Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some Scriptures Commonly Misinterpreted (1)

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself" (John 12:32)
This verse is usually quoted in Christian assemblies, as admonition to 'lift Jesus up' by praise and worship so that he can draw people to church meeting. But if we had pay attention to the verse just after it, it will be clear to us that it refers to the death of Jesus and not worship.
The word 'lifted up' - "hupsoo" in the Greek means to elevate, exalt or lift up. yet, in context, it doesn't mean to exalt in worship. It is the same word used to describe how Moses hung the brazen serpent on the tree as well as the crucifixion of Jesus in John 3:14 : "And as Moses LIFTED UP the serpent in the Wilderness, even so must the son of Man be LIFTED UP"

Lets consider verse 32 and 33 in one breath:
""And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die" (John 12:32-33)
Amplified version puts it this way:
"And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself, He said this to signify in what manner He would die"

Therefore, John 12:32 in context is not talking about 'lifting Jesus up in praise' and since you are not the author, you can't give it your own meaning.

He has died on the cross, as He said, He has drawn and He is still drawing men from all races (not just the Jews) to Himself by the death of the cross. Because on the cross of Christ could bring Jews and gentiles on the same platform as children of God.
"For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups." (Eph. 2:14-15) seen it?

The Bible Has Only ONE Subject & Only ONE Hero

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!" (John 5:39)
The Bible is not a book of many stories, though its got many scenes and events; its a book of ONLY ONE story - REDEMPTION; it has many characters, yet ONE HERO - Jesus the anointed.
Christ and His redemptive work is the ONLY SUBJECT and the CONCEPT of the Bible.
The stories, events and prophecies of scriptures ALL point to Him. Peter has righly said:
"To Him ALL THE PROPHETS witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43)
An Angel told John:
"...for the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus." (Rev.19:10, NLT)
This is the reason for the sacredness of the scriptures.
Having therefore the sacredness of the scriptures in mind, he that approach the Bible must not be oblivious of the fact that there are certain rules and guidelines that should moderate its perusal and study. No prophecy, verse or chapter should be given 'customized' or personal interpretation; the reader should instead, seek to DISCOVER what the Author (God) is passing across.
Hence, the necessity for contextual reading of the Bible while the concept and the historical settings of the events are not neglected. got dat?
Subsequently, I hope to discuss some scriptures which are commonly quoted out of context and out of concept. Have a great day.

Am I a soldier of the Cross by Isaac Watts 1674-1748

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause, 
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies On flowery beds of ease, While others fought to win the prize, 
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage,
Lord. I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war Shall conquer,
though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine In robes of victory through the skies, The glory shall be Thine.

A Little From Psalms (4)

"What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?"(Psalm 8:4)
Once again this morning, I stir-up your pure minds with a reminder of God's indescribable love for human race.
Psalm 8:4 is an exclamation borne out of deep thought about God's glory extended mortal men.
It's almost unbelievable that the most excellent God would be so mindful of man. What is there in man that entitles him to so much notice? Why has God conferred on him such signal honors? Who could have thought that God would give such a dominion over His magnificent creatures to one who was prone to abuse it as man as shown to be?
This scripture shows the grand expression of the grace of God towards humanity because the ultimate reference, in Psalm 8:4 is to the person of the messiah (Heb.2:6-10) - why was man so honored as to be united to the Godhead (1John3:3); how could deity appear in mortal form (Heb.2:16)
Why should anyone of a race so feeble and so imperfect be entitled to such honor of sharing the nature of God and thus exalted above the angels.
The angelic ranks must have looked with amazement on the fact that man by his union with deity in the person of the Lord Jesus, has been raised above them in rank and in glory (Eph.2:4-6) - hmnn! Love so divine! So amazing!
I cannot imagine the possibility of a christian claiming that God has forgotten him in the midst of such revelation as this!
Rejoice Friends, cos you are an object of great interest in the divine mind.
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;" (1Peter2:9)

A Little From Psalms (3)

"2 How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah 
3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him. 
4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.." (Psalm4:2-3)

The admonition in verse 4 means to regard God in awe so as not to sin against Him. In view of this, the psalmist recommended solitary repose in order to meditate.
Oh that men would heed the word of this verse and commune with their own hearts; surely lack of meditation must be one reason why many are living outside the will of God.
Every believer, must have regular time of meditation in the word of God. Tame your passion, withdraw from distraction, let your heart be still, compose your tumultuous heart and bring your roaming thought under the authority of the word of God (2Cor.10:5)...
Learn to stay with God in quietness, meditating in His word- light will shine on your heart, you will begin to see things differently, your life will become free of undue complexities and most importantly you will be fit and available for the master's use.

A Little From Psalms (2)

"I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me."(Psalm3:5)
There was once a competition in which two painters were asked to graphically depict PEACE.
The first painter showed a body of water flowing gently with a tree in the middle of the water and a bird is standing on the tree undisturbed; the other painter on the contrary showed a turbulent sea with a great uproar and in the midst of this turbulence, there is a bird standing on a tree in the middle of the water unruffled inspite of the uproar:
the 2nd painter won the competition because peace is not absence of turbulence but a heart-seated disposition of confidence in the Mighty God that keeps His people.
This particular Psalm (Psalm 3) is believed to have been written by David when his son, Absalom, was after his life and wanted to dispossess him of the throne(2Sam.15); from human point of view, it was not a time to have sound sleep.
At such a time as this in our nation when bomb blast and insecurity is the order of the day; you and I as believers can remain calm and unruffled in the arms of Him who said... "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Heb.13:5)
We can sleep soundly with the two eyes closed, because he who keep us neither sleep nor slumber (Ps.121:3)
Never say, "if good people are falling victim who else could be spared"; you can speak for yourself alone in this matter.
Why should you be apprehensive as as though you don't have a living God: Banish fear from your heart dear children of light! for except the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stay awake in vain (Psalm 127:1).
Do have a sound sleep! ok

A Little From Psalms (1)

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night." (Psalm1:1-2)
Oh the blessedness Of the man who has preferred the word of God instead of the propensities of the flesh and ungodly company!
James encouraged believers to keep themselves 'unspotted from the world' (James 1:27) - and the practical way to get this done is to be the man Psalm 1talks about - he is not found in intimate association with ungodly people (1Cor.15:33); he does not execute the purposes of sinners; he does not frame his life according to their views and suggestions; in his plans and purposes of life he is wholly dependent on the word of God and looks therein for counsel and guidance - his will, desire, affection and every motive of his heart and every principle in his soul, are predicated on the word of God. He takes up the word of God as the rule of His life; he submits all his actions and affections to the holy standard of scriptures; he is not a casual browser of the word, but rather, he meditates on it day and night and he makes a constant practice of it.
There is no other way to be happy and be fulfilled in the in life than to go the way of the word. got that? You are blessed!

A Song - In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

 In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
 Fullness of God in helpless babe,
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save‘,
 Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied,
 For every sin on Him was laid,
 Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body laid
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth In glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

Welcome To The First Day of June, 2012

"And: You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail." (Heb.1:10-12)
Hmmn! Welcome to June the first, 2012. Like a lightening flash, the first five months of the year is gone. The euphoria of the new year has now waned and the exaggerated fad with its emotional feelings are gone. It wont be a surprise if we see many believers who have by now falter in their 'new year resolutions', because, most of the time, such resolutions are 'emotion-based'.
Beyond the change in time and season, there is an immutable reason why a believer should be committed to his Lord all year round; Let's see how Paul puts it:
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him."(Rom.12:1, NLT)
And in 1Cor. 6:20, He said "for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." (NLT).
The reason you should be committed to God is because you have received His mercy in redemption (1Peter2:10).
You will be more consistent in your walk with God if your dedication could be predicated on the unchanging truth of His grace. got that?
Do have a great month.

Concerning The End Time (4)

"Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Rev.20:6)
Shock, pain and tears - like light blown-out in obscure darkness, they are gone! My heartfelt condolence goes to those who lost their loved ones in yesterday's crash and to the entire people of Nigeria. Bible encourage us to mourn with those who mourn (Rom.12:15). Death is not the end of man its only a bend and for those of them who have made Jesus their Lord, "good night", I say to them for we shall meet again at the feet of Jesus who has bought us with His precious blood - we re looking forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev.19:9,17) and "... we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2Pet.3:12)
In case you have been acting in defiance to the gospel of salvation, why not think about it again and accept Jesus: remember death is a certainty (Heb.9:27) and you will not always be here.
Grace to you!

Concerning The End Time (3)

"Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." 
(2Peter 3:11-13)

Concerning The End Time (2)

"And he said to me, Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work." (Rev. 21:10-12)
This calls for sober reflection: Are you ready for the coming of the Lord? Are you sure you will be able to meet Him unashamed when He comes? "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen." (Rev.1:7)
Are you ready for the coming of the Lord?

Concerning the End Time (1)

" is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour." (1John2:18)
Let him/her that reads this piece be reminded that, most assuredly the endtime has come!!! 
If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, it is high time you did " though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christs behalf, be reconciled to God." (2Cor.5:20);
and if you have given your life to Jesus, it is high time you withdrew your attention from the affairs of this world in which you are engrossed - " No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier." (2Tim.2:4); it is time to start being heavenly conscious because we will soon be going home (IThes.4:13-18).
He that has ear let him hear what the spirit is saying!

God-Inspired Counsel

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."(Psalm 119:105)
When the heart of a person is void of God-inspired counsel, such a person has got to the path of foolishness the kind of which death/destruction is the end result; for so is the case of Ahithophel (2Sam.15:3; 17:23) and many carnal men today (Hosea 4:6).
It is dangerous for a heart not be filled with the Word of God because such a heart is vulnerable to all manner evil experiences.
Therefore "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Col.3:16)
The heart that is saturated through and through with the word of God is a 'wisdom-filled' heart.
Give yourself to personal study of the word and do not only go to Church today but make sure you go with a ready heart to LEARN THE WORD. ok?
We win!