"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" A Worker Approved To God (2:14-18)


 A Worker Approved To God (2:14-18)


1. What should be expected of a minister of the gospel of Christ?  This
   question is one...
   a. Every preacher, evangelist, teacher, should ask of himself
   b. Every congregation should consider as they evaluate those they

2. In 2Ti 2:14-18, we find qualities of a worker...
   a. Who is approved of God
   b. Who does not need to be ashamed

[While these verses do not list every quality, they certainly point out
that which should be true of all ministers of the gospel.  For example,
"A Worker Approved To God" is one who...]


      1. When he wrote his epistle to the brethren at Rome - Ro 15:15
      2. When he sent Timothy to the church at Corinth - 1Co 4:17
      3. When he wrote to Timothy himself - 2Ti 1:6

      1. Especially when he knew his death was imminent - 2Pe 1:12-15
      2. Knowing this was a way of stirring them up - 2Pe 3:1

      1. Reminding them of things they already knew - Jude 1:5
      2. Because of the dangerous influence of ungodly men - cf. Ju

[Repetition is needful; don't fault preachers and teachers for telling
you things you already know.  It is good for you, and may be news to
others.  "A Worker Approved To God" also...]


      1. Concerning their spiritual growth - 1Th 4:1
      2. Commanding them to withdraw from disorderly brethren - 2Th 3:6

      1. To observe things without partiality - 1Ti 5:21
      2. To preach the Word - 2Ti 4:1-2

[As long as what is being charged is from God's Word, don't fault
preachers and teachers for commanding you to do something.  "A Worker
Approved To God"...]


      1. Lest they fall short of their heavenly rest - He 4:1,11
      2. To make their calling and election sure - 2Pe 1:10
      3. To be found by the Lord in peace, without spot and blameless
         - 2Pe 3:14

      1. As Timothy was charged to "give attention" to doctrine
          - 1 Ti  4:13
      2. As he was commanded to "take heed" to the doctrine - 1Ti 4:16

[While this certainly involves "study" (cf. KJV), the Greek "spoudazo"
means "to exert one's self, endeavor, give diligence" (Thayer).
Applying proper diligence to the Word, "A Worker Approved To God"...]


      1. As translated by the NKJV, KJV
      2. The word (orthotomeo), found nowhere else in the New Testament,
         a. "to cut straight, to cut straight ways; to proceed on
            straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing
            right" - Thayer
         b. "to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the
            truth directly and correctly" - ibid.
      3. Other versions translate the passage:
         a. "handling aright the word of truth" - ASV
         b. "rightly handling the word of truth" - ESV
         c. "one who correctly teaches the message of God's truth" - GNB
         d. "handling the word of truth with precision" - ISV
         e. "accurately handling the word of truth" - NASB
         f. "correctly handles the word of truth" - NIV
         g. "rightly explaining the word of truth" - NRSV

      1. Understanding there is both old and new - cf. Mt 13:52
      2. Distinguishing between Old and New Covenants - e.g., 2Co 3:
         6-11; He 8:6-13
      3. Remembering that meat is for the mature, milk is for babes
         - cf. He 5:12-14
      4. Bearing in mind that some may be carnal, not yet spiritual
         - cf. 1Co 3:1-4

["A Worker Approved To God" will handle the Word like the "sword" that
it is (He 4:12); i.e., carefully and appropriately for the occasion.
Accordingly, he will be one who...]

V. SHUNS 'WORD BATTLES' (2:14,16-18)

      1. Such as:
         a. Striving about words to no profit - 2Ti 2:14
         b. Profane and idle babblings - 2Ti 2:16
      2. Leading to:
         a. The ruin of the hearers - 2Ti 2:14
         b. More ungodliness - 2Ti 2:16
      3. Exemplified by:
         a. Hymenaeus and Philetus - 2Ti 2:17
         b. Saying that the resurrection is already past - 2Ti 2:18
         c. They overthrow the faith of some - 2Ti 2:18

      1. Later in this chapter - 2Ti 2:23
         a. Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes
         b. That only generate strife
      2. In his previous epistle to Timothy
         a. Do not give heed to fables and endless genealogies that
            cause disputes - 1Ti 1:4-6
         b. Do not be obsessed with disputes and arguments over words,
            useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of
            the truth - 1Ti 6:3-5
         c. Avoid profane and idle babblings, false contradictions
            - 1Ti 6:20-21
      3. In writing to Titus - Tit 3:9
         a. Avoid foolish disputes, contentions, strivings about the law
         b. Such are unprofitable and useless


1. With so much error and false doctrine in the world, a minister of the
   gospel must walk a fine line...
   a. Diligent in his use of the Word to remind and charge the brethren
   b. Careful in handling the Word with the spiritually immature and
      those in error

2. Yet with the aid of such epistles as those written to Timothy and
   Titus, it is possible...
   a. To "present yourself  approved to God"
   b. To be "a worker who does not need to be ashamed"

May those who preach and teach ever be mindful of these things, and may
those whom we teach always encourage us to be "A Worker Approved To

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Preaching "Jesus" Includes Preaching Baptism by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Preaching "Jesus" Includes Preaching Baptism

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

It is very common today to hear people say something like, “We just need to preach Jesus and not trouble each other with the Bible’s peripheral teachings.” Or, “We mustn’t get caught up in the details, just in Jesus.” Oftentimes, such things are said in an attempt to avert controversy. “Since all professed Christians believe in Jesus, but not all are united upon His doctrine, let’s just talk about Jesus, and leave the secondary issues alone.”
One of these alleged “secondary” or “peripheral” teachings that frequently is avoided in religious discussions is that of baptism. Since so much controversy has been “caused” by this subject through the years (e.g., Are we to immerse or sprinkle? Should we baptize infants? Is baptism really necessary for salvation?), some believe we can, and should, “teach Jesus” to the lost world, and somehow bring them to Christ, without ever introducing the doctrine of baptism. This may sound like a good idea to some, but we must ask, “Is this a biblical idea?” Did the apostles, prophets, preachers, and teachers of the first century have this mindset? Did they distinguish between “preaching Jesus” and “preaching baptism”?
In Acts 8:26-40, we read how the Spirit of God instructed Philip to approach a non-Christian from Ethiopia, a man of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. When Philip came near the Ethiopian eunuch, he sat beside him, and, beginning at Isaiah 53, “preached Jesus to him” (vs. 35). Now, if Philip had the mindset of some twenty-first-century Bible teachers, his preaching would have been limited to only the “central truths” about Jesus (e.g., His death, burial, and resurrection; His deity; etc.). The very next verse, however, indicates that Philip’s preaching of “Jesus” must have included preaching on the importance of baptism, for the Bible indicates that the eunuch asked, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (vs. 36). From this one question, we learn that Philip had to have instructed the eunuch previously concerning the necessity of water baptism. Respected Bible scholar J.W. McGarvey commented on this verse, saying,
He [the Ethiopian—EL] had learned not only that there was such an ordinance, but that it was the duty and the privilege of men to observe it when properly prepared for it. He also desired to be baptized, and his only question was whether he was a suitable candidate. As he had known nothing of Jesus as the Christ up to the moment of Philip’s preaching to him, he had certainly learned nothing definite concerning the baptism which Jesus had ordained; and we are consequently forced to the conclusion that what he now knew he had learned from Philip’s preaching (n.d., pp. 157-158).
Indeed, Philip included baptism in his preaching of Jesus. Unlike some preachers today, there was no hesitation about meshing Jesus and baptism together. Why would there be? After all, Jesus stressed the necessity of baptism before His ascension into heaven (Matthew 28:18-20; cf. Mark 16:15). Peter commanded those who heard him preach on Pentecost to “repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38). Philip had preached it among the Samaritans (Acts 8:12-13). And it was a part of the lesson Ananias taught Saul (Acts 22:16). As H. Leo Boles once wrote, “No inspired preacher of the gospel then preached Jesus without preaching the baptism that Jesus commanded; no gospel preacher today can preach Jesus without preaching the command to be baptized” (1941, p. 138). Amen.


Boles, H. Leo (1941), Commentary on Acts of the Apostles (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
McGarvey, J.W. (no date), New Commentary on Acts of Apostles (Delight, AR: Gospel Light)

Pluralism, Multiculturalism, Syncretism, and America by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Pluralism, Multiculturalism, Syncretism, and America

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As America continues her downward spiral into social, moral, ethical, and spiritual chaos, it is difficult to realize that the first 150 years of American civilization stand in such stark contrast to current culture. The Christian orientation of this country from its inception is irrefutable, revisionist history notwithstanding. The present extensive transformation of society, and the wholesale abandonment of biblical principles, are astonishing. If the Founding Fathers could be resurrected momentarily to observe the change, they would be unquestionably incredulous. They would be aghast, horrified, and deeply saddened that America could be so thoroughly redirected toward moral degradation—a condition that characterized the France of their day.
Pluralism is the notion that all religious belief systems and philosophies are of equal validity. Multiculturalism is the idea that American culture has historically been neither superior to nor preferable over any other culture in the world, and that all cultures—regardless of basic religious, moral, ethical, and spiritual beliefs and practices—are equally credible, viable representations of proper behavior and living. Multiculturalism actually denigrates American civilization as inferior to the other cultures of the world, demonizing it as oppressive, coercive, and exploitive. For both multiculturalism and pluralism, absolute truth does not exist. Both systems embrace the self-contradictory notion that truth is relative, and that right and wrong depend upon the subjective assessments of fallible humans. The politically correct climate that has been forged, insists that whatever people choose to believe is, indeed, correct and good—at least for them!
One illustration of the mad rush to dilute truth and to advocate the mindless acceptance of every imaginable belief or practice is the recent Interfaith Congress held at the Paul VI Pastoral Center in Fatima, Portugal, site of the Catholic shrine dedicated to “the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Attended by delegates representing many religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and African Paganism, the Shrine’s rector, Monsignor Luciano Guerra, spoke of the need to create a shrine where different religions can mingle—a “universalistic place of vocation” (“Fatima,” 2003). Jesuit theologian Jacques Dupuis insisted that the religions of the world must unite: “The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all” (“Fatima”). Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, spoke of the Shrine’s “inter-religious dimension” (“Vatican,” 2003).
Dupuis argued: “The other religious traditions in the world are part of God’s plan for humanity and the Holy Spirit is operating and present in Buddhist, Hindu and other sacred writings of Christian and non-Christian faiths as well” (“Fatima”). The Congress issued an official statement that urged all religions to refrain from proselytizing those of other religions, since “no one religion can irradiate another or strengthen itself by downplaying others. What is needed is that each religiontreat each [other] religion on the same footing of equality with no inferior or superiority complexes (“Fatima”). The statement emphasized the idea that peace may be achieved among all religions—if everyone will admit that contradictions exist between beliefs, and then concentrate on what unites them rather than what separates them.
History repeats itself over and over again. Stubborn humanity refuses to learn from the mistakes of the past. The Israelites were plagued by syncretism [the fusion of differing systems of belief, as opposed to remaining individualistic] through much of their Old Testament history. They did not remove God completely from their lives. They did not become outright atheistic (although polytheism amounts to the same thing). Rather, they engaged in syncretism and, as a result, mixed many elements of false religion into their own beliefs and practices. During the dark ages of the judges, a man named Micah was typical of the spiritual climate of the day. He had a shrine dedicated to the gods of the pagan nations, but he also latched on to a Levite in hopes of currying the favor of the one true God as well (Judges 17:5-13). The condition of the northern kingdom of Israel at the time of the Assyrian captivity was one in which “[t]hey feared the Lord, yet served their own gods” (2 Kings 17:33). By Zephaniah’s day, the same conditions prevailed. God pronounced judgment on Judah in the following words: “I will stretch out My hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, the names of the idolatrous and pagan priests—those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord, but who also swear by Molech” (Zephaniah 1:4-5).
Precisely the same malady is afflicting America. Many Americans still claim to believe in the God of the Bible (although the number is declining year by year). However, many—perhaps most—have bought into the idea that we must not be “judgmental” or “intolerant” of the beliefs of others. Hence, our society is swiftly becoming a strange mixture of every sort of religious belief and practice. People in high places are calling upon nationwide acceptance of all religions without reservation—from Native American animism to Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Most shocking of all is the way that so many Americans have simply chosen to embrace a nebulous blend of ambiguous New Age beliefs that enables them to embrace diversity without consideration of specific differences in belief and practice. Spiritual ambiguity has become the sum and substance of religion for many.
It is interesting—if not sadly tragic—that although Israel was born in monotheism in 1500 B.C., it degenerated into paganism, polytheism, and idolatry. America, too, was born in monotheism—the God of the Bible, not Allah or the gods of Hinduism or Buddhism. But her citizenry is now moving full swing into raw paganism. The gods of sensualism and ethical relativity have become the focus of attention for large numbers of Americans. Sensible people have looked back over the centuries and recognized that any country or culture that worships physical things, or attributes divinity to anyone or anything except the one true God, is a country that is ignorant, superstitious, and unenlightened. Who would ever have dreamed that America would one day turn into just such a country? Israel returned to monotheism by the time of Christ—but only after years of suffering and tribulation as a consequence of their national sin. Will America survive the present mad rush away from God? History shows—probably not. The nation likely will face severe punishment in a variety of forms. Oh, that Americans in large numbers would heed the advice of God given to Solomon—a prescription for national health and well-being: “[I]f My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).


“Fatima to Become Interfaith Shrine” (2003), The Portugal News, November 1, [On-line], URL: http://the-news.net/cgi-local/story.pl?title=Fatima to become interfaith shrine &edition=all.
“Vatican Denies Fatima Will Become Interfaith Shrine” (2003), The Portugal News, November 29, [On-line], URL: http://the-news.net/cgi-local/story.pl?title=Vatican denies Fatima will become interfaith shrine&edition=all.

Philemon and Slavery by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Philemon and Slavery

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman, and reformer, Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, was invited to deliver a speech in 1852 (eight years before the Civil War) to a women’s anti-slavery society in Rochester, New York. His assigned subject? “What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?” His remarks demonstrate forcefully that the Bible and the Christian religion were not to be blamed for the existence or perpetuation of slavery. In his brilliant oration, Douglass demonstrated that those “Christians” and churches in America at the time that used the Bible to sanction slavery were misinterpreting and misrepresenting it. He stated:
But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines [preachers—DM], who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.... Fellow-citizens! I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretence, and your Christianity as a lie.... Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery—the great sin and shame of America! (1852, emp. added).
Douglass was insistent and adamant: to propagate the form of slavery in America at that time was to disregard and trample upon the Bible (and the Constitution!), and to misrepresent and deny the very essence of Christianity and the will of Christ.
Douglass surely understood the New Testament correctly. In a succinct personal note to a fellow Christian (Philemon), the apostle Paul presented a fascinating glimpse into the Christian attitude toward slavery. In a masterpiece of pathos, Paul blended together tender affection, encouraging commendation, unanswerable logic, heartfelt sympathy, and respectful persuasion to convince Philemon to exude Christian compassion.
In examining the successive thoughts that Paul offers in verses 1-15 and 18-25, one is apt to miss the primary point that the apostle was making. Stripping away the side points that he musters along the way in building his appeal allows the central purpose of the letter to come into view as a result of Paul’s triple repetition of “receive him” in verses 12, 15, and 17. He folds the culminating objective in between the latter two verses. The climax is seen in his explicit allusion to the nature of the reception: to get Philemon to receive Onesimus back “no longer as a slave” (vs. 16).
Here is the real message of Philemon—and the Christian stance on slavery: God would have slaves not to be treated as slaves! This divine intention effectively eradicates the forms of slavery that are deemed objectionable. To treat a slave as an equal (“more than a slave”—vs. 16), and to treat him the way one wishes to be treated himself (Matthew 7:12), strips the institution of slavery of its objectionable traits. Who would not want to be the “slave” of a person who treats you as a dear, beloved brother? Paul’s directives to masters elsewhere in the New Testament focus on this same necessity of being just, fair, impartial, and non-threatening (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1). Recognizing that slavery would continue in the Roman Empire until Christian principles were able to gradually permeate and infiltrate its institutions, Paul gave sensible advice to Corinthian Christians:
Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about itbut if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave (1 Corinthians 7:20-22, emp. added).
A Christian can be a Christian anytime, anywhere. His commitment to Christ is unaffected by his environment or what others may do to him. If he can (ethically and scripturally) improve his physical circumstances, then certainly he is authorized to do so. But if not, “let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called,” that is, one must fulfill one’s pre-baptism (legitimate) obligations (which, in the case of slavery, may entail financial or other matters). The Christian’s focus is to remain on being faithful to God—even in the midst of very unjust or inhumane circumstances. This is the consistent portrait given in the New Testament (e.g., Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24). It certainly is no overstatement to insist that if Christianity, in its pure and accurate form, were implemented throughout the world, the evils of slavery would be eradicated.


Douglass, Frederick (1852), Oration Delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, http://books.google.com/books?id=1glyAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=frederick+douglass&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cmlfT5zROISygwfG57yCCA&ved= 0CFcQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=frederick%20douglass&f=false.

Perspectives Matter by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Perspectives Matter

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Twice a year for the past few years I have visited the offices of a certified public accountant in Montgomery, Alabama. Since I rarely went to his place of business (or even the area in which his business is located), I had a difficult time remembering exactly what side of the road it was on. When I expected to see it on my right, it would strangely appear on my left. Then, just as sure as I thought it might be on my left, I would find it on my right. Maybe I was just confused. Perhaps my memory was failing me. For whatever reason, I never took the time to figure out why I had the distinct impression that sometimes this building should be on the opposite side of the road. Whenever the time came for me to see the CPA, I simply headed in the direction of his office, confident that I could find it, but unsure on which side of the road it would appear.
Recently, I finally learned why sometimes the building was on my left and other times it was on my right: I had not realized that the street on which this office is located is a long, slow-curving semi-circle. Both ends of the street eventually meet up at the same road, just one intersection apart from each other. Since the two intersections look very similar, I (like many men who are rather unobservant) never realized that I sometimes turned left at one intersection and other times turned left at the next intersection. When I took the first left, the office building always appeared on my right. When I took the second left, the building was always on my left. For whatever reason, I had never paid close enough attention. I had failed to consider that the apparent contradiction was merely the result of two different perspectives: one from the North, and one from the South.
Sadly, many people approach a study of the Bible as carelessly as I approached the CPA’s office building: they fail to consider the various perspectives at play. Approximately 40 different inspired men from all walks of life wrote the Bible over a period of 1,600 years. These men lived at different times in different places among different people in different cultures. They wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and the original recipients of their writings varied greatly—from Jewish, to Greek, to Roman, to all men. Sometimes the Bible writers wrote chronologically (e.g., Genesis 1; Matthew 4:1-11); at other times they wrote thematically (e.g., Genesis 2; Luke 4:1-13). Sometimes they focused on a group of people (e.g., Matthew 28:1; Luke 23:55-24:1); at other times they targeted a particular person within the group (e.g., John 20:1).
Oftentimes when two or more Bible writers differ in their description of a certain event, skeptics cry “contradiction.” In reality, however, the skeptics have merely overlooked or dismissed the fact that the inspired penmen wrote from different perspectives. One question I continually get asked and hear skeptics frequently repeat is, “How did Judas die?” “Did he hang himself as Matthew wrote (27:5), or, as Luke indicated (Acts 1:18), did he fall headlong and ‘burst open in the middle’ and all his entrails gush out?” The answer: Judas hanged himself, and later his body fell (from wherever it was hanging), burst open, and his entrails spilled. Are Matthew and Luke’s accounts different? Yes. Are they contradictory? No. They simply wrote about two different, specific moments during the same general event.
If we fail to recognize the logical reasons for differences in life, we will continually find ourselves dazed and confused. Just as I was perplexed for years over the exact location of a particular office building, because I had not taken the time to consider the exact direction from which I approached the building, skeptics and others will never come to a proper understanding of Scripture until they recognize that perspectives play a major role.

Dealing with the Days of Creation by Bob Waldron


Dealing with the Days of Creation

Bob Waldron

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There is a controversy going on today concerning the days of creation described in Genesis 1: Are they literal days? Are they literal consecutive days, or are there periods of many thousands, or even millions, of years between them? The arguments rage, and they are often very, very technical, especially for people who have no technical background to speak of.

I. Two very different approaches to this subject.

  1. One is called by some “presuppositional,” and the other is “evidential.”
  2. These two terms immediately purport to place people who hold differing positions into proper cubbyholes.
    1. Those who are presuppositional go on assumptions that they have and fit the evidence wherever it will go.
    2. Those who are evidentialists look at the evidence objectively and rationally, and interpret the Bible accordingly.
  3. In connection with the creation, evidentialism means that scientists look at the rocks and other physical evidence and conclude that the earth and the universe is billions of years old. They then go to the Bible and seek an interpretation that fits their own findings.
    1. Thus, the primary factor relied upon is the physical earth and what it says.
    2. Thus, the book of nature is given primary significance, because it determines what the revelation means.
  4. On the other hand, presuppositionalists merely accept the assumption that the Bible is God’s word, and interpret all world phenomena so as to fit what the Bible says.
  5. One of the favorite examples an evidentialist would use of presuppositionalism is the Catholic Church’s position on the nature of the solar system.
    1. The position of the medieval church was that the earth was the center of the solar system.
    2. However, Galileo saw through his telescope that this was not the case.
    3. Gradually, the observations of Galileo and others forced the church to change its view of the nature of the world.
  6. Let me show another contrast or two that comes to mind. One concerns the date for the Exodus. Is the date of the Exodus 1290 or 1450? The late date or the early date?
    1. Probably, the bulk of scholars hold to the late date of 1290, and the reasons are primarily archaeological.
    2. But the Bible says in 1 Kings 6:1, that the fourth year of Solomon was the 480th year since Israel came out of Egypt.
    3. There are statements such as Jephthah’s (Judges 11:26), that Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its towns, etc., for three hundred years.
    4. Many of the positions of modern day archaeologists are held with antagonism for the Bible and no respect at all for its accuracy.
    5. Thus we have a rejection of the Bible version of the Exodus, and the belief that there were various Hebrew tribes at various times that invaded the land, and these are all amalgamated into one account late in Israelite history.
    6. These archaeologists would argue that they must accept the evidence as they see it.
    7. The problem is that they are giving much greater weight to their own thinking and observations than to the scriptures. They do not have enough respect for the Bible to say, “What are alternatives that we might consider to reconcile what we have found with the Bible?”
    8. Some have said, “If it were not for the statement in 1 Kings 6:1, I would be compelled to accept the late date.”
    9. With others, the statement in 1 Kings 6:1 carries no weight whatever.
  7. Sometimes the Bible uses figurative language that has been taken literally, and reality has had to help us understand that the language in question is figurative. The case of Galileo illustrates.
    1. The Bible uses language, as we do, that the sun rises and sets, and it is more convenient for us to do so, because, on a practical basis, that is the appearance of things.
    2. But it is one thing to use reality, science, and discovery to correct an erroneous application of figurative language, or indefinite language. It is another to use such things to contradict very plain, straightforward statements of scripture.

II. The contrast looked at from a different standpoint.

  1. The presuppositionalist.
    1. I object to the term presuppositionalism because it implies two things that are not true:
      1. First it implies that I, as one who accepts the Bible record as inspired, have no reasons for my position, only assumptions.
      2. Second it implies that the scientist proceeds on no assumptions, yet the history of science is littered with assumptions that were later proven wrong.
  2. Presuppositions?
    1. Is it a presupposition with me that the Bible is inspired? No, it is a claim made by the scriptures throughout the Bible (Exod. 4:15-162 Sam. 23:2Jer. 1:79Gal. 1:11-12Eph. 3:3-52 Tim. 3:16-172 Pet. 1:21).
    2. The evidence of the Bible itself has convinced me that the Bible is inspired.
      1. Its unity.
      2. Its view of God in distinction to the prevailing ideas of God in the world at the time.
      3. Its absence of idolatry.
      4. Its prophecies and promises and their fulfillment.
    3. This conviction is basic to everything that I do, and everything that I see, but it is not a presupposition. It is a principle established by the evidence.
  3. The point in this controversy is not that so-called presuppositionalists believe that physical evidence should be accommodated to scripture no matter what the results to logic and truth.
    1. As pointed out earlier, I realize that scripture sometimes uses figurative or accommodative language. I am perfectly willing to correct my understanding or interpretation of a passage if my observations compel me to do so.
    2. But I dare not take a passage in the Bible which all contextual evidence points to a literal interpretation and be willing to make radical alterations in my interpretations, when there are perfectly rational alternatives in interpreting the evidence.
  4. The point is primary commitment to the integrity of the scriptures and faith in a God who can do what the scriptures said He did.

III. The days of creation of Genesis 1.

  1. In the Genesis account, two chapters are devoted to the creation:
    1. Chapter one concerns the general creation of the world.
    2. Chapter two concerns the special preparations God made for man.
  2. Different uses of the word day in Genesis one.
    1. Many efforts have been made to use the different meanings of day in the first two chapters of Genesis to prove that it may mean an age. It is a rather foolish argument, because in any context, just because a term may be used in several different ways, does not prove what any single use of the term means. That must be determined from the use of the word in its sentence and in its context.
    2. The word most often translated day is the Hebrew word yom.
    3. In the context of the first two chapters, it is used to refer to daylight as opposed to darkness (1:5).
    4. It is used perhaps of time in 2:4, but this is not certain. The idea that “these are the generations” may be saying, “These are the further developments of the heavens and earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven” (2:4). Whether this is the precise meaning of day in 2:4, however, does not affect the truth that day is used often of time in a more general sense.
    5. Throughout the Old Testament, Yom is found by far most often meaning a 24-hour day.
      1. In every passage where a numeral is attached to the word, it consistently and always has the meaning of a 24-hour day.
      2. According to Young’s Analytical Concordance, Yom is translated “day” 1167 times.
      3. About 194 times the word has a number with it, and, without exception, the meaning of the word at such times is a 24 hour day.
    6. Some have brought up Deuteronomy 10:10 as an exception.
      1. The passage reads: “And I stayed in the mount as at the first time, forty days and forty nights....”
      2. It is argued that the word time is translated “day” in some versions.
        1. In the first place, it is not so rendered in the ASV, the KJV, the NIV, or the Amplified Bible.
        2. In the second place, it would not matter. Such a rendering is hopelessly wrong. The Hebrew is unmistakable. It reads “Ve-anochi amadti bahar kayamim harishonim.” Let me give a word for word translation:
        3. Ve-anochiamadtibaharkayamimharishonim ...
          And Istoodin the mountainas the daysthe first ones
        4. Keil and Delitzsch give the translation “first days.” Thus, instead of the passage being an exception, it confirms the point made: that the Hebrew word Yom, when modified by a numeral, means a 24-hour day.
    7. Therefore, the usage of Yom says the word in Genesis one, as it describes the first day, second day, etc., means a 24-hour day.
    8. Second, the word is further defined by the use of evening and morning, this in a context where we have established day and night, light and darkness. It is a 24-hour day that has an evening and a morning.
    9. Third, the connection between this account and Exodus 20:1131:17 cannot be mistaken.
      1. Even if Genesis is composed of certain sections (toledoths, translated “generations”) handed down from the fathers and collated by Moses, it seems apparent that the lawgiver made the emphasis in 2:2-3“And on the seventh day God finished His word which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
      2. Compare the passage with Exodus 20:11:“For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
      3. Note also Exodus 31:17: “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” It is interesting that the expression,“and was refreshed,” literally means “took breath.” God “took a breather.” Of course, this does not mean that God was tired. It is merely extending the idea of “God rested” just a bit. We ourselves use the expression to mean to stop our work.
      4. The whole reason for the emphasis upon the six days and the seventh day is to show why God chose the seventh day to be the day of rest He ordained for Israel.
      5. In order to do this effectively, the days of Genesis 1 and the days of Exodus 20:1131:17 must be 24 hour days.
      6. The progressive creationist's (Discontinuous Days of Creation) position is that the creation days were 24-hour days, but they were separated by very long periods of time, possibly involving millions of years. Therefore what God did on these days was to command a creative process to begin, but it took very long periods for these things to occur.
      7. However, if in fact, the six creation days were six 24 hour days separated by untold millions of other days, then God did not rest on the seventh day, but on the 2 billionth day.
      8. I want to look at one argument made by a proponent of the Discontinuous Days theory to support the theory of the separation of the six days by ages. He says that “Be fruitful and multiply” is an example of a command that was not completely carried out that day and proves that on the other days of creation God gave commandments which were not completely and required thousands and millions of years to complete.
        1. First, note that there are only two situations among the six days when this expression is used: one on the fifth day, when the living creatures of the water and the air came into being (1:22), and one on the sixth day when the living creatures of the land, including man, were created (1:28).
        2. On the other days the language specifies that it was done that day.
          1. On the first day, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
          2. On the second day, God said, “Let there be a firmament...,” and it was so.
          3. On the third day, God said, “Let the waters be gathered together, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. He commanded the vegetation to appear, and it was so, and the earth brought forth the vegetation and God saw that it was good.
          4. On the fourth day God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven...,” and it was so.
        3. There were certain things that God did set in motion these days that He intended should be ongoing processes:
          1. On the third day, He appointed that the vegetation should perpetuate itself by procreating by its seed after its kind, but this does not mean there was no vegetation for millions of years after this.
          2. On the fifth and sixth days, God did not immediately fill the earth with the maximum number of animals and men, but He created a viable population of them.
          3. Since all creation was made for man and for his uses, there was a world of vegetation, and there were many more animals than there were men. God had no moral and spiritual plans for the plant and animal creation, so they could be left to themselves to breed, but God started out with two human beings so that He could work with them and their offspring.

IV. In coming up with any interpretation of Genesis 1, a student must be able to explain how God created the heavens and the earth in six days. To add numberless days to the six is not the answer.

  1. Exodus 20:11 eliminates utterly and completely the “Gap” theory.
    1. The gap theory says that there is a period of millions and even billions of years between verse one and verse two.
    2. The heavens and the earth were made first, and then immense ages went by.
    3. Some claim there was a pre-Adamic race, and many forms of life that existed, but all of that became waste and void.
    4. But Moses writes that in six days, God made the heavens and the earth and all that in them is. Now, until someone can show that Moses was making a figurative use of six days, and the seventh day, it remains that he said that the whole universe was made in six days. And to try to show a figurative use of the time element here contradicts the obviously literal use Moses made of it to show why the seventh day was chosen as the Sabbath.
    5. Sometimes the effort is made to use the seventh day, the day God rested, to show that “day” has a figurative meaning.
      1. Did God just rest on the seventh day, or is He still resting from His creation labors? Since He is still resting from creation labors, then that seventh day extends until now, and is not, therefore, a 24-hour day.
      2. Well, whatever the seventh day was on which God rested, that is the day upon which He commanded Israel to rest. What day was that?
      3. Is it a figurative day that extends from the cessation of creation until now? Or was the seventh day following six days?
      4. The point made is simply that God was busy at creation labors on six days, but that on the seventh day He stopped His creation labors.
      5. There were many other things God was doing, and continued to do, but the seventh day was the day when He stopped His creation labors in contrast with the six when He was actively creating. There is no intent to look beyond that seventh day, so as to say God has continued to rest until today.
  2. At this point one has a choice. He can either say, I must take what the Bible says and seek to respect it and honor it.
    1. I must make the effort to understand the creation around me in the light of God’s revelation.
    2. The book of nature must be interpreted by the book of revelation, not vice versa.
    3. But some examine the rocks and say these rocks indicate that the world is billions of years old.
    4. Therefore the world was not made in six days, but in six days separated by eons of time, or by six days that are eons of time.

V. What Genesis tells us.

  1. There is a simple explanation, but it is one that men in their wisdom do not like. It is not one which men can discover by their own wisdom; therefore, it is not scientific.
  2. And that is that when God made the world, it had the appearance of age.
  3. Now those who place the emphasis upon the physical world for determining how long it took to create the world talk about extrapolations, but extrapolations are not the point, and they are not getting the point.
  4. The point is that the earth had the appearance of age because God created the world in mid-cycle.
    1. In other words, Adam was a grown man.
    2. The trees he ate from were grown trees.
    3. Rivers flowed, through riverbeds carved out of the earth.
    4. Alluvial soil was already deposited at deltas.
    5. Humus littered the forest floors.
    6. Coal was already in the earth, but because of the way God designed coal to be made from plant life, evidence of the plants and other fossils were already there.
    7. Since light from the distant stars was necessary for men to guide themselves and to determine the seasons, that light was put in place.
    8. And since God ordained that light would be according to certain predictable physical laws, the light from distant stars bears the corresponding signs of having traveled that far.
  5. God created the earth thus so that it was ready to be used.
  6. Some cynics say that God has deceived men.
    1. Not only is this a very foolish statement; it also shows the depths to which those who say this have plummeted in their faith, and in their attitude toward God.
    2. You see, God gave us a revelation in which He told us exactly what He did, and why He did it.
    3. Therefore, the only men He “deceives” are those who will not hear, read, and accept the account He Himself has given them of His creation.


In the 33rd Psalm the writer says,
“By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.... For He spake and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:69).
 Bob Waldron

James (Part 10) A Good Way To Live By Ben Fronczek


James (Part 10) A Good Way To Live

James (Part 10) A Good Way To Live   By Ben Fronczek
Text: James 3:13-4:10
My daughter works at a grocery store and this past she told me about one of her customers. A gentleman came up to her and asked if she could do him a favor. He explained that he wanted her to go to the flower department and buy another customer he had seen in the store the nicest and biggest bunch of flowers available and give them to the lady. He told her that he was a pharmacist an he knew that this particular lady was very sick and thought she could use a little encouragement. He also asked her not to divulge who gave her the flowers and then gave her money to pay for them. She went and picked out the nicest bunch of flowers and found the lady who looked very pale and gave them to her explaining that someone had seen her and thought that she needed a little bright spot in her day. Well lady broke out in tears of gratitude wanting to know who the generous person was that sent her the flowers because she wanted to say thank you. Not knowing that the gentleman was not very far away checking out, my daughter let her know that he knew. Another time she has saw this particular man at the checkout counter behind a family with a large cart full of groceries and he paid for their order.
As I heard about this gentleman I though, wouldn’t the world be so much better if there were more people like this man.
I would like to share with you a good thought, some good news  found in Galatians 6:9 where the apostle Paul states, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
I like this verse because I believe God is telling us to just hang in there, and not to get so weary, so burned out as you keep doing one good thing after another when no one seems to care, and you just feel like giving up and throwing the towel and live like everyone else. I believe that Paul wants us to know that just at the right time, when God sees fit, He is going to bless you for not giving up. That’s a promise for you and me from God.
If you know anything about farming you know that this is simply the law of the harvest. You don’t reap a harvest the same day that you sow a seed. It will take a while before your reap a reward usually after plowing, fertilizing, sowing, and cultivating that crop and waiting for it to mature.
And likewise Paul is encouraging Christians not to grow weary and give up doing what is right and good to soon. Why, because your efforts will not go unrewarded.
But what kind of good are we talking about here? In James chapter 3 and 4 James talks about not only the best way to live, he also talks about a foolish ways to live as a Christian. One is called ‘wisdom that comes from Heaven’ and the other is called ‘earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.’  (Read James 3:13-4:10)
I would like to think that if James learned these principles from anyone, I would like to believe that he learned it from his brother Jesus as he was growing up. I don’t believe anyone ever lived the good life and emulated these good traits, and revealed the evil and hypocrisy like Jesus.
So first of all let’s look at what James has to say about living in a good and wise manner.  First of all he says in verse 13 that if we are wise in this kind of understanding we should show it by how we live, or as he says, “Show it by a good life, deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
The NLT put it this way, 13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.”
So if we are a wise Christian we will prove it by how we live, by living a good and honorable life. We should be doing good deeds or good works, (not as a showoff, but rather done with a humble heart honoring the Father and Jesus).
James goes into a little more detail a few verses down starting in verse 17 where he says, “The wisdom that comes from Heaven is first of all:
– Pure.  Is your heart pure? Do you have the right intention when you help someone? Or do you have ulterior motives?  Pure is pure. You want to do something because it is simply the right thing to do. Someone may need help, encouragement, or financial help and you help them because in your heart you know it’s what God would want you to do, so you do it with no strings attached.
James goes on to say that Wisdom from Heaven is also …
– Peace-loving. Some people may reject what you are doing. Others may criticize you for trying to do good, and like Jesus some may even persecute you for trying to do good. Like Jesus we should not plot to retaliate or get even. It takes two to fight. So if one is slow to speak, silent, and starts praying about the situation, a confrontation is less likely to erupt into a fight. In the Sermon on the Mt. Jesus said,  “Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called sons of God” (MT. 5:9) In Verse 18 James writes, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest off righteousness.”
Like Paul said in Galatians,  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  If you sow peace you will raise a harvest of righteousness.”
James also informs us that wisdom that comes from Heaven is also…
– Considerate or will to yield to others. It’s knowing that everything is not all about you. Sometimes it’s about letting others go first, or letting others have more. It’s about showing honor and respect, and having manners. I think being considerate is about just being nice in all situations.
Next James says wisdom from Heaven is…
– Full of Mercy.  This is how we react when someone messes up or does something either to us or someone  we know or care about.
How do you react? Do you have a forgiving spirit or one that is critical? Sometimes some of us can be downright mean, hard or even nasty to others when they cross us. Want an example? I have learned not to get angry with other drivers who do stupid things around me when I am driving. What to know why? Because I have done my share of stupid things.
I am not a perfect driver. I have made mistakes and cut off people or have done other things so I don’t think I have any right to get upset when other drivers do stupid things. I have learned to just blow those things off almost immediately.   But with others, there is no mercy when they get cut off by another. Curses are spoken. Fists are shaken and the one cut off gets all worked up and hostile. Are you like that? James said that wisdom that comes from heaven shows mercy…. Not only in the car but at all times, by forgiving, by being generous to those in need and helping those who need help. It’s all about the the condition of our heart.
And finally James says Wisdom that comes from Heaven is…
– Full of good deeds impartial and sincere.. Earlier Jesus said you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. If you are good, you will just naturally bear good fruit.
And then in this section James talks a lot about the “earthly, unspiritual and demonic” ways to live.  How does he describe these worldly demonic traits?
– First of all in vs. 14 when harboring bitter envy. When we’re sickened by the fact that others have something we do not. Instead of being happy for them we actually are upset or even get angry that we don’t have what they have. Or when we aren’t loved or appreciated like someone else we just become bitter. I believe this no more than a self induced pity party.
 Another ungodly trait he mentions here is this text is:
– Selfish ambition. You know when it’s not about helping others, rather it’s all about me and what I can get out of it in the end; a complement, a blessing, a reward, the self gratification, an advancement. In the end it all about serving our self. James said that this is downright demonic. Yet how many of us do good things for this reason?  I believe we all do…. That is until we learn Heaven’s way, God’s way, Jesus’ way… and then as we become wiser and we slowly begin to do things to help others for God’s glory, not our own.
I believe that these two, envy and selfishness are  behind much of the grief and evil in this world.  My old friend Larry Deason use to say that he thought the very best definition of sin is selfishness.  In vs.16 James says “where you have evil and selfishness you will find disorder and evil of every kind. (NLT)
James goes on to elaborate on this in Chapter 4. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
He’s saying you are jealous and envious of what others have so you fight and argue and brood over it because you are selfish. Wars have been fought and people have been kill and are being killed for this very reason; because people jealous, envious, and selfish. And even if they ask God for something they are asking for the wrong reason. Even in their prayers they are self centered and selfish. In verse 3 he said all these people want to do is spend what they get from God on their own pleasures.
James said that mentality is not from heaven; rather it’s a earthly, worldly, and a demon-like mentality.
And James goes on to let us know that God is hurt like a jealous lover when we chase after things of the world just to please our self. In vss. 4-5 he writes, “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?”
Yes this verse says that God is filled with envy, but it is not for His sake, it’s for ours. Like someone who wants his loved one to return home from chasing after another, or like a parent who yearns for his child to return home from carousing (like the Prodigal son) God what’s people to return to Him after chasing after the things of this world.
And then in 4:7 James begins to give wise instruction on how to get back on the right path to God.  First of all he says that we need to submit to God. Humbly turn back to Him and choose Him and His way.
Next James tells us that we have to do our best to resist the devil and he will flee.  Sad to say, too many don’t even try to resist. The devil tempts and because of our own selfish desires, and because we don’t know or care what God wants for us we just lunge after that which will satisfy our own desire.
James wrote resist the devil, come near to God and he will come near to you. Actually I don’t think God has gone anywhere. We are the one who walk away from Him.
James goes on to say, “Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”  NLT
Close: So God wants us to keep on hanging in there doing good things. Not that you earn your salvation by doing good works, rather putting away envy, jealousy and selfishness and doing good should be the goal of those who are saved.
May challenge for you is this week to make it your goal to put on the wisdom of Heaven and seek to be  pure; peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
And last of all, do some good deeds this week to God’s glory.