3/31/14

From Gary.... Heaven

Recently, I have begun a new project; A study Bible, that uses uncomplicated charts (something like the one above) and simplified outlines. Every project has a beginning and mine is a theme: The Gospel of Christ in every book of the Bible. As I began, I thought... where to start? The answer (s) came to me in the form of three books: Romans, Luke and Acts.  And as I considered these things, I turned to Acts, Chapter 1 and read...

Acts, Chapter 1
 1 The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach,  2 until the day in which he was received up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.  3 To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God’s Kingdom.  4 Being assembled together with them, he commanded them, “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me.   5  For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 

  6  Therefore when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 

  7  He said to them, “It isn’t for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority.   8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” 

  9  When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.  10 While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing,  11 who also said, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.”

Then, this morning, as I took Buddy and Paul for their morning walk, I looked up at the clear blue sky and remembered my project.  So, when I sat down to write, I happened to notice one of Barnes Charts and it focused my thoughts once again!!! Looking up at the sky is one thing, but realizing that Jesus is there and will be back is quite another. Look up and think- Jesus will be back: The Bible plainly teaches this!!!  For those of us who call ourselves Christians- heaven awaits!!! Take a few moments and look up the verses listed on the chart, just to be reminded of what awaits us... then look heavenward, I just know that the sky will seem bluer and the future will be just a bit brighter!!!!

May God bless you!!!

Your friend,

Gary






From Caleb Colley, Ph.D. ... Why is Good Good?

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3601

 Why is Good Good?

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

In the Nuremburg Trials, the U.S. Chief Prosecutor of Nazi war criminals appealed to a law higher than “the provincial and transient” to ground his prosecution (The Trial of..., 1946, 19:383, July 26). Those of us at Apologetics Press have cited this case as an example of the need for human acknowledgement of universal morality in order to make objective judgments (e.g., Miller, 2008). And, if we appeal to a universal moral law, then this law must have as its source the universal Law Giver, the Creator (see Jackson, 1995). This is a brief way of stating the moral argument for the existence of God.
One objection to this moral argument has been summarized and adapted from a 2,400-year-old debate concerning the following question: “Why is good good?” In questioning the foolish young man Euthyphro, Plato’s Socrates tries to determine the definition of “pious” or “impious” (Plato, 1997, p. 4). Socrates offers two possibilities, but rejects them both: “Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?” (p. 9). The dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro is extensive, but the general results are these: (1) Euthyphro cannot define “pious” as “that which is loved by the Greek gods,” for the gods are said to disagree with one another on occasion—a thing cannot be both pious and impious (see p. 4). And, (2) after numerous attempts, Euthyphro cannot say what quality the pious things have, if “pious” means something other than “loved by the gods” (pp. 11ff.).
The Euthyphro dialogue has been adapted by later philosophers in the debate concerning the very existence of God, and this adaptation has been codified in philosophical literature as the “Euthyphro Dilemma” (e.g., Benn, 1998, pp. 47ff.). For example:
There is the further question, which has often been debated, but was raised originally by Plato, in his dialogue, Euthyphro. Should we follow God’s laws just because they are His or rather, because His laws are good? If the latter, then we have to decide what is good in order to know that God is good. If the former, then one has to decide whether or not to believe in God precisely on the basis of whether we can accept those laws. Either way, we have to decide for ourselves what laws of morality we are willing to accept (Solomon, 2008, p. 460).
Perhaps a clearer way of phrasing the dilemma is this: Is good good because it is good, or because God says it is good? If good is good independent of God (and He merely identifies it), then God does not hold the high position which theists have ascribed to Him. On the other hand, if good is good because God says it is, then there is the possibility that God has commanded something that is actually wrong (we are being deceived) and He is merely arbitrary in His ethical requirements: He could just as easily say that lying is good as He could say it is bad. The dilemma is meant to show that objective morality does not exist, because morality is actually grounded exclusively in each moral agent’s subjectivity (and in whatever consensus develops between agents). Any explanation of morality that involves a divine standard is either contradictory or explains itself in terms of itself (i.e., it is circular). This position corresponds with an atheistic position, as it does away with the need for a divine Law Giver.
What response to the Euthyphro dilemma is available for the Christian apologist to use? Consider the following three principles:
1. There Is A Universal Moral Law. In his book, Mere Christianity (2001, pp. 1-8), C.S. Lewis argues for the existence of a universal moral law (and a corresponding Law Giver) in the following way (summarized by Geisler, 1999):
1. There must be a universal moral law, or else: (a) Moral disagreements would make no sense, as we all assume they do. (b) All moral criticisms would be meaningless (e.g., “The Nazis were wrong.”). (c) It is unnecessary to keep promises or treaties, as we all assume that it is. (d) We would not make excuses for breaking the moral law, as we all do. 2. But a universal moral law requires a universal Moral Law Giver, since the Source of it: (a) Gives moral commands (as lawgivers do). (b) Is interested in our behavior (as moral persons are). 3. Further, this universal Moral Law Giver must be absolutely good: (a) Otherwise all moral effort would be futile in the long run, since we could be sacrificing our lives for what is not ultimately right. (b) The source of all good must be absolutely good, since the standard of all good must be completely good. 4. Therefore, there must be an absolutely good Moral Law Giver (p. 500, parenthetical items in orig.).
The conclusion that a universal moral system exists causes us to cast suspicion upon any dilemma that purports to disprove the very possibility of such a system. The Euthyphro dilemma falls into this category. Furthermore, the Euthyphro dilemma proves inapplicable when applied to the God of the Bible.
2. The Euthyphro dilemma is a false one. For the purposes of answering current critics of Christianity, the Christian apologist need not evaluate the dilemma in terms of the Greek gods, but in terms of the one, true God (i.e., the God of the Bible). The Bible teaches that God certainly is good (e.g., Genesis 1:13; 59:20; Deuteronomy 6:24; Psalm 89:14; etc.). God’s essence is to exist as He is (Exodus 3:14). God cannot exist apart from all of His attributes, including goodness. If He existed and lacked any of His attributes, then He would not be the God to Whom we refer when we speak of the biblical God. Therefore, God is good, but not in virtue of a standard of goodness that exists separate from Him. As further evidence for this, consider that there are possible acts which God refuses to do because such acts do not accord with His moral nature. For example, God cannot lie (see Miller, 2009; Colley, 2004).
Because God is infinite, goodness is measured in relation to Him. Jesus illustrated this in His parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15). In the story, only the landowner (representing God) was in a position to determine what was “good” (20:15). Humans, as created beings, are not in a position to argue with God concerning His rightness or wrongness (see Job 29-31; 38-40). The Euthyphro dilemma presumes that we do exactly that, despite the fact that we are incapable of it (Jeremiah 10:23).
Therefore, there is no dilemma as alleged by some who appeal to Plato’s Euthyphro (see Warren and Flew, 1977, pp. 26-28,32). Yet, some maintain that God’s moral principles are unreasonable or that He is contradictory (see Butt, 2009b), and we must therefore reject the biblical God in favor of atheism or another notion of divinity. We now turn to this allegation.
3. While God’s moral principles do not owe their existence to human rationality, they nonetheless appeal to human rationality. Indeed, if it could be shown that God’s rules run counter to human rationality, then it would appear that His principles are deficient to ground human morality, and that we were not made in His image. However, there is not a single biblical principle of morality that can be, when interpreted properly, shown to be in conflict with the best interests of humanity.
The creationist model would anticipate such a perfect correlation between human needs and the provisions of biblical morality, inasmuch as God was motivated by His own character to create the human race in a way that is “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and placed requirements upon humanity that are suitable for the fulfillment of human needs. To demonstrate the truthfulness of this statement would require further studies (e.g. Butt, 2009a; Colley, 2010a; Colley, 2010b). Consider the words of the psalmist:
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward (19:7-11; cf. 1 Timothy 1:8).
The suitability of God’s laws to man’s needs diffuses the motivation for the Euthyprho dilemma, as the facts about God diffuse the logic of the dilemma.
Therefore, our answer to the Euthyphro dilemma is as follows: Good is defined by God’s goodness, which is inseparable from His nature. His standard of goodness applies to all mankind by virtue of creation.

REFERENCES

Benn, Piers (1998), Ethics (Montreal, Quebec: McGill-Queen’s Press).
Butt, Kyle (2009a), “Biblical Ideas Concerning Killing and Murder are Not Contradictory,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240253.
Butt, Kyle (2009b), “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240272.
Colley, Caleb (2004), “God Cannot Lie,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2561.
Colley, Caleb (2010a), “In Defense of the Golden Rule,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240331.
Colley, Caleb (2010b), “Defending the Biblical Position Against Lying,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240320.
Geisler, Norman L. (1999), Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Jackson, Wayne (1995), “The Case for the Existence of God [Part III],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/271.
Lewis, C. S. (2001), Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins), revised edition.
Miller, Dave (2008), “A Higher Law,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240092.
Miller, Dave (2009), “Things God Cannot Do,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2292.
Plato (1997), Euthyphro, trans. G.M.A. Grube, in Complete Works, ed. John M. Cooper (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett).
Solomon, Robert C. (2008), Introducing Philosophy (New York: Oxford University), ninth edition.
The Trial of German Major War Criminals (1946), 187th Day: Friday, 26th July, 1946, (Vol. 19, Part 1 of 12), (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office), [On-line], URL: http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-19/tgmwc-19-187-01.shtml.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate On the Existence of God (Moore, OK: National Christian Press).

From Jim McGuiggan.... BOOING AT A MARATHON


BOOING AT A MARATHON

We don't believe in the Church in the same way we believe in Jesus. The truth is, sometimes it's hard to believe in the Church in the way we should be able to believe in the Church. She's such a mess; but after a while you get weary of hearing her jeered at and crowed over, especially when her Lord, who can't be fooled, looks at her and tells her He isn't ashamed of her. So maybe it's time some of us shut our mouths.

There’s something sickening about the image of a critic standing safely on the beach in a storm while someone else is out there battered by fierce wind and waves, trying to stay alive and at the same time trying to rescue a drowning man or woman. Hear the critic jeer and scream how it should be done, saying how pathetic the attempt is and claiming it’d be better not to try at all as to be that pitifully inept. 

What might be more sickening is the image of a struggler in a marathon, weary and cramping and dehydrated, being jeered at by the crowd that lines the route. Worse! In the crowd are his family and friends and instead of fervently cheering him on and trying to put heart in him they’re shaking their heads and dismissing him with, “Useless, a loser, might as well not have bothered.”

Is there anything uglier than the self-righteous and smug who distance themselves from the weak and who are so insensitive that they can’t that feel if the other loses they lose too?

The Hebrew writer insisted (2:11) that, "Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers." The NRSV helps when it renders the passage to say that Jesus who makes people holy and the people he makes holy "all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters."

He’s not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters! Claims like that need to be tasted and savored a while before they’re subjected to deeper examination. It’s not that the claim will prove false when closely examined, no, that’s not it. It’s just that sometimes we’re too smart for our own good, or worse, sometimes (God help us!)  we’re a bit on the cynical side and tend to analyze rather than being moved to embrace things with a joy-filled heart. It’s a bit like wanting to analyze the words of a clean, strong ten or twelve year old boy when he says from a full heart, "I love you dad." We’re supposed to be moved by words like that. Analysis is no bad thing—unless it’s a bad thing, unless it diminishes our joy and leads us to feel embarrassed that we feel so moved and inspired by what we’ve heard.

But some claims are so wonderful that we can hardly help it that we wonder if they can be true; they seem too good to be true! Is the Hebrew writer’s claim not a bit like that? "Jesus who makes people holy and the people he makes holy all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters." 

Who is this that is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters? He is the holy one, sinless in his holy righteousness! That’s him, the very one! He is the majestic one, Lord over all principalities and powers, might and dominion, Lord of death and life, sovereign over everything from your house to the ends of limitless space. And this is the one who with earnest and eager voice pushes his way through the crowd, "Let me through please," puts his arms around us and says we’re his brothers and sisters? That’s him!

There have been times—even when I was alone—when I’ve been so ashamed of myself that I could hardly bear to identify myself with myself. I’ve known times when petty little bureaucratic tyrants made me go away and wouldn’t even let me tell my sad, pain-filled story. (Oh, God, in all my awful and frequent sinning, have I also done that to people? I would like to think I haven’t but I suppose I must have. How horrid.) But he who knows us—truly and fully knows our darkness and shame—tries the door handle and finding it locked, and knowing why we feel we must be alone, begins to knock. "Jim...Jim...come on, open the door. I don’t want you to keep me out, especially at this time." Filled with shame and the sense of our weakness we murmur through the door that all our efforts—such as they are—come to nothing and that we find the world too strong for us. And he who knows that—and knows it full well—leaning his forehead against the door while he knocks, wants to know, "Are you forbidding me to love who I choose to love? If you could save yourself do you think I ever would have come? I alone have and can overcome the world and it’s only in and through me that you can; never without me, never apart from me, never the both of us independent of one another; only me and therefore you in me." And he reminds us that his majesty and power is for each of us and that he is bringing us to a life of inexpressible moral glory. This is the one who has become one of us and never repents of having done so. This is the one who is not ashamed of us. Is there better news than that?

"But you don’t understand because you don’t know how far and how often I’ve strayed!" Perhaps, but does He not know? The Christ would want you, me and this whole big round teeming world to know: "There is nothing about you that I don’t know! I take your sins more seriously than you can imagine but I'm not ashamed to call you brothers and sisters. I will not be told who I cannot love!" 

With a Lord like that there's no point to keep on arguing!
If you knew where I’ve been you would be ashamed of me. 
"I am not ashamed to call you brothers and sisters!" 
If you knew what I’ve done, again and again...
"I am not ashamed to call you brothers and sisters!"
If you knew how cold and uncaring my heart is and has been...
"I am not ashamed to call you brothers and sisters!"

There's something profoundly evil in our sweet piety that we can combine with contempt for fellow-Christians. There's an awful stench that fills the air when we're icily cold toward the needy while claiming to gospel or to show ourselves prayerful and anxious to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Longfellow's poetic story should make us think:

The Legend Beautiful.
In his chamber all alone,
Kneeling on the floor of stone,
Prayed the Monk in deep contrition
For his sins of indecision,
Prayed for greater self-denial
In temptation and in trial;
It was noonday by the dial,
And the Monk was all alone.
Suddenly, as if it lightened,
An unwonted splendor brightened
All within him and without him
In that narrow cell of stone;
And he saw the Blessed Vision
Of our Lord, with light Elysian
Like a vesture wrapped about him,
Like a garment round him thrown.

The little monk, lost in rapture and adoration, can hardly believe that Jesus would be willing to show himself to one as unworthy as him. His joy knows no bounds; but in the middle of it all he heard the bells ringing, calling the poor and needy to come and get their daily ration of bread. The one they were to get their food from was the one who at that very moment, his soul filled with rapture, had the Lord himself as a guest.

Should he go or should he stay? He told himself it might be an insult to his divine Guest if he left but the truth was he was so uplifted in his soul he didn’t want to leave. Afraid that if he left he would discover Jesus gone when he returned he nevertheless knew in his heart that he needed to go so, reluctantly, he bows and leaves Jesus there alone in the little cell and went to see the very familiar faces

At the gate the poor were waiting,
Looking through the iron grating,_
With that terror in the eye
That is only seen in those
Who amid their wants and woes
Hear the sound of doors that close,
And of feet that pass them by;
He served them knowing that the One whose vision he had rejoiced in earlier had said, “If you do it to them, you do it to me.” Still, he hurried back hoping against hope that Jesus would still be there though he wasn’t expecting that to be the case.
 
But he paused with awe-struck feeling
At the threshold of his door,
For the Vision still was standing
As he left it there before,
When the convent bell appalling,
From its belfry calling, calling,
Summoned him to feed the poor.
Through the long hour intervening
It had waited his return,
And he felt his bosom burn,
Comprehending all the meaning,
When the Blessed Vision said,
“Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!” 
If you had stayed I would have fled. If you had left them standing in need I would have fled. 

Scary!



From Mark Copeland... Closing Words Befitting A Grand Epistle (Hebrews 13:18-25)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

           Closing Words Befitting A Grand Epistle (13:18-25)

INTRODUCTION

1. We now come to the closing words of what is truly "a grand 
   epistle"...
   a. One that has been described as:
      1) Beginning like an essay
      2) Progressing like a sermon
      3) Ending like a letter
   b. In which we noted systematic arguments upholding:
      1) The superiority of Jesus Christ
      2) The superiority of the New Covenant dedicated by His blood
   c. Where we have been exhorted to:
      1) Draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith
      2) Hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering
      3) Consider one another in order to stir up love and good works
      4) Run with endurance the race set before us, looking to Jesus as
         we do so
      5) Purse peace with all men and holiness
      6) Heed the voice of Him who speaks from heaven
      7) Serve God with reverence and godly fear
      8) Love the brethren, display hospitality to strangers, and 
         remember the prisoners
      9) Uphold the sanctity of marriage and avoid covetousness
     10) Avoid various and strange doctrines, obeying those who rule 
         over us in the Lord

2. With the last eight verses, we find:
   a. A request for prayer in behalf of the author - He 13:18-19
   b. A benediction offered in behalf of the readers - He 13:20-21
   c. A final exhortation, comment and farewell - He 13:22-25

3. I am suggesting that these verses serve as "Closing Words Befitting
   A Grand Epistle"...
   a. For they touch upon themes developed earlier in the epistle
   b. Therefore serving as a close worthy of such an epistle as we have
      studied

[As we take this opportunity to reflect upon these closing words, we 
first observe the author's...]

I. REQUEST FOR PRAYER (18-19)

   A. ONE REASON FOR HIS REQUEST...
      1. He is confident of "a good conscience", desiring to live 
         honorably
         a. The mention of a good conscience brings to mind several 
            verses - He 9:9,14; 10:22
         b. Through the blood of Christ, his conscience has made clean
            to serve God
      2. Certainly their prayers in his behalf would be for a good 
         purpose...
         a. To bless a man whose has been cleansed by the blood of 
            Christ!
         b. To bless a man who desires to live honorably!

   B. ANOTHER REASON FOR HIS REQUEST...
      1. To be restored to them sooner
      2. Thus he expresses his intention to come them

[Having requested their prayers, the author reciprocates with a prayer
of his own...]

II. BENEDICTION OFFERED IN THEIR BEHALF (20-21)

   A. MAY GOD...
      1. Described as "the God of peace"
         a. A description found often in Paul's letters - Ro 15:33; 
            16:20; 1Th 5:23; Php 4:9
         b. He is the source of peace (note the salutations in most 
            epistles)
      2. "who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead"
         a. This is the only explicit reference to Jesus' resurrection
            in the epistle
         b. Though it is assumed in passages which speak of Christ at
            the right hand of God - cf. He 1:3; 4:14; 9:24 10:12; 12:2
      3. Jesus is described as "that great Shepherd of the sheep"
         - cf. Jn 10:11,14

   B. MAKE YOU COMPLETE...
      1. "in every good work to do His will"
         a. The author wants them to be complete in doing God's will
         b. Yet he recognizes that they cannot do it on their own, they
            will need God's help!
      2. How will God make them complete in every good work to do His
         will?
         a. "through the blood of the everlasting covenant"
            1) This refers, of course, to the blood of Jesus
               a) Which is able to purge our conscience from dead works
                  - He 9:14
               b) By which Jesus has become the Mediator of the New 
                  Covenant - He 9:15
            2) By this blood Jesus has "perfected forever those who are
               being sanctified" - He 10:10,14
            -- Through the blood of Jesus, then, God is able to make us
               complete in every good work to do His will
         b. "working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through 
            Jesus Christ"
            1) Not only are we cleansed by the blood of Jesus, but God
               works in us to do what pleases Him!
               a) This is reminiscent of Paul's comments in Php 2:12-13
               b) That as we "work out" our salvation, God "works in" 
                  us!
            2) Instrumental in God working in us is the role of His 
               Spirit...
               a) We are strengthened by God's Spirit in the inner man 
                  - Ep 3:16
               b) It is by the Spirit we can put to death the deeds of
                  the body - Ro 8:13
            -- It is by both the blood of Jesus and the work of the 
               Spirit that we are truly "washed", "justified" and 
               "sanctified" - 1Co 6:11; Tit 3:5-7

[While we are admonished throughout this epistle to be steadfast, this
closing prayer reminds that we are not alone.  In His grace and mercy,
God aids in our desires and efforts to do His will!

And now at last, we notice...]

III. A FINAL EXHORTATION, COMMENT, AND FAREWELL (22-25)

   A. HIS FINAL EXHORTATION (22)
      1. To "bear with the word of exhortation"
         a. This epistle has truly been one of exhorting them; we have
            exhortations against...
            1) Drifting from what they have heard - He 2:1-4
            2) Departing from the living God - He 3:12-15
            3) Disobedience to His Word - He 4:11-13
            4) Dullness of hearing - He 5:11-6:6
            5) Despising God's grace - He 10:26-39
            6) Defying Him who now speaks from heaven - He 12:14-29
         b. While at times he has written rather strongly, he
            encourages them to bear with it
      2. While one of the longer epistles in the New Testament, it was
         still "written to you in few words" (compare it with some of
         the writings of the "church fathers"!)

   B. A COMMENT REGARDING TIMOTHY (23)
      1. "Our brother Timothy" - most likely he who was Paul's constant
         companion
      2. Evidently just released from prison, and likely to join the 
         author in coming to them

   C. GREETINGS AND FAREWELL (24-25)
      1. Greetings from the author...
         a. To "all those who rule over you", i.e., their elders (cf.
            He 13:7,17)
         b. To "all the saints", i.e., the rest of the Christian
      2. Greetings from "those from Italy"; this suggests two 
         possibilities...
         a. The author was writing from Italy, passing along greetings
            from those present
         b. The author was writing to Italy, sending greetings from 
            those with him who were from there
      3. A simple farewell:  "Grace be with you all. Amen"

CONCLUSION

1. So ends "the word of exhortation", that grand epistle known simply 
   as "The Epistle To The Hebrews" (or "To The Hebrews")

2. Though written to Jewish Christians, with their particular need in 
   mind...
   a. It is of great value to all Christians
   b. It tells us more about the intercessory work of our Lord as High
      Priest than any other book of the New Testament
   c. Its warnings and exhortations are needed just as much today by
      Christians who are being tempted to leave Christ and go back into
      the world

Especially these words found in Hebrews 10:19-25...

   "Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the
   blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for 
   us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest
   over the house of God,"

   "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
   having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies
   washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our
   hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let
   us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
   not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the
   manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more
   as you see the Day approaching."

I pray that our study has served the same purpose, to encourage us all
to "draw near" to God, to "hold fast" the hope we confess, and to stir
up "love and good works".

xecutable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading March 31







Bible Reading   

March 31

The World English Bible



Mar. 31
Leviticus 17, 18

Lev 17:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 17:2 "Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: 'This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded,
Lev 17:3 Whatever man there is of the house of Israel, who kills a bull, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp,
Lev 17:4 and hasn't brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to offer it as an offering to Yahweh before the tabernacle of Yahweh: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people.
Lev 17:5 This is to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to Yahweh.
Lev 17:6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of Yahweh at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh.
Lev 17:7 They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them throughout their generations.'
Lev 17:8 "You shall say to them, 'Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice,
Lev 17:9 and doesn't bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to sacrifice it to Yahweh; that man shall be cut off from his people.
Lev 17:10 " 'Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.
Lev 17:12 Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, "No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who lives as a foreigner among you eat blood."
Lev 17:13 " 'Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust.
Lev 17:14 For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is with its life: therefore I said to the children of Israel, "You shall not eat the blood of any kind of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off."
Lev 17:15 " 'Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening: then he shall be clean.
Lev 17:16 But if he doesn't wash them, or bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.' "
Lev 18:1 Yahweh said to Moses,
Lev 18:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, 'I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 18:3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived: and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; neither shall you walk in their statutes.
Lev 18:4 You shall do my ordinances, and you shall keep my statutes, and walk in them: I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 18:5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances; which if a man does, he shall live in them: I am Yahweh.
Lev 18:6 " 'None of you shall approach anyone who are his close relatives, to uncover their nakedness: I am Yahweh.
Lev 18:7 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, nor the nakedness of your mother: she is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness.
Lev 18:8 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife: it is your father's nakedness.
Lev 18:9 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home, or born abroad.
Lev 18:10 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter, or of your daughter's daughter, even their nakedness: for theirs is your own nakedness.
Lev 18:11 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, conceived by your father, since she is your sister.
Lev 18:12 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister: she is your father's near kinswoman.
Lev 18:13 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister: for she is your mother's near kinswoman.
Lev 18:14 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother, you shall not approach his wife: she is your aunt.
Lev 18:15 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son's wife. You shall not uncover her nakedness.
Lev 18:16 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife: it is your brother's nakedness.
Lev 18:17 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter. You shall not take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
Lev 18:18 " 'You shall not take a wife to her sister, to be a rival, to uncover her nakedness, while her sister is yet alive.
Lev 18:19 " 'You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is impure by her uncleanness.
Lev 18:20 " 'You shall not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife, and defile yourself with her.
Lev 18:21 " 'You shall not give any of your children to sacrifice to Molech; neither shall you profane the name of your God: I am Yahweh.
Lev 18:22 " 'You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestable.
Lev 18:23 " 'You shall not lie with any animal to defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman give herself to an animal, to lie down with it: it is a perversion.
Lev 18:24 " 'Don't defile yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations which I am casting out before you were defiled.
Lev 18:25 The land was defiled: therefore I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out her inhabitants.
Lev 18:26 You therefore shall keep my statutes and my ordinances, and shall not do any of these abominations; neither the native-born, nor the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you;
Lev 18:27 (for all these abominations have the men of the land done, that were before you, and the land became defiled);
Lev 18:28 that the land not vomit you out also, when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.
Lev 18:29 " 'For whoever shall do any of these abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people.
Lev 18:30 Therefore you shall keep my requirements, that you do not practice any of these abominable customs, which were practiced before you, and that you do not defile yourselves with them: I am Yahweh your God.' "

 
Mar. 31, Apr. 1
Luke 2

Luk 2:1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.
Luk 2:2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Luk 2:3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city.
Luk 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;
Luk 2:5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.
Luk 2:6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth.
Luk 2:7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luk 2:8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
Luk 2:9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Luk 2:10 The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.
Luk 2:11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough."
Luk 2:13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men."
Luk 2:15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, "Let's go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
Luk 2:16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough.
Luk 2:17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child.
Luk 2:18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds.
Luk 2:19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.
Luk 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.
Luk 2:21 When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Luk 2:22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord
Luk 2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"),
Luk 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
Luk 2:25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
Luk 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Luk 2:27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law,
Luk 2:28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29 "Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace;
Luk 2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
Luk 2:31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
Luk 2:32 a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel."
Luk 2:33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him,
Luk 2:34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against.
Luk 2:35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Luk 2:36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity,
Luk 2:37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn't depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day.
Luk 2:38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.
Luk 2:39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
Luk 2:40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
Luk 2:41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.
Luk 2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast,
Luk 2:43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn't know it,
Luk 2:44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances.
Luk 2:45 When they didn't find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him.
Luk 2:46 It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions.
Luk 2:47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Luk 2:48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you."
Luk 2:49 He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?"
Luk 2:50 They didn't understand the saying which he spoke to them.
Luk 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.