Commentary by The Bible Panorama In the fourth Servant song, which goes into chapter fifty-three, Isaiah tells us that people will be astonished at His appearance. He who is exalted and extolled will be marred more than any man as He bears the punishment of the sins of men. But by this means, many nations and individuals will be sprinkled clean from their sins by His grace and by His mercy. The prophecy of the sinless Servant having ‘His grave with the wicked—but with the rich in His death’ was fulfilled perfectly. Jesus will benefit from the blessings of His work, both from the hand of God the Father and from the hearts of grateful sinners. Because He is the sole sin-bearer, and having risen and ascended He makes supplication for sinners, many will be saved.
Commentary by The Bible Panorama God gives John a sense of the wonder of his Saviour before he starts his special assignment from God. This is a lesson for us all. V 19: DIVINE DIRECTIONS Christ’s directions to John, about what he must write, form a good outline of the Book of Revelation. They concern things which John has seen (the awesome vision of the Lord Jesus Christ), things which currently are (the next two chapters dealing with the state of the seven churches in Asia Minor), and things which will take place after this (the rest of the book).TORY ILLUMINATION Jesus reveals to John that the seven stars in the vision are the angels (or ‘messengers’) of the seven churches and that the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.
Commentary by The Bible Panorama Christian confidence in the resurrection of Christ is based on ample, reliable, first-hand, corroborated evidence from credible witnesses of good character. Paul himself became such a witness, fulfilling one of the main qualifications to be an apostle. Although an apostle, he sees his own insignificance and sinfulness, but rejoices in God’s grace working in him and through him.
Commentary by The Bible Panorama Genesis and the Bible begin with God who created everything. God’s Holy Spirit is there in the beginning, bringing order from chaos and light from darkness. The order of God’s six-day creation is as follows: Day one—light; Day two—sky; Day three—land, including vegetation, and sea; Day four—sun, moon and stars; Day five—sea-life and birds; Day six—animals and finally man in His image as a special creation to rule over all living creatures and to benefit from God’s provision in His creation, which is ‘very good’.
Commentary by The Bible Panorama Because Christ lives within the believer, he is possessed by Christ and possesses the ‘Spirit of Christ’, also identified as the ‘Spirit of God’. No person can rightly claim to belong to Christ unless He has the Spirit of Christ. The benefits springing from this relationship are spiritual righteousness through Christ, and sharing His resurrection life. The wonderful and indivisible union in the Trinity is seen here as the Holy Spirit is interchangeably described as the ‘Spirit of God’, the ‘Spirit of Christ’, the ‘Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead’, and ‘His Spirit who dwells in you’.
Commentary by The Bible Panorama Jesus fasts in the wilderness, having been led there by the Spirit. Despite Satan’s best efforts to urge Jesus to indulge His physical appetite, to work an unnecessary miracle, and to claim His kingdom too soon, Jesus resists these temptations and is ministered to by angels. He uses the Bible to resist Satan’s temptations in this combat.
Simplicity begins in inward focus and unity. It means to live out of what Thomas Kelly calls “The Divine Center.” Kierkegaard captured the nucleus of Christian simplicity well in the profound title of his book, Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing. Experiencing the inward reality liberates us outwardly. Speech becomes truthful and honest. The lust for status and position is gone because we no longer need status and position. We cease from showy extravagance not on the grounds of being unable to afford it, but on the grounds of principle. Our goods become available to others. We join the experience that Richard E. Byrd, after months alone in the barren Arctic, recorded in his journal, “I am learning . . . that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.” 1 Contemporary culture lacks both the inward reality and the outward life-style of simplicity. We must live in the modern world, and we are affected by its fractured and fragmented state. We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments. One moment we make decisions on the basis of sound reason and the next moment out of fear of what others will think of us. We have no unity or focus around which our lives are oriented. Because we lack a divine Center our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. “We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.” 2 Where planned obsolescence leaves off, psychological obsolescence takes over. We are made to feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they are worn out. The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality. It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick. Until we see how unbalanced our culture has become at this point, we will not be able to deal with the mammon spirit within ourselves nor will we desire Christian simplicity. This psychosis permeates even our mythology. The modern hero is the poor boy who purposefully becomes rich rather than the rich boy who voluntarily becomes poor. (We still find it hard to imagine that a girl could do either!) Covetousness we call ambition. Hoarding we call prudence. Greed we call industry. Further, it is important to understand that the modern counterculture is hardly an improvement. It is a superficial change in life-style without dealing seriously with the root problems of a consumer society. Because the counterculture has always lacked a positive center it has inevitably degenerated into trivia. Arthur Gish states, “Much of the counter culture is a mirror of the worst features of the old sick society. The revolution is not free dope, free sex, and abortions on demand. . . . The pseudo-libertarian eroticism, elements of sadomasochism, and sexist advertisements in much of the underground press is part of the perversion of the old order and an expression of death.” 3 Courageously, we need to articulate new, more human ways to live. We should take exception to the modern psychosis that defines people by how much they can produce or what they earn. We should experiment with bold new alternatives to the present death-giving system. The Spiritual Discipline of simplicity is not a lost dream, but a recurrent vision throughout history. It can be recaptured today. It must be.
But please get this because you can’t be joyful and worry that they don’t exist together at the same time. Worry steals your joy, robs you of hope and worry. It’s rooted in two fears. One is the unknown, and secondly, it’s what you want to control. But you can’t control. We are afraid, and we worry about the unknown.
“Bedtime is a bad time for kids. No child understands the logic of going to bed while there is energy left in the body or hours left in the day. My children are no exception. A few nights ago, after many objections tions and countless groans, the girls were finally in their gowns, in their beds, and on their pillows. I slipped into the room to give them a final kiss. Andrea, the five-year-old, was still awake, just barely, but awake. After I kissed her, she lifted her eyelids one final time and said, “I can’t wait until I wake up.” Oh, for the attitude of a five-year-old! That simple uncluttered passion for living that can’t wait for tomorrow. A philosophy of life that reads, “Play hard, laugh hard, and leave the worries to your father.” A bottomless well of optimism flooded by a perpetual spring of faith. Is it any wonder Jesus said we must have the heart of a child before we can enter the kingdom of heaven? I like the way J. B. Phillips renders Jesus’ call to childlikeness: “Jesus called a little child to his side and set him on his feet in the middle of them all. Believe me,’ he said, unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.””Note the phrase “change your whole outlook.” No small command. mand. Quit looking at life like an adult and see it through the eyes of a child.”
The Modern View is that marriage is a human arrangement, and an overly idealistic arrangement - difficult, perhaps impossible. Because humans invented it, we are free to change it as culture shifts, the argument goes. This view is fed by some hard data: Divorce rate is currently almost 50%, double the 1960 rate. 1960 3/4 of US adults were married. Today half are married. High School students were asked “Do you believe that being married is better for people than being single for most individuals?” Currently only1/3 say ‘yes’.
“We have not yet got as far as the God of any actual religion, still less the God of that particular religion called Christianity. We have only got as fas as Somebody or Something behind the Moral Law. We are not taking anything from the Bible or the Churches, we are trying to see what we can find out about this Somebody on our own steam. And I want to make it quite clear that what we find out on our own steam is something that gives us a shock. We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody. One is the universe He has made. If we used that as our only clue, then I think we should have to conclude that He was a great artists ,for the universe is a very beautiful place, but also that He quite merciless and no friend to man , for the universe is a very dangerous and terrifying place. The other it of evidence is that the Moral Law which He has put into our minds. And this is a better bit of evidence than the others, because it is inside information. You find out more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built.”
“But it’s also so interesting that he actually emerges victorious. You know, you wouldn’t necessarily think that that would be a possibility, especially given you know, God’s rather hotheaded nature in the Old Testament. You don’t mess with him too much, but Jacob does it successfully. But even more importantly is the idea that whatever Israel constitutes, which would be to say the land that Jacob founds is actually composed of those who wrestle with God. I think that’s an amazing idea because it also seems to me to shed some light on perhaps what was meant by belief in those days, you know, like I’ve often thought marriage as a wrestling match, Right? If you’re lucky, the person that you marry, someone you contend with, it’s not exactly I don’t think it’s exactly it’s not tranquil. Precisely. You know, you might have noticed that some of you and but the thing is, if you have something to contend against than that strengthens you, and and that’s actually better than having nothing to contend against. And so Jacob is the person who’s also strengthened by the necessity of this contending, and that that seems to be the proper relationship with God or the Angel.”
You were set apart for God. Your identity now is not your sexual orientation or even even the temptation to your sexual orientation. Your identity is now in Jesus Christ and you’ve been justified. You have been. You have been declared not guilty. You can change if you want to. They’re analyzed the issue for all the sins here. If I’m an adulterer, I can change.