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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Consequences)

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Consequences)

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Ideas Have Consequences! (A Study of I Corinthians 15:12-19)

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now in the book of I Corinthians. And we just started reading I Corinthians 15 on Easter Sunday! I want to occasionally post an outline of what I’m learning from my reading. Here’s my outline from I Corinthians 15:9-11:

Ideas Have Consequences! (A Study of I Corinthians 15:12-19)

I. The Consequence of Logic (v. 12)
>>> no room for exceptions!

II. The Consequence of Uselessness (v. 14)
>>> our preaching
>>> your faith

III. The Consequence of Deception/False Witnesses (v. 15)

IV. The Consequence of Lostness (v. 18)
>>> your lostness (v. 17)
>>> your loved ones’ lostness (v. 18)

V.  The Consequence of Pity (v. 19)

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2020 in I Corinthians 15

 

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Making Good Choices — Time for a Great Commercial!

Love this commercial! Don’t some choices seem like you’re going down in an elevator to the dark nether regions? CHOICES — they are so critical in life, right?

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2019 in choices

 

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Getting to Know . . . 2 Samuel (chapter 12) The Rebuke of David’s Sin (Part 3)

(“Oh, no!”, Nathan might have thought. “I’m in the middle of rebuking the King of Israel!”). Let’s continue our discussion of the prophet’s Nathan’s confrontation of David and his sins against Bathsheba and her godly husband Uriah. Please take the time to read over 2 Samuel 12 again:

Here are a few of those principles we’ve already seen:

1. Make sure you are sent by the Lord (v. 1).

2. Use wisdom in your confrontation (vv. 1-4).

3. Speak directly about the sin (vv. 7ff).

4. Review God’s acts of kindness and goodness in the person’s life (vv. 8-10).

5. Speak of the awful evil of despising God’s word (vv. 9-10).

6. Warn the person of God’s hatred of sin and His power to bring judgment into one’s life (vv. 11-14).

Here are one final principle that I see in this passage about getting involved in another person’s life:

7. Upon repentance, comfort! (v. 15).  That David repented is implicit in this passage. Explicitly he confesses his sins in Psalm 32 and Psalm 51.

Bathsheba’s son dies.

The consequences: After Nathan had rebuked David, he went home. We read that the Lord struck Bathsheba’s baby with an illness. David poured himself into fasting and praying for the baby’s recovery, but the baby died on the seventh day (v. 18). The servants fear telling David of the child’s death, perhaps concerned that he would kill himself out of despair. Instead, David got up from the ground, cleaned himself up, and went and worshiped the Lord. He then went to his home and ate (v. 20). The servants are surprised at David’s reaction, but he says, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

This, it seems to me, is a great OT statement on the afterlife! “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David and Bathsheba have a son Solomon and we are told “the Lord loved him” (vv. 24-25). We then read of a great military victory by King David (vv. 26-31).

One takeway for me today: Some tragedies we bring on ourselves, and they come with consequences. But life can go on in the Lord and He can give victory in the next chapter of our lives!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2019 in 2 Samuel 12

 

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Getting to Know . . . I Samuel! (15:22-35) RELIGIOUS REBELLION!

We’ve seen in I Samuel 15 that King Saul disobeyed a clear and direct command from God to annihilate the Amalekite people, including their animals! Saul captures King Agag spares “the best of” the flocks to “sacrifice to the Lord [Samuel’s] God” (v. 15).

Samuel is grieved at Saul’s disobedience. The Lord regrets that He made Saul king. And Samuel pronounces judgment on Saul. Saul has lost his original humility, was motivated by greed (pouncing on the plunder), and did evil in the eyes of the Lord (v. 19). He is also self-deceived, thinking he had done God’s will and engages in blame-shifting and religious excuse-making.

We now look at the rest of I Samuel 15. In one of the most poetic sections of the Old Testament, Samuel says to Saul: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (v. 22).

Samuel then says, “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.” (v. 23).

Samuel then pronounces judgment on Saul: “You’ve rejected the word of the Lord — the Lord has rejected you as king.”

Saul confesses his sin, admits that he had violated the Lord’s command out of fear of his men (“and so I gave in to them”) (v. 24). He then pleads for forgiveness and asks Samuel to accompany him to worship. (v. 25). Samuel refuses to go back with Saul and turns to leave. Saul grabs Samuel’s robe which tears. Samuel says the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one better than you (v. 28).

We then get a great statement about God: “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind” (v. 29).

Samuel agrees to go back with Saul to worship the Lord (to “honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel”) (vv. 30-31).

Samuel then has the unsavory task of executing King Agag, who thinks “surely the bitterness of death is past” (v. 32). The prophet Samuel declares, “As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women” (v. 33). The text then says, “And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal” (v. 33).

The English Standard Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible have “And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.”  The New American Standard Bible and the King James Bible have “And Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal.”  The Contemporary English Version has “Then Samuel chopped Agag to pieces at the place of worship in Gilgal.” [John MacArthur uses verse 33 (hacking Agag to death) as an illustration of killing sin in our lives.]

Samuel leaves for Ramah and does not see Saul again, “though Samuel mourned for him” (v. 35). The chapter closes with the sad statement “And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel” (v. 35).

Some takeaways for me:
1. How do we know in what the Lord delights (v. 22)? He revealed His will to Saul — who promptly trusted his own reason and evaluation and disobeyed the Lord.
2. Saul’s was no small sin! Samuel describes it as rebellion, arrogance, rejection of the Word of the Lord.
3. The Lord is fully capable of reciprocation. Saul’s rejection of God’s Word leads to the Lord’s rejection of him!
4. In the midst of such personal tragedy, the beauty of God shines forth! Samuel makes a declaration about the very character of God: “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind” (v. 29).
5. Sometimes religious leaders have to do what political leaders fail to do. There are no Agags around for us to execute, but Samuel’s passion to do God’s will ought to inspire each of us!
6. It is quite possible to live in such a way that we bring regret to the heart of God. And I don’t want to do that. Do you?

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2018 in I Samuel 15

 

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