Friday, January 28, 2005

Up to Philippians 1.10 

I shall continue where I left off in Philippians.

Paul starts out showing his thankfulness for the Philippians by always joyfully making request for them in his prayers. He does this because of their fellowship in the gospel. He reassures them by telling them of his confidence in Christ completing the good work in them. By this we can also know that when Christ begins a good work in us, justification, he will complete it, through sanctification, until we are purified. Paul states that just as he can be confident of this truth, he can be confident that they are fellow partakers of grace.

This section brings out the fact that even our works are not our own but are instead gifts from God. Through their actions/works, he can know they are fellow partakers of grace. He goes on, though, to say (in vs. 6) that these very works were started in us by Christ (salvation), and it is him who is completing, or bringing to perfection (sanctification), our works until they are purified at the day of Jesus Christ.

In verses 9-10 we have the content of one of Paul’s prayers for the Philippians. He prays that their love may abound, but in 2 areas, in knowledge and in discernment. This is an interesting statement, to say the least. How does love abound more and more in knowledge and in discernment? Here are my thoughts in this mater. 1) 1 Corinthians 13.2 states that knowledge without love is nothing. 1 Corinthians 8.2-3 states that “knowledge puffs up, but love edifies,” and that to love God means we are known by him, which is the deepest sort of knowledge. 1 Corinthians 13.11-12 also states that through love we no longer understand as a child but become men. We understood in part but know just as we also are known (just as we are known by perhaps as 8.8 says?) The problem here though is that these verses use love to describe knowledge whereas in the Philippians text knowledge and discernment further define love. So, how does that work?

Reading Matthew Henry’s Commentaries on this text have focused my thoughts some. Could it be that they were not to have a blind love. Looking closer at verse 10 might shed some light on the issue. He states 3 main things that love abounding in knowledge and discernment will do for them. 1) They may approve that which is excellent. 2) They may be sincere. 3) They may be without offence. The need a love filled with knowledge and discernment for all of these things. In order to approve that which is excellent you need to know what is excellent (knowledge, specifically in Christian’s beliefs maybe?) And be able to discern that which is false and not truly excellent. States, “that we may approve the things which are excellent upon the trial of them, and discern their difference from other things. Observe: The truths and laws of Christ are excellent things; and it is necessary that we all approve them, and esteem them as such. We only need to try them, to approve them; and they will easily recommend themselves to any searching and discerning mind.”

Notice: What Paul is talking about here is not knowledge and discernment alone, but love abounding in these things. This is confusing still! I am used to thinking of Love, Knowledge, and Discernment separately. So are they separate? Maybe it is foolishness to try to separate or combine them. Could they be separate but so entwined that you can not talk of on without the others, thus having more of a separation in thought and words alone? This would be similar to the attributes of God. You can not describe one attribute without defining it in terms of the other attributes.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Studying Philippians 

I am back. I have decided to start posting some of my notes on philippians since I am studying it now. Criticique and or Criticism would be appreaciated. : )

I have decided to read through Philippians. Yesterday I read it once through to read it as it was originally meant to be read, as a letter. I shall continure to do that periodically throughout my study. Today, though, my readings have brought me up to 1.11

Audience: The saints who are in Christ Jesus and who reside in Philippi. Since he states the saints in Christ Jesus, I want to think of this as those who really are Christians (yes because of my Baptist-New-Covenantal leanings); although I can’t rule out the possibility that this is an expression he is using for the entire church at Philippi. He also states “to the Bishops and Deacons.” Why, I don’t know, maybe it is to the saints but should go through them?

What do we know about the saints at Philippi? They are mostly Gentiles who Paul is encouraged by the way God is working in that church, but who possibly will be facing persecution in their near future. So there is joy under girded by graveness for them to strengthen themselves even further for the persecution coming.

He references God as our father and Christ as our Lord in the beginnings of this chapter. Martin Luther has an interesting insight into calling God father. 1) It is a friendly, affectionate, deep, and heartfelt way to address him. 2) By doing this we acknowledge ourselves as children of God.

My reading may have brought me up to 1.11 but obviusly not my notes. That will be later.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

weekend at the olive st. 

This weekend was great. Two of my roomates and I hung out with our respective, fiances' and girlfriend here at the olive st house, and at my parents. Friday, my entire family was here in this little house. Darci and I cooked for sage, abi, the girls, trev, and antonia; then later my parents even dropped by. It's nice whenever we can get the entire family together.

(for some pictures of the weekend, head over to trev's blog web.umr.edu/~tjacorn/blog)



Sunday, September 12, 2004

smokerings 

As most of you know, I am an engaged man. With this engagement have come many thoughts, about being a husband, a father, a leader, etc. I do not know much but I do know one thing; I am not ready for this, yet I also know I am as ready as I will ever be. I know this because I know I will never draw near He who is my example. Hehe, I will be a grandfather some day, and I still will not be ready for this :). Already I have started thinking about many of the new responsibilities I will have. As a leader I will have responsibilities for those I am leading, my family, and to lead them as Christ leads the church. As a husband I will have the responsibility of loving my wife more than myself, with Christ as the ultimate example. As a father I will have the responsibility of raising my children to love and obey God, with God the Father as My example. The family is truly of great importance in God's plans, and this I have started to realize. I am always amazed by those who want to marry but do not want the kids. In reading the scriptures I have come to realize that when people marry but do not want kids, they are in fact refusing one of the signs of God's blessing upon their marriage.
Talking with Darci about this has been very good, for she often has different insights into it that will really open my eyes. There needs to be a balance of the responsibilities and an understanding of how they work together. I see sometimes people trying compartmentalizing the different responsibilities, and that I think will not work. For instance, one of the ways the man will show his love for his wife will be in how they both work together in taking care of the kids, instead of them both sacrificing their relationship in order to take care of their relationships with the kids.
Anyways, these are some things I have been thinking about. Now I do realize that I am only 20 years old, and so have no experience whatsoever in this area, but I am trying to base this all upon biblical examples, and reason. I think we place too little importance on the family anymore. Strong biblical families can, and I believe probably will, affect the church for the better. These types of families I think will also affect our culture. For example look at the reason Pharaoh enslaved the Jews. The Jews' strong and large families made Pharaoh afraid that the Jews would out populate the Egyptians and take over the pharoahdom.


Monday, August 16, 2004

Glory to God 

When we desire to be respected and loved by others, seeding only to experience a false joy, we lead a distastefully showy, miserable life. Then it is revealed that we don’t love You and don’t sincerely fear You. You resist the proud, but give grace to the humble. You thunder against the world’s greedy pursuits, and “the foundation of the hills” tremble. But some people find it necessary to be loved and honored by others. The enemy of true happiness presses hard against us. He scatters hi traps of “well done, well done” everywhere. He hopes that while we eagerly collect these praises, we will be caught suddenly. We will detach our joy from Your truth and fasten it to human deception. We will take pleasure in being loved and respected, not for Your sake, but in place of You. As a result, we will become like the enemy. He will own those who, not in harmony of love but in the fellowship of punishment, seek to serve him and to honor his dark, cold throne. He will own them by imitating You; in perverse and distorted ways. But we, O Lord, we are Your “little flock.” Own us, stretch Your wings over us, and let us escape under them. Be our glory. Let us be loved for Your sake and have Your word feared un us.


St. Augustine

Thursday, June 24, 2004

summer hibernations 

This blog doesn't actually have much to do with the title, except maybe as an explanation/excuse for why I haven't blogged in forever and then some. Work has me gone a lot and so I don't often have access to a computer (although I am usually home every weekend so that is not much of an excuse).

I started a new blog. It's a book review blog called books and smokerings. It's cool you should check it out.

I have decided that I have been looking at theology in too much of a disjointed fashion, issue by issue, with each issue almost separate from the others. I say almost because I do recognize that they are all interconnected, and I see some of the relationships between them but in a very limited way. I want to start working on connected the issues, that I have studied, together. :) of course I don't really know where to start but that is my overall plan. hehe vary vague I know but sometimes for me its figuring out the right questions to ask that is the hardest part. Once I know what questions to ask the answer's not far away. I think I am with Dr. Cochran in saying the questions are more important then the answers, for the questions decide what the answer will be.

Monday, May 03, 2004

google

wow 

I am back... well I will be shortly.. in a day or two.


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