the gospel. If you want to see what I mean, I explain it all in parable form through my new book, Adventures in Fishing for Men. Don’t tell one more person about Jesus until you read my new book. Don’t attempt any more evangelism until you read it.

Seriously.

Most Christians are doing more harm than good with how they attempt to “share Jesus” with others.

Many of the modern “evangelistic” efforts of Christians only do harm to the cause of Christ and the message of the gospel.

If you want to see what I mean, I “explain” it all in parable form through my new book, Adventures in Fishing for Men.

This book is an allegory, or parable, about evangelism. In it, a nameless man (Is it you? Is it me?) attempts to become a world-famous fisherman … all without ever catching any fish.

The book is funny, hilarious, entertaining, and most of all, insightful and instructional.

Here is what some others are saying about Adventures in Fishing for Men.

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

Adventures in Fishing for Men

This book was originally published back in 2012, but it has been significantly revised and expanded. It contains 50% new material, and also has a set of Discussion Questions to go along with each chapter.

These discussion questions will help you use this book for your small group class or Bible study. And since this book is humorous, if you use it for your small group Bible study or discussion group, it will be unlike any other study you have done. You will still learn, but through story and humor instead!

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Most Christians are doing more harm than good with how they attempt to share Jesus with others. Many of the modern evangelistic efforts of Christians only do harm to the cause of Christ and the message of the gospel. If you want to see what I mean, Most Christians are doing more harm than good with how they attempt to share Jesus with others.<br /> <br /> Many of the modern evangelistic efforts of Christians only do harm to the cause of Christ and the message of the gospel.<br /> <br /> If you want to see what I mean, I explain it all in parable form through my new book, Adventures in Fishing for Men.<br /> <br /> This podcast episode contains the first three chapters of the book. Enjoy!<br /> <br /> To learn more about the book, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/adventures-in-fishing-for-men/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:57
How did Death enter the world through Adam? (Romans 5:12-21) https://redeeminggod.com/death-romans-5-12/ Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:08:45 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=48101 In Romans 5:12, Paul writes that through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. Almost everybody thinks that Paul is referring to the event in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But is this what Paul has in mind? It doesn't seem so ...

In Romans 5:12, Paul writes that “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Almost everybody thinks that Paul is referring to the event in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Romans 5:12But is this what Paul has in mind?

It doesn’t seem so …

Let us consider the contexts of Genesis 3 and Romans 5 to see what Paul is thinking. And while we are doing that, we will also seek to define the word “death” as it is used in Scripture.

Death in Genesis 3 (in the context of Genesis 2-7)

Questions about death have plagued humanity since the very beginning. Where did death come from? How can we escape death? What is death? What happens after death? Is there a way to return from death?

The Bible answers many of these questions, and the foundation for these answers is laid in Genesis 2–7. If we fail to understand these opening chapters, this failure has ramifications for how we understand the rest of the Bible as well.

For example, vast segments of Christianity believe that death is a curse from God which came as a result of human sinful rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Many believe that because Adam and Eve ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God cursed them with death, and all humanity as well.

This way of thinking then gets carried over into how we understand other texts related to the gospel, and it also colors our view of God and death.

Genesis 3But a careful study of what Genesis 2–7 teaches about death and dying leads us in a very different direction.

Now, it is true that physical death came upon humans as a result of eating the forbidden fruit. But it is not true that God sent death upon humans or cursed humans with death. Many people do not realize this, but death was built in to creation, as part of creation. If that’s a challenging idea for you, go and listen to Episode 9 of the One Verse Podcast, where I teach about death and creation from Genesis 1:11-12.

So death was inherent within God’s good creation, but this does not mean that God wanted humans to die. This is why God gave humans the Tree of Life. Eating from this tree would keep death from coming upon humans.

When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the forbidden tree, death did come upon humans, but not because God cursed humans with death. Instead, death came upon humans because humans could not longer eat from the Tree of Life.

But is this not a curse after all? Is it not God’s “fault” that humans die? No. While, it is true that God is the one responsible for keeping humans from eating from the tree of life, this is not a curse; it is a blessing.

Death is a Blessing

Despite the way most people feel about it, death is actually a blessing from God. The real curse would be to live forever in a sinful body.

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they permanently damaged their relationship with each other, with creation, with God, and even within themselves (This is what is seen and described in Genesis 3:7-21).

The only way for God to repair these connections is by allowing our bodies to die so that He could give us new, glorious bodies that accomplished everything He planned and intended for us. In other words, once our flesh was damaged, the only way to repair it is through death.

Death, therefore, is not a curse, but a cure. Genesis 5 shows that everyone experienced this kind of death as time and time again we are met with the phrase, “… and he died” (Genesis 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31).

Yet this type of death is not the only type of death mentioned in Genesis 1–7, nor is it the type of death that Scripture as a whole is most concerned with. And this is not the type of death Paul has in mind in Romans 5:12-21.

Natural death is natural, and while God did not want or intend for us to die natural deaths, it is not primarily this type of death that Jesus came to rescue and deliver us from.

The first real death in the Bible is encountered in Genesis 4, and it is this death that is most concerning to God, and which Scripture everywhere warns us against.

The Introduction of Sin and Death (Genesis 4:4, 8)

Genesis 4The first death in the Bible is when Cain murders his brother Abel as a result of jealous rivalry (Genesis 4:8). Many Christians believe that the first death in the Bible occurs when God sacrificed a sheep in Genesis 3:21 or when Abel made a similar sacrifice in Genesis 4:4.

But a careful study of these texts reveals that no animal blood was shed. There is no animal sacrifice in Genesis 3:21 or Genesis 4:4. I have podcast episodes on these verses as well. No sacrifice in Genesis 3:21 and no sacrifice in Genesis 4:4-5.

So the first death of any kind in the Bible is when Cain murders his brother in Genesis 4:8.

The significance of this cannot be overstated. Since the first death is between brothers, it reveals that all violence between humans is violence between family members. When we stop to think about it, all of us are related, which means that any violence against anyone else is violence against a member of our own family.

Cain kills AbelBut beyond this, the source of the violent murder is Cain’s desire to have what Abel has, and the rivalry he engages in to obtain it (cf. Genesis 4:5-7). Furthermore, Cain then goes off to found a city (Genesis 4:17), which shows that murder and violence is at the foundation of all human civilization.

But it is not just the murder of one against another that concerns God. God is concerned with the human tendency to escalate violence through retaliation and revenge. This is why God puts a mark on Cain (Genesis 4:15).

God knows that the death of one tends to lead quickly to the death of many, and He wants to stop the process from beginning with Cain.

This truth is further seen when Lamech kills a young man for hurting him (Genesis 4:23). Lamech goes on to say that if Cain would be avenged sevenfold, then he should be avenged seventy sevenfold (Gen 4:26).

As all humans who engage in violence against others, Lamech feels completely justified in his own actions, and believes that any retaliation against him would be completely unjustified. But note how the sevenfold retaliation has already exponentially increased to seventy sevenfold.

death in Genesis 4In Genesis 6 we see that this seventy sevenfold vengeance has overtaken the whole earth so that now, everyone is only evil all the time and violence has covered the whole earth (Genesis 6:5, 11). The one thing that God did not want to happen has happened. In Genesis 6 all humans are engaged in violence against all other humans. The earth is suffering from an all-consuming contagion of violence.

So the overall truth about death in Genesis 2–7 is that there are two main types of death.

One of the physical death which comes upon all people as a result of being blocked from the tree of life. This death is not a curse, but a blessing, as it is the necessary doorway to the resurrection and the glorified bodies that we have for eternity.

The second form of death, however, is the main concern of God, not only in Genesis 2–7, but also in the rest of Scripture. This is the death that comes as a result of violence, and which is closely associated with sin.

The death that plagues humanity and which Jesus can to rescue and deliver us from is not the primarily the death of humans dying from old age, but the death of humans killing other humans.

Sin has consequences both to ourselves and others. Yes, we die physically from old age because we have been separated from the tree of life, but we also die (as do others) as a result of the consequences of sinful violence.

This brings us then to what Paul is teaching in Romans 5.

Death Through Adam in Romans 5:12-21

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. … Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come (Rom 5:12, 14).

Paul argues in Romans 5:12-21 that sin and death are not linked to the law. Both existed prior to the Mosaic Law (Romans 5:13-14), and the law serves to reveal and exacerbate the human problem of sin (Romans 5:20).

death of Adam death of Jesus Romans 5:12-21Paul goes on to contrast this with the righteousness that is in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:16-18). Therefore, as with many other words in this dictionary, the concept of death in Romans in closely connected with other key words that must also be understood in order to grasp Paul’s overall argument.

For the purposes of this entry, it is only necessary to point out that Paul writes how death came as a result of sin, and sin entered the world through one man, Adam (Romans 5:12). The order of events is that Adam introduced sin into the world, and sin brought death.

Many who read Romans 5:12 believe that the sin Paul is referring to is the act of eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which resulted in Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden so that they later died of old age.

But when we go back and carefully examine the order of events the terminology used in Genesis 3–4 as we have done above, we see a different truth emerge.

Yes, through Adam’s disobedience, sin was introduced into the world. But in Genesis, sin is not mentioned until Genesis 4:7, where it is connected with Cain’s desire to engage in rivalry and revenge against Abel.

Adam and Eve had previously engaged in some of this rivalry when they started blaming each other, blaming God, and blaming the serpent for why they ate the fruit (Genesis 3:11-13), but the overall picture of what sin is and how it leads to death is not described until Genesis 4 where sin is first mentioned and the first death occurs.

Yes, Adam introduced both sin and death to the world in Genesis 3, but both are not fully revealed until Genesis 4.

So when Paul writes in Romans 5:12-21 that sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, we should not be thinking about Genesis 3, but about Genesis 4.

The death that is most concerning to Paul is the death that comes as a result of violence.

When Paul goes on in Romans 5:12-21 to write about how death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned, we should be thinking about Genesis 5–7, where while some people died from old age, most of the people in these chapters died as a result of violence.

None of this is how God intended or desired for humans to interact with each other. When God created humanity, He planned for us to live and work together in peace and harmony, as partners in the task of multiplying on the face of the earth, taking care of the plants and animals, and expanding the borders of the Garden to cover the whole earth (cf. Genesis 1:26-28).

This was the righteous life that God wanted for us. But instead, we chose the sin of blame, accusation, finger-pointing, rivalry, and scapegoating, which leads to death, the violent death of brother murdering brother. But Jesus came to lead us back into the righteous life that God originally desired. Paul goes on to explain how this works in Romans 6-8.

The transition from death unto life in the book of Romans is a transition from the sins of rivalry, scapegoating, and violence based on the law (Romans 1–3), to the reception of eternal life and the principles of the righteous life as revealed in Jesus (Romans 4–5).

These truths then lead us into freedom from sin and the law (Romans 6–7), so that we no longer have to live in condemnation from God or from one another (Romans 8). Paul concretely applies all these truths in Romans 9–15.

As can be seen, a proper understanding of what the Bible teaches about death helps make sense of Paul’s argument in Romans, and especially what he is teaching in Romans 5:12. While receiving eternal life is part of Paul’s message in Romans, it is only a small part.

In Romans 5:12-21, Paul is more concerned with how we live our lives in Jesus Christ free from slavery to sin and the power of death.

So what does the Gospel teach about Death?

Yes, it is true … the gospel teaches that while humans die from sickness and old age, these things will be done away with in the future.

But this truth about death is not the primary teaching in the Gospel about death. The Bible is not just concerned about future death, but present death.

The gospel contains truths about death for this life here and now, and how to avoid it. The Bible says that the big problem of death is not that we will eventually die from old age or disease, but that we engage in the practices of death every day when we accuse, slander, and blame our fellow human beings.

We engage in the practices of death when we approve of scapegoating, condemning, and killing other human beings. The first death in the Bible is when Cain murdered his brother Abel, and when we call for the death of other human beings today, we are following in the way of Cain.

death of Jesus Romans 5

Jesus came and died to reveal this truth to us, and to call us to stop it. Rather than seek revenge and retaliation, we are to love and forgive. This is the way of Jesus and this is the call of the gospel.

The gospel reveals how we participate in the killing of our brothers and sisters, and calls us to abandon these practices and follow Jesus in the way of love.  This is what Paul is talking about in Romans 5 as well.

The main concern of Scripture regarding death is the death that comes from scapegoating violence. This is the foundational sin of the world, and is the type of death Jesus subjected Himself to so that He might reveal to us how we humans are enslaved to death and show us a different way to live.

We gain deliverance from this type of death by choosing to follow Jesus in the way of love and forgiveness, rather than in the worldly way of rivalry, accusation, and blame.

Once we have seen what death is and how we have deliverance from all forms of death in Jesus Christ, it is then that we lose our fear of death. It is then that we can say with Paul:

Death is swallowed up in victory.
O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?

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In Romans 5:12, Paul writes that through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. Almost everybody thinks that Paul is referring to the event in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve ate from the... In Romans 5:12, Paul writes that through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. Almost everybody thinks that Paul is referring to the event in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But is this what Paul has in mind? It doesn't seem so ...<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the manuscript, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/death-romans-5-12/ Jeremy Myers clean 34:19
What is the Crown of Life? https://redeeminggod.com/what-is-the-crown-of-life/ Wed, 30 May 2018 18:03:28 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=13188 The Crown of Life is not eternal life. Eternal life is a free gift. The Crown of Life is special reward for a special act of service and dedication to the King. Just as you win an award for winning a race, so also God gives rewards to people who run well in this life. This article looks at the crown of life and what we learn about it in James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10.

Have you ever wondered about the crown of life? A reader recently sent in the following question about what the crown of life is, though it might also be important to understand how we gain the crown of life. But let us begin with her question. Here is what she wrote:

I just finished reading your article on Yeshua drinking the bitter cup. I am just amazed at this view. I was searching for what it meant because a few years back I was told to drink a bitter cup. All I know is I have never felt lost until that time. To drink the dregs of it is a horrible thing, and all I had was a taste. But Jesus drank the dregs for us! I am still stunned at what you have shown. Your article makes me appreciate even more what He has done for us. It makes perfect sense to me.

I would like to ask you if you have written anything on the crown of life? After all this incident, I was told on April 19 that I had made it through my tribulation and received the crown of life. Can you help explain what this means?

First, thank you for the encouragement about the article where Jesus prayed to “Let this cup pass.” I must give credit to one of my seminary professors for that view.

From your question, it sounds like maybe you are attending a church or Bible study that gives prophetic “Words of knowledge” to its members. Is that true?

Be careful about what people tell you through these “words of knowledge.” My experience is that usually the messages they give are designed to control you and instill fear in you, rather than help or encourage. In the case of the two things you were told, it looks like someone quoted some poorly-misunderstood Bible passages at you, and then misapplied them to your life so that you lived in fear.

Remember, God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). If a message comes “by the Spirit” and results in you feeling lost and fearing for your life, it is not likely a message that originated with God.

But let us move on to your question about the crown of life.

The Crown of Life

So what about the Crown of Life? What is the crown of life and how can we gain it?

laurel crownThere are five crowns mentioned in Scripture. They are the Everlasting Crown (1 Cor 9:25), the Crown for the One who Wins Souls (Php 4:1; 1 Thess 2:19), the Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim 4:8), the Crown of Glory (1 Pet 5:4), and the Crown of Life (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10).

Part of the difficulty with these crowns is that most cultures today do not use crowns, and those that do reserve the crowns for royalty. But the word used for “crown” is stephanos, which can also refer to a “reward” or “laurel wreath.” In the original Greek Olympics, the winner of the sporting contests was awarded the stephanos, a laurel crown.

So each of the crowns mentioned above represents a reward for some particular special act of service or perseverance within the Kingdom of God. By all appearances, the crowns will be some sort of actual reward handed out to believers when Jesus returns again in the future. This will be at the Bema — the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Therefore, none of the crowns are equivalent to eternal life itself. That is, while eternal life is the absolutely free gift of God to anyone who simply believes in Jesus for it (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47), the various crowns are rewards that are given to Christians who complete certain tasks and practice certain behaviors.

Each of the five crowns deserves its own study, but let me just focus on the Crown of Life. (There is a short study of the other crowns in my Gospel Dictionary Online Course, in the lesson on “Crown.”)

The Crown of Life is NOT Eternal Life

James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10 indicate that the Crown of Life is for those who persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, and persecution.

Some people wrongly teach, however, that if you fail to persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, or persecution, that you prove you do not have life, or that God will take away your life. This is not true.

the crown of lifeEternal life is a free gift to everyone and anyone who believes in Jesus for it. You do not have to work your way to eternal life. Eternal life cannot be earned or kept by good works.

The Crown of Life, however, is a reward for special acts of service and perseverance under trial.

The Crown of Life is special reward for a special act of service and dedication to the King.

So if you are experiencing severe temptation, trials, or persecution, be encouraged and persevere through them.

Just as a runner perseveres through the difficulties of the race so that he reaches the finish line and receives the reward, so also Jesus wants to put the Crown of Life upon your head when you reach the finish line after persevering through pain, trials, and persecution.

It will probably not be an actual crown or ring of leaves, but will be some sort of special blessing, honor, privilege, or recognition in the future, eternal reign of Jesus.

By offering this Crown, Jesus encourages us to stay strong, keep the course, and remain faithful.

Let us look in more detail at the two texts which mention the Crown of Life.

The Crown of Life in James 1:12

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

crown of life James 1:12The crown of life that James mentions here is often confused with eternal life.

But as with every other crown, we know that the crown of life cannot be the same thing as eternal life because eternal life is the free gift of God to everyone who believes in Jesus for it, but the crown of life, as described here by James, is given to those who endure temptation.

In other words, Jesus gives the crown of life to those who persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation, and persecution.

Therefore, the crown of life is a reward for a life well-lived. It is an honor that Jesus bestows upon those who endure the trials and temptations of this life.

Some people wrongly teach that those who fail to persevere in the midst of temptation prove that they not actually Christians or that as a result of their failure, God takes away their eternal life. But this is not what James is teaching.

Eternal life is a free gift to everyone and anyone who believes in Jesus for it. The crown of life, however, is a reward for special acts of service and perseverance under trial.

This is actually a great encouragement for those who face trials and temptations. It is much easier to endure in the midst of trials when we know that we are safe and secure in the arms of God, and that even if we fail to stand up in the temptation, He will not abandon or forsake us, but will always be there to love, comfort, protect, and restore us.

This sense of safety gives us strength to stand in the midst of temptation. It allows us to run the race with perseverance, rather than giving up out of fear and frustration.

This crown is an encouragement to stay strong, keep the course, and remain faithful. As with the other crowns, it is likely not a literal crown, but is symbolic of praise, honor, and glory that Jesus bestows upon those who faithfully stand with Him in the midst of trial and temptation.

The Crown of Life in Revelation 2:10

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

crown of life Revelation 2:10The crown mentioned in Revelation 2:10 is also the crown of life mentioned in James 1:12. In both cases, the crown of life is a special honor, reward, or recognition given by Jesus to those who stand up against the temptation and trials of the devil.

The crown of life is not eternal life, but is a way that Jesus recognizes and honors those people who faithfully serve Him and remain steadfast in the storms of life (cf. Revelation 3:11).

Here in Revelation 2:10, Jesus warns the Christians in Smyrna that the devil is coming to accuse and test them. Some of them will be thrown into prison, and they may even lose their lives. But Jesus says that if they remain faithful, He will bless and honor them with the crown of life when they stand before Him in the resurrection. They will be shown special honor in the life to come.

One further piece of evidence that the crown of life is not the same as eternal life is that all seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2–3 contain promises of rewards and special blessings for those Christians who persevere and overcome.

Just as eating from the tree of life (Rev 2:7), getting a new name (Rev 2:17), receiving power to rule the nations (Rev 2:26), being recognized before God in heaven (Rev 3:5), and being made a pillar in the temple of God (Rev 3:12) are not the same thing as receiving eternal life, so also, the crown of life is not the same thing as eternal life.

These are all special ways that Jesus rewards and recognizes those who faithfully serve and honor Him.

What is the crown of life

So What is the Crown of Life?

The crown of life is not equivalent to eternal life. Eternal life is the free gift of God to all who believe in Jesus for it. The crown of life (like all the crowns mentioned in Scripture) is a form of honor and recognition that Jesus bestows upon those who faithfully serve and honor Him.

It is helpful to think of these crowns as a medal for winning a race, or as some form of public recognition where we receive praise for a job well done. This recognition and reward will be received at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is especially true of the crown of life.

So as you live your life, be eager for the Lord’s coming, faithfully love and serve one another, teach and train each other in the truths of the gospel, and stand strong in the face of trial and temptation. If you do these things, you will receive crowns from Jesus so that you may cast them at His feet in eternity.

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The Crown of Life is not eternal life. Eternal life is a free gift. The Crown of Life is special reward for a special act of service and dedication to the King. Just as you win an award for winning a race, so also God gives rewards to people who run we... What is the crown of life, and how is it earned? Is the crown of life the same thing as eternal life? This study answers these questions, and also looks at James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10, the two passages that discuss the crown of life. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, go here: https://redeeminggod.com/what-is-the-crown-of-life/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:51
Do I need to confess Jesus to be saved? (Romans 10:9-10) https://redeeminggod.com/confess-jesus-romans-10-9-10/ Wed, 23 May 2018 19:56:29 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47949 There are several verses in the Bible which seem to teach that you need to make a public confession of Jesus in order to be saved. One of these is Romans 10:9-10. Many people interpret this to mean that if you do not let others know that you are a follower of Jesus, then you do not truly have eternal life and will therefore not spend eternity with God in heaven.

There are several verses in the Bible which seem to teach that you need to make a public confession of Jesus in order to be saved. Many people interpret this to mean that if you do not let others know that you are a follower of Jesus, then you do not truly have eternal life and will therefore not spend eternity with God in heaven.

There are numerous passages from Scripture which seem to teach this idea of making a public confession about following Jesus, but none of them actually teach what many people think. This article will briefly consider several of these verses, with an emphasis on Romans 10:9-10.

Romans 10:9-10The bottom line truth we will learn is that a public confession of Jesus is not required to receive (or prove that we have) eternal life. Not even Romans 10:9-10 teaches this idea.

To see this, it is important to first define the word “confess.”

The Meaning of the Word “Confess”

As discussed previously, the word “confess” simply means “to agree.” God teaches us many things in Scripture, and when we agree with what He has revealed, we are “confessing” or “agreeing” with the truth.

The word “confess” is defined in more detail in my online course, “The Gospel Dictionary.”

So when Scripture tells us to confess that Jesus is Lord, it is telling us to agree that Jesus is Lord.

Do you agree with what God has revealed in Scripture, that Jesus is Lord? That He is the Master, Ruler, Judge, and King of all things? If you do, then you confess that Jesus is Lord, and are invited by Scripture to live in light of this truth.

So is Confession Required for Eternal Life?

But is this confession of Jesus as Lord required to receive eternal life?

No, it is not. You do not need to confess that Jesus is Lord in order to receive eternal life.

The consistent truth of Scripture (and Jesus Himself) is that we receive eternal life simply and only by believing in Jesus for it (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47). You do not receive eternal life by submitting your life to the Lordship of Jesus, confessing your sins, walking an isle, saying a prayer, asking Jesus into your heart, or any of the other popular messages some Christians teach today.

Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it. Period. No action, effort, commitment, dedication, repentance, confession, or work is needed on your part.

Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus is very important for sanctification and becoming more like Jesus in this life, but we do not need to submit to Jesus on confess Jesus in order to receive eternal life.

But what about the verses that seem to teach that we must confess that Jesus is Lord in order to receive eternal life? Well, let’s look at few…

Matthew 10:32 (Luke 12:8)

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is heaven (Matthew 10:32).

take a stand for Jesus

Nothing this this text refers to receiving eternal life. Instead, Jesus is teaching a discipleship truth. He is saying that if you want to figure out what your life is all about (Matt 10:39), what your purpose is, and how you can live a life of significance, then you must first align yourself with Jesus and be proud of your connection with the family of God.

You cannot follow Jesus wherever He leads in life if you don’t want to be associated with Him. When we are proud of our connection to Jesus, and let others know that we are part of God’s family, then Jesus will lead us where He wants us to go, and will also boast about us before God in heaven.

This might be a bit like how God boasted about Job to the angelic host in Job 1:8. Of course, in that context, God is boasting about Job to Satan, whereas here, it is Jesus boasting about us to God, but the idea is similar. God is proud of His children when they are proud of being part of His family.

Note that nothing is said about these people not actually being Christians or not being part of the family of God. Though Jesus does say in Matthew 10:33 that He will deny those who deny Him, this does not mean that they are denied eternal life and entrance into heaven.

All it means is that they will not receive recognition and praise from Jesus when He boasts about His faithful brethren to His Father. Instead, He might actually express some disappointment. But He will never take away their eternal life, for that would be tantamount to denying Himself, which He cannot do. A similar idea is expressed in 2 Timothy 2:12.

2 Timothy 2:12

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He will also deny us (2 Timothy 2:12).

The word confess is not mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:12, but the word deny is, which is the opposite of confess.

The immediate context of 2 Timothy 2:12 mentions salvation (2 Timothy 2:10), and the following contexts refers to being approved and unapproved by Jesus (2 Timothy 2:15), all of which is connected to naming the name of Christ and turning from sin (2 Tim 2:19).

confess Jesus before men

So Paul is not referring to gaining or losing eternal life, but to submitting our lives to Jesus as Lord and Master so that we can deliverance from the destructive power of sin in our lives and gain honor and recognition from Jesus when we stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Gaining eternal life and remaining within God’s family is solely by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. However, having a position of honor and prominence within the family, having God be proud of us and what we have done with Him in His Kingdom is quite another matter.

For God to be proud about us and to boast about us to others, we must be strong, endure hardship, suffer trouble, be diligent, shun idle arguments, depart from iniquity, flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Tim 2:1-26). If we fail to do such things, and deny Jesus rather than confess and proclaim our alignment with Him, then He will deny us the ability to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom, even though we will still remain part of the family of God.

This is the exact same truth Paul teaches in Romans 10:9-10, which is the passage most often used to teach that confession of Jesus is required for eternal life.

Romans 10:9-10

… that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10).

Romans 10:9-10Many use Romans 10:9-10 to teach that if a person is going to truly be a Christian, they are required to make a public confession of faith in front of other people.

How this occurs varies from teacher to teacher. Some say that it occurs at baptism, while others say that standing up in church to share a conversion story is what is needed.

Most argue, however, that the only thing required is that a Christian never publicly deny that Jesus is their Lord and Master. When asked to take a stand for Jesus in the public arena, we are required to not be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16), and instead be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15).

According to many, the one who fails to take such a public stand for Jesus proves that he never really a Christian in the first place.

But is this really what Paul is teaching? Is Paul saying that we need to make a public confession that Jesus is Lord in order to receive eternal life? No, this is not what Paul is saying.

The reason this text is so widely misunderstood and misapplied is because few people understand that the words “saved” and “salvation” do not refer to receiving eternal life.

People see the words “saved” and “salvation” in these verses and think that Paul is writing about how to receive eternal life. But he is not. The words “saved” and “salvation” in the Bible never refer specifically to receiving eternal life by faith in Jesus.

Instead, the salvation word family refers to some sort of deliverance or rescue, and can include deliverance from premature death due to sickness or enemies, deliverance from running one’s relationships, or even to deliverance from shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

When Scripture teaches about being saved from sin, it is not referring to escaping hell and going to heaven when we die, but to the deliverance from the devastating and destructive consequences of sin in this life.

It is this last idea of “salvation” which Paul primarily has in mind when he writes about salvation in his letters, and especially in his letter to the Romans.

Paul not only wants his readers to receive eternal life through faith in Jesus (Romans 4-5), he also wants his readers to experience the life of God in their day-to-day lives right now (Romans 6-8).

Paul not only wants his readers to be justified (Romans 4-5), he also wants them to be sanctified (Romans 6-8).

He not only wants them to be declared righteous in the sight of God (Romans 4-5), but also to live righteously in the sight of men (Romans 6-8).

So when Paul writes about salvation, it is this day-to-day journey into discipleship and sanctification that Paul has in mind.

“Salvation” in Romans is NOT about gaining forgiveness of sins so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. It is about following Jesus in the path of discipleship so that we can avoid the destructive and devastating consequences of sin in this life.

We see this quite clearly right here in Romans 10:9-10.

The word Paul uses for righteousness in verse 10 is the same exact Greek word he uses elsewhere for justification (see Justification). And how is a person justified? According to Paul, a person is justified when they believe in Jesus (cf. Romans 4:4-5). This belief takes place in their heart, that is, in their inner being. It is not something that necessarily has any outward sign, activity, or manifestation.

When we believe in Jesus, He gives us eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47). We are justified, or declared righteous by God.

But being declared righteous by God is not the same thing as the daily experience of freedom from sin.

Deliverance from the penalty of sin is not the same thing as deliverance from the power of sin in our lives. All Christians know that even after they become a Christian, they continue to struggle with disobedience and rebellion against God. Paul knows this very well (cf. Romans 7), and so a constant theme in his letters is to teach Christians how to experience the freedom for which they have been set free (cf. Gal 5:1).

Though justification truths are central to Paul’s thinking and teaching, sanctification truths are more constant.

So here in Romans 10:9-10, one key to gaining deliverance from the addictive and destructive power of sin in our lives is by publicly confessing our allegiance to Jesus.

We are justified by faith alone, but one key to experiencing salvation, that is, deliverance from the power of sin in our lives, is by boldly proclaiming with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord and Master.

As long as we hide the fact that we are aligned with Jesus, it will be easier for sin to continue to have mastery over us. But when we let friends, family, and co-workers know that we follow Jesus and obey His instructions, it will be easier for us to stand up for what is right and do what He commands. In this way, we will begin to experience salvation; we will begin to find deliverance from the devastating and destructive consequences of sin in our lives.

confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord Romans 10:9-10

So is public confession with the mouth important? Yes, of course!

Taking a public stand for Jesus is essential for finding freedom from the power of sin in our lives. But this public stance is not required to receive eternal life. God declares us righteous when we believe in Jesus.

We believe in Jesus for eternal life, and we confess Jesus with our mouth to experience deliverance from sin.

How will this public stance look? Well, it will be different from person to person and from place to place. Baptism might be part of it, as well as possibly sharing a testimony in the church. But taking a public stand for Jesus is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing way of life that requires daily commitment and discipline. Taking a public stand for Jesus is part of every conversation, interaction, and decision with friends, family, coworkers, and even in our personal life.

Paul’s message in Romans 10:9-10 is that while being justified by faith alone is wonderful, it is not enough to deliver us from the power of sin in our lives here and now.

The first step toward this salvation from sin is to publicly confess and agree that we belong to God, that Jesus is our Master, and that we will follow Him and do what He says.

Note that this way of understanding Romans 10:9-10 can be easily understood by reversing the “order of events” in Romans 10:14-15. In these verses, Paul writes this:

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?

The “calling on Him” is equivalent to confessing Jesus, so let us take these events in reverse order:

1. A person is sent
2. That person preaches to people
3. The people hear what is preached
4. They believe what is preached (and are therefore justified)
5. Those who believe call on the name of the Lord.

Do you see? A person cannot call on the name of the Lord until they have first believed. In other words, the “calling” or “confessing” that Paul has in mind is a discipleship activity. It is for believers who are already justified. This calling and confession helps “save” believers from the destructive power of sin in our lives.

One does not gain eternal life by calling on the name of the Lord or by making a public confession that Jesus is Lord. We receive eternal life by believing in Jesus for it.

But having believed, we can gain victory over sin in our life (salvation) by confessing Jesus, calling on His name, and taking a public stand for Him. If we fail to do this, it does not mean we don’t have eternal life; it just means we will not experience victory over sin in our life.

Jesus is King for life

So Do You Need to Confess that Jesus is Lord?

Well, it depends … what are you trying to do?

If you want to gain eternal life from God, then no, you do not need to confess that Jesus is Lord. Simply believe that Jesus has given eternal life to you. That’s it. Eternal life is a free gift received by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

But if you want to break free from the besetting, addicting, and destructive power of sin in your life, then yes, confession that Jesus is Lord and submission to Him in your life will be necessary. Only when we commit to following Jesus and take a stand for Him will we gain “salvation” from the power of sin in our lives here and now.

Does this make sense? I hope so! Leave any comments or questions you might have in the comment section below.

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There are several verses in the Bible which seem to teach that you need to make a public confession of Jesus in order to be saved. One of these is Romans 10:9-10. Many people interpret this to mean that if you do not let others know that you are a foll... There are several verses in the Bible which seem to teach that you need to make a public confession of Jesus in order to be saved. One of these is Romans 10:9-10. Many people interpret this to mean that if you do not let others know that you are a follower of Jesus, then you do not truly have eternal life and will therefore not spend eternity with God in heaven.<br /> <br /> To comment on this study, or read the transcript, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/confess-jesus-romans-10-9-10/ Jeremy Myers clean 31:35
Do you need to confess your sins before God forgives you? (1 John 1:9) https://redeeminggod.com/confess-1-john-1-9/ Wed, 16 May 2018 22:27:43 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47929 Does 1 John 1:9 mean that if we do not confess our sins to God, He will not forgive us? No, the truth is that God has already forgiven you for all your sins, past, present, and future. So what does 1 John 1:9 mean? This article explains more.

In 1 John 1:9, we are invited to confess our sins so that God will forgive us. The verse says this:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But does this mean that if we do not confess our sins to God, He will not forgive us? No, the truth is that God has already forgiven you for all your sins, past, present, and future.

1 John 1:9So what did the Apostle John mean when he wrote 1 John 1:9? To understand this verse, we need to understand three things. We need to understand the meaning of the word “confess,” the meaning of the word “forgive” and the overall message and theme of 1 John.

Let us look at these three key ideas.

The Meaning of the Word “Confess”

The word confess comes from the Greek word homologeō, and it literally means “to say the same thing.” The word means more than just to admit, proclaim, or declare something. Instead, it has in view a conversation with God or others about what is true, and we agree with them about what they are saying.

The opposite of confession is denial (arneomai). When God makes a statement about some truth, we can either agree with God or disagree (John 1:20; 1 John 2:23). Therefore, the word “agree” might be the best translation of homologeō.

To confess is to align with what God is saying, or to agree with Him about something.

confess our sins

Obviously, there are lots of truths we can agree with God about. Almost every statement in Scripture requires us to either agree or disagree. Yet when we study the word confess in Scrip-ture, we discover that confession, or agreement with God, has nothing whatsoever to do with gaining or keeping our eternal life, but rather with aligning ourselves with God’s perspective on things.

Never forget that we gain the free gift of eternal life simply by believing in Jesus for it. No confession or agreement is necessary. No turning from sin. No submission to Jesus as Lord and Master. No public declaration about being part of the family of God.

All such things are good works that are important for the life of the Christian, but which are not requirements for receiving eternal life.

Yet after we believe in Jesus for eternal life, God begins to work with us as His children to mold us and conform us into who He created us to be. When we are born again into the family of God, we begin our life as one of His children.

But God does not stop with just giving us new life in Jesus. No, once we have life, He wants us to grow and mature and become productive members of His family. So through Scripture, the church, and the Holy Spirit, God begins to teach us things about Himself, about ourselves, and about how to follow Jesus. And when we see these truths, we can either agree with God or disagree.

If we agree with what God teaches us, then we align ourselves with what God has said, and we begin to make the necessary changes in our lives that come from this agreement.

But if we disagree, if we deny the truth of what God has said, then we continue to live in ignorance and self-deception, and we will not make progress in our lives as Christians. We will remain part of the family of God, but we will remain immature and fruitless.

So the word confess means to agree with about the things He teaches, especially regarding those things that help us live up to our identity as children of God.

This definition of “confess” will help us understand 1 John 1:9, but before we consider the verse, let us look at the word “forgive.”

The Meaning of the Word “Forgive”

I have gone over the meaning of the word “forgive” multiple times on this website, so I won’t go through it in depth again.

The main point to remember is that there are two kinds of forgiveness in the Bible. There is charizomai forgiveness, which is free and unconditional. God freely extends charizomai forgiveness to all people throughout all time for all sins, no matter what. Believers and unbelievers alike have charizomai forgiveness. It does not require confession or repentance. All sins–past, present, and future-are freely forgiven by God with this type of forgiveness.

The second type of forgiveness is aphesis forgiveness. It is always conditional, and is for our benefit; not God’s. Though God has freely forgiven us for all our sins, if we want to experience the release from the bondage of sin, then there are things we need to do … such as confess, repent, and purify our lives.

You can probably already guess which type of forgiveness is mentioned in 1 John 1:9. Yes, since confession is mentioned, then it makes sense that the second type of forgiveness, aphesis forgiveness, is in view.

See this article on forgiveness for more or you can also take the lesson on “Forgiveness” in my Gospel Dictionary Online Course.

forgiveness

And while this key helps our understanding of 1 John 1:9 the most, let us turn to the third key, which is the overall theme of 1 John.

The Overall Theme of 1 John

Some people think that the letter of 1 John is about how to know whether or not you have eternal life. Some people teach that 1 John contains “Tests of Life” and if you pass these tests, then you can know that you have life.

But this is not at all why John wrote this letter. Instead, as if evident from the opening verses, John wrote this letter because He had fellowship with Jesus, and wanted to share this fellowship with others.

“Fellowship” is just a biblical word for “friendship.” (This word also will be covered in the Gospel Dictionary Online Course).

fellowship 1 JohnYou can have a relationship with somebody, but not fellowship. For example, if you had a fight with one of your parents several years back, you are still related to them and are still part of the family, but you might not call them on the phone or get together for holidays. You are related, but do not have fellowship. You are not abiding or remaining with them in an ongoing friendship.

So John is writing his letter to Christians, to people who are in a relationship with God and with each other, as members of the family of God, and is telling them how to have fellowship with God and with each other. John wants His readers to be friends with God and friends with one another.

This also helps us understand 1 John 1:9.

Confession in 1 John 1:9

So let us take the three keys we have learned and put them all together as we seek to understand 1 John 1:9. Once again, the verse says this:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If you are in a relationship with someone, such as a spouse, a parent, or a child, and you want to maintain a friendship with them, then one of the things you will need to do is regularly own up to the things you have done wrong in that relationship.

Similarly, if someone wrongs or hurts you, this pain and betrayal causes a rift between the two of you, so that you probably don’t want to talk to them or hang out with them again. Oh yes, you are still related to them by the bonds of blood or marriage, but you might not want to spend much time in their presence.

But that rift, that pain, that sense of betrayal can be healed, right? And how can it be healed. By the other person owning up to what they did wrong, and by agreeing with you that what they said or did was hurtful to you. In other words, they need to confess their sin.

It is the same when you have wronged someone else. If you wronged somebody, you can’t just move on in the relationship acting as if nothing happened. The other person was hurt, and they need to know that you are sorry for what you did, and will work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

All of this is also true in our relationship with God. When we sin, God is saddened by our behavior. As a result, our fellowship with God is broken. Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when we sin, we often go hide in the bushes because we do not feel like God wants to see us.

1 John 1:7The first step in healing this brokenness is by confessing our sin and agreeing with God that what we did was wrong.

So while God unconditionally extends forgiveness (charizomai) to all people, and so we are all forgiven for all our sins, if we want to actually experience a release (aphesis) from our bondage to sin, the first step is to agree (confess) with God that we have sinned.

If we do this, we will gain release from our slavery to sin, and He will work to cleanse us and purify us from all our unrighteous practices, and in this way, our fellowship with God will develop and grow.

So do you want to be friends with God? One of things that will help is letting Him point out your sin to you, so that you can agree (confess) with Him where you have indeed done wrong. Then, once you agree, let Him further guide you into breaking free from this sin so that you can no longer be addicted and enslaved to it.

This is the message of 1 John 1:9. If you agree with God when He points out your sin to you, He is faithful and just and will help release you from this sin, and will help guide you into all the ways of righteousness. This way of living will help you grow in friendship with God and others.

Does this help you understand 1 John 1:9 and the role of confession? If you still have questions or comments, leave them in the comment are below!

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Does 1 John 1:9 mean that if we do not confess our sins to God, He will not forgive us? No, the truth is that God has already forgiven you for all your sins, past, present, and future. So what does 1 John 1:9 mean? This article explains more. Does 1 John 1:9 mean that if we do not confess our sins to God, He will not forgive us? No, the truth is that God has already forgiven you for all your sins, past, present, and future. So what does 1 John 1:9 mean? This podcast episode explains more. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or read the transcript for this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/confess-1-john-1-9/ Jeremy Myers clean 27:34
“Christ” is not the last name of Jesus … It’s a title https://redeeminggod.com/christ-jesus/ Wed, 02 May 2018 16:36:24 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47874 The titles Christ or Messiah refer to someone who has received a special anointing by God to perform a specific task or purpose. Such a definition is true of every anointed person, whether it is a king, a prophet, a priest, or Jesus Himself. This article defines the word Christ and considers John 20:31 and how a proper understanding of the title Christ helps us understand the offer and invitation of the Gospel.

When someone talks about Christ, everybody knows they are talking about Jesus. Yet few people realize that the word “Christ” is not a name, but a title.

Defining Christ

Christ the KingThe word Christ comes from the Greek word christos, and is not actually a translation of the word, but a transliteration. The Greek letters of christos have simply been changed into English letters so that we get the word Christ. The same is true of the Hebrew equivalent, Messiah (Heb., Mashiach; cf. John 1:41).

The words themselves mean “anointed one” and can refer to someone who has been specially chosen by God to fulfill a function or complete a specific task, such as a king (1 Sam 9:16; 2 Sam 2:4-7; 1 Kings 1:34-45; Isa 45:1), priest (Exod 28:41; 30:30), or prophet (Isa 61:1). While the anointing upon these individuals was initially performed with oil, it later came to be thought of primarily as a spiritual anointing by God.

However, it is important to note that the term Christ has nothing to do with being divine. That is, while it is a biblical and theological fact that Jesus was fully God, we do not get this idea from the fact that Jesus is the Christ.

Yes, Jesus Christ is God incarnate. Yet “Christ” does not mean “God.” Even though I can say “The sky is blue” and “The sky is up,” this does not mean that the word “blue” means “up.” It doesn’t.

So also, even though the Bible teaches that “Jesus is the Christ” and that “Jesus is God,” the two statements are not theologically equivalent. Both statements are true, but both statements are saying different truths about Jesus.

After all, if Christ, or Mashiach, meant “God,” then what would the Bible be saying about those other individuals in Scripture, such as David, Saul, or Cyrus, who also called Mashiach?

It is best therefore, to think of the titles Christ or Messiah, as referring to someone who has received a special anointing by God to perform a specific task or purpose. Such a definition is true of every anointed person, whether it is a king, a prophet, a priest, or Jesus Himself.

“Christ” means “Anointed One”

In the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the title of “anointed one” (Mashiach or Christos) is used almost solely in reference to Jesus Christ. Paul takes the term even further so that it often refers not just to Jesus, but also to all who are in Jesus as part of His church (cf. Gal 3:27; Eph 3:4).

Eventually, the term “Christ” became so closely associated with the followers of Jesus, that eventually we became known as “Christians.”

So what is the best translation for the term Christ? While “anointed one” might be the most accurate translation, it is a bit of a mouthful to say “Jesus the Anointed One” all the time.

So is there a shorter term that might be preferable? Since most of the examples of anointed people in Scripture refer to prophets, priests, and kings, it is best to understand the term Christ in similar ways when it refers to Jesus.

Jesus is the pre-eminent prophet (Acts 3:18-24), priest (Heb 4:14-16), and king (Rev 19:16). Jesus is authoritative in how He judges, what He says, and where He leads.

Jesus is prophet priest king

Due to the wide variety of Messianic descriptions in the Old Testament, the Hebrew people often wondered what the Messiah would be like when He came. Would He be a king? A priest? A judge? A prophet? A deliverer? Would He be some combination of these, like the Priestly-King Melchizedek (Heb 5:5-11)?

When Jesus finally did arrive and declare Himself as the Messiah, the answer to all such questions was “Yes!” To speak of Jesus as the Christ is to speak of Him as our King, Priest, Prophet, Judge, Lord, Master, and Savior.

To speak of Jesus as the Christ is not only has the governmental role of ruler and king in view, but also the spiritual roles of prophet and priest, the legal roles of judge and counselor, and the personal roles of friend and brother.

So as it turns out, maybe the term Christ, left untranslated from the Greek christos, is the best word after all, as long as we recognize the rich significance and meaning of this term.

If you take all the roles from all the anointed leaders through all of biblical history, and combine them all together into one person, He looks just like Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the anointed King-Priest-Prophet-Judge-Lord-Master-Ruler-Savior.

As such, Jesus Christ rules and reigns not just over eternity, but also over every aspect of our lives here on earth as well.

Jesus the Christ

“Christ” and the Gospel

This understanding of Christ is critical for a proper understanding of the biblical gospel. There are some people in Christianity who think that the gospel is only about how to go to heaven when you die.

The truth, however, is that while the gospel does tell us how to have eternal life so that we can go to heaven when we die (I call this “The Target Truth” in The Gospel According to Scripture), this truth is relatively small compared to the large number and wide variety of gospel truths contained within the Scriptures.

The gospel message of Jesus Christ is not primarily about how to go to heaven when we die, but is instead about how to follow Jesus on this earth while we live.

The gospel is more about this life than about the next. And Jesus as “the Christ” shows and instructs us how to live this life.

When we see that Jesus as the Christ claims authority and preeminence over every aspect of our lives, this helps us learn to follow Him and seek His guidance as we go about our days and interact with others. Serving Jesus as our Lord and Master reminds us that we do not serve human kings or presidents, but only King Jesus. Our affiliation is not to a political party, but to the Kingdom of God (Acts 17:2-7).

Jesus is King for lifeSo when we read about Jesus Christ in the Bible, or when we read about how Christians are in Christ, it is important to not over-spiritualize word Christ, but instead to recognize that a statement is being bad about the Lordship and Mastery of Jesus over all things.

Yes, the term Christ itself means “anointed one” but Jesus was anointed to rule and reign over all things. The term Christ reminds us that as Christians, we follow Jesus as our Lord, Master, Ruler, and King.

In this way, the term Christ is central to the gospel because without Jesus as the Christ, there is no gospel. The good news message about Jesus is often described by Paul as “the gospel of Christ” (cf. Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 9:12; Gal 1:7).

If we want to understand the gospel, we must understand what it means for Jesus to be the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, the Kingly and Priestly Ruler of all.

There are over 500 references in the New Testament which mention the term Christ. We cannot look at all of them, so let us consider one key text which reveals what it means for Jesus to be the Christ.

John 20:31 – Jesus is the Christ

… but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:31).

I stated above that the word Christ is not directly equivalent to being divine. That is, even though Jesus is God, and even though Jesus is the Christ, the two statements are not equivalent.

Though the title Christ carries rich theological symbolism and significance, one idea it does not carry is that of divinity.

Nevertheless, there are verses that seem to teach this connection. John 20:31 is one such verse. Some people use John 20:31 as evidence that divinity is included within the concept of Christ, for this text defines the word Christ with the phrase “the son of God.” A closer inspection of this passage reveals what John is really saying.

John 20:30-31 contains the purpose statement for the Gospel of John. He says that he wrote his Gospel account so that those who read it might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing they might have life in His name. This does indeed fit with what John writes in his Gospel.

Many refer to the fourth Gospel as “The Gospel of Belief” for it explains over and over that God gives eternal life to anyone who believes in Jesus for it (cf. John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47).

Since Matthew, Mark, and Luke are written more for Christians to help us learn how to follow Jesus in the path of discipleship, the purpose of John’s Gospel makes it the best one for unbelievers to read. John specifically wrote his Gospel account so that unbelievers might believe in Jesus.

Jesus ChristHowever, John did not write this Gospel account only for unbelievers. While he emphasizes over and over how a person can believe in Jesus for eternal life, John also knows that God wants much more for us than to just believe in Jesus.

Though it is critically important for someone to believe in Jesus for eternal life, this is only the beginning of all that God has for us in Jesus Christ.

God not only wants us to have life; He wants us to have it in abundance (John 10:10; see Abundant Life).

The Gospel of John is not just about how to receive eternal life, but is also about how to fully experience this life in Jesus.

So although John is the best Gospel for nonbelievers to read, there is lots of discipleship truth in this Gospel for believers as well.

John wants Christians to have all of the life that Jesus has for us, not just eternal life, but also the full experience of eternal life in Jesus Christ. And this comes, not just by believing in Jesus for eternal life—which is emphasized all over in the Gospel of John—but also by believing that Jesus is the Christ, that is, that He is King, Ruler, Master, Lord, and Savior.

Does saying that “Jesus is the Son of God” mean “Jesus is God”?

But what about that phrase “Son of God”? Does not this mean that Jesus is God?

Well, like “Christ,” the term “Son of God” is also a title. The way John uses this title in the verse shows that the two terms mean the same thing. John explains the word “Christ” with the term “Son of God.”

Since many people think that the title “Son of God” means “God,” they then conclude from this text that the term “Christ” also means “God.” But it does not.

During the Roman Empire, especially beginning with Caesar Augustus and following, the Caesars often referred to themselves as sons of God. By this, they were not claiming to be God incarnate, nor were they claiming (in most cases anyway) that they were the biological offspring of a Roman deity and a human woman.

By taking the title “the son of God,” the Caesars were saying that while they had been born as a human being to human parents, they had now become the adopted child of the gods. This status as adopted sons of God conferred upon them all the power and privilege that came with being part of the divine family, which meant that the Caesars had the divine right to rule over the Roman Empire.

So the title “son of God” is not primarily about being God or becoming a God, but is instead about ruling with the authority of God. Like the title “Christ,” it is about being King, Lord, Ruler, and Master over all things.

When a Caesar declared himself to be a son of God, he was not saying he was God, but was instead claiming that he had the right to rule and govern the Roman Empire.

This also is what it means to refer to Jesus as the Son of God, except that Jesus does not only rule over the Roman Empire, but over every kingdom, empire, and country on earth.

So here at the end of his Gospel account, John explains that he wrote his Gospel so that those who read it might believe that Jesus has the right to rule over all areas of life.

Not just over every corner of ever countries, however, but also over every act and thought of all people. John wants people to believe in Jesus not just for eternal life, but also for every other aspect of life as well.

Those who believe this will have the full experience of life that God wants for us. This is what it means to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (cf. 1 John 4:2-3, 15).

To learn more about the title “Christ,” and the meaning of other texts that use this term, take the Lesson on Christ in my Gospel Dictionary online course.

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The titles Christ or Messiah refer to someone who has received a special anointing by God to perform a specific task or purpose. Such a definition is true of every anointed person, whether it is a king, a prophet, a priest, or Jesus Himself. The titles Christ or Messiah refer to someone who has received a special anointing by God to perform a specific task or purpose. Such a definition is true of every anointed person, whether it is a king, a prophet, a priest, or Jesus Himself. This article defines the word Christ and considers John 20:31 and how a proper understanding of the title Christ helps us understand the offer and invitation of the Gospel. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/christ-jesus/ Jeremy Myers clean 30:20
Can I be blotted out of the Book of Life? (Revelation 3:5) https://redeeminggod.com/book-of-life-revelation-3-5/ Wed, 25 Apr 2018 23:32:36 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47833 The reason that some people wonder if they can be blotted out of the book of life is because passages like Revelation 3:5 seem seem to indicate that this is a distinct possibility. However, when you understand what the Book of Life actually is, you will also come to understand what Revelation 3:5 actually means. Have you ever wondered if you can be blotted out of the book of life? Many people have this fear.

The reason that some people wonder if they can be blotted out of the book of life is because there are a few verses in the Bible which seem to indicate that this is a distinct possibility.

However, when you understand what the Book of Life actually is, you will also come to understand what these tricky Bible passages mean.

This article is a summary of what people in my discipleship group learn when they take my online course, The Gospel Dictionary. The lesson on the book of life defines the term and looks at several key Bible passages which teach about it.

This post defines the term and looks at just one passage: Revelation 3:5. Let us begin with defining the term “book of life.”

What is the Book of Life?

Book of Life Revelation 3:5The Book of Life is a translation from the Greek phrase tō biblō tēs zōēs. The phrase “the Book of Life” or “the Book of the Living” are fine translations for this phrase.

What matters more than the translation, however, is the nature of this book. What is this book? Why was it written? What does it mean to have your name written in the book? Can your name be removed from the book? If so, how does this happen and what does it mean?

All these questions must be answered as we seek to understand the Book of Life in Scripture.

Three Ways the Book of Life is mentioned in the Bible

There are three main ways the Book of Life is mentioned in the Bible. There is the Book of the Living (Ps 69:28), the Book of Life (Php 4:3; Rev 3:5; 20:12, 15), and the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev 13:8; 21:27).

Generally speaking, it appears that the first two phrases refer to a book which contains the names of every person who has physical life upon the earth.

The third phrase, the Lamb’s Book of Life, refers to a book which contains the names of every person who has eternal life in Jesus Christ.

There are numerous questions about the Book of Life. For example, some wonder whether or not these books actually exist, or if they symbolize some sort of divine mental list about who has life and who does not. And then there is the debate about how many books there are. Is it one, two, or three books? But such a debate hardly matters.

Whether Scripture is talking about keeping your name in the one Book of Life or having it transferred from the Book of Life to the Lamb’s Book of Life, the point remains the same: Whoever has their name written in the Book of Life (whether it is one book or two) is still alive. More importantly, there is a way to keep your name written in the Book of Life, even after you die.

One common view (which I held for many years) is that there are two books, the Book of Life, which contains the list of everyone who is alive, and the Lamb’s Book of Life, which contains the list of everyone who has eternal life in Jesus.

The alternative view, which is the view I now hold, is that there is only one Book of Life. When people die, their names are removed from the Book of Life. However, those who have everlasting life in Jesus Christ can never have their names removed from this book.

When a person believes in Jesus, their name, which had been written in “erasable” pencil, is now copied over with the permanent ink of the Blood the Lamb. Once this happens, it can never be removed or erased.

Therefore, eventually, at the end of human history, the Book of Life will contain only the names of people who have eternal life in Jesus. At this point, the Book of Life becomes known as the Lamb’s Book of Life, for it contains the list of everyone who has life in Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Book of Life Rev 3 5Whichever approach you choose, it is important to note that while Scripture does teach about getting blotted out of the Book of Life, this does not ever refer to losing eternal life. While a person might get their “penciled” name erased from the Book of Life when they die, once a person’s name is written in permanent ink, it cannot ever be blotted out.

However, lots of people struggle with various passages in the Bible which seem to indicate that a person can lose their eternal life by being blotted out of the book of life. Revelation 3:5 is one such text.

Being blotted out of the book of Life in Revelation 3:5

Revelation 3:5 says this:

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:5 has caused a lot of angst among Christians over the years, for it seems to imply that Jesus might, in fact, blot their names out of the Book of Life.

This verse appears in the Letter to the church in Sardis, and Jesus says that if they overcome, they will be clothed in white garments and will not be blotted out of the Book of Life.

To be an overcomer, one must not just live their life as a Christian, but must faithfully love, serve, and honor Jesus throughout their Christian life (Overcomer is another term I discuss in the Gospel Dictionary online course).

Some take from this, therefore, that those who fail to faithfully love, serve, and honor Jesus throughout their life will in the end have their name blotted out of the Book of Life, thus losing their eternal life.

Due to such teaching about this verse, many Christians live in fear of losing their eternal life if they do not follow and obey Jesus faithfully.

But this is not what Revelation 3:5 is teaching.

Citizenship Rosters in Sardis

The first thing to recognize is that numerous towns in John’s had citizenship rosters which contained the names of citizens. When a person died, they were removed from the roster.

But if a person brought great shame upon the town through committing various crimes, this also might lead to being removed from the roster. There are records of this happening to various citizens in Sardis.

Notice that Jesus says that He will never remove the name of an overcome from the roster. Quite the contrary, Jesus promises to praise their name in the heavenly courts, before God and the angels. This is a great honor that Jesus promises to those who faithfully serve and obey Him.

Jesus says there are a few names in Sardis who are on track for receiving this great honor (Rev 3:4). But what about those who fail to overcome? What about those who have defiled their garments and who have brought shame upon Jesus and His church?

The answer is that Jesus says nothing about them. Just because Jesus says He will greatly honor those who overcome, this does not mean that He will shame or dishonor those who do not.

Revelation 3:5He says he will come like a thief in the night (Rev 3:3), but this does not mean that He will come to kill them or take away their eternal life. Jesus says that unfaithful servants will not be honored the same way that faithful servants will be, but He is not saying that unfaithful servants will be cast out, killed, or have eternal life removed from them.

Litotes in Revelation 3:5

Support for this approach is found in the fact that John is using a figure of speech called litotes. Litotes is when we state a positive as a negative as a way of emphasizing the positive.

We use this figure of speech all the time.

Let us say that your favorite football team is having a fantastic year and have gone undefeated. This coming Sunday, they are facing a team that so far has not won a single game. If I ask you whether you think your team will win, you could simply say “Yes, they are certainly going to win,” but you might also say, “If they play like they’ve been playing, they will definitely not lose.”

In that second statement, do you see how a positive is stated in a negative way? When you state that they will definitely not lose, you are using a negative to emphasize the almost certain fact that they will indeed win.

But notice something interesting about litotes. Although you use a negative to emphasize the positive, this does not mean that the opposite is true.

Take your undefeated football team again. Let us say that instead of playing as they have been playing all year, they instead play the worst game of the season. The quarterback throws interceptions. There are numerous fumbles and penalties. The defense never really gets going. They play an absolutely terrible game.

But even so, does this mean that they will automatically lose the game? Not necessarily. Even though they play poorly, they might still win the game. It might not be the absolute blowout that it could have been, but they might still squeak through with a victory.

Maybe another example of litotes will help.

What you think if you overheard a man say, “If my wife makes me an apple pie, I will not stop loving her”?

Would you assume from that statement that if this man’s wife did not make me an apple pie that he would stop loving her? No, probably not.

Instead, you would understand that he does love her, and that if she makes him an apple pie, he would love the pie, and would show great appreciation to his wife.

This is also how to understand Revelation 3:5.

One of the blessings pronounced on overcomers is that they will not be blotted out of the Book of Life. When we understand this as litotes, we understand that Jesus is saying that those who overcome will not only keep their name in the Book of Life because they are believers, but will receive greater blessings from God and greater experience of life with God. They will receive white robes and will receive special recognition before God and the host of angels.

Notice, of course, that just as with the football and apple pie examples, the opposite of the Revelation 3:5 litotes is not true.

Many pastors and teachers say that if someone does not overcome, then their name will be blotted out of the Book of Life. But Revelation 3:5 doesn’t say that at all. Revelation 3:5 does not say that those who fail to overcome will be blotted out of the Book of Life.

Even if your football team does not play up to their ability, this does not necessarily mean they will lose the game this weekend.

Even if a man’s wife does not make apple pie, this does not mean that he will stop loving her.

Even if a Christian fails to overcome, this does not mean that their name will get blotted out of the Book of Life.

So no Christian can Ever be Blotted out of the Book of Life

The Book of Life can be understood simply as the roster of the living. It is a list, or register, of all living people. When a person dies, their name is removed from this list.

However, when a person receives everlasting life from Jesus, their name remains in the Book of Life, for even though they die, they will live again, and will live forever.

At the end of time, when the only people who remain are those who have eternal life in Jesus, the Book of Life becomes known as the Lamb’s Book of Life, for the only names that will remain in the book are those written in the permanent ink of the blood of the Lamb.

Do you have further questions or comments about the book of Life? Leave them in the comment section below, or (better yet) join my online discipleship group and take the lesson on this important word from the Bible. See you there!

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The reason that some people wonder if they can be blotted out of the book of life is because passages like Revelation 3:5 seem seem to indicate that this is a distinct possibility. However, when you understand what the Book of Life actually is, Can you be blotted out of the book of life? Some think so. The reason that some people wonder if they can be blotted out of the book of life is because passages like Revelation 3:5 seem seem to indicate that this is a distinct possibility. However, when you understand what the Book of Life actually is, you will also come to understand what Revelation 3:5 actually means.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/book-of-life-revelation-3-5/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:45
How does the blood of Jesus cleanse us from our sin? (1 John 1:7-10) https://redeeminggod.com/blood-of-jesus-cleanses-1-john-1-7-10/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:25:55 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47732 According to 1 John 1:7-10, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin by exposing sin for what it is and then calling us to no longer live in the way of sacred violence. The blood of Jesus is not a spiritual antidote to sin which somehow removes the polluting presence of sin from our lives. Instead, the blood of Jesus exposes our sacred violence to us so that we can see in our own lives how we make scapegoat victims out of others, and then calls us to no longer live in this way. One of the members of my online discipleship group recently asked me about 1 John 1:7-10 and how the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin. Here is what he wrote:

I really appreciate your ministry and have been blessed by your books. I have a question for you regarding 1 John 1:7, where it says the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin. I just listened to your podcast about the two different words for forgiveness, but I’m wondering how this verse plays into it all, since it uses the word “cleanses” – what do I need to know to understand this well? -Eli

Thanks for the question, Eli!

1 John 1:7-101 John 1:7-10 does get discussed in various ways through my online course “The Gospel Dictionary,” but let me try to summarize here some of what I teach in that course. For a fuller understanding, you would need to take the lessons on Blood, Confess, Fellowship, Forgiveness, and Sin. Of course, not all of those lessons are available yet, but they will be soon… But while you wait, you can also read about forgiveness and sin in my book, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus, which discusses these terms.

So here is my basic answer for how to understand 1 John 1:7-10.

Cleansing from Sin (1 John 1:7, 9)

Let us begin by quoting the pertinent verses:

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. … If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7, 9).

There are five key terms which help us understand 1 John 1:7-10. We must understand what is meant by the words “sin, blood of Jesus, confess, forgive, and cleanse.” Let us briefly consider all five.

Sin in 1 John 1:7-10

The term “sin” in 1 John does not simply refer to breaking God’s law or doing bad things. Most Christians understand the word “sin” this way, but this is not primarily the way the Bible defines sin.

In Scripture, as in 1 John, sin is primarily the activity and actions that lead to and involve accusing and scapegoating other people. Yes, John says that “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) but the laws were only given to keep us from accusing, condemning, scapegoating, and killing others in God’s name.

So lying and stealing are sinful, but only because they are part of the actions and behaviors that lead us to accuse, condemn, and scapegoat others. One premier place we see this in 1 John is when John gives the example of Cain murdering his brother Abel (Gen 4). This murder is the first sin in the Bible, and sets the stage for all sinful behavior that follows. (For a longer explanation, listen to my podcast episodes on Genesis 4.)

So sin is the ancient and universal human practice of wrongly accusing, condemning, scapegoating, and killing others in God’s name. This helps us understand what is meant by the term “the blood of Jesus.”

Blood of Jesus in 1 John 1:7-10

Few people actually believe that they engage in the practice of wrongly accusing, condemning, or scapegoating others. We believe that our judgments of others are righteous, valid, and correct. We believe that the people we accuse and condemn truly are guilty of the things we accuse them of.

Jesus died to reveal the source of violenceAnd while it is true that they might be guilty of some of the things we accuse them of, the human tendency is to amplify the sinful behavior of others so that we can turn them into monsters, and dehumanize them, so that we can condemn them, or send them into exile, or even kill them in the name of God.

But few humans recognize that we do such a thing. We don’t admit that our judgments are unjust. We think we rightly accuse and condemn others.

So Jesus came along to reveal the truth to us. And though He was innocent of all wrongdoing, we accused, condemned, and killed Him … and we did this all the name of God. But since He was completely innocent, His unjust crucifixion revealed that we humans have a problem with unjustly accusing and condemning people.

The blood of Jesus reveals this truth to us. And nothing but the blood of Jesus could reveal this truth to us. Only someone who was completely innocent could show us that we humans have a problem with unjustly condemning and accusing other people.

But the sad reality is that even though Jesus revealed this truth to us, few of us recognize our involvement in such behaviors. But we must recognize it, and we must agree that we are indeed guilty of these sorts of accusatory, condemning, scapegoating practices.

Confession in 1 John 1:7-10

The word “confess” means to agree. When Jesus revealed the truth to us by His blood, we are faced with a choice.

We can either agree with what Jesus has revealed, or we can disagree. We can either confess or we can deny that we do indeed engage in falsely accusing and condemning others.

Of course, if we deny that we are involved in such practices, then we’re simply deceiving ourselves and have not yet recognized the truth.

Forgiveness in 1 John 1:7-10

But if we do agree and confess that we have been involved in falsely condemning, accusing, and scapegoating other people, it is then and only then that we can begin to break free from such practices and start loving other people as God wants and desires.

Forgiven and forgivenessThere are two words for forgiveness in the Bible. One is freely extended by God to all people throughout time for all their sins, past, present, and future. The second is only experienced when we humans take certain actions to change our thought patterns or behavior.

It is this second type of forgiveness that is mentioned in 1 John 1:9. So while God has always and freely forgiven us for all our sins, we will not experience this forgiveness in our own lives unless we take some actions to see the truth about ourselves, and take steps to change our behavior.

But this change begins with agreeing or confessing that we practice sin.

Cleansing in 1 John 1:7-10

Only when we agree and confess that we do indeed engage in falsely accusing, condemning, and scapegoating other people will we begin to be cleansed from our practice of this sin in our lives.

The cleansing of our sin is not a spiritual cleansing, but is a cleansing and changing of our actual behaviors going forward. As we are cleansed in this way, we will grow in fellowship with God and with one another.

An Amplified Summary of 1 John 1:7-10

With these five terms in mind, we can now easily understand what John is saying in 1 John 1:7-10. Here is an amplified paraphrase:

1 John 1:7. God walks in the light and we can walk in the light with Him if we agree with the light of truth He has revealed. When we live in light of this, we will live in peace with God and with each other and will no longer engage in the sinful practices of accusing, condemning, scapegoating others, which was revealed to us through the blood of Jesus. When we turn from such practices, we will be cleansed from living in such violent ways.

1 John 1:8. Of course, not everybody wants to admit that they engage in such practices. We humans tend to think that our judgments of others are just, and that our accusations of them have the backing and support of God. But if we believe this way, then we are simply deceiving ourselves, and we have not yet understood the truth.

1 John 1:9. However, if we agree that we do indeed engage in the sinful practices revealed through the bloody death of Jesus on the cross, then God is faithful and just and will help us gain deliverance and freedom from our bondage and enslavement to these practices, and He will help us stop engaging in them any longer. (God has freely forgiven us of all these sins, but if we want to practically be cleansed from them, we need to admit that we engage in them, and then follow the example and teachings of Jesus in how to live with love and free forgiveness instead.)

1 John 1:10. So once again … if you deny that you engage in this basic human practice of accusing, condemning, and scapegoating others … if you think that the people you call “monsters” and “heretics” truly are guilty of everything you accuse them of … if you think that some people truly deserve to burn in hell for all eternity … if you think that war is righteous and good and we need to bomb some groups of evil people off the face of the planet … then you are calling God a liar, and you have not understood the first thing about God and what He taught through Jesus (cf. 1 John 4:7-11).

So what is John teaching in 1 John 1:7-10?

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin by exposing sin for what it is and then calling us to no longer live in the way of sacred violence. His blood cleanses us through calling us to practice non-violence.

1 John 1:7The blood of Jesus is not a spiritual antidote to sin which somehow removes the polluting presence of sin from our lives.

No, the blood of Jesus exposes our sacred violence to us so that we can see in our own lives how we make scapegoat victims out of others, and then calls us to no longer live in this way. Instead, we are to walk in the light of Jesus and have fellowship with Him, with God, and with one another (1 John 1:3).

Of course, as John goes on to explain, if we deny what Jesus reveals to us through His blood, and say that we are not guilty of sacred violence toward others, then we simply have not yet seen the truth about the blood of Jesus and have not owned up to our own duplicity and participation in human scapegoating and violence.

Only once we admit it and own up to our role in making victims of others can we then be cleansed from it and work in fellowship with God and others (1 John 1:8-10).

But what about our PAST sins?

While this understanding helps cleanse our life from present and future sins, how does the blood of Jesus cleanse us from past sins?

In other words, while the understanding proposed here helps us turn from our violent, sinful ways in the future, what does 1 John 1:7-10 have to say about our past sins?

The answer is that the text doesn’t say anything about our past sins. It is only concerned with our present and future behavior.

love of GodJohn is primarily interested in make sure that his readers recognize how they have been involved in the violent, bloody, accusatory, scapegoating practices that run this world, and turn from such behaviors to walk in the light of God’s love.[1]

Nevertheless, other passages in Scripture tell us how we are cleansed and forgiven by God from our past sins. Passages such as Romans 3:25-26, 2 Corinthians 5:19, and Colossians 2:13 reveal that God simply overlooks our sin, does not count our sin against us, and freely forgives all people of all their sin.

The instruction in 1 John 1:9 to confess our sins so that we might be forgiven is referring to a conditional type of forgiveness which is not the same thing as God’s free and unconditional forgiveness. Here in 1 John 1:7-10, the issue is not so much about being cleansed from our past sins, but about our present and future behavior as we seek to live in fellowship with God and one another.

So how are you going to live?

First of all, do you see what is revealed through the violent and bloody death of Jesus? Do you see how He revealed the truth that we humans accuse, condemn, scapegoat, and even kill other people in God’s name … but that none of this has anything to do with God, but is in fact the exact opposite of what God wants and desires?

Second, you you agree that you have engaged … and might still be engaging … in some of these practices today? Maybe you are engaging in this practice toward Muslims … or gays … or Democrats … or Republicans … or President Trump … or the Media … or your boss … or your neighbor … or … whomever.

Third, if you recognize you have engaged in some of these practices, then what are you to do about it? Well, that’s what the rest of 1 John is all about, which you can read on your own. But the bottom line is that you need to unconditionally love and freely forgive, just as God loves and forgives us.

But all of that will have to be saved for another study.

If you have questions or comments, leave them in the comment section below … and also, consider joining us in the online discipleship group where we regularly discuss these sorts of topics and passages. If you are already in the group, make sure you have signed up to take “The Gospel Dictionary” course, which is free for you to take inside the group.

Notes:

[1] The Greek word for “cleansing” in 1 John 1:7 is present indicative, and in 1 John 1:9 is aorist subjunctive. Though aorists can indicate past time, the subjunctive mood indicates probability or objective possibility. Therefore, due to the inherent contingency of the subjunctive mood, the implied timing is usually future, so that aorist subjunctive tends to have a future timing, and can even be used as a substitute with the future indicative. See https://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/subj-detail-frame.htm

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According to 1 John 1:7-10, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin by exposing sin for what it is and then calling us to no longer live in the way of sacred violence. - The blood of Jesus is not a spiritual antidote to sin which somehow removes the ... According to 1 John 1:7-10, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin by exposing sin for what it is and then calling us to no longer live in the way of sacred violence. <br /> <br /> The blood of Jesus is not a spiritual antidote to sin which somehow removes the polluting presence of sin from our lives. Instead, the blood of Jesus exposes our sacred violence to us so that we can see in our own lives how we make scapegoat victims out of others, and then calls us to no longer live in this way.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/blood-of-jesus-cleanses-1-john-1-7-10/ Jeremy Myers clean 30:52
Is the Shedding of Blood Required for the Forgiveness of Sins? (Hebrews 9:22) https://redeeminggod.com/hebrews-9-22-shedding-of-blood-forgiveness-of-sins/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:00:15 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=38525 You and I can forgive others without requiring them to shed their blood. So why do some Christians teach that God requires the shedding of blood in order to forgive us? One reason is because of Hebrews 9:22 which says that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. But the text does not teach what most people think it teaches. This post gives 10 reasons why Hebrews 9:22 does not teach that the shedding of blood is required for the forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 provides the main reason Christians believe that if Jesus had not shed His blood for us, we could never have been forgiven for our sins. Hebrews 9:22 refers to Leviticus 17:11 as saying this:

… without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins.

So there we go! The blood of Jesus is important – necessary even – for the forgiveness of sins.

End of story. The question is answered. The post stops here.

Except … hmm … something doesn’t seem quite right with that quick and tidy answer …

For example, I forgive people all the time without requiring that they shed blood for me. And I’m really glad that people forgive me all the time without asking that I open a vein or kill my cat for them.

So if I can offer forgiveness without the shedding of blood, and so can other people, what is going on with God? Doesn’t He freely forgive (Col 3:13)? Since when are there conditions for unconditional love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness? Is God’s forgiveness of a lesser sort than ours? Or maybe His forgiveness is of a more powerful type of forgiveness that requires blood?

And if God’s forgiveness is greater and so requires blood, then my next question is, “Why blood?” I mean, if God is the one making the rules, and sin is a serious affront to His holiness, then why did He decide that blood would appease Him? Why not require … I don’t know … spit? Or hair? Yes, I like the hair idea.

Why didn’t God simply say “Without the cutting of hair, there can be no forgiveness of sins”? Of course, that might not be fair to bald people, but I digress …

Hebrews 9 22

What’s the deal with blood?

Yes, yes, I know. I’ve been to “the seminary.” They tell us:

It’s because the life is the blood.

That’s from Leviticus 17:11. In the Bible. And since we have a verse, the discussion is over.

But wait! That’s no answer. The question still stands. So okay, God wants blood, and it has something to do with the life of a person being in the blood. But God makes the rules, so why did He decide He wanted blood? Why does God want to kill people (or animals in the place of people) because people sin?

In fact, come to think of it, the issue isn’t with blood any more. The issue now is with God. Why does God want blood?

I could follow this line of reasoning further, but I think you get the point. In fact, some of that conversation might sound very similar to conversations you have had with atheists. At least, much of what I wrote above echoes conversations I have had with atheists. Atheists are atheists for a variety of reasons, but some of them have real issues with a god who demands blood so that He can forgive sins.

And you know what I tell them? I say this:

God Doesn’t Want Blood

God doesn’t want blood. God wants life! It is WE who think that God wants blood (when He doesn’t).

The idea of God demanding blood is borrowed from pagan religions. Jesus went to the cross, not to reinforce and support this idea, but to expose and redeem it. That’s a huge idea which would take us down a whole new rabbit trail.

Hebrews 9:22 shedding of bloodBut if God doesn’t demand blood, then how does God forgive? Doesn’t Hebrews 9:22 teach that God needs blood in order to forgive us? No, it does not. Let us read carefully what Hebrews 9:22 says in context.

1. Hebrews 9:22 contrasts Jesus with Moses

The first thing to notice about the context of Hebrews 9:22 is that the author is clearly contrasting the sacrificial system of the Mosaic Law with what Jesus accomplished in His death on the cross.

One way to note this is by looking back to Hebrews 9:15, which is the opening statement in the larger context of this discussion about sacrifice and blood. In Hebrews 9:15, the author writes about the “redemption of the transgressions.” The word used there is not the normal word for “sin” in the NT, but is parabaino (STR: 3847), and means to overstep or go beyond the boundaries.

The TDNT says that parabaino is closely connected with sin in the New Testament, but primarily in the sense of using human tradition to disobey the law of God while claiming to be the fulfillment of the law.

In other words, parabaino takes place when someone tries to explain and apply the law of God, but actually ends up doing the exact opposite of what the law says.

The author of Hebrews indicates that Jesus came to redeem sin, that is, to redeem the parabaino type of sin. More specifically still, Jesus came to redeem the sin of misusing the law. It is this issue that concerns the author of Hebrews.

2. Hebrews 9:22 says there is purification and forgiveness Without Blood

Second, it is important to note that even in Hebrews 9:22, the author pretty adamantly states that there is purification and forgiveness apart from the shedding of blood. The author says, “almost all things are purified with blood …”

If we went back to read the Levitical law, we would see that purification and forgiveness was extended under a variety of circumstances, including the washing with water (Lev 15:16-17; 17:15), anointing with oil (Lev 14:29), burning flour (Lev 5:11-13), giving money (Exod 30:11-16), or releasing an animal into the wild (Lev 16:10).

And in fact, when it comes to intentional sins, there was no offering of any kind which was prescribed by the law. All the sacrifices and offerings of the law are for unintentional sins only. This means that when an Israelite sinned intentionally (as they most certainly did, just as we do), the only way they could receive forgiveness from God was to look to Him for it in faith (just like us)!

The author of Hebrews knows all this, which is why he says that almost all things are purified by blood.

3. Hebrews 9:22 is not about Sin; but about the Covenant

Of course, even this requires further modification, for it is not true that almost all things required blood for purification. A quick reading of the Law reveals that most things did not require blood.

So what does the author of Hebrews mean?

The context indicates that the author specifically has in mind the tabernacle and the religious items within the tabernacle (Hebrews 9:21). The author is talking about the initial dedication ceremony of the first tabernacle built by Moses. This purification and dedication ceremony initiated the Mosaic Covenant (Hebrews 9:18-19).

So the author of Hebrews is not giving a general principle in Hebrews 9:22 for how we receive forgiveness of sins, but is instead referring to how the covenant of Moses was initiated by blood.

4. Hebrews 9:22 says that Shedding of Blood came from the Law

Fourth, notice that the author of Hebrews specifically states where the instruction about offerings of blood came from. He does not say, “and God commanded that all things be purified with blood, for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

No, Hebrews 9:22 specifically states that this these things are “according to the law.” Of course, those of us who hold to the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture don’t see much difference between something the law stated and something God stated, and yet we must be careful because numerous Old Testament prophets emphatically declared that God is not the one who gave the law or commanded that the people offer sacrifices, and He was not pleased with these sorts of religious rituals, nor did He ever want them (cf. Jer 7:21-23; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8).

This is the same point the author of Hebrews makes in 10:5-6.

Reconciling the words of these inspired prophets with the modern understanding of inspiration and inerrancy is a difficult task indeed. I have a way that works for me, but again, to travel down that rabbit trail would take us too far afield.

But however we understand that thorny issue, we can all agree that in Hebrews 9:22, the author is simply contrasting how the law inaugurated the Mosaic Covenant with how Jesus inaugurated the New Covenant.

shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins

5. The Shedding of Blood Never Brought Forgiveness!

In light of this contrast, notice fifthly, that the author of Hebrews deftly shows how the Mosaic covenant, with all its bloody sacrifices, was never able to accomplish what it promised.

The author of Hebrews points out that it is “impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Though it was the law that promised the forgiveness of sins through blood sacrifices, the simple fact that the law required perpetual sacrifices revealed that the law could not deliver what it promised.

Nobody was ever actually forgiven through the blood of a sacrifice! So according to the author of Hebrews, though the law required blood for forgiveness, blood didn’t provide any forgiveness! The law didn’t work!

6. Hebrews 9:22 is not about Forgiveness OF SINS

This leads to a sixth point about Hebrews 9:22 which should not be missed.

I intentionally misquoted Hebrews 9:22 above. I quoted it as saying that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

But Hebrews 9:22 does not include those final two words. Hebrews 9:22 says nothing about sin. Yes, sin is mentioned in Hebrews 9:26-28, but only in reference to the sacrifice of Jesus. The first time the author references sin in connection to the sacrificial blood of the Mosaic covenant is in Hebrews 10:4, where, as we have just seen, the only connection between sin and blood is that sin cannot be taken away by the blood of bulls and goats.

So what is the blood for in Hebrews 9:22? Again, as we saw above, it was for the purification of the tabernacle and its vessels when Moses inaugurated the first covenant. Modern western Christians are so infatuated with sin, that we see sin everywhere and believe that our biggest problem in the world is sin and that God is sitting in heaven trying to figure out how to stop us all from sinning.

I believe that nothing could be further from the truth.

God is not nearly as concerned with sin as we are.

Before the majesty of God’s holiness and love, all the sin of the world is little more than an annoying flea jumping around on the ground by his foot. Sin is not that big of a deal for God. The only reason He is concerned at all about sin is because sin hurts and damages us, and since He loves us beyond all imagination, He wants to do something about that annoying flea, because it has bitten us and injected us with all sorts of harmful toxins.

Also, God must do something about sin because sin is a big deal for Satan, and Satan uses sin to lay claim to our lives, which is something God does not want. But this too is another rabbit trail which we must avoid for now. The bottom line is that sin is not a big deal for God, and sin is not the issue in Hebrews 9:22.

7. Hebrew 9:22 isn’t even about “Forgiveness”

But what about the word “forgiveness” in Hebrews 9:22? Doesn’t that indicate that sin is the issue? No, it does not. This is the seventh point about this important text.

The word which the author uses here is the Greek word aphesis. This word does not mean “forgiveness” in the way that modern, English-speaking people think about forgiveness. Instead, aphesis is something closer to “deliverance” or “release.”

It has in mind the picture of someone who is enslaved and in chains, and someone else come along with the key to unlock them and set them free. I have written previously about aphesis.

In Scripture, we are freely forgiven of all our sins, past, present, and future, completely and only by the grace of God. We are, however, called upon to obey God so that we might enjoy the freedom from sin that He wants for us. Sin injects us with toxins that further enslave us, which God wants to liberate us from.

This sort of release often requires something on the part of the one who is being released, lest they fall right back into slavery after having been released! In this way, aphesis is a symbiotic forgiveness. It not only requires that the liberator unlock the chains; it also requires that the liberated run away from what had chained them.

blood of Jesus shed for us forgiveness of sins

8. The “Release” of Hebrews 9:22 is a Release of the Covenant

In Hebrews 9, it is not people who are being released, but the covenant itself! This eighth point is that the blood of Hebrews 9:22 has absolutely nothing to do with the removal of sin.

Instead, the blood was for the enactment of the Mosaic Covenant. The author of Hebrews could not be more clear. He says that a testament, or will, is not put into effect until the one who wrote it dies (Hebrews 9:16-17). My wife and I have Wills, and as is the case with all Wills, they do not go into effect until we die. A “Last Will and Testament” has no power while we live.

So after Moses wrote the Covenant, or the testament, he enacted a death over it to make it effective and active upon the people (Hebrews 9:19-21).

Whose “Last Will and Testament” was this? It was God’s! It was God’s covenant to the people.

But since God Himself could not come down to die and so enact the covenant, Moses symbolized the death of God with “the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop” (Hebrews 9:19).

The “release” in Hebrews 9:22 then, is the release of the covenant.

Prior to the shedding of the blood of the bulls and goats, the covenant was not active. It was under lock and key. A death was needed to free it, liberate it, or enact it.

And since God was the “testator” (Hebrews 9:16), but God could not die, Moses killed calves and goats to symbolize the death of God, and in so doing, enacted the covenant of God with His people, Israel.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with sin.

Nor does Hebrews 9:22 have anything with the conditions of forgiveness, for as we have seen above, the covenant offered numerous ways for people to receive purification from sin, and when it came to forgiveness for intentional sins, the Israelites believed on the grace of God for forgiveness just as we do.

9. The People were also Released from Slavery

But the “remission” or “release” of Hebrews 9:22 is not just of the covenant. The implementation of the first covenant with Moses took place after the Israelite people had been delivered and redeemed from captivity in Egypt.

From a purely legal standpoint, they were runaway slaves. And according to the laws of slavery, as long as a slave is still living and has not yet been set free, the slave is still a slave, even if they run away.

So the redemption enacted as part of the Mosaic covenant was the redemption of the slaves from Egypt. The death of the calves and goats symbolized the death of the Israelite people to their former life of slavery in Egypt.

Through the Mosaic covenant, the people of Israel died to their old identification as slaves to the household of Pharaoh (i.e., Egypt), and were raised again to a new identification as members of the household of God. This is why the water and the blood was sprinkled not just on the book of the covenant, but also on all the people (Hebrews 9:19).

They were dying to their past and were being born again into a new family. As members of this new family, they had new household rules to live by, which were enumerated in the Mosaic covenant.

10. Hebrews 9:22 in the context of Hebrews 9-10

All of this together helps us understand the discussion in Hebrews 10 that follows about how the New Covenant, which was enacted through the death of Jesus, is far superior in all ways to the Old Covenant which was enacted through the blood of animals.

This also helps explain why Hebrews 10 talks about sin so much. Though we have seen that Hebrews 9:22 is not talking about the forgiveness of sins, we often get confused about the rest of Hebrews 9 and on into Hebrews 10 because there are many references to the sacrifice or offerings of Jesus Christ for our sins.

blood of Christ Hebrews 9-10

The best way to understand this is to remember what we have learned from Hebrews 9:16-22 about why the blood of the calves and goats was sprinkled over tabernacle and its instruments, along with the book of the covenant and the people, on the day the Mosaic Covenant was instituted among them. The blood was to inaugurate the covenant and indicate to the people that they had been set free from slavery.

All of this is exactly the same with the death of Jesus.

Jesus did not die to rescue us from the wrath of God. Nor did Jesus die to secure for us the forgiveness of sins. God has always freely forgiven people of their sins.

No, the death of Jesus on the cross was to inaugurate the new covenant of God with the entire world, and to indicate to all people that we were no longer slaves to sin.

That second point is critical. Jesus did not die for God because of sin. Jesus died for sin.

God’s holiness did not demand that Jesus be put to death. No, it was the devil that demanded death and blood (cf. Hebrews 2:14-15). Sin was the certificate of ownership which the devil held over the heads of humanity.

By dying, Jesus cancelled this debt of sin so that the devil could no longer have any claim upon us. This happened because just as all sinned in Adam, and so became slaves to death and the devil, so all died and were raised to new life in Jesus, and so were liberated and redeemed from our slavery to death and the devil.

Just as the Israelites in the wilderness died to Pharaoh, and were raised to new life in the family of God, so also, all people in Jesus died to sin, death, and devil, and were raised to new life in the family of God. This is the basic meaning of the discussion in Hebrews 10 about the sacrifice of Jesus for sin.

But the discussion goes beyond this as well. The author of Hebrews intentionally subverts the sacrificial elements of the Mosaic covenant by transitioning away from images of blood and death, and writing instead about offerings and purification.

Let just a few of these be noted.

Following immediately after Hebrews 9:22, we read that Jesus also purified the heavenly sanctuary. And just as the first ceremony indicated the inauguration of the Mosaic covenant and the death of the people to their past enslavement to Egypt, so also, the actions of Jesus indicated the inauguration of the New Covenant and the death of the people to their enslavement to sin.

In Hebrews 10:1-4, the author emphasizes the complete failure of the Mosaic law to do anything about sin. In Hebrews 10:2, we are informed that if the law could have taken away sin, the people would have stopped making sacrifices, for they would have had no more consciousness of sins. Yet the sacrifices themselves are a reminder of sins, even though they do nothing about the sins.

Then in Hebrews 10:5-10, the author indicates his understanding that the sacrificial system was never intended to take away sins, and that God Himself never wanted such sacrifices or took any pleasure in them. Again, God is a God of life; not death. What God did want, however, was a life lived in obedience to the will of God, which is exactly the “offering” which Jesus brought. This understanding of “offering” and “sacrifice” as the life of Jesus rather than His death is critical for the rest of the chapter. While it is true that Jesus died a bloody and gruesome death on the cross, it is critical to recognize that the death of Jesus on the cross was for sin, while the life of Jesus was for God. God did not want nor desire the death of Jesus. God always and only wants life.

Building upon this truth, Hebrews 10:11-18 moves on to compare and contrast the covenant enacted by Moses and the covenant enacted by Jesus Christ. After explaining that the sacrifices and offerings of the priests could never do anything about sins, Hebrews 10:12-13 shows that Jesus not only dealt with sin once and for all through His death, but actually perfected forever those who are in Him. The author then makes the absolutely shocking statement that God (and Moses) knew from the very beginning that the Law of Moses was obsolete and useless for doing anything about sin.

The author of Hebrews points at what the Holy Spirit said through the prophet Jeremiah about the new covenant (Jer 31:33-34), and then ties this together with the word “remission” (aphesis) which was used in Hebrews 9:22. In so doing, the author indicates the truth that Moses knew from the very beginning that his law was temporary, obsolete, and ineffective for doing anything about sin.

In Exodus 20, after God had given the 10 Commandments, God wanted to speak to the people of Israel Himself. But they were too scared of God, and declared that they would rather have Moses to speak to God for them (Exod 20:19). What follows in Exodus 21 through most of the rest of the Pentateuch is called “the Mosaic Law” for good reason.

It was how Moses believed God wanted the people of Israel to live out the 10 commandments. But forty years later, Moses saw that what he had given to the people was a complete failure. He had been with them for forty years (Deut 29:5), and knew that the law would be completely ineffective in helping them follow God and live rightly (cf. Deut 31:16-21).

As a result, Moses knew that what he had given to the people would be replaced by what God had wanted all along. Before Moses died, he prophesied that his law would pass away and would be replaced with the law of God written upon men’s hearts (Deut 30:6-20). Long before Jeremiah ever prophesied that God would do away with the written law and write His law upon our hearts and minds, Moses had said the same thing (cf. Deut 30:6, 14). Paul understood Deuteronomy 30 in this way as well (cf. Rom 10:7-8). In fact, in a recent book on the Pentateuch,

John Sailhamer has argued that one of the central points of the Pentateuch is to show that the law was ineffective, obsolete, and not what God had wanted for His people at all. God wanted faith, humility, mercy, and righteousness, which are the things the law could not provide.

But Jesus provided what the law could not, which brings us back to Hebrews 10. Jesus lived the way God intended, and in so doing, accomplished several things.

First, Jesus crucified the law of sin and death (Hebrews 9:26-28).

Second, Jesus revealed what God had always wanted for His people (Hebrews 10:16-17).

Third, Jesus revealed how God’s people could live for love and life instead of sin and death (Hebrews 10:20-23).

In Jesus, we learn that God no longer wants death, and He never did. God always and only wants life.

Hopefully, all this provides a deeper understanding of what Hebrews 9:22 is actually teaching (and not teaching) about the shedding of blood and the forgiveness of sins.

God always forgives sins freely. He does not need or want blood.

Note: This article by Brad Jersak on Hebrews 9:22 is also helpful.

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You and I can forgive others without requiring them to shed their blood. So why do some Christians teach that God requires the shedding of blood in order to forgive us? One reason is because of Hebrews 9:22 which says that without the shedding of blood... You and I can forgive others without requiring them to shed their blood. So why do some Christians teach that God requires the shedding of blood in order to forgive us? One reason is because of Hebrews 9:22 which says that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. But Hebrews 9:22 does not teach what most people think it teaches. This study gives 10 reasons why Hebrews 9:22 does not teach that the shedding of blood is required for the forgiveness of sins.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/hebrews-9-22-shedding-of-blood-forgiveness-of-sins/ Jeremy Myers clean 41:22
How the blood of Jesus Redeems and Rescues Humanity (Ephesians 1:7; 2:13) https://redeeminggod.com/blood-of-jesus-ephesians-1-7/ Wed, 04 Apr 2018 20:13:55 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47696 In Ephesians 1:7 and Ephesians 2;13 we learn that we have redemption through the blood of Jesus because He redeemed us from our sinful and violent way of living and revealed to us God's way of living. His bloody death released us from addiction to sin and scapegoating, and showed us how to live in the way of love and forgiveness. In Ephesians 1:7, Paul writes that “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

I have written previously that the blood of Jesus does not purchase forgiveness of sins for us from God. But does Ephesians 1:7 refute this idea? No. In fact, it supports it. Let me show you why.

Ephesians is a book that has been widely misunderstood, especially in light of what it teaches about salvation. Some of my sermon manuscripts on Ephesians might help clarify the book as a whole, but most of the main ideas can also be found in various entries in my Gospel dictionary.

The Basic Summary of Ephesians

redeemed by the blood of JesusThe basic message of Ephesians is that due to religion, humans have lived in rivalry and violence with each other since the foundation of the world, but now, in Jesus Christ, we have been shown a new way of living life so that all the hostilities can now cease.

There is still a struggle, but it is not against each other, but against the forces which seek to drag us back into rivalry, accusation, and scapegoating violence.

The Introduction to Ephesians

Paul introduces some of these themes with one long sentence in Ephesians 1:3-14.

Leading up to Ephesians 1:7 where Paul refers to redemption through the blood of Jesus, it is important to also understand what Paul means when he writes about adoption and election as these words also form a foundation for Paul’s ideas about the blood of Jesus. These words are also carefully defined in my Gospel Dictionary online course.

The basic idea in Ephesians 1:3-14 is that God made us His heirs so that we can have the resources necessary to fulfill our purpose and role within His family.

So what is Paul teaching in Ephesians 1:7?

It is in the context of these ideas that Paul mentions redemption through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1:7).

Redemption is when God takes something that is already His, and buys it so that it is twice His. So redeemed us, or bought us back, through His blood.

redemption through his blood Ephesians 1:7

When Paul writes about Jesus redeeming us through His blood, however, we must not think that Jesus was paying off God or Satan with His blood. It is not as though there was a debt of sin to God or to Satan which could only be paid with the blood of Jesus. This is not a biblical idea. (We’ll look at Hebrews 9:22 next week.)

So what did Jesus redeem us from? What did He buy us back from?

The redemption that Jesus accomplished through His blood was a rescue or deliverance of humanity from humanity.

We had enslaved ourselves to an endless cycle of sacred violence and the spilling of blood in God’s name.

By dying as He did, Jesus exposed the myth of redemptive violence and the lies of sacred violence for what they were so that we can be redeemed, bought back, or rescued from this endless cycle of violence and bloodshed once and for all.

We know that this is what Paul means because he explains the phrase “redemption through His blood” with the phrase “the forgiveness of sins.”

The two phrases explain each other, so let’s look at the forgiveness of sins first.

The Forgiveness of Sins

As we discussed previously, there are two main types of forgiveness sin the Bible, one that is free and one that is conditional. The type of forgiveness Paul mentions here is the conditional forgiveness (aphēsis). A good synonym for this type of forgiveness is “release.”

Furthermore, the term “sin” in the Bible primarily refers to the sacred violence that has enslaved all of humanity in a never-ending cycle of rivalry, accusation, and scapegoating sacrifice. I defend this idea in my book, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.

So when Paul writes about “the forgiveness of sins,” he is referring to our release from the cycle of sacred violence.

And since this phrase explains or defines the first phrase about the redemption through the blood of Jesus, it too can be understood similarly.

Redemption through His blood

Jesus redeemed us, bought us back, rescued us, released us from the never-ending cycle of sacred violence and sin by subjecting Himself to it. He went to the cross and shed His blood for us, not as a payment to God or to Satan, but as a revelation to humanity about the sin which had enslaved humanity since the foundation of the world.

Now that we have this redemptive revelation through the sacrificial death of Jesus, we are able to live in a new way with other human beings.

We can now live at peace, no longer subjecting ourselves to the ways of death and violence founded upon religion, but instead follow Jesus by faith into the ways of love and grace.

If some of this sounds similar to what Paul writes in Ephesians 2, that’s because it is. Paul takes this theme of how humanity has been delivered from violence and death through the blood of Jesus and expands upon it in Ephesians 2.

How Paul Elaborates on this Theme in Ephesians 2:13

Here is what Paul writes in Ephesians 2:13: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Ephesians 2 is a powerful chapter, but it has been terribly misunderstood and misapplied by the church today. The traditional understanding of Ephesians 2 goes something like this:

We humans are evil sinners, under the control of the devil and our sin nature. We were dead and unable to do anything to change. Worse yet, because of sin, God’s wrath burns against us, and He wants to send us all to hell (Ephesians 2:1-3).

But God also loved us, and so wanted to do something to fix what had gone wrong. Someone had to pay the price for our sin, and God knew we couldn’t, so He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place and pay for our sin. Now, if we believe in Jesus, we get eternal life. But this still doesn’t get us off the hook. God still wants us to obey Him and do the good works He prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:4-10).

But these good works don’t involve keeping the law and commandments, because those have been done away with. Instead, let’s just live in peace and unity with each other (Ephesians 2:11-22).

Yet this sort of summary of Ephesians 2 does not logically follow what Paul wrote in Ephesians 1, nor does it fit well with the rest of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Furthermore, it does great injustice to the expanded discussion about peace in Ephesians 2:11-22. Most Christian sermons and messages on this chapter focus an inordinate amount of time and space on Ephesians 2:8-9, and very little on Ephesians 2:11-22, which is where Paul focuses his time.

The best way to approach Ephesians 2 is to “reverse engineer” it. By beginning where Paul concludes, we can better understand how Paul starts.

Reverse Engineering Ephesians 2

Paul has a clear progression in Ephesians 2, following the “Problem (Ephesians 2:1-3)—Solution (Ephesians 2:4-10)—Application (Ephesians 2:11-22)” format. By starting with the application, we can better understand the solution and the problem.

The Application (Ephesians 2:11-22)

In Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul explains how groups of people who formerly were hostile enemies can now live together in peace and unity because of what Jesus Christ has done. Feuding groups throughout history have used race, religion, and politics (the Jew-Gentile division was a toxic combination of all three) to look down upon each other and accuse one another of being less than human and less-loved by God.

But now Jesus has broken down the walls of hostility and brought everybody into one family where we live by new rules. This new way of living was revealed and explained through the life and death of Jesus Christ.

When we build upon the foundation He laid, we grow into the people that God has always wanted and desired, and it is then that God is truly manifested in us, just as He was in Jesus.

The Solution (Ephesians 2:4-10)

So if Paul’s concluding “Application” is that people who were formerly at odds with one another (in an accusatory violent way) can now live at peace by following the example of Jesus, it only makes sense that in the “Solution” section, Paul talks about how Jesus brought the warring groups together and showed us how to live in peace.

Not surprisingly, this is exactly what Paul explains in Ephesians 2:4-10. These verses, though quite popular as texts about how to receive eternal life by grace alone through faith alone, are actually about what God has done to rescue us from the condition described in Ephesians 2:1-3 (see below), so that we can become what is described in Ephesians 2:11-22.

blood of Jesus redeems usPaul’s point in these verses is that even though we humans accusation, blame, condemn and kill others in God’s name (Ephesians 2:1-3), God Himself does not behave that way toward us.

God does not bring an end to life, but raises us up to new life in Jesus Christ. Beyond that, He also raised us up with Jesus Christ and seated us with Him in the heavens so that we can live according to the heavenly rules, rather than the ways of this world.

God acted this way toward us by grace. And by grace, we can act this way toward others since we now are seated with Christ in heavenly places.

But we can only live this way if we follow Jesus by faith. Ephesians 2:4-10 is not talking about how to receive eternal life, but is instead talking about how God rescued us from our enslavement to the sin of death and showed us a new way of life in Jesus Christ.

This new way of life is what we were made for originally, and what God has always modeled for us, and what we are now to walk in, as we follow Jesus by faith. In other words, this text is not about how to go to heaven when you die, but rather about how to go from slavery to death in this world as we war against others (Ephesians 2:1-3), to unity and peace with others as we live in the family of God (Ephesians 2:11-22).

The Problem (Ephesians 2:1-3)

This brings us back to the beginning of the argument in Ephesians 2:1-3 where Paul presents the human “Problem.”

A proper understanding of this passage requires us to accurately define the words “dead,” “flesh,” “sin,” and “wrath” (which I will do in the Gospel Dictionary course), and to understand what Paul means when he refers to the ruler of the kingdom of the air.

When all of these concepts are understood, we see that Paul begins Ephesians 2 by teaching that we humans live in a world of sin and death, which we inflict upon ourselves by accusing, condemning, and killing one another, and justifying it all by doing these things in God’s name. We do these things because in our flesh, we know of no other way to live.

Even we religious people kill and are killed, just like everyone else (Ephesians 2:1-3). This is the human problem, and we are enslaved to it because we know of no other way to live (though such life is ruled by death).

So the overall summary of Ephesians 2 is that while we humans tend to live in hatred and violence toward one another (thinking that this was also God’s way), now Jesus has revealed a better way, and we can follow Him in this way by faith.

If we do, we will live at peace with one another and in so doing, truly reflect God to a watching world.

What is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:13?

So then, with all this in mind, the explanation of Ephesians 2:13 is quite simple.

The violent death of Jesus on the cross revealed the truth about religious-political violence: that it is we humans who want and desire it; not God.

The blood of Jesus reveals that God never wanted or needed blood sacrifice or sacred violence of any kind in order for people to draw near to Him. All people were always welcome.

As a result, Gentiles are just as near to God as anyone else. Gentiles are not to be kept at a distance from God, nor are they more sinful or less pure in God’s eyes. There is no dividing wall of separation or religious commandments and ordinances which keep some people cut off from God’s love and grace.

No, all are invited in. All are welcome.

The blood of Jesus has brought everyone near, by proving that no one was ever kept at a distance.

All divisions of men are nothing more than man-made divisions, and now Jesus has torn them all down.

So how does the blood of Jesus Redeem us?

Ephesians 1:7 redemption through his bloodBy looking at Ephesians 1:7 and Ephesians 2:13, we now understand how the blood of Jesus redeems us.

Jesus did not buy off God or pay the debt of our sin to God. After all, if God had been “paid for our sins” then He would not be able to forgive us. (When someone owes you a debt, you can either get re-paid or forgive their debt, but you cannot do both. Payment of debt and forgiveness of debt are mutually exclusive.)

But Jesus did need to die, and He needed to die in a bloody, violent, sacrificial way. Why? To redeem, rescue, and deliver humanity from the sin and violence that we have always committed against each other (but blamed God for doing).

Jesus wanted us to be released from our sin, and so He died to reveal our sin to us.

Now that our eyes have been opened, we can live in a new way with God and with others. We can live in peace, without the dividing walls of hostility, and without the blame, violence, and scapegoating that we perform in God’s name.

Jesus came to show us a new way to live, which is exactly what He did through His life, death, and resurrection.

We have redemption through His blood because He redeemed us from our sinful and violent way of living and revealed to us God’s way of living. His bloody death released us from addiction to sin and scapegoating, and showed us how to live in the way of love and forgiveness.

Here is how to understand Ephesians 1:7 and Ephesians 2:13:

Through the blood of Jesus, we have been bought back from our slavery to sin and violence. We have been released from our addiction to scapegoating others in God’s name. He did this out of His great love and grace for us. Therefore, now we who were once far off from God have been brought near to God through the blood of Jesus. Through Him we see a new way to live, a way which leads to peace with God and peace with one another.

If you want to learn more about this entire idea, read my book Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.

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In Ephesians 1:7 and Ephesians 2;13 we learn that we have redemption through the blood of Jesus because He redeemed us from our sinful and violent way of living and revealed to us God's way of living. His bloody death released us from addiction to sin ... In Ephesians 1:7 and Ephesians 2;13 we learn that we have redemption through the blood of Jesus because He redeemed us from our sinful and violent way of living and revealed to us God's way of living. <br /> <br /> His bloody death released us from addiction to sin and scapegoating, and showed us how to live in the way of love and forgiveness.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the transcript, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/blood-of-jesus-ephesians-1-7/ Jeremy Myers clean 39:35
No, the blood of Jesus did not buy forgiveness of sins from God (Matthew 26:28) https://redeeminggod.com/blood-of-jesus-forgiveness-of-sins/ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 20:37:52 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47632 Some people say that Jesus died to buy forgiveness from God, and they use passages like Matthew 26:28 to defend this idea. In this study, I provide a different explanation of Matthew 26:28, showing you that the blood of Jesus was NOT shed to purchase forgiveness from God. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus says, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Does this mean that the blood of Jesus had to be shed so that He could buy forgiveness of sins for us from God?

Let’s see … what is the best way to answer this question? … Let me try this:

NO!

Ha!

blood of Jesus ChristBut I bet you want a better explanation …

I know that there are several verses in the Bible that some use to argue for the idea that Jesus had to shed His blood to purchase forgiveness of sins from God, but when carefully studied in their contexts, none of these Bible passages are teaching this idea.

God has always forgiven all people of all their sins simply because this is who God is. He did not need to be paid off or bought before He could forgive us. (That wouldn’t be forgiveness anyway…. you can either forgive a debt or be repaid, but not both.)

Matthew 26:28 is one of the passages that sometimes is quoted in defense of this idea that Jesus paid for our sins with His blood.

During the Last Supper on the night before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, Jesus shared the Passover Meal with His disciples and imbued new symbolism into the bread and wine.

He said that the bread represented His body broken for them and the wine represented His blood shed for them. He then said that these things point to the new covenant in His blood, which is for the forgiveness of sins.

Some seem to assume through this description of events that Jesus was teaching His disciples that His blood would purchase the New Covenant and the forgiveness of sins from God.

But there are two keys which provide a better understanding of this text. A careful look at the context and what the rest of the New Testament teaches about the New Covenant and forgiveness reveals something different.

Let us briefly consider both concepts and how they relate to Matthew 26:28.

Matthew 26:28 and the New Covenant

Jesus was not teaching that His blood was the purchase price for forgiveness and the New Covenant, but that His blood was the sign of such things.

crucifixion of JesusIn reference the New Covenant, the blood of Jesus signaled that this New Covenant was now in effect. In essence, Jesus died to inaugurate or enact the New Covenant.

It is important to think of the New Covenant, not as a new system of laws and regulations to keep, but instead as a Last Will & Testament. And indeed, the term Jesus uses here does have this idea in view. Jesus is not sharing a new legal Contract, but new legal Will.

When we think of the Covenant as a “Last Will & Testament” rather than as a legal contract (as the Greek words used seem to indicate), it becomes clear that a Last Will & Testament is not put into effect as long as the one who made it still lives (cf. Hebrews 9:15-17).

For a Last Will & Testament to be enacted, the one who made it must die. Yet since this is God’s Last Will & Testament, and since God cannot die, it was impossible for the Will to come into effect unless God became human and died as a human, which is what He did in Jesus Christ.

So when Jesus speaks of His blood representing the New Covenant, He is pointing out the fact that the New Covenant which had been promised through the Old Testament prophets (cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34) would now be put into effect because the one who made this Last Will & Testament was now here and was about to die.

All of this is explained in more detail in Hebrews 9–10.

So when we understand that Jesus is talking a Last Will instead of a legal contract in Matthew 26:28, we then understand that the blood of Jesus was for the purpose of enacting the legal terms of this new Last Will & Testament. The death of Jesus was not needed to buy forgiveness, but to enact a new Will.

But what about the statement in Matthew 26:28 about the forgiveness of sins? Doesn’t that prove that Jesus did, in fact, die to purchase forgiveness of sins from God?

Matthew 26:28 and the Forgiveness of Sins

When it comes to the forgiveness that Jesus mentions in Matthew 26:28, it is critical to recognize that there are two types of forgiveness in the Bible.

cup of new covenantThere is charizomai forgiveness and aphēsis forgiveness. Charizomai forgiveness is based on the free grace (charis) of God and is freely extended to all people throughout all time for all sins, with no strings or conditions attached.

Aphēsis forgiveness, however, does have conditions, such as repentance and turning from sin. But aphēsis forgiveness has nothing to with our standing with God or what He thinks about us. Aphēsis forgiveness is not about our relationship with God.

Instead, aphēsis forgiveness is about our relationship with sin. Aphēsis forgiveness is only about one thing, and that is whether or not we are addicted to sin or break free from sin. This is why a better English translation for aphēsis is “release” or “remission.”

Aphēsis forgiveness is not about getting forgiveness from God, but is instead about breaking free from the addictive and destructive power of sin in our lives.

If you are addicted to a certain type or pattern of sin in your life, God has 100% forgiven you for this sin. This is charizomai forgiveness. But God’s charizomai forgiveness doesn’t help you much in breaking free from sin. For this, you need to repent, confess, and take steps to turn away from this sin, and start following God instead. When you do this, you will gain aphēsis, release, from the power of sin in your life.

So what kind of forgiveness is Jesus talking about in Matthew 26:28? It is aphēsis, release. This is why many Bible translations use the word “remission” here instead of “forgiveness.”

Jesus is not talking about how He is going to get God to forgive our sins. No, Jesus is talking about how His life and death, about how His shed blood, is going to help us break free from the power of sin in our lives.

Jesus is telling His disciples that through His blood, that is, through His violent death as a sacrificial scapegoat, they will gain deliverance and release from the sin that has enslaved humanity since the foundation of the world.

And this is exactly what happened. The violent death of Jesus on the cross exposed the lie of scapegoating and sacrificial violence for what it was. Those who see this lie are then able to live their lives in freedom from it.

How to Understand Matthew 26:28

So Jesus’ words at the Last Supper closely mirror what we have seen about blood in Genesis 4:10 and Hebrews 12:24 above. The murder of Abel by Cain represents the fratricidal, murderous violence upon which all human civilization is built. In unveiling this sin, the author of Hebrews compared the word spoken by the blood of Abel with the Old Covenant, and then contrasts this with the word spoken by the blood of Jesus and the New Covenant.

Matthew 26:28 blood of new covenant

Whereas the Old Covenant and the blood of Abel was concerned with sacrifice, vengeance, and retaliation, the New Covenant based upon the blood of Jesus speaks of grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

And this is what Jesus says to His disciples during their Last Supper.

He brings them to the table and says, “I’m going to inaugurate a New Covenant, a new way of doing things, a new Last Will & Testament. And it’s going to be put into effect through my death. And when you see what I am revealing through my death, you will gain release from the addictive and destructive power of sin that has enslaved humanity since the foundation of the world.”

Do you see? There is no mention in here of buying forgiveness from God. Quite the opposite in fact. Jesus is not saying, “I am going to die so God can forgive you.”

No, Jesus is saying, “I’m going to die so that you can learn that God has ALWAYS forgiven you, and my death will show you how to live in a similar way toward others. My death is going to show you how to extend unconditional love and free forgiveness toward others, as God has always extended toward you. And when you live this way, you will break free from the sin of violent, bloody, sacrificial scapegoating that has plagued humanity since the very beginning.”

So do you see?

The Old Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, enslaved us to sin, and thus, to sacrificial and scapegoating violence.

But the New Covenant in Jesus, introduced to us and inaugurated for us through His own violent death on the cross, shows that we are completely forgiven and have always been forgiven, and that there is nothing for which God will not forgive us.

The New Covenant enacted through the death of Jesus which brings release from our bondage to sin.

Therefore, we too can forgive. Rather than lash out in violence against those who wrong us, we can, like God, simply extend love and forgiveness.

By seeing God’s loving, forgiving, non-retaliatory character through the death of Jesus, we are shown the way to live in loving, forgiving, non-retaliatory community with other people. Observing the Lord’s Supper serves as a reminder of the way we are to live with one another.

In the Last Supper, Jesus used the cup of wine to symbolize how He was making a new Last Will & Testament with humanity. This time, the Testament will be put into effect by His own blood.

When we see Him do this, it is then that our eyes are opened to the truth about sin. What we see in the death of Jesus helps us finally break free from the destructive power of sin that has plagued humanity since the foundation of the world.

This is how the death of Jesus reveals our sin to us, and releases us from the bondage of sin in our lives.

Jesus did not buy forgiveness of sins for us from God, but instead revealed that God has always loved and only forgiven, and we can live this way as well.

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Some people say that Jesus died to buy forgiveness from God, and they use passages like Matthew 26:28 to defend this idea. In this study, I provide a different explanation of Matthew 26:28, showing you that the blood of Jesus was NOT shed to purchase f... Did Jesus die so that God could forgive your sins? In other words, did God need a blood sacrifice in order to love and forgive you? Did Jesus purchase the forgiveness of sins for us from God? <br /> <br /> Some people say Yes, and uses passages like Matthew 26:28 to defend this idea. In this study, I provide a different explanation of Matthew 26:28, showing you that the blood of Jesus was NOT shed to purchase forgiveness from God.<br /> <br /> To view the transcript, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/blood-of-jesus-forgiveness-of-sins/ Jeremy Myers clean 25:46
Why is the Bible so Bloody? Jesus tells us why in Matthew 23:29-35 https://redeeminggod.com/bible-so-bloody/ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 20:28:33 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47611 Why is the Bible so bloody and violent? It is not because God is violent and bloody. Jesus reveals quite the opposite. Through His life, death, and teachings, Jesus reveals that God is not violent at all, but always loves and only forgives. So why is the Bible so violent? Jesus explains why in Matthew 23:29-35. Lots of people wonder why the Bible is so bloody … that is, why there is so much violence and bloodshed in the Bible. (I am going to provide a brief explanation below, but if you want a more detailed explanation, you can read my book, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.)

Many Christians often condemn the Muslim Qu’ran for being a violent book, but did you know that the Bible is far more violent than the Qu’ran? And this is not just descriptions of violence. There are more endorsements and commands to violence by God in the Bible than in the Qu’ran.

Of course, many Christians rightly point out that Jesus came and changed all that. That Jesus revealed a new a different way, a way of love and forgiveness.

I agree.

blood to horses bridles Revelation armageddonBut then many Christians turn right around and say, “But in the future, Jesus is going to return to this earth, and slaughter millions of people. There will be the greatest, bloodiest war the world has ever seen. When Jesus returns at the battle of Armageddon, the Valley will be filled with blood up to the horse’s bridle.”

So … wait. Is Jesus violent and bloody or not?

Are we saying that God in the Old Testament was violent and bloody, and then Jesus showed up to try love and forgiveness, but at the end of the world, even Jesus realizes that violence and bloodshed is the only solution after all? That love and forgiveness doesn’t actually work?

I think something is terribly wrong with this way of reading the Bible.

And by the way, this way of reading the Bible causes people to become violent themselves. I have heard Greg Boyd say that we become like the God we worship. If we worship a God who is violent at heart, and even though He tries love and forgiveness for a bit, He ultimately resorts to violence and bloodshed … then this is how we will act toward others.

This is why we hear Christians say, “Well, we tried to love and forgive those people over there …we really did, but they didn’t change, so now we are forced to drop bombs on them.”

Maybe we don’t drop bombs on them … but we do feel justified to hate other people when they don’t respond to our attempts to love and forgive them.

I had a conversation on Facebook Messenger the other day which reveals this attitude pretty well. Here is a screenshot:

(By the way, if you want to Message me on Facebook, you can do so here.)

Do you see? When we believe that God loves for a while, but then turns to hate when people don’t respond to Him, this causes us to hate those who don’t respond quickly enough to our evangelism efforts.

Now, if this is truly the way God is, then I agree that this is how we can behave as well.

But I do not believe that God is hateful, angry, violent, or bloody. I believe that Jesus reveals that God is quite the opposite. I believe that Jesus shows us what God is like, and that God has always been and always will be just like Jesus in the Gospels.

Jesus says “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Paul says in Colossians 1:15 that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” The author of Hebrews says that Jesus is the exact representation of God, the express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3).

Now when Jesus, Paul, and the author of Hebrews were teaching these things, they were talking about how Jesus lived during this life on earth as recorded in the Gospels.

During His life and ministry, Jesus did not engage in bloody violence or acts of vengeance upon anyone. Instead, He always loved and only forgave.

If we believe that Jesus, Paul, and the author of Hebrews knew what they were talking about, then we are forced with a decision: We must either decide that Jesus was hiding the dark, bloody, and violent side of God so that He did not actually reveal to us the full and perfect image of God (and therefore, Jesus, Paul, and the author of Hebrews are not telling the truth), or we must decide that Jesus did, in fact, fully reveal God to us (as He claims to have done), and so God has never been violent and bloody, and never will be.

does God hate us while Jesus loves us

For myself, I believe that Jesus is telling the truth, and so is Paul and the author of Hebrews.

Which means we need to figure out why the Bible is so violent and bloody. We need to figure out why the Bible contains so much bloodshed. We need to figure out why God apparently commands so much violence and bloodshed in the Old Testament. We need to figure out why John writes in the book of Revelation about the return of Jesus in such violent and bloody ways.

Thankfully, this is not something we have to figure out on our own. Jesus Himself told us why the Bible is so violent. He did this in numerous ways and at various times during His life and ministry.

The greatest explanation was provided through His crucifixion, of course, but many of the parables and teachings of Jesus were also directed at revealing the truth to us about why the Bible is so bloody and violent.

Jesus tells us why the Bible is Bloody (Matthew 23:29-35)

One of the key texts where Jesus reveals this is Matthew 23:29-35 (cf. Luke 11:49-51):

[You] say, “If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” … Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

why is the Bible so bloody and violentIn this text, Jesus provides a summary of how He reads and understands the Old Testament. This is “The Old Testament according to Jesus.” And according to Jesus, the Bible is filled with violent bloodshed.

From Abel to Zechariah, from A-to-Z, the Bible reveals the violence of the human heart as we kill others in the name of God. According to Jesus, the Hebrew Scriptures are primarily about a revelation of bloodshed.

They reveal what the origins of bloodshed, and how sacrificial religion is often at the root of bloodshed, as human beings kills others in the name of God.

And it is not just evil sinners who are killed in the name of God, but righteous, innocent victims, such as Abel, Zechariah, and the prophets.

Jesus also says that the people in His day are doing the same thing.

This violent murdering of others in God’s name is the constant human sin of every culture and every generation. Yet no generation thinks that they themselves are guilty of it. The people in Jesus’ day say that if they had lived in the days of the prophets, they would not have participated in killing the prophets. Yet the people in Jesus’ day killed Jesus.

Today, we say that if we had lived in the day of Jesus, we would not have participated in killing Jesus. But is this true?

If you had lived in the days of Jesus, do you think you would be among those who cried out for His arrest and crucifixion? Or would you instead be among those who stood faithfully at His side and wept for Him as He bled and died?

Do not be too hasty to answer.

In Matthew 23:29-35, Jesus explains that the religious people who claim they would not have participated in murdering the prophets are the very same people who are planning to kill the prophets of their own day.

In this context, Jesus clearly equates blood with murder and violence, and especially the bloodshed that is religiously motivated. When the Bible speaks of blood, it primarily has in mind the sacrificial and religious bloodshed which takes place when we kill and murder in God’s name.

Of more importance, however, is the shocking truth that this text contains for us modern Christians. We Christians like to say that if we had lived in the days of Jesus, we would not have been among those calling for His crucifixion, but would have sided with Him instead, defending His innocence and calling for His release.

Sadly, Jesus disagrees with our assessment. The human condition and tendency is to side with the mob in calling for the death of the innocent scapegoat victim. The religious people in Jesus’ day claimed that they would not have participated in killing the prophets of old, yet it is they who led the charge in accusing, condemning, and killing Jesus.

Just as with every other violent text in Scripture, Matthew 23:29-35 is a serious call to take a careful look at the condition of our own hearts toward others.

This text, like so many others, was not primarily written so that we can condemn the ignorance of those in the past, but so that we can allow this text to expose the darkness in our own hearts. Just as the people in Jesus’ day were guilty of the same sins they condemned in their ancestors, so also, we are guilty of the same sins we condemn in them.

We say we would not have condemned Jesus, yet it may very well be that the people we think God should kill today are the very prophets whom God has sent to us to reveal our sin. Who is it that you want to see dead?

Who is it that you believe God could (and should) “righteously” kill? Could it be that you only think this about them because they are exposing your sin to you, just like the prophets of old?

This reveals why the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, is so violent.

Jesus died to reveal the source of violence

Why is the Old Testament so Violent?

Much of the Old Testament is filled with blood, whether it is the blood spilled in the sacrificial rituals of the Mosaic Law or the blood spilled during Canaanite Conquest and subsequent wars of Israel.

It is not without reason that some have called the Bible the bloodiest religious book in human history. Such a charge is not unfounded, for when the actual calls for violence and bloodshed are tallied, the Bible has more bloody texts than the Muslim Qur’an or any other religious holy book.

The proper response to all this bloodshed in the Bible, however, is not to try to explain it away and justify God as the bloodiest deity in the history of religion, but instead to embrace the revulsion that we feel and recognize that the reason the Bible is so bloody is not so that we emulate the behavior we read about in its pages, but instead to see these events as though they were a mirror being held up to our own faces (James 1:23-24).

In Matthew 23:29-35, Jesus says that the Bible is so violent and bloody, because it reveals what we ourselves are doing in our own day. Jesus says that the Bible is so violent and bloody, not so that we can condemn the people of the past, but so that we can see how we ourselves participate in the same exact bloodshed and violence.

Jesus says that the Bible is so violent and bloody, not because it reveals what God is like (for only Jesus does that), but because it reveals what mankind is like. And therefore, what we are like.

The Old Testament does not reveal God to us as much as it reveals mankind to us.

The bloody passages of the Old Testament provide a better glimpse into the heart of man than they do the heart of God.

This is how to read the violent portions of the Bible, so that when we turn away from them in revulsion, we are trained to turn away from similar violent tendencies in our own heart as well.

Until we read the Bible this way, we will forever be confused about why there is so much blood and violence in the Old Testament. But once we read the Bible through this lens, we see that the Bible reveals man to us so that in Jesus Christ we receive both a perfect revelation of what God is like and a perfect revelation of what mankind is supposed to be like.

Through His death on the cross, Jesus willingly submitted Himself to the violent death of ritualistic sacrifice as a way of exposing to humanity the sin to which humanity is enslaved.

Jesus died, not to affirm and reinforce the idea that God wants blood sacrifice, but to unveil and expose the truth about sacrifice, the truth that it is we who want sacrifice; not God.

It is we who shed blood; not God.

By letting us kill Him in such a violent and bloody way, Jesus unveiled the truth about humanity and the truth about sin, and in so doing, called us to abandon these scapegoating, sacrificial rituals in our own lives.

By letting us shed His blood, Jesus revealed that all such scapegoating sacrificial rituals have nothing whatsoever to do with God and originate instead within the hearts of mankind.

Jesus fully exposed and unveiled the mystery of the scapegoat sacrifice by fully submitting Himself to it.

Through His life and death, Jesus revealed how to live:

We are not to make sacrificial scapegoat victims of others, while at the same time we are to willingly lay down our lives for others.

The blood of Jesus reveals that true life does not come through the death of others, but through the death of self for the sake of others. While seeking life through the death of others leads only to more death, seeking life through the death of self leads to life for all.

The blood of Jesus teaches that while humans seek death, God seeks life, and so when the life of God is in us, we will stop seeking the death of others.

To learn more about this, get my book, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus, or take my online course, The Gospel Dictionary, which you can take for free by joining my online discipleship group:

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Why is the Bible so bloody and violent? It is not because God is violent and bloody. Jesus reveals quite the opposite. Through His life, death, and teachings, Jesus reveals that God is not violent at all, but always loves and only forgives. Lots of people wonder why the Bible is so bloody ... that is, why there is so much violence and bloodshed in the Bible. Jesus explains why in Matthew 23:29-35. His shocking summary of the Bible will cause you to read Scripture and understand humanity in a completely new way.<br /> <br /> To view the transcript or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/bible-so-bloody/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:49
1 crazy suggestion about Matthew 28:19-20 that just might solve the baptism debate https://redeeminggod.com/matthew-28-19-20/ Wed, 14 Mar 2018 21:47:51 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47517 When you were baptized, what words were said? Do you remember? Some people look to Matthew 28:19-20 as the proper words for baptism, while others look to the practice of the Apostles in Acts. In this post, I dispel this entire baptism debate with one crazy suggestion. Read it and let me know what you think! Did you know there is a debate about whether we are supposed to be baptized “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20) OR “in the name of Jesus”?

Yes, we Christians argue over some silly things.

In my book, Dying to Religion and Empire, I talk about how some Christians view baptism as a magical incantation in which the right words need to be said in order for the magic spell to actually work. The whole thing is ridiculous.

But when Christians think that baptism is required to gain eternal life, then it also becomes important to make sure that the baptism is done in the right way with the right words.

Of course, when we realize that baptism is NOT required for eternal life, then this entire debate fades away into meaninglessness, but we already talked about this

But let us try to solve the debate anyway … because … you know … Bible.

Matthew 28:19-20 baptism

The Origins of the Baptism Debate

When people want be baptized “in the right way,” they argue about when baptism should take place, how much water is necessary, where the baptism can occur, who can perform the baptism, what actions should be performed during the baptism, and what words need to be said along with the baptism.

And again, according to some, if you don’t do all of it right, then it doesn’t work. Yes, just like a magic spell taught to Harry Potter at Hogwarts School of Magic…

Now I am not going to try to solve the ENTIRE baptism debate, but we might be able to solve that last one, about which words need to be said at the baptism.

The debate began because the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 seems to be at odds with the actual practice of the Apostles in the book of Acts.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus instructs His apostles to “baptize … in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” So when many people get baptized, they say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

But when we get into the book of Acts, we see that the apostles baptize “in the name of Jesus” (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5).

So what gives? Some suggest that when Jesus says “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” He means “in my name.” Because … you know …. the Trinity.

Of course, God the Father’s name appears to be Yahweh, and as far as we know, the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a name, so is it really accurate to say that “Jesus” is the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

Yet if we baptize “in the name of Jesus,” aren’t we then disobeying the very words of Jesus where He instructed us to baptize “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”?

And the debate rages on, with both sides accusing the other of practicing illegitimate baptism.

How can we solve this?

Well, it starts by disavowing all these Christians who waste their time and energy with idiotic arguments over words … but there is also a key to help us solve the argument.

The Key to the Baptism Debate

baptisma Greek wordBaptism is not a translation of the Greek word, but a transliteration.

When people translate from one language to another, they look at the word in the original language, and then provide the equivalent word in the new language. So hamartia gets translated as sin , theos as God, and so on.

But for some inexplicable reason, there are a few Greek words which Bible translators failed to translate. Instead, they transliterated these words, which involves changing the Greek letters of teh root word into English letters and then calling it good.

So Christos becomes Christ and euangelion becomes evangelism.

This is what happened with the word baptism as well. It is a transliteration rather than a translation. The Greek word is baptizma, and it was transliterated as baptism.

How does this help?

Well, if we translate the Greek word baptizma in Matthew 28:19-20, we get a clue as to what Jesus might have actually been teaching … and this leads to the one crazy suggestion about Matthew 28:19-20 that might help solve this particular baptism debate.

The 1 Crazy Suggestion about Matthew 28:19-20

So as everyone knows, Matthew 28:19-20 is the “Great Commission” in which Jesus gives some final instructions to His disciples. And he wants them to take the things He has taught and teach these to other people also.

That is, Jesus wants His disciples to go and make more disciples.

And discipleship involves teaching and training other people about what they should believe and how they should behave. It is teaching people about life and doctrine. And not just “classroom teaching” but teaching by example and showing people how to live.

Anyway, none of this is challenging, new, or crazy. Everyone knows all this.

But here is the crazy suggestion … What if we actually translated the Greek word baptizo in Matthew 28:19 instead of just transliterating it? Is that crazy, or what?

The Greek word baptizma means immersion (the verb baptizo means to immerse).

So if we translated the Greek word, the verse would say this:

Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you …

Jesus instructs His disciples to make disciples and to teach everything He has taught to them, so that the people they teach are immersed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This doesn’t necessarily mean “dunk them under water while saying a few words over their head.”

If I told you to “immerse yourself in this blog,” would you think you had to go take a bath while reading this blog? No. You would think that I was inviting you to read a lot of blog posts for the next days or weeks.

If I told my daughter to “immerse yourself in math” to prepare for the exam, would you imagine that I was telling her to go swim around in a local river with her math books under her arm? No. You would understand that I was telling her to study hard.

If I told my wife, “I want to immerse you in my love,” does this mean that I want to plunge her under the water in a swimming pool while saying “I love you”? No. It means I want to show her in tangible ways how much I really do love her.

Similarly, if Jesus says, “Go immerse people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” is He saying, “Go dunk them under water while saying some words over them”? I think not.

Instead, Jesus is saying, “I have taught you lots of things over these past three years, and I want you to go and teach these to others also. Go immerse them in the teachings about God the Father, about Me, and about the Holy Spirit, which are the things I have taught you. Spread this teaching around the world.”

Jesus is telling His disciples that as they have immersed their lives in His for the past three years, they now must go and invite other people to immerse their lives in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus teaching is baptism

Sooo … You side with those who think we should baptize “in the name of Jesus”?

No! If you think that is the point of this post, you’ve missed it entirely.

There are no magic words. It is not about what words you say.

As long as we Christians keep arguing about words, we are missing the entire point of the teachings of Jesus … and we should go immerse ourselves in His teachings some more.

Look, if you want to get dunked under water, go ahead. For some, it can be a wonderful ritual, full of symbolic significance.

But the real thing Jesus wants us to do is to learn about Him, learn about God, and learn about the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants us to follow His example of death and resurrection so that we lay down our lives for others.

Jesus wants to show us how to die to ourselves so that we can rise again to real life in Him.

So let us all stop arguing about the method, mode, and magic words of baptism, and instead start living for Jesus and loving others like Jesus … just as He commanded us in Matthew 28:19-20.

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When you were baptized, what words were said? Do you remember? Some people look to Matthew 28:19-20 as the proper words for baptism, while others look to the practice of the Apostles in Acts. In this post, I dispel this entire baptism debate with one c... When you were baptized, what words were said? Do you remember? Some people look to Matthew 28:19-20 as the proper words for baptism, while others look to the practice of the Apostles in Acts. In this study, I dispel this entire baptism debate with one crazy suggestion. Listen to it and let me know what you think!<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/matthew-28-19-20/ Jeremy Myers clean 21:59
Does baptism save us? (1 Peter 3:21) https://redeeminggod.com/baptism-1-peter-3-21/ Wed, 07 Mar 2018 20:21:53 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47483 In 1 Peter 3:21, it appears that Peter is saying that we must be baptized in order to be saved. He writes that baptism saves us. But if this is true, then how is eternal life by faith alone and not of works? When people read 1 Peter 3:21, they wonder if baptism is necessary for salvation. And this is indeed what 1 Peter 3:21 seems to say:

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21).

So does baptism save us? Yes! According to Peter, it does.

But hold on … Isn’t baptism a work? Isn’t baptism something we do? Yes, it is.

So if baptism saves us, how can it be true that eternal life is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, apart from works?

The solution is relatively simple, once you understand it.

1 Peter 3:21 baptism save usThe solution to understanding 1 Peter 3:21 is to properly define the words “baptism” and “saves.” I define both of these terms in my online course, “The Gospel Dictionary.”

This post will briefly summarize how to understand the words “baptism” and “save.” More detailed explanations are found inside the course.

The meaning of the word “save”

In Scripture, the word “save” (saved, salvation, Savior, etc) almost never means “gain eternal life so you can go to heaven when you die.” This is what most Christians think the word means, and this is how most Christians use this word, but the Bible does not support such a definition.

The word “saved” simply means “deliverance” and context determines what kind of deliverance is in view. You can be delivered from enemies, sickness, drowning, premature death, and a variety of other disasters.

Whenever you see the word “saved” in the Bible, stop and think about it. Substitute in the word “delivered” or “deliverance” and then look in the context to figure out what kind of deliverance is in view. Very rarely (if ever) will it refer to gaining eternal life and going to heaven when you die.

This truth right here is going to help you understand 1 Peter 3:21 in a whole new way. While Peter does teach that baptism saves us, a careful study of the context reveals that Peter is not talking about gaining eternal life and going to heaven when we die. He has something else in view.

But to see what Peter has in view, we first need to understand the meaning of the word “baptism.”

The meaning of the word “baptism” in 1 Peter 3:21

The word baptism has caused inordinate amounts of disagreement over the years.

baptism definedThere was even a time when certain Christians were drowning other Christians over the question of baptism. During the Reformation, one group of Christians got so upset that others were doing baptism wrong, that they decided to baptize those other people to death by drowning them.

We don’t go this far today. Or do we?

While we may not drown people because of their views on baptism, it is not uncommon for one group of Christians to condemn another group of Christians to everlasting hell because the other group has a different view on baptism.

So we don’t drown them … but we do condemn them to everlasting punishment in hell.

Yeah … maybe things haven’t changed as much as we think.

So we argue and condemn people over the issue of infant baptism vs. adult baptism, baptism by sprinkling vs. baptism by immersion, and whether a person should be baptized in the name of Jesus vs. in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And then we have this form of baptism which is almost child abuse …

Most of these contentious issues can be cleared up simply by properly understanding and defining the word baptism.  Baptism is a Greek word which means “immersion” or “submersion.”

Many Bible teachers stop right there and say that the debate between sprinkling vs. immersion is solved. They argue that if the word baptisma means immersion, then clearly, all baptisms must be by immersion.

But it is not quite as simple as that. Although baptisma means immersion, this does not mean that every baptism requires immersion into water.

When all the data is considered, the Bible describes several different kinds of baptisms, and only two of them involve water.

Along with John’s baptism and new believer’s baptism (Acts 2:41; 8:36; 10:47-48; 18:8), there is baptism into Moses (1 Cor 10:2), baptism of the cup and crucifixion (Matt 20:22; Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50), baptism by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5; 11:16; Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:5), and baptism with the fire of judgment (Matt 3:11; 13:25; Luke 3:16).

If you were counting, there are seven different kinds of baptism. I have a handout in the Gospel Dictionary Lesson on Baptism which nicely summarizes these seven kinds of baptism.

So it is a vast oversimplification to say that all baptism must be by immersion in water.

In light of all this, while baptism means immersion, it does not necessarily imply water. One can get baptized, or immersed, into almost anything.

To be baptized means to be fully immersed into something so that what is being baptized is completely overtaken and overwhelmed by whatever it is being baptized into.

It means to be fully identified with something, to become one with it.

So what does 1 Peter 3:21 mean?

There are some who teach that both faith and baptism are necessary for justification. Those who teach this often use 1 Peter 3:21 as a proof text for their view.

But if we know that the word “saved” does not refer to “receiving eternal life” in the Bible, we understand that Peter is not writing about the necessity of getting baptized in order to receive eternal life, but is instead referring to some form of deliverance.

Several contextual keys clue us in to what Peter has in mind.

First, it should be obvious that Peter is not referring to believer’s baptism at all, for he indicates that this baptism he is writing about is “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Numerous other Scriptures reveal that water baptism does not actually place us in Christ, but this is done only through Spirit baptism (cf. Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:5).

Second, while some think that Peter is referring to believer’s baptism because of the mention of water in 3:20, Peter clarifies in 3:21 that he is not talking about the outward washing of the flesh with water but the inner purification of a good conscience toward God, which is accomplished only through the Spirit.

Finally, it should be noted that although 1 Peter 3:21 talks about how Noah and his family “were saved through water,” we should not take this to mean that the water was the instrument or means by which they were delivered from the flood. Far from it!

They were not delivered by the water; they were delivered from the water by the ark. Noah and his family passed through the waters and were delivered from the waters just as some pass through the fire, and are delivered from it.

So you take all this together, and Peter’s point is that just the ark delivered Noah and his family through the waters of the flood which threatened to take their life, so also, we too are delivered from the flood of sin that surrounds us, not by water, but by the Spirit of God (1 Peter 3:18). How? By fully immersing ourselves and identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:18, 21).

Peter is teaching a sanctification truth. If you want to avoid have your life ruined by sin, Peter says, then learn what it means to have died to sin in Jesus Christ, and to have been raised to new life through His resurrection.

Jesus is the ark that saves us from the flood of sin that surrounds us. If you want to be delivered from the devastating and destructive consequences of sin (see Sin), then you need to follow the ways, teachings, examples, and instructions of Jesus, and especially what He showed us through His death, burial, and resurrection.

So Peter is not saying that you have to get dunked under water in order to go to heaven when you die. That is not his point at all!

In 1 Peter 3:21, Peter is not writing about how to gain eternal life. Instead, Peter is writing about how to live the Christian life.

He writes that the best way to live free from sin like Jesus Christ is to identify with Jesus and follow Him in every way we can.

Here is a short video that summarizes the ideas in this post:

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In 1 Peter 3:21, it appears that Peter is saying that we must be baptized in order to be saved. He writes that baptism saves us. But if this is true, then how is eternal life by faith alone and not of works? In 1 Peter 3:21, it appears that Peter is saying that we must be baptized in order to be saved. He writes that baptism saves us. But if this is true, then how is eternal life by faith alone and not of works?<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/baptism-1-peter-3-21/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:00
Does 1 Corinthians 9:27 teach that you can lose your salvation? https://redeeminggod.com/1-corinthians-9-27-disqualified/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 18:38:18 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47453 First Corinthians 9:27 is sometimes quoted to show that not even Paul was certain that he would go to heaven when he died. Paul writes that he keeps close watch over his body so that he does not end up disqualified (adokimos). So what does this verse mean? In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul writes about his fear of being disqualified by God. Does this mean that Paul thought that he could lose his eternal life?

When I was in High School, I had a teacher who read 1 Corinthians 9:27 in class (I attended a Christian school), and said that all of us need to be careful how we live our lives, or else we could end up in hell if we disobeyed God.

Does 1 Corinthians 9 27 teach that we can lose eternal lifeShe said, “Look at Paul! He was an apostle. He wrote a large amount of the New Testament. He was the greatest missionary the world has ever seen! But even Paul was afraid that if he sinned, he would go to hell when he died. We should all be concerned about the same thing!”

Is this right? Is this really what Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 9:27? Here is what he wrote:

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).

So was Paul afraid that although he had loved and served Jesus for many years, if he messed up late in life, he might end up being eternally separated from God?

The short answer is No. Let me explain why.

(Note: The following article is drawn from what I teach in my “Gospel Dictionary” online course. This comes from the lesson that looks at the word “approved.”

The key term in 1 Corinthians 9:27 is “disqualified”

The key term in 1 Corinthians 9:27 is the word “disqualified” which is the opposite of the word “qualified” or “approved.”

The Greek word used in the biblical texts which use this word is dokimos. The word approved is a good translation of this Greek word, but it can also be translated as acceptable or pleasing.

dokimos 1 Corinthians 9 27What is most important is that the word was often used in connection with money. The ancient world did not have paper money, but used coins as currency. The precious metals used for these coins were melted down and poured into molds. Once the metal cooled, the coins would be put into circulation. Some people, however, would shave the edges off these coins so they could take the shavings and make additional coins.

But since the coins were valued based on weight, such a practice would reduce the value of the coins that had been shaved. This was such a problem that during one year in Athens, over 80 laws were passed to try and stop the practice of coin shaving.

Not surprisingly, there were people who had the job of examining coins to make sure they had the proper weight. If you were selling something for 10 silver coins, and you suspected that you were getting paid with shaved coins, you could take your coins to this person and have them weigh the coins to make sure that they were the proper weight.

You didn’t want to get cheated by being paid with coins that contained less silver than they were supposed to. This person who examined and weighed the coins was called a dokimos, an approver. A dokimos made sure that only coins of the proper weight were kept in circulation (cf. Gen 23:16; Zech 11:13).

This helps us understand several of the New Testament texts where God is described as the dokimos of men.

God is the weigher of men, the one who make sure that we are not cutting corners, taking shortcuts, or cheating others.

The problem with this word as it relates to the gospel is that some people teach that God’s approval has something to do with whether or not we receive eternal life from God.

They teach that if God does not approve of someone, this means that God does not give them eternal life.

But this is not what the word means at all.

The approval of God has nothing to do with whether or not a person has eternal life, but instead has to do with whether or not God’s finds a person useful and honest in their dealings with others.

Due to this, “useful” is a good synonym for the Greek word dokimos.

So what was Paul teaching in 1 Corinthians 9:27?

First Corinthians 9:27 is sometimes quoted to show that not even Paul was certain that he would go to heaven when he died. Paul writes that he keeps close watch over his body so that he does not end up disqualified (adokimos).

I remember listening to a sermon not long ago in which the pastor said that if even the Apostle Paul could not know for sure that he had eternal life, it was the height of arrogance to believe that we had it. All we can do, this pastor taught, was try our hardest and hope that when we stood before God, we discovered that we had done enough.

Thankfully, that hopeless message is not what Paul is teaching at all.

1 Corinthians 9:27

In context, Paul compares his ministry to that of a runner who seeks to obtain a prize. The prize that people compete for in a game is a perishable crown, but we seek an imperishable crown. Toward this end, Paul runs with certainty, not with uncertainty (1 Corinthians 9:23-26).

In the following context, Paul gives the example of people who were disqualified. He writes about some of the Israelites who had all the same blessings and benefits as everyone else, but who died in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-12).

The point in the entire context is not about receiving eternal life or going to heaven when Paul dies, but is instead about being faithful and useful to God in what God wants to accomplish in Paul’s life. The prize is not eternal life, for eternal life is a free gift of God.

The prize, or the crown, is significance in the Kingdom of God, blessing in his life and ministry, and praise from God when he stands before Him for a life well-lived in His service.

So Paul is not concerned with losing his eternal life, but is very much concerned with being disqualified for ministry.

Since Paul desires to continue his ministry, and to run in a way that is pleasing and honoring to God, he runs with care and perseverance.

The same thing is true for your life. Being disqualified does not mean losing eternal life, but losing your ministry, or your opportunity to serve God in this life. It is these things Paul could lose, and which any of us can lose as well if we fail to love, follow, and obey God.

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First Corinthians 9:27 is sometimes quoted to show that not even Paul was certain that he would go to heaven when he died. Paul writes that he keeps close watch over his body so that he does not end up disqualified (adokimos). First Corinthians 9:27 is sometimes quoted to show that not even Paul was certain that he would go to heaven when he died. Paul writes that he keeps close watch over his body so that he does not end up disqualified (adokimos). So what does this verse mean?<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/1-corinthians-9-27-disqualified/ Jeremy Myers clean 18:50
Once upon a time, I was interviewed by Jason Wiedel https://redeeminggod.com/interview-jason-wiedel/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 16:00:08 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47460 Several years ago, I was interviewed by Jason Wiedel for his podcast. For some reason, he never aired this interview. I don't know why. But I am airing it now. Enjoy! Several years ago, I was interviewed by Jason Wiedel for his podcast.

For some reason, he never aired this interview.

I don’t know why.

Maybe he forgot about it. Maybe he didn’t like what I said.

Maybe it was because my facial hair wasn’t as good as his.

Whatever the reason, I am putting this out now as a bonus episode for my podcast.

Enjoy!

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Several years ago, I was interviewed by Jason Wiedel for his podcast. For some reason, he never aired this interview. I don't know why. But I am airing it now. Enjoy! Several years ago, I was interviewed by Jason Wiedel for his podcast. For some reason, he never aired this interview. I don't know why. But I am airing it now. Enjoy!<br /> <br /> To leave a comment, visit https://redeeminggod.com/interview-jason-wiedel/ Jeremy Myers clean 39:30
How the concept of adoption helps us understand Romans 8:17 and Romans 9:4 https://redeeminggod.com/romans_9_4_adoption/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:00:20 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47021 Modern adoption was not like ancient adoption. It was not about giving parents to a child who had none, but was about giving honor and inheritance to a child who had done something good for the family. It was about naming a child as an heir. The podcast episode above looks at Romans 8:17, and the video below looks at Romans 9:4. Both texts are greatly aided by a proper understanding of how adoption worked in biblical times.

Below is a recording of my first attempt at a Facebook Live video. In it, I discuss the concept of adoption from Scripture and how it helps us understand Romans 9:4.

I am definitely not an expert videographer by any means … Oh well. As mentioned in the video, the information is drawn from my Gospel Dictionary online course, specifically from the lesson on “Adoption.” Members of RedeemingGod.com can take this course for free. You can join here.

Here is a text version of what I was teaching:

Romans 9:4 adoption

Biblical Adoption

While modern adoption is when we take an orphan and adopt them into our family, this is not how adoption worked in Paul’s day.

Back then, the children who were adopted already had parents. Adoption was a way of uniting two rich and powerful families together so that one powerful family adopted the child of another powerful family. Or sometimes, a father who had multiple children would adopt one of his younger children as his heir, thereby displacing the oldest son as the heir.

So adoption was not about giving parents to those who had none, but was about naming a child (of other parents, or even one of your own children) as an heir. Adoption was about glory, honor, and privilege; not about joining a family.

Romans 9:4 and Adoption

Romans 9 is a confusing chapter. Since it is about the election and rejection of Israel for God’s purposes, many believe that Romans 9 teaches that even after we receive eternal life, if we fail to live according to God’s purposes, we either lose our eternal life or we prove we never had it in the first place.

This is, after all, what happened to Israel, is it not? No, it is not.

Election is not about how God, from eternity past, chose who would receive eternal life and who would be condemned to hell forever. Instead, election is about purpose and privilege within the plan of God (see my book, The Re-Justification of God).

It is no surprise, then, that at the beginning of this discussion of Israel’s purpose and privilege within the plan of God, Paul mentions the fact of Israel adoption by God (Rom 9:4). Paul also refers to glory, covenants, the law, service, and promises.

Right at the introduction to Romans 9, Paul shows that he is not writing about how the people of Israel were part of God’s family and then were rejected as members of His family, but is instead writing about the favored members of God’s family who have position, power, and privilege within the family because of how they live.

Though Israel began with the position of being the adopted son, they lost it through disobedience and rebellion. This is why Paul warns us, who are now in the position of adoption, that we must take heed to how we live, or else we too might be cut off (Romans 11:19-23).

This is not about losing eternal life or proving that we were never children of God, but is instead about losing out on the privileged position within the plan and purpose of God for this world.

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Modern adoption was not like ancient adoption. It was not about giving parents to a child who had none, but was about giving honor and inheritance to a child who had done something good for the family. It was about naming a child as an heir. Modern adoption was not like ancient adoption. It was not about giving parents to a child who had none, but was about giving honor and inheritance to a child who had done something good for the family. It was about naming a child as an heir. This helps us understand passages like Romans 8:17.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/romans_9_4_adoption/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:00
Does Galatians 1:8-9 give you permission to curse others? Did Paul curse others? https://redeeminggod.com/galatians-1-8-9/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:00:53 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46958 Some Christians use Galatians 1:8-9 as a proof text for the bad behavior of cursing other people. But Paul was not actually cursing others in Galatians 1:8-9. He was making a joke about circumcision. This article explains more. The following study of Galatians 1:8-9 is drawn from my Gospel Dictionary Online Course, which defines 52 key words of the Gospel, and considers hundreds of texts from the Bible related to these key terms. See details at the bottom of this article for how you can take the entire course. Here is a video that provides the basic answer to what Paul is saying in Galatians 1:8-9.

In Galatians 1:8-9 Paul calls down anathema on any person or teacher who presents a different gospel than the one he himself taught when he was among the believers in Galatia. Paul is so emphatic he says this not once, but twice in these two verses.

The Galatian believers have abandoning the gospel of grace which Paul taught to them, and have instead turned to a gospel of works, which is no gospel at all (cf. Galatians 1:7). So as Paul sits down to write this letter of correction to the Galatians, he begins in Galatians 1:8 by saying that anyone who preaches something different than what he preached, let them be accursed; let them be anathema.

Galatians 1:8-9Among those who knew Paul, such a statement would have been shocking. Paul does not go around cursing people. So Paul, knowing that his statement would have caused the readers in Galatian to scratch their head and wonder if they were hearing him correctly, repeats himself in Galatians 1:9.

Christians have used Galatians 1:8-9 to justify cursing others to hell

These two verses by Paul have caused so much bad behavior by Christians over the years.

Back during the Reformation, the Reformers pronounced anathemas on the Catholics, and the Catholics pronounced anathemas on the Reformers.

In more recent years, it is not at all uncommon to hear some Christian go around pronouncing curses and condemnation on people, and when you challenge them about their unloving behavior, they quote Galatians 1:8-9 and say, “Paul cursed people for the sake of the gospel; so can we.”

What did Paul mean in Galatians 1:8-9 when he announced an anathema on others?

You are about to learn that this way of reading Paul’s message in Galatians is completely wrong. I will show you a key to understanding Galatians that will allow you to read the Galatians in a whole new light.

You will not only understand the book more than ever before, but will also smile a little bit when you read his anathemas here in Galatians 1:8-9. You will understand why Paul states this anathema twice in these verses, and why we can never, ever, ever curse or condemn people who disagree with us, because, as we will see, that is not what Paul is doing either.

While it is tempting once again to see in these statements a vindictive Paul calling down a death curse upon his theological opponents, we must understand that such behavior does not fit the wider thought and theology of Paul.

What Paul writes in Galatians 1:8-9 must be understood in light of the wider context of this letter as a whole.

Galatians 1:8-9 in the context of Galatians

Let me give you a little hint right now about how to read this letter. If you want to read Galatians properly, you need to read it with a little smirk on your lips. You need to read it with a twinkle in your eye. You need to read it with a half-smile and a wink.

Why?

Because that is what Paul was doing when he wrote this letter. If you can read Galatians with the idea that Paul was writing with a somewhat sarcastic, or ironic, tone of voice, the letter will make a whole lot more sense to you.

Oh, and by way of fair warning, the explanation of Galatians 1:8-9 below is rated PG-13.

circumcision

Let us begin by looking at a later “curse” that Paul pronounces on the teachers in Galatia with whom he disagrees.

In Galatians 5:12, Paul states his wish that those teachers who make circumcision a requirement for new believers would just go ahead and emasculate themselves entirely. Paul’s theological satire is quite evident. The teachers in Galatia were arguing that if believers in Jesus really wanted to please and obey God, faith in Jesus was not enough; men needed to also get circumcised.

So in Galatians 5:12, Paul, with a little smirk on his lips, argues that if God is pleased with us when men cut off part of their penis, maybe God will be even more pleased if men cut off the whole thing!

You have to love Paul, for only Paul can use a penis to make a theological point.

But what exactly is that point?

Well, the issue of circumcision is not just about pleasing God. The issue is much larger.

paul and circumcisionUnder the Mosaic Law, circumcision was a sign of separation. It was a sign that only the circumcised were part of the people of God. Only the circumcised were the “insiders” with God. Everybody else was an “outsider.” Circumcision then, was a way of dividing humanity. It was “us vs. them.”

Yet one central themes of Paul’s letters is that in Jesus Christ, all such divisions have been dissolved. There is no more wall separating insiders from outsiders (Ephesians 2:11-22). In Jesus Christ, all are insiders.

So when certain Christians in Galatia began to make circumcision a requirement for fellowship once again, Paul saw it as a return to divisions and a rebuilding of walls. This was to live not according to the Spirit but according to the flesh (Gal 5:16-26), especially since, in more ways than one, circumcision was of the “flesh.”

The factions, divisions, and lusts that were present in the community were further signs that some in Galatia were living according to the flesh rather than according to the Spirit. The pressure to get circumcised was creating an atmosphere of some men comparing his “flesh” to that of others to see who was more spiritual.

But such comparisons are not spiritual, but fleshly. To put it bluntly, Christians were comparing dicks to see who was more spiritual. Paul’s criticism is that the entire argument is “fleshly” and he wants it to stop. For Paul, this whole argument is ridiculous.

N. T. Wright explains it a little more circumspectly:

The opponents, after all, whoever they were, were seeking to establish a way of being, a grand story, a form of knowing, a type of identity, upon the converts. The pressure to get circumcised was precisely an insistence on establishing one kind of ethnic or para-ethnic identity over against others. Paul deconstructs these claims, showing that they themselves are dehumanizing, based on “the flesh.”

It really is quite a humorous argument when understood.

Paul’s letter to the Galatians has a whole different feel if you understand that Paul wrote it with a smirk instead of a scowl.

Paul had a sense of humor after all!

Paul is writing about “the flesh” in Galatians

This imagery of “the flesh” is found throughout this letter. The image of the sowing with the flesh in Galatians 6:8 and making a good showing in the flesh in Galatians 6:12 as two further examples.

The “flesh” (Gk. sarx) is the word used to translate the Hebrew word for “flesh” (basar) which is often used in the Hebrew Scriptures as a euphemism for the male sexual organ.

This understanding gives us a completely different reading of Galatians 1:8-9, especially when we remember that the word anathema is exactly equivalent to the Hebrew concept of cherem. In Israel, only outsiders were under cherem, and circumcision was one of the defining characteristics used to separate the insiders from the outsiders. This is why it was so important for all male Israelites to get circumcised before they entered into Canaan (Joshua 5:3-7).

Yet in Jesus Christ, all of these divisions and separations had been done away with and set aside.

golgothaPaul’s message in Galatians is that Golgotha has done away with Gibeath-haaraloth, the hill of foreskins (Josh 5:7).

There is no longer any “us vs. them” or “insiders vs. outsiders.” Paul is now saying if we demand circumcision, we are only going back to that old way of dividing the world between insiders and outsiders.

But the reality is that, through Jesus, we are all insiders. The only real outsiders are those who claim that they are insiders and everyone else is an outsider. If you do that, then you are an outsider, and this places you under cherem, under anathema.

When Paul introduces his letter to the Galatians, he is not calling down judgment and condemnation upon his theological opponents. Instead, he is saying that if they are right in what they teach, then we must go back to the old way of dividing the world, and if we do that, then they will be cherem, anathema. Nobody wants that, including Paul, so he calls them to return once again to the gospel he preached to them, which is the gospel of inclusion and embrace.

Paul closes out his letter with a call for peace and mercy (Galatians 6:16) and that we “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

We must not think that Galatians begins with a curse ends with a blessing.

Paul has been blessing his readers all the way throughout, while using irony, sarcasm, humor, and even sexual innuendos to point out the error of their ways.

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Some Christians use Galatians 1:8-9 as a proof text for the bad behavior of cursing other people. But Paul was not actually cursing others in Galatians 1:8-9. He was making a joke about circumcision. This article explains more. Some Christians use Galatians 1:8-9 as a proof text for the bad behavior of cursing other people. But Paul was not actually cursing others in Galatians 1:8-9. He was making a joke about circumcision. This podcast explains more. <br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/galatians-1-8-9/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:18
Epistolary Diatribe in the Letters of Paul (No, really! It’s Interesting. I promise!) https://redeeminggod.com/epistolary-diatribe-letters-of-paul/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 18:42:55 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47345 Did you know that many of the New Testament letters are actually dialogues between the author and a teacher he is trying to refute? This form of writing is called Epistolary Diatribe. I introduce this idea in this article, and give you several examples. Epistolary Diatribe in Letters of PaulWhat a blog post title! Epistolary Diatribe … what???

But have no fear … it’s not as scary as it sounds. This article will really help you understand the letters of Paul. I promise.

Let me begin by asking you a question … If you had no quote marks, how would you indicate in a book or letter that you were quoting someone? Well, you would probably just state the quote anyway, and then use words like “said” to tell you reader you are quoting something.

Here’s an example:

Gary said I love elephants.

But notice that without quote marks, the sentence loses clarity.

It could be understood this way:

Gary said, “I love elephants.”

Or this way:

Gary said [that] I [Jeremy] love elephants.

Do you see? Without quote marks, one sentence can have at least two different meanings.

But it gets trickier than that. What if I am writing a dialogue between two or more people, and I now have to record what each person says … still without quote marks.

Here is an example:

Gary said I love elephants.
Tom said I love them too.
But I said both of them are wrong.

So you see? What EXACTLY was said is a little vague, but the context gives you some idea of what Gary, Tom, and I were talking about.

Ah, but now watch this …. if I quote someone without any quote marks, and if I don’t use the word “said” or even tell you who said it, I can almost guarantee you will know who said it and what they said:

That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.

Do you know who said that and the context in which it was said? Of course you do (I hope). I didn’t have to use quote marks, and I didn’t have to use the word “said.” You automatically knew. (And yes, I quoted it correctly … according to the man who said it.)

Now, take the little bit you’ve learned here about quote marks and easily-recognized quotations and think back to the days of the early church when Paul was writing letters to the various churches he had planted. Many times, Paul wrote these letters to correct and refute some of the false ideas and teachings that were being taught within the various churches.

But guess what? There were no quote marks in Koine Greek (the language Paul used to write his letters).

So what did he do?

Well, he used a style of writing which was quite common for other letter writers in his day, which modern scholars have labeled “Epistolary Diatribe.” This is a fancy way of saying “A letter written to correct the wrong ideas of someone else.” And since this method of writing letters to refute others was quite common, people quickly and easily recognized it when it was happening in a letter.

Dialogue in Pauls lettersThis is especially true when we recognize that trained “readers” often “performed” the dialogue portions of the letters to a listening audience … many of whom could not read.

Some of the distinguishing marks of Epistolary Diatribe are as follows:

  • Famous quotes from the letters, writings, teachings of the person being refuted
  • The word “say” or “said” might be used (e.g., “You have heard it said,” Or “But someone will say.”)
  • A refutation begun with an adversative conjunction (e.g., “But” or “Of course not!”)
  • A gentle mocking, or name-calling, or the person being refuted (e.g., “Who are you, Oh man?” or “Oh foolish man!”)

These four clear signs are not always present, and so it is sometimes difficult to know whether a certain verse is Paul’s idea or a quote from someone Paul is refuting, but there are several very clear examples of this sort of “Epistolary Diatribe” going on in the New Testament.

Below are three clear examples (and yes, I know the last one is not from Paul, but it still gives a good example):

Clear Examples of Epistolary Diatribe

Romans 9:19-20

In this passage, Paul introduces the person who is objecting to Paul’s words by saying “You will say to me then.”

After this, Paul quotes what this objector is saying: “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”

Paul begins his response in the typical way, by using an adversative conjunction followed by a gentle name-calling of the person. Paul says, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?”

From this, we see that Paul thinks that God has set up the world in a way that God’s will can be resisted. The objector disagrees and says that nobody can resist God’s will. Paul responds with a bit of irony, telling the objector, “By saying nobody can resist God’s will when God has said that people can resist His will, you are resisting God’s will.” It’s a brilliant move by Paul. I write more about this in my book, The Re-Justification of Godwhich looks at Romans 9.

1 Corinthians 15:35-36

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is full of Epistolary Diatribe, especially since he is responding to a letter they wrote to him. So he quotes some of their letter, or what he heard that some people were teaching in Corinth, and then he responds to it.

In Paul’s discussion about the resurrection, he introduces the quote from another teacher by writing, “But someone will say.”

Then Paul quotes what they are saying, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” In other words, the objector says that the idea of a resurrection is foolish unless we understand how it works and what our new bodies will be like.

Paul then sets out to refute this objection with a little gentle name-calling. He introduces his refutation with the words “Foolish one” and then goes on to explain more about the resurrection.

Note that the adversative conjunction was missing, but it was still quite obvious that Paul was engaging in dialogue with this other teacher.

James 2:18-20

It is not just Paul that uses Epistolary Diatribe. As mentioned earlier, this form of writing was very common. James, the brother of Jesus, uses it as well in his letter.

A clear example is found in James 2:18-20. In fact, recognizing Epistolary Diatribe in James 2 helps clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding James 2 and the role of faith and works in the life of the believer.

James is writing about the relationship between faith and works, and he introduces the objection by someone else in the normal way. He writes, “But someone will say.” And then James goes on to quote this ideas of this person who is objecting.

The interesting thing about this is that few Bible translations understand where the quote from this imaginary objector ends. If you consult some of the various Bible translations, you will see that in English, the end quote is inserted at different places in different translations.

The NKJV puts the end quote half-way through verse 18. The NAS puts the end quote at the end of James 2:18. But when we understand the signs of Epistolary Diatribe, we recognize that the quote of the objector goes all the way through verses 18 and 19. How do we know this?

Because James 2:20 has the adversative conjunction and then the gentle, derogatory name-calling. James indicates that he is now refuting the objector when he writes, “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”

When we realize that James 2:19 and what it says about the faith of demons is not the ideas of James, but the ideas of someone who disagrees with James, this helps our overall understanding of the passage. I wrote more about this in my article “Even the demons believe” and have also taught about it in my study on James 2:14-26.

So those are just three clear examples of Epistolary Diatribe in the New Testament. There are several other clear examples, but I just wanted to point these out.

Now, there are many, many other passages in the Bible that likely contain Epistolary Diatribe.

Other Possible Epistolary Diatribe Passages

The problem with several of these other possible passages that contain Epistolary Diatribe is that they don’t always contain all four of the markers that I mentioned above. They might only contain one or two. Or none.

But again, what we have to recognize is that while it might be difficult for us to discern when Epistolary Diatribe is taking place, it was not difficult for the original audience.

They likely would have had someone play-act the dialogue out for them, with the reader using different voices, or maybe different hand gestures to indicate when a different person was talking. Also, they would have quickly and easily recognized the ideas and quotes from the teacher that Paul was refuting in his letter.

What if I wrote a letter to you which said this:

Sometimes I look at everything going on in the world, and I am afraid for the future. We must remember, however, that we have nothing to fear, but fear itself. And besides, God loves us, and perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Nevertheless, although I know this to be true, I am still afraid sometimes. So when I am afraid, I remind myself of two things. First, I say “No fear!” and then I also say “Fear not!”

There were four intentional quotes from other sources in that paragraph. The first was from Franklin D. Roosevelt, the second from 1 John 4:18, the second was the old marketing slogan from the 80’s and 90’s, and the final quote came from Isaiah 41:10.

It is possible you picked up on all of them, though maybe you only recognized one or two. Now, if I had changed my voice in all the quotes, you would have recognized that I was quoting someone else, even if you didn’t know the source of the quote.

This, I believe, is exactly what was happening in the early church as the letters of Paul circulated around and were read in the various churches.

So here are a few possibilities of where this is happening.

Romans 1:18-32

Paul’s letter to the Romans almost certainly includes numerous Epistolary Diatribes in which Paul quotes and then refutes a prominent teacher in Rome.

Paul signing a letter amenuensisRomans 1:18-32 is sort of the introduction to what this other teacher was saying. Therefore, much of what we read in Romans 1:18-32 is not Paul’s ideas, but the ideas of someone that Paul wants to refute.

This is extremely significant, for it is only here in Romans that wrath is clearly attributed to God. Also, it is here that we read about God handing people over to their sin.

And all of these ideas do not come from Paul, but rather from a legalistic teacher whom Paul sets out to refute in his letter to the Romans.

And indeed, in Romans 2:1, we do have the clear sign that Paul picks back up with his own ideas to refute the ideas he just quoted. He does a little gentle name-calling and sets out to refute what he just quoted. “Therefore you are inexcusable, Oh man, whoever you are who judge…”

To read more on this, here are two articles which lay this out more:

Do you read Romans like an Arian?

A Rending of Romans 1:1-4:3 in Dialogue Form

This way of reading really helps bring clarity to Paul’s argument in Romans and his theology as a whole.

Romans 3:1-9, 27-31

Another sign that Paul is using Epistolary Diatribe in Romans in found in Romans 3:1-9, and 27-31. There is a back-and-forth dialogue that seems quite obvious and natural in the letter.

When we rightly discern which ideas are Paul’s and which ideas belong to the legalistic religious teacher Paul is refuting, the entire text makes much more sense.

Read the two articles linked to above for more help on this.

1 Corinthians 6:12-14

As with Romans, the book of 1 Corinthians is full of Epistolary Diatribe. With almost every new topic Paul addresses, he first quotes what was being taught in Corinth, or what they wrote to him in a letter, and then he sets out to answer their question or refute what they are doing and teaching.

Here is how to read 1 Corinthians 6:12-14 in light of this:

Corinth: All things are lawful for me.

Paul: But all things are not helpful.

Corinth: All things are lawful for me.

Paul: But I will not be brought under the power of any.

Corinth: Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods.

Paul: But God will destroy both it and them.

Paul: (Extrapolating out to sexual immorality from this point about the stomach and food) Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

1 Corinthians 7:1-2

We can do something exactly similar in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2.

Paul: Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me [and I quote]:

Corinthian Letter: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”

Paul cautions against this: Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

Do you see? In this way, it is not Paul who is saying that it is good for a man to not touch a woman. It is the Corinthians who were saying this, and Paul is cautioning them against such practices. He goes on to explain why in the following verses.

I could go on and on. There are numerous other examples of Epistolary Diatribe in Scripture. For an exhaustive (it’s also an exhausting read … and a workout to even lift) explanation of this technique in Paul’s letters, get The Deliverance of God by Douglas Campbell. It’s an expensive book, and I don’t recommend that everyone read it, because of how technical it is, but he does provide a very good explanation and defense of Epistolary Diatribe.

Why am I bringing this up?

I had an on-stage 5-minute discussion with Greg Boyd at his ReKnew conference last September, and in my closing comment, I hinted at my belief that something else is going on in Romans 1 than what Greg Boyd thinks is going on. My discussion with Greg Boyd begins at about the 20:00 mark.

Romans 1:24 says that God gave people up, or handed them over, to their vile passions and depraved hearts. Greg Boyd thinks that this is Paul’s own idea. I think that since this idea does not at all reflect what we see in Jesus, or even what we see elsewhere in the writings of Paul, that we must conclude that something else is going on in the text.

And what is that something else? It is Epistolary Diatribe.

Romans 1:24 and the surrounding verses are not the ideas of Paul, but the ideas of a legalistic law-based religious teacher in Rome, whom Paul is quotes so that he can then refute him.

There are extensive clues all over in Romans 1-3 that this is happening, and I think that this approach helps make sense of these opening chapters of Romans in light of everything else in this letter.

So I have mentioned it to Greg, and I have mentioned it to you, but let me say it again: I do not believe that God hands us over to sin and Satan. He does not deliver us up to the destroyer. He does not withdraw His protective hand. He does not “Release the Kraken!” to have its way with us.

As we see in Jesus Christ from first to last … God always forgives, only loves, and will never, ever, ever leave us or forsake us, but will be with us, even unto the end of the age.

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Did you know that many of the New Testament letters are actually dialogues between the author and a teacher he is trying to refute? This form of writing is called Epistolary Diatribe. I introduce this idea in this article, and give you several examples. Did you know that many of the New Testament letters are actually dialogues between the author and a teacher he is trying to refute? This form of writing is called Epistolary Diatribe. I introduce this idea in this article, and give you several examples. This podcast episode is somewhat in response to Greg Boyd and the question he asked me at the ReKnew conference.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/epistolary-diatribe-letters-of-paul/ Jeremy Myers clean 53:58
Does Paul curse those who don’t love Jesus in 1 Corinthians 16:22? https://redeeminggod.com/curse-for-not-loving-jesus-1-corinthians-16-22/ Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:00:12 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46712 Does Paul pronounce a curse on anyone who does not love Jesus? Does this sound like Paul? Should you and I be cursing people who do not love Jesus? Would Jesus Himself do this? I say NO to all these questions in this post. anathema maranatha 1 Corinthians 16:22In my Gospel Dictionary course, one of the words we look at is the word anathema, which is often translated as “cursed” or “accursed” in the Bible. One of the places this word is found is 1 Corinthians 16:22, where, at the end of his letter, Paul writes this: “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.”

On first glance, this sounds like a rather harsh statement, even coming from Paul. Is Paul really pronouncing a death wish on all who are not Christians and do not love Jesus?

Such a sentiment seems so unlike Pauline, and yet of all the words in 1 Corinthians, these are among those he claims to have penned himself (1 Cor 16:21). The rest of the letter was dictated to a scribe (or amanuensis).

So what is Paul saying in 1 Corinthians 16:22?

It is the final word of this statement in 1 Corinthians 16:22 that helps sort out Paul’s words.

In English, it says “O Lord, come!” but the Greek is maranatha (which is actually Aramaic).

The final two words of this verse sound like this: anathema maranatha. You can very clearly hear the repeated sound of anatha in both words. And of course, one word ends with ma while the other begins with ma.

So what we have in 1 Corinthians 16:22 is a typical Pauline play on words. Paul, more than any other New Testament author, loved to make theological points through word play.

In Philemon, for example, Paul uses the words achrēston (useless) and euchrēston (useful) as a way of making a point about Onesimus (whose name means “Useful”) and his relation to Paul and Philemon in Christ (Christos).

A play on words helps us understand 1 Corinthians 16:22

Paul knows that some of the Christians in Corinth have been saying that Jesus was accursed (We we discussed previously in our discussion of 1 Corinthians 12:3).

1 Corinthians 16:22So he now makes the ironic and pun-filled statement that we have a choice between anathema and maranatha.

One can either look eagerly for the Lord’s coming, maranatha, and so reveal their love for Jesus Christ, or one can believe that Jesus was anathema, and therefore want nothing to do with Him and so be anathema themselves.

Those are the choices which Paul masterfully, ironically, and playfully lays out here at the end of this letter to the Corinthian church.

But even still, being anathema is not about being cursed to hell. That is not what the word means. I discuss the meaning of the word more (along with 51 other words and various passages related to each) in my online course, “The Gospel Dictionary.” Start taking the course today and learn along with others.

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Does Paul pronounce a curse on anyone who does not love Jesus? Does this sound like Paul? Should you and I be cursing people who do not love Jesus? Would Jesus Himself do this? I say NO to all these questions in this post. Does Paul pronounce a curse on anyone who does not love Jesus? Does this sound like Paul? Should you and I be cursing people who do not love Jesus? Would Jesus Himself do this? I say NO to all these questions in this post.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/curse-for-not-loving-jesus-1-corinthians-16-22/ Jeremy Myers clean 10:27
Is 1 Corinthians 12:3 the test of a true Christian? https://redeeminggod.com/1-corinthians-12-3-true-christian/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 16:00:07 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46487 Some use 1 Corinthians 12:3 as a way to determine who is a true Christian, or who is possessed by a demon. But this is a poor understanding of 1 Corinthians 12:3 (and terrible theology!). What do you think 1 Corinthians 12:3 mean? Read my post to get my view. Some people teach that 1 Corinthians 12:3 provides the test of a true Christian. I have also heard some people say that 1 Corinthians 12:3 can be used to help you know if someone is demon possessed. The verse says this:

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3).

1 Corinthians 12:3 Jesus is Lord

So what does 1 Corinthians 12:3 mean?

In 1 Corinthians 12:3 Paul makes two opposing statements which have led to much confusion among Christians.

Paul first says that nobody can say “Jesus is accursed (anathema)” when they are speaking by the Holy Spirit. He then states the opposing truth, that nobody can say “Jesus is Lord” unless they are speaking by the Holy Spirit.

Now, I just tried it, and I was able to say both statements as I read this verse out loud. Go ahead, you try it too. I bet you can verbally express both statements.

Similarly, I guarantee that if you ask an atheist or even a Satanist to say both statements, they will be able to say both as well.

So whatever Paul is actually saying, he cannot mean that only Christians are able to say “Jesus is Lord” but not say “Jesus is accursed” while those who are not true Christians can only say “Jesus is accursed” while being unable to utter the words “Jesus is Lord.”

Certainly the same thing was true in Paul’s day as it is in ours.

So 1 Corinthians 12:3 is definitely not a way to determine who is a Christian and who is not.

But what about demon possession?

Here too, it seems that there are times in the gospels where demons recognize and verbally stated the identity, power, and authority of Jesus Christ. There may not be any specific examples of demons saying “Jesus is Lord” but to say “Jesus is Lord” is to verbally recognize His power and authority, so to call Jesus “the holy one of Israel” or that Jesus is “the Son of God” (cf. Matt 8:28-29; Mark 1:24).

I wrote here about 1 John 4:2-3, which teaches a similar truth. No, Paul is not teaching in 1 Corinthians 12:3 about how to determine who is demon possessed.

So what did Paul mean when he wrote 1 Corinthians 12:3?

Jesus is LordThe letter of 1 Corinthians is focused around some issues and questions that had arisen in the Corinthian church. When Paul sets out to address the other issues and questions, he begins with a short summary of what the issue or question was (cf. 1 Cor 7:1; 8:1; 16:1). Chapters 12–14 deal with the issue of spiritual gifts, and ultimately, the gift of speaking in tongues (1 Cor 14), and so 1 Corinthians 12:1-3 is apparently the opening summary statement of what issue or question the Corinthian Christians were facing.

Since this is so, 1 Corinthians 12:3 likely provides an indication of what some of the tongue-speakers were saying. It appears that some of these “super spiritual” leaders were speaking with ecstatic utterances and in the process, saying things like “Jesus is accursed.” When challenged about these words, they claimed that they were speaking by the Holy Spirit and could only say what the Spirit gave them to say.

Paul calls them out on this and says that if someone is speaking by the Holy Spirit, he will not say, “Jesus is accursed.” Instead, when someone is speaking by the Spirit, the Spirit will lead them to say “Jesus is Lord,” and other such things that edify the body of Christ and glorify the name of Jesus.

But why would people who are speaking in tongues say that Jesus is accursed?

So what is it that these “super spiritual” ones in Corinth were claiming when they stated that Jesus was accursed?

Were they claiming that Jesus was separated from God and was spending eternity in hell? This idea is doubtful, since the resurrection of Jesus and His glorification to the right hand of the Father pretty clearly refutes such an idea (Of course, some were arguing that there was no such thing as a resurrection. See 1 Cor 15:12).

No, what seems most likely in light of other uses of anathema in the Bible (See my Gospel Dictionary Course for explanation of these texts) is that certain Corinthian teachers were saying (while supposedly under the influence of the Holy Spirit) that the reason Jesus died is because He was suffering the consequences for sin, or for living in a sinful, human body.

The Corinthian Christians suffered from an early form of Gnosticism where they saw a deep separation between the physical and the spiritual worlds so that what happened in one did not affect the other. One related belief was the idea that the physical world was evil and the spiritual world was good. Therefore, if Jesus had a truly human body, then it must have been evil or sinful, and if so, then Jesus was accursed and died as a sinful human in the flesh so that God could set Him free into the spiritual realm.

1 Cor 12:3 Jesus is lord Jesus is accursedPaul spends much of his time in his letter arguing the exact opposite. In fact, this is partly why Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 15 to argue about the physical resurrection of Jesus. Paul wanted to show that the physical world, and our physical bodies, were not inferior to the spiritual, but were partnered with the spiritual to accomplish God’s will in this world (John argues against similar beliefs in 1 John).

Jesus did have a physical body, and He was raised with a physical body, but this does not mean that He was sinful or accursed, as some of the teachers in Corinth were claiming. And even though they claimed to be “speaking by the Spirit” when they taught such things, Paul says that when people are speaking by the Holy Spirit, they will not say “Jesus is accursed” but rather, “Jesus is Lord.”

So 1 Corinthians 12:3 is not a litmus test for who is a Christian and who is not.

It is instead Paul’s introductory summary statement about some of the false ideas that various leaders in Corinth were teaching. It is also possible that the Corinthian leaders were saying such things in an attempt to explain Deuteronomy 21:23 (which Paul mentions in Galatians 3:13).

What do you think about 1 Corinthians 12:3 and the explanation above? Leave your comments below!

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Some use 1 Corinthians 12:3 as a way to determine who is a true Christian, or who is possessed by a demon. But this is a poor understanding of 1 Corinthians 12:3 (and terrible theology!). - What do you think 1 Corinthians 12:3 mean? Some use 1 Corinthians 12:3 as a way to determine who is a true Christian, or who is possessed by a demon. But this is a poor understanding of 1 Corinthians 12:3 (and terrible theology!). <br /> <br /> What do you think 1 Corinthians 12:3 mean? Read my post to get my view.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/1-corinthians-12-3-true-christian/ Jeremy Myers clean 25:30
Did Paul wish that he could go to hell in Romans 9:3? https://redeeminggod.com/paul-hell-romans-9-3/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:00:40 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46427 In Romans 9:3, Paul writes that he wishes to be accursed from Christ for his brethren, the Jewish people. Is Paul saying that he wished he could go to hell if it would mean that his Jewish brethren would believe in Jesus and become Christians? I think not, but what do you think? In Romans 9:3, Paul writes, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.”

Is Paul saying that he wished he could go to hell if it would mean that his Jewish brethren would believe in Jesus and become Christians?

Romans 9:3 accursed from Christ

No, Paul Does Not Desire to Go to Hell in Romans 9:3

First, hell is not mentioned in Romans 9:3. Paul states his desire to be accursed if this would allow his brethren, the Jewish people, to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

When people believe that the word anathema, or accursed, means “going to hell when you die,” they think that Paul is wishing he could go to hell if only all his fellow Israelites would receive eternal life instead. This sounds very noble and extremely spiritual, but Paul isn’t saying he wants to go to hell for the sake of the Jewish people.

Paul is saying that he would be willing to lose his life if it meant that his fellow Israelites would recognize Jesus as the Messiah. It is interesting that while the Jewish men in Acts 23:14 announce a curse on themselves if they don’t kill Paul, Paul here announces a desire to be cursed if it would lead to the deliverance of the Jewish people.

Indeed, Paul’s life was quite often on the line as he sought to declare the gospel to the Hebrew people. So these were not mere words on Paul’s part, but were actually indicative of Paul’s regular approach to ministry.

The Translator is the Traitor

The objection to this way of understanding Romans 9:3, of course, is the phrase “from Christ.” In the NKJV, Paul says that he wishes he “were accursed from Christ,” but other translations are not so vague. The NAS has Paul wishing to be “separated from Christ” while the NIV has Paul stating a desire to be “cut off from Christ.” Yet neither “separated” nor “cut off” are in the original Greek, but were added to the text by the translators in an attempt to explain what they thought Paul was saying.

However, rather than clarifying his point, it appears they have muddied it. While Paul’s statement could be understood as a desire to be eternally separated from Jesus Christ, this does not fit with all other uses of the term anathema in the Bible, and so it is the least likely way to understand this text.

Two other possible ways of understanding Romans 9:3 are preferable.

Two Ways of Understanding Romans 9:3

First, when Paul states his desire to be “accursed from Christ,” he could be saying that Jesus Christ is the originator of the anathema. In this way, Paul would be stating that if he were put to death (anathema), it would be something that came from Christ.

A second option, however, is more preferable still. When Paul writes about “Christ,” he usually does not have only Jesus in mind. The word Christ (Gk., Christos) is equivalent to the Hebrew word for Messiah (Heb., Messiach), and means King. But in reference to the way Paul uses the title Christ, it does not only refer to Jesus, but also to all those who are in Jesus Christ and rule and reign through Him.

In Paul’s letters, the word Christ is shorthand for “the body of Christ” or “Jesus Christ and all who are in Him.”  Since Christ and Messiah are kingly terms, when Paul speaks of the corporate life of Christ in the church, he is also thinking of the rule and reign of God on earth through the body of Christ, the church.

This final option provides the best way of reading Romans 9:3.

kingdom of god When Paul writes about being anathema from Christ, he is not stating a desire to be eternally cut off or separated from Jesus, but is instead stating his desire, if it were possible, to give up his life and his ministry within the Kingdom of God if such a sacrifice would help Israel come to the knowledge that Jesus is the Messiah.

This, of course, would still allow Paul to spend eternity with God and with all the saints.

In Romans 9:3, Paul does not have a wish for hell, but a willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of those he loves.

Such sacrificial willingness is supremely Christlike, which only goes to show that if Paul were indeed to die for Christ as he desires, this would not separate Him from Jesus but would instead be the perfect representation of Jesus in His sacrifice for us.

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In Romans 9:3, Paul writes that he wishes to be accursed from Christ for his brethren, the Jewish people. Is Paul saying that he wished he could go to hell if it would mean that his Jewish brethren would believe in Jesus and become Christians? In Romans 9:3, Paul writes that he wishes to be accursed from Christ for his brethren, the Jewish people. Is Paul saying that he wished he could go to hell if it would mean that his Jewish brethren would believe in Jesus and become Christians? I think not, but what do you think?<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/paul-hell-romans-9-3/ Jeremy Myers clean 18:11
Does 1 John teach that believers will not sin? https://redeeminggod.com/1-john-believers-will-not-sin/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:00:16 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46390 To properly understand the Gospel, we need to understand the biblical terms related to the gospel. One of these key words is the word abide. This article provides a short definition and looks at a few key texts from 1 John that use the word abide. abide 1 John The book of 1 John is a battleground book regarding the issue of good works and sin. I remember in Bible college listening to a student debate with a professor about what 1 John teaches about whether or not a Christian can commit sin. Here is how the debate went (I am quoting this debate verbatim):

Student: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God (1 John 3:9).

Professor: If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10).

Student: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God (1 John 3:9).

Professor: If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10).

Student: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God (1 John 3:9)

Professor: If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10)

Obviously, the professor (it was Dr. John Hart, by the way) then said something about how these verses cannot contradict, and so we would need to understand both in light of the other and the overall message of 1 John as a whole.

This is exactly right.

One of the keys to understanding the book of 1 John is to understand the word “abide” or “remain.”

abide

“Abide” is the first word I look at in my Gospel Dictionary Online course and here is a brief summary of how a few of the texts from 1 John can be understood when we properly define the word “Abide.”

The word “Abide”

The word abide means to remain, continue, or to dwell. It can refer to living in a house or dwelling place, or to following the rules of a particular game or contest.

The Greek word for abide is menō (3531) and just like its English translation, menō means to abide, remain, stay, continue, or dwell. It does not mean “to have, own, or possess.”

1 John 2:6

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

The first use of the word abide is in 1 John 2:6. In speaking of our life as a follower of Jesus, John writes that the one “who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

John is stating the truth that if we are abiding, or remaining, in fellowship with Jesus, then we will follow Jesus wherever He leads so that we will live and love like Jesus. There is nothing here about how to know that you have eternal life, but there is much truth here about how to know whether or not you are truly following Jesus in discipleship.

So it is extremely inaccurate to translate this verse as we find it in the NIV: “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” The implication is that if you want to have eternal life in Jesus, you need to walk as Jesus did. But this verse is not about whether or not we eternal life, for that life is a free gift of God to anyone who simply believes in Jesus for it.

Instead, 1 John 2:6 is about how to follow Jesus in our earthly lives. John says that if we are following Jesus, our lives will look like Jesus. John is not saying that if we do not walk as Jesus did then this means we do not actually have eternal life. If we do not walk as Jesus did, then we cannot claim to be His follower, and therefore, we will not have fellowship with God or with one another.

1 John 2:17

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

abide in ChristA similar understanding can be drawn from 1 John 2:17.

Again, the NIV unhelpfully makes the reader think that doing the will of God is a requirement for eternal life (“the man who does the will of God lives forever”). But John is not writing about living forever, but about abiding forever.

If you want to remain in fellowship with God, then you must do what God says. You can be a member of the family of God without being in fellowship with God. Just as the Prodigal Son did not have fellowship with his father while he was in the far country (Luke 15:11-32) yet continued to be a son the entire time, so also, those who are children of God will stay a member of His family even when they stray into sin and rebellion, but they will not abide or remain in fellowship with God when they are away from Him.

John says that if we want to remain forever in fellowship with God, then we must do God’s will. John goes on to say that this is not only how we remain in fellowship with God, but also how we abide or remain in fellowship with each other (1 John 2:19).

1 John 3:14-15

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Astute readers may object to the explanation above that a few passages in 1 John do talk about eternal life. First John 3:14-15 is one of those.

Once again, however, the NIV translation is most unhelpful when it completely removes the word abide in its translation of 1 John 3:15. It reads “… you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” From this verse, some people teach that a murderer can never be forgiven or go to heaven. John disagrees, as do Moses, King David, and the Apostle Paul (for they were all murderers).

John put the word abide in this statement for a reason and we must not take it out.

When a person murders, John says, it is because they were not abiding or remaining within the reality of eternal life, that is, in the reality of their life with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ would never lead one of His followers to hate or murder someone else.

So if a Christian lives in hate toward someone else (as frequently happens) or even ends up murdering someone (as occasionally happens), it is not because they are following Jesus, but because they have failed to follow Him. Jesus does not lead us toward hate and murder, but toward love and light.

That this is what John means is clearly indicated by the following context, especially in 1 John 3:17 where John writes that when the love of God abides in us and we are living in light of God’s love, we will help our brothers in need rather than hate them (Once again, the NIV unhelpfully deleted the word abide from 3:17).

John is not saying that if you hate your brother, you do not have eternal life. He is saying that if you hate your brother, you are not abiding in eternal life. In other words, when you hate others, it is not the eternal life you have from God that is leading you to do so, but is instead because you are following the principle of death which comes from this world.

So what about 1 John 3:9?

Well, it does contain the word “abide.” It talks about God’s seed “abiding” or “remaining” in the one who is born of God. Based on what you learned above, can you understand what John means? Feel free to offer your input in the comment section below, or join us in the Discipleship Area of RedeemingGod.com to learn more about this passage.

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To properly understand the Gospel, we need to understand the biblical terms related to the gospel. One of these key words is the word abide. This article provides a short definition and looks at a few key texts from 1 John that use the word abide. To properly understand the Gospel, we need to understand the biblical terms related to the gospel. One of these key words is the word abide. This article provides a short definition and looks at a few key texts from 1 John that use the word abide. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/1-john-believers-will-not-sin/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:30
Jonah Conclusion – What is the Book of Jonah About? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_conclusion/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:00:06 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47072 What is the book of Jonah all about? Is it about God’s heart for all the people of the world? Is it about how God wants you to get involved in world missions? In this final study of the book of Jonah, you will learn what the book of Jonah is all about. What is the book of Jonah all about? Is it about God’s heart for all the people of the world? Is it about how God wants you to get involved in world missions?

No, it is not about either one of these things, even though this is often the way you hear it taught in sermons and during Mission’s Conferences. In this final study of the book of Jonah, you will learn what the book of Jonah is all about.

Jonah conclusion

In this discussion of Jonah we look at:

  • Common theories about what Jonah is all about
  • The true message of the book of Jonah
  • What you can learn from the story of Jonah

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What is the book of Jonah all about? Is it about God’s heart for all the people of the world? Is it about how God wants you to get involved in world missions? In this final study of the book of Jonah, you will learn what the book of Jonah is all about. What is the book of Jonah all about? Is it about God’s heart for all the people of the world? Is it about how God wants you to get involved in world missions? <br /> <br /> No, it is not about either one of these things, even though this is often the way you hear it taught in sermons and during Mission’s Conferences. In this final study of the book of Jonah, you will learn what the book of Jonah is all about. <br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_conclusion/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:50
Jonah 4:10-11 – God Even Loves “Evil” People https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_10-11/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:00:55 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=47016 Jonah 4:10-11 contain the final question of God to Jonah. But Jonah does not answer. The ending of the story is very abrupt. We will see why in the final study of Jonah next week. For now, we learn that God loves all people, even those we consider evil. This study looks at Jonah 4:10-11, the final two verses in the book of Jonah. But this is not the end of our discussion of Jonah. There will be one final episode next week, Episode #100, in which we discuss what the story of Jonah is all about.

As we will see in this study, the story of Jonah has a very strange ending, but it shows us that God loves all people, even those we consider “evil.”

Jonah 4:10-11

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Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Jonah 4:10-11 contain the final question of God to Jonah. But Jonah does not answer. The ending of the story is very abrupt. We will see why in the final study of Jonah next week. For now, we learn that God loves all people, even those we consider evil. Jonah 4:10-11 contain the final question of God to Jonah. But Jonah does not answer. The ending of the story is very abrupt. We will see why in the final study of Jonah next week. For now, we learn that God loves all people, even those we consider evil. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_10-11/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:37
Jonah 4:9 – Disgusted with God https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_9/ Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:00:49 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46975 Have you ever been disgusted with God? So disgusted with how God lets evil go unchecked, and how God doesn’t seem to protect you or your family or your plans, or how God seems to bless the wicked people while not helping the righteous? Jonah was so disgusted with God that he asked God to damn him. This is what we learn from Jonah 4:9. Jonah angry at God Jonah 4:9Have you ever been disgusted with God? So disgusted with how God lets evil go unchecked, and how God doesn’t seem to protect you or your family or your plans, or how God seems to bless the wicked people while not helping the righteous?

Have you ever been so disgusted with how God seems to behave that you didn’t want anything to do with Him?

I have felt that way before. And so did Jonah. Jonah was so disgusted with God that he asked God to damn him. This, and more, is what we learn from Jonah 4:9.

The Text of Jonah 4:9

Then God said to Jonah, “Is doing good infuriating to you—because of the vine?” And he said, “Doing good is infuriating to me—unto death.”

In this discussion of Jonah 4:9 we look at:

  • What God meant by His question to Jonah.
  • Why God calls it good that a vine was destroyed.
  • How Jonah responds to God’s question.
  • Why Jonah wants God to kill and damn him.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever been disgusted with God? So disgusted with how God lets evil go unchecked, and how God doesn’t seem to protect you or your family or your plans, or how God seems to bless the wicked people while not helping the righteous? Have you ever been disgusted with God? So disgusted with how God lets evil go unchecked, and how God doesn’t seem to protect you or your family or your plans, or how God seems to bless the wicked people while not helping the righteous? <br /> <br /> Have you ever been so disgusted with how God seems to behave that you didn’t want anything to do with Him?<br /> <br /> I have felt that way before. And so did Jonah. Jonah was so disgusted with God that he asked God to damn him. This, and more, is what we learn from Jonah 4:9. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_9/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:38
Jonah 4:8 – God is a Divine Enabler https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_8/ Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:00:09 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46942 Is God a divine enabler? The book of Jonah says He is, which is why Jonah is so upset. As we see in Jonah 4:8, Jonah wants God to kill him, so that God will also kill the wicked and violent people of Nineveh. But this is not the way of God. God prefers to bless and forgive the people of Nineveh. At a conference I attended a while back, I mentioned in passing to someone that I do not believe that God punished people for their sin. The person I was talking to looked at me like I had lost my mind.

“If God doesn’t punish people for their sin,” he said, “then God is just an enabler, letting people get away with their sin.” The man thought I was going to back peddle from my position, but I didn’t. The truth is that I do believe God is a divine enabler. He is the biggest enabler the universe has ever seen.

It’s a challenging idea, I know, but it is what we are seeing here in Jonah, which somewhat explains Jonah’s frustration with God. Stick around and we’ll see more as we study Jonah 4:8 today.

Jonah 4:8

The Text of Jonah 4:8

When the sun rose, God prepared a harsh, east wind and the sun attacked Jonah’s head and he became faint and begged with all his life to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”

In this discussion of Jonah 4:8 we look at:

  • Why that harsh east wind was probably strong rather than hot
  • What it means for the sun to beat down on Jonah’s head
  • Why Jonah wanted justice
  • Why God did not want justice
  • How this reveals that God is a divine enabler

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Is God a divine enabler? The book of Jonah says He is, which is why Jonah is so upset. As we see in Jonah 4:8, Jonah wants God to kill him, so that God will also kill the wicked and violent people of Nineveh. But this is not the way of God. At a conference I attended a while back, I mentioned in passing to someone that I do not believe that God punished people for their sin. The person I was talking to looked at me like I had lost my mind. <br /> <br /> “If God doesn’t punish people for their sin,” he said, “then God is just an enabler, letting people get away with their sin.” The man thought I was going to back peddle from my position, but I didn’t. The truth is that I do believe God is a divine enabler. He is the biggest enabler the universe has ever seen. <br /> <br /> It’s a challenging idea, I know, but it is what we are seeing here in Jonah, which somewhat explains Jonah’s frustration with God. This is what we discuss in this study of Jonah 4:8.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_8/ Jeremy Myers clean 31:08
Jonah 4:7 – Is God a God of Love AND Justice? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_7/ Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:28:10 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46909 You might have heard someone say that God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. It this true? Must God punish people for their sin? Does God punish people for sin? While it is true that God is both merciful and just, both forgiving and just, the question is How? This study of Jonah 4:7 explains more. Jonah 4:7Have you ever heard someone say, “God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice?” Usually this is said in the context of a discussion on hell. You might object to the idea of torturing people forever in hell as being not very loving, and the other person might say, “Well, you know, God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice.”

In other words, God wants to forgive, but He must be just. He must punish sin. It this true? Must God punish people for their sin? Does God punish people for sin? While it is true that God is both merciful and just, both forgiving and just, the question is “How?”

This is what we discuss in this study of Jonah 4:7.

The Text of Jonah 4:7

But God prepared a worm at the rising of the dawn the next day to attack the vine so that it withered.

In this discussion of Jonah 4:7 we look at:

  • The worm that God sent to attack the plant
  • Why the rising of the sun hints at justice
  • Why Jonah wants justice
  • Why God does not want justice
  • Why God cannot both forgive AND give justice

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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You might have heard someone say that God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. It this true? Must God punish people for their sin? Does God punish people for sin? While it is true that God is both merciful and just, Have you ever heard someone say that God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice? Usually this is said in the context of a discussion on hell. You might object to the idea of torturing people forever in hell as being not very loving, and the other person might say, Well, you know, God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. <br /> <br /> In other words, God wants to forgive, but He must be just. He must punish sin. It this true? Must God punish people for their sin? Does God punish people for sin? While it is true that God is both merciful and just, both forgiving and just, the question is “How?” <br /> <br /> This is what we discuss in this study of Jonah 4:7. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_7/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:00
Jonah 4:6 – What is Evil? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_6/ Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:00:33 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46827 What is evil? Do you know evil when you see it? We all think we know what evil is, that we can recognize it, and that we are able to accurately judge between good and evil. Jonah 4:6 reveals that judging between good and evil should be left up to God. What is evil? Do you know evil when you see it? We all think we know what evil is, that we can recognize it, and that we are able to accurately judge between good and evil.

But we see today from Jonah 4:6 that judging between good and evil should be left up to God.

Jonah 4:6

The Text of Jonah 4:6

And Yahweh God prepared a vine to grow up over Jonah, to provide shade for his head, to rescue him from evil. And Jonah rejoiced over the vine; he greatly rejoiced.

In this discussion of Jonah 4:6 we look at:

  • The plant that God caused to grow over Jonah
  • Why this plant was used by God to deliver Jonah from evil
  • What this tells us about the nature of evil
  • Why Jonah was so happy about the plant

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.

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What is evil? Do you know evil when you see it? We all think we know what evil is, that we can recognize it, and that we are able to accurately judge between good and evil. Jonah 4:6 reveals that judging between good and evil should be left up to God. What is evil? Do you know evil when you see it? We all think we know what evil is, that we can recognize it, and that we are able to accurately judge between good and evil. Jonah 4:6 reveals that judging between good and evil should be left up to God.<br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_6/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:14
Jonah 4:5 – Is God a Social Justice Warrior? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_5/ Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:00:57 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46727 There are lots of calls for justice in the world today. And God is a God of justice, but most Christians are not really aware of how God carries out justice. We are going to learn more about justice today as we study Jonah 4:5. Jonah wants Nineveh brought to justice, and takes steps to see if God will act. There are lots of calls for justice in the world today. And God is a God of justice, but most Christians are not really aware of how God carries out justice. We are going to learn more about justice today as we study Jonah 4:5.

Jonah wants Nineveh brought to justice, and takes steps to see if God will act.

The Text of Jonah 4:5

But Jonah went out from the city and sat down to the east of the city and made there for himself a shelter, and sat in its shade while he waited to see what would happen to the city.

In this discussion of Jonah 4:5 we look at:

  • The similarities between Elijah and Jonah
  • Why it is significant that Jonah went out the east gate of Nineveh
  • What we know about Jonah’s little shelter
  • What God wants to teach us about His justice

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.

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There are lots of calls for justice in the world today. And God is a God of justice, but most Christians are not really aware of how God carries out justice. We are going to learn more about justice today as we study Jonah 4:5. There are lots of calls for justice in the world today. And God is a God of justice, but most Christians are not really aware of how God carries out justice. We are going to learn more about justice today as we study Jonah 4:5. <br /> <br /> Jonah wants Nineveh brought to justice, and takes steps to see if God will act. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_5/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:35
Jonah 4:4 – Have You Ever Been Angry at How God Runs the World? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_4/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:00:14 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46678 Have you ever been angry at how God runs the world? Have you ever felt like that? I have. And Jonah did too. This is one reason the book of Jonah was written. It shows a prophet who is angry at God for how God runs the world. And we see in the book what God says to Jonah about it. This is what we learn in this study of Jonah 4:4. Have you ever been angry at how God runs the world?

I was listening to a podcast recently which had an atheist on the show, and he said this to the Christian who was interviewing him, “If your God exists, then your God sucks. I could do a better job running the world than He is. Why doesn’t He stop the wars, and the violence, and the rapes, and the murders?”

Have you ever felt like that? I’ll be honest, I have.

And Jonah did too.

Jonah 4:4

This is one reason the book of Jonah was written. It shows a prophet who is angry at God for how God runs the world. And we see in the book what God says to Jonah about it.

This is what we learn in this study of Jonah 4:4.

The Text of Jonah 4:4

Then Yahweh said, “Is doing good infuriating to you?”

In this discussion of Jonah 4:4 we look at:

  • A story about “John” that helps us understand Jonah
  • God’s question to Jonah about why Jonah was angry
  • God’s invitation to question how He runs the world

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever been angry at how God runs the world? Have you ever felt like that? I have. And Jonah did too. - This is one reason the book of Jonah was written. It shows a prophet who is angry at God for how God runs the world. Have you ever been angry at how God runs the world? <br /> <br /> I was listening to a podcast recently which had an atheist on the show, and he said this to the Christian who was interviewing him, “If your God exists, then your God sucks. I could do a better job running the world than He is. Why doesn’t He stop the wars, and the violence, and the rapes, and the murders?”<br /> <br /> Have you ever felt like that? I’ll be honest, I have. <br /> <br /> And Jonah did too. <br /> <br /> This is one reason the book of Jonah was written. It shows a prophet who is angry at God for how God runs the world. And we see in the book what God says to Jonah about it. <br /> <br /> This is what we learn in this study of Jonah 4:4. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_4/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:56
Jonah 4:3 – Why Jonah Wanted God to Kill Him https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_3/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:13:52 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46404 Two pressing questions in the book of Jonah are why he fled to Tarshish instead of going to Nineveh, and why Jonah preferred to die instead of obey. In this study of Jonah 4:3, we finally discover the answer to both questions. And the answer is shocking. So shocking, in fact, most fail to see it. But I will point it out to you in this study. Jonah wormAt the very beginning of our study of Jonah, we encountered two questions about Jonah’s strange behavior in the book. When asked by God to go preach judgment against the evil city of Nineveh, Jonah instead got on a boat and headed to Tarshish.

The first question, then, was, “Why would Jonah go to Tarshish instead of obey God and preach judgment against his enemies, the Ninevites?”

And then Jonah’s behavior got even stranger. It seemed that Jonah had a death wish. Through his words and actions in Jonah 1–2, Jonah made it quite clear that he wanted to die. He had a death wish.

So the second question was “Why does Jonah want to die?”

In this study of Jonah 4:3, we finally discover the answer to both questions. And the answer is shocking. So shocking, in fact, most fail to see it. But I will point it out to you in this study.

The Text of Jonah 4:3

Now Yahweh, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”

In this discussion of Jonah 4:3 we look at:

  • Why did Jonah flee to Tarshish?
  • Why did Jonah want to die?
  • The main views about these two questions
  • The actual answer from the text to these questions
  • What the answer teaches us about God

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Two pressing questions in the book of Jonah are why he fled to Tarshish instead of going to Nineveh, and why Jonah preferred to die instead of obey. - In this study of Jonah 4:3, we finally discover the answer to both questions. At the very beginning of our study of Jonah, we encountered two questions about Jonah’s strange behavior in the book. When asked by God to go preach judgment against the evil city of Nineveh, Jonah instead got on a boat and headed to Tarshish. <br /> <br /> The first question, then, was, “Why would Jonah go to Tarshish instead of obey God and preach judgment against his enemies, the Ninevites?” <br /> <br /> And then Jonah’s behavior got even stranger. It seemed that Jonah had a death wish. Through his words and actions in Jonah 1–2, Jonah made it quite clear that he wanted to die. He had a death wish. <br /> <br /> So the second question was “Why does Jonah want to die?” <br /> <br /> In this study of Jonah 4:3, we finally discover the answer to both questions. And the answer is shocking. So shocking, in fact, most fail to see it. But I will point it out to you in this study. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_3/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:35
Jonah 4:2 – Finally! An Honest Prayer from Jonah https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_2/ Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:00:01 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46400 Have you ever been angry at God? Of course you have. Life has a way of crushing us all, and when that happens, we often get angry at God about it. When you’re angry at God, what do you do? Do you try to handle it yourself? Or do you lash out at God in your anger? In this study of Jonah 4:2, w see what Jonah does, and you will find it very encouraging for your own prayer life going forward. Jonah angry at God Jonah 4 2Have you ever been angry at God? Of course you have. Life has a way of crushing us all, and when that happens, we often get angry at God about it.

When you’re angry at God, what do you do? Do you try to handle it yourself? Or do you lash out at God in your anger? This study of Jonah 4:2 reveals what Jonah did, and you will find it very encouraging for your own prayer life going forward.

The Text of Jonah 4:2

He prayed to Yahweh and said, “Now Yahweh, was this not my word to You while I was in my own land? So that is why I fled to Tarshish. I know that You are a God who is gracious and compassionate, taking long to get angry, having great loyalty, and is sorry about doing evil.”

In this discussion of Jonah 4:2 we look at:

  • The shocking revelation that Jonah does in fact know what God is like
  • The five terms that Jonah uses to describe God
  • Why it is good and helpful to pray when we’re angry

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever been angry at God? Of course you have. Life has a way of crushing us all, and when that happens, we often get angry at God about it. - When you’re angry at God, what do you do? Do you try to handle it yourself? Have you ever been angry at God? Come on now, be honest. <br /> <br /> Of course you have. Life has a way of crushing us all, and when that happens, we often get angry at God about it. <br /> <br /> When you’re angry at God, what do you do? Do you try to handle it yourself? Or do you lash out at God in your anger? This is what we look at in this study of Jonah 4:2, and you will find it very encouraging for your own prayer life going forward. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_2/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:15
Jonah 4:1 – Jonah Accuses God of Evil https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_1/ Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:00:13 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46363 After Nineveh experiences a city-wide revival in response to his preaching, Jonah becomes angry at God in Jonah 4:1. What do you think about that? Have you ever thought that he should have rejoiced instead? In this study of Jonah 4:1, we see Jonah’s response, and come to understand that Jonah’s response is actually quite normal and natural. You and I might have had a similar response. Maybe we do. Jonah 4:1 - Jonah is angry at GodAfter Nineveh experiences a city-wide revival in response to his preaching, Jonah becomes angry at God in Jonah 4:1.

What do you think about that? Have you ever thought that he should have rejoiced instead?

Well, today, we are going to look a bit more at Jonah’s response, and come to understand that Jonah’s response is actually quite normal and natural. You and I might have had a similar response. Maybe we do.

The Text of Jonah 4:1

1This was evil to Jonah, greatly evil, and he became furious.

In this discussion of Jonah 4:1 we look at:

  • The response of Jonah to God’s deliverance of Nineveh
  • Why Jonah’s response actually makes sense to us
  • How Jonah’s response is similar to Cain’s

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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After Nineveh experiences a city-wide revival in response to his preaching, Jonah becomes angry at God in Jonah 4:1. - What do you think about that? Have you ever thought that he should have rejoiced instead? - In this study of Jonah 4:1, After Nineveh experiences a city-wide revival in response to his preaching, Jonah becomes angry at God. <br /> <br /> What do you think about that? Have you ever thought that he should have rejoiced instead? <br /> <br /> Well, today, we are going to look a bit more at Jonah’s response, and come to understand that Jonah’s response is actually quite normal and natural. You and I might have had a similar response. Maybe we do.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes for this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_4_1/ Jeremy Myers clean 27:06
Jonah 3:10 – The Repentance of God https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_10/ Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:00:58 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46336 What is repentance? What is evil? If you think you know, here are some harder questions: Does God ever need to repent? Does God commit evil? Jonah 3:10 seems to indicate that God does commit evil and does repent of it. Yikes! What does that mean? This is what we look at in this study. What is repentance? What is evil? If you think you know, here are some harder questions:  Does God ever need to repent? Does God commit evil?

Well, Jonah 3:10 seems to indicate that God does commit evil and does repent of it. Yikes! What does that mean? This is what we’ll look at in today’s study.

repentance

The Text of Jonah 3:10

Jonah 3:10. And God saw what they had done, that they repented from their evil ways, and God was sorry about the evil which He had declared to do to them, and He did not do it.

In this discussion of Jonah 3:10 we look at:

  • What is repentance?
  • Does God ever repent?
  • What is evil?
  • Does God commit evil?
  • The sad, humorous truth about repentance from evil in Jonah 3:10

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What is repentance? What is evil? If you think you know, here are some harder questions: Does God ever need to repent? Does God commit evil? - Jonah 3:10 seems to indicate that God does commit evil and does repent of it. Yikes! What does that mean? What is repentance? What is evil? If you think you know, here are some harder questions: Does God ever need to repent? Does God commit evil? <br /> <br /> Jonah 3:10 seems to indicate that God does commit evil and does repent of it. Yikes! What does that mean? This is what we look at in this study. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_10/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:00
Jonah 3:9 – What is Repentance? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_9/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:00:04 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46198 What is repentance? How do we repent? Does God ever need to repent? It is these sorts of questions we are considering today as we look at Jonah 3:9, where the king of Nineveh expresses his hope that God will repent. Jonah 3:9 what is repentanceWhat is repentance? How do we repent? Does God ever need to repent?

It is these sorts of questions we are considering today as we look at Jonah 3:9, where the king of Nineveh expresses his hope that God will repent.

The Text of Jonah 3:9

9Who knows? Perhaps God will repent and be sorry, repenting of His burning anger, and we will not be destroyed.”

In this discussion of Jonah 3:9 we look at:

  • The king’s statement that he hoped God would repent
  • The two words for repentance that the king uses and what they both mean
  • Why repentance is important for all people
  • The fact that repentance is not a condition for receiving eternal life

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What is repentance? How do we repent? Does God ever need to repent? - It is these sorts of questions we are considering today as we look at Jonah 3:9, where the king of Nineveh expresses his hope that God will repent. What is repentance? How do we repent? Does God ever need to repent? <br /> <br /> It is these sorts of questions we are considering today as we look at Jonah 3:9, where the king of Nineveh expresses his hope that God will repent. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_9/ Jeremy Myers clean 25:39
Jonah 3:6-8 – How to Beat an Evil Empire https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_6-8/ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:00:21 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46194 What if there was another way to defeat violent groups of people, other than with more violence? What if there was a better, godly ways to defeat violence? This is one of the questions we consider today from Jonah 3:6-8. This is what we are going to learn about today, as we see how God brought the violent and evil empire of Assyria to its knees in sorrow and repentance. If you want to defeat evil, if you want to beat an evil empire, the best way is to follow the way of God, which is also the way of Jesus. Jonah 3:6-8 violence and evilI don’t know what your political views are, and frankly, I don’t care too much. But however you categorize yourself, I imagine that you have strong opinions about the violent actions of the people on the other side of the political aisle. Their violence is unjustified, right? It is wrong and should be condemned in the strongest possible ways, right? It needs to stop, because it’s evil, right?

Along the same lines, this week we remembered the anniversary of the tragic terrorist attack that took place on 9-11, and western countries have been waging war against terrorist ever since. And sometimes I wonder if there is not a better way to defeat terrorists. I often believe that our violence against them just increases their violence against us.

What if there was another way to defeat violent groups of people, other than with more violence? What if there was a better, godly ways to defeat violence?

This is what we are going to learn about today, as we see how God brought the violent and evil empire of Assyria to its knees in sorrow and repentance. If you want to defeat evil, if you want to beat an evil empire, the best way is to follow the way of God, which is also the way of Jesus.

The Text of Jonah 3:6-8

6The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he got up from his throne, laid his robe down, covered himself in sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7He proclaimed a decree in Nineveh from the king and his great men, saying, “Let neither man nor cattle, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water. 8Let man and cattle cover themselves in sackcloth and cry out to God with might, every man turning from his evil ways and from the violence which is in his hands.

In this discussion of Jonah 3:6-8 we look at:

  • The call of the King of Nineveh for the city to repent
  • The significance of fasting and sackcloth for showing repentance
  • Why the king also gets the animals involved
  • The stark contrast between the people of Nineveh and Jonah
  • How God brings the evil empire of Assyria to its knees in repentance

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What if there was another way to defeat violent groups of people, other than with more violence? What if there was a better, godly ways to defeat violence? This is one of the questions we consider today from Jonah 3:6-8. - What if there was another way to defeat violent groups of people, other than with more violence? What if there was a better, godly ways to defeat violence? This is one of the questions we consider today from Jonah 3:6-8.<br /> <br /> This is what we are going to learn about today, as we see how God brought the violent and evil empire of Assyria to its knees in sorrow and repentance. If you want to defeat evil, if you want to beat an evil empire, the best way is to follow the way of God, which is also the way of Jesus. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_6-8/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:12
Jonah 3:5 – It Only Takes a Spark https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_5/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:00:28 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46190 God can start a city-wide revival through the smallest of acts. You don’t have to be Billy Graham. This is what we are going to learn today from Jonah 3:5. Did you know that you can evangelize and be a witness for the Gospel as you go about your day and interact with others without having to share the Four Spiritual Laws with them, or walk them through the Romans’ Road? It’s true! You do not have to stand on the street corner shouting through a bullhorn or go door-to-door interrupting people in their homes to share the gospel.

God can start a city-wide revival through the smallest of acts. You don’t have to be Billy Graham. This is what we are going to learn today from Jonah 3:5.

Jonah 3:5 - Nineveh repents

The Text of Jonah 3:5

So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

In this discussion of Jonah 3:5 we look at:

  • The surprising response of the people of Nineveh to the preaching of Jonah
  • Why the response of the people of Nineveh had nothing to do with false gods
  • Why the response of the people of Nineveh had almost nothing to do with Jonah
  • How you and I can be encouraged that God will work through us to reach a lost and dying world

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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God can start a city-wide revival through the smallest of acts. You don’t have to be Billy Graham. This is what we are going to learn today from Jonah 3:5. Did you know that you can evangelize and be a witness for the Gospel as you go about your day and interact with others without having to share the Four Spiritual Laws with them, or walk them through the Romans’ Road? It’s true! You do not have to stand on the street corner shouting through a bullhorn or go door-to-door interrupting people in their homes to share the gospel. <br /> <br /> God can start a city-wide revival through the smallest of acts. You don’t have to be Billy Graham. This is what we are going to learn today from Jonah 3:5. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_5/ Jeremy Myers clean 19:42
Jonah 3:4 – Jonah’s School of Evangelism https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_4/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 15:00:19 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46062 How do you evangelize? Do you use tracts? Invite people to church, or to an evangelism crusade? Do you use the Roman’s Road? Do you shout into a bullhorn that people are going to hell unless they repent? In Jonah 3:4, we see how Jonah shared the message of God to the people of Nineveh. We’ll also see that his approach to evangelism left much to be desired. How do you evangelize? Do you use tracts? Invite people to church, or to an evangelism crusade? Do you use the Roman’s Road? Do you shout into a bullhorn that people are going to hell unless they repent?

In Jonah 3:4, we see how Jonah shared the message of God to the people of Nineveh. We’ll also see that his approach to evangelism left much to be desired.

Jonah 3:4 evangelism

The Text of Jonah 3:4

Jonah began to go into the city, walking for one day. He cried out, saying, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned!”

In this discussion of Jonah 3:4 we look at:

  • How Jonah evangelized the city of Nineveh
  • Why Jonah’s obedience was … less than satisfactory
  • How we too can evangelize others today

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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How do you evangelize? Do you use tracts? Invite people to church, or to an evangelism crusade? Do you use the Roman’s Road? Do you shout into a bullhorn that people are going to hell unless they repent? - In Jonah 3:4, How do you evangelize? Do you use tracts? Invite people to church, or to an evangelism crusade? Do you use the Roman’s Road? Do you shout into a bullhorn that people are going to hell unless they repent? <br /> <br /> In Jonah 3:4, we see how Jonah shared the message of God to the people of Nineveh. We’ll also see that his approach to evangelism left much to be desired. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_4/ Jeremy Myers clean 21:55
Jonah 3:3 – Making Assyria Great Again https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_3/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:00:06 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46055 What does God think of evil people? What does God think of people who disobey Him, and are opposed to Him and His ways? Well, according to Jonah 3:3, God thinks they are great. We’re going to see that the wicked and violent people of Nineveh are great to God. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and so this is why I titled today’s podcast Making Assyria Great Again. Assyria was in modern day Iraq, so maybe I could have said Make Iraq Great Again. I know, that’s a challenging thought. But if God thinks they’re great, who are we to disagree? This is what we learn from Jonah 3:3. Jonah 3:3 Make Assyria Great AgainWhat does God think of evil people? What does God think of people who disobey Him, and are opposed to Him and His ways? Well, according to Jonah 3:3, God thinks they’re great. We’re going to see that the wicked and violent people of Nineveh are great to God.

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and so this is why I titled today’s podcast Making Assyria Great Again. Assyria was in modern day Iraq, so maybe I could have said Make Iraq Great Again. I know, that’s a challenging thought. But if God thinks they’re great, who are we to disagree? This is what we learn from Jonah 3:3.

The Text of Jonah 3:3

So Jonah got up and walked to Nineveh, according to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh was a great city to God, a three-days’ walk.

In this discussion of Jonah 3:3 we look at:

  • How Jonah finally obeyed God
  • The size of Nineveh
  • What it means that the city was great “to God”
  • How Jonah 3:3 reveals God’s love for all people

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What does God think of evil people? What does God think of people who disobey Him, and are opposed to Him and His ways? Well, according to Jonah 3:3, God thinks they are great. We’re going to see that the wicked and violent people of Nineveh are great ... What does God think of evil people? What does God think of people who disobey Him, and are opposed to Him and His ways? Well, according to Jonah 3:3, God thinks they’re great. We’re going to see that the wicked and violent people of Nineveh are great to God.<br /> <br /> Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and so this is why I titled today’s podcast Making Assyria Great Again. Assyria was in modern day Iraq, so maybe I could have said Make Iraq Great Again. I know, that’s a challenging thought. But if God thinks they’re great, who are we to disagree? This is what we learn from Jonah 3:3.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_3/ Jeremy Myers clean 26:58
Jonah 3:2 – Stepping off the Hamster Wheel https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_2/ Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:00:26 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=46052 Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a hamster wheel in the life of discipleship to Jesus? That you hear the same things over and over? You go through the same steps over and over? That you just keep going round and round and never seem to make any progress or do anything new? If so, what you learn today from Jonah 3:2 will be helpful for you. discipleship hamster wheel Jonah 3:2Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a hamster wheel in the life of discipleship to Jesus? That you hear the same things over and over? You go through the same steps over and over? That you just keep going round and round and never seem to make any progress or do anything new?

If so, this study of Jonah 3:2 will be helpful for you.

The Text of Jonah 3:2

“Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out to it the message that I give you.”

In this discussion of Jonah 3:2 we look at:

  • How Jonah 3:2 is nearly identical to Jonah 1:2
  • What the differences between 3:2 and 1:2 reveal about God
  • How we today can get of the “Hamster Wheel” of discipleship and go in a new direction with God

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a hamster wheel in the life of discipleship to Jesus? That you hear the same things over and over? You go through the same steps over and over? That you just keep going round and round and never seem to make any p... Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a hamster wheel in the life of discipleship to Jesus? That you hear the same things over and over? You go through the same steps over and over? That you just keep going round and round and never seem to make any progress or do anything new? <br /> <br /> If so, what you learn from this Bible study of Jonah 3:2 will be helpful for you. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes for this study, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_2/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:00
Jonah 3:1 – The God of Second Chances https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_1/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:00:45 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45904 Jonah 3 begins in almost exactly the same way as Jonah 1. Jonah 3:1 is nearly identical to Jonah 1:1. Jonah 3:1 reveals that God is a God of second chances. After Jonah’s blatant rebellion and shameful disobedience of chapter 1, and after Jonah’s self-righteous, unrepentant behavior in chapter 2, God still calls Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to it the message that God to him. Jonah 3 begins in almost exactly the same way as Jonah 1. Jonah 3:1 is nearly identical to Jonah 1:1.

Jonah 3:1 reveals that God is a God of second chances. After Jonah’s blatant rebellion and shameful disobedience of chapter 1, and after Jonah’s self-righteous, unrepentant behavior in chapter 2, God still calls Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to it the message that God to him.

Jonah 3:1 second chances

The Text of Jonah 3:1

Then the word of Yahweh came to Jonah a second time,

In this discussion of Jonah 3:1 we look at:

  • Why Jonah 3:1 is nearly identical to Jonah 1:1
  • What this reveals to us about the character of God
  • How you should respond when God gives you a second chance

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.

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Jonah 3 begins in almost exactly the same way as Jonah 1. Jonah 3:1 is nearly identical to Jonah 1:1. - Jonah 3:1 reveals that God is a God of second chances. After Jonah’s blatant rebellion and shameful disobedience of chapter 1, Jonah 3 begins in almost exactly the same way as Jonah 1. Jonah 3:1 is nearly identical to Jonah 1:1.<br /> <br /> Jonah 3:1 reveals that God is a God of second chances. After Jonah’s blatant rebellion and shameful disobedience of chapter 1, and after Jonah’s self-righteous, unrepentant behavior in chapter 2, God still calls Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to it the message that God to him. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_3_1/ Jeremy Myers clean 19:19
Jonah 2:10 – What God Thinks of Jonah’s Prayer https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_10/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 15:00:15 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45813 As we have studied through Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2, I have been fairly critical of Jonah and what he says. But what does God think of Jonah’s prayer? This question is answered in Jonah 2:10. This verse contains God’s response to Jonah’s prayer, which is what we look at in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. As we have studied through Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2, I have been fairly critical of Jonah and what he says. I have said that his prayer, while full of Scripture and pious language, is actually a big sham. He praises himself, condemns the sailors, and reveals a lot of self-righteousness and pride.

Now that was my take on the prayer. And honestly, I hate being critical of someone else’s prayer. My prayer life isn’t great, and I imagine that most of my prayers are quite selfish as well.

So why did I feel it was okay to be critical of Jonah’s prayer? Well, because it is in Scripture, and Scripture is given to teach us something, I believe that Jonah’s prayer is given to teach us how not to pray.

I believe this because of what we read in Jonah 2:10, where see God’s response to Jonah’s prayer. It doesn’t really matter what I think of Jonah’s prayer, or what you think. What matter’s is what God thinks. Right?

Well, that is what we see today in Jonah 2:10. This verse contains God’s response to Jonah’s prayer, which is what we are studying in this episode of the One Verse Podcast.

Jonah 2:10 prayer

The Text of Jonah 2:10

So the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:10 we look at:

  • The last verse in Jonah 2 provides God’s response to Jonah’s prayer
  • Why Jonah 2:10 is the punchline to the joke of Jonah’s prayer
  • How we can learn how to pray by looking at Jonah’s prayer

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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As we have studied through Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2, I have been fairly critical of Jonah and what he says. But what does God think of Jonah’s prayer? - This question is answered in Jonah 2:10. This verse contains God’s response to Jonah’s prayer, As we have studied through Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2, I have been fairly critical of Jonah and what he says. I have said that his prayer, while full of Scripture and pious language, is actually a big sham. He praises himself, condemns the sailors, and reveals a lot of self-righteousness and pride. <br /> <br /> Now that was my take on the prayer. And honestly, I hate being critical of someone else’s prayer. My prayer life isn’t great, and I imagine that most of my prayers are quite selfish as well. <br /> <br /> So why did I feel it was okay to be critical of Jonah’s prayer? Well, because it is in Scripture, and Scripture is given to teach us something, I believe that Jonah’s prayer is given to teach us how not to pray. <br /> <br /> I believe this because of what we read in Jonah 2:10, where see God’s response to Jonah’s prayer. It doesn’t really matter what I think of Jonah’s prayer, or what you think. What matter’s is what God thinks. Right? <br /> <br /> Well, that is what we see today in Jonah 2:10. This verse contains God’s response to Jonah’s prayer, which is what we are studying in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_10/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:07
Jonah 2:9 – Salvation is from the Lord https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_9/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:00:46 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45782 If I say “salvation is from the Lord,” what do you think of? If you are like most Christians, you think of how God forgives your sins so you can receive eternal life and go to heaven when you die. Well, the phrase “salvation is from the Lord” is found in Jonah 2:9, which are looking at in this podcast episode, and we will see that it means something quite different from what many Christians think it means. If I say “salvation is from the Lord,” what do you think of?

If you are like most Christians, you think of how God forgives your sins so you can receive eternal life and go to heaven when you die.

Well, the phrase “salvation is from the Lord” is found in Jonah 2:9, which are looking at in this podcast episode, and we will see that it means something quite different from what many Christians think it means.

Jonah 2:9 salvation is of the Lord

The Text of Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:9 we look at:

  • The last verse of Jonah’s prayer
  • How Jonah continues to praise himself and condemn the sailors
  • How we continue to see Jonah’s self-righteousness in his prayer
  • What is meant by the phrase “salvation is from the Lord.”

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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If I say “salvation is from the Lord,” what do you think of? - If you are like most Christians, you think of how God forgives your sins so you can receive eternal life and go to heaven when you die. - Well, If I say “salvation is from the Lord,” what do you think of? <br /> <br /> If you are like most Christians, you think of how God forgives your sins so you can receive eternal life and go to heaven when you die. <br /> <br /> Well, the phrase “salvation is from the Lord” is found in Jonah 2:9, which are looking at in this podcast episode, and we will see that it means something quite different from what many Christians think it means. <br /> <br /> To view the shownotes for this episode, or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_9/ Jeremy Myers clean 21:20
Jonah 2:7-8 – Is your theology idolatry? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_7-8/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:00:39 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45168 Do you think that theology can be an idol? That is, do you think that we sometimes allow our study of God, or even what we think we know about God, to get in the way of actually worshiping and obeying God? In other words, do you think we Christians ever make our theology of God more important than God Himself? Is it possible for our theology to become idolatry? That is what we discuss in my podcast on Jonah 2:7-8. Do you think that theology can be an idol?

That is, do you think that we sometimes allow our study of God, or even what we think we know about God, to get in the way of actually worshiping and obeying God? In other words, do you think we Christians ever make our theology of God more important than God Himself?

Is it possible for our theology to become idolatry?

That is what we will discuss today as we look at Jonah 2:7-8.

Jonah 2:7-8 Idolatry

The Text of Jonah 2:7-8

When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; and my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:7-8 we look at:

  • Why Jonah 2:7 repeats the central thought from Jonah 2:4
  • Why Jonah 2:8 is a reference to the sailors from Jonah 1
  • Why the best translation of Jonah 2:8b is “neglect their shame”
  • If everything Jonah says about the sailors is wrong, and instead points to himself, what about the first line of Jonah 2:8? Is that also a statement about Jonah? Does Jonah worship vain idols?

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Do you think that theology can be an idol? - That is, do you think that we sometimes allow our study of God, or even what we think we know about God, to get in the way of actually worshiping and obeying God? In other words, Do you think that theology can be an idol? <br /> <br /> That is, do you think that we sometimes allow our study of God, or even what we think we know about God, to get in the way of actually worshiping and obeying God? In other words, do you think we Christians ever make our theology of God more important than God Himself? <br /> <br /> Is it possible for our theology to become idolatry? <br /> <br /> That is what we will discuss today as we look at Jonah 2:7-8. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_7-8/ Jeremy Myers clean 35:55
Jonah 2:5-6 – How (and how not) to Pray https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_5-6/ Thu, 25 May 2017 15:00:27 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45224 What is your prayer life like? Do you ever wonder if you are praying properly? As we continue to look at Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:5-6, we learn some more lessons today about how to pray, and how not to pray. What is your prayer life like? Do you ever wonder if you are praying properly? As we continue to look at Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:5-6, we learn some more lessons today about how to pray, and how not to pray.

Jonah 2:5-6

The Text of Jonah 2:5-6

The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head.

I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:5-6 we look at:

  • Why Jonah 2:5-6 are a repeat of Jonah 2:2-3
  • How Jonah 2:5-6 point the reader to Genesis 1
  • Why Jonah’s prayer is not a model prayer
  • Some lessons on how (and how not) to pray

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What is your prayer life like? Do you ever wonder if you are praying properly? As we continue to look at Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:5-6, we learn some more lessons today about how to pray, and how not to pray. What is your prayer life like? Do you ever wonder if you are praying properly? As we continue to look at Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:5-6, we learn some more lessons today about how to pray, and how not to pray. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_5-6/ Jeremy Myers clean 31:30
Jonah 2:4 – Obedience is Better than Sacrifice https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_4/ Thu, 11 May 2017 15:00:41 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45135 In Jonah 2:4, Jonah states that he prayed to worship God in His holy temple. In this way, Jonah seems to take credit for his deliverance from drowning. And though he has no interest in obeying God by going to Nineveh, Jonah is happy about the prospect of worshiping God in the temple. But which do you think God would prefer? In Jonah 2:4, Jonah states that he prayed to worship God in His holy temple. In this way, Jonah seems to take credit for his deliverance from drowning.

And though he has no interest in obeying God by going to Nineveh, Jonah is happy about the prospect of worshiping God in the temple. But which do you think God would prefer?
Jonah 2:4 Jonahs prayer

The Text of Jonah 2:4

Then I said, “I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:4 we look at:

  • Why Jonah blames God for what happened to him
  • Why Jonah takes credit for being delivered from drowning
  • What God actually wanted from Jonah

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In Jonah 2:4, Jonah states that he prayed to worship God in His holy temple. In this way, Jonah seems to take credit for his deliverance from drowning. And though he has no interest in obeying God by going to Nineveh, In Jonah 2:4, Jonah states that he prayed to worship God in His holy temple. In this way, Jonah seems to take credit for his deliverance from drowning. And though he has no interest in obeying God by going to Nineveh, Jonah is happy about the prospect of worshiping God in the temple. But which do you think God would prefer?<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_4/ Jeremy Myers clean 21:24
Jonah 2:3 – Why Jonah Feared Drowning https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_3/ Thu, 04 May 2017 15:00:44 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45093 Do you fear death? I do not. But as we study the book of Jonah, we see that Jonah sort of wanted to die, but he did not want to die by drowning. We see why in this study of Jonah 2:3. We see that Jonah prefers to die by digestion that to die by drowning. I’ve encountered several people recently who fear death. I don’t know if you fear death or not. Personally, I don’t.

But as we study the book of Jonah, we see that Jonah sort of wanted to die, but he didn’t want to die by drowning. We see why in this study of Jonah 2:3. We see that Jonah prefers to die by digestion that to die by drowning. Isn’t that strange?

Jonah 2:3 Jonah prays

The Text of Jonah 2:3

For you cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:3 we look at:

  • Why Jonah says God threw him into the sea when it was the sailors
  • The description of the sea and what it means for Jonah
  • Why Jonah prefers to die by digestion than to die by drowning

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Do you fear death? I do not. - But as we study the book of Jonah, we see that Jonah sort of wanted to die, but he did not want to die by drowning. We see why in this study of Jonah 2:3. We see that Jonah prefers to die by digestion that to die by dr... I’ve encountered several people recently who fear death. I don’t know if you fear death or not. Personally, I don’t. <br /> <br /> But as we study the book of Jonah, we see that Jonah sort of wanted to die, but he didn’t want to die by drowning. We see why in this study of Jonah 2:3. We see that Jonah prefers to die by digestion that to die by drowning. Isn’t that strange? <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_3/ Jeremy Myers clean 25:00
Jonah 2:2 – Jonah Went to Hell https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_2/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:00:27 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45034 When the Bible talks about hell, or hades, or sheol, a completely different picture emerges about hell than most people think. We talk a bit about this today when we look at Jonah 2:2, where Jonah goes to hell. Jonah 2:2When you think of hell, what is it you think of? A place of burning? Fire? Demons gleefully torturing people as they scream in terror? If you are like most people, that is likely what the word “hell” brings to mind.

But did you know that such a depiction of hell does not come from the Bible at all? It comes from ancient pagan beliefs; not from the Bible.

When the Bible talks about hell, or hades, or sheol, a completely different picture emerges. This is what we talk about in this podcast episode on Jonah 2:2, where Jonah goes to hell.

The Text of Jonah 2:2

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:2 we look at:

  • Why the first half of verse 2 is not officially the prayer of Jonah.
  • The significance of Jonah “crying out to Yahweh”
  • What Jonah means when he says he went to hell
  • A brief discussion of hell in the Bible

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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When the Bible talks about hell, or hades, or sheol, a completely different picture emerges about hell than most people think. We talk a bit about this today when we look at Jonah 2:2, where Jonah goes to hell. When you think of hell, what is it you think of? A place of burning? Fire? Demons gleefully torturing people as they scream in terror? If you are like most people, that is likely what the word “hell” brings to mind. <br /> <br /> But did you know that such a depiction of hell does not come from the Bible at all? It comes from ancient pagan beliefs; not from the Bible. <br /> <br /> When the Bible talks about hell, or hades, or sheol, a completely different picture emerges. This is what I discuss in this podcast on Jonah 2:2, where Jonah goes to hell. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_2/ Jeremy Myers clean 31:08
A Theory of Everything (A summary of René Girard’s Mimetic Theory) https://redeeminggod.com/rene-girard-mimetic-theory/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:00:14 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=45006 My two recent books have referenced René Girard's Mimetic theory. If you want to learn more about this theory, and why it is so important for understanding life, Scripture, and ourselves, below is a video I recorded about all of this last year. My two recent books have referenced René Girard’s Mimetic theory. If you want to learn more about this theory, and why it is so important for understanding life, Scripture, and ourselves, below is a video I recorded about all of this last year.

The video is an hour long, so grab a drink and a bowl of popcorn.

And yes, my video recording and editing ability is almost Hollywood quality. But at least you can see what I look like and where I do all my writing and podcast recording…

I mention some of the information from this video in the following two books:

Also, if you listen to my One Verse Podcast, you might have noticed that some of these themes came up as I worked through Genesis 2-4.

And if you want to read more about this theory, I recommend you start with the following:

Questions? Comments? Let me know!

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast.


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My two recent books have referenced René Girard's Mimetic theory. If you want to learn more about this theory, and why it is so important for understanding life, Scripture, and ourselves, below is a video I recorded about all of this last year. My two recent books have referenced René Girard’s Mimetic theory. If you want to learn more about this theory, and why it is so important for understanding life, Scripture, and ourselves, here is an explanation of this theory that I recorded last year.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/rene-girard-mimetic-theory/ Jeremy Myers clean 55:57
Jonah 2:1 – Jonah’s Self-Righteous Prayer https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_1/ Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:00:22 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44948 In my own prayer life, I find it helpful to pray the prayers of Scripture. I sometimes pray the prayer of Daniel in in Daniel 9. Or the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 6. Or any of the numerous prayers of Paul found throughout his letters, such as the one at the end of Ephesians 3. I especially find it helpful to pray the Psalms. There is a Psalm for every emotion. If you do something like this, the one prayer in the Bible I encourage to never pray is the prayer of Jonah in Jonah 2. It may be the worst prayer in the Bible. That is what we are going to begin seeing today as we look at Jonah 2:1. In my own prayer life, I find it helpful to pray the prayers of Scripture. I sometimes pray the prayer of Daniel in in Daniel 9. Or the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 6. Or any of the numerous prayers of Paul found throughout his letters, such as the one at the end of Ephesians 3. I especially find it helpful to pray the Psalms. There is a Psalm for every emotion.

If you do something like this, the one prayer in the Bible I encourage to never pray is the prayer of Jonah in Jonah 2. It may be the worst prayer in the Bible.

That is what we are going to begin seeing today as we look at Jonah 2:1.

Jonah 2:1 prayer of Jonah

The Text of Jonah 2:1

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly.

In this discussion of Jonah 2:1 we look at:

  • Why Jonah’s prayer is not a model prayer
  • How to know that Jonah’s prayer is self-righteous and self-centered

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In my own prayer life, I find it helpful to pray the prayers of Scripture. I sometimes pray the prayer of Daniel in in Daniel 9. Or the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 6. Or any of the numerous prayers of Paul found throughout his letters, In my own prayer life, I find it helpful to pray the prayers of Scripture. I sometimes pray the prayer of Daniel in in Daniel 9. Or the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 6. Or any of the numerous prayers of Paul found throughout his letters, such as the one at the end of Ephesians 3. I especially find it helpful to pray the Psalms. There is a Psalm for every emotion. <br /> <br /> If you do something like this, the one prayer in the Bible I encourage to never pray is the prayer of Jonah in Jonah 2. It may be the worst prayer in the Bible. <br /> <br /> That is what we are going to begin seeing today as we look at Jonah 2:1. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_2_1/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:00
Jonah 1:17 – Jonah, Jesus, and Sacrifice https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_17/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 15:00:58 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44709 It is Easter week, and it just so happens that we are looking at Jonah 1:17 today, in which we read that Jonah spent three days in the belly of a fish. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus uses this event to talk about how He will spend three days in the grave. Jonah 1:17It’s Easter week, and it just so happens that we are looking at Jonah 1:17 today, in which we read that Jonah spent three days in the belly of a fish. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus uses this event to talk about how He will spend three days in the grave.

The Text of Jonah 1:17

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

In this discussion of Jonah 1:17 we look at:

  • Whether or not the great fish was a whale
  • Whether the fish was deliverance or discipline
  • The parallels between Matthew 12:40 and Jonah 1:17
  • Whether or not God wants sacrifices

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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It is Easter week, and it just so happens that we are looking at Jonah 1:17 today, in which we read that Jonah spent three days in the belly of a fish. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus uses this event to talk about how He will spend three days in the grave. It is Easter week, and it just so happens that we are looking at Jonah 1:17 today, in which we read that Jonah spent three days in the belly of a fish. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus uses this event to talk about how He will spend three days in the grave.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_17/ Jeremy Myers clean 22:15
Jonah 1:13-16 – Man Overboard! https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_13-16/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:00:25 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44656 After Jonah teaches some terrible theology the sailors, we see in Jonah 1:13-16 how the sailors respond. In the process, the author of Jonah clearly contrasts the behavior of the sailors with the behavior of Jonah. As we consider this contrast, we will also learn why some non-Christians today are better Christians than some Christians. Jonah 1:13-16After Jonah teaches some terrible theology the sailors, we see in Jonah 1:13-16 how the sailors respond. In the process, the author of Jonah clearly contrasts the behavior of the sailors with the behavior of Jonah. As we consider this contrast, we will also learn why some non-Christians today are better Christians than some Christians.

The Text of Jonah 1:13-16

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.

In this discussion of Jonah 1:13-16 we look at:

  • Why it is important that the sailors tried to return to the shore
  • What the sailors meant when they asked not to be found guilty of innocent blood
  • Why the sailors prayed, offered sacrifices, and made vows to God
  • How the book contrasts the sailors with Jonah

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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After Jonah teaches some terrible theology the sailors, we see in Jonah 1:13-16 how the sailors respond. In the process, the author of Jonah clearly contrasts the behavior of the sailors with the behavior of Jonah. As we consider this contrast, After Jonah teaches some terrible theology the sailors, we see in Jonah 1:13-16 how the sailors respond. In the process, the author of Jonah clearly contrasts the behavior of the sailors with the behavior of Jonah. As we consider this contrast, we will also learn why some non-Christians today are better Christians than some Christians. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_13-16/ Jeremy Myers clean 27:01
Jonah 1:10-12 – Jonah Teaches Terrible Theology https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_10-12/ Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:00:16 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44563 Today we are going to look at Jonah 1:10-12 in which Jonah teaches some very bad theology to the sailors. We will look at what he says that is so wrong, and then try to find an explanation for why he would teach theology that he knew was so obviously wrong. Jonah 1:10-12Have you ever taught anyone some bad theology? I have. Sometimes I go back to look through the sermons I preached when I was a pastor fifteen years ago, and I cringe at some of the things I said back then. Sometimes I wonder if fifteen years from now I will cringe at some of the stuff I teach today…

But I never purposefully taught anything wrong. I think most Bible teachers try their hardest to accurately present the truth of Scripture to others.

But in Jonah 1:10-12, we see that in response to some questions from the sailors, Jonah teaches them some very bad theology about God. Furthermore, I am convinced that Jonah knew for a fact that what he was teaching them was wrong.

So that raises the question … “Why would Jonah teach such terrible theology?” This is what we will see in Jonah 1:10-12. We will see what Jonah taught that was so wrong, and we also begin to develop a theory about why Jonah taught such terrible theology, even though he knew it was wrong.

We will also see that we might be teaching the same sort of terrible theology today. Listen to the episode to find out!

The Text of Jonah 1:10-12

Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”—for the sea was growing more tempestuous.

And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.”

In this discussion of Jonah 1:10-12 we look at:

  • The additional questions from the sailors
  • The additional answers from Jonah
  • Why Jonah’s answer in 1:12 is terrible theology
  • Why we Christians often give the exact same answer to the world today

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Today we are going to look at Jonah 1:10-12 in which Jonah teaches some very bad theology to the sailors. We will look at what he says that is so wrong, and then try to find an explanation for why he would teach theology that he knew was so obviously w... Today we are going to look at Jonah 1:10-12 in which Jonah teaches some very bad theology to the sailors. We will look at what he says that is so wrong, and then try to find an explanation for why he would teach theology that he knew was so obviously wrong. <br /> <br /> We will see what he teaches that is so bad, and consider some questions about why he teaches this terrible theology. We will also see how we ourselves might be teaching similar theology. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_10-12/ Jeremy Myers clean 34:18
Jonah 1:9 – Jonah and the Fear of the Lord https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_9/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:00:38 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44551 Do you fear God? Are you afraid of Him? Should you be afraid of God? Does God want you to be afraid of Him? As we study Jonah 1:9. We see that Jonah fears God and he instructs the sailors to do the same thing. But is Jonah right in what he says? Should he fear God? Should the sailors? Should you and I fear God? fear of the Lord Jonah 1:9

Do you fear God? Are you afraid of Him? Should you be afraid of God? Does God want you to be afraid of Him?

If you answered “No” to any of those questions, how do you understand verses like Proverbs 1:7 which tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge? Or Deuteronomy 10:12 which says “What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways …”

This issue is what we are looking at today as we study Jonah 1:9. We see that Jonah fears God and he instructs the sailors to do the same thing. But is Jonah right in what he says? Should he fear God? Should the sailors? Should you and I fear God? Stick around for today’s study and we’ll see!

The Text of Jonah 1:9

So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

In this discussion of Jonah 1:9 we look at:

  • The initial response of Jonah to the questions of the sailors
  • Jonah’s description of God
  • Jonah’s statement that he fears god
  • Whether or not we should fear God

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Do you fear God? Are you afraid of Him? Should you be afraid of God? Does God want you to be afraid of Him? As we study Jonah 1:9. We see that Jonah fears God and he instructs the sailors to do the same thing. But is Jonah right in what he says? Do you fear God? Are you afraid of Him? Should you be afraid of God? Does God want you to be afraid of Him?<br /> <br /> If you answered “No” to any of those questions, how do you understand verses like Proverbs 1:7 which tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge? Or Deuteronomy 10:12 which says “What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways …” <br /> <br /> This issue is what we are looking at today as we study Jonah 1:9. We see that Jonah fears God and he instructs the sailors to do the same thing. But is Jonah right in what he says? Should he fear God? Should the sailors? Should you and I fear God? Listen to this podcast to learn more. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_9/ Jeremy Myers clean 39:46
Jonah 1:6-8 – Jonah’s Questionable Behavior https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_6-8/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:00:22 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44378 Jonah 1:6-8 shows some questions that Jonah gets asked. The sailors on board the ship reveal a better understanding of God, and life, and justice, and right and wrong than Jonah reveals in his answers. When you respond to the theological questions of others, what are you teaching them about God? I always find it interesting when non-Christians challenge and question Christians on our behavior. It’s pretty bad when the unbelieving world has a better sense of justice and a better understanding of right and wrong than Christians. But then, we’re often to blame, for the answers we give to them are so often … well, just flat out wrong.

This is what we are looking at this week and next week in our study of Jonah. Today, we will see some questions that Jonah gets asked, and next week we will see how Jonah answers. In both cases, the sailors on board the ship reveal a better understanding of God, and life, and justice, and right and wrong than Jonah reveals. We’ll see the questions of the sailors today in Jonah 1:6-8.

Jonah 1:6-8 casting lots

In Jonah 1, Jonah has placed his own life in danger, as well as the lives of everybody on board his ship. In verses 6-11, the sailors play a little game of 20 questions with Jonah. The answers Jonah provides are … surprising and shocking. Now, I cannot cover Jonah 1:6-11 all in one episode, so we are going to take two episodes to cover these verses.

We will look at most of the questions today, from Jonah 1:6-8, and then next week we will see how Jonah answers the questions of the sailors.

The Text of Jonah 1:6-8

So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”

And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.

Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?”

In this discussion of Jonah 1:6-8 we look at:

  • The question of the captain to Jonah
  • The questions of the sailors to Jonah

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Jonah 1:6-8 shows some questions that Jonah gets asked. The sailors on board the ship reveal a better understanding of God, and life, and justice, and right and wrong than Jonah reveals in his answers. When you respond to the theological questions of o... I always find it interesting when non-Christians challenge and question Christians on our behavior. It’s pretty bad when the unbelieving world has a better sense of justice and a better understanding of right and wrong than Christians. But then, we’re often to blame, for the answers we give to them are so often … well, just flat out wrong. <br /> <br /> This is what we are looking at this week and next week in our study of Jonah. Today, we will see some questions that Jonah gets asked, and next week we will see how Jonah answers. In both cases, the sailors on board the ship reveal a better understanding of God, and life, and justice, and right and wrong than Jonah reveals. We’ll see the questions of the sailors today in Jonah 1:6-8.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_6-8/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:11
Jonah 1:5 – Dozing Off While Others Drown https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_5/ Thu, 09 Mar 2017 16:00:19 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44341 In Jonah 1:5, we gain an interesting insight into the heart of Jonah … and in the process, an insight into our own hearts as well. Remember, we’re on this journey with Jonah, and on this journey, we learn some important things about God, about Jonah, and especially about ourselves. Jonah 1:5I hope you’re ready to get challenged.

Do you remember in the previous episode, how I told you that by studying the book of Jonah we go on a journey with Jonah? And by doing this, we join Jonah in learning some surprising things about God, but also, some surprising things about ourselves?

Yes, well, it begins today. You are about to see your own face in the mirror, and I’m warning you now, it’s not a pretty sight. I hope you’re up for it! It’s going to get convicting!

In Jonah 1:5, we gain an interesting insight into the heart of Jonah … and in the process, an insight into our own hearts as well. Remember, we’re on this journey with Jonah, and on this journey, we learn some important things about God, about Jonah, and especially about ourselves.

The Text of Jonah 1:5

Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship in into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.

In this discussion of Jonah 1:5 we look at:

  • The response of the sailors to the great storm
  • The response of Jonah to the great storm
  • Why Jonah’s response mirrors our own response in life

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In Jonah 1:5, we gain an interesting insight into the heart of Jonah … and in the process, an insight into our own hearts as well. Remember, we’re on this journey with Jonah, and on this journey, we learn some important things about God, about Jonah, In Jonah 1:5, we gain an interesting insight into the heart of Jonah … and in the process, an insight into our own hearts as well. Remember, we’re on this journey with Jonah, and on this journey, we learn some important things about God, about Jonah, and especially about ourselves. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_5/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:14
Jonah 1:4 – Does God Send Storms? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_4/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:00:07 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44287 Jonah 1:4 says that God sent a storm. Does God send storms into our lives to punish us? If you sin, will God send disasters into your life to punish you? Does God send sickness, disease, famines, floods, earthquakes, or the loss of jobs, income, health, or even the death of a family member? Is this what God does? In Jonah 1:4, God sends a storm upon Jonah and the ship that carries him to Tarshish. Is this how God normally behaves? It’s a practical question that all of us face in life from time to time.

Jonah 1:4 god sends storms

My wife and I are experiencing some difficulties in life right now. Quite often, it feels like we are in a storm, being buffeted by wind and waves. We sometimes have trouble keeping our heads above water.

My wife mentioned our struggles to someone this week, and they sent an email to her saying that the reason we are facing this storm is because we are sinning. The person who wrote the email said that God sent these troubles upon us because our views about church and about the LGBT community were sinful. We have been deceived by Satan, the email said, and so this is why God is punishing us with the storms of life.

People read in the Bible that Jonah disobeys God and so God sends a storm. Then when people see others facing storms in life, they says, “Oh, well, it must be because you are disobeying God.”

Is that really how God works? Does God send storms into our lives to punish us? If you sin, will God send disasters into your life to punish you? Does God send sickness, disease, famines, floods, earthquakes, or the loss of jobs, income, health, or even the death of a family member? Is this what God does?

Well, lots of people think so, and it is because of verses in the Bible like Jonah 1:4 that they think so. This is the verse we are looking at today, and by doing so we will hope to answer some of these questions.

The Text of Jonah 1:4

But the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.

In this discussion of Jonah 1:4 we look at:

  • The description of the great storm in Jonah 1:4
  • Why some people think God sends storms upon sinners
  • Why Jesus reveals that God does not send storms to punish sinners
  • If God does not punish sin with storms of destruction, then what is going on in Jonah 1;4?
  • A brief preview and overview of the message in the book of Jonah

Resources:

While you wait for my book on the violence of God to come out, below are some additional resources that I have found helpful, and you might too…

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Jonah 1:4 says that God sent a storm. - Does God send storms into our lives to punish us? If you sin, will God send disasters into your life to punish you? Does God send sickness, disease, famines, floods, earthquakes, or the loss of jobs, income, Bible verses like Jonah 1:4 cause Christians to think that God sends storms upon sinners to punish them. But is this what Jonah 1:4 is teaching? No!<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_4/ Jeremy Myers clean 41:46
Jonah 1:3 –Slapping God in the Face https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_3/ Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:00:22 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44243 In Jonah 1:3, Jonah pretty much slaps God in the face. He spits in God’s face. To put it more crudely, Jonah gives God the finger. We will see in future episodes how God responds. If you feel like you have sinned pretty badly, then make sure you keep listening to the podcast because you will be both challenged and encouraged. I published a post this week on the blog about how a true understanding of grace allows you to just go sin all you want. If that is really what you want.

I am going to write more about that in the coming weeks, but I received several emails from readers who wanted to know if I meant intentional sin as well.

If a person intentionally and knowingly sins, will God still love them, forgive them, accept them, and keep them in His family?

The answer is yes. There is no sin, intentional or unintentional, which will cause God to stop loving you and forgiving you. This is a big theme in a lot of my writings and teachings. I teach a lot more about this in my course, The Gospel According to Scripture, but I’m bringing it up now because in the verse we are looking at today from Jonah, we see Jonah commit a pretty big sin. And he does it intentionally.

Jonah 1:3

Jonah pretty much slaps God in the face. He spits in God’s face. To put it more crudely, Jonah gives God the finger. You can’t get much worse or much more intentional than that. And we will see in future episodes how God responds. If you feel like you have sinned pretty badly, then make sure you keep listening to the podcast because you will be both challenged and encouraged.

Speaking of which, are you enjoying this podcast? If so, do me a favor. Can you invite someone else to listen to it? Send them an email. Tweet about it. Put a post on Facebook. If you have a blog, write a blog post about it. You can use the sharing buttons above to help with this.

If you want to know what link to share with others, here is the link for iTunes.

I very often wonder if publishing these podcasts is worth it. They take a lot of time to prepare, record, edit, and publish, and since I have a full time job, a wife, three kids, and am trying to write books, prepare courses, and run my blog in there as well, I sometimes wonder if this Podcast is worth the effort. So if you think it is, help me increase the number of people who listen to it by inviting others to listen to it as well. So if you enjoy this podcast and want me to keep them coming, invite other people through email, Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or just word of mouth to subscribe as well. Thanks!

The Text of Jonah 1:3

But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

In this discussion of Jonah 1:3 we look at:

  • What it means for Jonah to flee to Tarshish instead of go to Nineveh
  • The significance of the term “the presence of the Lord”
  • What the story is telling us by the repeated use of the word “down”

Resources:

Jonah 1:3

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In Jonah 1:3, Jonah pretty much slaps God in the face. He spits in God’s face. To put it more crudely, Jonah gives God the finger. - We will see in future episodes how God responds. - If you feel like you have sinned pretty badly, In Jonah 1:3, Jonah pretty much slaps God in the face. He spits in God’s face. To put it more crudely, Jonah gives God the finger. <br /> <br /> We will see in future episodes how God responds. <br /> <br /> If you feel like you have sinned pretty badly, then make sure you keep listening to the podcast because you will be both challenged and encouraged.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_3/ Jeremy Myers clean 27:08
Jonah 1:2 – God Calls Jonah https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_2/ Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:00:22 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44162 In Jonah 1:2, we see that God calls Jonah to go preach against Nineveh. This podcast episode looks at why this happened, and also looks briefly at Jonah’s surprising response. Jonah 1 2Do you have an enemy? Maybe it was President Obama. Maybe now it is President Trump. Or maybe it’s the Islamic terrorists in Iran. Or the religious nut jobs here in the United States.

Maybe it is someone you don’t necessarily think of as an enemy, but you just can’t stand to be around them. Maybe a family member, a coworker, or a neighbor?

Anyway, imagine what you would do if God showed up in your living room later today, and said, “Hey! You know that person you just can’t stand? Well, I can’t stand them either, and I have a message of judgment I want you to tell them.”

If that happened to you, what would you do?

Well, that is exactly what happened to Jonah.

In Jonah 1:2, God calls Jonah to go preach against Nineveh. This podcast episode looks at why God said this, and concludes with a brief look at Jonah’s Jonah’s surprising response.

Jonah 1:3

The Text of Jonah 1:1-3

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”

But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish …

In this discussion of Jonah 1:2 we look at:

  • A reminder that Jonah was a popular prophet
  • A bit about how evil Nineveh was
  • Why God wanted Jonah to preach against Nineveh
  • Jonah’s surprising response to God’s instructions

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In Jonah 1:2, we see that God calls Jonah to go preach against Nineveh. This podcast episode looks at why this happened, and also looks briefly at Jonah’s surprising response. In Jonah 1:2, we see that God calls Jonah to go preach against Nineveh. We’re going to talk about why this happened, and also look briefly at Jonah’s surprising response. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_2/ Jeremy Myers clean 23:09
Jonah 1:1 – Who Was Jonah? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_1/ Thu, 09 Feb 2017 16:00:41 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44129 It is critically important as we begin our study of the book of Jonah to understand some of the historical background to the book. If you do not understand the background, you will not understand the point of this story either. Once we understand this background information and what was going on in the days of Jonah, we will see that the message of the book of Jonah is quite appropriate for us today as well. Do you think God would ever allow the country of Iran or Iraq to invade the United States and win? There are many people in the United States who claim that such a thing could never happen.

But what if it did? What would you think about God and how He is running the world? What would you think about the claims that some people make today about the United States being the best nation on earth and under the protection and blessing of God?

Well, surprisingly, it is exactly these sorts of questions that the book of Jonah helps answer. This is what we are discuss in this episode of the One Verse Podcast when we look at Jonah 1:1.

who is Jonah

It is critically important as we begin our study of the book of Jonah to understand some of the historical background to the book. If you do not understand the background, you will not understand the point of this story either. Once we understand this background information and what was going on in the days of Jonah, we will see that the message of the book of Jonah is quite appropriate for us today as well.

The Text of Jonah 1:1

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

In this discussion of Jonah 1:1 we look at:

  • When the events in the book of Jonah take place
  • When the book of Jonah was written
  • Who wrote the book of Jonah
  • Why the book of Jonah was written
  • The background story of Jonah

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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It is critically important as we begin our study of the book of Jonah to understand some of the historical background to the book. If you do not understand the background, you will not understand the point of this story either. Do you think God would ever allow the country of Iran or Iraq to invade the United States and win? There are many people in the United States who claim that such a thing could never happen. <br /> <br /> But what if it did? What would you think about God and how He is running the world? What would you think about the claims that some people make today about the United States being the best nation on earth and under the protection and blessing of God? <br /> <br /> Well, surprisingly, it is exactly these sorts of questions that the book of Jonah helps answer. This is what we discuss in this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we look at Jonah 1:1. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_1_1/ Jeremy Myers clean 27:51
Jonah Introduction – What is God Like? https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_introduction/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:00:19 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=44082 This is an Introduction to the story of Jonah. It looks at two ways Jonah is often taught and also presents a few central themes to the book. Jonah

This podcast episode begins a study of the Book of Jonah.

If you think you know the story of Jonah, stick around anyway. I predict you will learn some things from Jonah that you have never seen in this story before.

In this discussion of Jonah we look at:

  • Why you don’t know the story of Jonah
  • How the “big issues” of Jonah are non-issues when the story is really understood
  • Since Jonah is an excellent story … it must be read as a story
  • One central question in the book is “What is God like?”

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This is an Introduction to the story of Jonah. It looks at two ways Jonah is often taught and also presents a few central themes to the book. This is an Introduction to the story of Jonah. It looks at two ways Jonah is often taught and also presents a few central themes to the book. <br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/jonah_introduction/ Jeremy Myers clean 21:30
7 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation https://redeeminggod.com/book-of-revelation/ Fri, 30 Dec 2016 16:00:03 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43881 Stop wondering what the book of Revelation is about. Learn these 7 keys to the Book of Revelation, and start your study of this book in the right direction. In this podcast episode, I give you 7 keys to understanding the Book of Revelation. If you want to understand the Book of Revelation, this podcast will send you off in the right direction.

book of revelation

In this discussion of the Book of Revelation we look at:

  • The 7 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation
  • Revelation is Highly Symbolic
  • Revelation is not about “When?”
  • Revelation Shows Us How to Read the Bible
  • Revelation Reveals the Heart of Humanity
  • Revelation Reveals the Heart of God
  • Revelation Reveals that God is like Jesus
  • Revelation Presents us with a Choice

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Stop wondering what the book of Revelation is about. Learn these 7 keys to the Book of Revelation, and start your study of this book in the right direction. In this podcast, I give you 7 keys to understanding the Book of Revelation. If you want to understand the Book of Revelation, this podcast will send you off in the right direction.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/book-of-revelation/ Jeremy Myers clean 57:19
[#61] The New Creation in the Gospel of John https://redeeminggod.com/new_creation/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 16:00:20 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43822 I have said numerous times before that Genesis forms the foundation for the entire Bible. Today we are going to jump forward into the New Testament and take a brief glimpse at how the Gospel of John pulls themes and ideas from Genesis 1–3, and also how the first Epistle of John pulls themes from Genesis 4. gospel of john I have said numerous times before that Genesis forms the foundation for the entire Bible. Today we are going to jump forward into the New Testament and take a brief glimpse at how the Gospel of John pulls themes and ideas from Genesis 1–3, and also how the first Epistle of John pulls themes from Genesis 4.

Hopefully, what you learn today will allow you to read the Gospel of John and the Letters of John in a whole new light.

In this discussion of the Gospel of John we look at:

  • How John uses Genesis as foundational themes in his Gospel account
  • How various events in the Gospel point us back to events in Genesis
  • How the first Epistle of John is also focused on Genesis 4

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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I have said numerous times before that Genesis forms the foundation for the entire Bible. Today we are going to jump forward into the New Testament and take a brief glimpse at how the Gospel of John pulls themes and ideas from Genesis 1–3, I have said numerous times before that Genesis forms the foundation for the entire Bible. Today we are going to jump forward into the New Testament and take a brief glimpse at how the Gospel of John pulls themes and ideas from Genesis 1–3, and also how the first Epistle of John pulls themes from Genesis 4. <br /> <br /> Hopefully, what you learn today will allow you to read the Gospel of John and the Letters of John in a whole new light. <br /> <br /> To see the shownotes or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/new_creation/ Jeremy Myers clean 33:56
[#60] Genesis 4 Overview – Sin and Civilization https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_summary/ Thu, 15 Dec 2016 16:00:53 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43764 What event is at the foundation of all human society and civilization? We see what the answer is as we look at Genesis 4:16-26. It is important to understand what forms the foundation of society and civilization because doing so helps us understand our own lives, and also what is going on all around us all the time in current events and culture. This episode of the One Verse Podcast provides a short summary of Genesis 4. This helps you get up to speed in this Podcast if you have missed most of the studies of Genesis 4. There are similar summary episodes for Genesis 1, 2, and 3 as well.

Genesis 4 summary

Of course, in today’s episode, we don’t look only at Genesis 4, but also look at the flood account in Genesis 6–8, and a verse or two out of Genesis 50. Doing so shows us what Genesis is all about. This is important, since Genesis is the introduction to the Bible.

If you want to understand Genesis and the Bible as a whole, make sure you listen to today’s One Verse Podcast.

In this discussion of Genesis 4 we look at:

  • A summary of how sin and scapegoating leads to civilization
  • A look ahead to Genesis 6–11 and the rest of Scripture
  • How the book of Genesis ends the way it begins, showing us the overall message of the book of Genesis
  • The alternative to violence which God reveals in Genesis, Scripture, and ultimately, in Jesus Christ

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What event is at the foundation of all human society and civilization? We see what the answer is as we look at Genesis 4:16-26. - It is important to understand what forms the foundation of society and civilization because doing so helps us understand... This episode of the One Verse Podcast provides a short summary of Genesis 4. This helps you get up to speed in this Podcast if you have missed most of the studies of Genesis 4. There are similar summary episodes for Genesis 1, 2, and 3 as well. <br /> <br /> Of course, in today’s episode, we don’t look only at Genesis 4, but also look at the flood account in Genesis 6–8, and a verse or two out of Genesis 50. Doing so shows us what Genesis is all about. This is important, since Genesis is the introduction to the Bible. So if you want to understand Genesis and the Bible as a whole, make sure you listen to today’s One Verse Podcast.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_summary/ Jeremy Myers clean 38:30
[#59] Genesis 4:16-26 – How Civilization is Founded on Sin, Death, and Religion https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_16-26/ Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:00:18 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43742 What event is at the foundation of all human society and civilization? We see what the answer is as we look at Genesis 4:16-26. It is important to understand what forms the foundation of society and civilization because doing so helps us understand our own lives, and also what is going on all around us all the time in current events and culture. What event is at the foundation of all human society and civilization? We see what the answer is as we look at Genesis 4:16-26.

It is important to understand what forms the foundation of society and civilization because doing so helps us understand our own lives, and also what is going on all around us all the time in current events and culture.

Lamech Genesis 4:16-26

The Text of Genesis 4:16-26

Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.

Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

Then Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!
For I have killed a man for wounding me,
Even a young man for hurting me.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

In this discussion of Genesis 4:16-26 we look at:

  • What Genesis 4 reveals about the human problem of sin
  • How rivalry and scapegoating form the foundation of human civilization and culture
  • How rivalry and violence escalate out of control
  • The fact that God is the ultimate scapegoat for human violence
  • The origin of religion

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What event is at the foundation of all human society and civilization? We see what the answer is as we look at Genesis 4:16-26. - It is important to understand what forms the foundation of society and civilization because doing so helps us understand... What event is at the foundation of all human society and civilization? We see what the answer is as we look at Genesis 4:16-26. <br /> <br /> It is important to understand what forms the foundation of society and civilization because doing so helps us understand our own lives, and also what is going on all around us all the time in current events and culture.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_16-26/ Jeremy Myers clean 30:00
[#58] Genesis 4:13-15 – Three Ways out of Violence https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_13-15/ Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:00:54 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43584 There is lots of turmoil in the United States right now because of the election results. The increasing turmoil makes me nervous because history, theology, and psychology show that there are typically only three ways out of such turmoil, and I am not yet sure which way our country will go. In this episode, I briefly discuss these three ways out of violence and turmoil, and explain from Genesis 4:13-15 which of these three approaches humans usually choose. Genesis 4:13-15 Cain punishmentThere is lots of turmoil in the United States right now because of the election results. The increasing turmoil makes me nervous because history, theology, and psychology show that there are typically only three ways out of such turmoil, and I am not yet sure which way our country will go.

In this episode, I briefly discuss these three ways out of violence and turmoil, and explain from Genesis 4:13-15 which of these three approaches humans usually choose.

The Text of Genesis 4:13-15

And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”

And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

In this discussion of Genesis 4:13-15 we look at:

  • The three main ways humans deal with rivalry and violence
  • The way that Adam, Eve, and Cain chose
  • Why Cain in not whining about his punishment in Genesis 4:13
  • Why Cain blames God in Genesis 4:13-14
  • Why God takes the blame and protects Cain
  • How god tries to stop the cycle of violence

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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There is lots of turmoil in the United States right now because of the election results. The increasing turmoil makes me nervous because history, theology, and psychology show that there are typically only three ways out of such turmoil, There is lots of turmoil in the United States right now because of the election results. The increasing turmoil makes me nervous because history, theology, and psychology show that there are typically only three ways out of such turmoil, and I am not yet sure which way our country will go.<br /> <br /> In this episode, I briefly discuss these three ways out of violence and turmoil, and explain from Genesis 4:13-15 which of these three approaches humans usually choose.<br /> <br /> To view the show notes or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_13-15/ Jeremy Myers clean 36:54
[#57] Genesis 4:9-12 – From the Blood of Abel https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_9-12/ Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:00:42 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43523 In Genesis 4:10 we read that the blood of Abel cried out to God from the ground. Have you ever wondered what it said? Well, the book of Hebrews gives us a hint, and we will be looking at this question in today’s podcast episode. In Genesis 4:10 we read that the blood of Abel cried out to God from the ground. Have you ever wondered what it said? Well, the book of Hebrews gives us a hint, and we look at these questions in this podcast episode.

Genesis 4:9-12

We will also be discussing how Cain implied that God was guilty for the death of Abel, and why God did not curse Cain for murdering his brother.

Learn how to deal with election fallout and difficult situations by seeing from Genesis 4:9-12 how God deals with Cain (and all of us).

The Text of Genesis 4:9-12

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”

In this discussion of Genesis 4:9-12 we look at:

Cain and Abel

  • How Cain implies God is guilty for Abel’s death.
  • Why the curse upon Cain is not a curse from God.
  • Why it is not always true that the evil get punished and the good get blessed.
  • What the blood of Abel cried out from the ground.
  • The better word spoken by the blood of Jesus.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In Genesis 4:10 we read that the blood of Abel cried out to God from the ground. Have you ever wondered what it said? Well, the book of Hebrews gives us a hint, and we will be looking at this question in today’s podcast episode. In Genesis 4:10 we read that the blood of Abel cried out to God from the ground. Have you ever wondered what it said? Well, the book of Hebrews gives us a hint, and we will be looking at this question in today’s podcast episode. <br /> <br /> We will also be discussing how Cain implied that God was guilty for the death of Abel, and why God did not curse Cain for murdering his brother. It’s a jam-packed episode, so buckle your seatbelts and hold on to your hats! <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_9-12/ Jeremy Myers clean 43:30
[#56] Genesis 4:8 – The Founding Murder https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_8/ Wed, 02 Nov 2016 15:00:35 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43482 If you have been listening to my podcast for the past year, you may recall that as we were working our way through Genesis 3, I kept mentioning the six foundational and revolutionary truths from Genesis 2, 3, and 4. We looked at the first 5 of these, and then I haven’t really mentioned too much more about them. So maybe you were thinking, “Hey! What about the sixth?” Well, that is what we are finally getting to today. Genesis 4:8 contains the sixth and final revolutionary and foundational truth. Understanding this will help you understand the Bible, God, yourself, your relationships, politics, economics, history, and pretty much everything else that goes on in the world. Genesis 4:8 contains the account of Cain murdering his brother Abel. This is the first death in Scripture and reveals something significant about death and violence.

Genesis 4:8 Cain and Abel

If you have been listening to my podcast for the past year, you may recall that as we were working our way through Genesis 3, I kept mentioning the six foundational and revolutionary truths from Genesis 2, 3, and 4. We looked at the first 5 of these, and then I haven’t really mentioned too much more about them. So maybe you were thinking, “Hey! What about the sixth?”

Well, that is what we are finally getting to today. Genesis 4:8 contains the sixth and final revolutionary and foundational truth. Understanding this will help you understand the Bible, God, yourself, your relationships, politics, economics, history, and pretty much everything else that goes on in the world.

The Text of Genesis 4:8

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

In this discussion of Genesis 4:8 we look at:

  • The murder of Abel by Cain
  • Why the first death in Scripture is a fratricide
  • The sixth foundational and revolutionary truth from Genesis 2–4
  • What Genesis 4:8 teaches us about God, ourselves, Scripture, history, politics, economics, and pretty much everything else in life.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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If you have been listening to my podcast for the past year, you may recall that as we were working our way through Genesis 3, I kept mentioning the six foundational and revolutionary truths from Genesis 2, 3, and 4. We looked at the first 5 of these, If you have been listening to my podcast for the past year, you may recall that as we were working our way through Genesis 3, I kept mentioning the six foundational and revolutionary truths from Genesis 2, 3, and 4. We looked at the first 5 of these, and then I haven’t really mentioned too much more about them. So maybe you were thinking, “Hey! What about the sixth?” <br /> <br /> Well, that is what we are finally getting to today. Genesis 4:8 contains the sixth and final revolutionary and foundational truth. Understanding this will help you understand the Bible, God, yourself, your relationships, politics, economics, history, and pretty much everything else that goes on in the world. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_8/ Jeremy Myers clean 33:05
[#55] Genesis 4:6-7 – The First Sin in the Bible https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_6-7/ Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:00:41 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43440 Where is the first sin in the Bible? What is the first sin in the Bible? I explain more in this podcast episode. Genesis 4:6-7 anger of cainIf I were to ask you when the first sin in the Bible occurs, you might point to Genesis 2 when Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet did you know that their actions in Genesis 2 are not referred to as “sin”?

Sin is not actually mentioned until Genesis 4:7, which is one of the verses we look at in this study.

The Text of Genesis 4:6-7

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

In this discussion of Genesis 4:6-7 we look at:

  • Why Cain becomes Angry
  • The nature and source of sin
  • The causes and consequences of sin
  • The truth about sin

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Where is the first sin in the Bible? What is the first sin in the Bible? I explain more in this podcast episode. If I were to ask you when the first sin in the Bible occurs, you might point to Genesis 2 when Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet did you know that their actions in Genesis 2 are not referred to as “sin”? <br /> <br /> Sin is not actually mentioned until Genesis 4:7, which is one of the verses we look at in this study. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_6-7/ Jeremy Myers clean 30:24
[#54] Genesis 4:4-5 – Why Did God Reject Cain’s Offering? https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_4-5/ Thu, 20 Oct 2016 16:24:20 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43405 Have you ever wondered why God did not accept Cain’s offering in Genesis 4? You have probably heard some sermons on this or have read about it in books. In this study of Genesis 4:4-5, we look at some of the theories of why God rejected Cain’s offering, and then seek an answer to this question by looking at why God accepted Abel’s offering, and what this tells us about Cain’s offering. Have you ever wondered why God did not accept Cain’s offering in Genesis 4? You have probably heard some sermons on this or have read about it in books. In this study of Genesis 4:4-5, we look at some of the theories of why God rejected Cain’s offering, and then seek an answer to this question by looking at why God accepted Abel’s offering, and what this tells us about Cain’s offering.

Genesis 4:4-5

The Text of Genesis 4:4-5

Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

In this discussion of Genesis 4:4-5 we look at:

  • The three theories about why God did not respect Cain’s offering
  • Why Abel brought an offering in the first place
  • Why Abel’s offering was not a blood sacrifice
  • Why God respected Abel’s offering
  • Why God did not respect Cain’s offering

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever wondered why God did not accept Cain’s offering in Genesis 4? You have probably heard some sermons on this or have read about it in books. In this study of Genesis 4:4-5, we look at some of the theories of why God rejected Cain’s offering... Have you ever wondered why God did not accept Cain’s offering in Genesis 4? You have probably heard some sermons on this or have read about it in books. In this study of Genesis 4:4-5, we look at some of the theories of why God rejected Cain’s offering, and then seek an answer to this question by looking at why God accepted Abel’s offering, and what this tells us about Cain’s offering.<br /> <br /> The shownotes for this study are found at: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_4-5/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:56
[#53] Genesis 4:1-3 – Raising Cain https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_1-3/ Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:52:19 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43351 Have you ever wondered why Cain brought an offering of fruit to God in Genesis 4? Have you wondered what was wrong with Cain’s offering so that God did not accept it? In Episode 53 of the One Verse Podcast, we look at Genesis 4:1-3 for answers to these questions. Have you ever wondered why Cain brought an offering of fruit to God in Genesis 4? Have you wondered what was wrong with Cain’s offering so that God did not accept it?

In Episode 53 of the One Verse Podcast, we look at Genesis 4:1-3 for answers to these questions.

The Text of Genesis 4:1-3

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.”  Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.
Genesis 4:1-3 Cain

In this discussion of Genesis 4:1-3 we look at:

  • The birth of Cain and Abel shows that Adam and Eve were still serving as the Image of God
  • The story that Cain and Abel grew up hearing
  • The reason Cain brought an offering of fruit to God

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever wondered why Cain brought an offering of fruit to God in Genesis 4? Have you wondered what was wrong with Cain’s offering so that God did not accept it? - In Episode 53 of the One Verse Podcast, Have you ever wondered why Cain brought an offering of fruit to God in Genesis 4? Have you wondered what was wrong with Cain’s offering so that God did not accept it?<br /> <br /> In Episode 53 of the One Verse Podcast, we look at Genesis 4:1-3 for answers to these questions.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_1-3/ Jeremy Myers clean 24:45
[#52] Genesis 4 Introduction – The Story we Find Ourselves In https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_intro/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 15:00:29 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43274 This study looks at Genesis 4. And rather than dive right into the text, I thought I would first tell you a story. Hearing this story will help you better understand what is going on in this critical chapter of the Bible. Today we begin to look at Genesis 4. And rather than dive right into the text, I thought I would first tell you a story. Hearing this story will help you better understand what is going on in this critical chapter of the Bible.

genesis 4 story

In this discussion of Genesis 4 we look at:

  • A story which helps us understand what is going on in Genesis 4

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This study looks at Genesis 4. And rather than dive right into the text, I thought I would first tell you a story. Hearing this story will help you better understand what is going on in this critical chapter of the Bible. This study looks at Genesis 4. And rather than dive right into the text, I thought I would first tell you a story. Hearing this story will help you better understand what is going on in this critical chapter of the Bible. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_4_intro/ Jeremy Myers clean 41:20
[#51] Genesis 3 Summary – The Redemption of Sin https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_summary/ Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:00:00 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43241 This episode of the One Verse Podcast provides a summary of what we have seen from Genesis 3. There is still some new stuff in this episode, so if you have listened to all the previous episodes on Genesis 3, you will still want to listen to this one. But if you are just joining us on the One Verse Podcast and have missed most of the previous episodes, this one will get you up to speed. Of course, since what I share today might be a bit challenging, you might also want to go back and listen to some of the episodes from Genesis 3 to get a further explanation and understanding of what we discuss today. Genesis 3

This episode of the One Verse Podcast provides a summary of what we have seen from Genesis 3. There is still some new stuff in this episode, so if you have listened to all the previous episodes on Genesis 3, you will still want to listen to this one.

But if you are just joining us on the One Verse Podcast and have missed most of the previous episodes, this one will get you up to speed. Of course, since what I share today might be a bit challenging, you might also want to go back and listen to some of the episodes from Genesis 3 to get a further explanation and understanding of what we discuss today.

In this Summary of Genesis 3 we look at:

  • The basic question “What has gone wrong with the world?”
  • The fact that Genesis 3 does not talk about sin
  • What God’s response to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 reveals what God thinks about our own disobedience
  • Three truths about sin that most of us fail to understand

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This episode of the One Verse Podcast provides a summary of what we have seen from Genesis 3. There is still some new stuff in this episode, so if you have listened to all the previous episodes on Genesis 3, you will still want to listen to this one. This episode of the One Verse Podcast provides a summary of what we have seen from Genesis 3. There is still some new stuff in this episode, so if you have listened to all the previous episodes on Genesis 3, you will still want to listen to this one. But if you are just joining us on the One Verse Podcast and have missed most of the previous episodes, this one will get you up to speed. Of course, since what I share today might be a bit challenging, you might also want to go back and listen to some of the episodes from Genesis 3 to get a further explanation and understanding of what we discuss today. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_summary/ Jeremy Myers clean 34:00
[#50] Genesis 3:22-24 – The Blessing of Death https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_22-24/ Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:00:11 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43203 What do you think about death? Maybe, if you are like most people, you try not to think about it. But if and when you are faced with the issue of death, what are your thoughts about it? In this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we look at Genesis 3:22-24, I am going to invite you to start thinking about death differently than the way most people think about it. Genesis 3:22-24 garden of edenDeath.

I know; it’s not a popular topic. But it is what we are talking about today on the podcast.

What do you think about death? Maybe, if you are like most people, you try not to think about it. But if and when you are faced with the issue of death, what are your thoughts about it? In this episode of the One Verse Podcast, I am going to invite you to start thinking about death differently than the way most people think about it.

Believe it or not, while most people view death as a curse and a punishment from God, a proper understanding of death allows us to see it as a blessing and an act of kindness from God. That’s what we’re going to see today in Genesis 3:22-24.

The Text of Genesis 3:22-24

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

In this discussion of Genesis 3:22-24 we look at:

  • How Genesis would go if we were writing the story.
  • How death actually was introduced.
  • Why death is not a curse form God, but a kindness.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What do you think about death? Maybe, if you are like most people, you try not to think about it. But if and when you are faced with the issue of death, what are your thoughts about it? In this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we look at Genesis 3:2... In Genesis 3:22-24, God drives Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, so that they will die. This is not a punishment, but a blessing and a kindness.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_22-24/ Jeremy Myers clean 34:26
[#49] Genesis 3:20-21 – The Emperor Has No Clothes https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_20-21/ Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:00:50 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43053 When did the first sacrifice in Scripture take place? Lots of people think it happened in Genesis 3:20-21 when God gave tunics of skin to Adam and Eve before He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden. But this is not the first sacrifice in the Bible. When did the first sacrifice in Scripture take place? Lots of people think it happened in Genesis 3:20-21 when God gave “tunics of skin” to Adam and Eve before He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:20-21

The idea often taught from this is that from the very beginning, sin demands payment, sin demands sacrifice, sin demands death.

Well, I show you something quite a bit different in this Podcast Episode from Genesis 3:20-21.

The Text of Genesis 3:20-21

And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

In this discussion of Genesis 3:20-21 we look at:

  • Why Adam named his wife Eve
  • The meaning of “Eve”
  • Why it is significant that God gave clothes to Adam and Eve
  • Where the clothes came from
  • Why there is no sacrifice or death in Genesis 3:21

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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When did the first sacrifice in Scripture take place? Lots of people think it happened in Genesis 3:20-21 when God gave tunics of skin to Adam and Eve before He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden. But this is not the first sacrifice in the Bible. When did the first sacrifice in Scripture take place? Lots of people think it happened in Genesis 3:20-21 when God gave tunics of skin to Adam and Eve before He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden. But this is not the first sacrifice in the Bible.<br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_20-21/ Jeremy Myers clean 33:56
[#48] Genesis 3:17-19 – The Curse Upon the Ground https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_17-19/ Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:00:56 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=43034 Did God curse Adam after he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Nope. Remember, God does not curse humans and God does not punish. Of course, in Genesis 3:17-19, God does pronounce a curse, so we will see what that is about in this episode. Our study will also lead us into a little fun speculation. Did God curse Adam after he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Nope. Remember, God does not curse humans and God does not punish. Of course, in Genesis 3:17-19, God does pronounce a curse, so we’ll see what that is about in today’s episode. Our study will also lead us into a little fun speculation.

Genesis 3 17-19 curse Adam ground

The Text of Genesis 3:17-19

Genesis 3:17-19. Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:17-19 we look at:

  • The consequences upon man for eating from the Tree of Knowledge
  • Why it was not wrong for Adam to listen to his wife
  • The fact that Adam and mankind is not cursed
  • The three consequences for the curse upon the earth

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Did God curse Adam after he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Nope. Remember, God does not curse humans and God does not punish. Of course, in Genesis 3:17-19, God does pronounce a curse, Did God curse Adam after he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Nope. Remember, God does not curse humans and God does not punish. Of course, in Genesis 3:17-19, God does pronounce a curse, so we will see what that is about in this episode. Our study will also lead us into a little fun speculation. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_17-19/ Jeremy Myers clean 36:00
[#47] Genesis 3:16b – Do Men Get to Rule Women? https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_16b/ Thu, 01 Sep 2016 15:00:53 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42966 Is it God’s will for men to rule over women? Lots of men sure think so, and one verse that has been used to defend this idea is Genesis 3:16 where God tells Eve that her desire shall be for her husband, but he shall rule over her. So is this verse describing God’s ordained order for the marriage relationship? Is God commanding women to let men rule them? That is what we are looking at in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast. Genesis 3:16 men rule womenIs it God’s will for men to rule over women? Lots of men sure think so, and one verse that has been used to defend this idea is Genesis 3:16 where God tells Eve that her desire shall be for her husband, but he shall rule over her.

So is this verse describing God’s ordained order for the marriage relationship? Is God commanding women to let men rule them? That is what we are looking at in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast.

The Text of Genesis 3:16

To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:16b we look at:

  • Does God instruct men to rule women?
  • What does it mean for women to desire men?
  • What does it mean for men to rule over women?
  • Why does God say this to Eve?

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Is it God’s will for men to rule over women? Lots of men sure think so, and one verse that has been used to defend this idea is Genesis 3:16 where God tells Eve that her desire shall be for her husband, but he shall rule over her. - Is it God’s will for men to rule over women? Lots of men sure think so, and one verse that has been used to defend this idea is Genesis 3:16 where God tells Eve that her desire shall be for her husband, but he shall rule over her. <br /> <br /> So is this verse describing God’s ordained order for the marriage relationship? Is God commanding women to let men rule them? That is what we are looking at in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_16b/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:25
[#46] Genesis 3:16a – God Does Not Abuse Women https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_16a/ Thu, 18 Aug 2016 15:00:39 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42965 Have you ever heard a woman use Genesis 3:16 to say that the reason women experience pain in childbearing is because God cursed Eve? In other words, have you ever heard someone blame God for the pain that women experience in giving birth? genesis 3:16 pain in childbearingHave you ever heard a woman use Genesis 3:16 to say that the reason women experience pain in childbearing is because God cursed Eve? In other words, have you ever heard someone blame God for the pain that women experience in giving birth?

These are the sorts of questions we are looking at in this episode of the One Verse Podcast.

The Text of Genesis 3:16

To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:16 we look at:

  • The words used for childbearing in Genesis 3:16
  • The word used for pain in Genesis 3:16
  • The question of whether or not God inflicts pain on women
  • The truth that God does not curse or hurt women

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever heard a woman use Genesis 3:16 to say that the reason women experience pain in childbearing is because God cursed Eve? In other words, have you ever heard someone blame God for the pain that women experience in giving birth? Have you ever heard a woman use Genesis 3:16 to say that the reason women experience pain in childbearing is because God cursed Eve? In other words, have you ever heard someone blame God for the pain that women experience in giving birth?<br /> <br /> This is what we look at in this study of Genesis 3:16. <br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_16a/ Jeremy Myers clean 43:21
Is God a wife beater? https://redeeminggod.com/god-wife-beater/ Thu, 11 Aug 2016 15:00:16 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42909 Genesis 3:16 shows God telling Eve He will greatly increase her pain. Does God inflict pain on people? Does God hurt women? Is God a cosmic wife beater? Here’s a question for you:

Is God a wife beater?

The God that is often portrayed by many pastors and many Christian books is a God who wants to inflict pain on you for your sin.

His wrath is terrible. His vengeance fierce. His anger is poured out upon sinners.

And so when you sin, you better watch out, because God is going to get you!

When we remember that the church is referred to as the “Bride of Christ” and we recognize that Jesus represents God, this whole angry-God imagery makes people think of God as a wife beater.

wife beater God

And do you want to know where this imagery of God begins? It begins in the very beginning, when God sets out to inflict pain on Eve because she ate the wrong piece of fruit (Genesis 3:16).

Imagine you are walking through the park one day and you hear a man saying this to his wife:

I can’t believe you ate my pear! When we get home, are you ever going to get it! That was MY pear! I told you not to eat it! When we get home I am going to beat you so hard! I am going to pound you into a pulp. You have never have known such pain! I will inflict pain on you such as you have never imagined! And you know what? I’m going to beat our daughters too. They need to learn to mind me and obey me. They need to learn to do what I say. So I’m going to whip you good and then whip our daughters.

I believe if you heard this, you would call the police immediately. At least, I hope you would.

And yet, in Genesis 3:16, here is what God says to Eve:

I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.

Why does God say He is going to “bring the pain”? Because Eve ate a piece of fruit she wasn’t supposed to. Yes, yes, I know there was more to it than this, but even still ….

It just doesn’t seem right for God to inflict pain on Eve for what happened, and not only on Eve, but on all women who follow after her as well.

The traditional way of reading Genesis 3:16 has God inflicting pain on Eve and all her daughters because Eve ate fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Does this sound much like a God you want to love, honor, and serve?

Well…

I’m going to try to resolve most of these issues in an upcoming podcast episode. This episode was supposed to be done this Thursday, but I’ll be honest … Genesis 3:16 “brought the pain” to me as well. So far, in the last two weeks, I have logged over 20 hours just studying this one single verse. Actually, I spent this time on just the first half of the verse, the part I quoted above.

I think I have a pretty good solution to the problem of God inflicting pain on women, which I will present in my podcast when it comes out, but I am not yet ready to record it. Hopefully by next week.

But guess what? There is still plenty you can listen to between now and then! I was recently interviewed by two different podcasts, and here the links so you can go listen to them. The “Life Uncut” podcast will have a “Part 2” later, so I will include it then. Make sure you subscribe to both of the podcasts as well, since both are fantastic.

Holy Soup Podcast

Holy Soup PodcastThom Shultz, CEO of Group Publishing, Interviews me about Biblical Illiteracy (and why I don’t think it is a crisis in the church).

Listen and subscribe Here

Life Uncut Podcast

Life Uncut PodcastA Discussion with Tom Walter and Jeremy Myers. This is only Part 1, and I imagine that Part 2 will be out next week.

Listen and Subscribe Here

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Genesis 3:16 shows God telling Eve He will greatly increase her pain. Does God inflict pain on people? Does God hurt women? Is God a cosmic wife beater? Is God a wife beater? Does God inflict pain on women? In Genesis 3:16, God tells Eve He will greatly increase her pain in childbearing. What is up with this? Jeremy Myers clean 9:34
[#45] Genesis 3:14-15 – The Serpent and the Seed https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_14-15/ Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:00:03 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42774 Does God curse animals and people? Genesis 3:14 indicates that God cursed the serpent. But what did the serpent do to deserve being cursed? And what is the whole thing about the serpent crawling on the ground and eating dirt? And then there is Genesis 3:15 which talks about the serpent striking the heel of the woman’s seed, but the seed crushing the serpent’s head. What is all that about? Is it truly a prophecy about Jesus? Genesis 3:15Does God curse animals and people? Genesis 3:14 indicates that God cursed the serpent. But what did the serpent do to deserve being cursed? And what is the whole thing about the serpent crawling on the ground and eating dirt?

And then there is Genesis 3:15 which talks about the serpent striking the heel of the woman’s seed, but the seed crushing the serpent’s head. What is all that about? Is it truly a prophecy about Jesus?

These, another other related questions, will all get considered in this episode of the One Verse Podcast.

The Text of Genesis 3:14-15

So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:14-15 we look at:

  • Did God curse the serpent?
  • What happened to the serpent?
  • What does it mean for him to crawl on his belly and eat dust?
  • Is Genesis 3:15 a prophesy about Jesus?

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Does God curse animals and people? Genesis 3:14 indicates that God cursed the serpent. But what did the serpent do to deserve being cursed? And what is the whole thing about the serpent crawling on the ground and eating dirt? - Does God curse animals and people? Genesis 3:14 indicates that God cursed the serpent. But what did the serpent do to deserve being cursed? And what is the whole thing about the serpent crawling on the ground and eating dirt? <br /> <br /> And then there is Genesis 3:15 which talks about the serpent striking the heel of the woman’s seed, but the seed crushing the serpent’s head. What is all that about? Is it truly a prophecy about Jesus?<br /> <br /> These, another other related questions, will all get considered in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. <br /> <br /> See the shownotes at https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_14-15/ Jeremy Myers clean 36:31
[#44] Genesis 3:11-13 – The Blame Game https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_11-13/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:00:26 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42723 There are six revolutionary and foundational truths in Genesis 2–3. Today we see the fifth. These truths help you understand God, Scripture, society, culture, and yourself like never before. The one we see today is absolutely critical for understanding why God appears so violent at various places in the Bible. If you have ever wondered how to understand the violence of God in the Bible, make sure you listen to today’s episode. There are six revolutionary and foundational truths in Genesis 2–3. Today we see the fifth.

These truths help you understand God, Scripture, society, culture, and yourself like never before. The one we see today is absolutely critical for understanding why God appears so violent at various places in the Bible.

If you have ever wondered how to understand the violence of God in the Bible, make sure you listen to this episode.

Adam Blames Eve Genesis 3:11-13

The Text of Genesis 3:11-13

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:11-13 we look at:

  • The fifth foundational and revolutionary truth from Genesis 2–3
  • Why God asks Adam about his nakedness
  • God does not blame Adam and Eve for what happened
  • Adam blames Eve; Eve blames the serpent. Ultimately, Adam blames God
  • Why humans blame and scapegoat others
  • How God is the ultimate Scapegoat in Scripture and history
  • Two ways of reading Scripture and how Jesus shows which way is correct

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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There are six revolutionary and foundational truths in Genesis 2–3. Today we see the fifth. - These truths help you understand God, Scripture, society, culture, and yourself like never before. The one we see today is absolutely critical for understan... There are six revolutionary and foundational truths in Genesis 2–3. Today we see the fifth. <br /> <br /> These truths help you understand God, Scripture, society, culture, and yourself like never before. The one we see today is absolutely critical for understanding why God appears so violent at various places in the Bible. If you have ever wondered how to understand the violence of God in the Bible, make sure you listen to today’s episode. <br /> <br /> See the shownotes at:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_11-13/ Jeremy Myers clean 48:00
Look what happened to my book on Amazon! https://redeeminggod.com/atonement-book-sale-amazon/ Sun, 10 Jul 2016 17:00:27 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42718 Whoa! My book is 53% off at Amazon. If you're a Prime Member, you get free shipping too! Read my post to learn more. Atonement of GodMy newest book, The Atonement of God, has gone on a HUGE sale for Amazon Prime Day (July 12). The normal price of this book is $14.99, but the Amazon Prime price is only $6.99! That’s 53% off!

This price is less than I can buy them myself from the printer (after they add shipping costs), so I just bought 10 copies to have on hand so that I can give them out to people I meet with.

If you have already read this book and have been encouraged by it, this is your chance to buy several copies to give away to others.

If you have not yet read this book, don’t wait any longer. I don’t know how long this sale will last, but now is the time to buy a copy because it is on such a huge sale.

Better still, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you get free shipping as well. If you are not a Prime Member, you can join for 30 days for free by going here: Try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days.

So here is what you should do:

  1. Join Amazon Prime for free for 30 days (to get free shipping on my book)
  2. Buy several copies of the paperback version of my book. One for yourself and a few others to give away to friends and family.
  3. Use the Facebook and Twitter share buttons below to let others know about this sale.

Buy your copies today because I don’t know if the price for this book will ever be this low again.

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Whoa! My book is 53% off at Amazon. If you're a Prime Member, you get free shipping too! Read my post to learn more. My newest book, The Atonement of God, has gone on a HUGE sale for Amazon Prime Day (July 12). The normal price of this book is $14.99, but the Amazon Prime price is only $6.99! That’s 53% off!<br /> <br /> And you can get free shipping on this by joining Amazon prime for free for 30 days. Go to https://redeeminggod.com/prime/ to learn more. Jeremy Myers clean 3:23
[#43] Genesis 3:8-10 – Do Not be Afraid https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_8-10/ Thu, 30 Jun 2016 15:00:04 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42669 If you have ever been afraid of God, or have thought that God is out to get you, to punish you for some sin, if you think that the bad things which happen to you in life are because God hates you or is making you pay for something you did, this study of Genesis 3:8-10 is for you. If you have ever been afraid of God, or have thought that God is out to get you, to punish you for some sin, if you think that the bad things which happen to you in life are because God hates you or is making you pay for something you did, this podcast episode is for you.

We look at Genesis 3:8-10 and see that there is nothing to fear from God.

Genesis 3:8-10 God walking in the Garden

The Text of Genesis 3:8-10

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:8-10 we look at:

  • How some Christians read Genesis 3:8-10 to make God appear angry
  • Why God was not angry.
  • How to know what God think about us and our sin.
  • How God responds do your sin.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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If you have ever been afraid of God, or have thought that God is out to get you, to punish you for some sin, if you think that the bad things which happen to you in life are because God hates you or is making you pay for something you did, If you have ever been afraid of God, or have thought that God is out to get you, to punish you for some sin, if you think that the bad things which happen to you in life are because God hates you or is making you pay for something you did, this study of Genesis 3:8-10 is for you.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_8-10/<br /> <br /> Jeremy Myers clean 37:00
[#42] Genesis 3:7 – The Greatest Rivalry of All Time https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_7/ Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:00:12 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42596 Genesis 3:6-7 are the central two verses of Genesis chapters 2–3. In a previous episode, we looked at Genesis 3:6, and learned a foundational truth about humanity. This episode reveals another foundational truth from Genesis 3:7. Genesis 3:7 Adam Eve fig leavesGenesis 3:6-7 are the central two verses of Genesis chapters 2–3. In a previous episode, we looked at Genesis 3:6, and learned a foundational truth about humanity. This episode reveals another foundational truth from Genesis 3:7.

The Text of Genesis 3:7

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

In this discussion of Genesis 3:7 we look at:

  • The fourth foundational truth from Genesis 2–3.
  • The ideas that desire leads to rivalry with God and with each other.
  • Why Genesis 3:7 is both humorous and sad.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Genesis 3:6-7 are the central two verses of Genesis chapters 2–3. In a previous episode, we looked at Genesis 3:6, and learned a foundational truth about humanity. This episode reveals another foundational truth from Genesis 3:7. Genesis 3:6-7 are the central two verses of Genesis chapters 2–3. In a previous episode, we looked at Genesis 3:6, and learned a foundational truth about humanity. This episode reveals another foundational truth from Genesis 3:7.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_7/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:48
[#41] Genesis 3:6 – Drawn by Desire https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_6/ Thu, 16 Jun 2016 15:00:17 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42540 This study considers an important concept from René Girard’s mimetic theory to see how a key concept is found in Genesis 3:6 and is foundational for understanding life and Scripture. Eve Eating fruit Genesis 3:6This episode of the One Verse Podcasts look at the third foundational and revolutionary truth from Genesis 2-3. We see it in Genesis 3:6.

This study also considers an important concept from René Girard’s mimetic theory to see how a key concept is found in Genesis 3:6. If you want to learn more about this and how these insights help us understand God, Scripture, theology, current events, politics, and even your very own life, I recommend you get started with my book The Atonement of God.

The Text of Genesis 3:6

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

In this discussion of Genesis 3:6 we look at:

  • Why Genesis 3:6 is the grammatical center of Genesis 2–3
  • The third foundational truth: “Imitation Awakens Desire”
  • How Eve came to desire the forbidden fruit
  • The problem with religious fences is revealed
  • The shocking revelation that Adam was right there with Eve

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This study considers an important concept from René Girard’s mimetic theory to see how a key concept is found in Genesis 3:6 and is foundational for understanding life and Scripture. This episode of the One Verse Podcasts look at the third foundational and revolutionary truth from Genesis 2-3. We see it in Genesis 3:6. This study considers an important concept from René Girard’s mimetic theory to see how a key concept is found in Genesis 3:6 and is foundational for understanding life and Scripture.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_6/<br /> <br /> Jeremy Myers clean 37:40
[#40] Genesis 3:1-5 – Eve and the Serpent https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1-5/ Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:00:03 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42485 Was it wrong for Eve to engage in dialogue with the serpent in Genesis 3? If not, what was her mistake? What can we learn from this conversation between Eve and the serpent that will help us face temptation in our own life? This is what we look at in this discussion of Genesis 3:1-5. Was it wrong for Eve to engage in dialogue with the serpent in Genesis 3? If not, what was her mistake? What can we learn from this conversation between Eve and the serpent that will help us face temptation in our own life? This is what we look at in this discussion of Genesis 3:1-5.

Genesis 3:1-5

The Text of Genesis 3:1-5

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:1-5 we look at:

  • The serpent’s first question
  • Why Adam and Eve should have responded to the serpent together
  • How Eve imitated the serpent
  • Why the serpent spoke truly, but offered what was good in a time and way that God did not want
  • The four dangers of fencing around the law.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Was it wrong for Eve to engage in dialogue with the serpent in Genesis 3? If not, what was her mistake? What can we learn from this conversation between Eve and the serpent that will help us face temptation in our own life? Was it wrong for Eve to engage in dialogue with the serpent in Genesis 3? If not, what was her mistake? What can we learn from this conversation between Eve and the serpent that will help us face temptation in our own life? This is what we look at in this discussion of Genesis 3:1-5. <br /> <br /> Get <a href="http://amzn.to/1UfDU9N">BibleWorks at Amazon</a><br /> <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/one-verse-podcast/id1037949897?at=11lbgo">Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes</a><br /> <a href="https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1-5/">Leave a Comment or View the Shownotes</a> Jeremy Myers clean 34:45
[#39] Genesis 3:1-7 – The Shrewd, the Food, and the Nude https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1-7/ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:00:22 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42389 Why was the serpent in the Garden? If the serpent was Satan, as some New Testament passages teach, why did God allow the serpent to be there in the Garden, knowing that it would tempt Adam and Eve? What’s going on here? It is these sorts of questions we consider today in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. Listen to this discussion about Genesis 3:1-7 to learn more! Why was the serpent in the Garden? If the serpent was Satan, as some New Testament passages teach, why did God allow the serpent to be there in the Garden, knowing that it would tempt Adam and Eve? What’s going on here?

It is these sorts of questions we consider today in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. Listen to this discussion about Genesis 3:1-7 to learn more!

the serpent Genesis 3:1-7

The Text of Genesis 3:1-7

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

In this discussion of Genesis 3:1-7 we look at:

  • The cultural background to Genesis 3:1-7
  • The symbolism of the serpent in other religions
  • Two stories from Babylon about sacred food from the gods
  • Why we should not think of the serpent as Satan

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Why was the serpent in the Garden? If the serpent was Satan, as some New Testament passages teach, why did God allow the serpent to be there in the Garden, knowing that it would tempt Adam and Eve? What’s going on here? - Why was the serpent in the Garden? If the serpent was Satan, as some New Testament passages teach, why did God allow the serpent to be there in the Garden, knowing that it would tempt Adam and Eve? What’s going on here?<br /> <br /> It is these sorts of questions we consider today in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. Listen to this discussion about Genesis 3:1-7 to learn more!<br /> <br /> View the show notes at: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1-7/ Jeremy Myers clean 31:00 Why was the serpent in the Garden? If the serpent was Satan, as some New Testament passages teach, why did God allow the serpent to be there in the Garden, knowing that it would tempt Adam and Eve? What’s going on here?<br /> <br /> It is these sorts of questions we consider today in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. Listen to this discussion about Genesis 3:1-7 to learn more!<br /> <br /> View the show notes at: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1-7/
[#38] Genesis 3:1 – Scapegoating Eve https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1/ Thu, 26 May 2016 15:00:27 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42375 This look at Genesis 3:1 introduces you to the most important truth in all of Scripture. I believe that the truth you will learn today is discussed or explained or revealed in some way on almost every page of the Bible, and yet, amazingly, most of us have never seen that it is there. This is because the truth we see today is a truth hidden from the foundation of the world. It is also a truth revealed most clearly by Jesus. This study of Genesis 3:1 introduces the most important truth in all of Scripture. I believe that the truth you will learn today is discussed or explained or revealed in some way on almost every page of the Bible, and yet, amazingly, most of us have never seen that it is there. This is because the truth we see today is a truth hidden from the foundation of the world. It is also a truth revealed most clearly by Jesus.

Genesis 3:1

The Text of Genesis 3:1

Genesis 3:1. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

In this discussion of Genesis 3:1 we look at:

  • The word for “serpent” and “cunning” in Genesis 3:1
  • What might have really happened between Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:1
  • Why Eve might not be the guilty one after all
  • Why scapegoating is the most important truth in Scripture

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This look at Genesis 3:1 introduces you to the most important truth in all of Scripture. I believe that the truth you will learn today is discussed or explained or revealed in some way on almost every page of the Bible, and yet, amazingly, This study of Genesis 3:1 introduces the most important truth in all of Scripture. I believe that the truth you will learn today is discussed or explained or revealed in some way on almost every page of the Bible, and yet, amazingly, most of us have never seen that it is there. <br /> <br /> Buy <a href="http://amzn.to/1Rrb4gr"><em>The Atonement of God</em></a> on Amazon<br /> <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/one-verse-podcast/id1037949897?at=11lbgo">Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes</a><br /> <br /> To comment on this episode or view the show notes, visit <a href="https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1/">Genesis 3:1 - Scapegoating Eve</a> Jeremy Myers clean 32:20 This study of Genesis 3:1 introduces the most important truth in all of Scripture. I believe that the truth you will learn today is discussed or explained or revealed in some way on almost every page of the Bible, and yet, amazingly, most of us have never seen that it is there. <br /> <br /> Buy <a href="http://amzn.to/1Rrb4gr"><em>The Atonement of God</em></a> on Amazon<br /> <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/one-verse-podcast/id1037949897?at=11lbgo">Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes</a><br /> <br /> To comment on this episode or view the show notes, visit <a href="https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_1/">Genesis 3:1 - Scapegoating Eve</a>
[#37] Genesis 3 Introduction https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-3-intro/ Thu, 12 May 2016 15:00:25 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42138 I believe there are many more significant truth from Genesis 3 that we miss. I will point those out in future podcast episodes. This podcast episode provides the normal explanation of Genesis 3.

There is nothing really wrong with this traditional explanation of Genesis 3. When I was a pastor I preached through Genesis, and I went back and looked at my sermon notes on Genesis 3, and what I am going to share with you today is what I would have preached 20 years ago from Genesis 3.

But now I believe there are many more significant truth from Genesis 3 that we miss. I will point those out in future podcast episodes.

Genesis 3

In this discussion of Genesis  3 we look at:

  • The normal explanation of Genesis 3
  • The identity of the Serpent
  • How Eve added to the law of God
  • The consequences of eating from the Forbidden Tree

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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I believe there are many more significant truth from Genesis 3 that we miss. I will point those out in future podcast episodes. This episode provides the traditional explanation of Genesis 3. This explanation is not wrong, it just is not all that is found in Genesis 3. <br /> <br /> To see the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_intro/ Jeremy Myers clean 20:20 This episode provides the traditional explanation of Genesis 3. This explanation is not wrong, it just is not all that is found in Genesis 3. <br /> <br /> To see the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_intro/
[#36] Summary of Genesis 2 – The Foundation of Relationships https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2/ Thu, 05 May 2016 15:00:14 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42085 In this summary episode of Genesis 2, we review the 5 key ideas from Genesis 2, which include 2 revolutionary truths for life and theology. Listen now! Genesis 2This is the summary episode of Genesis 2. If you have listened to all the other episodes on Genesis 2, this episode will serve as a good reminder of what we have seen.

If you have not listened to most of the episodes, or don’t have time to listen to them all, but you want to get up to speed in our study of Genesis so far, this will be a good episode to listen to.

In this discussion of Genesis 2 we look at:

  • A summary of everything we have learned from Genesis 2
  • The Differences Between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2
  • Genesis 2 is a Temple Text
  • What is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
  • Humans are made for Relationships
  • Humans are made to Imitate

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In this summary episode of Genesis 2, we review the 5 key ideas from Genesis 2, which include 2 revolutionary truths for life and theology. Listen now! This is the summary episode of Genesis 2. If you have listened to all the other episodes on Genesis 2, this episode will serve as a good reminder of what we have seen.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:08 This is the summary episode of Genesis 2. If you have listened to all the other episodes on Genesis 2, this episode will serve as a good reminder of what we have seen.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2/
[#35] Genesis 2:25 – Naked and Unafraid https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_25/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:00:41 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=42012 If you have been struggling about how to have that talk with your son or daughter, Genesis 2:25 might just provide the encouragement to stop being ashamed and afraid, but instead to revel and rejoice in one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind. Today’s One Verse Podcast is rated PG-13. Well, maybe PG. But either way, when you hear what I am talking about in this episode, you might be encouraged to gather your children around anyway and have them listen to this episode as well.

If you have been struggling about how to have “that talk” with your son or daughter, this episode might just provide the encouragement to stop being ashamed and afraid, but instead to revel and rejoice in one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind.

Let’s stop hiding in the shadows and living in fear, and instead go boldly forth, naked and unafraid.

Genesis 2:25Well, maybe not literally. But you’ll see what I mean.

The Text of Genesis 2:25

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:25 we look at:

  • Six ways I could have explained Genesis 2:25
  • What is really going on in Genesis 2:25
  • How the Gilgamesh Epic shows us that sex is in view.
  • Why we Christians should not be afraid or ashamed of sex.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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If you have been struggling about how to have that talk with your son or daughter, Genesis 2:25 might just provide the encouragement to stop being ashamed and afraid, but instead to revel and rejoice in one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind. Genesis 2:25 is about sex. Seriously. And it invites us to think and talk about sex without being ashamed. Listen to this podcast to learn more.<br /> <br /> If you have been struggling about how to have that talk with your son or daughter, Genesis 2:25 might just provide the encouragement to stop being ashamed and afraid, but instead to revel and rejoice in one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind.<br /> <br /> To see the show notes for this episode, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_25/ Jeremy Myers clean 36:41 Genesis 2:25 is about sex. Seriously. And it invites us to think and talk about sex without being ashamed. Listen to this podcast to learn more.<br /> <br /> If you have been struggling about how to have that talk with your son or daughter, Genesis 2:25 might just provide the encouragement to stop being ashamed and afraid, but instead to revel and rejoice in one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind.<br /> <br /> To see the show notes for this episode, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_25/
[#34] Genesis 2:24 – Leave and Cleave? https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_24s/ Thu, 21 Apr 2016 15:00:28 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41767 What does Genesis 2:24 mean when it says that a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife? Does this mean we should abandon our parents for the sake of our wife? Well, maybe, but if so, how then can we honor our father and mother all the days of our lives as Scripture also instructs? This is what we’re going to talk about in this study of Genesis 2:24. What does Genesis 2:24 mean when it says that a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife? Does this mean we should abandon our parents for the sake of our wife?

This is what we’re going to talk about in this study of Genesis 2:24.

Genesis 2:24

The Text of Genesis 2:24

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:24 we look at:

  • Various Bible verses that have caused marital strife.
  • How Genesis 2:24 may not mean what we think it means.
  • How Genesis 2:24 follows Adam’s statement in Genesis 2:23.
  • Why leaving parents doesn’t mean abandoning.
  • Why it is important to cleave to your spouse.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What does Genesis 2:24 mean when it says that a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife? Does this mean we should abandon our parents for the sake of our wife? Well, maybe, but if so, how then can we honor our father and mother all the days o... What does Genesis 2:24 mean when it says that a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife? Does this mean we should abandon our parents for the sake of our wife? Well, maybe, but if so, how then can we honor our father and mother all the days of our lives as Scripture also instructs? <br /> <br /> This is what we’re going to talk about in this study of Genesis 2:24. <br /> <br /> To see the show notes for this episode, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_24/ Jeremy Myers clean 33:31 What does Genesis 2:24 mean when it says that a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife? Does this mean we should abandon our parents for the sake of our wife? Well, maybe, but if so, how then can we honor our father and mother all the days of our lives as Scripture also instructs? <br /> <br /> This is what we’re going to talk about in this study of Genesis 2:24. <br /> <br /> To see the show notes for this episode, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_24/
[#33] Genesis 2:20-23 – The Beauty and the Beasts https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_20-23/ Thu, 14 Apr 2016 15:00:18 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41722 People say that a dog is a man’s best friend, but when God sets out to create a partner for Adam, he rejects all the animals in the world, even the dogs. It’s a good thing too, because then God creates the woman. The creation of the woman is what we look at in Genesis 2:20-23, the Beauty and the Beasts. People say that a dog is a man’s best friend, but when God sets out to create a partner for Adam, he rejects all the animals in the world, even the dogs. It’s a good thing too, because then God creates the woman.

The creation of the woman is what we are looking at today as we consider Genesis 2:20-23, the Beauty and the Beasts.

Genesis 2:20-23

The Text of Genesis 2:20-23

So Adam gave names to all the cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

In this discussion of Genesis 2:20-23 we look at:

  • Why the woman is not inferior to the man, even though she is a “helper”
  • Why God first brings animals to Adam, even though God knows Adam needs a woman.
  • Why the “rib” was not a rib.
  • What it meant for God to put Adam into a deep sleep.
  • How men and Women are equal, side-by-side partners in life.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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People say that a dog is a man’s best friend, but when God sets out to create a partner for Adam, he rejects all the animals in the world, even the dogs. It’s a good thing too, because then God creates the woman. - People say that a dog is a man’s best friend, but when God sets out to create a partner for Adam, he rejects all the animals in the world, even the dogs. It’s a good thing too, because then God creates the woman.<br /> <br /> The creation of the woman is what we look at in Genesis 2:20-23, the Beauty and the Beasts.<br /> <br /> Genesis 2:20-23 teaches about the creation of the woman from the side of Adam. We see what this teaches about the equality of men and women.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_20-23/ Jeremy Myers clean 35:06 People say that a dog is a man’s best friend, but when God sets out to create a partner for Adam, he rejects all the animals in the world, even the dogs. It’s a good thing too, because then God creates the woman.<br /> <br /> The creation of the woman is what we look at in Genesis 2:20-23, the Beauty and the Beasts.<br /> <br /> Genesis 2:20-23 teaches about the creation of the woman from the side of Adam. We see what this teaches about the equality of men and women.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_20-23/
[#32] Genesis 2:19 – The Imitation Game https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_19/ Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:00:27 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41667 This podcast episodes reviews the 7 key activities of God and how we are called to imitate God in them. Through this we see the foundational truth of imitation, including the benefits and the boundaries. We are seeing several foundational truths from Genesis 2 about how to understand life, theology, Scripture, society, religion, and culture. Last week, we saw the first truth, that we are built for relationships. This week we see the second foundational truth, which may be the most important one of all.

imitation Genesis 2:19

If you want to see how today’s foundational truth is applied to our understanding of theology, Scripture, and culture, I highly recommend you get my book on the Atonement from Amazon. It’s called The Atonement of God, and in it, I present 10 areas of theology that were affected in my own life when I came to understand the truth I am about to present to you today.

The Text of Genesis 2:19

Genesis 2:19. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:19 we look at:

  • A review of the 7 key activities of God
  • How God instructs us to imitate Him in carrying out these 7 activities
  • The foundational truth that humans were made to imitate
  • Why imitation has boundaries and dangers

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This podcast episodes reviews the 7 key activities of God and how we are called to imitate God in them. Through this we see the foundational truth of imitation, including the benefits and the boundaries. This podcast episodes reviews the 7 key activities of God and how we are called to imitate God in them. Through this we see the foundational truth of imitation, including the benefits and the boundaries.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_19/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:53 This podcast episodes reviews the 7 key activities of God and how we are called to imitate God in them. Through this we see the foundational truth of imitation, including the benefits and the boundaries.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_19/
[#31] Genesis 2:18 – It is Not Good to Be Alone https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_18/ Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:00:15 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41643 This discussion of Genesis 2:18 looks at the first thing in God’s creation that is not good. We see the first foundational truth about the human experience, what God did about Adam being alone, and seven truths from Genesis 2:18 about loneliness. So far in Genesis 2, we have seen that God has set up his temple. The temple was finished in Genesis 2:17, which means that beginning with Genesis 2:18, the biblical story really begins.

In Genesis 2:18, we see something foundational for how God wants us to live life, and something shocking about God’s role in that life.

The Text of Genesis 2:18

Genesis 2:18. And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

In this discussion of Genesis 2:18 we look at:

  • The first thing in God’s creation that is not good
  • The first foundational truth about the human experience
  • What God did about Adam being alone
  • Seven truths from Genesis 2:18 about loneliness

Genesis 2:18 - not good to be alone

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This discussion of Genesis 2:18 looks at the first thing in God’s creation that is not good. We see the first foundational truth about the human experience, what God did about Adam being alone, and seven truths from Genesis 2:18 about loneliness. This discussion of Genesis 2:18 looks at the first thing in God’s creation that is not good. We see the first foundational truth about the human experience, what God did about Adam being alone, and seven truths from Genesis 2:18 about loneliness.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment on this post or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_18/ Jeremy Myers clean 35:19 This discussion of Genesis 2:18 looks at the first thing in God’s creation that is not good. We see the first foundational truth about the human experience, what God did about Adam being alone, and seven truths from Genesis 2:18 about loneliness.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment on this post or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_18/
[#30] Genesis 2:16-17 – The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_16-17_p2/ Thu, 24 Mar 2016 15:00:12 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41627 The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil reveals something critically important about human nature. This episode of the One Verse Podcast looks at Genesis 2:16-17 and shows how all of us eat from this tree every single day, and how through His crucifixion, Jesus invites us to stop eating the fruit of this forbidden tree. As we look at Genesis 2:16-17, we will be talking about Jesus Christ and Him crucified and how His death on the cross reveals something about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil reveals something critically important about human nature. This episode of the One Verse Podcast shows how all of us eat from this tree every single day, and how through His crucifixion, Jesus invites us to stop eating the fruit of this forbidden tree.

Genesis 2:16-17 Tree of Knowledge

The Text of Genesis 2:16-17

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:16-17 we look at:

  • Why God placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden
  • What the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is.
  • Why humans cannot handle the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
  • How to avoid eating this forbidden fruit today.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil reveals something critically important about human nature. This episode of the One Verse Podcast looks at Genesis 2:16-17 and shows how all of us eat from this tree every single day, The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil reveals something critically important about human nature. This episode of the One Verse Podcast looks at Genesis 2:16-17 and shows how all of us eat from this tree every single day, and how through His crucifixion, Jesus invites us to stop eating the fruit of this forbidden tree.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:16-17 we look at:<br /> -Why God placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden<br /> -What the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is.<br /> -Why humans cannot handle the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil<br /> -How to avoid eating this forbidden fruit today.<br /> <br /> To view the show notes or leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_16-17_p2/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:39 The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil reveals something critically important about human nature. This episode of the One Verse Podcast looks at Genesis 2:16-17 and shows how all of us eat from this tree every single day, and how through His crucifixion, Jesus invites us to stop eating the fruit of this forbidden tree.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:16-17 we look at:<br /> -Why God placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden<br /> -What the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is.<br /> -Why humans cannot handle the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil<br /> -How to avoid eating this forbidden fruit today.<br /> <br /> To view the show notes or leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_16-17_p2/
[#29] Genesis 2:16-17 – You Shall Surely Die https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_16-17_p1/ Thu, 17 Mar 2016 15:00:29 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41511 Many believe that in Genesis 2:16-17, God is threatening to punish Adam with death if Adam eats from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This episode of the One Verse podcast explains why this is not the best way to read Genesis 2:16-17. Death is not a punishment, nor was it a curse. Tree of lifeThe Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a mysterious and troubling element in the Genesis account. Why would God put this tree there in the first place if He didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from it? We are going to spend two weeks looking at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good Evil.

Today, we will see why the death that will come from eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not a punishment from God, but is actually a blessing … and we will also see how the command to not eat from the tree is the final touch on the temple that God has built.

The Text of Genesis 2:16-17

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In this discussion of Genesis 2:16-17 we look at:

  • The final element needed for temple worship
  • The commandment of God to eat from the tree
  • Why the warning about death is not a punishment from God

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Many believe that in Genesis 2:16-17, God is threatening to punish Adam with death if Adam eats from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This episode of the One Verse podcast explains why this is not the best way to read Genesis 2:16-17. Many believe that in Genesis 2:16-17, God is threatening to punish Adam with death if Adam eats from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This episode of the One Verse podcast explains why this is not the best way to read Genesis 2:16-17. Death is not a punishment, nor was it a curse.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:16-17 we look at:<br /> -The final element needed for temple worship<br /> -The commandment of God to eat from the tree<br /> -Why the warning about death is not a punishment from God<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_16-17_p1/ Jeremy Myers clean 35:49 Many believe that in Genesis 2:16-17, God is threatening to punish Adam with death if Adam eats from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This episode of the One Verse podcast explains why this is not the best way to read Genesis 2:16-17. Death is not a punishment, nor was it a curse.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:16-17 we look at:<br /> -The final element needed for temple worship<br /> -The commandment of God to eat from the tree<br /> -Why the warning about death is not a punishment from God<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_16-17_p1/
[#28] Genesis 2:8-15 – The Garden of Eden Is the Temple of God https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_8-15/ Thu, 10 Mar 2016 16:00:50 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41467 This study of Genesis 2:8-15 looks at why Genesis 2 is a temple text describing the temple of God, how humanity serves as both the statue of God and the priesthood of God in the temple, and why the role of humanity as the priesthood involves protecting the Garden of Eden. Do you ever think you’ll be bored in heaven, just sitting around on clouds playing harps? Well, Genesis 2 indicates that this will not happen. Work existed before the fall of humanity into sin, and it will also exist in the future state. But don’t worry. It will be work you enjoy and love.

In Genesis 2:8-15, we see why Adam was given work to do in the Garden of Eden, and why you and I still carry on this work today. We will also look at this strange description of all the rivers that surrounded Eden, and why these rivers are listed. It’s not so that we can figure out where Eden used to be located.

We will see these things, and much more, as we look at Genesis 2:8-15.

garden of eden Genesis 2:8-15

The Text of Genesis 2:8-15

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:8-15 we look at:

  • Why Genesis 2 is a temple text describing the temple of God.
  • What to make of the 4 rivers in Genesis 2:10-14.
  • Why humanity was given work to do before the fall into sin.
  • How humanity serves as both the statue of God and the priesthood of God in the temple.
  • Why the role of humanity as the priesthood involves protecting the Garden of Eden.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This study of Genesis 2:8-15 looks at why Genesis 2 is a temple text describing the temple of God, how humanity serves as both the statue of God and the priesthood of God in the temple, and why the role of humanity as the priesthood involves protecting... Join me in this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we study Genesis 2:8-15 to see that it is describing the Temple of God. <br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:8-15 we look at:<br /> -Why Genesis 2 is a temple text describing the temple of God.<br /> -What to make of the 4 rivers in Genesis 2:10-14.<br /> -Why humanity was given work to do before the fall into sin.<br /> -How humanity serves as both the statue of God and the priesthood of God in the temple.<br /> -Why the role of humanity as the priesthood involves protecting the Garden of Eden.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_8-15/<br /> Jeremy Myers clean 35:30 Join me in this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we study Genesis 2:8-15 to see that it is describing the Temple of God. <br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:8-15 we look at:<br /> -Why Genesis 2 is a temple text describing the temple of God.<br /> -What to make of the 4 rivers in Genesis 2:10-14.<br /> -Why humanity was given work to do before the fall into sin.<br /> -How humanity serves as both the statue of God and the priesthood of God in the temple.<br /> -Why the role of humanity as the priesthood involves protecting the Garden of Eden.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_8-15/
[#27] Genesis 2:7 – The Statue of Yahweh https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_7/ Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:00:34 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41439 This discussion of Genesis 2:7 looks at the unique religious features of the creation of man in Genesis 2:7. We see the parallel of Genesis 2:7 to the making of idols in Mesopotamia, and the 5 truths from Genesis 2:7 about how to know God, reveal God, and treat human beings. Last week I promised you that Genesis 2–4 contained some revolutionary ideas about everything related to life, humanity, society, religion, war, politics, violence, and pretty much everything else in life. But other than the fact that God is relational, we didn’t really see anything too revolutionary in Genesis 2:4-6.

But that is about to change. Today, as we look at Genesis 2:7, we will learn something rather shocking about the creation of man. You don’t want to miss this!

Genesis 2 7 dust of the earth

The Text of Genesis 2:7

Genesis 2:7. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:7 we look at:

  • The unique religious features of the creation of man in Genesis 2:7
  • Why it is biblical to call a man a “clod”
  • The parallel of Genesis 2:7 to the making of idols in Mesopotamia
  • The 5 truths from Genesis 2:7 about how to know God, reveal God, and treat human beings

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This discussion of Genesis 2:7 looks at the unique religious features of the creation of man in Genesis 2:7. We see the parallel of Genesis 2:7 to the making of idols in Mesopotamia, and the 5 truths from Genesis 2:7 about how to know God, reveal God, This discussion of Genesis 2:7 looks at the unique religious features of the creation of man in Genesis 2:7. We see the parallel of Genesis 2:7 to the making of idols in Mesopotamia, and the 5 truths from Genesis 2:7 about how to know God, reveal God, and treat human beings.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_7/ Jeremy Myers clean 40:30 This discussion of Genesis 2:7 looks at the unique religious features of the creation of man in Genesis 2:7. We see the parallel of Genesis 2:7 to the making of idols in Mesopotamia, and the 5 truths from Genesis 2:7 about how to know God, reveal God, and treat human beings.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_7/
[#26] Genesis 2:4-6 – The Second Creation Account https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_4-6/ Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:00:20 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41387 Why is there a second creation account in Genesis 2? And have you ever noticed that when you compare the creation account in Genesis 2 with the creation account in Genesis 1, there are several key differences? What is going on? Do these differences prove that there are errors and contradictions in the Bible? It is these sorts of questions we will be looking at today as we look at Genesis 2:4-6 in this episode of the One Verse Podcast. Why is there a second creation account in Genesis 2? One Verse PodcastAnd have you ever noticed that when you compare the creation account in Genesis 2 with the creation account in Genesis 1, there are several key differences? What is going on? Do these differences prove that there are errors and contradictions in the Bible?

It is these sorts of questions we will be looking at today as we look at Genesis 2:4-6 in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast.

The Text of Genesis 2:4-6

This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the ground, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:4-6 we look at:

  • Why there are two creation accounts in Genesis
  • Why there are differences in the two creation accounts

Resources:

The picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware by Emmanuel Leutze:

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Why is there a second creation account in Genesis 2? And have you ever noticed that when you compare the creation account in Genesis 2 with the creation account in Genesis 1, there are several key differences? What is going on? Why is there a second creation account in Genesis 2? And have you ever noticed that when you compare the creation account in Genesis 2 with the creation account in Genesis 1, there are several key differences? What is going on? Do these differences prove that there are errors and contradictions in the Bible? <br /> <br /> It is these sorts of questions we will be looking at today as we look at Genesis 2:4-6 in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast.<br /> <br /> IN THIS DISCUSSION OF GENESIS 2:4-6 WE LOOK AT:<br /> • Why there are two creation accounts in Genesis<br /> • Why there are differences in the two creation accounts<br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_4-6/<br /> Jeremy Myers clean 38:06 Why is there a second creation account in Genesis 2? And have you ever noticed that when you compare the creation account in Genesis 2 with the creation account in Genesis 1, there are several key differences? What is going on? Do these differences prove that there are errors and contradictions in the Bible? <br /> <br /> It is these sorts of questions we will be looking at today as we look at Genesis 2:4-6 in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast.<br /> <br /> IN THIS DISCUSSION OF GENESIS 2:4-6 WE LOOK AT:<br /> • Why there are two creation accounts in Genesis<br /> • Why there are differences in the two creation accounts<br /> <br /> To view the shownotes or leave a comment, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_4-6/
[#25] Summary of Genesis 1 – The Redemption of Religion https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-1-summary/ Thu, 28 Jan 2016 16:00:41 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41271 This discussion of Genesis 1 looks at how Christmas, Easter, the cross, and the Gospels helps us understand Genesis 1 and the truth that redemption is a key theme in Scripture. After summarizing how Moses interacted with the religions of his day, we see how God can also redeem our own religions today – especially the Christian religion This is a summary episode for everything we have looked at in Genesis 1–2 so far.

Genesis 1 SummaryThe reasons for this summary are numerous:

  1. To remind you of what we have seen so far.
  2. To provide the big picture overview of what we have seen. Sometimes it is easy to miss the forest for the trees, and while my detailed explanations of individual verses are important for the study of Scripture, we don’t want to miss out on the overall theme and focus of Scripture.
  3. New listeners might get overwhelmed with having to listen to 23 podcast episodes on one chapter of the Bible. If you are new here, these summary episodes can help get you up to speed more quickly. Of course, after hearing the summary, you may want to go back and listen to several of the more detailed episodes to the get the fuller explanation of what these verses mean.
  4. Even if you have listened to all the other episodes, you will still want to listen to this one, because in this episode I tie together all the strands and themes that we have looked at so far and present you with the overall big picture truth.

In this Discussion of Genesis 1 we look at:

  • How Christmas, Easter, the cross, and the Gospels helps us understand Genesis 1
  • The truth that redemption is a key theme in Scripture
  • A summary of how Moses interacts with the religions of his day
  • How God sought to redeem the religions of Moses’ day
  • How God can also redeem our own religion – especially the Christian religion

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This discussion of Genesis 1 looks at how Christmas, Easter, the cross, and the Gospels helps us understand Genesis 1 and the truth that redemption is a key theme in Scripture. - After summarizing how Moses interacted with the religions of his day, This is a summary episode for everything we have looked at in Genesis 1–2 so far.<br /> <br /> This discussion of Genesis 1 looks at how Christmas, Easter, the cross, and the Gospels helps us understand Genesis 1 and the truth that redemption is a key theme in Scripture. <br /> <br /> After summarizing how Moses interacted with the religions of his day, we see how God can also redeem our own religions today – especially the Christian religion.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-1-summary/ Jeremy Myers clean 28:15 This is a summary episode for everything we have looked at in Genesis 1–2 so far.<br /> <br /> This discussion of Genesis 1 looks at how Christmas, Easter, the cross, and the Gospels helps us understand Genesis 1 and the truth that redemption is a key theme in Scripture. <br /> <br /> After summarizing how Moses interacted with the religions of his day, we see how God can also redeem our own religions today – especially the Christian religion.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-1-summary/
[#24] Genesis 1 Q&A https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-1-qanda/ Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:00:52 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41260 Before we move on in our study of Scripture, I wanted to take an episode to answer some of the questions that people sent in about Genesis 1. I have already personally answered most of the questions sent in to the people who sent them, but I figured I would ask and answer these questions in a podcast episode as well since you might have similar questions. As we worked our way through Genesis 1 and the first creation account in Genesis, numerous people sent in questions about what they were learning.

Before we move on in our study of Scripture, I wanted to take an episode to answer some of these questions. I have already personally answered most of the questions sent in to the people who sent them, but I figured I would ask and answer these questions in a podcast episode as well since you might have similar questions.

Genesis 1

To ask your own questions on future episodes, feel free to comment on the blog post of any episode, contact me through the contact form, message me on Facebook, or send me an email.

Here are some links I referenced in this episode:

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Before we move on in our study of Scripture, I wanted to take an episode to answer some of the questions that people sent in about Genesis 1. - I have already personally answered most of the questions sent in to the people who sent them, As we worked our way through Genesis 1 and the first creation account in Genesis, numerous people sent in questions about what they were learning.<br /> <br /> Before we move on in our study of Scripture, I wanted to take an episode to answer some of these questions. I have already personally answered most of the questions sent in to the people who sent them, but I figured I would ask and answer these questions in a podcast episode as well since you might have similar questions.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment on this episode or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-1-qanda/ Jeremy Myers clean 38:45 As we worked our way through Genesis 1 and the first creation account in Genesis, numerous people sent in questions about what they were learning.<br /> <br /> Before we move on in our study of Scripture, I wanted to take an episode to answer some of these questions. I have already personally answered most of the questions sent in to the people who sent them, but I figured I would ask and answer these questions in a podcast episode as well since you might have similar questions.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment on this episode or view the show notes, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis-1-qanda/
[#23] Genesis 2:1-3 (Part 2) – Liberating God from the Sabbath Rest https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_1-3-p2/ Thu, 14 Jan 2016 16:00:07 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41210 This study of Genesis 2:1-3 will liberate you from Sabbath bondage. Your Sabbath observance will be liberated from the shackles of religion, and will be brought back into the way God intended it to be. By the end of today’s show, you will be excited to observe the Sabbath, because you will be invited to observe it as God Himself does. This is Part 2 of our study of Genesis 2:1-3, which is the seventh day of the creation week and the day on which God rested from His work.

In Part 1, we looked at the text itself and considered various key terms and issues in this text, and also began to show how this text serves as a theological polemic against some of the religions in the days of Moses.

I left you with a cliffhanger at the end of the show, and that is where we pick up in this episode.

This study of Genesis 2:1-3 reveals something regarding the Sabbath which you have likely never heard before. If you listen, you will hear something regarding the Sabbath that will likely liberate you from all the religious rules and regulations you worry about regarding the Sabbath.

This study of Genesis 2:1-3 will liberate you from Sabbath bondage. Your Sabbath observance will be liberated from the shackles of religion, and will be brought back into the way God intended it to be. By the end of today’s show, you will be excited to observe the Sabbath, because you will be invited to observe it as God Himself does.

Enjoy Life Genesis 2:1-3 Sabbath

The Text of Genesis 2:1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:1-3 we look at:

  • How God invited the Israelites to enter into their rest.
  • How the Israelites would have understood God’s rest in Genesis 2:1-3.
  • Why this text is clearly a temple inauguration text.
  • Why God’s rest is not the cessation of activity, but the beginning of real activity
  • How we can participate with God in His restful ruling of this world.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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This study of Genesis 2:1-3 will liberate you from Sabbath bondage. Your Sabbath observance will be liberated from the shackles of religion, and will be brought back into the way God intended it to be. By the end of today’s show, This study of Genesis 2:1-3 will liberate you from Sabbath bondage. Your Sabbath observance will be liberated from the shackles of religion, and will be brought back into the way God intended it to be. By the end of today’s show, you will be excited to observe the Sabbath, because you will be invited to observe it as God Himself does.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:1-3 we look at:<br /> <br /> -How God invited the Israelites to enter into their rest.<br /> -How the Israelites would have understood God’s rest in Genesis 2:1-3.<br /> -Why this text is clearly a temple inauguration text.<br /> -Why God’s rest is not the cessation of activity, but the beginning of real activity<br /> -How we can participate with God in His restful ruling of this world.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_1-3-p2/ Jeremy Myers clean 36:15 This study of Genesis 2:1-3 will liberate you from Sabbath bondage. Your Sabbath observance will be liberated from the shackles of religion, and will be brought back into the way God intended it to be. By the end of today’s show, you will be excited to observe the Sabbath, because you will be invited to observe it as God Himself does.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:1-3 we look at:<br /> <br /> -How God invited the Israelites to enter into their rest.<br /> -How the Israelites would have understood God’s rest in Genesis 2:1-3.<br /> -Why this text is clearly a temple inauguration text.<br /> -Why God’s rest is not the cessation of activity, but the beginning of real activity<br /> -How we can participate with God in His restful ruling of this world.<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the show notes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_1-3-p2/
[#22] Genesis 2:1-3 (Part 1) – The Sabbath Rest of God https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_1-3-p1/ Thu, 07 Jan 2016 16:00:37 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41155 Lots of people struggle with whether or not we should observe the Sabbath. On the one hand, Sabbath observance seems like a very religious and legalistic thing to do, but on the other hand, God did set up the Sabbath as an everlasting covenant (Exod 31:16), did He not? This episode begins to look at Genesis 2:1-3 and Day 7 of the creation week as we begin to answer these important questions. Do you observe the Sabbath? Why or why not?

Lots of people struggle with whether or not we should observe the Sabbath. On the one hand, Sabbath observance seems like a very religious and legalistic thing to do, but on the other hand, God set up the Sabbath as an everlasting covenant (Exod 31:16).

This episode begins to look at Genesis 2:1-3 and Day 7 of the creation week as we begin to answer these important questions.

The Text of Genesis 2:1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.

And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

In this discussion of Genesis 2:1-3 we look at:

  • The last day of Creation, Day 7
  • How Moses used this day to set Yahweh apart from other gods
  • Why Moses doesn’t actually use the word for “Sabbath”
  • Why Moses presents God as needing to rest

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Lots of people struggle with whether or not we should observe the Sabbath. On the one hand, Sabbath observance seems like a very religious and legalistic thing to do, but on the other hand, God did set up the Sabbath as an everlasting covenant (Exod 31... Do you observe the Sabbath? Why or why not?<br /> <br /> Lots of people struggle with whether or not we should observe the Sabbath. On the one hand, Sabbath observance seems like a very religious and legalistic thing to do, but on the other hand, God did set up the Sabbath as an everlasting covenant (Exod 31:16), did He not?<br /> <br /> This episode begins to look at Genesis 2:1-3 and Day 7 of the creation week as we begin to answer these important questions.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:1-3 we look at:<br /> -The last day of Creation, Day 7<br /> -How Moses used this day to set Yahweh apart from other gods<br /> -Why Moses doesn’t actually use the word for “Sabbath”<br /> -Why Moses presents God as needing to rest<br /> <br /> To view the show notes or leave a comment about this episode, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_1-3-p1/ Jeremy Myers clean 29:06 Do you observe the Sabbath? Why or why not?<br /> <br /> Lots of people struggle with whether or not we should observe the Sabbath. On the one hand, Sabbath observance seems like a very religious and legalistic thing to do, but on the other hand, God did set up the Sabbath as an everlasting covenant (Exod 31:16), did He not?<br /> <br /> This episode begins to look at Genesis 2:1-3 and Day 7 of the creation week as we begin to answer these important questions.<br /> <br /> In this discussion of Genesis 2:1-3 we look at:<br /> -The last day of Creation, Day 7<br /> -How Moses used this day to set Yahweh apart from other gods<br /> -Why Moses doesn’t actually use the word for “Sabbath”<br /> -Why Moses presents God as needing to rest<br /> <br /> To view the show notes or leave a comment about this episode, visit:<br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_2_1-3-p1/
[#21] Genesis 1:28-31 – Sex, Food, and Animals https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_28-31/ Mon, 28 Dec 2015 16:00:05 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41035 Warning: This episode of the One Verse Podcast is rated PG-13. It has content which might be inappropriate for children. How inappropriate? Well, just look at the title of this episode to see. And no … I am not going into graphic detail. I just use the word a few times. But if there are kids around, and you have no interest in explaining to them what that word means, you may want to listen to this podcast later. However, I bet you might be interested in hearing what I have to say about it from Genesis 1, so if the kids are out of listening range, start listening! What is the purpose of life? What is the chief end of mankind?

Genesis 1:28-31Is the chief end and purpose of man, as many dry and dusty old theologians like to say, “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”? If that’s the case, it’s no wonder that many people want nothing to do with God, with theology, or with Christianity.

But what if I told you that according to God, our three primary tasks in life were to have sex, eat good food, and take care of your pets?

Now that is a little more appealing, isn’t it?

This is what we see from Genesis 1:28-31. Listen to the podcast to learn more!

The Text of Genesis 1:28-31

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:28-31 we look at:

  • The three instructions God gives to humans for how to live life.
  • God wants you to be fruitful and multiply
  • God wants you to enjoy good food
  • God wants you to make friends with animals
  • Doing these three things is what makes creation “very good”

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Warning: This episode of the One Verse Podcast is rated PG-13. - It has content which might be inappropriate for children. How inappropriate? Well, just look at the title of this episode to see. And no … I am not going into graphic detail. Warning: This episode of the One Verse Podcast is rated PG-13. <br /> <br /> It has content which might be inappropriate for children. How inappropriate? Well, just look at the title of this episode to see. And no … I am not going into graphic detail. I just use the word a few times. But if there are kids around, and you have no interest in explaining to them what that word means, you may want to listen to this podcast later.<br /> <br /> However, I bet you might be interested in hearing what I have to say about it from Genesis 1, so if the kids are out of listening range, start listening!<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_28-31/ Jeremy Myers clean 30:31 Warning: This episode of the One Verse Podcast is rated PG-13. <br /> <br /> It has content which might be inappropriate for children. How inappropriate? Well, just look at the title of this episode to see. And no … I am not going into graphic detail. I just use the word a few times. But if there are kids around, and you have no interest in explaining to them what that word means, you may want to listen to this podcast later.<br /> <br /> However, I bet you might be interested in hearing what I have to say about it from Genesis 1, so if the kids are out of listening range, start listening!<br /> <br /> To leave a comment or view the shownotes, visit: <br /> https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_28-31/
[#20] Genesis 1:26 – The Image of God (Part 2) https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_26b/ Mon, 21 Dec 2015 16:00:39 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=41010 In the previous study of Genesis 1:26, we began to look at what it means to be made in the image of God. I said there were four contextual keys to what it means to be made in the image of God. This study looks at the final three contextual keys. image of God Genesis 1 26What does it mean to be made in the image of God? We began to see an answer to this in last week’s episode, and will finish answering this question in this study of Genesis 1:26.

In the previous study of Genesis 1:26, we began to look at what it means to be made in the image of God. We saw that it cannot refer to anything related to the Trinity, or to the popular idea that humans have intellect, emotions, and will. We do have these things, but this is not what it means to be made in the image of God.

I stated that there were four contextual keys about what it means to be made in the image of God, and I shared the first one with you. The first contextual key was the text of Genesis 1 itself. There are seven activities of God in Genesis 1, and in various ways, God instructs humans to engage in all seven of these activities. When we do the works of God, we are living as the image of God on earth.

That was the first contextual key. The next three keys all pretty much reveal the exact same thing, but from different perspectives. So the final three contextual keys which what us understand what it means to be made in the image of God help the support the idea that we have already seen, that you and I are the image of God on earth, and that we live as His image when we act the way God acts.

We look at these three contextual keys in today’s episode of the One Verse Podcast.

The Text of Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

In This Discussion of Genesis 1:26, we look at:

  • What it means to be made in the image of God.
  • The cultural context of Egyptian and Babylonian religion and royalty.
  • The ritual by which ancient priests made images of their gods.
  • The connection between the image of God and the prohibition in the Mosaic Law against making graven images.
  • How Jesus as the perfect image of God shows us how to live as the image of God.
  • Three suggestions for how you can live as the image of God on earth.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.

]]>
In the previous study of Genesis 1:26, we began to look at what it means to be made in the image of God. I said there were four contextual keys to what it means to be made in the image of God. This study looks at the final three contextual keys. last week’s episode, and will finish answering this question in this study of Genesis 1:26.

In the previous study of Genesis 1:26, we began to look at what it means to be made in the image of God. We saw that it cannot refer to anything related to the Trinity, or to the popular idea that humans have intellect, emotions, and will. We do have these things, but this is not what it means to be made in the image of God.

I stated that there were four contextual keys about what it means to be made in the image of God, and I shared the first one with you. The first contextual key was the text of Genesis 1 itself. There are seven activities of God in Genesis 1, and in various ways, God instructs humans to engage in all seven of these activities. When we do the works of God, we are living as the image of God on earth.

That was the first contextual key. The next three keys all pretty much reveal the exact same thing, but from different perspectives. So the final three contextual keys which what us understand what it means to be made in the image of God help the support the idea that we have already seen, that you and I are the image of God on earth, and that we live as His image when we act the way God acts.

We look at these three contextual keys in today's episode of the One Verse Podcast.
The Text of Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
In This Discussion of Genesis 1:26, we look at:

* What it means to be made in the image of God.
* The cultural context of Egyptian and Babylonian religion and royalty.
* The ritual by which ancient priests made images of their gods.
* The connection between the image of God and the prohibition in the Mosaic Law against making graven images.
* How Jesus as the perfect image of God shows us how to live as the image of God.
* Three suggestions for how you can live as the image of God on earth.

Resources:

* Become a Patron of the One Verse Podcast
* Gibson, Genesis - Amazon or CBD
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Hess Article on Genesis 1–2
* Heidel, Babylonian Genesis – Amazon
* Johnston Article on Genesis 1
* Miller and Soden, In the Beginning – Amazon or CBD
* Wenham, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
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Jeremy Myers clean
[#19] Genesis 1:26 – The Image of God (Part 1) https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_26a/ Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:00:06 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40976 What does Genesis 1:26 mean when it talks about being made in the image of God? Does it mean that we have intellect, emotions, and will? Or maybe, just as God is a Trinity, is it referring to our three parts: body, soul, and spirit. Or does it refer to something else entirely? I go with the last option: something else entirely. We begin to see what that something else is in this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we begin to look at the image of God in Genesis 1:26. What does Genesis 1:26 mean when it refers to humans being made in the image of God?

Does it mean that we have intellect, emotions, and will?

Or maybe, just as God is a Trinity, is it referring to our three parts: body, soul, and spirit.

Or does it refer to something else entirely?

I go with the last option: something else entirely. We begin to see what that something else is in this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we begin to look at the image of God in Genesis 1:26.

Genesis 1:26 made in the image of god

The Text of Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

In this discussion of Genesis 1:26 we look at:

  • What it means to be made in the image of God.
  • Why the image of God is not related to the Trinity.
  • Why the image of God is not intellect, emotions, and will.
  • The first (of four) contextual clues about the image of God.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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What does Genesis 1:26 mean when it talks about being made in the image of God? - Does it mean that we have intellect, emotions, and will? - Or maybe, just as God is a Trinity, is it referring to our three parts: body, soul, and spirit. -
Does it mean that we have intellect, emotions, and will?

Or maybe, just as God is a Trinity, is it referring to our three parts: body, soul, and spirit.

Or does it refer to something else entirely?

I go with the last option: something else entirely. We begin to see what that something else is in this episode of the One Verse Podcast as we begin to look at the image of God in Genesis 1:26.


The Text of Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
In this discussion of Genesis 1:26 we look at:

* What it means to be made in the image of God.
* Why the image of God is not related to the Trinity.
* Why the image of God is not intellect, emotions, and will.
* The first (of four) contextual clues about the image of God.

Resources:

* Become a Patron of the One Verse Podcast
* Collins, Genesis 1-4 – Amazon or CBD
* Wenham, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Walton, Lost World of Genesis One, Amazon or CBD
* My old beliefs on the image of God in Genesis
* 7 Activities of God in the Bible
* Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes

Downloadable Podcast Resources
Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.




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Jeremy Myers clean
[#18] Genesis 1:26-28 – Let them have Dominion https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_26-28/ Mon, 07 Dec 2015 16:00:19 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40934 In this episode of the One Verse Podcast, we see that as followers of Jesus, we should not be condemning the environmentalists, but should actually be leading the way in showing this world how to take care of this earth. Listen to the episode to learn more. Genesis 1:26-28 environmentalismAre you an environmentalist? Maybe you think environmentalist are those tree-hugging, liberal lunatics who fight for the rights of rainforest birds and Pacific salmon while ignoring the humans and unborn babies.

I have criticisms of the environmental movement as well, but in this episode of the One Verse Podcast, we see that as followers of Jesus, we should not be condemning the environmentalists, but should actually be leading the way in showing this world how to take care of God’s green earth. Listen to the episode to learn more.

The Text of Genesis 1:26-28

Genesis 1:26-28. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In this discussion of Genesis 1:26-28 we look at:

  • What it means to have dominion over the earth.
  • The two shocking terms Moses used to describe dominion.
  • What ancient religions believed about the dominion of the gods.
  • The use and abuse of power, and how God redeems power in Jesus.
  • Why Christians should lead the world in environmental concerns.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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In this episode of the One Verse Podcast, we see that as followers of Jesus, we should not be condemning the environmentalists, but should actually be leading the way in showing this world how to take care of this earth.
I have criticisms of the environmental movement as well, but in this episode of the One Verse Podcast, we see that as followers of Jesus, we should not be condemning the environmentalists, but should actually be leading the way in showing this world how to take care of God’s green earth. Listen to the episode to learn more.
The Text of Genesis 1:26-28
Genesis 1:26-28. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
In this discussion of Genesis 1:26-28 we look at:

* What it means to have dominion over the earth.
* The two shocking terms Moses used to describe dominion.
* What ancient religions believed about the dominion of the gods.
* The use and abuse of power, and how God redeems power in Jesus.
* Why Christians should lead the world in environmental concerns.

Resources:

* Become a Patron of the One Verse Podcast
* Gibson, Genesis - Amazon or CBD
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Hess Article on Genesis 1–2
* Kidner, Genesis, Amazon or CBD
* Sarna, Understanding Genesis – Amazon or
* Walton, Ancient Israelite Literature - Amazon
* Wenham, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes

Downloadable Podcast Resources
Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.




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Jeremy Myers clean
[#17] Genesis 1:26-27 – Let Us Make Man in Our Image https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_26-27/ Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:00:47 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40819 Have you ever wondered why God uses plural pronouns for Himself in Genesis 1:26? This podcast takes a look at this verse, summarizes the eight common views on these plural pronouns, and then proposes a ninth view for your consideration. In Genesis 1:26, God refers to Himself in the plural. He says, “Let us make man in our image.” Why does He do that? Why does Moses write it that way? Is this the first verse in the Bible that proves the Trinity?

No, I don’t think so. This podcast on Genesis 1:26-27 explains what I do think.

let us make man in our image Genesis 1:26

The Text of Genesis 1:26-27

Genesis 1:26-27. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:26-27 we look at:

  • The pinnacle of the creation week
  • The creation of mankind in Genesis 1 contrasted with other creation accounts
  • The eight views of why God speaks in the plural in Genesis 1:26
  • My preferred view for why Genesis 1:26 speaks of God in the plural
  • How to be like God by living in relationships

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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Have you ever wondered why God uses plural pronouns for Himself in Genesis 1:26? This podcast takes a look at this verse, summarizes the eight common views on these plural pronouns, and then proposes a ninth view for your consideration.
No, I don’t think so. This podcast on Genesis 1:26-27 explains what I do think.


The Text of Genesis 1:26-27
Genesis 1:26-27. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In this discussion of Genesis 1:26-27 we look at:

* The pinnacle of the creation week
* The creation of mankind in Genesis 1 contrasted with other creation accounts
* The eight views of why God speaks in the plural in Genesis 1:26
* My preferred view for why Genesis 1:26 speaks of God in the plural
* How to be like God by living in relationships

Resources:

* Become a Patron of the One Verse Podcast
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Johnston Article on Genesis 1
* One Proof for the Trinity

Downloadable Podcast Resources
Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.




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Jeremy Myers clean
[#16] Genesis 1:24-25 – The Theology of Evolution https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_24-25/ Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:00:35 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40735 While I do not believe that Genesis 1 speaks directly against the theory of evolution, I do believe that the theology behind the theory of evolution has been around a lot longer than the theory itself, and Genesis 1:24-25 speaks directly against some of these theological ideas. While I do not believe that Genesis 1 speaks directly against the theory of evolution, I do believe that the theology behind the theory of evolution has been around a lot longer than the theory itself.

In fact, the theology behind the theory of evolution has been around since the very beginning.

The verses we will look at today, Genesis 1:24-25, speak directly against these theological ideas. Listen to this episode to learn how.

genesis 1:24-25 humans animals evolution

The Text of Genesis 1:24-25

Genesis 1:24-25. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:24-25 we look at:

  • The first part of the sixth day of creation is the creation of the animals.
  • How the creation of the animals is different than the creation of the plants.
  • The three categories of animals that were created.
  • Similarities of Genesis 1:24-25 with other creation accounts, and how the Genesis account is polemical against them.
  • How Genesis 1:24-25 refutes the theology of evolution, even if it doesn’t speak to evolution itself.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


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While I do not believe that Genesis 1 speaks directly against the theory of evolution, I do believe that the theology behind the theory of evolution has been around a lot longer than the theory itself, and Genesis 1:24-25 speaks directly against some o...
In fact, the theology behind the theory of evolution has been around since the very beginning.

The verses we will look at today, Genesis 1:24-25, speak directly against these theological ideas. Listen to this episode to learn how.


The Text of Genesis 1:24-25
Genesis 1:24-25. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
In this discussion of Genesis 1:24-25 we look at:

* The first part of the sixth day of creation is the creation of the animals.
* How the creation of the animals is different than the creation of the plants.
* The three categories of animals that were created.
* Similarities of Genesis 1:24-25 with other creation accounts, and how the Genesis account is polemical against them.
* How Genesis 1:24-25 refutes the theology of evolution, even if it doesn’t speak to evolution itself.

Resources:

* Become a Patron of the Podcast
* Collins, Genesis 1-4 – Amazon or CBD
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Keil & Delitzsch, Genesis - Amazon or CBD
* Morris, The Genesis Record – Amazon or CBD
* Ross, H. The Genesis Question - Amazon
* Sailhamer, EBC: Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Sailhamer, Genesis Unbound – Amazon
* Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds – Amazon or CBD
* Walton, Lost World of Genesis One, Amazon or CBD
* Wenham, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Babylonian Account of the Creation of the Beasts of the Field
* fm – Helping you and your Theology Look Like Jesus
* Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes

Downloadable Podcast Resources
Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.

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Jeremy Myers clean
[#15] Genesis 1:21 – Redeeming the Sea Serpents https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_21/ Mon, 16 Nov 2015 16:00:11 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40343 Is there something in your life you are ashamed of? If you are like most people, there are probably a multitude of such things. Maybe it is something evil that happened to you when you were younger. Maybe it is some addiction or temptation which you fall to almost every day. In this episode of the One Verse Podcast, we see that God can bring glory out of even these evil and horrible things. He does this through redemption. Is there something in your life you are ashamed of? If you are like most people, there are probably a multitude of such things.

Maybe it is something evil that happened to you when you were younger. Maybe it is some addiction or temptation which you fall to almost every day.

By looking at some shocking truths from Genesis 1:21, we see that God doesn’t want to get rid of those things in your life. No, instead, God wants to redeem them. To turn them around to be used for His glory.

Listen to this episode of the One Verse Podcast to see what I mean.

Great Sea Dragons Genesis 1:21

The Text of Genesis 1:21

Genesis 1:21. So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:21 we look at:

  • Why Moses uses the word bara (“to create”) in Genesis 1:21.
  • The meaning of tannin as “monsters” in Genesis 1:21.
  • The religious myths about sea serpents from Babylon, Canaan, and Egypt
  • What the rest of Scripture says about sea serpents.
  • The theological truth Moses was making by saying that God created the
  • The theological truth Moses was making by calling the tannin “good.”
  • Why God wants to redeem the evil that has happened to you and turn it around for good.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


]]>
Is there something in your life you are ashamed of? If you are like most people, there are probably a multitude of such things. Maybe it is something evil that happened to you when you were younger. Maybe it is some addiction or temptation which you fa...
Maybe it is something evil that happened to you when you were younger. Maybe it is some addiction or temptation which you fall to almost every day.

By looking at some shocking truths from Genesis 1:21, we see that God doesn’t want to get rid of those things in your life. No, instead, God wants to redeem them. To turn them around to be used for His glory.

Listen to this episode of the One Verse Podcast to see what I mean.


The Text of Genesis 1:21
Genesis 1:21. So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:21 we look at:

* Why Moses uses the word bara (“to create”) in Genesis 1:21.
* The meaning of tannin as “monsters” in Genesis 1:21.
* The religious myths about sea serpents from Babylon, Canaan, and Egypt
* What the rest of Scripture says about sea serpents.
* The theological truth Moses was making by saying that God created the
* The theological truth Moses was making by calling the tannin “good.”
* Why God wants to redeem the evil that has happened to you and turn it around for good.

Resources:

* Logos Bible Software
* Ancient Seas Monsters
* Eight Reasons Genesis 1 Does Not Teach Creationism – Spencer Boersma
* Fretheim, NIB: Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Gibson, Genesis - Amazon or CBD
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Kidner, Genesis, Amazon or CBD
* Ross, Creation & Blessing - Amazon or CBD
* Sailhamer, Genesis Unbound – Amazon
* Sarna, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Waltke, Genesis, Amazon or CBD
* Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds – Amazon or CBD
* Walton, Lost World of Genesis One, Amazon or CBD
* Wenham, Genesis – https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40340 In this discussion of Genesis 1:20-23 we look at numerous items related to the creation of the fish and the birds. We focus specifically on the description of fish as having nephesh, a soul, and what this means for our theology and understanding of the human soul. fish and nephesh Genesis 1:20This episode of the One Verse Podcast concerns the question about whether or not animals go to heaven.

Do you believe that “All Dogs Go to Heaven”? To be honest, I don’t know if they do or they don’t. I am nearly certain that there will be animals in the eternal state, but I do not know if God will bring Fido or Fluffy to join you there.

Some people use passages like Genesis 1:20-23 as an argument for the idea that animals have souls, and therefore, animals will go to heaven.

Genesis 1 does in fact teach that animals have souls. Even fish, as we see in Genesis 1:20-23, have a soul. So does this mean that if Nemo had been flushed down the toilet, he would have found himself in paradise? This is one of the things we look at in this study of Genesis 1:20-23.

The Text of Genesis 1:20-23

Genesis 1:20-23. Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:20-23 we look at:

  • Why “creatures” in Genesis 1:20 is better translated as “swarmers.”
  • Why many English translations leave out the word nephesh in Genesis 1:20.
  • Why a belief that dogs go to heaven leads to a belief in universalism.
  • Nephesh does not mean “soul” but “life.”
  • What it means for birds to fly across the face of the firmament.
  • The connection between blessings and obedience.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


]]> In this discussion of Genesis 1:20-23 we look at numerous items related to the creation of the fish and the birds. We focus specifically on the description of fish as having nephesh, a soul, and what this means for our theology and understanding of the...
Do you believe that “All Dogs Go to Heaven”? To be honest, I don’t know if they do or they don’t. I am nearly certain that there will be animals in the eternal state, but I do not know if God will bring Fido or Fluffy to join you there.

Some people use passages like Genesis 1:20-23 as an argument for the idea that animals have souls, and therefore, animals will go to heaven.

Genesis 1 does in fact teach that animals have souls. Even fish, as we see in Genesis 1:20-23, have a soul. So does this mean that if Nemo had been flushed down the toilet, he would have found himself in paradise? This is one of the things we look at in this study of Genesis 1:20-23.
The Text of Genesis 1:20-23
Genesis 1:20-23. Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
In this discussion of Genesis 1:20-23 we look at:

* Why “creatures” in Genesis 1:20 is better translated as “swarmers.”
* Why many English translations leave out the word nephesh in Genesis 1:20.
* Why a belief that dogs go to heaven leads to a belief in universalism.
* Nephesh does not mean “soul” but “life.”
* What it means for birds to fly across the face of the firmament.
* The connection between blessings and obedience.

Resources:

* Logos Bible Software
* Eight Reasons Genesis 1 Does Not Teach Creationism – Spencer Boersma
* Study what it means to save the soul from death: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Hertz, The Pentateuch – Amazon
* Kidner, Genesis, Amazon or CBD
* Waltke, Genesis, Amazon or CBD
* Wenham, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* Subscribe and Leave a Review on iTunes 

Downloadable Podcast Resources
Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast tran...]]>
Jeremy Myers clean
[#13] Genesis 1:14-19 (Part 3) – 7 Theological Insights from the Sun, Moon, and Stars https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_1_14-19-p3/ Mon, 02 Nov 2015 16:00:00 +0000 https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40136 This is Part 3 of our study in Genesis 1:14-19. This episode continues with the central theme of Genesis 1 being a polemic against the surrounding religions in the days of Moses. Specifically, we see the seven ways that Moses differentiates Yahweh from the deities of the surrounding nations and cultures. One Verse PodcastToday we conclude our 3 Part discussion of Genesis 1:14-19.

Previously, we learned that Moses did not intend to write a scientific explanation of how the sun, moon, and stars came into existence, but instead wanted the Hebrew people to understand how Yahweh was different and better than the gods of Canaan, Egypt, and Babylon, with which the Hebrew people were familiar.

In the previous episode, we really only saw that Moses was in fact writing a polemic against the gods of these other religions and cultures.

This episode concludes this study of Genesis 1:14-19 by showing the seven ways that Moses differentiates Yahweh from the deities of these surrounding nations and cultures.

Genesis 1:14-19 Sun moon and stars

The Text of Genesis 1:14-19

Genesis 1:14-19. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light to the earth”; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:14-19 we look at:

  • Why the sunrise is not the pinnacle of creation.
  • Why Moses waited until Day 4 to introduce the sun, moon, and stars.
  • Why time existed prior to the sun, moon, and stars.
  • The significance of Moses not even naming the sun and moon.
  • The theological truth about the stars being nearly ignored on Day 4.
  • The reason Moses repeats the phrase, “and it was evening, and it was morning.”
  • The truth that God faces no battles for our continued, daily existence.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


]]>
This is Part 3 of our study in Genesis 1:14-19. - This episode continues with the central theme of Genesis 1 being a polemic against the surrounding religions in the days of Moses. Specifically, we see the seven ways that Moses differentiates Yahweh ... Today we conclude our 3 Part discussion of Genesis 1:14-19.

Previously, we learned that Moses did not intend to write a scientific explanation of how the sun, moon, and stars came into existence, but instead wanted the Hebrew people to understand how Yahweh was different and better than the gods of Canaan, Egypt, and Babylon, with which the Hebrew people were familiar.

In the previous episode, we really only saw that Moses was in fact writing a polemic against the gods of these other religions and cultures.

This episode concludes this study of Genesis 1:14-19 by showing the seven ways that Moses differentiates Yahweh from the deities of these surrounding nations and cultures.


The Text of Genesis 1:14-19
Genesis 1:14-19. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light to the earth”; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
In this discussion of Genesis 1:14-19 we look at:

* Why the sunrise is not the pinnacle of creation.
* Why Moses waited until Day 4 to introduce the sun, moon, and stars.
* Why time existed prior to the sun, moon, and stars.
* The significance of Moses not even naming the sun and moon.
* The theological truth about the stars being nearly ignored on Day 4.
* The reason Moses repeats the phrase, “and it was evening, and it was morning.”
* The truth that God faces no battles for our continued, daily existence.

Resources:

* Theology.fm – Helping you and your Theology Look Like Jesus
* Atkinson, Genesis 1-11 – Amazon or CBD
* Greidanus, Preaching Christ, Amazon or CBD
* Hamilton, Genesis 1–17 – Amazon or CBD
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Johnston Article on Genesis 1
* Miller and Soden, In the Beginning – Amazon or CBD
* Ross, Creation & Blessing - Amazon or CBD
* Wenham, Genesis – Amazon or CBD
* https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40135 When Moses sets out to differentiate the worship of Yahweh from the various religions of his day, he specifically targeted the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. This is what we see in this podcast episode of Genesis 1:14-19. One Verse PodcastMany ancient religions were focused around the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. Annual religious holidays and festivals were often guided by the length of the days and the movements of the sun. The twelve months of the year are based upon the waxing and waning of the moon. Even the names of our weekdays are named after certain celestial bodies.

So it is no surprise that when Moses sets out to differentiate the worship of Yahweh from the various religions of his day, he specifically targeted the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. This is what we see today in our second look at Genesis 1:14-19.

This is Part 2 of our 3 Part look at Genesis 1:14-19. Previously, we saw on the fourth day of creation, Moses was not writing a scientific account of how the sun, moon, and stars came into existence.

Today, we see what Moses was writing, which was a polemic against the religious beliefs and practices of his day. Specifically, Moses wanted the Israelites to see that Yahweh was different and better than the gods of Egypt, the gods of Babylon, and the gods of Canaan. This truth was important for the Hebrew people to understand for they were coming from Egypt, were headed toward Canaan, and had been influenced by the beliefs and practices from Babylon. In fact, that region is where their forefather Abraham came from!

So they needed to know who Yahweh was, whether or not He could be trusted, and why they should serve and worship Him alone. You and I have similar questions, which is why today’s study is so important.

Genesis 1:14-19 Sun moon stars

The Text of Genesis 1:14-19

Genesis 1:14-19. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light to the earth”; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In this discussion of Genesis 1:14-19 we look at:

  • How Genesis 1:14-19 is a polemic against the religions of Moses’ day.
  • How Yahweh is superior to the Canaanite chief deity, El.
  • Why “Elohim” is not a reference to the Trinity.
  • How Moses sets Yahweh above the Babylonian god Marduk.
  • How Moses shows that Yahweh is superior to the Egyptian sun god.

Resources:

Downloadable Podcast Resources

Those who are part of my online discipleship group may download the MP3 audio file for this podcast and view the podcast transcript below.


]]> When Moses sets out to differentiate the worship of Yahweh from the various religions of his day, he specifically targeted the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. - This is what we see in this podcast episode of Genesis 1:14-19. Many ancient religions were focused around the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. Annual religious holidays and festivals were often guided by the length of the days and the movements of the sun. The twelve months of the year are based upon the waxing and waning of the moon. Even the names of our weekdays are named after certain celestial bodies.

So it is no surprise that when Moses sets out to differentiate the worship of Yahweh from the various religions of his day, he specifically targeted the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. This is what we see today in our second look at Genesis 1:14-19.

This is Part 2 of our 3 Part look at Genesis 1:14-19. Previously, we saw on the fourth day of creation, Moses was not writing a scientific account of how the sun, moon, and stars came into existence.

Today, we see what Moses was writing, which was a polemic against the religious beliefs and practices of his day. Specifically, Moses wanted the Israelites to see that Yahweh was different and better than the gods of Egypt, the gods of Babylon, and the gods of Canaan. This truth was important for the Hebrew people to understand for they were coming from Egypt, were headed toward Canaan, and had been influenced by the beliefs and practices from Babylon. In fact, that region is where their forefather Abraham came from!

So they needed to know who Yahweh was, whether or not He could be trusted, and why they should serve and worship Him alone. You and I have similar questions, which is why today’s study is so important.


The Text of Genesis 1:14-19
Genesis 1:14-19. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light to the earth”; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
In this discussion of Genesis 1:14-19 we look at:

* How Genesis 1:14-19 is a polemic against the religions of Moses’ day.
* How Yahweh is superior to the Canaanite chief deity, El.
* Why “Elohim” is not a reference to the Trinity.
* How Moses sets Yahweh above the Babylonian god Marduk.
* How Moses shows that Yahweh is superior to the Egyptian sun god.

Resources:

* Theology.fm – Helping you and your Theology Look Like Jesus
* Connect with Jeremy on Facebook
* Connect with Jeremy on Twitter
* Hasel Article on Genesis 1
* Johnston Article on Genesis 1
* Miller and Soden, In the Beginning – Amazon or CBD
* Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds – Amazon or CBD
* https://redeeminggod.com/?p=40107 In this episode of the One Verse Podcast, you will see why we cannot read Genesis 1:14-19 as a scientific explanation of how the sun, moon, and stars came to be, and you will also learn from the text what three purposes these celestial lights serve in God’s creation. One Verse PodcastGenesis 1:14-19 contains a description of the fourth day of creation. It is also the longest description of a creation day so far, taking up six verses in Genesis 1. The only other day that receives more attention is the sixth day, in which God creates mankind.

I tried to divide up these six verses of Genesis 1:14-19 into manageable sections so that I could record various podcasts on them, but I completely failed. The end result is that I am going to take three episodes to look at these six verses, and each episode will have a slightly different focus or emphasis.

In today’s One Verse Podcast, you will see why we cannot read Genesis 1:14-19 as a scientific explanation of how the sun, moon, and stars came to be, and you will also learn from the text what three purposes these celestial lights serve in God’s creation.

The Text of Genesis 1:14-19

Genesis 1:14-19. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light to the earth”; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Genesis 1:14-19 sun moon stars

In this discussion of Genesis 1:14-19 we look at:

  • The fourth day of creation and how it fits within the structure of Genesis 1
  • Why the sun, moon, and stars might not have been created on the fourth day
  • Why Genesis 1:14-19 cannot be read scientifically
  • The three purposes or tasks God assigned to the sun, moon, and stars

Resources:

  • Theology.fm – Helping you and your Theology Look Like Jesus
  • Keil & Delitzsch, GenesisAmazon or CBD
  • Hamilton, Genesis 1–17Amazon or CBD
  • Miller and Soden, In the BeginningAmazon or CBD
  • Morris, The Genesis RecordAmazon or CBD
  • Rashi, BereishisAmazon
  • Sailhamer, EBC: GenesisAmazon or CBD
  • Sailhamer, Genesis UnboundAmazon
  • Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible BackgroundsAmazon or CBD
  • Walton, Lost World of Genesis One, Amazon or