Friday, July 28, 2017

Romans, part 1, Israel Will Be Saved

There are 66 books in the Bible. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. If you match up each book with a corresponding letter the first letter, aleph, goes with Genesis (the first book of the Law), Isaiah (the first book of the Prophets), and Romans (the first book of the Christian Epistles).
Romans was written by the Apostle Paul. Its major themes are the gospel of God, the redemption truth and reconciling the promises to Israel with the promises concerning the Gentiles. Its greatest teaching is the doctrine of grace. This book shows us that all are guilty before God but can receive justification through the righteousness of God by faith.
Let’s look first at Romans 3:25, 26:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Acts, part 2, Acrostic Clues

Let’s check the acrostic verses for clues as to what we want to focus on in Acts. (If you don't know what acrostic or alphabetic verses in the Bible are, read this.)
Psalm 119: 175:
175 Let me live that I may praise you,
   and may your laws sustain me.
Let me live. Literally the Hebrew says “Let my soul live.” That kind of gives us a longer range plan, doesn’t it? The Hebrew word for “live” is the root for “resurrection.”
Lamentations 4:22:
 22 Your punishment will end, Daughter Zion;
   he will not prolong your exile.
But he will punish your sin, Daughter Edom,
   and expose your wickedness.
Punishment will end. The Hebrew word here is “tamam” meaning “completed.”
Psalm 25:21:
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
   because my hope, LORD, is in you.
Integrity is the word used here to translate the Hebrew tav word “tom” which also means perfection, completion and moral purity. Taken together from these alphabetic verses we get the theme of living forever, all things being completed, finished.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Acts, part 1, a Quick Summary

Tav is the last of the 22 Hebrew letters and it links up with Song of Songs in the Old Testament and Acts and Revelation in the New Testament. The symbolic meaning of this letter is mark, sign or cross. We saw in the first tav book, Song of Songs, that there is a strong correlation between these books and this letter having to do with consummation and marriage. The number one major theme of the book of the Acts of the Apostles is the receiving of the Holy Spirit followed by the profession of Christ to the Jews at Pentecost and then to the Gentiles. This was the beginning of the Christian church which is, in all respects, the beginning of the Bride of Christ.
In Acts the first nine chapters recount the rise of the early church with Peter being the prominent character; the rest of the book follows with the conversion and ministry of the Apostle Paul. The book of Acts is written by the physician, Luke, who spent much time alongside Saint Paul, traveling and witnessing. In his previous book Luke wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the ascension. That book was written to a certain Theophilus, a man who was probably wealthy enough to help Luke get his information published, and Acts is also addressed to this same Theophilus. His name, by the way, means “lover of God” or “loved by God.” With that in mind I like to think that these books were written personally to me.
The thesis verse of Acts is found in chapter 1, verse 8, when Jesus says the following:

Friday, July 7, 2017

John, part 4, The Irrefutable Logic of a Blind Man

Jesus brings Light and Life. The blind man in John chapter 9 is in for the surprise of his life. Watch how he gets physical sight and how he gains another sense, too: spiritual sight. If you don’t know the story here it is in a nutshell:
Jesus and his disciples come across the blind man, Jesus heals him, the Pharisees are in an uproar because He healed on the Sabbath, there’s an investigation and the Pharisees kick the formerly blind man out of synagogue, and the story ends with Jesus revealing His divinity to the man who then gains spiritual sight.
Now, you be the blind guy:
You’ve heard the scriptures read, you know the prophecies, you hang around the temple all the time begging and listening. You hear some men talking about you. They’re asking their leader if you or your parents are responsible for your blindness. The leader says neither you nor your parents are responsible; he says that you’re blind so the work of God can be displayed in your life. You’re more alert. You hear them get closer and the leader puts something on your face over those rounds things that are called eyes, but have no function for you. He tells you to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. You have some faith so you do.
What is this?! Is this sight?! This is unbelievable! You cannot contain your excitement. You find your way home and your neighbors think you’re an imposter. You tell them what happened. They ask how this could be. You say it was “the man.”