9/11/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Ephesians 1—election and predestination


Ephesians 1 —

election and predestination

It isn't only what a man says that matters; what he means to do with what he says is critical to understanding him.

This is a commonplace truth though we don't always pay attention to it. Look, Bildad speaks a profound truth in Job 8:3-7 when he insists that God does not pervert justice and will do what is right in regard to wickedness and repentance. How could that be wrong? What was wrong was what he used that truth for (see 42:7-9). In 22:2-3, Eliphaz says (essentially) that God is not in the least in need of humans. How can that be wrong? What was wrong was his use of that truth to indicate that God couldn't care less what humans do—it doesn't affect him one way or another, he said (22:4 and see 42:7-9).

We don't understand Bildad, Zophar or Eliphaz just by processing what they said; to do that only gives us some of the truth. We must uncover what they meant to do with the words they used. The fact is, that on their way through to hanging the irate Job they spoke of God's sovereignty, his justice, his power, his wisdom. To judge their meaning only on those truths they proclaimed on the way through would put God in the wrong (see 42:7). We must pay attention to what they meant to do with what they said.

Ephesians like every other book in the Bible—taken as a whole—is about God, of course! The NT is about God as he has shown himself to us in Jesus by the Holy Spirit, of course! Both OT and NT are about God but they come at him in their own (but interrelated) ways. Individual books give their own stress and develop truths that other books don't and even when the same truth is under discussion we have them developed in different ways and different directions by different writers.

All of that means what?

It means we shouldn't homogenize scripture; we should allow each book or section or text in a book to make its own particular point.

What did Paul mean to do with the truths in Ephesians 1—3?

It's common knowledge that in Ephesians Paul is centrally concerned about the nature and identity of Christ's Church.

He assures them that whatever else it is, it is the creation of God in Jesus and by the Spirit and is the body of the exalted Lord Jesus (1:23, 2:16, 3:6, 4:4). In it God continues the purpose he pursues in raising Jesus from the dead (1:19-20) and in that one body the Spirit of the risen Lord dwells, uniting once rebellious sinners from all nations and giving them gracious access to God (2:1-21).

This "in-one-body" reconciliation to God and one another of divided humanity was (at best) hinted at in the ages before Jesus and was only now revealed in people like Paul (3:1-13). "You want to see God's unfolded plan of reconciliation?" he asks, "then look at the church!" The sovereign, gracious and holy God eternally purposed the existence of the Church of Jesus Christ and brought it into being to be the body of Christ and the Community of witness not only to the entire human family but to the authorities and powers of worlds beyond us (3:9-10).

But—and this is an important but—he is talking about the body of Jesus Christ and not about all the people of all the ages! The body of Jesus Christ, the Church, is a Spirit-created Community that began with the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus! It is a community of witness that has its place in history, in this world subsequent to the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus. It began on Pentecost (Acts 2) and its members are the body of Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 6:15, chapter 12 and elsewhere).

The ancient worthies (like Abraham and Moses and Hannah) are not members of the Church of Christ! They had their place and role in salvation history but not as members of the body of Jesus! These were right with God and they were elect people but their elect role was not the same as the role of the NT elect.

In Ephesians Paul is addressing the nature of the eschatological people, the body of Jesus, the Community of witness in this penultimate act of God's drama. The final act is the personal return of Jesus and until that happens the Church of Jesus is the dwelling place of his Holy Spirit—the Spirit of God's Son (Galatians 4:6 and Ephesians 2:21-22).

Paul is identifying this peculiar people in Ephesians. He is saying (among other things) that this new Temple of God (2:21-22) was no ad hoc divine response to the failure of his creation purposes! This new Elect People was not something God came up with because the Jews turned out to be a failure! This re-defined People of God was an integral part of God's unfolding eternal drama and not some hare-brained doctrine dreamed up by a renegade Jew (Paul, and see 3:1-4).

This body of Jesus (the NT Church) was God's plan. He graciously ordained its existence before the world began and gathered its people together—Jews and Gentiles—by the preaching of the gospel about Jesus (1:11-13). These chosen ones, these people whose existence God ordained, were NT people and not the saved of all the ages. These were to make their appearance at the end of the ages, these were the "end time people" whose appearance on earth was destined and in whom the witness to the finality of Jesus is borne (see Hebrews 11:13, 39-40, 12:18, 22-24 and 1 Corinthians 10:11).

Paul is teaching the Ephesians who they are! They are not another little religious or philosophical society that has sprung up overnight—as so many did. They were not just another little group with another message of: "Here's how to save yourself." They were not the result of God's disappointment and his gathering up the fragments of yet another failure. They were nothing less than his eternally planned "chosen in Jesus". In the 4th century BC Alexander tried to have his name inscribed on one of the pillars of the famous temple in Ephesus (see Acts 19:23-28) but the city fathers turned him down (they placated him by saying Artemis (Diana) would be jealous to see the name of another god on her temple). The most powerful mortal on earth couldn't get his name on a pillar in a stone temple dedicated to a godess but the Ephesians were the temple of the Almighty God.

Paul is teaching about the nature and identity of the NT church! To use his words to establish a doctrine of "election" (and implied reprobation or "passing by") relative to the entire human family is to get carried away. He isn't discussing universal salvation under the heading of "election" and "predestination" (in a Calvinistic setting). The elect ones here are NT elect and don't even include ancient worthies! The people in this teaching whose existence was ordained before the world began were not "all the saved people of all the ages." The Church of Jesus Christ is an historically peculiar body of people, with a unique role in history. In history they bear witness to what God has done in Jesus according to his eternal purpose and pleasure.

He taught them: "You are an elect people according to God's eternal and gracious purpose. You didn't spring up man-made in accordance with the vagaries of history. Your existence was foreordained by God in view of his Son Jesus in whom he eternally purposed to embrace everything. Your existence as the People of God, the Body of Jesus, the witness of God's all-encompassing reconciling work with creation, is part of the Divine Drama. You aren't like any other group or any other nation!"


The Meaning of Baptism and the Catholic Ritual by Moisés Pinedo

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2685

The Meaning of Baptism and the Catholic Ritual

by  Moisés Pinedo

It is distressing to see how the doctrine of baptism is distorted in modern-day Christendom. With the passing of time, baptism, as a necessity for salvation, has been replaced by a “prayer of faith,” abstract manifestations of conversion, and ecclesiastical ceremonies based on traditionalism. Today, many ignore the concept, implications, and importance of baptism. Jesus said: “[U]nless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5, emp. added). Paul wrote that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5, emp. added). These New Testament passages and others make it clear that baptism is not merely a religious tradition or a commandment of men. Therefore, it is very important to understand it correctly.
It is essential to know the meaning of “baptism.” Depending on the context in which it is mentioned, “baptism” may mean many different things. For example, in an evangelical context, it is regarded as just a “public profession of faith” (Rhodes, 1997, p. 178). In a Catholic context, the word “baptism” brings to mind a ceremony, godparents, elegant robes, emotional parents, an infant in white, a fountain, and a few drops of water (as well as a pre-paid fee for the ceremony and the actual “baptism”). However, when we consider the real meaning of the word “baptism,” many of these erroneous concepts disappear.
In his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine defined “baptism” and other related words:
BAPTISMA, baptism, consisting of the processes of immersion, submersion and emergence (from bapto, to dip).
BAPTIZO, to baptize, primarily a frequentative form of bapto, to dip, was used among the Greeks to signify the dyeing of a garment, or the drawing of water by dipping a vessel into another, etc. (1966, 1:96-97, emp. added).
From the definition of the word, it is easy to see exactly what was involved in the act of baptism: “immersion, submersion and emergence.” Unfortunately, the word “baptism” has been passed from generation to generation as a transliteration, i.e., a phonetic representation of a word in another language. [Note the similarity between the Greek baptisma and the English “baptism”]. A study of the Greek etymology of this word opens the door to its real meaning and also gives us a better picture of how it was carried out in New Testament times. Baptism was not sprinkling or pouring, as Catholicism teaches, but immersion. The Bible points out some important implications concerning baptism.
First, baptism requires enough water to immerse completely a believer. The gospel accounts inform us that John the baptizer baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:4-6; Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:2-3; John 1:28). The Jordan was the largest and most important river in Palestine, and it contained enough water for the innumerable baptisms (immersions) that took place there. For example, in this river, Naaman the leper immersed himself seven times (2 Kings 5:14). If baptism were an act of sprinkling, it would have been unnecessary to baptize in the Jordan; instead, a single container of water would have been sufficient. However, as the apostle John noted, John the baptizer also baptized in the Aenon, “because there was much water there” (John 3:23).
Second, baptism is immersion since one goes down into and comes up out of the water. This fact is seen clearly in the various baptisms in the gospel accounts and the book of Acts. The gospel writers recorded the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10 tell us specifically that Jesus “came up from the water.” Certainly the phrase “to come up from the water” would have been omitted if Jesus was only sprinkled.
Acts 8:26-39 records one of the most illustrative accounts of the procedure of baptism. Luke wrote that while an Ethiopian was on his return trip from Jerusalem, he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the mouth of Philip (a servant of God). Then, “they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’” (Acts 8:36). Luke does not record the source or location of that water, but we can infer that it was sufficient for Philip to immerse the Ethiopian. Luke clarifies how baptism was performed when he notes that “both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water,” and “they came up out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39, emp. added). From this biblical narrative, it is illogical to conclude that the baptism of the Ethiopian was some form of sprinkling. It is impossible to “go down into” and “come up out of” a few drops of water! There is no doubt that the Ethiopian was immersed.
Third, baptism represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It is not a random practice void of any logic pattern, or special meaning. God chose baptism as the perfect representation of the redemptive plan performed by His Son, Jesus Christ. In Romans 6:3-4, Paul explained the symbolic meaning of baptism: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” R.L. Whiteside noted about these verses:
In being buried in baptism there is a likeness of his death; so also there is a likeness of his resurrection in our being raised from baptism to a new life. Hence, in being baptized we are united with him in the likeness of this death and resurrection. We are therefore, partakers with him in death, and also in being raised to a new life. Jesus was buried and arose to a new life; we are buried in baptism and arise to a new life. These verses show the act of baptism, and also its spiritual value (1988, p. 132).
There is great spiritual value and meaning in the act of immersion. It not only re-enacts the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but also unites the believer with Christ (Galatians 3:27). There is no other act of faith that is an effective (and biblical) substitute for being immersed into Christ. When a person is immersed, he is buried with Christ. Could sprinkling be described as a burial? When a person dies, do people sprinkle dirt on his head and declare him “buried”? Of course not! Rather, he is covered completely (immersed) with dirt. Similarly, to be “buried” with Christ, we must be covered completely (immersed) in water. Sprinkling falls far short of representing the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.Both Paul and Peter, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and 1 Peter 3:21, added emphasis to the importance and significance of baptism.
Finally, it is important to note that the modern Catholic practice of “baptism,” i.e., sprinkling or pouring, is inconsistent with the Catholics’ own understanding of the meaning and method of biblical baptism. In the first chapter of the “Sacraments of the Christian Initiation,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares:
This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature” (1994, 1214, emp. added).
It appears that ignorance of the etymology and procedure of biblical “baptism” did not mislead Catholicism from the truth concerning baptism, but rather the emphasis that Catholicism places on tradition above biblical truth. Catholics also declare:
To facilitate the application of the new discipline, baptism by infusion—which consists in pouring water on the child’s head instead of immersing the whole child in a basin—gradually became common because it was easier; it became the almost universal practice in the fourteenth century. But although immersion fell into disuse, it still had its place in the rubrics (Cabié, 1988, 3:72, emp. added).
It is declared (with shameless audacity) that the commandment for immersion given by the Lord (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16) was replaced by the traditional rite of sprinkling or pouring out of convenience. These words can find accurate parallel in the words of condemnation pronounced by Jesus against the Pharisees when He said:
Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men... All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition (Mark 7:6-9).

 

REFERENCES

Cabié, Robert (1988), The Church at Prayer (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press).
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), (Mahwah, NY: Paulist Press).
Rhodes, Ron (1997), The Complete Book of Bible Answers (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).
Vine, W.E. (1966), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell).
Whiteside, Robertson L. (1988 reprint), Paul’s Letter to the Saints at Rome (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation).

From Mark Copeland... The Pre-existence Of Christ (John 1:1-5)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                  The Pre-existence Of Christ (1:1-5)

INTRODUCTION

1. The gospel of John was written for a simple purpose...
   a. To produce faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God - Jn 20:
      30-31a
   b. To share the "life" that comes through such faith - Jn 20:31b

2. To encourage us to have faith in Jesus Christ...
   a. John begins his gospel with a prologue - Jn 1:1-18
   b. In which he makes several claims as to who Jesus was
      1) He refers to Jesus in this prologue as "the Word"
      2) That he refers to Jesus is evident from verses 14-18

3. The very first claim pertains to the pre-existence of Christ...
   a. That He existed in the beginning, long before being born of Mary
      - cf. Jn 1:1-2
   b. That His work in the beginning has great significance for us - cf.
      Jn 1:3-5

[John is not alone in proclaiming "The Pre-Existence Of Christ."
Elsewhere in the Scriptures we find...]

I. EVIDENCE FOR THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST

   A. FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS...
      1. Micah prophesied of the pre-existence of the Messiah to come
         - Mic 5:2
      2. Isaiah spoke of the King to come as "Everlasting Father" - Isa 9:6-7
      3. Zechariah recorded the Messiah's own promise to come - Zech 2:
         10-11

   B. AFFIRMED BY JESUS HIMSELF...
      1. In His claim to have existed in Abraham's day - Jn 8:56-58
      2. In His prayer shortly before His arrest and crucifixion - Jn 17:4-5,24
      3. In the revelation He gave to John - Re 22:13

   C. DECLARED BY HIS APOSTLES...
      1. By John in his gospel, and also his epistle - Jn 1:1-4; 1Jn 2:
         14
      2. By Paul in his epistles
         a. To the church in Corinth - 1Co 10:1-4; 2Co 8:9
         b. To the church in Philippi - Php 2:5-8
         c. To the church in Colosse - Col 1:16-17

   D. ILLUSTRATED BY THE CREATION...
      1. All things were created by Jesus - Jn 1:3; He 1:2-3
      2. Necessitating His existence before creation - Col 1:16-17
      3. Implying His own eternal power and divine nature - Ro 1:20

[These are remarkable claims concerning Jesus, even blasphemous if not
true.  Yet if true (and John's gospel is design to prove that it is),
consider...]

II. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST

   A. HE IS DEITY...!
      1. Especially when we consider the nature of His pre-existence
         a. His going forths were "from everlasting" - cf. Mic 5:2
         b. He was the eternal "I Am" - Jn 8:58; cf. Exo 3:13-14
      2. As made clear in John's prologue - Jn 1:1-2
         a. He was "with" God (implying a personal communion with God)
         b. He "was" God (explicitly stating His deity)
      -- Thus He is worthy of our love and adoration - cf. Jn 20:28

   B. HE IS LIFE...!
      1. By virtue of being the Creator and the Sustainer of life
         a. All things were made by Him - Col 1:16
         b. All things are held together (NASV, NRSV) by Him - Col 1:17
      2. Again, as John makes clear in his prologue - Jn 1:3-4
         a. Without Him, nothing was made
         b. In Him was life itself
      -- Thus He gives us hope for our own resurrection! - cf. Jn 5:21;
         11:25

   C. HE IS LIGHT...!
      1. We live in a world of darkness...
         a. Where people spend their lives stumbling in ignorance
         b. Alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance
            - cf. Ep 4:17-19
      2. As the Creator and Sustainer of life itself...
         a. Jesus is uniquely qualified to bring light into the world
            - Jn 1:4
         b. He calls for us to believe that we might become "sons of
            light" - Jn 12:35-36
      -- Thus Jesus offers us the "light of life" - Jn 8:12

CONCLUSION

1. Sadly, many resist the life and light Jesus offers...
   a. Some tried to destroy Him, but did not succeed - cf. Jn 1:5 (NRSV)
   b. Many try to avoid Him, knowing that it will mean changes to their
      lifestyle - cf. Jn 3:19-20

2. But for those willing to come to Jesus...
   a. He offers us hope and guidance in this life - cf. Mic 5:4-5a
   b. He is capable of fulfilling His promises - cf. Mt 11:28-30

For He is no mere man, whose existence began when born by Mary, but
"whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." - Mic 5:2

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading September 11


Bible Reading   

September 11

The World English Bible


Sept. 11
Psalms 58-60

Psa 58:1 Do you indeed speak righteousness, silent ones? Do you judge blamelessly, you sons of men?
Psa 58:2 No, in your heart you plot injustice. You measure out the violence of your hands in the earth.
Psa 58:3 The wicked go astray from the womb. They are wayward as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
Psa 58:4 Their poison is like the poison of a snake; like a deaf cobra that stops its ear,
Psa 58:5 which doesn't listen to the voice of charmers, no matter how skillful the charmer may be.
Psa 58:6 Break their teeth, God, in their mouth. Break out the great teeth of the young lions, Yahweh.
Psa 58:7 Let them vanish as water that flows away. When they draw the bow, let their arrows be made blunt.
Psa 58:8 Let them be like a snail which melts and passes away, like the stillborn child, who has not seen the sun.
Psa 58:9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns, he will sweep away the green and the burning alike.
Psa 58:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked;
Psa 58:11 so that men shall say, "Most certainly there is a reward for the righteous. Most certainly there is a God who judges the earth."
Psa 59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God. Set me on high from those who rise up against me.
Psa 59:2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity. Save me from the bloodthirsty men.
Psa 59:3 For, behold, they lie in wait for my soul. The mighty gather themselves together against me, not for my disobedience, nor for my sin, Yahweh.
Psa 59:4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Rise up, behold, and help me!
Psa 59:5 You, Yahweh God of Armies, the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish the nations. Show no mercy to the wicked traitors. Selah.
Psa 59:6 They return at evening, howling like dogs, and prowl around the city.
Psa 59:7 Behold, they spew with their mouth. Swords are in their lips, "For," they say, "who hears us?"
Psa 59:8 But you, Yahweh, laugh at them. You scoff at all the nations.
Psa 59:9 Oh, my Strength, I watch for you, for God is my high tower.
Psa 59:10 My God will go before me with his loving kindness. God will let me look at my enemies in triumph.
Psa 59:11 Don't kill them, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your power, and bring them down, Lord our shield.
Psa 59:12 For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride, for the curses and lies which they utter.
Psa 59:13 Consume them in wrath. Consume them, and they will be no more. Let them know that God rules in Jacob, to the ends of the earth. Selah.
Psa 59:14 At evening let them return. Let them howl like a dog, and go around the city.
Psa 59:15 They shall wander up and down for food, and wait all night if they aren't satisfied.
Psa 59:16 But I will sing of your strength. Yes, I will sing aloud of your loving kindness in the morning. For you have been my high tower, a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psa 59:17 To you, my strength, I will sing praises. For God is my high tower, the God of my mercy.
Psa 60:1 God, you have rejected us. You have broken us down. You have been angry. Restore us, again.
Psa 60:2 You have made the land tremble. You have torn it. Mend its fractures, for it quakes.
Psa 60:3 You have shown your people hard things. You have made us drink the wine that makes us stagger.
Psa 60:4 You have given a banner to those who fear you, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
Psa 60:5 So that your beloved may be delivered, save with your right hand, and answer us.
Psa 60:6 God has spoken from his sanctuary: "I will triumph. I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
Psa 60:7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine. Ephraim also is the defense of my head. Judah is my scepter.
Psa 60:8 Moab is my wash basin. I will throw my shoe on Edom. I shout in triumph over Philistia."
Psa 60:9 Who will bring me into the strong city? Who has led me to Edom?
Psa 60:10 Haven't you, God, rejected us? You don't go out with our armies, God.
Psa 60:11 Give us help against the adversary, for the help of man is vain.
Psa 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly, for it is he who will tread down our adversaries.



Sept. 11
1 Corinthians 7

1Co 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
1Co 7:2 But, because of sexual immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
1Co 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
1Co 7:4 The wife doesn't have authority over her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband doesn't have authority over his own body, but the wife.
1Co 7:5 Don't deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn't tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1Co 7:6 But this I say by way of concession, not of commandment.
1Co 7:7 Yet I wish that all men were like me. However each man has his own gift from God, one of this kind, and another of that kind.
1Co 7:8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they remain even as I am.
1Co 7:9 But if they don't have self-control, let them marry. For it's better to marry than to burn.
1Co 7:10 But to the married I command--not I, but the Lord--that the wife not leave her husband
1Co 7:11 (but if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband not leave his wife.
1Co 7:12 But to the rest I--not the Lord--say, if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is content to live with him, let him not leave her.
1Co 7:13 The woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he is content to live with her, let her not leave her husband.
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
1Co 7:15 Yet if the unbeliever departs, let there be separation. The brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us in peace.
1Co 7:16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
1Co 7:17 Only, as the Lord has distributed to each man, as God has called each, so let him walk. So I command in all the assemblies.
1Co 7:18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Co 7:20 Let each man stay in that calling in which he was called.
1Co 7:21 Were you called being a bondservant? Don't let that bother you, but if you get an opportunity to become free, use it.
1Co 7:22 For he who was called in the Lord being a bondservant is the Lord's free man. Likewise he who was called being free is Christ's bondservant.
1Co 7:23 You were bought with a price. Don't become bondservants of men.
1Co 7:24 Brothers, let each man, in whatever condition he was called, stay in that condition with God.
1Co 7:25 Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who has obtained mercy from the Lord to be trustworthy.
1Co 7:26 I think that it is good therefore, because of the distress that is on us, that it is good for a man to be as he is.
1Co 7:27 Are you bound to a wife? Don't seek to be freed. Are you free from a wife? Don't seek a wife.
1Co 7:28 But if you marry, you have not sinned. If a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have oppression in the flesh, and I want to spare you.
1Co 7:29 But I say this, brothers: the time is short, that from now on, both those who have wives may be as though they had none;
1Co 7:30 and those who weep, as though they didn't weep; and those who rejoice, as though they didn't rejoice; and those who buy, as though they didn't possess;
1Co 7:31 and those who use the world, as not using it to the fullest. For the mode of this world passes away.
1Co 7:32 But I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;
1Co 7:33 but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife.
1Co 7:34 There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world--how she may please her husband.
1Co 7:35 This I say for your own profit; not that I may ensnare you, but for that which is appropriate, and that you may attend to the Lord without distraction.
1Co 7:36 But if any man thinks that he is behaving inappropriately toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of her age, and if need so requires, let him do what he desires. He doesn't sin. Let them marry.
1Co 7:37 But he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own heart, to keep his own virgin, does well.
1Co 7:38 So then both he who gives his own virgin in marriage does well, and he who doesn't give her in marriage does better.
1Co 7:39 A wife is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the husband is dead, she is free to be married to whoever she desires, only in the Lord.
1Co 7:40 But she is happier if she stays as she is, in my judgment, and I think that I also have God's Spirit.

From Gary... Danger, someone is thinking- really hard!!!



"The Big Bang Theory" has a lot of humor in it, but along with that humor is an undercurrent of elitism and with that an anti-Christian bias.  Being blessed with intelligence is a wonderful thing; the problem is that often individual becomes so prideful that they place themselves (and obviously who they are and what they can do) on the throne of their life and in their mind, deny God.  This is nothing new; consider the Corinthians...

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 NASB
(18)  For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(19)  For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
(20)  Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
(21)  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
(22)  For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
(23)  but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
(24)  but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(25)  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
It is a solemn fact: we will die at some undisclosed future date. Argue all you want, this will happen.  Even Dr. Sheldon Cooper will ultimately be faced with his own mortality. Thought about this fact lately?  And then there is that troublesome verse 24 above!!!  What will you do with Jesus- careful, how you respond will have eternal consequences!!!