Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Psalm 28 November 4, 2009

Filed under: Church History,Moral Law,Teen Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 3:05 pm

The LORD is My Strength and My Shield—Of David

To you, O LORD, I call:  my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.

Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

Reading Proverbs everyday like we have this last month gives us principles on which to live wisely.  Proverbs remind me of the way less direct people talk.  They give examples or tell stories or talk around what they are really trying to get across. Not that that is bad communication; it is just less direct and to the point.  Like some less patient people, the commands of scripture are more directive!  Do not commit adultery.  Do not bear false witness.  Flee sexual immorality (I Cor. 6:18). Contrast these directives with Proverbs 7:6-27:  For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness….Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.

In all of these, sexual purity is the point.  No matter the style or the time or culture from which it was written.  In this case, from Moses to Solomon to Paul.  Look how different their circumstances, cultures, and times were.  Moses was wandering in the desert with a homeless people, Solomon was one of the world’s richest kings, and Paul was a missionary to non-Jews within the Roman Empire.  Inerrancy of scripture, though, teaches us that all the Bible is from God in some mysterious way–whether directive or not.

My point is that there are differences in style among the writers of the Bible.  Naturally that would be so.  But, that doesn’t mean interpreting its meaning is open to individual style and preference or cultural ways.  We need to remember this when reading through the Bible and seeking its truth for our life and knowledge of God.

At any rate, reading the Bible in our own language for ourselves is a hallmark of the Protestant Reformation.  It is a treasure to hold on to and pass on to our children and grandchildren.

And reading the Bible for ourselves shows us our need for mercy.  Who could ever really live as wisely as Proverbs calls us to do?  Who could ever be entirely sexually pure in mind, body, and desire?  That is why we need a Savior and why we need mercy from a just and sovereign God.  David sees this in Psalm 28.  He is crying out for the Holy Spirit to strengthen him and stir his heart to remember His Savior.

I hope He will stir our hearts today–to read His word, to remain sexually pure, to tell the truth.

Let’s read Psalms this month.

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Essential or Non-Essential? March 12, 2008

Filed under: applications,Moral Law — womenembracingfaith @ 7:24 pm
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Have you noticed how draining political discussions can become after awhile? I’m tired of the presidential election already and we’ve got miles to go. Any continued controversy is like that, whether in a marriage, a business partnership, or, really, any relationship. Once the opinions are clear and the positions are set, it is detrimental to keep on hackling over it. I speak from experience!

Romans 7 is like that in Christian circles. The debate always gets back to “Who is the man in Romans 7?” Was it Paul’s experience as a non-Christian or as a Christian or somewhere in between? Then, as the debate heats up, the main point of the passage is totally overlooked, and we are tired of the whole thing.

I bring this up to show how “non-essential” this debate is. What are the main points of the passage? The discussion ought to be about the power and strength of sin, and how we’ve been set free from feeling like a slave to either sin or the law once we are “in Christ.” Or about how the function of the law is to show us our sin and our need of a Savior. A third main point is about how the law has its limits: it cannot save us nor sanctify us no matter how “moral” we think ourselves. Or we could talk about how Romans 7-8:4 is a cure for any spiritual depression we might slip into. Matters like these are essential, don’t you see?

That is why I bring this up. Thinking our way through the Bible requires making decisions about essentials. Enjoy your liberty to hold onto your view of which spiritual realm Paul was in at the time. Then we can focus on what really counts like, “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!” That is a wonderful essential we can agree upon.

One who is totally safe in her personal relationship with God is not captive to the sin within. She flourishes in her liberty, allowing her to grant that liberty to others. She knows how to use the law to expose her own wrong thinking or actions. She is, then, not going to stay long in spiritual depression. Now these are things worth discussing!

“Unity in essentials; Liberty in non-essentials; Charity in all virtues.”

 

Hello world! February 23, 2008

Filed under: Moral Law,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 5:06 pm

One biblical principle for leading your children to God is to teach them the Ten Commandments. Not to just have them in their memory, but to know what they mean both externally and spiritually. For instance, “You should not lie.” This includes telling a lie and keeping quiet when you could tell the truth.

Why expose your child’s lie? What does it matter–he’s only four! The commandments show us (even four year olds) our need of a Savior. The function of the moral law is to show us our sin (Romans 7). The way to salvation is to first realize God’s holiness in contrast with our own sinfulness. Then to see how my lies make me need a Savior. Even 0ne or two year olds can begin seeing both.