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Author Archives: Dr. Larry Dixon

About Dr. Larry Dixon

Seminary professor, teaching systematic theology and other topics. Grandfather, wicked tennis & table tennis player, love playing chess on letsplaychess.com. Please check out the six books I've written. "The heart cannot rejoiced in what the mind rejects as false!"

Life’s Big Risk (Lacoste commercial)

I never thought smooching could be so dangerous!  This is an ad for Lacoste clothing, yet the guy is shirtless.

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Your opinion of this commercial?

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in romance

 

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How to Get Spiritually Healthy! (a study of Titus – Part 16)

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 5.52.45 PMWe’ve been talking about exercise and about how I’m learning to use all the work-out machines at our university.  I believe in truth in advertising, and it irks me just a little that the diagram they have on each of these machines is of a thin guy who could be at home watching soap operas and eating chocolates.  He doesn’t need to work out.

Skinny guy getting paid big bucks.

Skinny guy getting paid big bucks.

I’d be much more motivated to use these machines if they had different pictures of real life Americans who obviously needed to exercise.

The TRICEPS EXTENSION is a machine that looks innocent, but could pull your arms right out of their sockets.  Used properly this machine works on the muscles on the back of your arms, called triceps.  I only found hair on the back of my arms.  Still looking for my triceps.

My going to the gym to exercise my 64-year-old body and do the required number of “reps” isn’t the point of this blog, really.  We’re interested in the little letter to Titus whose theme seems to be how to be SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY.

We looked at a few verses in chapter two and posed several questions.

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Here are my responses to those questions:

1.  How does God’s grace offer salvation to all people (v. 11)?  Perhaps Paul’s point is that God’s witness in creation (general revelation) shows all people everywhere their need of a Savior (see Romans 1).

2.  What are some negatives that Christianity teaches those who Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PMfollow Jesus ought to practice (v. 12)?  We need to recognize ungodliness, and turn from it.  We also need to identify and refuse “worldly passions,” as well.

3.  How do we positively live for the Lord, according to verses 12 and 13?  We positively live for the Lord by showing self-control, uprightness, and godliness.  And we are to live that way in the NOW (= “in this present age”).

4.  How does verse 13 show the DEITY of the Lord Jesus?  We are waiting for ONE person to return — our God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

5.  What kind of people is God seeking to produce (vv. 14-15)?  God is in the business of producing purified people who are eager to do what is good.  We are to be good-deed-doers in our culture.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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What animals are thinking #11 (scroll down)

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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in funny animal

 

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How to Get Spiritually Healthy! (a study of Titus – Part 15)

In these posts, we’ve been focusing on two things:  (1) The first area:  My efforts at “returning Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.24.40 AMto the gym,” “doing some reps,” and getting in better shape.  So, I’ve been talking about some of the exercise machines that I’ve been using at our university’s facility.  (2) The second area we been thinking about is our study in the little letter of Paul to Titus, on the issue of SPIRITUAL HEALTH.

The LAT PULL DOWN is a machine that has you stand on your tippy-toes (real body-builders don’t use the expression “tippy-toes,” but I know my place) and grab two handles and then you pull down, using your lat muscles.  This one I can set at 120 pounds, causing all the other exercisers around me to gasp, “He’s 64!  And he’s pulling down almost twice his age on the LAT machine!”  (usually I’m the only one in the gym at 6:30 AM, but I can imagine what some might say, if they, the slackers, were there).

I’m no expert on muscle “groups,” but I’ve found my lat muscles.  I don’t think my muscles like to group together or hang out together or be seen together.  But I can simply follow the pain in the back of my shoulders and I’ve located my lat muscle(s).

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 7.45.08 AMWhich raises the issue of our spiritual muscles and our study: the Epistle of Titus, whose theme seems to be how to be SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY.

Let’s look at our next section in chapter two and list a few questions to think about –

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

These are my all-time favorite verses in Titus, perhaps in the whole Bible.  I see a lot here, but a couple of questions for us to think about:

1.  How does God’s grace offer salvation to all people (v. 11)?

2.  What are some negatives that Christianity teaches those who Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PMfollow Jesus ought to practice (v. 12)?

3.  How do we positively live for the Lord, according to verses 12 and 13?

4.  How does verse 13 show the DEITY of the Lord Jesus?

5.  What kind of people is God seeking to produce (vv. 14-15)?

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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PASTORS SHOULDN’T GET MAD!!! (time for a good cartoon)

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in pastors

 

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How Do I Get Spiritually Healthy? (a study of Titus – Part 14)

The SHOULDER PRESS is a machine that will challenge your masculinity.  It basically measures how much weight you can “press” upwards at a 45 degree angle. I think all the weights and angles have been calculated by a skinny, pale-skinned, technician at Star Trac, who laughs diabolically as he designs these machines that he will never use.  But that’s just my theory. Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 7.30.59 AM

"I'm a tech at Star Trac!"

“Better tighten my belt!  I’m a skinny tech at Star Trac!”

Anyway, I’m glad that I’m healthy enough to “go to the gym” and “work out” and “do my ‘reps’.”

Which brings us to our study: the Epistle of Titus, whose theme seems to be how to be SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY.

We listed a few questions in our last post.  Let’s take a shot at answering some of them.  But first, let’s review our verses from 2:9-10 –

9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

1.  How are we to respond to the whole “slave” thing in the Bible?  Does the Bible support slavery?  Paul isn’t telling these slaves, “ESCAPE WHENEVER YOU CAN!” How do we “justify” slavery in the Word of God?  First of all, the Bible does not support kidnapping or forced slavery.  There are several forms of slavery in the Bible (as in culture).  Paul Copan’s articles on slavery are well worth reading.  His understanding of the New Testament teaching is found here.   His article asking if the Old Testament supports slavery is found here

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 7.09.34 AM2.  Assuming that Paul’s primary point here is that Christian slaves should submit to their masters, what other verses in the Bible teach us about our slavery?  Pre-conversion we were slaves to sin (Rom. 6:6, 16), to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness (Rom. 6:19) but now should be slaves to righteousness (Rom. 6:15, 18), leading to holiness (Rom. 6:19).  When we were slaves to sin, we were free from the control of righteousness (Rom. 6:20).  We’ve now become slaves of God (Rom. 6:22).  Before coming to Christ we were slaves to non-gods (Gal. 4:8).  The Spirit doesn’t make us slaves, but sons (Rom. 8:15).  We are not to become slaves of human beings (I Cor. 7:23).  As slaves of Christ, we are to do the will of God from our hearts (Eph. 6:6).  There are clear instructions for both masters (Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1) and slaves (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22; Titus 2:9; I Pe. 2:18).  We are to live as God’s slaves (I Pe. 2:16).

3.  How are slaves to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive?  What does that expression mean?  We are to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.  The word “attractive” comes from a verb meaning to ornament, adorn, to embellish with honor.  The original meaning of that verb is to put in order, to arrange, to make ready.  We can “uglify” the truth about God, presumably by the way we live or don’t live.  Doctrine is more than verbal expression.  We must live out as best we can what the Bible actually teaches about the Lord!

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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How Do I Get Spiritually Healthy? (a study of Titus – Part 13)

I can’t remember the last time I had to row a boat, but the people at STAR TRAC apparently think rowing is a useful skill.  So the next machine I use is creatively simply called “ROW.”

PreviewScreenSnapz068You put your chest up against a padded thing, stretch out your arms, and pull backwards.  The amount of weight you pull against is determined by the little red thing and I go for maximum pull for a man my age: 60 pounds.

We use expressions that remind me of this machine all the time: “That’s a hard row to hoe,” “Row against the currents,” and “Row, row, row your boat.”  (I can’t seem to get that tune out of my head when it’s turn for my “reps” on this machine).

Other than trying to recapture my youthful physique, the reason we are talking about HEALTH is because I’ve been looking at the little epistle of Titus and its theme seems to be SPIRITUAL HEALTH.

Which brings us to our next section in chapter two, and a few questions to ponder:

9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 7.19.17 AM1.  How are we to respond to the whole “slave” thing in the Bible?  Does the Bible support slavery?  Paul isn’t telling these slaves, “ESCAPE WHENEVER YOU CAN!” How do we “justify” slavery in the Word of God?  Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PM

2.  Assuming that Paul’s primary point here is that Christian slaves should submit to their masters, what other verses in the Bible teach us about our slavery?

3.  How are slaves to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive?  What does that expression mean?

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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