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Monday, September 26, 2016

Pieces Parts

Using only parts of God's Word, picking apart the Bible, Wendy's pieces parts McDonald's McNuggetsYears ago, a Wendy’s commercial humorously called the meat in McDonald’s chicken nuggets “pieces parts.” 

That’s because McNuggets were made of bits and pieces of chicken pressed together "out of the context" of the whole chicken. 

Sometimes we formulate our beliefs with “pieces parts” of the Bible. In fact, most Bible errors come from cutting one or two verses out of context and pressing them together to form a half truth. 

Bible verses are not meant to stand alone. Nor can we use one verse and exclude another. That's one reason Scripture commands us to:

"Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth." 2 Timothy 2:15, Amplified Bible

Every single verse in the Bible is true, but not every verse contains complete truth. 
The best way to illustrate this is to give you an example.

Read the verses below and answer these questions: 

1. How could you misunderstand the Bible’s message about prayer by letting one or two of these verses stand alone to the exclusion of all others? 

2. Combining the message of all of the verses, what does the Bible teach about prayer requests?

Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

John 14: 14: "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

John 15:7: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

John 15:16: "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."

John 16:16, 23-24: Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

James 4:2-3: You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

1 John 3:21-22: Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.
1 John 5:14-15: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

After you've studied these verses, you can check out my insights for this study HERE.

For additional thoughts on this subject check out these 1-Minute Bible Love Notes:
Upsidedown Truth
Slightly Skewed

I would love to have you share your insights, answers, and questions in the comments section. Thanks, Gail 
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted 
copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 
This study was one of the first Bite Size Studies and I am re-publishing it. I no longer offer insights, but this study has insights linked above.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

12 Reasons Jesus Came

12 Reasons Jesus Came, Jesus came to earth
Why did Jesus come? 

1. He came to fulfill the Law. (Matthew 5:17-18). 

2. He came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 1:15). 

3. He came to serve. (Mark 10:45). 

4. He came to give His life in payment for our sins. (Matthew 20:28; 1 John 3:5). 

5. He came that we might have abundant life. (John 10:10). 

6. He came to reveal the Father. (Matthew 11:27 ; John 14:9). 

7. He came to separate believers from non-believers. (Matthew 10:34-36). 

8. He came to proclaim truth. (John 18:37).

9. He came to give us a pattern of holy living.  (1 Peter 2:21). 

10. He came to ignite a spiritual fire. (Luke 12:49).(1)

11. He came to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15).(2)

12. He did not come to judge, but He came to bring judgment. (John 3:17; 9:39; 12:47). 

#12 might appear to be a contradiction, but it's not. Today's Bite Size Bible Study explains.
(1) Opinions of Bible Scholars vary on the exact meaning of fire in this passage, but all agree it is a strong statement from the One Who truly set the world ablaze with His words and work here on earth. I would draw from all of the proposed meanings to say that Christ brought the world a fire of truth, the Spirit, reward and punishment, burning away the lies, igniting the truth in men's hearts.
(2) Scripture explains that while this has been done in the spiritual realm, we still will endure the works of the devil (sickness, suffering, evil) while on earth. The full realization of the devil's defeat will be at Christ's Second Coming. See Hebrews 2:5-8.

Bible Study 

12 Reasons Jesus Came, Jesus came to earth
The three passages below seem to be contradictions, but only at first glance. Read through them carefully and ask God to give you wisdom about their meaning.

John 3:17: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 

John 9:39: Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." 

John 12:47: If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 

What John 3:17 and 12:47 do NOT teach:

1. They don't teach that Jesus didn't judge sin and sinners. 

In fact, we find such judgments recorded in Scripture. For example, read Matthew 23. This entire chapter tells of Jesus judging and rebuking the Pharisees. 

2. They don't teach that Jesus has no expectations of His followers.

Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23

3. They don't teach that Jesus is soft on sin.

The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 1 John 3:8

It's important to understand that Christ's mission in coming to earth, first and foremost, was to save mankind, not to judge us. We were already judged at the fall. We fell short of God's standards for eternal life. Jesus didn't come simply to remind us of that fact. He came to save us from it.

Judge is used interchangeably with condemn in Scripture, but the most accurate way to understand the meaning of these seemingly contradictory passages is this way: Jesus came into the world to save us from the punishment we deserve. He will condemn all those who reject Him (i.e. pass a final judgment on each man) at His Second Coming, but this was not the purpose of His first coming. He did, however, address sin and rebuke sinners at His First Coming because that is part of His nature as a holy God.

copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Monday, September 12, 2016

Nobody's Business

Judge sinners, Church discipline, Judge Not Heresy
Many Christians think their behavior is nobody's business but their own.

However, Scripture clearly refutes that notion just as it refutes the "Judge Not" heresy. 

We must treat each other humbly, graciously, gently and patiently, never critically or arrogantly (Ephesians 4:11-24). But we still have a responsibility to judge and restore sinning believers. And we should expect fellow believers to do the same for us.

Matthew 18:15 tells us to confront those who sin against us. 

Luke 17:3 tells us to rebuke a sinning brother and forgive him when he repents. 

Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20 tell us to restore those who've wandered from the truth.

And there are additional passages on the role of the Church in judging and disciplining sinning Christians. 

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 is very clear: "It certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning."*

Humble, loving rebukes are part of our responsibility to encourage each other in the faith (1Thessalonians 5:11).

*This passage explains formal church discipline for church members. We are supposed to have discernment about sin and sinners outside of the Church, but it is not our role to discipline them. For  a thorough explanation of church discipline, see "10 Things You Should Know About Church Discipline." For more on appropriate judgement, see "Misunderstandings About Judgement" 1-Minute Archive

Bible Study

Compromise is a huge problem in our churches, partially due to our failure to confront others in appropriate ways and partially due to our failure to learn the principles in God's Word. The following passage offers a balanced view of the role of the church, fellow believers, and our own role in becoming more like Christ. Ask God to reveal His truth as you read through it.

Ephesians 4:11-24 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
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