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Great Bible Teachings, from Recent Bible Readings

More spiritual food for thought, from recent Bible reading in my 12-list modified Horner Bible Reading Plan:

Isaiah 56:6-7 contains a promise to foreigners (Gentiles) who join themselves to the Lord

Great verses to remember:

Hebrews 3:13 – But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 5:14 — But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Titus 1:5 — This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you- if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

This simple verse is a great one to counter the hyper-Calvinist error too prevalent in some churches. To those who say that “only God can save our children,” and “we can’t manipulate God or obligate him to save our children” with an attitude of passivity and fate, this verse shows the human responsibility within families, and the expectation that believers will indeed have believing children. Here I consider that the error comes from a weak understanding of God’s word, and a flawed understanding of God’s character. After all, such passivity from this hyper-Calvinist error suggests the idea that God is really mean-spirited, for, in spite of all our best efforts to teach and train our children, God is somehow stingy in His applicatin of divine grace and therefore He won’t save our children. Yet if this concept of God were so, then no men would qualify to be elders and therefore we would have no church leaders. Yet Paul in his instructions to Titus here assumes that such men exist and that their children are believers. Could it be instead that such hyper-Calvinists really haven’t done their best at teaching and training their children, and thus use this as an excuse for their own failures?

Isaiah 63:11 — The Holy Spirit active in the Old Testament era

Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit, who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name,

Ezekiel 16:62-63 — A New Covenant promise

I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.

These verses come at the end of a long chapter describing the terrible history of Israel’s idolatry and apostasy. The clear context and meaning is that the New Covenant will be made with the same people, this terribly unfaithful and idolatrous group of people. To say that Israel lost the blessing and only the church has it would make no sense in the context, since the church was never some unfaithful and idolatrous people of God to begin with. Some here would say that this New Covenant, as described in Ezekiel, applies to the remnant of Jewish believers, those of the Church Age who believe along with Gentiles. But the full chapter of Ezekiel 16 surely must mean something more, something greater than just that, especially since the Church Age has experienced relatively few Jewish believers.

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