Friday, April 12, 2013

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sun., Jan. 2 Adult Bible Study: You Must Be Born Again, Pt. 2

Birth used to illustrate salvation

Physical Birth

Spiritual Birth

Initiated by parents Initiated by God
You did not will yourself born Not of the will of man (John 1:12,13)
9-month gestation Indeterminate gestation
Life precedes birth Life precedes birth‡
Does not come into the world against his will Does not enter the Kingdom of God against his will.
Infant struggles to enter the world (labor) Infant struggles to enter the Kingdom of God (Matt. 11:12)†

‡ Observable in a sinner under conviction and in his seeking after God. Not to be construed as “viable” life.

† The sinner is not passive in the new birth. His strivings are not the cause of the new birth but means to getting there.

To be continued….

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sun., Dec. 26 — Adult Bible Study: You Must Be Born Again, Pt. 1


1. Hand out Bible reading plans. Discuss necessity of regular Bible reading. Resolve to read entire Bible in 2011.

2. Hand out Bible reading/study guides. Discuss how to use.

Lesson Text: John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”

“Verily, verily” — lit., amen, amen = strong certainty.

    recorded only in John    25X

“except a man" — this means you, Nicodemus. It means every man, woman, and child regardless of status, birth, nobility, position, parentage, wealth, etc.

“born again” — ἄνωθεν — anōthen
    — also, from above ( John 3:31; John 19:11, James 1:17; James 3:15, James 3:17)

    doubtful that Nicodemus understood it this way (see his response in v. 4

    the new birth is from heaven, above. It is a work of the Triune God.

this state of Jesus repeated 2 more times (verses 5, 7)

Birth used to illustrate salvation


Physical Birth

Spiritual Birth

Initiated by parents Initiated by God
You did not will yourself born Not of the will of man (John 1:12,13)


To be continued….

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sun., Dec. 19 Adult Bible Study — A Man of the Pharisees

Lesson text: John 3:1-21

John 3:1   “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:”

Pharisees:  (ISBE)  The name means separatists.   “— those who carefully kept themselves from any legal contamination, distinguishing themselves by their care in such matters from the common people....”

“...the Pharisees, although primarily a religious party, became ere long energetically political. They were a closely organized society, all the members of which called each other ... ‘neighbors’; this added to the power they had through their influence with the people.”

Nicodemus: a Greek name, meaning “conqueror of the people.”

a ruler of the Jews:

member of the Sanhedrin, which governed the internal affairs of Israel and was their supreme court. It had ultimate religious authority.

John3:2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him,  “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night?

    It is often assumed that this was an act of timidity or cowardice.

    No reason is stated.

    Jesus did not express fault with this.

Where he is silent, so should we be.

    Both Jesus and Nicodemus were busy during the day.

The questions Nicodemus had are better discussed in private than in a crowd.

Rabbi:  A title of respect, "my great one," Master, Teacher

“we know thou art a teacher come from God.”

    we know — himself, or he along with others?

        know - not gnosis or epignosis, but eidon; to see, perceive

    a teacher - didaskolos; not all rabbis were teachers

come from God - "from God" appears first, giving emphasis to his divine commission.

“for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

“these miracles” — recently performed in Jerusalem during the Passover week.

    The Jews thinking: miracles are works of God. If a man performs miracles, he must then be approved of God.

NOTE: miracles may be demonic/satanic in origin: Matt 24:24; 2Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:13-14

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sun., Dec. 12 Adult Bible Study — First Cleansing of the Temple, Pt. 2

Lesson Text: John 2:12-25

John 2:18

A tacit admission that what Christ had done was lawful. These were probably the Sanhedrin. Because Christ was not a priest or Levite, they were wanting to know by what authority he interfered with the temple.

John 2:19

Here is the sign.  v. 21 tells us he was speaking of his body

    1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Pet. 1:13

If it was wrong to defile, desecrate, and profane the temple made of wood and stone, how much more wrong is it to defile, desecrate, and profane the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit?

John 2:20

Not Solomon's temple; that had been destroyed.

Not the rebuilding of the temple after the Jews returned from exile.

Probably Herod's repairing of the temple: The repairs "were so extensive and costly, that eighteen thousand workmen were employed about them." Josephus puts it at 46 years when Jesus visited.

John 2:22

Ryle: "We must  not suppose religious teaching does no good because it is not understood immediately. It may do good long after the teacher is dead."

Believed — fully and with reconfirmation of the truth.

The Holy Spirit gave them understanding, bringing to fruition that seed that had been planted several years earlier.

John 2:23

More than one level or degree of belief:

    Jas. 2:19 - demons believe

    Rom. 10:10 - heart belief

John Gill: a faith in which all the powers of the soul, the under-standing, will, and affections, are concerned, it is a seeing of the Son, a beholding of the glory, fulness, suitableness, ability, and willingness of Christ as a Saviour, with the eye of the understanding spiritually enlightened; it is a going out of the soul to Christ, in various acts, such as venturing into his presence, prostrating itself at his feet, resolving if it perishes it will perish there; a giving up itself unto him, determining it will have no other Saviour, leaning and relying on him, and living upon him; which faith works by love to Christ, moves the affections, stirs up the desires of the soul to his name, and endears him and all that belong to him to it.

NOTICE: heart belief produces righteousness!

    Here - head belief; assent

        they believed "in his name," but not "on his name."

John 2:24

"... Jesus looks at us and believes in us. Jesus thinks that you can be like him! And he invites you to follow him because he believes in you!"

(a Harvard Divinity School student wrote in her blog): The super hip American pastor, Rob Bell, has another interpretation of this story, however. In one of his super hip movie shorts, (one of the Nooma series), he cites Jewish rabbinic history to charge that Jesus’ question about Peter’s faith was not actually a question about faith in his teacher, as we often assume. Rather, Jesus was asking Peter, “Don’t you have faith in yourself?  Faith that you can actually be like me?”  Rob Bell suggests that by inviting all of humankind to be Christian disciples, disciples like Peter, Jesus was essentially communicating the radical message that God believes in us—in our ability to live good lives, and to live up to our individual callings. “Don’t you have faith Peter? I called you out here because I believe in you.
John 2:24 categorically denies this pop theology.

The fact is, Jesus doesn't trust you, doesn’t believe in you — if you are an unbeliever. v.24 is v.23 negatively stated.

We would have had these "believers" walking the aisle, signing a white card, making a decision, saying the sinners prayer, and baptized faster than the writer took to pen these words.

John 2:25

only God knows what is in the heart of man

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sun., Dec. 5 Adult Bible Study — First Cleansing of the Temple, Pt. 1

Lesson Text: John 2:12-25

John 2:12

After this - the wedding at Cana

went down — Capernaum being lower than Cana

Capernaum - believed to be on the Northeast side of the Sea of Galilee.

Matt. 11:23 & Luke 10:15 prophetically speak of the demise of Capernaum. It has so completely disappeared that it cannot be placed with any degree of certainty today.

Capernaum is mentioned only in the Gospels. It appears this is where Jesus lived when he was not in Jerusalem and its environs.

“his mother” — again, Joseph is not mentioned. He may have already been deceased. His mother is once again with him, but does not seem to have regularly accompanied him.

his brethren — siblings? cousins?

John 2:13

How many Passovers did Jesus celebrate during his ministry?

    2?    3?     4?

Disputed, with most commentators saying 3. It appears that he began his ministry just before this one, and ended with one. Another (John 6:4) is mentioned in this Gospel. If this be the case it limits his earthly ministry to between two and three years.

J. C . Ryle — “  Our Lord's regular attendance on the feasts and ordinances of the law of Moses deserves notice. So long as the dispensation of the Old Testament lasted, He gave it all due honor, however unworthy the hands which administered it. The unworthiness of ministers will not justify us in neglecting God's ordinances.” (Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospel, Vol. 3, John 1:1 — John 10:30, p. 108)

"Jesus went up to Jerusalem" — Jerusalem was always "up."

His going to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover was according to the Law.

    Exodus 23:15-17        Deuteronomy 16:5-6

John 2:14-17

"in the temple" — includes the outer courts as well as the temple proper.

This is the first episode; there is another at the close of his ministry (Matt. 21:12).

As to how Jesus could get away with this, see Barnes on this verse.

Albert Barnes says:

“We see here how strong is the love of gain - the ruling passion of mankind. Not even the sacredness of the temple, the presence of God, the awful ceremonials of religion, deterred them from this unholy traffic. So wicked men and hypocrites will always turn “religion,” if possible, into gain; and not even the sanctuary, the Sabbath, or the most awful and sacred scenes, will deter them from schemes of gain. Compare Amos 8:5. So strong is this groveling passion, and so deep is that depravity which fears not God, and regards not his Sabbaths, his sanctuary, or his law.”

This arrangement was probably started to provide sacrificial beasts that were certified perfect for those that came from long distances. The money changers were required both to convert foreign money to domestic but also to convert the coin of the realm to Jewish money.

Vincent says : “The money-changers opened their stalls in the country towns a month before the feast. By the time of the first arrivals of passover-pilgrims at Jerusalem, the country stalls were closed, and the money-changers sat in the temple.”

J.C. Ryle: “No doubt they would have pleaded that all was done with a  good intention! Their end was to provide facilities for worshiping God! But good intentions cannot sanctify unscriptural actions.”

John 2:15-16

small cords = rushes, probably used for tying up animals.

    drove out the sheep  and oxen  and money changers

    overturned the money tables and dumped their money out

    told those that sold the doves to take their birds out of there

my Father's house — an assertion that he was divine.

    Merchandising of Jesus is big business.

        T-shirts: emulating Coca Cola® ads — “Jesus He's the real thing”

John 2:17

    Psa. 9:9

WWJD? — not a good question; should be, “What would Jesus do if he were in my shoes?”

    Dyke: "This act of Christ is not to be drawn into imitation, because He did it as Lord of the temple by virtue of His Sonship."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sun., Nov. 28 Adult Bible Study — Alcohol and the Bible, Pt.2


Throughout the Old Testament, wine is regarded as a necessity of life and in no way as a mere luxury. It was a necessary part of even the simplest meal (Gen. 14:18; Judges 19:19; 1Sam. 16:20; Isa. 55:1, etc.), was an indispensable provision for a fortress (2Chr. 11:11), and was drunk by all classes and all ages, even by the very young (Lam. 2:12; Zech. _9:17). “Wine” is bracketed with “grain” as a basic staple (Gen. 27:28, etc.), and the failure of the wine crop or its destruction by foreigners was a terrible calamity (Deut. 28:30, Deut. 28:39; Isa. 62:8; Isa. 65:21; Mic. 6:15; Zeph. 1:13, etc.). On the other hand, abundance of wine was a special token of God's blessing (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 7:13; Amos 9:14, etc.), and extraordinary abundance would be a token of the Messianic age (Amos 9:13; Joel 3:18; Zech. 9:17). A moderate “gladdening of the heart” through wine was not looked upon as at all reprehensible (2Sam. 13:28; Est. 1:10; Psa. 104:15; Eccl. 9:7; Eccl. 10:19; Zech. 9:15; Zech. 10:7), and while Judges 9:13 represented a mere verbal remnant of a long-obsolete concept, yet the idea contained in the verse was not thought shocking. “Drink offerings,” indeed, were of course a part of the prescribed ritual (Lev. 23:13, etc.; see SACRIFICE), and a store of wine was kept in the temple (tabernacle) to insure their performance (1Chr. 9:29).

There have been and there are godly men on both sides of this question.

The following have all given their approval to the restrained use of intoxicating beverages:

Basil the Great (d. 379) see this Wikipedia article for a fuller treatment of this subject. It is fair and accurate.

Martin Luther: particularly fond of home-brewed beer. The two following quotes are from the linked web site.

"I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26-29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it."

Above all, Luther was a champion of moderation. In his Sermon on Soberness and Moderation, delivered on May 18, 1539, he noted:

    "It is possible to tolerate a little elevation, when a man takes a drink or two too much after working hard and when he is feeling low. This must be called a frolic. But to sit day and night, pouring it in and pouring it out again, is piggish... all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one's pleasure. If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then, if this cannot be stopped by the rulers, you must know that you cannot be saved. For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven [cf. Gal. 5:19-21]... If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling... You should be moderate and sober; this means that we should not be drunken, though we may be exhilarated."

John Calvin liked to spend private moments on Lake Geneva while reading scripture along with drinking red wine.

He says in a sermon on Deuteronomy 14:26, (And you shall bestow that money for whatsoever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, and your household.): “When we drink wine or strong drink, we drink in the audience of the heavenly Vintner who expects us to enjoy his gifts.”

Puritans, Pilgrims, and Evangelists"

(From Wikipedia) As the Pilgrims set out for America, they brought a considerable amount of alcohol with them for the voyage (more than 28,617 liters = 7,560 gallons),[115] and once settled, they served alcohol at "virtually all functions, including ordinations, funerals, and regular Sabbath meals."[116] M. E. Lender summarizes the "colonists had assimilated alcohol use, based on Old World patterns, into their community lifestyles" and that "[l]ocal brewing began almost as soon as the colonists were safely ashore."[117] Increase Mather, a prominent colonial clergyman and president of Harvard, expressed the common view in a sermon against drunkenness: "Drink is in itself a good creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness, but the abuse of drink is from Satan; the wine is from God, but the drunkard is from the Devil."[118] This Old World attitude is likewise found among the early Methodists (John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Adam Clarke,[119] Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury) and Baptists (John Gill and John Bunyan).

John Wesley one of the noblest cordials in nature.

He deplored distilled liquors, however, for general consumption.


Eccl. 9:7;

Eccl. 10:19


Luke 7:34 Jesus was not known as a teetotaler. He apparently was open about drinking wine. He imbibed enough that his enemies called him a drunkard, even though he was abstemious in both eating and drinking.

The early followers of the risen Christ: Acts 2:13-15 – If Peter had been an American fundamentalist, he would have answered, “Are you kidding? We don’t even drink!” Instead, he answers that it was really too early to be bombed.

Church leaders:1Tim. 3:3; 1Tim 3:8; 1Tim 5:23; Titus 1:7; Titus2:3

1Peter 4:3 - no condemnation of drinking, but of excess

Rev. 6:6

Paul: 1Cor. 11:21-22 Note: Paul condemns the Corinthians for being drunk at their love feasts in which they observed the Lord’s Table. He does not condemn their drinking, but tells them to do it at home. Also note that wine here has to be more than diluted with water stuff, or they would have had exploding bladders.


How shall we then live?

Eph. 5:18 — We are not to be drunk with wine but we are to be filled with the Spirit. This is a two-sided command. To obey the one without obeying the other is still disobedience and sin. If we are filled with the Spirit (which will be obvious by demonstration of the behaviors in verses 19-21) we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh and the drinking of alcoholic beverage will not lead to over-indulgence. One aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control (NASB) or temperance (KJV).

Col. 3:1-4 Our goal in life is to be preparing for our entrance into eternal life. Anything that impedes or impairs our journey there must be jettisoned. Anything that impedes or impairs another’s journey there must be jettisoned.

Rom_14:1-5; Rom_14:7; Rom_14:12-14; Rom_14:15-23

These verses specifically allow the drinking of wine … IF.

If you believe drinking alcoholic beverages is wrong, do not do it. It is sin for you.

If you believe drinking alcoholic beverages may be wrong, do not do it. It is sin for you.

If you believe drinking alcoholic beverages is or may be wrong, keep your views to yourself. It is not your business to judge others who believe contrary to you in this matter.

If you believe drinking alcohol is permissible, do not do it if it will cause another to sin or in any other way hurt them.

If you drink or if you abstain, do it unto the Lord and with his glory in mind.