Sunday, May 11, 2008

The rich get richer

The above is the title of the Bible study begun today by our other Pastor. He previewed it at a youth Bible study yesterday, at which my younger brother brought me as a "special guest." Here are the notes, a mere sampling of what is to come (but I may not necessarily have notes):

John 3:16, a.k.a. "The Gospel in a nutshell." Context: Nicodemus, a Pharisee (very legalistic, law-guiders, keeping Judaism pure), fears talking to Jesus except at night. Topic: new birth, referring to Baptism (water + Spirit/Word).

Matthew 28:19-20, a.k.a. "The Great Commission."
  • "Obey" (NIV) is better translated as "observe" (NKJV) or "treasure" - all of Christ's gifts and teaching. Half isn't good enough.
  • "Disciples" - office of the ministry. Not "everyone a minister."
  • "but some doubted" - Greek omits "some." Each of us doubts.
  • Verse 18 - "Jesus" (human name) was given all authority. "Christ" (divine title) already had all the authority. This isn't about Jesus somehow "becoming" God (as is claimed by, for example, Jehovah's Witnesses). See also Philippians 2:9-11.
  • Verses 19-20a - "make disciples" is the main verb (one word in Greek); participles are going--baptizing--teaching. "In the name of ..." is therefore Baptismal because it gathers the baptized. See Hebrews 4:14-16.
Ephesians 2:8-9, a.k.a. "Grace through faith." Context: grace from our perspective. Dead people don't make themselves alive. Grace vs. death in trespasses. God's total action. Seated with Christ Jesus through Baptism means that there's no place for sin. Antecedent of "not of yourselves" is "faith" (refuting Baptist theology on that point).

Psalm 23. This is preceded by Psalm 22, the utter hopelessness of Jesus as He was forsaken temporarily by God. It is followed by Psalm 24, speaking of Christ the King of glory.

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