Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Such a simple sentence but with so much meaning bound up in it.

“In the beginning…” – this is at the start of it all. The beginning of the created universe and with it comes the concept of time.

“God created…” – this speaks volumes about God. He didn’t just build something as you or I did, but created something out of nothing, ex nihilo. This is true creation, being able to make something that had never been. To illustrate this, I think back to an example a friend used on me once. In it he had me try to create an all new color. The trouble was that no matter how hard I tried, all I could think about were colors made from other colors. I simply could not invent something that wasn’t made from something else. This is the nature of human creation. We “create” out of something but God creates out of nothing.

“God created the heavens and the earth.” – this is profound – especially in light of all that we know today of the universe we are in. The heavens here include every heaven you could imagine, especially those of the stars and planets in the night sky. These are seemingly an endless array of stars, space dust, planets, moons, asteroids, nebula, etc.

There is also a contrast here as God also created Earth. Earth is just another planet among the heavens but it is specifically mentioned here as a specified work of God. The heavens reference is effectively general but also immense and then we have Earth which is singular and just one planet out of many. Earth is here because God put it here by his sovereign choice and in that choice, we see a being with deliberate action and the ability to carry out that which He sets to do. There are no hindrances. He does it and it is as he chooses. We see no whim here.

The contrast here between the heavens and Earth also serves to emphasize that Earth is important. Out of all the billions of stars and planets out there, the earth is specifically brought up. Not Mars, not Venus, nor any other planet we’ve come to know exists. Just this rock we call Earth.

Tis the Season…

It is the season of much frivolity and busyness with all the celebrations and such on top of our typical work to do.

Please stop to remember the reason for this season, to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the greatest gift we could ever receive. 

More important than any new toy.

More important than any food item.

More important than anything in this world.

The greatest gift was given to us by God in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Emotions run high at this time year and they run the full spectrum of human emotion. Please remember those who will be alone at this time of year in your prayers and actions. Please remember to be cordial to everyone you meet. Even the smallest gestures of kindness can lift someone up.

And most of all, Merry Christmas to you!


In This Week of Thankfulness…

Thanksgiving has come once again. With it comes a time to remember the many blessings we should be thankful to God for. 

In light of this season of thankfulness, here’s a message that was given by my own pastor on the subject.

http://www.faithbaptistorlando.com/resources/sermon/2018-11-18/a-psalm-for-thanksgiving

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to all who participate and even if you don’t, stop and give thanks to God for all that he gives you.

3rd Declension Greek Case Ending Practice (3 – 3)

Below is a simple 3-3 chart that appears blank for practicing the 3rd declension.

Mentally fill in the blank spaces and check your answers by looking at the chart below this one.

3

(M/F)

3

(N)

NS
GS
DS
AS
NP
GP
DP
AP

If you don’t recall the abbreviations used in the left column, they are as follows:

NS = nominative singular, GS = genitive singular, DS = dative singular, AS = assusative singular

NP = nominative plural, GS = genitive pl.,… & so on.

Check against the chart below to see how you did.

3

(M/F)

3

(N)

NS ς
GS ος ος
DS ι ι
AS α/ν
NP ες α
GP ων ων
DP σι(ν) σι(ν)
AP ας α

 

 

Recommended Videos on the Reformation

The following are videos I personally found useful and informative on the Protestant Reformation. Find these below for your own use and enjoyment.

This first one is about 15 minutes long and gives a good overview.

Here’s a more lengthy documentary involving Luther and the Protestant Reformation:

I don’t agree with absolutely everything in this documentary (like calling Catholicism Christian) but much of it is right on.


I'm part of Post A Week 2016

Systematic Theology

Dictionary.com

Systematic

adjective
  1. having, showing, or involving a system, method, or plan: a systematic course of reading; systematic efforts.
  2. given to or using a system or method; methodical: a systematic person.
  3. arranged in or comprising an ordered system: systematic theology.
  4. concerned with classification: systematic botany.
  5. pertaining to, based on, or in accordance with a system of classification: the systematic names of plants.

Theology

See the following: Theology Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


Etymonline.com

1670s, “pertaining to a system,” from French systématique or directly from Late Latin systematicus, from Greek systematikos “combined in a whole,” from systema (genitive systematos); see system. From 1789 as “methodical,” often in a bad sense, “ruthlessly methodical.” Related: Systematical (1660s); systematically.


Discussion/Explanation

From Google’s dictionary:

“noun: systematic theology – a form of theology in which the aim is to arrange religious truths in a self-consistent whole.”

This fairly well gets at the gist of this area of study. The point is not to represent the theology of the Bible as a redemptive whole (which is more the realm of Biblical Theology) but to connect things together from the various books of the Bible.

This area of study is much more preoccupied with organizing the information of the Bible into various categories. It is through such efforts that you get subareas like angelology, demonology, pneumatology (study of the Holy Spirit), eschatology (study of the end times, and so on. It addresses individual topics one by one.

It is considered systematic in that it links the various pieces of information found throughout the Scriptures on the particular topic together.

Systematic theology is also one of the main four branches of theology which include exegetical theology, practical theology, and historical theology.


I'm part of Post A Week 2016

Practical Theology

Dictionary.com

Practical

adjective

  1. of or relating to practice or action:
    practical mathematics.
  2. consisting of, involving, or resulting from practice or action:
    a practical application of a rule.
  3. of, relating to, or concerned with ordinary activities, business, or work:
    a habitual dreamer, who can’t be bothered with practical affairs.
  4. adapted or designed for actual use; useful:
    practical instructions.
  5. engaged or experienced in actual practice or work:
    a practical politician credited with much legislation.
  6. inclined toward or fitted for actual work or useful activities:
    looking for a practical person to fill this position.
  7. mindful of the results, usefulness, advantages or disadvantages, etc., of action or procedure.
  8. matter-of-fact; prosaic.
  9. being such in practice or effect; virtual:
    Her promotion to manager is a practical certainty.
  10. Theater. practicable(def 3).

Theology


Etymonline.org

Practical

early 15c., practicale “of or pertaining to matters of practice; applied,” with -al (1) + earlier practic(adj.) “dealing with practical matters, applied, not merely theoretical” (early 15c.), or practic (n.) “method, practice, use” (late 14c.). In some cases directly from Old French practique (adj.) “fit for action,” earlier pratique (13c.) and Medieval Latin practicalis, from Late Latin practicus “practical, active,” from Greek praktikos “fit for action, fit for business; business-like, practical; active, effective, vigorous,” from praktos “done; to be done,” verbal adjective of prassein, prattein “to do, act, effect, accomplish.”

Practical joke “trick played on someone for the sake of a laugh at his expense” is from 1771 (earlier handicraft joke, 1741).

Theology

mid-14c., “the science of religion, study of God and his relationship to humanity,” from Old French theologie “philosophical study of Christian doctrine; Scripture” (14c.), from Latin theologia, from Greek theologia “an account of the gods,” from theologos “one discoursing on the gods,” from theos “god” (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts) + -logos “treating of” (see -logy). Meaning “a particular system of theology” is from 1660s.


Discussion/Explanation

Here we have a two-word term once more which requires looking at each word individually. We have looked at the term theology before such that the focus now will be on what practical means in this context.

In practical theology, we see much of the use we see in the first several definitions given from Dictionary.com. To be more specific, practical theology involves the study of the application of theological insights. It involves what we’ve learned from God’s Word, the Scriptures, lived out and practiced in our daily lives.

This area of study includes several sub-areas of study just as the other main branches of theology do. These include pastoral studies, homiletics, Christian education, ethics, church duties, and more.


I'm part of Post A Week 2016

Greek Case Ending Practice (2-1-2)

Below is a simple 2-1-2 chart that appears blank.

Mentally fill in the blank spaces and check your answers by highlighting that box or boxes to see the hidden answer.

2 1 2
NS ος α / η ον
GS ου ας / ης ου
DS ᾳ / ῃ
AS ον αν / ην ον
NP οι αι α
GP ων ων ων
DP οις αις οις
AP ους ας α

If you don’t recall the abbreviations used in the left column, they are as follows:

NS = nominative singular, GS = genitive singular, DS = dative singular, AS = assusative singular

NP = nominative plural, GS = genitive pl.,… & so on.

 

If the above is difficult for you to read, check against the chart below.

2 1 2
NS ος α / η ον
GS ου ας / ης ου
DS ᾳ / ῃ
AS ον αν / ην ον
NP οι αι α
GP ων ων ων
DP οις αις οις
AP ους ας α

This practice includes the connected vowel.

 

A Woman’s Conduct – 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Part 2)

[Begin Part 2]

In the previous post, we dealt with verses 9 to 10 from 1 Timothy 2. In this post, we move onto verses 11-15.

If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, go back and do so now as it sets the stage for what comes next.

Once again, context is important whether it be cultural, historical, etc., we must consider such things in order to understand the message most clearly and concisely. Just as in our day there are stereotypes, stereotypes existed back at the time of writing 1 Timothy as well.

In those times, females were considered inferior academically and education systems were set up for men. This was true in both Greek culture of the time as well as Jewish. With these things in mind…

A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” (v. 11)

This statement was revolutionary. Paul writes that women are to learn as well. Women are, after all, created in the image of God just as much as men and should therefore reflect that Godliness, that Christ-likeness alongside men. You do this best by learning more about God and growing closer to Him through it such that you inevitably reflect Christ-likeness to those around you.

Earlier in 1 Timothy 2 and here Paul uses the term translated in most versions to “quietly” to describe the manner for receiving instruction. In the Greek, this term is referring to respect and not silence. This carries over into the term of “submissiveness” which refers “to arrange yourself in rank under” in the Greek. This sort of action is a willful decision and not something anyone is given the right to force upon the woman. Again, if it is her intent to follow God, she is to show this intent through her actions and to do so by her own will. This passage is speaking specifically to women in the church but elsewhere in the Scriptures we find that all followers are called to do likewise before the God-ordained leadership of the church.

In verse 12…

“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.”

This has got to be one of the most controversial parts of this passage.

I think the sermon linked below words this quite well so I will quote:

“This command by Paul is not a prohibition against women teaching in the church, nor is it a prohibition from general instruction in the Bible. It is, however, a prohibition againsts women authoritatively proclaiming God’s Word in the context of the public worship of the Church.”

What does this mean? Remember that the context here is in reference to corporate worship. The context indicates that this prohibition is meant for the confines of corporate worship. It is not saying the prohibition should go beyond corporate worship. If it did, there would be clear conflicts then with other areas of Scriptures in which women were recorded teaching men various things about the faith – all of which took place outside corporate worship.

Official instruction in corporate worship is set for people like Paul and the elders of the church. In fact, we see Pauls talk about the elders in the very next chapter.

One of the distinctions of verse 12 is in the apect surrounding “teach”. It isn’t speaking of all teaching activities. Specifically in the Greek, it is written in the present infinitive which translates “to be a teacher”. Taken in the context of the rest of the verse we see this means a woman is not to hold a position of an authoritative teacher over a man in corporate worship. I want to note that this isn’t saying anyting about a woman’s ability.

“For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” (vv. 13-15)

That “For” at the beginning of verse 13 is just like a “because” which tells you that what comes next refers to what came before – verse 12. Verse 13 begins the rationale Paul gives for verse 12. In it we, see Paul going back to creation.

I think it’ll be best to lay this out in points to make it easier to follow. Here we go:

  1. “For it was Adam who was first created,” is not a mark of superiority in Adam but it is a point about being the first born – a position that has always carried with it spiritual responsibility within the family. Paul is refering to the created order in humanity before the fall had even taken place. In this we see Adam was created to be the head and Eve his helpmate. It was adam, therefore, who was given spiritual headship and authority, not Eve.
  2. After this first bit, the focus shifts to mostly Eve; however, Paul is not blaming Eve here for the fall. We should pay particular attention to the word “deceived” here.
    1. Eve was clearly deceived here.
    2. Adam was not deceived meaning he transgressed fully aware of what he was doing!
    3. Adam’s failure makes it all the more clear why God went to him rather than Eve after what had happened in the garden. Not only was he supposed to be the spiritual head but he knowingly transgressed God’s rule.
    4. “Eve stepped out from under the protection and leadership of Adam and Adam violated his leadership role and followed Eve.” – from the linked sermon
  3. Nowhere is it said that women are some how lesser or inferior in intelligence or capability in this passage.
  4. Verse 15 isn’t trying to suggest that women are somehow saved through childbirth. Not only does the original text not support the idea, but it doesn’t make any sense in light of the rest of Scripture where we know that salvation comes through God’s grace and by faith in Jesus Christ.
    1. Women have a distince role that only they can play: motherhood.
    2. It is through women that children are brought into the world and this includes those who would be devout followers of God.
    3. It is also through women that the most righteous seed would come forth, Jesus Christ.
    4. As a result, “…women would have the privelege of leading the race out of sin to godliness.” – quoted from near the end of the linked sermon

As you can see, things aren’t always what they may first appear. You have to be diligent and look carefully as to what is and isn’t said. Context, of all kinds, must also be considered in order to accurately understand what is written in its original environment and how it would have been received by the people it was written too originally. Many of us have done this very same exercise in our English, history, and reading classes growing up. I recommend being consistent and to do the same in the Scriptures.


If you have any questions, please listen to the sermon first. What I have written here is in large part a summary of key points. There are more examples and further explanation in the message. Just click the “here” link below to be taken to the page to hear it for yourself.


This post is based upon notes & study connected to a spoken message that can be found here.