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Tag Archives: restoration

Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 6 Part 1)

As we enter this last chapter of Galatians, we are noticing some of the major themes of this important epistle.  Looking at chapter 6, please notice the theme of helping those caught in sin (vv. 1-6).  How do we help those who have been “caught in a sin”? 

It is those who “live by the Spirit” who should restore that person gently.  One might say, “I’m not qualified to help anyone!”  But we are all to walk and live by the Spirit!  However we need to be aware of our own weaknesses and not fall into sin as we are helping others out of sin!

We are to both carry the burdens of others (v. 2) as well as carry our own load (v. 5).  There is a proper pride in oneself which doesn’t depend on comparing ourselves with others.  And we need to be instructed in the things of the Lord. We are to support those who teach us.

Do you know of someone “caught in a sin” who needs to be restored?  Ask the Lord to guide you.  Perhaps He will use you to gently restore that brother or sister!

 

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2018 in Galatians

 

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One Hundred Questions about the Book of GALATIANS! (Ch. 6)

One hundred questions go pretty fast, don’t they?  We only have seventeen more questions to ask about this book of Galatians.  These posts are in preparation for my teaching this great New Testament book to a group of students at Word of Life Korea in June!

I am not a NT scholar, but thoroughly enjoy tackling a book like Galatians.  My approach is to first ask a lot of questions about each chapter, then read several commentaries, then eventually develop my outline of the book.

My heart is on practical matters, so I want to deal with the nuts and bolts of everyday Christian living.  Let’s see what we find in this last chapter:

Seventeen Questions about Galatians chapter six:
1. Do Christians still SIN? Of course! How do we help one another with overcoming SIN (v. 1)?
2. What does it mean to be “caught” in a sin (v. 1)?
3. What are the marks of someone who is living by the Spirit (v. 1)?
4. Why is gentleness important in restoring such a caught saint (v. 1)?
5. What is the danger for the one doing the “restoring” (v. 1)?
6. To what might the term “burden” be referring in verse 2?
7. Has Paul used the expression “the law of Christ” in this epistle prior to this chapter (v. 2)?
8. What is the only way to overcome self-deception (v. 3)?
9. Is there really a kind of godly pride? What does that kind of pride look like (v. 4)?
10. What seems to be the point that Paul is making in verse 6?
11. This idea of sowing and reaping — what is meant by “pleasing the flesh”? by “pleasing the Spirit” (vv. 7-8)?
12. How could the church do a better job of doing good — to all (v. 10)?
13. Does verse 11 give us a clue as to what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” 2 Cor. 12) was?
14. Back to the issue of circumcision — what are the motives of those seeking to compel the Galatians to be circumcised (vv. 12-13)?
15. Boasting is mentioned a second time here in chapter 6. Put into your own words Paul’s “boast” in verse 14.
16. What is far more important that the issue of circumcision (v. 15)?
17. What in the world does Paul mean by “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (v. 17). Did he indeed have the stigmata?

Thank you for reading through my questions. May the Lord encourage you today to live as the new creation!

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Galatians

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 80)

Psalm 80

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-7-02-56-am
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
    shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
    come and save us.

Restore us, O God;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

How long, Lord God Almighty,
    will your anger smolder
    against the prayers of your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears;
    you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
    and our enemies mock us.

Restore us, God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

You transplanted a vine from Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it,
    and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,
    its shoots as far as the River.

12 Why have you broken down its walls
    so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it,
    and insects from the fields feed on it.
14 Return to us, God Almighty!
    Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
15     the root your right hand has planted,
    the son you have raised up for yourself.

16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
    at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
    the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
    revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2016 in revival

 

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Some Thoughts on Forgiveness (Part 1)

Friends:

Again this year I have the privilege of presenting several workshops at Screenshot 2016-03-22 05.31.56Emmaus Bible College’s “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference held in Dubuque, Iowa, May 26-28.  My three topics are entitled: (1) “None (or at least, Fewer) Dare Call It ‘Sin’: I Timothy on Homosexual Behavior”; (2) “The Forgotten Virtue of Forgiveness (I Timothy 1)”; and (3) “Becoming Worldly Saints — An Evaluation of Michael Wittmer’s Needed Challenge.”

Let’s think a bit this morning on the topic of forgiveness.  Are Christians always to forgive?  With or without the offending person apologizing?  When Jesus cried out on the cross “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing,” was He forgiving those who crucified Him?  Was He declaring that all people everywhere without exception are already forgiven of their sins by God (as some of my universalist friends say)?  Are forgiveness and restoration the same?  How does reconciliation relate to forgiveness?  What is genuine forgiveness and why is it so important?

I Timothy (the book we are studying at the “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference), although it does not use the word “forgiveness,” provides some insight into this important Christian virtue.   As he describes his own conversion, the Apostle Paul says he was “shown mercy” (1:13) and that “the grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly.”  Mercy and grace and two elements of genuine forgiveness: mercy >> withholding judgment and grace >> expressing kindness and favor toward another.  Paul later says that he was saved in order that God “might display His immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”  Patience is difficult to show toward those who have offended or hurt us.  Immense patience is doubly hard!

One writer said, “I don’t mind forgiving and forgetting — It’s just that I don’t want the person I forgave to forget that he has been forgiven!”  Is there someone who immediately comes to your mind that you need to think about considering maybe forgiving?  (to be continued).

Screenshot 2016-03-22 05.58.12

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2016 in forgiveness

 

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The Joy of Unit-Reading #26 (the book of Lamentations)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that unit-reading is reading straight through a book of the Bible.  This morning I read through a book of mourning, the book of Lamentations!  My goodness, such suffering!  I took more notes on this 5-chapter book than on any other book I’ve unit-read so far.  Here are my notes:

Screenshot 2016-01-25 07.08.30

There is so much that impresses, overwhelms me in this book. Here’s my one takeaway:

My takeaway:  Sin is destructive — but the Lord can make our lives new again!

Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2016 in unit-reading

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 80)

Psalm 80
For the director of music. To the tune of Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 6.59.10 AM“The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.

3 Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

4 How long, Lord God Almighty,
will your anger smolder
against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision[b] to ourScreen Shot 2015-03-20 at 7.02.36 AM neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.

7 Restore us, God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

8 You transplanted a vine from Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it,
and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,[c]
its shoots as far as the River.[d]

12 Why have you broken down its walls
so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it,
and insects from the fields feed on it.
14 Return to us, God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
15 the root your right hand has planted,
the son[e] you have raised up for yourself.

16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Absorbing any woes? (Part 2)

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The Bible teaches that we are to “bear one another’s burdens.”  We want to continue to examine that passage in Galatians over the next few posts:

KeynoteScreenSnapz055I have suggested a four–part outline for this passage.
I.  The Occasion for Caring (v. 1)
II.  The Expression of Caring (v. 1)
III.  The Danger in Caring (v. 1)
IV.  The Characteristics of Caring (vv. 2-10)

We’ve looked at I.  The Occasion for Caring (v. 1) by noticing that the ones who are doing the caring are “brothers and sisters” and “you who live by the Spirit.”  The reason for the caring is that another brother or sister has been “caught in a sin.”

Let’s look today at the second part of our study:

II.  The Expression of Caring (v. 1)

We express that caring by seeking to “restore” that person “gently.”  It has sometimes been said that the church is the only place that shoots its wounded.  We often act as if we no longer struggle with temptation and as if we never fall into or get caught up in sin.  We probably lie about a lot of other things too!

Do we desire to “restore” Christians caught in sin to the Lord, to the Lord’s people, to a sense of forgiveness and freedom in Christ?  We are to be in the restoration business, it seems, and that means we might have to take risks to carry each other’s burdens.

FirefoxScreenSnapz300But, that involvement demands a certain attitude:  gentleness!  I’m reminded of what Jesus said about Himself in Matthew 11: 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.”  Gentleness seems to be a lost commodity in our hurry-up, get-it-done, take no prisoners culture.

We read of the Coming Messiah in Isaiah 42: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.”  Matthew directly applies this prophecy to Jesus in Matthew 12.  Not breaking a bruised reed and not snuffing out a smoldering wick certainly seem to indicate gentleness!

Questions:

1.  How might we become more committed to a ministry of restoration in our Christian circles?

2.  How can we practically show gentleness in working with those who have been “caught in a sin”?

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in community of caring

 

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