Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The One Year Bible

I hope all is going well. I have settled into a nice routine in my Bible reading. I have been getting up a bit early every morning and I read before I have my breakfast. It is working well for me. I hope you have found a time that works for you. I have enjoyed this past weeks readings with some great verses and plenty for my brain to chew on for a while. I just want to highlight a few things this week.

Where We Have Been

The Old Testament

The story of Joseph wraps up with today’s reading. It has been a longer story than most and there is good reason for it. First of all this is the back-story for the most important event in Jewish history, The Exodus. The Exodus tells of God’s love and mercy for his chosen people and how he redeemed them from slavery in Egypt. As a New Testament Christian this story foreshadows the story of how Jesus redeemed us from the slavery of sin. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. As we read the Old Testament we see many similarities between it and some stories in the New Testament. I believe that this is on purpose. Theologians call this Biblical Typology. I found this description of typology in a resource I have entitled “Fellowship With God” written by Rev. Henry F. Fingerlin.

“The Bible is an amazing book. But something not too commonly know is that the Bible contains a unique kind of prophecy that no other book contains or could contain, namely, Typology. In Romans 5:14b St. Paul says that “Adam...was a type of the one who was to come.” (That is Adam was a type of Christ). In I Peter 3:21 Peter tells us that Baptism “corresponds” to Noah’s ark in which 8 persons were saved through water. The word translated “corresponds” in the Revised Standard Version is antitype in Greek. There are many such “types” and “antitypes” in the Bible. For example the Passover Lamb and the scape-goat, who bore the sins of the people, are types of Jesus; and the work of the High Priest in making sacrifice for the sins of the people is a type of his saving work. Types, copies, shadows, miniatures, scale model, partial, earthly, temporal, limited, imperfect—these are the people, observances and events of the Old Testament. Fulfillment, spiritual, eternal, perfect, unlimited—these are the realities, the completion, the fulfillment brought into being through Jesus and the New Covenant. This is the way Jesus and the Apostles understood the Old Testament and its fulfillment in the New. Only God who knows the future and also brings it to pass, could so thoroughly detail through prophecy and types all that would transpire through John the Baptist, Jesus, and the beginning of the New Covenant.”

There is much to say about Biblical typology but one thing to remember is that Old Testament Biblical types are always less than the New Testament antitype. As Paul writes in Colossians 2:17, “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

How does this relate to the story of Joseph? Some theologians see Joseph as a “type” or Christ. Here are a few examples:

Joseph is the “beloved” son of his Father(Gen. 37:3)—Jesus is the Father’s “beloved” son (Matt. 3:17

Though innocent, Joseph is sold for silver (Gen. 37:28)—Jesus is betrayed and sold for silver (Matt. 26:15)

Joseph finds himself in prison with two other criminals (Gen. 40)—Jesus suffered death (a kind of prison) between two criminals (Luke 23:32-33)

Joseph foretells death to one prisoner and release and restoration of the other (Gen. 40:9-19—Jesus tells one of the thieves that he will be with him in paradise while the other dies in his sins (Luke 23:42)

Joseph is freed from prison by a decree of Pharaoh (Gen. 41:37-41)—Jesus is freed from the prison of death by the Fathers decree of Life, Resurrection, for His Son (Acts 2:24)

Joseph is exalted at Pharaoh’s right hand and given a name that is above all names (Gen. 41)—Jesus is exalted to his fathers right hand and given a name that is above every other name (Phil. 2:9-11, Acts 2:33-36)

There are others that we could talk about but these are the big ones. I will be highlighting some more typology as we go this year. Let me know what you think about typology. Remember you can't always say that something is a “type” of Christ, but if you see something that you may think is let me know and I will do some investigating for you.

The New Testament

We read a few more parables of Jesus as well as read about some miracles including the feeding of the 5,000 and just as amazing, the feeding of the 4,000. One of the most powerful passages we read came in Ch. 16. Peters confession of Christ is a powerful witness to the divinity of Jesus and his claim to be the Messiah. After hearing Jesus preach and witnessing his miracles he boldly professes “You are the Christ (Messiah) the Son of the living God. Either Peter was crazy or he was convinced that this simple man from Nazareth was the promised Messiah.

Where We are Going

The Old Testament

We will get into the story of the Exodus with a new character, Moses. Once again try to see how Moses can be a “type” of Christ.

The New Testament

A lot more teaching from Jesus for this coming week. The narrative story will begin to pick up in a few weeks.

Key Verses:

Matthew 13:45-46
Psalm 18:32-33
Matthew 14:27
Psalm 19:14
Psalm 20:7-8

Sorry for such a long post today. I hope it has been a blessing for you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The One Year Bible

Two weeks down and I hope things are proceeding well with your reading plan. Hopefully you have settled down into a routine. The key is daily discipline. Making daily Bible reading a habit will have a tremendous impact on your life in Christ. Let me give you a suggestion. Find a buddy to read with or better yet ask a friend who is not reading The One Year Bible to join you this year. It’s not too late to start. You can fill them in on the story so far and then you can keep each other accountable every day. One great website that I mentioned last week I want to highlight again. Check out The One Year Bible Online for a reading list and even the readings for the day. This is a great resource if you forgot your Bible at home or left it at work. You can keep up with the readings even if you can’t locate your Bible. I put a link to this site on this blog. On to the study...

Where We Have Been

Old Testament
The story of the Patriarchs continues. The first week sped through many generations as well as many years but this week we have been focusing on one family. Last weeks readings started with Jacob taking his fathers blessings with the encouragement of his mother. If this sounds a bit dysfunctional you are right. We will see plenty of dysfunctional behavior in the Old Testament. Remember the Old Testament is setting the stage for the coming of the Messiah, the one that was to save the people. Just wait until we get into the book of Judges and then we will see some real dysfunctional behavior. That PLR (people, land, relationship) promise that we talked about last week comes back (in whole or in part) four times. I hope you begin to see that this is an important promise. This becomes the foundation for all the other promises that God will make in the Old Testament, including the coming of the Messiah. We read about Jacob and his rather strange relationship with his father-in-law, and then his odd relationship between him and his bickering wives. Once again we see some facets of dysfunctional behavior, but we also see that God will be faithful and keep his promise. The reading for today gets into one of the longest stories in the Old Testament, the story of Joseph. His dreams will come into play a bit later so don’t forget them.

New Testament
Jesus still continues to teach, and heal and now he is starting to generate some interest. John’s disciples start to question him about things and we get a deeper glimpse into the ministry of Jesus. Chapter 10 has some interesting things to say about going out and speaking about Jesus, but remember that Jesus was speaking to 12 Jewish men in Israel almost 2000 years ago. It can be dangerous to make some one for one comparisons with these teachings and today. One very interesting section in our reading is found in chapter 12:13. Jesus uses some Old Testament stories to bring light to his earthly ministry. He gives us some clues about the end of his earthly ministry as he compares himself to Jonah. This is a fascinating passage for theologians as it sheds light not only on the work of Jesus but also the reason that the book of Jonah is in the Old Testament. Jesus also says that he is greater than Solomon. This was a big claim because no one was a wise as Solomon especially in the eyes of a Jewish person.

Where We Are Going

Old Testament
Pay attention to the many details of the story of Joseph as you read in the next couple of days. We will spend some time talking about this in the coming weeks. For now, try to get all the details straight in your mind. Try to see some parallels between Joseph’s life and the life of Jesus.

New Testament
We are about to get into some of the parables of Jesus. Remember that parables are often called an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Pay close attention to any parable that is explained and remember it can only mean what Jesus said it means. Another thing to remember is that almost all parables have one meaning. Be careful not to put your own meaning into them. I will spend some time next week talking about parables.

Key Verses

Most of the key verses this week come from the mouth of Christ. Add these verses to your list you started last week. If you don’t memorize them, try to memorize where they are so you can find them when you need to. You might want to even write them in the front of your Bible to help you remember.

Matthew 9:12-13
Matthew 9: 37-38
Proverbs 3:13-15
Matthew 10:29-31
Matthew 10:40
Matthew 11:28-30 (I love these verses)
Matthew 12:35

Let me know if you have any questions. May God continue to bless you!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The One Year Bible

We are 11 days into the New Year and I hope you have kept up with the reading so far. If you are a bit behind don’t worry. Just read two lessons a day until you catch up. Don’t try to read it all in one day. Also, remember that we have a lot of reading to do this year so don’t get bogged down with all the details. If something really strikes you spend some time and investigate it but don’t get too off track. Keep those questions coming in. I don’t know if I will be able to answer them all but I will do my best. I will also give you some websites to check out so you can find some answers on your own. Pastor Kritzer will be chiming in on the blog as he reads through with us. Feel free to comment on his posts as well.

Where we have been:

The Old Testament:
Genesis marks the beginning of the story of God’s chosen people. We have read about Adam and Eve and the fall into sin, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Sarah and now we are getting into Isaac and Jacob. One big thing to notice is the repetition of the promise that was given to Abraham. One of my seminary profs calls this the PLR promise. God promises to make them into a great people, to give them land, and to have a relationship with them. This PLR promise is repeated in various forms. Make a note of it in your Bible each time it comes up. We will soon start seeing a pattern develop in the Old Testament of rebellion and redemption. This theme continues and still continues today. The redemption is finally won with the death of the promised Messiah.

The New Testament:

We see at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel some very intentional actions. Calling out of Egypt, the Baptism of Jesus and the Temptation in the desert. I mentioned this in my last post that these three events would strike a chord with the Jews. They would see the similarity of the story of Jesus with that of the Exodus. Matthew then goes on and has Jesus restating the law. This was very important for the Jews. Jesus drives the point home that no one can live up to the law. He says that we are to be perfect!! Since no one can do this he also helps us to realize that we are in need of a Savior.

Psalms & Proverbs:

I said in the last post that I would give you some information about Psalms and Proverbs this week. We will highlight some key themes in later weeks.

Purpose of the book of Psalms: To provide poetry for the expression of praise, worship, and confession to God.

Authors: David wrote 73 psalms, Asaph wrote 12, the sons of Korah wrote nine, Solomon wrote two, Etan and Moses each wrote one, and 51 are anonymous.

Date written: Between the time of Moses (around 1440 BC) and the Babylonian Captivity (586 BC)

Setting: For the most part, the psalms were not intended to be narrations of historical events. However, they often parallel events in history such as David’s flight from Saul and his sin with Bathsheba.

Key Verse: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” (150:6)

Key person: David

Key place: God’s holy temple

Purpose of the book of Proverbs: To teach people how to attain wisdom and discipline and a prudent life, and how to do what is right and just and fair; to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction.

Author: Solomon wrote or at least compiled most of the book with Lemuel and Agur contributing later sections.

Date written: Early in Solomon’s reign as king.

Setting: This is a book of wise sayings, a textbook for teaching people how to live godly lives through the repetition of wise thoughts.

Key verse: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (1:7)

Special Features: The book uses varied literary forms: poetry, brief parables, pointed questions, and couplets. Other literary devices used in the book include, antithesis, comparison, and personification.

Where we are going:

The Old Testament:
We will soon get into the quite long story of Jacob and his 12 sons. The story will focus on Joseph and what happens to him. See if you can see any similarities between the story of Joseph and the story of Jesus. This also sets the stage for the most important story in Jewish history, The Exodus.

The New Testament:
Matthew continues to tell of Jesus and how he is the Messiah. All of these accounts give witness to who Jesus is. We will see how Jesus performs miracles, how he teaches using parables, and how he love us all. Look things you never noticed before in the life of Jesus. What would it have been like to realize that this man was the promised Messiah? How would you have felt?

Key Verses that should be memorized:

If you have a new version of The One Year Bible, most of these key verses are in bold print. Some that I have listed are not. Take some time and highlight these verses in your Bible or write them down on a piece of paper and start memorizing them. You may want to put them on the bathroom mirror and look at them before you go to bed and when you are getting ready in the morning.

Genesis 1:27
Genesis 3:15b (The first promise of a savior)
Matthew 3:1-2
Psalm 3:3
Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:43-45
Matthew 5:48
Matthew 6:9-13
Matthew 6:33
Matthew 8:11
Proverbs 3:5-6
Genesis 26:4-5

Some things to help you out:

Here are a few websites that I have run across that help me when I am studying the Scriptures: - You can search on words or phrases as well as finding texts here. - A great site to help you understand some confusing texts. - Very similar to -Forgot The One Year Bible at home or even left it at the office? This site will give you the readings for the day. A great help when you don’t have your Bible with you. - Want get some in-depth information for the readings of the day? This is the place. It gives you the readings, some artwork and some commentary specifically on the readings for the day. This is a great site. I almost didn’t want to tell you about it because I get some of my info here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Parish Theme- January

On the Road again...The Journey in Jesus: Road Work- Acts 9:1-15

There is an old joke that says there are only two seasons in Minnesota, winter and roadwork. Here in Southern California we have to deal with roadwork all year long. Just travel the 22 freeway to Orange and you will see quite a bit of roadwork happening right now. I am sure you know some roads in your neighborhood that are in need of some work. Take a right out of the parking lot here at Bethany and you will run into some potholes and uneven pavement. It seems like we run into roadwork at the worst possible times. You know what I am talking about. You are late for work because the alarm didn’t go off or the kids didn’t want to eat their oatmeal and here you are on the 405 and you see those all too familiar yellow flashing lights. The ones that tell you that your lane is closed and no one is about to let you over. You even were watching the news with the “traffic on the 7’s” and they said nothing about this one. You try to call the office and realize you left your phone at home. Your plans for the day are ruined. You missed the meeting and your boss wants to see you right away. In the blink of an eye all of your plans were changed.

Something similar happened to a guy named Saul. He was traveling on the road and he suddenly saw the light that told him things were about to change. Saul was a man whose mission in life was to persecute and destroy all those who were following this heretic and blasphemer Jesus of Nazareth. 1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. (Acts 9:1-2) Saul had some definite plans. He was on the road when suddenly he encounters some roadwork. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." (Acts 9:3-6) Saul’s plans changed in the blink of an eye, his own selfish plans went out the window and he was given a new set of plans. Jesus did some roadwork on his heart and Saul was given new life. He was made new by the light of Christ. Jesus placed His light inside of him and changed his name to Paul. Paul became God’s chosen instrument to bring the message of salvation to the Gentiles. He was to be a light, a beacon of hope to a dark world.

What kind of roadwork needs to take place in your life? Are there potholes of doubt and unbelief? Are there places of cracked faith? Are there detours of temptation? If so then God has a plan. He can and will repair all the brokenness, the discontent, the doubt and the unbelief. Jesus took all those to the cross with him when he repaired the way to father. Because of what Jesus has done for us we now can travel the highway to eternity, and there will be no traffic or accidents or detours. Just smooth sailing. It will truly be a freeway, a freeway of grace going all the way to heaven.

--Vicar Seth

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