Viva the mystery

Genesis, chapter 2
 20 The man gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him.  21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of Man.”  24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.

I do not understand how two radically different beings like a man and a woman can love each other.  But, there it is, a bond that defies a complete description (Although, the picture goes a long way in that direction).  Somehow, the differences between the sexes bind them together.  Again, I am at a loss to explain it.  I guess the best answer is found in verses 21 to 23 above.  Since the two were originally one, joining back together as one completes the true nature of what humans are supposed to be.  But, I am not kidding myself, because even though I may sound knowledgeable, I am only guessing.  I feel I can safely say that no man fully understands his feminine counterpart.  And I am glad; I love a good mystery!!!

Sept. 8 Psalms 49-51

Sept. 8
Psalms 49-51

Psa 49:1 Hear this, all you peoples. Listen, all you inhabitants of the world,
Psa 49:2 both low and high, rich and poor together.
Psa 49:3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom. My heart shall utter understanding.
Psa 49:4 I will incline my ear to a proverb. I will open my riddle on the harp.
Psa 49:5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, when iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
Psa 49:6 Those who trust in their wealth, and boast in the multitude of their riches--
Psa 49:7 none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give God a ransom for him.
Psa 49:8 For the redemption of their life is costly, no payment is ever enough,
Psa 49:9 That he should live on forever, that he should not see corruption.
Psa 49:10 For he sees that wise men die; likewise the fool and the senseless perish, and leave their wealth to others.
Psa 49:11 Their inward thought is that their houses will endure forever, and their dwelling places to all generations. They name their lands after themselves.
Psa 49:12 But man, despite his riches, doesn't endure. He is like the animals that perish.
Psa 49:13 This is the destiny of those who are foolish, and of those who approve their sayings. Selah.
Psa 49:14 They are appointed as a flock for Sheol. Death shall be their shepherd. The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. Their beauty shall decay in Sheol, far from their mansion.
Psa 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah.
Psa 49:16 Don't be afraid when a man is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased.
Psa 49:17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away. His glory shall not descend after him.
Psa 49:18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul-- and men praise you when you do well for yourself--
Psa 49:19 he shall go to the generation of his fathers. They shall never see the light.
Psa 49:20 A man who has riches without understanding, is like the animals that perish.
Psa 50:1 The Mighty One, God, Yahweh, speaks, and calls the earth from sunrise to sunset.
Psa 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Psa 50:3 Our God comes, and does not keep silent. A fire devours before him. It is very stormy around him.
Psa 50:4 He calls to the heavens above, to the earth, that he may judge his people:
Psa 50:5 "Gather my saints together to me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
Psa 50:6 The heavens shall declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah.
Psa 50:7 "Hear, my people, and I will speak; Israel, and I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
Psa 50:8 I don't rebuke you for your sacrifices. Your burnt offerings are continually before me.
Psa 50:9 I have no need for a bull from your stall, nor male goats from your pens.
Psa 50:10 For every animal of the forest is mine, and the livestock on a thousand hills.
Psa 50:11 I know all the birds of the mountains. The wild animals of the field are mine.
Psa 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Psa 50:13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
Psa 50:14 Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Pay your vows to the Most High.
Psa 50:15 Call on me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
Psa 50:16 But to the wicked God says, "What right do you have to declare my statutes, that you have taken my covenant on your lips,
Psa 50:17 seeing you hate instruction, and throw my words behind you?
Psa 50:18 When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have participated with adulterers.
Psa 50:19 "You give your mouth to evil. Your tongue frames deceit.
Psa 50:20 You sit and speak against your brother. You slander your own mother's son.
Psa 50:21 You have done these things, and I kept silent. You thought that the I was just like you. I will rebuke you, and accuse you in front of your eyes.
Psa 50:22 "Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you into pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Psa 50:23 Whoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies me, and prepares his way so that I will show God's salvation to him."
Psa 51:1 Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
Psa 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity. Cleanse me from my sin.
Psa 51:3 For I know my transgressions. My sin is constantly before me.
Psa 51:4 Against you, and you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight; that you may be proved right when you speak, and justified when you judge.
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. In sin my mother conceived me.
Psa 51:6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts. You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Psa 51:7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psa 51:8 Let me hear joy and gladness, That the bones which you have broken may rejoice.
Psa 51:9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all of my iniquities.
Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
Psa 51:11 Don't throw me from your presence, and don't take your holy Spirit from me.
Psa 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psa 51:13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways. Sinners shall be converted to you.
Psa 51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation. My tongue shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Psa 51:15 Lord, open my lips. My mouth shall declare your praise.
Psa 51:16 For you don't delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it. You have no pleasure in burnt offering.
Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psa 51:18 Do well in your good pleasure to Zion. Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Psa 51:19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, in burnt offerings and in whole burnt offerings. Then they will offer bulls on your altar.

Sept. 8 1 Corinthians 4

Sept. 8
1 Corinthians 4

1Co 4:1 So let a man think of us as Christ's servants, and stewards of God's mysteries.
1Co 4:2 Here, moreover, it is required of stewards, that they be found faithful.
1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or by man's judgment. Yes, I don't judge my own self.
1Co 4:4 For I know nothing against myself. Yet I am not justified by this, but he who judges me is the Lord.
1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each man will get his praise from God.
1Co 4:6 Now these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to think beyond the things which are written, that none of you be puffed up against one another.
1Co 4:7 For who makes you different? And what do you have that you didn't receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
1Co 4:8 You are already filled. You have already become rich. You have come to reign without us. Yes, and I wish that you did reign, that we also might reign with you.
1Co 4:9 For, I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last of all, like men sentenced to death. For we are made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men.
1Co 4:10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You have honor, but we have dishonor.
1Co 4:11 Even to this present hour we hunger, thirst, are naked, are beaten, and have no certain dwelling place.
1Co 4:12 We toil, working with our own hands. When people curse us, we bless. Being persecuted, we endure.
1Co 4:13 Being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the dirt wiped off by all, even until now.
1Co 4:14 I don't write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
1Co 4:15 For though you have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, I became your father through the Good News.
1Co 4:16 I beg you therefore, be imitators of me.
1Co 4:17 Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every assembly.
1Co 4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you.
1Co 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord is willing. And I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
1Co 4:20 For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
1Co 4:21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Chapter Three by Mark Copeland

                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                             Chapter Three


1) To examine the qualifications necessary for bishops and deacons

2) To appreciate the noble view that Paul has of the church


In this chapter we find the qualifications necessary for those who 
would serve as bishops in the local congregation (1-7).  A similar list
is included for those who would be deacons (8-13).

Paul then explains the purpose in writing this epistle.  Though hoping
to come soon, he writes so that Timothy will be well-instructed on how
to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church, the pillar
and ground of the truth (14-15).  Mention of "the truth" prompts a 
summation of "the mystery of godliness" which pertains to the coming of
Christ into the world (16).



      1. It is a position, or office (1a)
      2. It is a good work for a man to desire (1b)

      1. Positive qualifications
         a. Blameless (2a)
         b. The husband of one wife (2b)
         c. Temperate (2c)
         d. Sober-minded (2d)
         e. Of good behavior (2e)
         f. Hospitable (2f)
         g. Able to teach (2g)
         h. Gentle (3d)    
         i. One who rules his own house well (4a)
            1) Having his children in submission with all reverence
            2) For if he can't rule his own house, how will he take 
               care of the church? (5)
         j. A good testimony among those outside (7a)
            1) Lest he fall into reproach (7b)
            2) And into the snare of the devil (7c)
      2. Negative qualifications
         a. Not given to wine (3a)
         b. Not violent (3b)
         c. Not greedy for money (3c)
         d. Not quarrelsome (3e)
         e. Not covetous (3f)
         f. Not a novice (6a)
            1) Lest he be puffed up with pride (6b)
            2) And fall into the same condemnation as the devil (6c)

      1. Positive qualifications
         a. Reverent (8a)
         b. Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience (9)
         c. Proven (10a)
         d. Found blameless (10b)
         e. The husband of one wife (12a)
         f. Ruling his children and house well (12b)
      2. Negative qualifications
         a. Not double-tongued (8b)
         b. Not given to much wine (8c)
         c. Not greedy for money (8d)
      3. Their wives
         a. Reverent (11a)
         b. Not slanderers (11b)
         c. Temperate (11c)
         d. Faithful in all things (11d)

      1. Those who serve well obtain a good standing (13a)
      2. Also great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus


      1. He hopes to come shortly, but writes in case he is delayed 
      2. That Timothy might know how to conduct himself in the house of
         God (15b)
         a. Which is the church of the living God (15c)
         b. Which is the pillar and ground of the truth (15d)

      1. Without controversy, it is great (16a)
      2. In summation, it key elements are these:  God was...
         a. Manifested in the flesh (16b)
         b. Justified in the Spirit (16c)
         c. Seen by angels (16d)
         d. Preached among the Gentiles (16e)
         e. Believed on in the world (16f)
         f. Received up in glory (16g)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The qualifications for bishops (1-7)
   - The qualifications for deacons (8-13)
   - Paul's purpose in writing (14-16)

2) How does Paul describe the position of a bishop? (1)
   - As a good work

3) What are the positive qualifications required for a bishop? (2-7)
   - Blameless, husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good
     behavior, hospitable, able to teach, gentle, ruling his own house
     well, a good testimony among those outside

4) What are the negative qualifications required for a bishop? (2-7)
   - Not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, not 
     quarrelsome, not covetous, not a novice

5) What are the positive qualifications required for a deacon? (8-12)
   - Reverent, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience,
     proven, found blameless, the husband of one wife, ruling his 
     children and house well

6) What are the negative qualifications required for a deacon? (8-12)
   - Not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money

7) What are the qualifications for the wives of deacons? (11)
   - Reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things

8) What is said of those deacons who have served well? (13)
   - They obtain a good standing and great boldness in the faith which
     is in Christ Jesus

9) Why did Paul write this epistle? (14-15)
   - So that in case his coming was delayed, Timothy would know how to
     conduct himself

10) What does Paul call the house of God? (15)
   - The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

11) What are the basic facts of the mystery of godliness? (16)
   - God was manifested in the flesh   - Preached among the Gentiles
   - Justified in the Spirit           - Believed on in the world
   - Seen by angels                    - Received up in glory