You are welcome! But how to receive a rich welcome?

Posted by admin on 23 February 2020 in 2 Peter |

Key verses:      2 Peter 1:10-11

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Scripture:        2 Peter 1:1-11

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Confirming one’s calling and election

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is short-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(Message)

See v10.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,

Calling and election is yet another example of Peter’s use of a pair of words of very similar meaning. If a distinction is to be made between them, we can say that election is a prior decision to select someone from a group (as, for example, God selecting Israel out of the nations to be his people), while calling is the actual process of inviting the elected ones to share in the privileges and responsibilities of their election. The one who does the calling and choosing is God. These two terms stress the fact that it is through God’s initiative that people experience a new relationship with God. [2]

But how do people confirm their call and election? We should of course avoid translating this in such a way as to make the calling and election dependent on human action rather than on divine initiative. God is the one who calls, but those who are called must show by their action that their call is real and that their election is absolutely certain. In this way they themselves, as well as people from outside the church, won’t have any doubt regarding the genuineness of God’s call. [2]

This emphasis on the importance of the human role in the Christian life serves to remind the readers that there are teachers who would like to lead them into a morally lax existence. In such cases it is possible to restructure the ordering of these clauses completely and say, for example, “My brothers, God has called you to follow him and has chosen you to be his people. So, if you want to insure that this experience lasts permanently, you must try even harder than you have up to now” or “… Therefore try even harder to act in a way that will prove to yourselves and others that God has really called you to follow him and has chosen you to be his people.” [2]

If you do these things can refer to what comes immediately before, that is, making sure of your calling and election, or else to the virtues in verses 5–7, since literally this reads “if you do these things.” “Stumble,” in this context can refer to committing error or sinning, or falling away from the faith and becoming unfaithful to Christ. Some commentators take this in a future sense, taking “stumble” as referring to the inability of reaching final salvation. The Greek negative (never) here is emphatic, with the sense of “never, never,” or “never at any time.” [2]

  • If the translator understands the phrase if you do these things to refer to the virtues listed in verses 5–7, and stumble to refer to “becoming unfaithful to Christ,” an alternative translation model is the following; “If you follow these qualities you will never stop trusting in Christ.” However, if stumble is understood as committing error or sinning, then one can translate “if you follow these qualities you will never fall into sin.” [2]
  • However, if translators understand if you do these things to refer to what comes immediately before this text, an alternative translation model is the following: “if you insure that God has called you and chosen you, you will never stop trusting in Christ (or, never fall into sin).” [2]

See v11.

11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This verse continues the thought of verse 10 and mentions in a positive way the reward that comes to believers as they make sure of their call and election. It begins with the word and’, again referring back to the virtues mentioned earlier. In many languages this can be rendered as “By doing all these things …” [2]

 

Reference

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, 2 Pe 1:10–11). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] Arichea, D. C., & Hatton, H. (1993). A handbook on the letter from Jude and the second letter from Peter (pp. 83–85). New York: United Bible Societies.

Play The Armour of God VR Game during O-Week 2020!

Posted by admin on 10 February 2020 in Biblical Game, O-Week |

Artboard 1

Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus takes His followers to be with Him that they also may be where He is.

Posted by admin on 26 January 2020 in John |

Let us study John 14:2-6, which reveals His plan to take His disciples to His Father’s house (that is, heaven).

Let us understand the context, in which Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

(scripture)

John 14:2-6

 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

(message)

See v2.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

As to the Father’s house, [2] says “The simplest explanation is best: my Father’s house refers to heaven, and in heaven are many rooms, many dwelling-places. The point is not the lavishness of each apartment, but the fact that such ample provision has been made, that there is more than enough space for every one of Jesus’ disciples to join him in his Father’s home.”

Rooms (‘monai’ in Greek) are mansions [3], or dwelling places [4].

‘My Father’s house’ is where Jesus was going. So we know where Jesus is now.

See v3.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

‘My Father’s house’ is where Jesus will take them to be with Him that they also may be where He is.

See v4.

‘You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Yes, I know. His Father’s house is where Jesus was going (v2), and He will take His followers there (v3). But v4 triggered Thomas’ question. Thomas, one of his disciple, asked in v5.

‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

This was very interesting conversation! Without destination, we are unable to get the route😊. Thomas was not familiar with the destination (His Father’s house). So, he wasn’t able to know the route well. Jesus answered to his question. See v6.

‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus didn’t explain about the destination again. Jesus only answered about ‘the way’ to ‘the Father’, whose house has many dwelling places where Jesus and His followers will be.

Jesus Himself is the way, and the only way to the Father. Amen.

Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus takes His followers to be with Him that they also may be where He is.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, pp. 489, 1991.

[3] Borchert, G. L. (2002). John 12–21 (Vol. 25B, pp. 103–104). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on the Gospel of John (p. 454). New York: United Bible Societies.

Without Jesus Christ, no one can truly know God

Posted by admin on 19 January 2020 in John, Matthew |

IT IS WRITTEN:

No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27c)

 Today let us study the fact that it is up to the Son (Jesus Christ) in order for us to truly know the Father (God the Creator).

John 17:3 says that ‘eternal life’ is knowing the only true God, and His Son, whom He has sent.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Let’s read

Matthew 11:25-30

25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

27 ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

See v27a

All things have been committed to me by my Father.

The Son (Jesus Christ) has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Now it is AD (Anno Domini: "In the year of (our) Lord") and the Lord (Jesus Christ) has all authority!

‘All’, of course, include everything necessary to the full execution of that trust—that is, unlimited power [3].

See v27b and v27c.

“No one knows the Son except the Father” (27b)

“and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (27c)

Knows (v27): in biblical thought, the idea of knowing supersedes mere knowledge, for it includes thorough, intimate knowledge that puts people in a special relationship to each other. In Amos 3:2, for example, the verb “know” is used of God’s election of Israel as his people: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.” Jesus is here affirming that he and the Father stand in a unique and intimate relationship with one another: only the Father knows who Jesus really is, and only Jesus (the Son) and whomever the Son chooses to reveal God to possesses true understanding of the Father. [2]

Only the Son can choose to reveal the Father (27c).

“the Father and the Son are mutually and exclusively known to each other!” We would find no higher claim to equality with the Father. The proper divinity of Christ is beyond dispute. “But, alas for me!” may some burdened soul, sighing for relief, here exclaim. If it be thus with us, what can any poor creature do but lie down in passive despair, unless he could dare to hope that he may be one of the favored class “to whom the Son is willing to reveal the Father.” But rather, this testimony to the sovereignty of that gracious “will,” on which alone men’s salvation depends, is designed but to reveal the source and enhance the glory of it when once imparted—not to paralyze or shut the soul up in despair. Hear, accordingly, what follows: [3]

See v28.

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’

All who are weary” are all those who are trying to work out their own salvation, and the more serious they are, the more they will toil [5].

All who are burdened” are all those who have let others burden them down with what the others think will secure salvation. [5]

As no one can really know God without the help of Jesus, all efforts they are making are useless. Religious, philosophical, moral, financial, physical, scientific, even any toilsome or torturing efforts, all these efforts cannot let us really know God without Jesus. If so, we are weary (by oneself) and burdened (by others) in blindness, and hopelessness. But Jesus invites us and promises us to give us rest. Jesus Christ alone holds the sovereign key to the revelation, and the salvation.

See v29a.

29 ‘Take my yoke upon you’

It is the yoke of subjection to Jesus [3].

The invitation to come to Christ remains for all today, but it requires the recognition that persons cannot come by exalting themselves (Matthew 11:23), but only by completely depending on and trusting in Christ. [4]

See v29b.

‘and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’

As Christ’s willingness to empty Himself to the uttermost of His Father’s requirements was the spring of inexpressible tranquillity to His own Spirit, so in the same track does He invite all to follow Him, with the assurance of the same experience. [3]

See v30.

30 ‘For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

But how about the yoke? Is not the Christian profession a hard life, much harder than the other type of life? Here is the answer: “For my yoke is pleasant (χρηστός), and my load is light (ἐλαφρόν).” “What can be lighter than a burden which unburdens us and a yoke which bears its bearer?” (Bernhard Rothmann). “Christ’s burden does not oppress but makes light and itself bears rather than is borne.” (Martin Luther). The burden and the yoke are one, the former defining the latter. We take on a new Master, and he lays on us a new load—but what a difference! Since, however, we are bound to think of the cross, affliction, persecution, and hard trials entailed in coming to Christ, let us say that all these are more than counterbalanced by the power, help, strength, and consolation supplied by him. On the other hand, those who spurn Christ’s yoke have only dismay and despair when the judgments of God begin to strike them.[5]

Finally, let us read v25.

25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

“Little children” refers to those who respond to God by acknowledging their dependence on him. The “wise and learned,” as the opposite category of persons, must therefore represent those who feel they have no need for God. Verse 25 thus cannot be used as a proof text for anti-intellectualism. Jesus does not contrast “wise” versus “stupid,” but he does declaim a godless intellectualism. [4]

See v26.

26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

A possible translation for v26 is “Yes, Father, because that was what you chose to do.” [4]

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 343). New York: United Bible Societies.

[3] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 39). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Blomberg, C. (1992). Matthew (Vol. 22, p. 193-5). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (p. 456-9). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.

[6] Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 342). New York: United Bible Societies.

What we can learn from the rule Paul laid down in all the churches

Posted by admin on 13 January 2020 in 1 Corinthians, Acts, Genesis, The Book of Romans |

Paul laid down the rule in all the churches in Corinthians 7:17-24.

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. (1 Corinthians 7:17-24)

I underlined for clarity as below.

18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

But, as for a job situation (e.g., slave) in v21-24, Paul added “although if you can gain your freedom, do so.” (21b).

Now I can conclude that what Paul is teaching is that physical issues like being circumcised or not, or having beard (Leviticus 19:27) or not DO NOT MATTER, and DO NOT CHANGE. Rather, job situations like slavery matters more in comparison. So, focus on what matters more! BE WISE, BE PRACTICAL, BE REAL!

My short message is concluded as above. Only if you want to read more about circumcision issue, please read on:

Let us briefly review the origin of circumcision.

When Abram was 99 years old and childless, God gave him the new name ‘Abraham’ (the father of many nations) as shown in Genesis 17:1-8. On the other hand, Abraham and his descendants should be circumcised as shown in Genesis 17:9-14.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’

Abram fell face down, and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’

Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’ (Genesis 17:1-14)

 

When Jesus, the Messiah came to the world, taught us, died for our sins, resurrected from the death, and ascended to the heaven, the good news of salvation (the Gospel) started to spread to the whole world. When the Gentile accepted the Gospel, a question was raised: “Should the Gentile be circumcised?” and the apostles should make a decision about this. The details are written in Acts 15:1-35.

15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’ This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they travelled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.’

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles should hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.’

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 ‘ “After this I will return

and rebuild David’s fallen tent.

Its ruins I will rebuild,

and I will restore it,

17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,

even all the Gentiles who bear my name,

says the Lord, who does these things”—

18          things known from long ago.

19 ‘It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.’

The council’s letter to Gentile believers

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:

Greetings.

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorisation and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

Farewell.

30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34]  35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

Paul, one of the apostles of the LORD, Jesus, taught them in his letters.

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a law-breaker.

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. (Romans 2:25-29)

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Know the Holy Bible, defeat the liar, receive blessings

Posted by admin on 31 December 2019 in Genesis |

In Genesis 3:1, the snake said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’

Asset 5FirstPeople

This question itself was a lie and a trap. The LORD God said to Adam in Genesis 2:16, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden.’, followed by only one exception of the forbidden tree in Genesis 2:17.

The snake is acting as an agent of the Satan (or the Devil).

Here, we can see that the Satan tries to make us think ‘God’ as ‘God of restriction’.

What was the woman’s answer?

See Genesis 3:2-3.

The woman said to the snake, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” ’

Let us compare her answer to what God actually said. See Genesis 2:16-17.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’

 

The woman changed ‘are free to eat from any tree’ to ‘may eat fruit from the trees’. She removed ‘free to eat’ and ‘any tree’ and used ‘may eat’ and ‘the trees’. She changed ‘the freedom’ to ‘some permission in a whole lot of restriction’.

 

She also said, ‘the tree that is in the middle of the garden’ instead of ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. There was the tree of life in the middle of the garden as well according to Genesis 3:9. In this way, she increased the restriction.

 

Also, she added ‘you must not touch it’, which God didn’t say. She added more restriction.

 

Also, she omitted ‘certainly’ and just said ‘you will die’. She removed the certainty of the consequence of the Sin.

 

The woman knew what God said but she didn’t know it accurately. The Satan can easily deceive people who don’t know the written Word of God (the Holy Bible). It is like holding no weapon to fight, and, of course, they are captivated by the enemy. But many people know the Holy Bible but do not know accurately, as the woman did. This is like holding a sword with dull edges. When the Satan comes with a sharpened sword of lies, they are easily defeated. We need to scrutinize the written Word of God. Then, it would be like holding a sharpened sword! Jesus also defeated the tempter (or the Devil) by quoting the written Word of God as shown in Matthew 4:1-11.

 

When the woman showed that she did not know the Word of God accurately, the snake said a convinced lie in Genesis 3:4.

‘You will not certainly die,’ the snake said to the woman.

 

The snake reversed the truth (will certainly die -> will not certainly die).  We can see that the Satan is a liar and wants us to believe as if there would be no consequence of the Sin.

 

The snake tried to make the woman doubt about God’s love in Genesis 3:5.

‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’

 

The lesson we can learn from this is that

  • We should thank God and enjoy the freedom God gave us.
  • We shouldn’t focus on the very thing forbidden by God.
  • We should trust that God loves us.
  • We should bear in mind the consequence of the Sin is certain.

 

The Satan wants us to believe God of restriction so that we may suspect His love and focus on what is forbidden rather than enjoying the freedom. As the Satan wants us to believe there would be no consequence of the Sin, let us never omit ‘certainly’ as the woman did. Let us fear God.

 

We need to study the Word of God and when we study it, we’d better study carefully.

HolyBible

The more we read the Holy Bible, the more freedom we find.

 

The Holy Bible tells us what God forbids

If we know what is forbidden, we can know that all others are freely available to us. But if we don’t know what is forbidden, we can’t know how great freedom God gave us.

 

The Holy Bible shows us what God allows us (including what we may not expect God allows)

If we don’t expect something, and we also didn’t read what God actually allowed it in the Holy Bible, we may think for the rest of our lives that it may be forbidden. So, it is important to read/study the Holy Bible.

 

Genesis 3:14-24 shows the consequence of the Sin. Each party (the snake, the woman, the man) was cursed by God, followed by the expulsion from the Eden Garden and no more access to the tree of life.

AdamWomanExplusion

Here, we can see that God didn’t stop their sinning even though He so disliked the Sin, but they were left to make decision according to their free will, and then cursed for their disobedience. Therefore, God may not stop us now, but what we do can bring either curses or blessings.

The fact that we were capable or left to do something does not mean that everything might be OK. Instead, it may either bring curses or blessings. Therefore let us fear God. Let us study the Holy Bible.

HolyBiblePrayer

 

Personal injuries

Posted by admin on 25 November 2019 in Exodus |

Exodus 21:12-36

12 ‘Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.

15 ‘Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death.

16 ‘Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession.

17 ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.

18 ‘If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed.

20 ‘Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

22 ‘If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

26 ‘An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

28 ‘If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or a daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.

33 ‘If anyone uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the one who opened the pit must pay the owner for the loss and take the dead animal in exchange.

35 ‘If anyone’s bull injures someone else’s bull and it dies, the two parties are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. 36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and take the dead animal in exchange.

(message)

V12 – 17 are easy to understand. Intentional murder is dealt with in v12 and 14.

See v18 – v19. What they say is that the offender is not liable if the victim can be recovered from the physical injury. But the offender should pay for any loss of time and cost of medical treatment till the complete recovery.

In Australia, the offender is liable for ‘common assault’ even if the victim is not physically injured. This entails penalties like fine, imprisonment, and criminal conviction [2]. If physical injuries are involved, there are greater penalties, and the victim can claim compensation including medical expenses and wage loss [3].

V18-19 are applicable if the victim is recoverable from the injuries. See Leviticus 24:19-20 for more serious cases.

19 Anyone who injures their neighbour is to be injured in the same manner: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury.

In the above cases, the offender is liable and the penalties shown in Leviticus 24:20 are applied.

Exodus 21:23 also says so in the context of a pregnant woman,

23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Regarding to discipling children, parents are not guilty of ‘assault’ as shown in [4]:

 In the context of disciplining children, section 61AA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) contains the defence of ‘law correction’ which provides that a parent, or person acting in place of a parent, is not guilty of assaulting a child if the force was applied for the purpose of punishment and ‘was reasonable having regard to the age, health, maturity or other characteristics of the child, the nature of the alleged misbehaviour or other circumstances’

The defence is not available where the force was applied to any part of the head or neck of the child, or to any other part of the body in such a way as to be likely to cause harm that lasts for more than a short period.

Proverbs 20:30 says

30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil,

and beatings purge the inmost being.

 

V20 ~ v36 are easily understood.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] https://www.armstronglegal.com.au/criminal-law/offences/assault/?gclid=CjwKCAiA8ejuBRAaEiwAn-iJ3grjggv4dPgo8BB3tDzFNZZAbUkOMrSLFobxyOABn0mUcthhwhQo0hoC1OEQAvD_BwE

[3] https://www.marsdens.net.au/services/injury-compensation-law/victims-compensation/

[4] https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-is-common-assault/

The Slavery and the Freedom

Exodus 21:1-11

‘These are the laws you are to set before them:

‘If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

‘But if the servant declares, “I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,” then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the door-post and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

‘If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

This is the very beginning part of the Law written in Exodus 21-23.

And it is about the slave and the master. What the Law says here are the Word of God and they sound wonderful to me. When I think deeper based on what are written here, I can learn what being ‘a slave’  truly mean and they shock me. Previously, I didn’t think seriously about the slavery.

I would express this part as “God given rules to follow in the dark reality”.

A Hebrew is supposed to be free after the Exodus, but he or she could sell himself/herself due to the debt.

God commands in v2 that if buying a male Hebrew servant, in the seventh year, he shall go free. If he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him (3). If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free (4).

The freedom in the 7th year (2) may be aligned with the debt free in the end of 7th year commanded in Deuteronomy 15:1.

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. (Deuteronomy 15:1)

This freedom from the slavery was given to Hebrews. If the slave is a foreigner, there is no provision for freedom. We can see that the freedom is a privilege even though it may mean responsibility for his own survival.

According to v4, the servant even can’t take his wife and children (if the wife was given by the master) when he leaves his master as a free man. He simply was used for breeding more servants! Probably his marriage might not have been according to his preference but according to his master’s purpose in the first place.

In the end of Exodus 21:21, it says “since the slave is their property.” If we know the Law saying like this about the slave, no one would want to be a slave of the ancient time.

In the modern society, everyone has human right. The employee even can choose the employer and can move from one employer to another.

Then, the situation is different now and what should we learn from this part of the Holy Bible? We can at least recognize the poverty could bring lower social status like slavery. Because we now know the principle written in the Bible about the master and the slave and how low a slave can be considered to be and how badly he/she can be treated, we just do not want to be too poor indeed.

Solomon, the King of Wisdom, said in Proverbs 22:7.

The rich rule over the poor,

and the borrower is slave to the lender.

This tells the reality caused by the financial situation.

The New Testament teaches to let no debt remain outstanding in Romans 13:8.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Many creditors like banks and lending companies offer credit cards and loans. When we consider that the huge amount of money notes can be just printed out on the paper, the profit from the interest is too easy compared to the struggle of people who are ensnared in the financial traps. Many financial or legal advisors know high interest lending like Payday loan can be unethical because it would be like a trap. Jesus was furious at money changers (they offered changes of less amount of money) in the temple, calling them robbers.

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘ “My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.”’ (Matthew 21:12-13)

In the New Testament, especially 2000 years after Jesus Christ was born, the world has been changed. Biblical Christians led the fight to abolish harsh slavery in modern times [2]. People recognize human rights. We defined various ‘rights’ to protect more entities who are vulnerable. For example, Women’s rights, employees’ rights and etc.

However, somewhere in the world, there still exists human slavery in various forms. [3] points out domestic servitude, sex trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour, child labour, and forced marriage.

To understand how Jesus have been transformed this world, let us move on to learn what Jesus taught about the master and the slave.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:3.

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Here, ‘the poor in spirit’ are those humble and hungry for God. They may be even oppressed, afflicted and miserable [4]. The poor are usually the poor in spirit while the rich exploit them.

The poor used to go slavery, and have been hopeless & miserable, but Jesus declared the poor in spirit ‘blessed’ because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Jesus came to change this sin cursed dark and sad world where there are slavery, oppression, and injustice.

He declared in Luke 4:18-19.

18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free,

19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

Matthew 5:3 truly proclaims good news to the poor.

Isaiah 58:8-14 says,

‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe them,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help, and he will say: here am I.

‘If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The Lord will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 ‘If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath

and from doing as you please on my holy day,

if you call the Sabbath a delight

and the Lord’s holy day honourable,

and if you honour it by not going your own way

and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,

and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land

and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.’

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Jesus teaches that there is only one master, the Messiah.

10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. (Matthew 23:10)

Jesus teaches we can’t have two masters: God and Money. We have to choose one, that is, God. See Matthew 6:24.

24 ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

What does the Bible teach about the earthly master? The Bible teaches to obey the earthly master just as you would obey Christ.

See Ephesians 6:5-8.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

See Colosians 3:22-25.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favour, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.

Ephesians 6:9 says to the masters,

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him.

In the world, there are good & considerate masters and harsh masters. The Bible teaches to serve both of them well. See 1 Peter 2:18-21.

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

The Bible teaches to stay as you are when you were called. See 1 Corinthians 7:20-21a.

20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. 21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you

You may liberate yourself if you can. See 1 Corinthians 7:21b.

—although if you can gain your freedom, do so (21b).

Read more and learn more in 1 Corinthians 7:22-24.

22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Particularly v23b says “do not become slaves of human beings”. When God – man relationship has been restored through Christ, we cloth with God’s blessings and wisdom to live beyond the earthly slavery. We have God behind. He is our ultimate protector and provider. You are no longer a slave to human beings but led by God’s Spirit to live wisely in God! Amen, hallelujah!!

Jesus teaches true greatness by becoming the servant of all.

 ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’ (Mark 10:44)

25 Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ (Matthew 20:25-28)

24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. (Luke 22:24-27)

Let’s continue in Exodus 21. See v5-6.

The servant can choose to stay as the master’s servant for life by declaring, “I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free.” (5). In this case the master must take him before the judges, take him to the door or the door-post, and pierce his ear with an awl (6). Probably these procedures are required to confirm his determination is without any doubt, to make this decision officially recorded, and to leave physical evidences (ear, door/door-post).

Many principles could be derived from the study on Exodus 21:1-11.

For example, if a master wants to keep a male servant for his life, he could think of giving him a wife out of female servants he has. Then that male servant could stay with the master for his life if he loves his master, his wife and children.

In the modern world, the master does not own the wife and children of the male servant even if the master has given the wife to the servant. In the modern world, the master could find a wife for the servant but the master does not own his wife and children. But I personally think this (arranging a wife for the slave or the employee) could work if I want to keep a good slave or employee for life.

V7-11 are about the case of female servants. The master could select her for himself (8), for his son (9) or even for male servant (4).

See v8.

If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.

V8 is the case that the master has selected her for himself.

Based on v8, we can see that she can stay as his servant and wife if she pleases the master. If she does not please the master, he must let her be redeemed. That is, he should let her bought back by her father. He should not sell her to foreigners.

V9-11 are the case that the master has selected her for his son.

In this case, he must grant her the rights of a daughter (9). If his son marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights (10). If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money (11).

 

The above is according to Mosaic Law of BC (Before Christ) but now it is in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ (Anno Domini =  in the year of the Lord).

Basically no one should be treated as a slave. But only sin could cause such misery.

We can read in the Old Testament that when God let Israel conquer a foreign nation, it was entirely destroyed including humans and cattle if God commanded so based on their sins. God sometimes commanded Israel to capture foreigners as slaves after conquering their nation because their sins were not as bad. From these facts, we can know that sins may cause destruction or slavery.

Jesus says that true slaves are those who sin and they are slaves to sin. See John 8:34.

  34 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

In modern days, there shouldn’t be any slave. Sometimes people are still treated badly because they are slaves to sin. We need to share the Gospel to help them free. See John 8:31-32.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

Basically, Jesus came to make us free from our slavery to sins. And according to the above verses, the truth will set you free. Let us hold to His teaching.

There are various differences between the Old Testament and New Testament.

Nevertheless, Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law.

17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. (Matthew 5:17)

It may be good to read the rest (Matthew 5:18-20) of the paragraph to understand the importance of the Law.

18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:18-20)

Jesus explains the reason for the differences in Matthew 9:14-17.

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’

15 Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

16 ‘No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.’

 

Paul explains prophesies, knowledge and others will pass away but faith, hope and love remain.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:8-13)

 

The entire law is fulfilled in keeping one command.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Galatians 5:13-14)

Jesus teaches the greatest commandment in the Law in Matthew 22:34-40.

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

37 Jesus replied: ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

I hope that we take lessons from both the Old and New Testaments and apply them wisely.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/doesnt-the-bible-support-slavery/

[3] http://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today?gclid=CjwKCAjwlovtBRBrEiwAG3XJ-47msHI7k-gH9Vy1mqWgFGTH9dp2y2rU78B_6p8TxTwNMsFBafipNhoCAfsQAvD_BwE

[4] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 17). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Brief Review of Genesis 1 – Exodus 20

Posted by admin on 2 October 2019 in Exodus, Genesis |

Genesis 1 - Exodus 20

We studied Ten Commandments of God in Exodus 20 last week.

Before studying further, let us briefly review what God commanded previously.

CREATION & MANKIND’S MISSION BLESSED AND COMMANDED BY GOD & THEIR FOOD

  1. ‘Let there be light’

As written in Genesis 1:3, God said

‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.

In Genesis 1, the universe was formed at God’s command.

  1. ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’

After the creation of mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27), God blessed them and said to them in Genesis 1:28.

‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

  1. God said what will be our food

Vegetables and Fruits

And God gave us food in Genesis 1:29.

29 Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

ONE COMMANDMENT IN EDEN GARDEN

  1. One Commandment of God

God commanded in Genesis 2:16-17,

‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’

AFTER THE FALL

  1. Through the temptation of the snake captivated by the Devil, Adam and his wife disobeyed the commandment of God, which brought God’s judgement upon the snake, the woman, and Adam. In the midst of the judgement, God promised the Saviour coming as the woman’s offspring (Genesis 3:15).
  2. Punishment & Protection of Cain

In Genesis 4:11-12, God punished Cain for murdering Abel.

And in Genesis 4:15, God put a mark on Cain to protect him from being murdered.

15 But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.

GOD CHOSE NOAH (Genesis 6)

AFTER THE FLOOD (Genesis 9)

  1. God gave additional food

Everything that lives and moves about

In addition, after the Flood, God gave everything that lives and moves as our food in Genesis 9:3.

Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Rules in eating animals

But, there was a condition attached to the additional food. Let us read Genesis 9:4.

‘But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

The condition is as written in Genesis 9:4. Animals shouldn’t be eaten alive. We shouldn’t eat raw meat that contains the animal’s “lifeblood”. Their blood may contain infectious diseases as well.

We can eat them, but cruelty is not allowed.

Proverbs 12:10 says

10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,

but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Exodus 23:19b, Exodus 34:26b, Deuteronomy 14:21d says

 ‘Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Human life is protected

See Exodus 9:5-6.

And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

‘Whoever sheds human blood,

        by humans shall their blood be shed;

   for in the image of God

        has God made mankind.

Here, God will demand accounting from every animal (Genesis 9:5b) and from each human being (Genesis 9:5c) that shed human blood (= that took/harmed human life). So Genesis 9:5-6 is about the preciousness and protection of human life.

GOD CALLED ABRAHAM, THE FATHER OF FAITH (Genesis 12)

THE JOURNEY OF FAITH CONTINUED BY ISAAC (Genesis 21) AND JACOB (Genesis 25)

JOSEPH WAS SENT TO EGYPT (Genesis 37)

ENTIRE FAMILY OF JACOB WAS SAVED BY JOSEPH AND MOVED TO LIVE IN EGYPT (Genesis 46)

THE SLAVERY OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL IN EGYPT (Exodus 1)

GOD SENT MOSES (Exodus 2)

THE EXODUS (Exodus 12)

THE CROSSING THE SEA (Exodus 13)

GOD DESCENDED TO MOUNT SINAI TO MEET THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL (Exodus 19)

In Exodus 19, God told Moses what to tell the people of Israel:

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD (Exodus 20)

Last week, we studied Ten Commandments of God in Exodus 20.

Today we briefly reviewed Genesis 1 - Exodus 20.

Let us continue to study remaining chapters of Exodus in coming weeks.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

God who gave the Ten Commandments

Posted by admin on 23 September 2019 in Exodus, Galatians, The Book of Romans |

Exodus 20:1-26

In Exodus 20, God gave the Ten Commandments.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me (3).
  2. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them (4, 5a).
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God (7a).
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy (8).
  5. Honour your father and your mother (12a).
  6. You shall not murder (13).
  7. You shall not commit adultery (14).
  8. You shall not steal (15).
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour (16).
  10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour (17).

When this was happening, I think there were the thunder, lightning, trumpet sound, and smoke in the mountain. And they saw and heard them, and trembled with fear (18). They said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not let God speak to us or we will die.’ (19)

Moses said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with  you to keep you from sinning.’ (20)

The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was (21).

Exodus 20 shows the glorious moments that the descended God gave the 10 commandments to them through Moses. He was used by God incredibly and amazingly.

Very interesting thing is the fact that previously Moses asked God more than once saying “Pardon your servant, Lord.” (Exodus 4:10, 13) or “Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13) His reason was he had never been eloquent.

Through the book of Exodus, I can see that Moses played the great role as the spiritual leader.

All these things – how many times and how much God revealed Himself, how greatly Moses was used by God - make God so real & close to us, make us amazed, and our heart becomes filled with faith in his power and grace.

In Exodus 21 ~ 23, God gave the laws that Moses were to set before them.  Let us study them later.

Before closing, let us study about the ministry of condemnation and the ministry of righteousness.

See 2 Corinthians 3:9.

If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!

2 Corinthians 3:9 says the ministry of Moses is “the ministry of condemnation”. The Law itself Moses received is good but it brings condemnation because everyone will break one law or the other in the Law. No one can keep 100% of them. So we need the ministry of righteousness that is the ministry of Jesus. The righteousness comes from the redemption.

Galatians 3:10-14 says

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’ 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, ‘The person who does these things will live by them.’ 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.’ 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Romans 7:7-13 says

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognised as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

So, the Law lets us know we are sinners. Even though we may try to observe the Law, we can’t be saved, but Instead will find ourselves condemned by the Law. Only Jesus saves us through the forgiveness of sins.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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