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Interpreting scripture 1b


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How to interpret the Bible

How to interpret the Bible

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  • 1. Romans 1-8 Lecture 1Reasonable Interpretation, Romans 1:1-15
  • 2. Test The Fruit Of The Interpretation!(Matthew 7:15-20) Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? (17) Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
  • 3. Evil Fruit Indicate Wrong Interpretation Idolatry, Superstition, Occultic Interpretations, Kabbalah Obsessive or Compulsive Thinking and Behavior Loss of Contact with Reality Spiritual Deadness, Dryness, Futility, Meaningless Religion Fear, Guilt, Legalism, Mental and Psychological Abuse, Rudeness: Disregard of The Full Personhood of Others Greed, Exploitation, Financial Scams Hatred, Enmity, Strife, Wars, Social Conflict Lawlessness, Immorality, Sensuality, Authoritarianism, Abuse of Spiritual Authority, Harshness, Cruelty, Slavery, Racism, Violence, Spouse Abuse Cults, Militias, Lord’s Resistance Army, Genocide
  • 4. Intellectual Pride vs Love (1 Corinthians 8:1-3) (1) But concerning the sacrifices to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. (2) And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. (3) But if any one loves God, he has been known of him.
  • 5. Good Fruit From Good Interpretation (Galatians 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, (23) meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Creates loving churches and fellowships Builds tolerant, patient, and kind families Joyous, happy people who live freely in God’s grace Faith-filled missions outreaches Meekness - ability to tolerate differences in unity Goodness – it “feels good and is good” They are self-controlled, not immoral, getting thinsg together, mastering life under Christ in the Spirit.
  • 6. The Wisdom of God (James 3:17,18) But the wisdom that is from above is first truly pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
  • 7. Wise Biblical Interpretation Is… Pure: without darkness, superstition, impurity, no foul language Peaceable: brings wholeness, life, peace, healing, grace to the hearers Gentle: kind to the hearers, the poor, the broken, to sinners Easy To Be Entreated: not stubborn, fractious or contentious Full of Mercy: ministering salvation not condemnation Good Fruits: produces fine Christians and many good deeds Without Partiality: no in-crowd, favoritism, or exclusivity Without Hypocrisy: produces transparent Christians Fruit of Righteousness: good Christian living in the truth Sown In Peace: not in anger, contention, division etc Those Who Make Peace: brings unity, harmony, reconciliation, justice
  • 8. Liberty (2 Corinthians 3:6) who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) (17) And the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit. (Romans 8:14-15) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!
  • 9. Interpretation by the Spirit Is.. Full of liberty Not full of fear Not full of legalism / slavery/ the Law Has God’s DNA – the Spirit of Sonship /adoption Transforms us from glory to glory Causes us to be led by the Spirit Not “by the letter” – not book-centered but Spirit centered, it is the anointing that teaches us (1 John 2:20,27) the Spirit who imparts truth to us (1 Corinthians 2:9-16) and who leads us into all truth (John 16:13). It is not scholarship that leads us into all truth or a church traditionthat leads us into all truth but the Spirit that leads us into all truth
  • 10. Other Tests Accords With Reality: God’s Creation and God’s Word are from the same Author! So the Bible, properly interpreted will not say “the earth is flat” etc. Sound Reasoning: Not irrational, foolish, bogus, or flaky Christo-Centric: Does not deny central truths about Jesus such as the Incarnation, Cross, Resurrection etc. and leads us always back to Christ as the center of Scripture Builds Faith: Creates boldness, faith, hope, energy, vitality, zeal, holiness, anointing, spiritual get-up and go! Does not create paranoia, dread, fear, despair, guilt, hopelessness, spiritual paralysis, fatalism, secrecy or hypocrisy. Does Not Quench the Spirit: God never interprets the Word in such a way that He restricts His activity or kills off His Church!
  • 11. Introduction To Romans Written by the apostle Paul using koine Greek Around 55-57 A.D on his third missionary journey Written in Corinth in the house of Gaius, using Tertius as his amanuensis (scribe), Phoebe was a deacon at Corinth and Erastus was a city official there and they are also mentioned in Romans Written to a mixture of Jews and Gentiles In legal language (Rome was a city of laws) Very rational and logical and systematic in approach Outlines Paul’s understanding of salvation, justification and the Spirit-filled life
  • 12. Tensions Being Addressed Jews vs. Gentiles: both are heirs of salvation Circumcision is of the heart not the flesh Faith makes us sons of Abraham Salvation by faith vs. salvation by works / religion The nature of grace vs. grace as lawlessness What the Cross did for the believer The struggle with sin in the members The Spirit-filled life and the love of God The fate of Israel and the Jews Christian holiness and living by love not law Eating food sacrificed to idols, matters of food and drink
  • 13. Rom 1:1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called[to be] an apostle, separated to the gospel of God Bondservant (doulos) abject slave, one in bondage, inescapably constrained to this status Jesus = Savior Christ = Messiah, anointed One Called (kletos) – God’s divine initiative and appointing Apostle: 5 kinds of apostles – The 12 – founders of the faith; Paul etc: founders of the churches Titus etc: itinerant followers of the founders Andronicus etc – city-wide apostles, over large areas False apostles Separated: set apart To the gospel: the full teaching about Jesus
  • 14. Rom 1:2 which He promised before through Hisprophets in the Holy Scriptures, The gospel is about the promised Messiah and promised Holy Spirit The promise comes through the prophets The prophets are recorded in Scripture Scripture is holy = sacred words Scripture and prophecy is fulfilled in Christ
  • 15. Rom 1:3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, whowas born of the seed of David according to the flesh, Son: Jesus Christ as son of God, unique and only begotten Son, Trinity, image of the Father, heir of all things Lord – kurios, one we owe absolute allegiance to, God Seed of David: Messianic line According to the flesh: was of course pre-existent; Christ’s intervention in history was as part of the Davidic dynasty but Christ was David’s Lord! Physical birth vs. Spiritual birth
  • 16. Rom 1:4 [and] declared [to be] the Son of God with poweraccording to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection fromthe dead. Declared to be the Son of God: resurrection leads to enthronement and co-regency with God With power: en dunamei – explosive power, energy Spirit of holiness; God’s unique, holy, loving all-wise Spirit who moves with great power Resurrection: literally “out from among the dead ones” The resurrection legitimates the Cross and Jesus’ claims about Himself as God’s Son.
  • 17. Rom 1:5 Through Him we have received grace andapostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations forHis name, Through Him: Jesus the mediator, the one who pours out blessings Grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense Apostleship: the full office of apostle is a divine blessing and gift conferred by God and not by man. Obedience to the faith: We are instructed to obey that which we believe. Nations: ethnicities His Name: the glory and authority and honor of God
  • 18. Rom 1:6 among whom you also are the called of JesusChrist; Among whom: among the nations/ gentiles You also are called: both Jew, Gentiles, Barbarian etc All Christians have a divine calling on their lives Of Jesus Christ: we belong to Him, we are hosen by Him to be His brothers and sisters for eternity
  • 19. Rom 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called [tobe] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Fatherand the Lord Jesus Christ.  This verse deals with the various levels of our identity  Roman citizen: highest earthly identity at that time  Beloved of God: higher still, the Creator’s choice!  Called to be saints: holiness is our identity and our destiny  Grace to you: kindness to you, no condemnation, covenant  Peace: wholeness, the Jewish greeting, Shalom  God our Father: originator of life and Creation, authority  Lord Jesus Christ: co-regent, the one we serve
  • 20. Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for youall, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Thanks: Paul’s attitude of gratitude, not a fault-finder Faith – trust in God and His Word Spoken of: people were astonished that sophisticated Romans would become Christians and “follow a carpenter from Galilee” Whole world: known world, also the second-heaven spiritual kosmos
  • 21. Rom 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with myspirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I makemention of you always in my prayers, Witness: The God who sees in secret testifies.. Serve” latreuo – serves as a priest serves a deity With my spirit – in prayer, supplication, human spirit, the deepest and eternal part of one’s being. Gospel: good news about Jesus Constant prayer of a true missionary / apostle, praying about the matters of the Kingdom of God Prayer: deomai – insistent prayer, beseech
  • 22. Rom 1:10 making request if, by some means, now at last Imay find a way in the will of God to come to you. Making request, if by some means at last: a deep longing pent-up for quite some years. In the will of God: without jumping ahead of God in this Will : desire, thing pleasing, a very broad word
  • 23. Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to yousome spiritual gift, so that you may be established-- See you / impart: some ministry requires personal impartation at close quarters, laying on of hands etc Spiritual gift: over 30 are mentioned in the NT – tongues, healing, leadership, prophecy, discernment of spirits etc. Established – strengthened, made stable, have the gaps in their service filled up.
  • 24. Rom 1:12 that is, that I may be encouraged together withyou by the mutual faith both of you and me. Mutual faith: Paul is vulnerable to his hearers, is not lording it over them Together with you; in Christian community and felowship Encouraged: built up as a body
  • 25. Rom 1:13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren,that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered untilnow), that I might have some fruit among you also, just asamong the other Gentiles. Often planned; man proposes God disposes, Paul was a planner but God could over-rule Hindered: Firstly by the intensity of work in the far regions that had not heard (Rom 15;22) also Satan is the Hinderer of the work of the gospel (2 Thess 2:18) Fruit: harvest of good things, esp. spiritual things, godly results, more than just production…. Other Gentiles – indicate the Romans were mainly Gentiles
  • 26. Rom 1:14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians,both to wise and to unwise. Debtor: “obliged to” their lost-ness obliged Paul to preach to them driven by the urgency of the issues of salvation. Greek / wise – educated, philosophical Barbarians – unwisee, unlearned, ignorant clumsy speech In missionary terms to both the sophisticated who are without Christ (e.g. Japanese, Koreans) and the unsophisticated (tribal people sin the Amazon) A universal gospel
  • 27. Rom 1:15 So, as much as is in me, [I am] ready to preachthe gospel to you who are in Rome also. So much as is in me: to the extent I am able, with the knowledge I have etc. the gospel was “in” Paul as was the desire to preach and the ability to preach, his ministry was deeply internalized and central to who Paul was. Ready to preach / proclaim: not just pulpit preaching but all kinds of communication of the gospel You who are in Rome: at the center of the Empire, Paul’s movement from the edges to the center. The gospel now finds its way to the heart of that society.
  • 28. Contact John Edmiston 310-783-1510 (Office) Course website: Will have website up later this week.