From Jim McGuiggan... A crying need for rich interpreters

A crying need for rich interpreters

It makes good sense to say you can’t simply take a text from somewhere in the Bible and say it is binding on us today. No matter what you hear, and no matter who you hear it from, it just isn’t that simple!
All the rules about gathering manna in the Wilderness are gone with the manna. All the laws about setting up the Tabernacle, how it was to be dismantled and who was to carry the materials—they’re all gone with the Tabernacle.
You can’t just take a passage written to slaves (say, 1 Peter 2:18-24), calling them to endure physical and other abuse and apply it as it sits to a present-day employee. The slaves didn’t have the freedom to move to another master if they didn’t like the one that had them. So what use is such a text? It’s part of the business of the church prayerfully to reflect on such a question.
Christ told the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions and give the money away. He said if someone (anyone) wanted to borrow from you that you were to lend it to them and not expect to get it back. He said if a man sinned against you seven times in one day and came saying, "I repent," you were to forgive him. All of these texts need worked with before they’re made a burden. Enough illustrations.
Whatever the difficulties in applying texts, the Spirit of God through the church (OT and NT) has given us the Bible and we rightly declare ourselves to be under its authority. And it doesn’t matter one whit that the scriptures are ancient—they’re no less binding. And it doesn’t matter that the scriptures are addressed to specific generations or groups of people in circumstances different than our own. God has invested his authority in the scriptures.
Matthew 4 tells us of Christ meeting Satan in the wilderness. It won’t hurt to say that the Spirit drove Christ into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan (see Mark 1:12). There as elsewhere, Satan functions as God’s message boy, and maybe G.Campbell Morgan was right when he said that the Devil would like to have avoided the meeting. He wasn’t facing Adam and Eve in the Garden now or a peevish Israel in the wilderness. This was Jesus of Nazareth.
What’s of particular interest to us at this moment is that Jesus quoted ancient scripture that addressed people in the wilderness setting under Moses. It didn’t matter to Christ that these words were written centuries earlier or that they were addressed a generation long dead. It didn’t matter that they weren’t addressed to him personally as he would address personal words to, say, the rich young ruler. It didn’t matter that there was no one else around and that the situation was dealing with his own personal and inner world. The ancient texts had authority. He made it clear that they had authority with him. He was never slow to claim he had authority or to call people to obedience to his word but he made it very clear that he too was acting under authority. God’s authority! Of course; but the authority of God came to him in the covenant scriptures as well as in other personal ways.
That we have to wrestle with scripture at times to make sure we are understanding them and using them correctly is no excuse for our sidelining them and substituting our own moral opinions. The authority of scripture is profoundly richer and more powerful than "a dictionary of answers to moral questions". The Bible is smarter than we are no matter how brilliant we think we are. The Bible has the experience of the ages embedded in it and it has Spirit-inspired interpretations of events that are critical for the life of humanity as well as the church. Nations and generations have fed on the Bible and been sustained and transformed during the best of times and the worst of times.
To take the Bible seriously requires more than quoting a ream of texts every time we open our mouths. ("Ah, yes. Now that’s Bible preaching. He quoted ninety-eight verses in a twenty minute lesson." A pox on it!) Bible preaching requires working with those texts, allowing them to be a part of their own narrative. It requires us to listen well to them and to learn to listen well. This means we need scholars! Scholars sometimes need to write and speak for other scholars so that what they write and speak can be tested. But there’s a crying need for scholars who will write and speak for the rest of us; to write and speak so we can feed on rather than test the writing and speaking. Most of us aren’t up to weighing the accuracy of deeper studies and if scholars keep writing for scholars the rest of us will starve, barely living off the crumbs that fall from their tables.
But it’s the biblical Story we need and in our better moments want. Those who minister the Word to little assemblies all over the world need help to feed their churches. Those who’ve been blessed with large congregations that can really make a visible difference need help to sustain and transform such churches. Whoever can help us drink of the richness of the Message of our faith is doing the world a service.

The Bible is its Own Best Interpreter by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Bible is its Own Best Interpreter

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Many excellent books have been written that discuss the principles involved in understanding the Bible. Within churches of Christ, for example, several fine volumes have been produced to assist the Christian in comprehending the Bible’s intended meanings (e.g., Dungan, 1888; Lockhart, 1901; Kearley, et al., 1986). One feature of the process of interpreting the Bible is the Bible’s own ability to shed light on its meaning. The Holy Spirit caused the Bible to be written with the specific intention that people would be able to understand its message. Consequently, the Bible shares in common with other books the basic characteristics that one might expect any piece of written communication to possess. It utilizes the same laws of thought and language, and it assumes that the honest, sincere, dedicated student can arrive at the meanings intended by the Author.
Perhaps the greatest deterrent to a proper interpretation of the Bible is the widespread and growing sense of uncertainty in the acquisition of absolute truth. American civilization has been inundated with pluralism, and has been brow-beaten into accepting the notion that one belief is as good as another, and that it really does not matter what one believes. Since so many people hold to so many conflicting beliefs, it is commonly thought that no one should be so intolerant, arrogant, and mean-spirited as to think that he has a corner on truth. One belief is as good as another, so we are told. And the same principle applies to religion, ethics, and virtually every other facet of human existence. Agnosticism (the philosophical posture that insists that one cannot know) has literally come to dominate our society. Perhaps the majority of Americans now feel that one cannot know whether the God of the Bible exists, whether the Bible is the one and only Word of God, whether Christianity is the only true religion, or whether New Testament Christianity is distinguishable from denominationalism.


At the heart of the issue of how the Bible should be interpreted, and whether the Bible is its own best interpreter, lies the deeper question of whether we humans are capable of knowing anything for certain, whether we can use logic to reason correctly, and whether we can arrive at truth. These preconditions for understanding the Bible may seem obvious and self-evident to Christians. But we are living at a time in which most people have been influenced to think that we cannot be certain about knowing anything. It goes without saying that this viewpoint is self-contradictory. Yet many continue to believe it.
Of course, the Bible is filled with statements that presuppose (and, in fact, absolutely demand) that we reason correctly, weigh evidence, and come to correct conclusions regarding God’s will. Through Isaiah, God beckoned: “Come now, and let us reason together” (1:18), and “State your case, that you may be acquitted” (43:26). The noble Bereans “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Paul said he was appointed for “the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:17). He insisted that the Thessalonians “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). He told Timothy to rightly divide the word of truth and to correct those who were in opposition (2 Timothy 2:15,25). Peter urged us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). John warned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And Jude said that we must “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3). Every single one of these verses, and many, many more, demand that the individual engage in a process of assessing facts, investigating circumstances, weighing evidence, diligent thinking, and reasoning, in order to arrive at the truth.
Yet, the magnitude of disagreement that exists in the world is astonishing. It is frustrating, depressing, heart-rending, and mind-boggling. For example, in American politics, a wide range of viewpoints exists with a multiplicity of variations and shades. How can so many politicians adamantly insist that abortion is absolutely right and good, while many other politicians, with equal vigor, insist that abortion is evil and wrong? How can people be so diametrically opposed to each other’s viewpoints? In religion, the diversity and cleavage is incredible. Christendom is hopelessly divided due to differing doctrinal views. The vast majority of those who claim to be following Christ adamantly maintain that water immersion is not necessary to salvation. Millions believe that it is appropriate to sprinkle infants, or to worship God with instruments of music, or that you cannot fall from grace. The religious division that exists in the entire world is even more staggering, since, for example, Islam (representing over a billion people) and Hinduism (representing about a billion people) are in absolute and complete contradiction to each other. By the very nature of their views, they cannot possibly “agree to disagree.” Atheism maintains that all religion is crazy. Karl Marx said that religion is the “opiate of the people.” So to the communist, evolutionist, and atheist, religion is actually harmful and detrimental to society.
With such irreparable, irreversibly deep diversity, no wonder so many have thrown up their hands and concluded that we cannot know for sure who is right and who is wrong (or perhaps more commonly, it really does not matter what is right and wrong). But after surveying the disconcerting, discouraging condition of the world’s lack of interest in ascertaining spiritual reality, one can return once again to the Bible, bring the entire state of affairs back into focus, and make perfect sense of the situation. It has ever been this way! The vast majority of humanity has always chosen to go its own way—for a variety of reasons and motivations. But the truth can be ascertained! Hence, they are all without excuse (cf. Romans 1:20).
The notion that the Bible is its own best interpreter was articulated during the Reformation as a reaction to the Catholic notion that the church was the final interpreter of God’s Word. The reformers took issue with this claim, and insisted instead that “Scripture is its own interpreter” (Scriptura sacra sui ipsius interpres). What they meant was that the totality of the Bible must be allowed to interpret every part of the Bible. Thus, “no part of Scripture can be so interpreted as to deform the teaching of the whole of Scripture” (Ramm, et al., 1987, p. 23). As Milton Terry observed: “God’s written word, taken as a whole, and allowed to speak for itself, will be found to be its own best interpreter” (n.d., p. 162; cf. p. 222).
There is much to be said for the recognition that to really understand the Bible—to really know the Bible—one must study the Bible book by book, giving attention to the contextual variables that characterize each individual book, and grasping the overall argument and line of reasoning inherent in each book. Clinton Lockhart, a Christian who authored a textbook on hermeneutics in 1901 that, by some estimations, surpasses the work of Dungan, pointed out that “no man that reads the Bible merely as a collection of proverbs or disconnected texts can ever understand the real nature of the sacred volume” (p. 233). Indeed, there is no substitute or shortcut to Bible interpretation. One must develop a broad and thorough familiarity with the entire Bible


The Scriptures contain within them the keys to their own interpretation. Take, for example, the question of Holy Spirit baptism. The charismatic community typically associates the expression “Holy Spirit baptism” with the phenomenon that enables the believer to speak in tongues, heal someone, or work other miracles. In other words, Holy Spirit baptism is simply a generic reference to miraculous empowerment. Anyone who can speak in a tongue or perform any other miraculous action is said to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. He is said to be “Spirit-filled.” However, the Bible actually alludes to Holy Spirit baptism in a very narrow, specialized, even technical sense (see Miller, 2003). Just because a person could speak in tongues or work miracles did not necessarily mean he or she had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. The principle of the Bible being its own best interpreter is well illustrated in the verses that allude directly to Holy Spirit baptism: Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5; and Acts 11:16. In all three verses, Holy Spirit baptism is mentioned by name, and the language that is employed links the three occasions together. Thus, one critical principle involved in allowing the Bible to interpret itself is to recognize and accept the explicit explanations that verses often give on a particular subject.


Another example where we see the Bible being its own best interpreter pertains to baptism. The Protestant world has insisted that water baptism is a secondary and subsequent action to salvation. Various religionists have maintained that it serves as “an outward sign of an inward grace.” They claim that baptism is a symbol—a visible expression of the forgiveness already received at the point of faith. But the Bible nowhere articulates this provocative, illicit concept. It is the figment of someone’s vivid imagination that has been taken up and repeated so often that it sounds “biblical.” When Ananias prodded Paul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16), he said nothing about an alleged symbolic cleansing or post-forgiveness washing. He uttered not one word that would lead the unbiased reader to even remotely conclude that Paul’s sins were washed away before he was baptized.
The grammar that the Holy Spirit selected by which to express Himself is very often a key to allowing the Bible to interpret itself. In Acts 22:16, the grammar further militates against the denominational interpretation so often placed on Paul’s baptism. The Holy Spirit utilized two participles and two verbs in verse 16 that clarify His intended meaning:
anastas is an aorist active participle: “having arisen” or “rising”
baptisai is an aorist middle imperative verb: “get yourself baptized”
apolousai is also an aorist middle imperative verb: “get your sins washed away”
epikalesamenos is an aorist middle participle: “you will have been calling”
An adverbial participle is a participle that is used as an adverb to modify the verb. “Calling” is an adverbial participle of manner. It shows the manner in which the main verbs are accomplished. The verbs (“baptized” and “wash away sins”)—joined by the coordinate conjunction “and” (kai)—are “causative middles” (Robertson, 1934, p. 808) in the aorist tense, and so relate to the aorist middle of the participle that follows (“calling”). Hence, a literal translation would be: “Having arisen, get yourself baptized and get your sins washed away, and you will have been calling on the name of the Lord.” In other words, Ananias was telling Paul that the way to accomplish “calling on the Lord” was to be baptized and have his sins washed away. The Holy Spirit deliberately formulated the grammar of every passage in the Bible so that His writing would interpret itself!
But doesn’t the Bible teach that baptism is, in fact, a symbol? Doesn’t baptism have “symbolic” significance? Yes, the Bible assigns symbolic significance to baptism in regard to at least three distinct features. Paul said that water baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He used the terms “likeness” and “form” to pinpoint this symbolism (Romans 6:5,17). He later identified a symbolic link between baptism and Old Testament circumcision—the idea that as skin was cut off by circumcision, so sins are cut off at baptism (Colossians 2:11-12). Peter added a third instance of baptism’s symbolic value. He compared a person passing through the water of baptism in order to be saved (by Christ’s resurrection) with the eight persons who were saved “by,” i.e., through (dia) the water of the Flood of Noah’s day (1 Peter 3:20-21). Notice carefully how the Bible is its own best interpreter: baptism symbolizes: (1) Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; (2) the “cutting off” of circumcision; and (3) the waters of the Flood. How in the world could anyone get out of this that baptism symbolizes past forgiveness that was achieved prior to being baptized?


The account of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus has certainly spawned a great deal of resistance to the role of water baptism in God’s scheme of redemption. While the bulk of Christendom for most of the last 2,000 years has recognized that “water” in John 3:5 is an allusion to water baptism (Shepherd, 1894, pp. 320-338), in the last few decades, many have attempted to assign a different meaning to the word—everything from “blood,” “sperm,” and the “Spirit” to the “water” that accompanies the physical birth of a child (i.e., amniotic fluid). However, once again, the Bible is its own best interpreter.
The context yields three useful factors. In the first place, Nicodemus thought being “born again” entailed physical birth (vs. 4). Jesus would not have followed up that misunderstanding by confirming it! If “water” in verse five refers to physical birth, then the flow of thought was that when Nicodemus asked if Jesus was referring to physical birth, Jesus responded that He was: “Do I have to be born physically a second time from my mother’s womb?” “Yes, you must be born of water….” In the second place, Jesus would not have told Nicodemus that one of the prerequisites for getting into the spiritual kingdom is physical birth. That would have Jesus making the redundant and ridiculous statement: “Before you can get into My kingdom, you first have to become a human being.” To frame such a statement would not only make Jesus appear oblivious to the fact that Nicodemus was already a human being, but also would put Jesus in the absurd position of thinking He needed to inform all non-humans (i.e., the animals) that they are not permitted entrance into the kingdom.
In the third place, while multiple occurrences of the same word in the same context can have different meanings, attendant extenuating circumstances would be necessary in order to realize the distinction. No such factors are evident, especially since, eighteen verses later, the writer informs us that John the baptizer “was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23, emp. added). Was John baptizing in that location because there was much amniotic fluid there? Or because there was much blood there? Or because the Holy Spirit was there? The Bible is indeed its own best interpreter!


Premillennialists are fond of calling attention to the concluding prophetic remarks of Amos: “‘On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ says the Lord who does this thing” (Amos 9:11-12). They insist that the fulfillment of this prophecy is yet future. They say the Temple, which was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans (Matthew 23:37-24:35), will be rebuilt on the Temple platform in Jerusalem (a site currently occupied by the third most holy shrine of Islam—the Dome of the Rock). They say that Jesus will return after the Rapture, the Tribulation, and Armageddon, and set up His millennial kingdom. They say He will reign on a literal throne for a thousand years, and incorporate the Gentiles, in addition to the nation of Israel, into His kingdom. On the face of it, this prophecy certainly possesses terminology that fits the millenarian interpretation placed upon it.
However, two Bible passages dispute this interpretation, and settle the question as to the proper application of Amos’ prophecy. The first is the great Messianic prophecy uttered by the prophet Nathan to King David regarding David’s future lineage and royal dynasty (2 Samuel 7:12-16). Nathan declared that God would establish and sustain the Davidic dynasty. Even though he also noted that a permanent form of the Tabernacle (that God refused to allow David to build [2 Samuel 7:1-7]) would be built by David’s son (i.e., Solomon), God, Himself, would build David a house, i.e., a dynasty, a kingly lineage. It is this lineage to which Amos referred—not a physical temple building.
The second passage that clarifies Amos’ prophecy is the account of the Jerusalem “conference” (Acts 15). Following Peter’s report regarding Gentile inclusion in the kingdom, James offered the following confirmatory comment: “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written” (Acts 15:13-15). James then quoted Amos 9:11-12. In other words, on that most auspicious occasion, James was noting two significant facts that had come to pass precisely as predicted by Amos: (1) after the downfall of the Jewish kingdom, the Davidic dynasty had been reinstated in the person of Christ—the “Son of David” (Matthew 22:42)—Who, at His ascension, had been enthroned in heaven, thereby “rebuilding the tabernacle of David that had fallen down”; and (2) with the conversion of the first Gentiles in Acts 10, as reported on this occasion by Peter, the “residue of men,” or the non-Jewish segment of humanity, was now “seeking the Lord.” I repeat: the Bible is its own best interpreter.
A fitting conclusion to this feature of God’s amazing Word might be the remark made by Peter on the occasion of the establishment of the church of Christ on Earth. You no doubt remember how he and his fellow apostles, empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak foreign languages to the international audience gathered on that occasion were nevertheless accused of being intoxicated. After noting it was too early in the day for such an explanation to be plausible, he prefaced his quotation of Joel with the following words: “This is that….” Much of the effort that we expend in coming to a correct understanding of God’s Word will be directed toward that very goal. Peter was telling his Pentecost audience: the Bible is its own best interpreter.


Dungan, D.R. (1888), Hermeneutics (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).
Kearley, F. Furman, Edward P. Myers, and Timothy D. Hadley, eds. (1986), Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Lockhart, Clinton (1915), Principles of Interpretation (Delight, AR: Gospel Light), revised edition.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2572.
Ramm, Bernard, et al. (1987), Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman).
Shepherd, J.W. (1894), Handbook on Baptism (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate, 1972 reprint).
Terry, Milton (no date), Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), reprint.

From Mark Copeland... The Water Turned To Wine (John 2:1-12)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                   The Water Turned To Wine (2:1-12)


1. John's purpose in his gospel was to produce faith - Jn 20:30-31
   a. Which he sought to accomplish by recording the "signs" done by
   b. Not all of them, but enough to produce faith in Jesus as the
      Christ, the Son of God

2. The "signs" Jesus performed were miracles...
   a. Expressions of supernatural, divine power
   b. Designed to attest His unique relationship with God - cf. Ac 2:22

[The first sign recorded by John took place shortly after Jesus had
acquired His first disciples...]


      1. On the third day - Jn 2:1
         a. The third day after Jesus made two more disciples
         b. Taking two days to reach Galilee from Judea (JFB)
      2. In the city of Cana - Jn 2:1
         a. Cana was about 4 miles NE of Nazareth, and SW of the Sea of
         b. Jesus had wanted to go to Galilee - cf. Jn 1:43
         c. Nathanael was from the city of Cana - cf. Jn 21:2

      1. The mother of Jesus was there - Jn 2:1
      2. Likewise Jesus and His disciples, who had been invited - Jn 2:2
         a. Jesus and His disciples were not ascetics - cf. Mt 9:14
         b. He came eating and drinking - cf. Mt 11:19

      1. As noted by the mother of Jesus - Jn 2:3
         a. She appears to have some role of responsibility and
            authority - cf. Jn 2:5
         b. The invitation to Jesus and His disciples may have been a
            last minute thing
         c. Running out of wine would have been an embarrassment to
            Mary, if she were in charge
         d. She tells Jesus; perhaps hinting a request? (RWP)
      2. Jesus responds to His mother - Jn 2:4
         a. "Woman"
            1) Not a term of disrespect in those days - cf. Jn 19:26;
            2) Though a subtle hint may be implied by its use instead of
               "Mother" that their relationship of mother and son was
         b. "What does your concern have to do with Me?"
            1) Perhaps a mild rebuke for her anxiety
            2) Perhaps too much like Martha? - cf. Lk 10:41
         c. "My hour has not yet come."
            1) This suggests that Mary's request was more than just a
               desire for a gift of wine
            2) Perhaps she wanted a supreme manifestation of Him as the
            3) That event would come later, with His death and
               resurrection - cf. Jn 2:18-19; 12:23,27; 17:1
            4) His mother sought for a supreme sign, but at that time
               only a secondary sign could be fittingly given
            5) I.e., the triumph at Pentecost was not to be achieved at
               Cana (McGarvey)

[Despite the subtle rebuke, Mary evidently sense a willingness on Jesus'
part to do something.  So she instructed the servants to do whatever He
says (cf. Jn 2:5). This leads us to...]


      1. Beginning with six empty water pots - Jn 2:6
         a. Normally used for the Jewish rituals of purification - cf.
            Mk 7:3-4
         b. Capable of holding twenty or thirty gallons (two or three
            firkins, KJV) each
      2. Filled with water - Jn 2:7
         a. As instructed by Jesus
         b. Filled to the brim
      3. A sample drawn and taken to the master of the feast - Jn 2:8
         a. As instructed by Jesus
         b. Carried out by the servants
         c. Apparently what was drawn was still water; it became wine
            before reaching the guests - cf. Jn 2:9

      1. Upon the master of the feast - Jn 2:9-10
         a. He tasted the water that was made wine
         b. Not knowing where it came from, he called the bridegroom
         c. Telling him that he kept the good wine for last, contrary to
            normal custom
      2. Upon the disciples of Jesus - Jn 2:11
         a. It was the beginning of signs Jesus did in Galilee - cf. Jn 4:54
         b. In which Jesus manifested His glory - cf. Jn 1:14
         c. Their faith in Jesus was even more strengthened

      1. It should not be to justify the custom of social drinking
         a. The word "oinos" can refer to fermented wine, but not
         b. Alcoholic drinks today are much stronger than those in Bible
         c. The Bible is filled with the dangers of drinking - cf. Pro 20:1; 23:29-35
         d. We do well to consider the influence of our example - cf. Ro 14:21; 1Co 10:31-33
      2. This miracle of turning water to wine reveals Jesus as:
         a. One who honors the bond of marriage by His presence at the
         b. One who bestows His gifts lavishly; if in the physical
            realm, how much more in the spiritual?
         c. One whose infinite love is made effective by His equally
            infinite power
         d. One who, accordingly, is the Son of God, full of grace and
         -- William Hendricksen, New Testament Commentary


1. After this miracle in Cana, Jesus went down to Capernaum - Jn 2:12
   a. Capernaum, a city on the northwestern shore of Galilee, visited
      frequently by Jesus
   b. Together with His mother, His brothers (cf. Mt 13:55), and His
   c. Though they did not stay many days - cf. Jn 2:13

2. The disciples of Jesus must have been excited...
   a. They had heard the testimony of John the Baptist concerning Jesus
   b. They had borne their own initial testimony as to Jesus
   c. Now they had seen this "sign" that Jesus was truly what they
      believed Him to be!

More signs to come would increase their faith in Jesus.  They can have a
similar affect in us as we continue to read and study the gospel
according to John...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading September 19

Sept. 19
Psalms 83-85

Psa 83:1 God, don't keep silent. Don't keep silent, and don't be still, God.
Psa 83:2 For, behold, your enemies are stirred up. Those who hate you have lifted up their heads.
Psa 83:3 They conspire with cunning against your people. They plot against your cherished ones.
Psa 83:4 "Come," they say, "and let's destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more."
Psa 83:5 For they have conspired together with one mind. They form an alliance against you.
Psa 83:6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites;
Psa 83:7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Psa 83:8 Assyria also is joined with them. They have helped the children of Lot. Selah.
Psa 83:9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon;
Psa 83:10 who perished at Endor, who became as dung for the earth.
Psa 83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb; yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna;
Psa 83:12 who said, "Let us take possession of God's pasturelands."
Psa 83:13 My God, make them like tumbleweed; like chaff before the wind.
Psa 83:14 As the fire that burns the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains on fire,
Psa 83:15 so pursue them with your tempest, and terrify them with your storm.
Psa 83:16 Fill their faces with confusion, that they may seek your name, Yahweh.
Psa 83:17 Let them be disappointed and dismayed forever. Yes, let them be confounded and perish;
Psa 83:18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.
Psa 84:1 How lovely are your dwellings, Yahweh of Armies!
Psa 84:2 My soul longs, and even faints for the courts of Yahweh. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Psa 84:3 Yes, the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, near your altars, Yahweh of Armies, my King, and my God.
Psa 84:4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house. They are always praising you. Selah.
Psa 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you; who have set their hearts on a pilgrimage.
Psa 84:6 Passing through the valley of Weeping, they make it a place of springs. Yes, the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
Psa 84:7 They go from strength to strength. Everyone of them appears before God in Zion.
Psa 84:8 Yahweh, God of Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, God of Jacob. Selah.
Psa 84:9 Behold, God our shield, look at the face of your anointed.
Psa 84:10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psa 84:11 For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield. Yahweh will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly.
Psa 84:12 Yahweh of Armies, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
Psa 85:1 Yahweh, you have been favorable to your land. You have restored the fortunes of Jacob.
Psa 85:2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people. You have covered all their sin. Selah.
Psa 85:3 You have taken away all your wrath. You have turned from the fierceness of your anger.
Psa 85:4 Turn us, God of our salvation, and cause your indignation toward us to cease.
Psa 85:5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you draw out your anger to all generations?
Psa 85:6 Won't you revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Psa 85:7 Show us your loving kindness, Yahweh. Grant us your salvation.
Psa 85:8 I will hear what God, Yahweh, will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, his saints; but let them not turn again to folly.
Psa 85:9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
Psa 85:10 Mercy and truth meet together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Psa 85:11 Truth springs out of the earth. Righteousness has looked down from heaven.
Psa 85:12 Yes, Yahweh will give that which is good. Our land will yield its increase.
Psa 85:13 Righteousness goes before him, And prepares the way for his steps.
Sept. 19
1 Corinthians 15

1Co 15:1 Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand,
1Co 15:2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
1Co 15:8 and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was bestowed on me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1Co 15:11 Whether then it is I or they, so we preach, and so you believed.
1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised.
1Co 15:14 If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.
1Co 15:15 Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn't raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised.
1Co 15:16 For if the dead aren't raised, neither has Christ been raised.
1Co 15:17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
1Co 15:19 If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.
1Co 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep.
1Co 15:21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ's, at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
1Co 15:27 For, "He put all things in subjection under his feet." But when he says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him.
1Co 15:28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
1Co 15:29 Or else what will they do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead aren't raised at all, why then are they baptized for the dead?
1Co 15:30 Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour?
1Co 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
1Co 15:32 If I fought with animals at Ephesus for human purposes, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, then "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
1Co 15:33 Don't be deceived! "Evil companionships corrupt good morals."
1Co 15:34 Wake up righteously, and don't sin, for some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
1Co 15:35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised?" and, "With what kind of body do they come?"
1Co 15:36 You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies.
1Co 15:37 That which you sow, you don't sow the body that will be, but a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind.
1Co 15:38 But God gives it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own.
1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial.
1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1Co 15:46 However that which is spiritual isn't first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 As we have borne the image of those made of dust, let's also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50 Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can't inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 But when this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
1Co 15:55 "Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?"
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord's work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Bible Reading   

September 19

The World English Bible

From Gary... Paths of life and the patience of God

I like this sign!!!  I always say: "Where there is life- there is HOPE"!!!  Why? Because of the amazing patience of God.  Read on...

2 Peter 3:8-9 NASB
(8)  But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
(9)  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 NASB
(15)  It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
(16)  Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

It is not too late to change the road your life is on; YOU CAN CHANGE!!!  Most of us lead lives of our own design and we tend to be happy with what we do. But, things change. Life has a way of changing from good to very bad in far too short a time. To me, it makes sense to prepare for the day of our departure from this world. This means seeking a way of living that will please God and not ourselves. After all is said and done here, we will all have to face HIS JUDGEMENT!!! Why not be prepared, why not seek God now? OK, this may sound like I am nagging, but I do not intend to be this way.... rather, I just want you to really think about these things.  I just want to help- you are the only one who will decide. Just think about it, OK?