Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Job 2:10 and C.S. Lewis – from a letter to Arthur Greeves, December 20, 1943

A couple of quotes struck me this morning. The first is from the book of Job. It is his response just after all his wealth, servants and family are stripped from him. The second is from a letter Lewis wrote and really doesn’t need much context. With out further ado:

Shall we accept the good from God, and not trouble?

Job 2:10

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s “own,” or “real” life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s “real life” is a phantom of one’s own imagination.

C.S. Lewis – from a letter to Arthur Greeves, December 20, 1943

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Taking Note of Gifts – Philippians 2:13

While playing worship at church the other day the pastor mentioned a verse during his sermon gave new life to an old idea. The verse resides in Philippians chapter 2. If you are reading from the New International Version the verses read like this:

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

There are multiple verses listed here, however, the one which struck me is verse 13—listed in italics. It is important to read a bit more than just verse 13 and give a bit of context. (Click here to read my thoughts of this importance.) Philippians is Paul’s epistle to the church of Philippi. Thus when speaking Paul is speaking to that audience and to their needs as the church or the body of Christ. The wrong view of that last statement is that it reads, “the historical context of the book Philippians implies that it merely applies to history.” Moreover this entire sentence is a concluding thought indicated by the beginning word of the passage “therefore.” Paul in the previous passage has discussed imitating Christ. (verses 1-11) Hence Paul is reaffirming and encouraging the Philippians as the body of Christ.

All that aside verse 13 reads as follows, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Almost immediately after hearing this verse it occurred that any musical gifting I possess is simply what it is, a gift. That is to say a gifting—of any sort, but in my case specifically a gifting of music—is exactly what the term indicates a gift from one to another. This concept is what struck me personally, but the whole of the verse expands far beyond this personal example. Once realizing the truth of this it becomes clear that gifts should be treated as such. Consider the following example:

A friend give’s another friend a substantial gift, such as a car or a house. All of a sudden the receiving friend has gained a free item.

In this example let’s suppose the gift carries far more monetary weight than zero dollars—that supposition is only in place to give the example worldly substance. Upon acceptance of the gift the receiver would not only gain a gift, but the responsibilities that go with it.  That is to say possessing that gift would entail new duties for receiver. There are many unique paths the receiver could take after possessing the gift.  It is important to note that the paths chosen could be for the better or for the worse. For instance an example of a path for the worse is one in which the receiver simply takes the gift for granted and is not concerned with it in the least with it. However, the path I intend for that gift is of care, acknowledgement, and new responsibilities. The above example is fairly straight forward, but to see everything in this light is what struck me.  Everything is a gift; anywhere from what we “own,” the skills of our hands, to the breath in our lungs. It is all a gift.

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The Importance of Context and History

When studying the Bible it is important to look into the context as well as the history. The importance is simply this: one does not want to take a verse and merely flip the verse on its’ head to apply the verse to whatever one wants or desires. Taking note of this importance leads to a deeper understanding of the Bible. Thus not only is one eliminating personal bias one’s comprehension is also improved.

I am neither a Biblical Scholar nor Historical Scholar. Thus when discussing the Bible I will make my best attempt to present what has been learned and clearly show the truth of the Bible—not perverted by me. That is to say the Bible is the infallible word of God and I prefer not to discuss it in a “Ryan” jaded manner.

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