John 4:21

John 4:21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

How is it that Jesus said almost 2,000 years ago that “an hour is coming and now is” that physical location would cease to be an issue for true worship of God and yet some today say that He wants people to go to a certain place and gather with certain others in order to properly worship?  I’m talking, of course, about those who say that God wants His followers to belong to a local church.

We are not sanctified by our location in a specific place or by our inclusion with a certain group, but rather by the Spirit (Romans 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).  That is, “the Lord knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19) and there’s no need for your name to be on some earthly attendance list.

If you want to belong to the house of the Lord, then belonw to the Lord…and you will be of His house.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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1 Chronicles 22:10 – Jesus!

1 Chronicles 22:10 continues the outline of Messiah begun in 1 Chronicles 22:9.

He shall build a house…  -  Matthew 16:18

…for My name…  -  Hebrews 1:12

…and he shall be My son and I will be his father…  -  Matthew 17:5

…and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.  -  Hebrews 1:8

God does things in the Old Testament to set a pattern so that He can do something even greater in the New Testament according to that pattern.

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1 Chronicles 22:9 – Jesus!

1 Chronicles 22:9 outlines a type of Christ in the life of Solomon.

 Behold, a son will be born to you…  -  that was Jesus, born to the human race (Matthew 1:23).

…who shall be a man of rest…  -  He gave rest to all who came to Him (Matthew 11:28).  See also Jesus Our Rest.

…and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side…  -  His rest came when He was crucified and raised from the dead, far above all His enemies (Ephesians 1:19-23).

…for his name shall be Solomon…  -  Solomon comes from the same word as “peace”  (like “Shalom” or “Salem” as in Jerusalem).  Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

…and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.  -  We have righteousness, peace, and joy through Him (Romans 14:17).

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Understanding the Structure of the Bible

In recent weeks of the Scriptural Literacy podcast, I’ve been breaking down the Bible into its constituent parts. That is, the books of the Bible are arranged in a certain order, and a structure can be inferred from that order.  Perceiving that structure will help us understand the different kinds (genre) of writing that comprise the Bible.  Knowing this will help you adapt your reading to the appropriate genre.  Knowing where you are in the chronology of events will help, too.

Remember that the Bible is, generally speaking, organized by chronology and genre.

Let me now review the various breakdowns – that is, the various ways of understanding the order of the Bible’s contents.

To divide the Bible into two parts:

OT: Old Testament (aka “The Prophets”)
NT: New Testament (aka “The Apostles”)

To divide the Bible into five parts:

OT: OT History, Wisdom, Prophets
NT: NT History, Epistles (aka Letters)

To divide the Bible into seven parts:

OT: Torah (aka Pentateuch, Law of Moses), Post-Mosaic History, Wisdom, Prophets
NT: Gospels, Acts, Epistles

To divide the Bible into nine parts:

OT: Torah, Post-Mosaic History, Wisdom, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets
NT: Gospels, Acts, Paul’s Epistles, General Epistles

Each of these is a valid, but different and increasingly more detailed, way of understanding the organization of the Bible’s contents.  The ultimate breakdown is, of course, the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament – a breakdown into sixty-six parts.

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Major Biblical Metaphors

In order to help people understand the sort of relationship He wanted with them, God used certain metaphors from everyday life in the biblical age.  These include the following:

Kingdom –  wherein Christ is the king and we are the subjects.

Marriage – wherein Christ is the bridegroom and we who love Him are collectively the bride.

Covenant – which is very much like a marriage.

Yoke- which itself serves as a metaphor for marriage or covenant: two walking and working together in common cause.

Family – wherein Christ is the father and we are the sons who lovingly seek to imitate Him.

Slavery – wherein Christ is the master and we are the slaves.

What is common to all these metaphors is interaction and mutual commitment.  God does not desire to be divorced from us.  Rather, He desires faithfulness.  We seek Him because He first sought us (1 John 4:19).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Amos 3:3

Amos 3:3 KJV Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

How can we walk with the Lord except that we have an agreement with Him?  Such an agreement speaks of a covenant, which the Lord offers to all those willing.

As Jesus Himself said,

John 15:14 “You are My friends if you do what I command you.

This covenant is “the new covenant” in His blood (Luke 22:20; 2 Corinthians 3:6).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Jeremiah 3:16 – The Ark of the Covenant

Jeremiah 3:16 “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.

This scripture was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  He Himself became the ark of the covenant.  That is, the covenant was contained in Him.

Let us imitate Him.  That is, let the covenant of the Lord be secured in our hearts.  Let us be vessels for honor, carrying the truth the Lord written upon our hearts.  As Paul put it to the Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
2 Corinthians 3:3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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The Bible Is a Love Story

The Bible is a love story about God and His people.

He loves His people.  They reciprocate His love.

Who are the people of God?  [Emphasis added.]

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His

For more on how the Scripture labels the people whom God loves, see: Scriptural Names for the People of God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Psalm 102:18

Psalm 102:18 This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.

The Bible was written long ago.  It was not written to be forgotten.  Rather, it was written that it might inspire future generations to remember the works of God and turn their lives to live for Him.

Indeed this prophecy from the psalms is being fulfilled even as you read it and are inspired by it to praise the Lord.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Psalm 98:2 – Jesus Christ Was Revealed in the Sight of the Nations

Psalm 98:2 The LORD has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth did not take place in a corner (Acts 26:26).

This is the salvation the Lord has provided for us.  It is the fate of all humanity to die, but the salvation of the Lord is that all will rise.

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

The greatest empire of its time – Rome – was present and participating in these events.  Indeed, they did not take place in a corner (Acts 26:26).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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