Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Christ Alone

A belief of many is that they are good enough, so they do not need any kind of salvation. Notice in our first passage (Philippians 3:2-6) that Paul actually says that if anyone had a reason to boast in being great before God, it was him: being a pure Israelite, and righteous in keeping the law.

Even Paul, as righteous as he was, found out that he was wrong (read Acts 8:1-3, and Acts 9 for what changed his mind). Salvation cannot be attained through human efforts. Paul is showing how our own righteousness or good deeds mean nothing apart from the hope that is offered in Christ.

CHALLENGE: Is anyone taking up the challenge from my last email about being in the bible daily? If so, post here and clue me in on your reading plan! I personally am reading through I Samuel.

Monday, February 8, 2010


This week, we will discuss the "rewire" of what we think of as "gain"?

To the world: Money, good job with status. And also that we can achieve heaven/savlation just by being "good" according to the rules/law.

To Christians: read and find out!

Try reading the whole passage together to start with:
Philippians 3:2-4:8

More thoughts to come during the week. You may post any comments you like.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly Update and Review

First, here is what we have planned this week:

1. Thursday night bible study: Meet at 7PM in the singles building. We are studying Matthew 27 this week. It is in the meeting room - first room to the left when you turn left after the stairs.

2. Saturday at 7PM: Meet in the singles building for fellowship time!

On this past Sunday we talked about injustice. Some verses about the wicked living long that I mentioned but we didnt discuss were from Eccl 7:15, 8:14.

Also, remember that we decided to do something about injustice. (See connect with your world from this past Sunday's lesson). Be praying about an injustice/cause we can connect to in the future.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time Management

We all hear about time management, but how can we manage time? We cannot. We only get 24 hours per day.. we cannot add to or take from it. We only get to choose what we do with that time... to some degree.

Look again at Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. These times are not options, but occurences in life. We do not get to choose when or how they happen. ".. a time to give birth and a time to die ..." (v.2.), for example.

How, then, should we respond to these variations (ups and downs) in life in terms of them not being fully in our control but in the hands of God?

Anyone care to post their thoughts??

Monday, January 4, 2010

Challenge Time

The challenge for this month is to read the lessons before coming to class. But, in addition, I would like everyone to read through the book of Ecclesiastes. Here is the schedule for that:

By January 10th (this week): Eccl. 1-3
By the 17th: Eccl 4-8
By the 24th: Eccl 8-10
By the 31st: Eccl 11-12

I will begin posting notes of interest/questions/etc again to this blog during the week. I hope to post at least 2 or 3 times per week. Please feel welcome to post comments on my blogs! Its for your use!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pray for your "Ninevah"

Our study last week was from the book of Jonah, and one thing we learned is that God does not want us to withhold his word or blessing from other people, regardless of how we personally view them.

We have decided to each choose a country to pray for and that they would turn to God just as Ninevah did in Jonah. Each country has specific prayer needs. For those of you who got a printout in class, please post:
1. The country you have and
2. One specific prayer need for that country

There are many sites online that are oriented toward this. See the following two websites:

For those who have not chosen a country to pray for, please go to one of these sites (or any site) and choose one and post it here. There is lots of info on each country on these websites.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"They're full of new wine!" - Acts 2:12-16

In Acts 2:13, the crowd accused the disciples of being "full of new wine" on Pentecost when they were filled with the holy spirit and spoke in tongues. Some questions were raised on Sunday about:

1. Was this really fermented (intoxicating) wine (new wine?) that they were being accused of indulging in?
2. Why, as was pointed out, was this particular Greek word for wine used only in this verse and no where else in the new testament?

In summary, this use of "wine" is to be understood as intoxicating (perhaps very), and therefore they were, in fact, being accused of being drunk. As for question 2, this word could indicate that the wine could be quite intoxicating and/or from the juice that falls before pressing begins (which was sometimes saved separately) This is based on the following:

1. In context, it is clear that they were being accused of being drunk, since it wouldn't make sense to accuse them of being drunk from grape juice alone. [1]

2. There are 4 Greek words that translated into "wine" in the new testament. Oinos is the most common, being 32 of the 37 references to it. However, the word in our verse is pronounced glyoo-kos (Strong's #1098) and is only used in this one verse. It means "sweet wine" and "used of the more saccharine (and therefore highly inebriating) fermented wine." This may also indicate it is from the sweet juice that fell from the grapes before they were pressed. [2][3]

3. Although glyoo-kos could also mean "fresh juice", it is unlikely to be so at Pentecost because wine was usually pressed in September, and by this time (Pentecost), about 8 months would have elapsed. [3]

(Abbreviated refs)
[1] W.E. Vine, Vines Concise Dictionary of the Bible, (gleukos on p. 414), 2005 Thomas Nelson.
[2] James Strong, The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, P. 18 of Greek dictionary , 1996 Thomas Nelson.
[3]William Smith, "Wine" in Smith's Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson, 1997