“Man’s Generosity or God’s Good Work?” ( Philippians 1: 5-7, KNOX & ESV ) by Carley Evans


A challenging aspect of reading the Word of God is understanding what was meant when it was spoken or written. An example of translation differences follows. What do you think?

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Paul thanks the church at Philippi for its generosity toward the work of Christ’s gospel. The generosity of this church is inspired by God the Holy Spirit who will continue to “bring it to perfection.” He will nudge the church to aid the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ.

so full a part have you taken in the work of Christ’s gospel, from the day when it first reached you till now. Nor am I less confident, that he who has inspired this generosity in you will bring it to perfection, ready for the day when Jesus Christ comes. It is only fitting that I should entertain such hopes for you; you are close to my heart, and I know that you all share my happiness in being a prisoner, and being able to defend and assert the truth of the gospel.

Or Paul recognizes that God has begun a work in the persons who move about in the church at Philippi because of their willingness to partner with him in spreading the good news. He knows that God “who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” He feels this way about them because they “are all partakers with me of grace.” They, like him, defend and confirm the gospel.

because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. (ESV)

“Beyond All Our Hopes And Dreams” ( Ephesians 3:20-21 KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Essentially Paul tells the church at Ephesus that God is powerful beyond their imaginations but also beyond their hopes and dreams. God is powerful enough, says Paul, “to carry out His purpose.” Paul has told the Ephesians that God’s purpose is to bring all things together under one head, that is, Jesus Christ. Now, he encourages them to believe in God’s power to carry out that very purpose.

It was his loving design, centred in Christ, 10 to give history its fulfilment by resuming everything in him, all that is in heaven, all that is on earth, summed up in him. (Ephesians 1: 9-10)

He whose power is at work in us is powerful enough, and more than powerful enough, to carry out his purpose beyond all our hopes and dreams; may he be glorified in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, to the last generation of eternity. Amen.

“Over the Wall” ( Psalm 18: 25-29, WYC ) by Carley Evans


IMG_1140With the holy, with the innocent, with the chosen, with the meek; God delivers from temptation. In God, these people “shall go over the wall.” Their lanterns shall brighten and God shall make them safe. He shall deliver them from temptation, and light up their darknesses. So says David, the psalmist:

25 With the holy, thou shalt be holy; and with an innocent man, thou shalt be innocent. (With the holy, O Lord, thou shalt be holy; and with the innocent, thou shalt be innocent.)

26 And with a chosen man, thou shalt be chosen; and with a wayward man, thou shalt be wayward. (And with the chosen, thou shalt be chosen; but to the wicked, thou shalt be vengeful, or punishing.)

27 For thou shalt make safe a meek people; and thou shalt make meek the eyes of proud men. (And thou shalt save, or help, the poor; but thou shalt humble those who be high in their own eyes/but thou shalt look with contempt upon the proud.)

28 For thou, Lord, lightenest my lantern; my God, lighten thou my darknesses. (For thou, Lord, brightenest my lantern; my God, thou lightest up my darknesses.)

29 For by thee I shall be delivered from temptation; and in my God I shall go over the wall. (For I shall be rescued, or saved, from temptation by thee; and by my God/and with God’s help, I shall go over the wall.)

“The Simple Message of the Good News” ( Galatians 2: 16-21, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Mankind is not justified before God by working hard to please Him. Paul simply says that if that were so, then Christ died in vain. Rather mankind is saved by the Work of God in His Son, Jesus Christ and by God’s Grace and Mercy.

Paul also says that if we fall into sin, that does not then make Christ the “minister of sin!” He also claims that if we strive to obey the Law, we make ourselves trespassers. Rather we “are fixed to the Cross” so as “to live to God with Christ.” The Law is nailed there on the tree, and all its power destroyed.

Paul warns “cast not away the Grace of God.”

“16 know that a man [soothly knowing for a man] is not justified of the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; and we believe in Jesus Christ, that we be justified of the faith of Christ [that we be justified by the faith of Christ], and not of the works of the law. Wherefore of the works of the law each flesh shall not be justified.

17 And if we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves be found sinful men, whether Christ be minister of sin? God forbid. [That if we seeking to be justified in Christ, and we ourselves be found sinners, whether Christ is minister of sin? Far be it.]

18 And if I build again things that I have destroyed [Soothly if I build again those things that I destroyed], I make myself a trespasser.

19 For by the law I am dead to the law, [For by the law I am dead to the law, that I live to God;]

20 and I am fixed to the cross, that I live to God with Christ. And now live not I, but Christ liveth in me. But that I live now in flesh, I live in the faith of God’s Son, that loved me, and gave himself for me. [with Christ I am fixed to the cross. Forsooth I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me. Forsooth that I live now in flesh, I live in the faith of God’s Son, which loved me, and betook himself for me.]

21 I cast not away the grace of God; for if rightwiseness be through law [for if rightwiseness is by the law], then Christ died without cause.”

“His Truth” ( Psalm 95: 10-13, DRA ) by Carley Evans


10 Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, let the sea be moved, and the fulness thereof:

12 the fields and all things that are in them shall be joyful. Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice

13 before the face of the Lord, because he cometh: because he cometh to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with justice, and the people with his truth.

An appropriate view of God is to recognize Him as Parent. Jesus is smart to introduce God, His Father as our Father when He prays, “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.” David calls God “King” and “Judge.” And yes, God is our King and our Judge. But above these roles, He is our Parent. He corrects us like the perfect parent corrects – with justice and love.

And so, the heavens rejoice; and the earth is glad. Everything on the earth is joyful “because He comes; because He comes to judge the earth…with justice, and the people with HIS TRUTH.”

 

A Foolish Partridge in the Wrong Country


Over at Obsecrations….

obsecrations

Unknown wind farm

The foolish partridge sits on eggs in a nest which does not belong to her – she labours to bring forth fruit that is not her own and so she is a fool.

Yesterday, I listened to Donald Trump on NPR tell the Scots how to manage their energy. He also threatened that if they pursue the clean energy source, they will “go bankrupt.”

Mr. Trump has decided to use his nearly unlimited resources to sue indefinitely the Scottish government to keep wind technology from going up near his new golf course. If he prevails, Mr. Trump will singlehandedly manage to upset an entire country’s pursuit of cleaner energy. Additionally he will tie up taxpayer monies for years while Scots attempt to push this foolish partridge out of its nest.

The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?

10 I am the Lord who…

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