Jesus Cursed the Fig Tree As He Himself Would Be Cursed

In Matthew 21:19, Jesus cursed a fig tree.  It withered.

This foreshadowed the withering Jesus was about to experience on the cross.  He was a tree made to bear fruit (Psalm 1:1-3), yet He would bear the curse that we deserved and He did not (2 Corinthians 5:21).

As Paul said in Galatians 3:13, quoting Deuteronomy 21:23, everyone hung on a tree in Jewish culture was considered cursed of God.

Jesus was giving His disciples a way to understand what they were about to witness.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Psalm 106:47 – Blessed be the Lord Who Has Saved Us and Gathered Us to Himself

Psalm 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God,
And gather us from among the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name
And glory in Your praise.

Who is “the Lord” who saves us but Jesus Christ our Lord.

We seek Him to “gather us from among the nations.”  That is, we seek Him to manifest Himself to us that we might look to Him, come to Him, imitate Him, and glorify Him.

We “give thanks” to His name, which is above all names.

And we glory not in the praise of men, but in the praise He gives when we do His will (Romans 2:28-29).

Blessed be Your name O 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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Psalm 107:1-3 – The Lord Himself Has Gathered Us to Himself

Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
Psalm 107:3 And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

Look at what the Lord has done for us!  He has redeemed us and gathered us to Himself.

We are not gathered to any earthly father.  We are not gathered to each other.  Rather, we are gathered to Him who is Lord.  We are gathered by our faith.

We know that without faith it is impossible to please Him.  We believe in His ministry to us because it is what we ought to do.

This passage is a picture of the one true church in the earth today.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

How Shall Jesus Have a Name Above Every Name Unless He Is the Father?

Philippians 2:9-11 says that Jesus has been granted a name that is above every name.  This was only fully accomplished when Jesus was revealed as the Father in the new age – that is, the age in which we live.

For if “the Father” is a name above Jesus, how can it be said that Jesus has the highest name?

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Mind of the Scriptures

There is a “mind” behind the Scriptures.  I am not speaking here of the mind of God, although that’s certainly true.  Rather, I am speaking of the mindset common to all the authors of Scripture – a set of ideas about which there was no controversy between these authors.  That mind we might call “the prophetic mind.”

The prophetic mind saw God as the Creator of heaven and earth – of all things visible and invisible.  It also saw this God as altogether good, righteous, holy, and wise.  As such, He was worthy of worship and obedience from every human being.  Further, they saw this God as making promises which endured across generations – promises which could be inherited by those who qualified.  For this reason, the Scriptures themselves became very important because they preserved these promises in inviolable form from one generation to the next.

Each book of the Bible has something new to communicate, but the truths I have mentioned in the paragraph above (as well as others that go along with them) were assumed to be true and did not need to be re-stated explicitly with every single writing.  These truths comprised the common mind of all those who wrote Scripture.  It’s a wondrous thing to see writers as separated from each other by geography and time as they were speaking from that common perspective.

The Scriptures possess a unity  because the word of God is their common thread.  But they also are unified by the common outlook of those who actually penned the words.  Given the diversity of the authors and the writings, this is all quite remarkable and makes the Bible all the more worthy of thoughtful attention from people who are not yet convinced that it is the word 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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Jesus Lionized the Prophets, not the Kings

Have you considered that Jesus did not extol the kings of Israel in the course of His ministry?  He did not point to them as models or suggest that He was walking in their steps.  Neither did He encourage His followers to look to them as heroes.

The prophets – not the kings – of Israel were the heroes to whom Jesus pointed.  He quoted them, He extolled them, He referred to them as examples.  He said that He was walking in their steps, especially with regard to His death in Jerusalem (Luke 13:33), and He urged His followers to take comfort in experiencing the same sort of human reactions as the prophets received (Matthew 5:10-12).

Certainly, Jesus extolled David, but remember that David was both a prophet and a king.  As such, he was the perfect model for Messiah, who would be like a prophet in His earthly life through death and then receive monarchial glory in resurrection.  That is, Messiah would suffer as a prophet and then be glorified as a king.  Only His kingly glory would far outstrip any glory accorded Israel’s prior kings.

The point here is not that Israel’s kings were bad and her prophets were good. Rather, the point is that a sincere and devoted disciple of Jesus is going to experience life more as the prophets did than as the kings did.  That is, suffering in this life…and glory in the one to come.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Apostles Prophesied a Spiritual Second Coming of Christ

The apostles did not prophesy a physical Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as many Christians today maintain.  Rather, they prophesied a spiritual Second Coming.  See, for example, this passage from Paul:

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2 Thessalonians 2:2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first…

If Paul thought and taught that the Second Coming was physical, his explanation to these believers would not make sense.  If the coming of Christ was to have been a physical cataclysm interrupting the space-time continuum, then someone saying that the Lord had come would have been refuting.  That is, a physical cataclysm interrupting the space-time continuum removes all need for anyone to tell anyone else, “Hey, the day of the Lord has come.”

For a more extended explanation of the difference between a spiritual and physical Second Coming, see Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?, which is a biblical case for the Second Coming of Christ having occurred just when Jesus and His apostles said it would – in the late 1st Century A.D.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Apostles Were Preparing a People for the Lord

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

Paul is speaking here of a “gathering to the Lord.”  During the time of the apostles, the people – Jews and God-fearing Gentiles – were gathered to each other and calling upon the Lord.  The coming of the Lord would be a coming to human hearts, and thus the gathering henceforth would be to Him and not to each other.

The Lord has come.  Let us therefore gather to Him.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Acts 23:1-5 – The Limitations of Conscience

Assuming you read yesterday’s post, you know how walking according to the spirit leads to a very different view than does walking according to the flesh.  Yesterday’s post also reveals the limitations of human conscience.

Paul’s conscience was clear.  It told him that he was in the right.  His accusers’ consciences, by contrast, told them that Paul was in the wrong.  If conscience was always a dependable guide, everyone’s conscience would have been saying the same thing.

For this reason the book of Proverbs says:

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

This does not mean that we should ignore conscience.  It does mean that we should live in the fear of God that our consciences may continually be calibrated to His.  Here are some posts on calibrating our consciences.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Acts 23:1-5 – The Flesh v. the Spirit

Acts 23:1-5 illustrates the difference between walking in the spirit and walking in the flesh.

In verse Acts 23:5, Paul defends himself by saying that he wasn’t aware that had reviled Israel’s high priest.  That is because, by this time, Paul recognized the resurrected Christ as the high priest of God’s people (Hebrews 5:1-14, especially Hebrews 5:10).  Paul was “walking according to the spirit,” just as he had instructed the believers in Rome (Romans 8:3-4).  He was setting his mind on things above, as he had instructed the believers in Colossae (Colossians 3:2).  For Paul, Jesus Christ – not the man in fancy clothes standing before him – was the high priest of Israel.

Notice the stark contrast of the two different mindsets.

THE MIND SET ON THE FLESH:  Paul’s accusers had their minds set on the flesh.  They were Israel according to the flesh.  They had a high priest according to the flesh, and in their minds Paul had insulted him.  Since Moses had said it was wrong for a citizen to speak evil of such a leader, they condemned Paul.

THE MIND SET ON THE SPIRIT:  Paul’s mind was set on the spirit, things above.  For him, Jesus was the “ruler of the people” to whom Moses’ admonition would apply.  Therefore, all of Paul’s accusers were violating Moses’ admonition by speaking evil of Jesus and those who served Him.

Thus, whether one walks according to the flesh or the spirit can cause one to have a dramatically different view of a situation.

For a chart of Bible verses that lay collectively describe and delineate these two viewpoints see Flesh Versus Spirit.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Isaiah 11:12 – Jesus Is the Standard for the Nations

Isaiah 11:12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.

Jesus was “lifted up”as a “standard for the nations.”  In John 12:32, He Himself said He would be.

Throughout the book of Acts and the epistles that follow we see the evidence that “the dispersed of Judah were gathered from the four corners of the earth.”  At first, it was just Jews according to the flesh who believed.  Then Jews according to the spirit (Romans 2:28, 29) were added to them.  (The book of Romans elaborates on this process).

Jesus is thus the standard, and the fulfillment of this promise which God made through Isaiah.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Isaiah 11:10 – Jesus Is the Root of Jesse and the Signal for the Peoples

Isaiah 11:10 Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

We live in the day about which Isaiah was prophesying!  The root of Jesse is, of course, Jesus Christ our Lord – raised from the dead, never to die again.

The nations resort to Him because only in His name can salvation be found (Acts 4:12).

He “stands forever” by virtue of His resurrection.  He is thus a “signal” – or sign – “for the peoples.”  All of us may turn to Him. His arms are open wide (John 6:37).

His resting place – heaven itself – is indeed glorious!  And there we shall join Him when we leave this earth.  In the meantime, His glorious resting place is in the hearts of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6; Colossians 1:27).  Let us be among them!

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. 

Amos 7:7-8 – Jesus Is the Plumb Line

Amos 7:7 Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand.
Amos 7:8 The LORD said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“Behold I am about to put a plumb line
In the midst of My people Israel.
I will spare them no longer.

Jesus Christ is the plumb line.  He is the One by whom we are all measured.  Therefore, let us humble ourselves and repent.  Let us seek His forgiveness and His grace that we might live before Him.

(See also Christ’s Life Replaces the Law – That Life Is the Scepter, Rod, Staff, and Measuring Rod.)

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. 

Psalm 119:97 – The Lord Jesus Is Our Law

Psalm 119:97 O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

Jesus has become “the law” to us.  He is our great example.  Therefore, we meditate upon Him all the day that we might imitate Him.

Thus we might say:

O how I love You, Lord Jesus!!
You are my meditation all the day.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Proverbs 25:2 – Christ Was Hidden in the Old Testament and Revealed in the New Testament

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

God hid the glory of Christ in what we call the Old Testament.  Jesus of Nazareth sought it out and taught it to others.  As a result, we have the New Testament.

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. 

The Lord’s Will for You Is Strength of Heart

God does not want you to be weak in heart.  Rather, His will is that you be strong in heart.  Consider and meditate upon the following verses:

1 Corinthians 16:13

Ephesians 6:10

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

2 Timothy 2:1

Hebrews 12:12; 13:9

James 5:8

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. 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 and the Power of Grace

 

2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,
2 Thessalonians 2:17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

Note the power of grace.  It is able to give us eternal – not merely temporal – comfort.  And it is able to give us good hope for the future.  Therefore, our hearts can be both comforted and strengthened in all our activities.

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. 

Luke 2:38 – Recognizing Jesus Even with Limited Information

Luke 2:38 At that very moment [Anna] came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Would that we were like Anna – coming even to the most nascent understanding of Jesus Christ, giving thanks to Him, and speaking of Him to all those wondering how this sick world is ever going to be redeemed.

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. 

The Scriptures Are Our Inheritance from Ages Past

The Scriptures of the prophets and apostles of ancient Israel are our inheritance.  Through those writings, we receive the grace of God – by which we understand that Jesus Christ is Lord…and that He gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him.

Therefore, the Scriptures aren’t so much our inheritance as they are that which informs us of our inheritance.

Our devotion, therefore, is not so much to the Scriptures as it is to the Lord about whom they testify.

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. 

Jesus Came in the Glory of His Father

In Matthew 16:27, Jesus promised that He would “come in the glory of His Father.”  This, of course, is exactly what He did.

Why did so many people miss it?  After all, that sounds like a lot of glory – how then could folks miss it?  For the same reason that they missed the glory when the Father had it.

Stated another way, why do people expect Jesus to come in earthly glory when He specifically said He was coming in the glory of His Father?  The Father’s glory, of course, transcends the physical creation.  By that glory, the physical creation is sustained.  Therefore, the glory in which Jesus came was no different from the glory that surrounded the Father through all the ages before Jesus came.  It is a spiritual glory, seen with spiritual eyes.

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. 

“The Glory of His Inheritance in the Saints”

Ephesians 1:18 mentions “the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”  The Messiah inherited the saints from the Father.  They were a pledge (or down payment or early installment, if you prefer) of the inheritance that the Father was giving the Son.  (Regarding this inheritance, see yesterday’s post.)

“Saints” means “holy ones” – those set apart for God.  Prior to the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, God had known those Israelites whose hearts were truly His.  However, only with the ministry of the Nazarene were those holy ones revealed to others.  That is, people like John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, and others had been true Jews at heart.  That’s why they were drawn to the carpenter from Galilee.  These holy ones were drawn to the light of Christ according to John 3:19-21.  That is, they were people who were unafraid of the light because they sought to live their lives for the approval of God and not the approval of men.

The Messiah was a polarizer of people.  A more precise way of seeing this, however, is to recognize that it is fundamentally God who polarizes people and the Messiah merely brought that polarization to light (Luke 2:34-35).  That is, the people who loved God loved the one sent by God.  Those who rejected God rejected the one sent by God.

Therefore, those Jews who loved Jesus loved God before they loved Jesus.  You can also say that they loved Jesus because they loved God.  For this reason, God’s saints were passed to Jesus.  Jesus inherited those saints…and it was a glorious thing that He did.  This is just one aspect of “the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

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. 

Everything That Was the Father’s Is Now the Son’s

Everything that was the Father’s is now the Son’s.

Remember that in Matthew 11:27 and Luke 10:22, Jesus said, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father.”  Remember also that in John 5:22, Jesus said that the Father “has given all judgment to the Son.”  And then there is, of course, Hebrews 1:2 which says that the Son had been “appointed heir of all things.” [emphasis added]

Thus through Christ – the Son of God – was the following prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled:

 Isaiah 22:24 “So they will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house…

Therefore, all that was due the Father – that is, worship, reverence, awe, fear, respect, honor, obedience, devotion, trust, praise, glory, faithfulness, and more – is now owed to the Son.

The Trinity concept misses the point.  It misrepresents God and obscures the inheritance that passed from father to son.  The Son inherited all from the Father.  Therefore, let us regard the Son as the Father.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Honor the Son Even as Our Ancestors Honored the Father

John 5:22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,
John 5:23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

These words of Jesus indicate that as He was to receive all judgment from the Father, so that the faithful would come to honor the Son as they honored the Father.  Therefore, as Abraham and Isaac and Jacob honored the Father – with faith, obedience, and worship – so we should honor the Son – with faith, obedience, and worship.

Note that Jesus does not say we should honor a trinity as we honored the Father.  Rather, He says we should honor the Son as we honored the Father.  Thus trinitarianism is a departure from Scripture and it is a distraction from Christ.  It is anti-Christ in effect, and a departure from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ that the apostles counseled (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Whatever honor was given the Father is now due to Christ.  Let us therefore be fully devoted to Christ as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were fully devoted to 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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Irrelevance of Orthodoxy v. the Relevance of Truth

Google defines “orthodoxy” as “authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.”  Thus “Christian orthodoxy” is authorized (as in the case of denominations) or generally accepted (as in the case of non-denominational churches) theory, doctrine, or practice.  By definition, what is “authorized” or “generally accepted” can, and does, change over time.

By contrast, truth never changes.  Truth that was unknown or obscure in the past can be revealed or made clearer in the present, but the truth did not change.  It always was the truth or else it can’t be truth.

Many putative believers in Christ cling to orthodoxy instead of truth.  Orthodoxy is determined by the opinions of men while truth is determined by God.  Orthodoxy is shifting sand while truth is a rock.  Let us build our lives on truth, for it is the only lasting foundation.

Orthodoxy is irrelevant.  By contrast, nothing is more relevant than truth.

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. 

Strengthen Me According to…Jesus

Psalm 119:28 …Strengthen me according to Your word.

Jesus is the Word (John 1:1 and elsewhere), and it is He who is our strength.  That is, the thought of Jesus strengthens us to do right.  As Paul wrote:

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

That is, the spirit of Jesus strengthens us.  Keep thinking of Him.  The Bible was given in order to help us keep thinking of Him.

Also, see more on Psalm 119:28.

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Psalm 145:21 – Jesus Is the One Whom All Mouths Will Praise

Psalm 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

We who know Jesus the Lord speak the praises of Jesus the Lord.  Those who are humble hear that praise and rejoice (Psalm 34:2).  Those who are wicked gnash their teeth (Psalm 37:12).  The wicked, however, do not last forever (Psalm 37:28).  Therefore, all flesh will praise Him for there is no end to the extension of His government (Isaiah 9:7; Matthew 13:33).  “Every knee will bow” and “every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11).

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. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Psalm 145:20 – The Lord Keeps All Who Love Him

Psalm 145:20 The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.

Read the prayer of Jesus in John 17 (John 17:1-26), especially verse 12 (John 17:12).  Therein, Jesus says that He “kept” all those who loved Him.  He mentions also the one who did not love Him, and who was therefore not kept.  (Though everyone goes to heaven, not everyone gets there standing.)

God came to earth living as Jesus of Nazareth that we might understand what He is like (1 John 5:20).  As He behaved on earth, so He behaves from heaven.  If we pay attention to what kind of man He was, we will understand what kind of God He is.

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. 

Psalm 145:19 – The Lord Jesus Will Hear Your Cry and Save You…as You Walk in Obedience to Him

Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Read Matthew 14:22-33 and see how Jesus of Nazareth “fulfilled the desire” of Peter (“Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water”).  See also how Jesus “heard” Peter’s “cry and saved him” (verses 30-31).

As He did for Peter, so He will do for you.  Listen for His commands, and obey them (Luke 6:46).  And when you obey them, don’t think highly of yourself (Luke 17:10); rather, think highly of Him who came to bless you by turning from your evil ways (Acts 3:26).

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. 

Psalm 145:18 – As the Lord Was on Earth, So He Also Is in Heaven

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

Was not Jesus of Nazareth “near to all who called upon Him?”  Did anyone who “called upon Him in truth” fail to receive an answer?

As He was on earth, so He is in heaven.  As He helped those who called upon Him on earth, so He helps those who call upon Him in heaven.

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. 

Psalm 145:17 – The Lord Jesus Is Righteous in All His Ways and Kind in All His Deeds

Psalm 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

Do you recognize Jesus of Nazareth in this verse?  Does it not describe the way that He walked the earth in the 1st Century?

His miracles were all acts of kindness.  Everything He did was right; none of it was wrong.

As He was on earth, so He is in heaven.  As He was as a man, so He is as 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.