Sunday, January 31, 2010


Monday, February 1, 2010: Acts 17:23

for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:


Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

Background: Paul was encouraged by Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Athens to speak at the Areopagus. This was part of his speech. The conclusion follows for Tuesday’s reading.

What does ‘Unknown’ really mean? Some Athenians worshipped God as not just unknown to them but unknowable to mankind. The word in Greek is Agnostos, from which we get agnostic.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010: Acts 17:30-31

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

What is a part of the Gospel that some Christians leave out when witnessing? Repentance is the starting point, without which none can sense their need for a Savior.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010: Ephesians 4:17–18

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart

Background: One of the four prison letters written during his first imprisonment in Rome around 61 A. D., Paul writes of the separation of believers from the world and unity among themselves.

Once the believer’s mind is enlightened, how should he walk? His walk should be noticeably different from that of the world around him.

Thursday, February 4, 2010: 1 Peter 2:15–16

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.

Background: Peter is addressing the Jewish believers who have been dispersed following persecution and are still suffering.

Do believers silence the opposition by speech? No, a believer silences opposition by doing good in return for the evil done to him.

Friday, February 5, 2010: 1 Corinthians 15:33–34

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

Background: Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Church in 55 A. D. addressed many problems that had cropped up since the beginnings in 51 A. D.

What does Paul warn against? Paul speaks of the separation of the believer from the world and the increase of knowledge in the fellowship of believers, which drives away ignorance.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gifts or Responsibilities in the local Church?

Monday, January 25, 2010: Romans 12:3-13
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Background: the Corinthian Church was founded in A. D. 51-52 during Paul’s 2nd Missionary journey. The letter First Corinthians was written in A. D. 56, during the 3rd journey when many problems surfaced and had to be dealt with.
What two things are given to those of us in a Church fellowship? Grace and faith in differing measure are given to each.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010: Romans 12:3-13
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Why are there differing measures of grace and faith? The body analogy exemplifies the various functions of the members of a local Church, each member for a different role.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010: Romans 12:3-13
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
What is the difference between grace and faith? God grants us gifts by His grace; we use our gifts in proportion to the faith measured to us.

Thursday, January 28, 2010: Romans 12:3-13
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
What is the connection between gifts and these interpersonal exchanges? None of the gifts are to be for personal use. They are for use in serving others in the Church. The love, preferences and honor are simply the result of the usage of gifts.

Friday, January 29, 2010: Romans 12:3-13
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
How do thee outcomes link to grace and faith? These are outgrowths of the unity in a local Church resulting from gifts used as God intends.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hidden (but not from God)

Monday, January 18, 2010: 1 Peter 3:3–4

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Background: the Apostle Peter writes a general letter to believers who were dispersed by Jewish persecution. Here he addresses women, but the word translated ‘person’ is ‘man’ in Greek text.

What is implied by ‘fine’ in italics? It is not there in the original text, but added. We have to wear clothing, but man sees the outward appearance while God sees the heart: that’s where the real beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit resides.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010: Mark 4:21–22

Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.

Background: Jesus Christ spoke to the crowds in parables from a boat just offshore. Then he spoke privately to his disciples, explaining the parables and using simple analogies.

What is the astounding revelation of this parable? God knows the mind of each person.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010: Matthew 6:6–7

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Background: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount.

What are the two major implications of these verses? The first is that you should have a prayer closet. The second is that anyone using repetitions in prayer uselessly is like an unbeliever!

Thursday, January 21, 2010: Romans 2:12, 16

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the lawin the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Background: This is part of the opening argument of the book of Romans where Paul tells that both those who attempt to gain heaven by following God’s perfect standard, the Law, and those who hope to do so by their good works (apart from God’s law) will be judged by their sins.

What will God judge? God will judge the secret sins of the heart by Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 22, 2010: 1 Corinthians 14:24–25

But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

Background: Paul addresses two topics: speaking in unknown languages and prophesying in the Corinthian church. The believers were using the gift of languages to put on a show.

What does prophecy in the common language accomplish? An unbeliever is convicted of hidden sins and is brought to the knowledge of God.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Angels and Fire

Monday, January 11, 2010: Isaiah 6:6–7

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;

Your iniquity is taken away,

And your sin purged.”

Background: Isaiah (700 B. C.) saw a vision of God on His throne in the year King Uzziah died. The Angels surrounding the throne were Seraphim having six wings. They cried, “Holy, holy, holy…”

What is a live coal from an altar before God’s throne? Holy, and on fire, such a coal is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, doing the will of the Father in sacrifice for purging sins.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010: Ezekiel 10:7–8

And the cherub stretched out his hand from among the cherubim to the fire that was among the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed with linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.

Background: Ezekiel (580 B. C.) saw a vision of the glory of God departing Jerusalem accompanied by cherubim. His prophecy includes the destruction of Jerusalem and its future rebuilding.

How are Cherubs similar yet different from Seraphs? Both have wings but cherubs have a ‘hand’ under their wings and fire among them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Exodus 3:2, 4-5

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”

Background: Moses (1450 or 1250 B. C.) sees the ‘burning bush.’

Did Moses see the Angel of the Lord? No, Moses saw the flame, which was the Angel of the Lord, in the bush, which was not burned. However, the place was holy, which meant that God’s presence was there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010: Judges 6:21–22

Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.

Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”

Background: The time of the Judges of Israel (1,300 to 1,050 B. C.) was before Kings like David.

What did the Angel of the Lord look like? There was not much to show a difference from man except that the sacrifice was consumed with unearthly fire! Then Gideon knew and was afraid.

Friday, January 15, 2010: Judges 13:19–21

So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the Lord. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on—it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar—the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the Lord.

Background: The time of the Judges of Israel (1,300 to 1,050 B. C.) was before the Kings like David and Solomon. The references are about the parents of Samson who were childless till the Angel appeared.

The Angel had appeared to Manoah’s wife and told her about having a son. The next time after Manoah prayed, the Angel appeared and would not tell his name.

What did the Angel do? The Theophany went up to heaven in the fire of the burned offering, and fear fell on Manoah and his wife.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

False Teachers

Monday, January 4, 2010: 2 Peter 2:1
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
What is one characteristic of a false teacher? A false teacher secretly (not openly) denies that Jesus Christ died for the sin of the world.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010: 2 Peter 2:3
By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
What is another characteristic of a false teacher? A false teacher’s deceptive words exploit you because of greed for money.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010: 2 Peter 2:9–10
then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,
What are other characteristics of a false teacher? A false teacher gives in to lust and despises authority.
Thursday, January 7, 2010: 2 Peter 2:14-15
having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
What are other characteristics of a false teacher? Adultery is on the mind of a false teacher who also prefers to earn wages from unbelievers for prophecies.
Friday, January 8, 2010: 2 Peter 2:18–19
For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
What are some more characteristics of a false teacher? Often a charismatic speaker, a false teacher, in bondage to sin, can trap even believers by claiming to set them free.