Christian Confrontation 2: Scripture is God-breathed

Christian Confrontation 2: Scripture is God-breathed

The Section headed with “Scripture is God Breathed” was actually an mini-article I wrote for FocusingOnTheMarkMinistries DevoBlast email newsletter. This article in its entirety was put onto my blog originally before moving to focusingonthemarkministries. With that being said this is still on Christian Confrontation.

Scripture is God Breathed

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work.”

–2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

   Bible study is one of the most crucial parts of a Christians walk with God. Without it we as Christians have no solid foundation for our belief in Christ, we have no solid sense of morality and we lose our sense of truth. Paul in his first letter to Timothy says this, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” –1 Timothy 4:13 (ESV) After referencing the anointing of pastor Timothy he continues, “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” –1 Timothy 4:15-16 (ESV)

In those passages we just read we see the importance of reading the Word of God. Number one, we see Timothy, as a pastor, was commanded to publically read and teach the Scripture. Next we see that the public reading of Scripture is part of the sanctification process and the salvation process. As a part of the sanctification process it is seeking to become closer with God by studying what he has revealed through his written Word. Through the reading of the Scriptures to others it serves as a kind of primary source reference to aid in evangelizing others.

Scripture is THE Primary Source

   It’s just been established in the previous section that Scripture is God-breathed. This is how we know both whether someone is doing right or wrong and teaching truth or the doctrines of demons. As Christians the Bible should be where we get all but at the very least the major portions of our worldview including our morality and truth. Any and all confrontations with other Christians should be grounded in solid passages of Scripture that still mean what the author intended it to mean. Historical examples, parables, wisdom, and law are all valid as long as they are in their proper context. If the passage’s proper meaning means something completely different or does not apply to the modern Christian then the argument built on the passage falls through.

 

Old Testament Extremism

People tend to get confused or give up their faith when studying the Old Testament practices. I will attempt to quickly explain why we still have some practices and not others. Essentially there are two parts of the law one involving ceremony and one involving morality. The Moral Law teaches not to lie, steal, kill, etc. whereas the Ceremonial Law were to show they were God’s chosen people. The Moral Law and Ceremonial Law are still connected and although the ceremonies were no longer required after Christ fulfilled the Law the morals they represent still stand and are restated as the moral truth in the New Testament. Technically there is a third category for Judicial/Civil practices that doesn’t really apply to Christians in other countries today but still serves to help us understand the Ancient Jewish culture and again there are still moral principles that are used in those laws.

For a more in depth explanation click the following link and visit gotquestions.org or click the link below.

What is the differencebetween the ceremonial law, the moral law, and the judicial law in the OldTestament?

Needless to say that there is still value in studying the Old Testament Law since it was the Law Christ followed. And as recently stated there are still morals attached to them that we are to follow.

 

Other Faiths

When confronting people of other beliefs who reject the Bible, the Bible can only be used to defend your own beliefs and actions. They have made the choice to defy and disobey the Bible’s moral guidance in their lives. The next section deals with audience and who we are to confront about what is right or wrong both morally and doctrinally.

Christian Confrontation 1: Judgement and Intolerance

Christian Confrontation 1: Judgement and Intolerance

I would like to leave a note here that this article is not to say go judge and condemn frivolously for no reason. This article is to make the point that judgement and intolerance are not always bad. In addition to this this was originally a standalone article that seemed to fit well on the general theme of confrontation and so I used it as a starting point for the Christian Confrontation series.

Judgement and Intolerance

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

-Proverbs 31:9 (ESV)

   Within the American culture judgement is a word that is not so pleasantly received. Judgement as the culture seems to define it is always bad, negative, harmful emotionally and other unpleasant things. Yet in the verse above it says “judge righteously.” Not only does command us to judge but it also says there is a righteous form of judgement. Judgement itself is amoral. Let’s take a look at some of the Webster 1828 definition of judge.

To compare facts or ideas, and perceive their agreement or disagreement, and thus to distinguish truth from falsehood.

To discern; to distinguish; to consider accurately for the purpose of forming an opinion or conclusion.

To doom to punishment; to punish.

Definition Link

Looking at these definitions we can already see that judgement is not a bad thing. Number one when making decisions we have to make judgements because we judge that one path is better than another or even both are equal. When we compliment someone we judge that whatever it is we compliment is good. Next is the discernment. I have never stuck my hand on an active chainsaw yet I can discern that it would be a stupid thing to do. The last is punishment. Just imagine how bad of a world it would be if literally no one ever got punished for doing bad things no matter the severity. Point made.

 

Jesus Saves but Jesus also Judges

“The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

John 2:13-16 (ESV)

   Here is a passage that is rarely acknowledged anymore. Jesus was so angry that he took the time to make a whip to drive the money-changers out. He flipped their tables over and poured out the money as well. Why? It was an act of righteous judgement. He was angry that they had defiled the temple by making it a market. As such he judged their unrighteous actions.

Before I continue to the next point Jesus also says in John 8:15-16, “You judge according to the flesh but I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is true for it not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.” –John 8:15-16 (ESV) This passage was not saying that Jesus does not judge but that he does not judge people themselves. He does judge their actions, as he did in the case of the money-changers but he did not judge the person themselves.

The other thing I wanted to make clear is that we are not supposed to condemn the world aside for the sake of the Gospel where we tell them they are in sin(as is everyone but Chirst) so they see the need for a savior. We are first supposed to bring them to Christ so they don’t have to endure the coming judgement of God. More on this in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13. Even within the Church there are certain things to be considered such as awareness of their unrighteousness, frequency of the sin and if they are already working to remove the sinful habit from their life.

 

Intolerance

Tying into judgement is intolerance. Yet another word that the American culture isn’t overly fond of for much of the same reasoning the American culture despises judgement. Intolerance according to the Webster 1828 edition is defined as…

Intolerant

INTOL’ERANT, adjective [Latin in and tolero, to endure.]

  1. Not enduring; not able to endure.

The powers of the human body being limited and intolerant of excesses.

  1. Not enduring difference of opinion or worship; refusing to tolerate others in the enjoyment of their opinions, rights and worship.

INTOL’ERANT, noun One who does not favor toleration.

Definition Link

 “And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

–Mark 11:15-17 (ESV)

This event wasn’t just recorded once to fade into obscurity. Three of the four gospels have this event recorded. The writers were compelled to write about this moment by the Holy Spirit. Why? Because it shows that there will be things we aren’t supposed to tolerate. Jesus was furious about the money-changers, if we believe Christ is perfect then we have to believe his motive and actions were justified. He judged the money-changers actions as unrighteous and was intolerant of them.

 

Final Note: The Hypocrisy

In America if you believe certain things people will call you judgmental. This is hypocritical since in order for them to come to that conclusion they have to judge you as judgmental. Further than that they have to judge that judgement is bad. So when someone says you’re being judgmental they themselves are being twice as judgmental. If someone says you’re being intolerant. They have made an action of intolerance to what you believe. Further than that they also have to be intolerant of intolerance. Therefore if someone calls you intolerant they themselves are being twice as intolerant. Judge with right judgement.

Read Through the 2017 Christian Standard Bible with Me in 2018

I will be reading through the 2017 Christian Standard Bible in 2018 beginning January 1 (this year I read through the MEV). To make this year’s read through the Bible in the year more of a community effort, I created a group reading plan for the 2017 Christian Standard Bible on my Faithlife group Community Study Bible.Faithlife groups are online groups that are a part of Logos Bible Software.

To get started, click below to join my Faithlife group Community Study Bible. You will need a Faithlife.com account (if you use Logos Bible Software or any other Logos Bible Software family of apps, you already have a Faithlife.com account. If you don’t have a Faithlife.com account, it’s free to get started and create one). On the sidebar under group readings, you’ll want to connect to the Read the 2017 CSB in One Year reading plan.

You can use a print version of the 2017 Christian Standard Bible to read through the Bible in a year (in fact, I’ll probably use the leather edition B&H sent me as a review copy since I am a member of ETS). If you want the actual Logos edition of the 2017 Christian Standard Bible, it is available to purchase here. If you have any insights or observations to share with the Community Study Bible Faithlife group, you’re welcome to share them using the Community Notes feature on Faithlife groups (instructions on how to use Community Notes are on the Activity page for the Community Study Bible Faithlife group).

If you wish to interact with the Community Study Bible Faithlife group on your mobile device, you can download the Logos or Faithlife Study Bible app (both offer basically the same functionality, so you only need one of them). You can also use Logos Bible Software on the desktop to interact with the Community Study Bible Faithlife group. If you’re new to Logos and don’t own a Logos base package or Logos Now membership, you can grab Logos Basic for free which will give you access to the desktop app and a suite of free Logos resources for your Bible study and allow you to interact with the Community Study Bible Faithlife group.


Gen1toRev22: A Way of Deliverance

Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:7-24

Observations on the Context:

In verses 7-10 we see reiterated that all life perished. The Flood was global and catastrophic. The fountains of the deep burst forth and the windows of Heaven (water canopy) was opened. For 40 days and nights rain fell and it wasn’t no sprinkle but a torrential downpour!

Yet God preserved life. He made a way of deliverance, of salvation, for Noah who sought Him.

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Gen1toRev22: The Forgotten Fourteen

Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:2-3

Observations on the Context:

It is often neglected that Noah did not just take two of every animal. He took seven pairs of male and female (14) of every clean animals and bird. Why? Because God commanded it. This is likely because there is some understanding of clean (worthy) and unclean (unworthy) animals for sacrifices and clothing. There would be more of these creatures needed because they were used for purposes that shortened their lives.

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Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

In light of Reformation Day, here is a brief biographical sketch of Martin Luther, plus here are Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Enjoy these and have a blessed Reformation Day!

I also want to recommend an excellent documentary on Martin Luther available on Faithlife TV. It provides a solid overview of the life of the one who brought about the Protestant Reformation.

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Gen1toRev22: The Time Had Come

Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:1,4

Observations on the Context:

These two verses are connected. The time had come for Noah and his family to enter the Ark. The Lord reiterates that Noah is being preserved because he walks with God—he is righteous before the Lord in his generation.

It is interesting that God tells Noah specifically that it will be seven days before He sends the rain—yet notice how this 7 days before the Judgment appears to parallel the 7 years before Christ’s physical coming where the Church escapes the Great Tribulation by rapture.

The Judgment will be complete—God will blot out all living things from the ground (including birds which must rest on the ground).

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