The Biblearc Blog

Encouragements and Updates from Biblearc

Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Verdict Is In… (1 Thess 1:2-10, part 1)

When Paul arrived in Corinth, his first few weeks were stressful ones. His gospel message received meager welcome among the Jews of that city (Acts 18:1-6). Opposition was nothing new to Paul but his spirit was wearing thin. At the same time, he had been anxiously awaiting word from his co-workers whom he had sent to Macedonia in order to encourage the new believers there and report back on their spiritual welfare (1 Thess. 3:1-5). His concern for them was so intense that he even feared, “that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.” (1 Thess. 3:5)

What strengthened Paul’s resolve to persevere in the work of evangelism in Corinth? What transformed Paul’s anxiety over the Thessalonian believers into overflowing thanksgiving to God? The answer to both questions is the same: he was given assurance of God’s sovereignty in appointing a people unto himself.

Concerning the work in Corinth, Paul receives a vision from God, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent!” (Acts 18:9). The ultimate ground for this exhortation is given in the last proposition of v.10, “…for I have many in this city who are my people.”

Concerning the Thessalonians, Paul and his co-workers overflow with thanks to God (1 Thess. 1:2-3) because the verdict concerning the Thessalonians is in: they bear all the marks of genuine gospel fruit (v.3). They truly are God’s chosen and beloved children (v.4).

From beginning to end, the ministry of the gospel is a work of God; the evangelist is merely a tool in his sovereign hand.

From beginning to end, the ministry of the gospel is a work of God; the evangelist is merely a tool in his sovereign hand. God’s sovereignty in salvation is a source of encouragement both to persevere in evangelism and to rest assured that God will guard and nurture those whom he has called to himself.

Genuine Fruit of the Sincere Gospel

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Michael Lane

Half-Healing??

Learning Resources Take-Away for the week of July 27th, 2015:

Jesus is the eternal and sovereign Son of God. So why does it take Him two tries to heal a man of blindness in Mark 8?

I see people, but they look like trees, walking. Mark 8:24

 

What is the Learning Resources Take-Away?
Every Monday we will upload a new video with the main point take-away message from that week’s Learning Resources.

What are “Learning Resources?”
Learning Resources is an add-on to the Biblearc Subscription. This add-on provides practical helps for those seeking to learn the Bible study methods available on Biblearc. Subscribers will receive a fresh, ten-minute Arcing, Bracketing, Phrasing or Diagramming example video each week. In addition, the Learning Resources add-on gives you access to all the example videos archives, and personal feedback on one of your modules each month.

Think. Believe. Obey. (Hebrews 11:24-27)

I’m struck by observing the relationship between thinking, faith, and choosing to obey.

Trusting God involves viewing options in a variety of ways and then choosing the best option from an eternal perspective. Like James, the writer of Hebrews construes Moses as putting a certain spin on the pleasures of Egypt and the sufferings of identifying with the people of God. From a worldly perspective, one would obviously choose the immediate pleasure. But from the eternal perspective, trusting God that He has a glorious future planned for his children, the road of suffering is the obvious choice. Why? Because this road is the pathway to eternal joy. True faith must be grounded in God’s existence and in His promise to do good for those who trust Him (see 11:6).

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Tom Steller

Beware of the Leaven

Learning Resources Take-Away for the week of July 20th, 2015:

“Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15b-c

What is the leaven that Jesus warns us about?

 

 

What is the Learning Resources Take-Away?
Every Monday we will upload a new video with the main point take-away message from that week’s Learning Resources.

What are “Learning Resources?”
Learning Resources is an add-on to the Biblearc Subscription. This add-on provides practical helps for those seeking to learn the Bible study methods available on Biblearc. Subscribers will receive a fresh, ten-minute Arcing, Bracketing, Phrasing or Diagramming example video each week. In addition, the Learning Resources add-on gives you access to all the example videos archives, and personal feedback on one of your modules each month.

Weakness in Me, Strength in Christ. (2 Corinthians 12)

As a general rule, people hate weakness. I sure do. In elementary school P.E. I was jealous of the (many) guys who could do more pull-ups than I could. Being physically weaker than others has been a common experience for me, but not one that I particularly like. If physical weakness is frustrating, spiritual weakness is worse. Appearing weak spiritually is a great temptation for pride, envy, anger, and discontentment. When I don’t have it all together, when I don’t feel like I have the strength to keep going, when I am suffering in the midst of difficult circumstances, I find that I am often shaken to the core. I find myself doubting the Lord or at least my calling. I am, after all, a senior pastor. I should be the strongest spiritually, not the weakest, right?

God’s economy, however, is different from ours. Despite our desire for strength, it is weakness that is treasured in God’s Kingdom. This is seen most clearly in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. In 2 Corinthians 12 we learn about a weakness of the Apostle Paul. Though we are unaware of the exact nature of it, we see that Paul was afflicted with a ‘thorn in the flesh’. No doubt this thorn proved to be a great temptation or struggle for Paul and yet it was through this weakening that Paul found strength.

The instrument God used to keep Paul from giving in to the temptation to pride was the thorn in Paul’s flesh.

Few could claim to have more reasons for boasting than the Apostle Paul. As we see in verses 3 and 4, Paul had experienced great and glorious revelations from God– but great revelations are also an opportunity for the temptation to pride. Paul did not give in to the temptation. And the instrument God used to keep Paul from giving in to the temptation was the thorn in Paul’s flesh.

The thorn had a significant effect on Paul. As we see from the passage, God was working through it to accomplish two purposes: 1. to keep Paul from being conceited (v.7e) and 2. so that the power of Christ would rest upon him (v. 9e). Paul, bothered by this troublesome thorn, prayed that God would relieve him of it, but surprisingly God did not relieve him and instead said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Trials weaken us, but every weakness is an avenue of Christ’s empowering work.

God, our all-powerful and all-loving Father has seen fit to beset us with various trials. God’s desire is to empty us of all of our self-reliance and supposed strength so that we might find true strength by resting in Christ. The trials weaken us, but every weakness is an avenue of Christ’s empowering work. Let us no longer despise our weaknesses but recognize them as opportunities of manifested power of the greatest kind, the power that comes from Christ!

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Chadwick Haygood

Jesus is Doing More

Learning Resources Take-Away for the week of July 13th, 2015:

Jesus is always doing more than it first appears, and everything He does has meaning.

“Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?” Mark 8:17c-18c

 

What is the Learning Resources Take-Away?
Every Monday we will upload a new video with the main point take-away message from that week’s Learning Resources.

What are “Learning Resources?”
Learning Resources is an add-on to the Biblearc Subscription. This add-on provides practical helps for those seeking to learn the Bible study methods available on Biblearc. Subscribers will receive a fresh, ten-minute Arcing, Bracketing, Phrasing or Diagramming example video each week. In addition, the Learning Resources add-on gives you access to all the example videos archives, and personal feedback on one of your modules each month.

God Humbles the Proud

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

What does your heart do when you hear this? Do you tremble? If you tremble, then there is hope, for this is a sign of the humility required for grace. But if rather you have no response, then be in fear; for God opposes prideful hearts with boastful, self oriented confidence. Now are you worried? Do not fear without hope, because God is also able to humble the proud.

What is pride? To put it simply, Pride is considering yourself God. We have endless examples of it in Scripture, such as the prince of Tyre in Ezekiel 28 or Pharaoh in the early chapters of Exodus. Let us take a closer look at one excellent example: Nebuchadnezzar.

What is pride? To put it simply, pride is considering yourself God.

In the book of Daniel we meet this powerful and prideful king. Nebuchadnezzar saw a great deal of God’s miraculous works. He saw the strange over-and-above wisdom of the Israelite boys. He witnessed Daniel not just interpret, but recount his dream–in the name of the Lord. He witnessed four men chatting in the midst of the hottest of ovens, and three of them
exit unscathed. By Nebuchadnezzar’s own words we know that he understood that it was the Lord who had saved them (Daniel 3:28).

And yet, the pride in Nebuchadnezzar’s heart overruled even the amazing witness of God’s power. This finite “King of the World” stood looking over his city and boasted, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” (4:30) He was certainly not trembling in humility before the God who gives and takes away. But God is greater than Nebuchadnezzar’s pride, for he is able to humble the proud (what a glorious truth!). And God did. He humbled Nebuchadnezzar, taking him from greatness to baseness, until at last he said “thank you” and declared that God is King.

Let me encourage you to acknowledge God as the King in all you do as well. This is the opposite of pride. Give him thanks when “you” accomplish something. Know that all you possess is for his glory. And never, ever despise it when, in love, he strips you of pride the hard way.

Arc

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Andrew Hubert

Soldiers, Athletes and Farmers

Learning Resources Take-Away for the week of July 6th, 2015:

What do soldiers, athletes and farmers have in common?

“Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” 2 Timothy 2:7

 

What is the Learning Resources Take-Away?
Every Monday we will upload a new video with the main point take-away message from that week’s Learning Resources.

What are “Learning Resources?”
Learning Resources is an add-on to the Biblearc Subscription. This add-on provides practical helps for those seeking to learn the Bible study methods available on Biblearc. Subscribers will receive a fresh, ten-minute Arcing, Bracketing, Phrasing or Diagramming example video each week. In addition, the Learning Resources add-on gives you access to all the example videos archives, and personal feedback on one of your modules each month.

Why Fear an Unbelieving Heart? (Hebrews 3:6 – 4:1, Part 5)

The instruction “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil unbelieving heart, that forsakes the living God.” (3:12, NET Bible) comes as an inference from the truth that God’s people hold fast their confidence in him (3:6).   

What is an unbelieving heart, and why is it evil? (Isn’t ‘evil’ a bit harsh–even judgmental?)

What can we learn from the context? Firstly, the Israelites experience is held up as an example. Though they  had seen God’s powerful saving works in the exodus, they did not thereby conclude that He was worthy of their love and trust (3:10); instead they rebelled (3:16). God’s power displayed for their redemption did not lead them to knowing him (3:10c; see also Matt 7:23, 1 Cor 8:3). An evil unbelieving heart is one that acknowledges God’s provision, but ultimately does not love and trust him.

An evil unbelieving heart is one that acknowledges God’s provision, but ultimately does not love and trust him.

Secondly, the instrution is given as a means of softening hearts that may be deceived by sin. God’s goodness has been an major theme in the letter so far. An unbelieving heart is one that prefers the deceit of sin, including the lie that God is not completely good.

Such a heart is evil because it spurns God’s sacrificial redeeming love displayed through Jesus. It wilfully says “I will not trust,” “I will not obey.”  A heart that spurns the sacrificial death of the heir and creator (1:2) is evil. A heart that persists and hardens in this manner will not share in Christ.  We are to fear such an outcome (4:1).

Though the author identifies an unbelieving heart as evil, he does not do so with accusation. He is not accusing anyone of having unbelieving hearts, he is not judging them. On the contrary, he calls them brothers and sisters. He is warning them, cautioning them, urging them to watch out for such a thing – it is evil. The stakes are high, he wants them to go on in trust to the end. So you too, heed the warning, and trust to the end.

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Go back to Part 4 of this series…

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Robert Elphick

Hojas de Ayuda (PDFs imprimibles)

Hojas de ayudaLas conjunciones son una parte importante en el Análisis de Discurso y a menudo pueden facilitar el proceso de selección de relaciones para una conexión en particular.

En vista de esto, hemos preparado para ustedes estas hojas de ayuda que pueden imprimir para ser utilizadas como referencia. Estas contienen un listado de conjunciones del Griego y del Español y las posibles relaciones lógicas asociadas a cada conjunción. Además hemos incluido un ejemplo para cada una de ellas.

También hemos preparado una nueva referencia revisada para las 18 relaciones lógicas, en la cual se presenta cada relación con su respectiva descripción y conjunciones comunes en el Español y el Griego, con un ejemplo para cada una, y todo esto en una sola página.

Cheat sheet

Las 18 relaciones lógicas

Greek conjunctions

Conjunciones griegas

English conjunctions

Conjunciones del Español