MENU

Where the world comes to study the Bible

2. What Paul Can Teach Us About Social Distancing

Related Media

In 2020 during the pandemic associated with the coronavirus, Covid-19, there has been much talk about social distancing. One might not immediately conclude that Paul was an example of “social distancing.” But the truth is, Paul spent a good deal of his time separated and isolated from others. Some of this was imposed on him by others, and some was self-imposed. Let’s think about that for just a moment.

There were those who sought to rid Paul from his existence on earth (not unlike he once sought to rid the world of Christians – Acts 22:1-5; 1 Timothy 1:12-15). They ran Paul out of town on various occasions (see Acts 14:50; 17:13-14). They nearly tore him apart in Jerusalem (Acts 22:22-23), plotted to kill him (Acts 23:12-15), and thought they had done so in Lystra (Acts 14:19). False accusations and governmental appeasement ultimately led to Paul’s imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:17ff.) This is not to overlook his imprisonment in Philippi (Acts 16:16ff.) and Caesarea (Acts 23:29ff.). Legal action was taken against Paul in an effort to deprive him of his rights and protections as a Roman citizen (Acts 18:12-17). To this we could add a list of other adversities which Paul suffered (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). It should also be noted that Satan, too, hindered Paul from visiting the churches (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18).

Beyond these hindrances to social interaction, there was also what we might call Paul’s “self-imposed” separation. Paul did not usually (the exceptions would be Ephesus and Corinth) spend long in any one place because he desired to preach the gospel elsewhere, particularly where it had not yet been preached (Romans 15:18-21). He kept moving on, even when encouraged to stay (Acts 18:19-21).

Paul’s ministry was international, and because of his concern for the churches (some of which he had founded, and others which others founded) he would press on so that he could minister his gifts to many face-to-face (Colossians 2:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 2:17; 3:10). Part of Paul’s “separation” from believers was out of his concern that he might not become overly dominant, and that the gifts and ministries of others might be encouraged. Thus, Paul sent out team members like Timothy and Titus, to minister on his behalf.

With all this in mind, let us agree that Paul experienced his own version of “social distancing,” and this for much of his life – far more than you and I will endure during this pandemic. But the important thing for us to notice is that this did not hinder his ministry to others; indeed it enhanced it:

12 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 13 The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ, 14 and most of the brothers and sisters, having confidence in the Lord because of my imprisonment, now more than ever dare to speak the word fearlessly (Philippians 1:12-14, NET).

With all the restrictions on Paul’s social interaction, no one has had a greater impact on the saints for the last 2,000 years than he. The explanation, put simply, is this: Paul’s priorities were those of his fellow apostles:

3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, seven men who are well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:3-4, emphasis mine).

These priorities – prayer and the ministry of the Word – have not changed over time.

The means and mechanisms by which they are carried out will, and should, change. When confined to a prison cell, Paul’s priorities were prayer and the ministry of the Word. Evangelism took place wherever Paul was, including prison (Acts 16:23-40; Philippians 4:21-23; Philemon 1:10-11). And to these new believers and fledgling churches Paul was constantly writing (at least three letters to the Corinthians – see 1 Corinthians 5:9), expounding correct doctrine (Romans), exposing false doctrine (Galatians) and ungodly living (1 Corinthians). Paul’s prayer life puts most of ours to shame. Paul knew what was going on in the churches, he knew their struggles, trials, and temptations. He knew the saints and their small group gatherings, even in churches he had never yet visited (see Romans 16). He asked for prayers for himself (Romans 15:30-33; Ephesians 6:19-20). And beyond this, Paul sent others to learn how the saints were doing (2 Corinthians 7:4-16; 8:6-24).

Paul’s ministry was not limited by his “social distancing,” it was greatly enhanced by it, for we now hold his teaching, exhortation, warnings, and prayer in our hands, as has the church for 2,000 years. And this Paul accomplished by his commitment to “prayer and the ministry of the Word.” Yet he did not have Christian publishers and bookstores, newspapers, radio, television, the internet, or Facebook and Twitter. Mail took days, at best, and months at worst. Communication was not easy in Paul’s day.

With all the “social media” we have at our disposal, how much greater are our opportunities and responsibilities. Like Paul, let us make use of our “social distancing” to the glory of God and the good of His people. We are, in Paul’s words (somewhat ill-used) “without excuse.”

Related Topics: Christian Life, Cultural Issues, Suffering, Trials, Persecution

1. The Christian’s Perspective And The COVID-19 Pandemic

Related Media

At the end of World War II Langdon Gilkey wrote a book entitled Shantung Compound. Gilkey, along with 2,000 other “Westerners” was interned by their Japanese captors at a Presbyterian encampment in the Chinese province of Shantung. The camp was not designed to handle this many internees, but it was Gilkey’s assignment to allocate living accommodations for all of the internees. This presented a monumental challenge. It also afforded Gilkey the opportunity to observe his fellow-internees behavior under pressure. His book describes how people changed (sometimes for the good; often otherwise) when under duress.

As I recall, Gilkey described a situation where there were two identical rooms. One of the rooms had 11 occupants, the other 13. Sounds like a “no-brainer” does it not? But the arguments given by the residents in the 11-person room (for not adding one more person) were incredible. In another instance, there was one accommodation which had two bedrooms. A pastor insisted that he and his wife should have this accommodation so that he could have a study, instead of allowing a family with several children to live there.

It is beginning to look and feel like Shantung Compound in the United States and elsewhere, thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic. There are a good number of people who are insisting on exercising freedoms they formerly enjoyed, even though doing so might be detrimental to others. Even some Christians are voicing this “Don’t hinder me from exercising my rights” point of view. The Bible challenges such thinking.

A Christian’s Right to His Rights (1 Corinthians 8-10)

It is a good time to review a couple of biblical passages and review the Christian mindset, and how it should impact our lives in this “Shantung” moment. Let’s begin by considering Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, focusing particularly on chapters 8-10.

The issue at hand is “meats offered to idols.” As I understand the text, the issue really isn’t over the meat itself (see 1 Corinthians 10:27), as much as it is over participating in the idol-worship ceremony where this meat is sacrificed, and the meal is shared with the “worshippers” (see 1 Corinthians 10:18-22). There were those who had come up with a seemingly scholarly argument which allowed them to eat idol-meats. In chapter 8, verses 4-6, some reasoned in this way: “There really is only one true God (our God), and thus idols are meaningless, since they represent ‘gods’ who do not even exist. And since idol-worship is really not the worship of any god, it is of no consequence. Thus, attending idol-sacrifice meals is permissible, including the eating of the animal sacrifices offered there.”

Paul does not immediately reject this argument (which he will do later, in chapter 10, and which has already been decided at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:20, 29). He first argues that even if this were a legitimate option, there are those for whom doing so would be sin. And if one’s eating meats offered to idols encouraged one who thought this wrong to do so anyway (because others did so), then causing that brother to sin would be sin on our part as well (1 Corinthians 8:7-13).

Paul sets out to demonstrate the proper Christian attitude toward the exercise of one’s liberties by using himself and Barnabas as examples. He and Barnabas, as apostles, had the legitimate and biblical right to be supported in their ministry – which assumed income enough to lead about a wife (1 Corinthians 9:1ff.). This was a right exercised by the other apostles (9:4-5). It was a right that had both the Old and New Testaments support (9:7-12). There was no question as to whether being supported was a right that Paul and Barnabas could legitimately exercise.

And yet they chose not to accept (or ask for) financial support, for the sake of the gospel, and those who might embrace it for salvation.

15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing these things so that something will be done for me. In fact, it would be better for me to die than– no one will deprive me of my reason for boasting! 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason for boasting, because I am compelled to do this. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward. But if I do it unwillingly, I am entrusted with a responsibility. 18 What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel I may offer the gospel free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights in the gospel. 19 For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to gain the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) to gain those under the law. 21 To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God’s law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law. 22 To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some. 23 I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it (1 Corinthians 9:15-23).

Paul’s reasoning is simple and easy to follow. There are a good number of folks who preach for the sake of selfish gain (see Acts 8:9-23; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11). Unbelievers observe them (as some might observe some televangelists today) and conclude that all Christian ministers must only be in it for the money. Thus, being supported financially can be a hindrance to the gospel. And so, to remove this hindrance (or at least minimize it) Paul supported himself. Indeed, Paul worked with his own hands to support himself and others (Acts 18:1-4; 20:34*; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:9), for the sake of the gospel. How could anyone accuse Paul of being motivated by financial gain, when his ministry was a financial sacrifice?

This right to be financially supported was legitimate and consistent with the practice of Old Testament ministers and New Testament apostles. Nevertheless, Paul set this right aside for the sake of the gospel and the sake of those who would be saved through it. Did it make life and ministry more difficult for Paul? Yes, but Paul was convinced that it was worth the sacrifice. I believe that this statement by Paul sums it up,

All things are lawful for me”– but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me”– but I will not be controlled by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12; see also 10:23).

The Christian life necessitates giving up certain rights and liberties for the benefit of others, albeit at our expense. Jesus would call this, “taking up our cross.”

The Philippians’ Rights, and the Good of Others (Philippians 2:4-11)

4 Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. 5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. 8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross! 9 As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow– in heaven and on earth and under the earth– 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:4-11, emphasis mine).

Things were not going “smoothly” for Paul, or for the Philippians:

29 For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are encountering the same conflict that you saw me face and now hear that I am facing (Philippians 1:29-30, emphasis mine).

Some of the Philippian saints were at odds with their fellow-believers (see Philippians 4:2-3). Paul’s call to unity is based upon the practice of humility – putting the interests of others above our own desires. The supreme example is that of our Lord Jesus, His incarnation, and sacrificial death for sinners.

At Shantung Compound, and in many parts of the world today, people are seeking their own interests and demanding their “rights,” in spite of what the impact it may have on others. In Philippians chapter 2 Paul will go on to show how humility works itself out in terms of ministry to others. Timothy, unlike many others, put the interests of the Philippian saints above his own, and thus Paul will send him, with the commendation that he is a man who in genuinely concerned about their welfare (2:19-20). Epaphroditus, too, was a man who modeled humility. He put his own life at risk by going to minister to Paul’s needs (2:25-30). And then there is Paul, who out of concern for the saints, sent away the two men who would most have benefitted him, if he had kept them with him to minister to his needs.

In these days when personal sacrifice is desperately needed, let us carefully consider what rights we can and should set aside for the good of others, and for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Related Topics: Christian Life, Cultural Issues, Suffering, Trials, Persecution

The Net Pastor’s Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 35 Spring 2020

A ministry of…

Author: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
Email: [email protected]

I. Strengthening Biblical Interpretation
“How to Read and Understand the Bible”(Pt. 2)

Introduction

Though the subject of Biblical interpretation (“hermeneutics”) is vast and can be somewhat complicated at times, it is vital for us to study it in order to be accurate and clear preachers of the Word, who faithfully declare what it says and means and how it applies to our lives.

So often, as we study the Scriptures, we run into phrases, sentences, and passages that are difficult to understand and interpret as to what the original author intended to communicate. It is precisely for these situations that we need interpretive guidelines and principles that help us come to the best understanding of the passage that we can, given that we live in an entirely different era and culture and speak an entirely different language.

In Part 1 of “How to Read and Understand the Bible” (see the 2020 Winter Edition of this journal), we discussed:

1. Three basic tasks in Biblical interpretation:

(a) Determining the accurate meaning of the passage (exegesis);

(b) Applying sound principles of interpretation to the passage (hermeneutics);

(c) Bridging the gap between the ancient text, language, culture, and audience to our contemporary language, culture, and audience.

2. Two important hermeneutical questions:

(a) Did the O.T. writers know fully what they were writing about?

(b) Did the N.T. writers know fully what they were writing about?

Now, in this Part 2 of the same subject, we continue to examine some other important aspects of biblical interpretation.

A. Literal Interpretation

Some people say that you can’t take the Bible literally because (1) the Bible uses figures of speech (metaphor, hyperbole etc.), and (2) because the Bible uses poetic language and other literary genres that cannot be interpreted literally (e.g. apocalyptic). This is really an attempt to detract from the truth of the Bible. We, in fact, interpret the Bible using the same principles as for any other literature.

What do we mean by “literal”? If by “literal” you mean a wooden word-for-word translation which does not take into account figurative or metaphorical language, then “no” we do not interpret the Bible literally. But if by “literal” you mean that we take the Bible at face value; that we believe the Bible is true in all that it affirms and accurate in all that it records; that we read and interpret the Bible in accordance with its plain, natural meaning and as its authors intended (taking into account their literary style, literary devices, literary genre, grammar, meaning of words at the time it was written, and the historical, economic, social, geographic, and political context in which it was written), then, “yes” we do read and interpret the Bible literally.

Probably a better term than “literal” meaning is “literary” meaning. Literary meaning is an interpretation that “…reflects the type of literature used, the context, the historical background, the grammar, (and) word meanings” 1 - i.e. one that is based on the “grammatical-contextual-theological” method of interpretation. Or, we could say that literary meaning is an “interpretation that does not spiritualize or allegorize” 2 what is not intended by the author to be spiritualized or allegorized – i.e. the “normal” or “plain” meaning.

Literal interpretation, then, means to interpret the bible according to its literal / literary sense – i.e. as you would interpret any piece of literature, “according to the normal rules of grammar, speech, syntax, and context.” 3 Literal interpretation does not, therefore, preclude the use of types or illustrations; nor literary genres that are based on imaginary or illustrative symbols (e.g. apocalyptic). Literal interpretation does not preclude the normal interpretation based on a natural (face value, plain) reading of the text. As a pastor friend of mine used to say: “When the plain sense makes common sense, then any other sense is nonsense.”

Literal interpretation stands in contrast to other interpretive methods such as allegorizing, spiritualizing, moralizing, and typologizing. Or, to put it another way, behind the literary devices, imagery, genres, and style that a biblical author may have used lies a literal idea or concept. That’s what we look for when we read the Bible.

Though the Bible is a unique book in that it is inspired by the Holy Spirit it does not change the fact that it is written in words of normal human language and with normal grammatical construction. Therefore, our understanding of it is based on the same rules that we would apply to reading and understanding any other piece of literature. Literal interpretation does not imply that we adhere to a “wooden” literalism that puts the biblical text into a straight jacket, which might render it unintelligible.

This is why the “grammatical-contextual-theological” approach to studying the text is so vitally important. In attempting to interpret the text literally, you need to be able to identify: (a) the various grammatical components of the text; (b) its theological focus; (c) its context; and (d) its literary genre and devices. All of these aspects impact understanding and interpretation.

Therefore, in order to correctly interpret the Bible, we need to analyze and understand...

1. The grammar – the various syntactical structures (clauses and sentences) and words used - their type and part of speech (e.g. noun, verb etc.), form (e.g. case; tense), and meaning.

2. The theology. What is the author saying about God (his purposes, his character, his nature, his plans etc.) and our relationship to God?

3. The context - historical, political, economic, social, and cultural.

4. The literary genre and devices – the style of writing and figures of speech.

All of this analysis impacts our understanding of the ideas (the truth, the theology) that the original author intended to communicate and is part and parcel of literal interpretation.

B. Interpreting Certain Literary Genre And Devices

Obviously, literary genre has a big impact on how we interpret any document, not the least of which is the Bible since it contains so many different genres. Literary genre refers to the style of writing of the passage, such as prose, poetry, proverb, epistle, apocalyptic, gospel (with parable as a subcategory), historical narrative, prophetic etc.

The literary genre affects how we interpret the passage. If it is written in apocalyptic language, for example, with all sorts of wild, almost hallucinatory, images and descriptions of eschatological scenes, one has to interpret it in that light.

However, identifying the literary genre does not necessarily make the interpretation obvious. For example, the literary genre does not settle the issue of historicity. The book of Jonah is a case in point. Because part of Jonah is written in historical narrative but another part (chapter 2) is written in poetic form, scholars have been divided over whether the book is intended to be an historical account or merely an allegorical portrayal of Jonah’s experience, the poetic chapter being Jonah’s reflective prayer of thanksgiving. Of course, for unbelievers who do not believe in miracles, the poetic chapter gives them an excuse to jettison the historical account of the whole book.

In addition to literary genres we must be aware of any literary devices which the author may use, such as figures of speech like metaphor, simile, and hyperbole. These devices, when used, affect how we interpret and understand the text.

C. Single Meaning; Multiple Applications

Please note this principle: “One meaning; many applications.” We believe that each passage of Scripture has only one meaning, not multiple meanings, when it is read and interpreted as written and as intended by the author. It does not mean one thing for you and another thing for me. What is written is written. Any individual Scripture only ever has one meaning. We may have many interpretive options just because of the limitations of translation and written communication, but there is only one meaning as intended by the original author. However, each Scripture may have many applications. From the one single meaning of a passage of Scripture, we may derive multiple applications that impact our conduct, speech, relationships etc.

But note this qualification: Because of the progressive nature of Scriptural revelation a further, deeper, expanded meaning may become apparent to us that was not apparent to the original human authors and audiences. This does not change the original meaning but expands on it.

We always need to remember that though there are multiple human authors of the Bible there is only one Divine Author. Hence, what may not have been apparent to, or intended by, the human author was apparent to and intended by the Divine Author. But we must have biblical grounds for attributing to the Holy Spirit a fuller, expanded, clearer meaning than the human authors may have been aware of. (For more on this, see the 2020 Winter Edition of this journal).

D. The Impact Of Culture On Our Understanding

Some biblical scholars and preachers attempt to modernize the Bible by interpreting it in the light of the contemporary meaning of words and contemporary cultural standards. This, effectively, reinterprets the Bible to mean what they want it to mean today. But the Bible wasn’t written today, nor are its teachings to be changed to comply with contemporary ethics and practices.

Nonetheless, we have to admit that the Bible contains many ancient practices that are peculiar to us (to say the least) and do not make any sense in our culture. So, our challenge is, on the one hand, to not interpret the Bible to be relevant to today’s culture but, on the other hand, to distinguish between the Bible’s universal principles (which are applicable to all people in all cultures in all ages) and its ancient practices (which were limited to that ancient culture).

First, though, what do we mean by “culture”? The culture of any organization is, essentially, the way things are done or the attitudes expressed that have built up over time. This environment may have developed due to decisions made in the past, people who have been influential, crises that may have occurred, history that has transpired, situations that have been experienced, principles that have been adopted etc. It is really the personality and character of the organization expressed in its values, priorities, likes and dislikes, activities, leadership style, what it stands for, how it reacts, why it exists, what it believes etc.

Families have cultures. That’s where you learn your earliest and perhaps most deep rooted convictions about life and behaviour, your values, priorities, your worldview, your relationships (e.g. to your parents and siblings). Your government has a culture; your church has a culture; your place of employment has a culture. All of this cultural conditioning affects how you read, interpret, and apply the Bible.

1. The Ancient Culture

One of the challenges of biblical interpretation is to determine what practices are applicable to and reflective of an ancient society only (i.e. cultural) and what practices are applicable to all ages (i.e. transcultural)

The overriding question is: “How do we apply Scripture?” Of all the commands and practices that we read in the Bible, which ones are still applicable to us today and should be practised by us? And should they be practised just as they were in the ancient culture or in some modified form?

Some O.T. Examples

(a) Tithing – agricultural tithes (Lev. 27:30-33); tithes for the Levites and for their priestly work in the tabernacle (Num. 18:21ff.); the annual agricultural and priestly tithe (Deut. 14:22ff.); tithes for the Levite, stranger, fatherless, and widow (Deut. 26:12 15).

(b) Rape – e.g. Deut. 22:28-29. Is this requirement valid for today that if someone rapes a girl, all you have to do is pay her father 50 shekels of silver and marry her?

(c) Homosexuality – e.g. Lev. 18:22. Is this O.T. command against homosexuality one that we must adhere to today?

(d) Bestiality – e.g. Lev. 18:23. Is it immoral for someone today to have a sexual relationship with animals?

(e) Mixed Clothing – e.g. Lev. 19:19. Is it binding on us today not to wear clothing of mixed fabrics like woollen and linen?

(f) The law of the Sabbath – e.g. Ex. 20:9-10. Are we to literally “not do any work” on the Sabbath? If so, what is the definition of “work”? Which day is the Sabbath for us? What did Jesus mean when he said that “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk. 2:27)?

(g) Circumcision – e.g. Gen. 17:10. Is circumcision a required religious practice for us?

(h) Tattoos – e.g. Lev. 19:28. Is the prohibition against tattoo marks on the body something that we should obey?

(i) Styles of clothing – e.g. Deut. 22:5, “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear woman’s clothing.” What clothing does this refer to? Who is this binding on, why, and how?

Some N.T. Examples

(a) Head coverings for women and not for men (1 Cor. 11:1-16). Are women today to literally veil their heads in worship, or is there a principal here that would be more appropriately expressed in a different way in our culture? In other words, was the head covering merely the cultural expression at that time of an abiding principle which would be better expressed differently today?

(b) Silence of women in the church (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 14:34). Was Paul’s instruction about women being “silent” in the church a cultural or transcultural instruction? Is it an instruction specifically and only for the women of a certain church (e.g. Ephesus) to stop their bickering and disturbances of church services? Or, is it a practice for all women of all times? If the silence itself is a reflection of how the ancient world practised a certain principle, what is the principle that it demonstrates and how should we practise that principle in our culture?

(c) Submission of wives to their husbands (Eph. 5:22). How are we to apply Peter’s instruction that wives must submit to their husbands “as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” (1 Pet. 3:5-6)?

(d) Praying with uplifted hands (1 Tim. 2:8). Is Paul’s injunction cultural or transcultural?

(e) Evangelism (Lk. 10:4). Must we literally “carry no purse, no bag, no shoes, and greet no one on the way”? Or, is Jesus stating a principle that is to be expressed in appropriate ways within our culture?

(f) Greeting each other with a holy kiss (1 Cor. 16:20). Are we to greet one another this way today? If so, what would two men kissing look like to the world? What about a man kissing a woman who is not his wife? What about two women kissing each other?

(g) Drinking wine (1 Tim. 5:23). Is Paul’s instruction to Timothy to “use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities” a requirement for us? Is this a standard medicinal treatment? Or, is this an instruction for Timothy only?

(h) Anointing with oil (James 5:14; Mk. 6:13). Is the anointing of sick persons with oil a required practice for us? If so, what is its purpose and meaning? Is it a medicinal practice or religious?

(i) Selling your possessions to give to the poor (Lk. 12:33). How do we apply Jesus’ instruction today?

(j) Long hair for a man is a disgrace (1 Cor. 11:14). What is the definition of long hair? How do we practise this today?

Conclusions

Those aspects of biblical teaching that reflect ancient cultural practices must be examined to determine:

1. What unchanging principle lies behind them? Note: When we prepare sermons, one of the first things we look for is the abiding truths, its unchanging principles. These are the main points of our sermon.

2. How is that principle to be practised today? Since the entire Bible was written by men of old in the language and imagery and culture of that day (for specific people to address specific situations at a specific time), there obviously is a strong cultural element to it. Our task is to determine whether the Bible is teaching that the cultural practice itself is the norm for all ages or whether the principal that underlies the practice is the norm for all ages.

2. Our Contemporary Culture

Not only do we need to be able to identify the ancient culture’s impact on the biblical writers, but we need to be able to identify our own cultural conditioning as we read the Bible. We need to recognize that we read and interpret it with eyes and understanding that are conditioned by our own culture. That’s why people from other cultures than our own often read parts of the Bible with a different worldview and understanding than ours.

Some contemporary factors that greatly influence our understanding of the ancient text include: (a) contemporary methods of communication (e.g. telephone, e-mail, newspapers etc.); travel (e.g. airplanes); lifestyle (e.g. individuality and materialism); dress; worldview.

As we study the Bible in preparation for teaching and preaching we must seek to read it as an unbiased reader (although that is probably not totally possible). That’s why we must discipline ourselves in “exegesis” (bringing into view what is there) not “eisegesis” (reading into it what is not there). That’s why we must follow certain basic interpretive principles, which I am attempting to explain in this series on “Strengthening Biblical Interpretation: How to read and understand the Bible”. I will continue this series in the next edition of this journal.

II. The Limitations of Christian Liberty

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

By: Dr. Stephen F. Olford

This is a continuation of a series which we last published in the Winter 2019 edition of this journal.

Introduction

The third specific disorder in the church at Corinth was that of impurity. The problem arose out of the popular teaching concerning the human body. The Greeks always despised the body. There was a proverbial saying that read: “The body is a tomb.” The important element of the human personality was the soul and the spirit, whereas the body did not really matter.

This kind of thinking resulted in two forms of behavior. The first was a most rigorous asceticism in which everything was done to subject and humiliate the desires and instincts of the body. The second, which was so prevalent in the city of Corinth, was to use the body as a means of satisfying its appetites and lusts to the fullest extent. This philosophy of life was strengthened by a wrong interpretation of the doctrine of Christian liberty which Paul had preached. As a consequence, the licentiousness and immorality of the city of Corinth had made their incursions into the life of the church. With this in mind, Paul addresses himself to the doctrine of the believer’s body.

A. The Liberty of the Believer’s Body

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. (1 Corinthians 6:12, 13). Paul introduces the subject of the liberty of the believer’s body by quoting two proverbs, or slogans which demand our very close attention. It is perfectly true that the Christian is “called unto liberty:” but it is equally true that we are not to use that liberty “as an opportunity for the flesh” (Galatians 5:13). Christian liberty is not the desire to do what we want, but rather the power to do what we ought. So Paul tells us two things about Christian liberty:

1) Christian Liberty is Divinely Guarded. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). What Paul is saying here is that because we are no longer under law but under grace, we are free men and women, but that such freedom does not in any way justify lawlessness, for all unrighteousness is sin…” (1 John 5:17). Therefore while the Christian is free to use his body, he must respect two guarding principles.

The first is that while all things are lawful, all things are not expedient. The word “expedient” means “that which is helpful to other people.” We can see at once what a check this imposes upon our Christian behavior, for it is obvious that if all we do with and through our bodies is for the helpfulness of others, we shall never be guilty of prostituting our Christian liberty.

The second Principle is just as strong. Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). If the first principle relates to others, the second has to do with ourselves. Anything we do which tends to enslave us is not liberty but bondage. We abuse our liberty if in using it we lessen our fruit of self-control.

We hear a lot today about “free love,” but if people who talk this way only knew it, they would realize that they are slaves to the very things that they claim they have freedom to do. Beware lest you freedom becomes slavery. So we see that true Christian liberty is divinely guarded, but notice further:

2) Christian Liberty is Divinely Guided. “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13). Here is the second slogan which Paul uses to illustrate his doctrine of Christian liberty. People argue that since food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, so every other hunger should be equally satisfied. But there is a serious error in such reasoning. Indeed, as Bishop Lightfoot says: “It is a gross moral confusion.” In the light of God’s holy law we can certainly accept the fact that food is essential to the stomach, but who of us would dare to extend that statement and add that fornication is essentially for the body? As a matter of fact, Paul shows us that as far as food and the stomach are concerned, God will destroy them both; for they only subsist during our earthly life.

But as for the body of a believer it is quite otherwise. Our body is designed for the Lord both in time and in eternity. As we see presently, it is a vehicle for His divine expression now, and one day, clothed with immortality, it will be His instrument for glory and service throughout the ages of eternity.

So to maintain that all hungers are equal and must be satisfied at will is neither logical nor biblical. It is true that food is for the stomach, but the body is for the Lord, and therefore not for any form of immorality or impurity. Thus we conclude that while the liberty of the believer’s body is a blessing to be enjoyed, it must be added that that liberty is both divinely guarded and guided. From this aspect of the subject, Paul now proceeds to discuss what we may call:

B. The Sanctity of the Believer’s Body

“And God has both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?...Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:14, 15, 19). With penetrating insight, Paul confronts his readers with the doctrine of the sanctity of the believer’s body. Indeed, he expresses amazement that they were not aware of this truth. So he asks again and again, as he has done throughout these past two chapters. “Do you not know?” (v. 15); “Do you not know?” (v. 16); “Do you not know?” (v. 19). Yes, the believer’s body has been sanctified once and for ever by:

1) God the Father. “And God has both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power” (1 Corinthians 6:14). The Father who made the stomach is going to destroy it; but the Father who made the body is going to raise it. The destiny of the body is eternal. Let us remember that “…God…has made us, and not we ourselves… (Psalm 100:3). The Psalmist further reminds us that we are “…fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). With all the scientific inventions around us, nothing has yet been produced to compare with the marvel of the human body. And Paul tells us that He who made us is going to raise us. In another place he reminds us that “…our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body…” (Philippians 3:20, 21). That is the supreme destiny of your body and mine, and in the light of this we cannot, we dare not, prostitute its use. God has forever sanctified our bodies by creation, and one day by resurrection. What is more, our bodies are sanctified by:

2) God the Son. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” (1 Corinthians 6:15). In the first place, we have not been “redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ…” (1 Peter 1:18, 19). In other words, we have been bought with a price, or as one commentator puts it: We have “been bought and paid for” (Goodspeed). In light of this Christ has deigned to identify Himself with us. This is the whole significance of verse 15. Literally the words read: “Do you not know that your bodies are the limbs of Christ?” Our mind is His mind; our eyes are His eyes; our lips are His lips; our hands are his hands; our feet are His feet; our bodies are the very limbs of our Risen Head.

Paul later develops this glorious theme in the 12th chapter, but he introduces the subject here to show the utter incompatibility and immorality of a believer using the limbs of Christ for any other purpose than that which God has designed. In fact, the employment of our members for unholy practices is described in the original as illicit sexual intercourse, or “rape.” So, exclaims the apostle, “…Do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘The two,’ He says, ‘will become one flesh.’” (1 Corinthians 6:16). “Fornication,” as W. E. Vine points out, “brings a man and a woman into a relationship so close and powerful as to form a complex personality on a lower plane.

This then, is the argument Paul uses to underscore the utter sanctity of the believer’s body. But in the third place, notice that the believer’s body is sanctified not only by God the Father and God the Son, but also by:

3) God the Spirit. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Corinthians would readily understand what Paul meant by this statement. There were shrines in Corinth for every pagan deity. Much of the worship in these temples was associated with immoral practices; but into this very context, Paul introduces a new concept of life. He says, “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” In the Greek the emphasis is on the word “Holy.” God’s temple, in which He dwells by the Holy Spirit, is not only the church corporately, but your body and mine individually. So although you call you body your own, it is not really your own: it belongs to God. To correctly appreciate this astonishing truth would revolutionize our manner of living. Indeed, this gives a dignity to the whole of life such as nothing else can do. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we are the bearers of the Holy Spirit. This necessitates the ruling out of all such conduct that is not appropriate to the kingdom of God. Certainly fornication would be unthinkable. But the principle involved has a far wider application. Nothing that would be amiss in God’s temple is becoming of God’s child.

C. The Purity of the Believer’s Body

“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body…For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:18, 20). The two operative exhortations in these verses are “flee sexual immorality” and “glorify God.” One is negative and the other is positive. So to maintain the purity of the believer’s body there must be:

1) Complete Avoidance of Sin. “Flee sexual immorality…” (1 Corinthians 6:18). The present imperative verb indicates the habitual action. Literally, it should read: “Make it your habit to flee.” That is the only way to treat sin. When temptation comes along you must not stop to debate, or to argue, or even to allow impure thoughts to linger in your mind. In that moment of satanic attack the word is “flee.” One of the most vivid and beautiful illustrations is seen in the life of Joseph. You will remember that when in Potiphar’s house, the mistress of the establishment sought to seduce him to sin, but Joseph exclaimed: “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9), and instantly he fled out of the house (v. 12).

To strengthen his point, Paul adds that unlike other sins, immorality is a sin against the body. “Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body…” (1 Corinthians 6:18). The reason for this is that immorality of this kind is an offense against a man or a woman’s very personality. Furthermore, this particular sin alienates the body from its divine purpose and destiny. So Paul says, “Flee sexual Immorality;” and in another place: “…make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14), which simply means, “Give no forethought” and make no calculated arrangements in order to make sin a possibility or an actuality.”

That is the negative exhortation. The positive one involves:

2) Complete Allegiance to God. “…glorify God in your body…” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Notice that this command is linked immediately with the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul is saying: “…you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body…” (v. 20). Glorifying God in our bodies is a matter not only of obligation, but of gratitude and devotion to Him who laid down His life, that being freed from Satan’s bondage we should exhibit through our mortal flesh all the glory of the indwelling Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Glory is he outshining of character, and when our bodies are completely possessed and controlled by the indwelling Godhead, there is a purity that is both seen and sensed. It is what the Psalmist calls “the beauty of holiness.” In their fallen state, Adam and Eve were covered with this glory, but they lost it when they shifted their center of trust from God to themselves. Having lost it, they knew for the first time they were naked. How wonderful to know that even in these failing bodies of ours, Jesus Christ can be magnified day by day, whether by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). This is the purity that convicts a sinning world, and yet convinces the seeking soul. It is a purity that gives evidence that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him.

Conclusion:

Here then, is the biblical doctrine of the believer’s body. There is a liberty of the body that is divinely guarded and guided. There is a sanctity of the body which is hallowed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and as a result there is the purity of the body, which is characterized by a complete avoidance of sin and a complete allegiance to God. Nobody can see a truly pure life without knowing that such a man or woman is sold out to God.

The only way in which we can conclude our study on this subject is to remind ourselves of the great words of the apostle, which he penned to the believers at Rome: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

III. Sermon Outlines

To listen to the audio version of these sermons in English, click on these links: Link 1 - Rev. 2:12-13; Link 2 - Rev. 2:14-15; Link 3 - Rev. 2:16; Link 4 - Rev. 2:17

Title: Letters to the Seven Churches: Pergamum – Holding on but Compromising

Theme: Standing for truth in a culture of compromise

Point #1: Christ commends faithfulness (13)

Point #2: Christ condemns compromise (14-15)

Point #3: Christ commands repentance (16)

Point #4: Christ conveys a promise (17)


1 Duvall and Hays, Grasping God’s Word, 187.

2 Charles Ryrie, The Essentials of Dispensationalism” (Israel My Glory, May/June 2007), 29.

3 R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture, 48-49.

Related Topics: Pastors

La Revue Internet Des Pasteurs, Fre Ed 35, Edition du Printemps 2020

Un minstère de…

Auteur: Dr. Roger Pascoe, Président,
Email: [email protected]

I. Renforcer l’Interprétation Biblique
“Comment Lire et Comprendre la Bible”(Pt. 2)

Introduction

Bien que le sujet de l’interprétation biblique (“herméneutique”) soit vaste et parfois compliqué, il est important pour nous de l’étudier dans le but d’être des prédicateurs de la Parole qui sont exactes et clairs, qui declarent fidèlement ce qu’elle dit et sous-entend et comment la mettre en pratique dans nos vies.

Donc, lorsque nous étudions les Ecritures, nous arrivons à des expressions, des phrases et des paragraphes difficiles à comprendre et à interpreter selon le sens que l’auteur initial a voul communiquer. C’est précisement pour ces situations que nous avons besoin de lignes directrices et de principes qui nous aident à parvernir à la meilleure compréhension possible du passage, étant donné que nous vivons à une époque et une culture complètement différentes et que nous parlons une langue complètement différente.

Dans la partie 1 de Comment Lire et Comprendre la Bible” (voir l’édition d’hivers 2020 de ce journal), nous avons parler de:

1. Trois tâches basiques dans l’interprétation biblique:

(a) Déterminer le sens exact du passage (exégèse);

(b) Appliquer des principes sains d’interprétation du paasage (herméneutique);

(c) Nivéler le fossé entre l’ancien texte, l’ancienne langue, culture et auditoire et notre langues, culture et auditoire contemporains.

2. Deux questions herméneutiques importantes:

(a) Les auteurs de l’A.T. savaient-ils entièrement ce dont ils écrivaient?

(b) Les auteurs du N.T. savaient-ils entièrement ce dont ils écrivaient?

Maintenant, dans cette Partie 2 sur le même sujet, nous continuons d’examiner d’autres aspects importants de l’interprétation biblique.

A. Interprétation Littérale

Certaines personnes disent qu’on ne peut pas prendre la Bible littéralement (1) la Bible utilise des figures de style (métaphore, hyperbole, etc.), et (2) parce que la Bible utilise un langage poétique et d’autres genres littéraires de sorte qu’elle ne peut pas être interprétée littéralement (ex. l’apocalypse). C’est véritablement une tentative de distraction de la vérité de la Bible. En réalité, nous interprétons la Bible en utilisant le même principe que pour tout autre littérature.

Qu’entendons-nous par “littéral”? Si par littéral vous entendez une traduction tissée mot pour mot qui ne prend pas en compte le langage fuguratif et métaphorique, c’est donc “non”, nous n’interprétons pas la Bible littéralement. Mais si par “littéral” vous entendez que nous prenons la Bible au sens premier; que nous croyons que la Bible est vraie dans tout ce qu’elle affirme et exacte dans tout ce qu’elle rapporte; que nous lisons et interprétons la Bible selon son sens plein et naturel comme voulu par les auteurs (prendre en compte leur style litéraire, leurs dispositifs littéraires, leur grammaire, le sens des mots au moments où elle est écrite, et le contexte historique, écconomique, social, géographique et politique dans lesquels elle est écrite), alors “oui” nous interprétons la Bible littéralement.

Probablement, un meilleur terme que sens “littéral” serait sens “littéraire”. Le sens littéraire est une interprétation qui “…reflète le type de littérature employé, le contexte, l’arrière-plan historique, la grammaire, (et) le sens des mots” 1 - c’est-à-dire une interprétation qui est basée sur une méthode “d’interprétation grammaticao-contextuel-théologique”. Ou bien nous devrions dire que l’interprétation littérale est “une interprétation qui ne spiritualise pas ou n’allégorise pas” 2 ce que l’auteur n’a pas voulu spirituaiser ou allégoriser – c’est-à-dire le sens “normal” ou “plein”.

L’interprétation littérale, signifie donc, interpréter la Bible selon son sens littéral/littéraire – c’est-à-dire, comme vous auriez interprété tout travail littéraire, “selon les règles normales de grammaire, du discours, de la syntaxe et du contexte.” L’interprétation littérale n’exclue donc pas l’utilisation des types ou des illustrations; ni les genres littéraires basés sur les symboles imaginaires et illustratvies (ex. l’apocalpse). L’interpétation littérale n’exclue pas l’interprétation normale basée sur une lecture naturelle du texte (sens premier, plein). Comme un de mes amis qui est pasteur a l’habitude de le dire: “Lorsque le sens plein est conforme au sens commun, alors tout autre sens est un non-sens.”

L’interprétation littéral se tient en contraste par rapport aux autres méthodes d’interprétation telles que l’allégorisation, la spiritualisation, la moralization, et la typologie. En d’autres termes, derrière le dispositif littéraire, l’imagerie, les genres et le style que l’auteur biblique a pu employé, se cache une idée ou un concept littéral. C’est ce que nous recherchons lorsque nous lisons la Bible.

Même si la Bible est un livre unique du fait qu’elle est inspirée par la Saint Esprit, cela ne change pas le fait qu’elle est écrite avec des mots du langage humain normal, et avec une construction grammaticale normale. Pour ce faire, notre compréhension de la Bible est basée sur les mêmes règles que nous appliquons pour comprendre tout autre œuvre littétaire. L’interprétation littérale ne signifie pas que nous adhérons au littéralisme “tissé” qui met le texte biblique dans un prêt-à-porter qui pourrait le rendre inintelligible.

C’est pourquoi l’approche “grammatico-contextuel-théologique” est si vitalement importante. En essayant d’interpréter le texte littéralement, vous avez besoin d’être capable d’identifier: (a) les différents composants grammaticaux du texte; (b) son accent théologique; (c) son contexte; et (d) son genre et ses dispositifs littéraires. Tous ces aspects influencent la comprehension et le l’interprétation.

Pour ce faire, dans le but d’interpréter correctement le Bible, nous devons analyser et comprendre...

1. la grammaire – les différentes structures syntaxiques (propositions et phrases) et les mots employés – leur types et parties du discours (ex. nom, verbe, etc.), forme (ex. cas; temps), et sens.

2. La théologie. Que dit l’auteur au sujet de Dieu (ses desseins, son caractère, sa nature, ses plans, etc.) et au sujet de notre relation avec Dieu?

3. Le contexte – historique, politique, economique, social, et culturel.

4. Les genres et dispositifs littéraires – le style d’écriture et les figures de style.

Toute cette analyse influence notre compréhension des idées (vérité, théologie) que l’auteur initial avait l’intention de communiquer et est partie prenante de l’interprétation littérale.

B. Interpréter le Genre Littéraire et les Formules

Evidemment, le genre littéraire a une grande influence sur la manière dont nous interprétons tout document, dont la Bible n’est pas la moindre, étant donné qu’elle contient plusieurs genres différents. Le genre littéraire se réfère au style d’écriture du passage tel que la prose, la poésie, l’épître, le proverbe, l’apocalypse, l’évangile (avec la parabole comme sous catégorie), la narration historique, la narration prophétique, etc.

Le genre littéraire affecte la manière dont nous interprétons le passage. S’il est écrit dans un langage apocalyptique, par exemple, avec des images sauvages et hallucinatoires, et des descriptions de scènes eschatologiques, c’est à cette lumière que l’on doit l’interpréter.

Toutefois, l’identification du genre ne rend pas l’interprétation évidente. Par exemple, le genre littéraire ne règle pas la question de l’historicité. Le livre de Jonas en est un cas. Parce qu’une partie de Jonas est écrite comme une narration historique, mais une autre partie (le chapitre 2) est écrite sous forme poétique. Les érudits sont divisés sur la question de savoir si c’est un compte rendu historique ou simplement un portrait allégorique de l’expérience de Jonas avec le chapitre poétique comme une prière reflétant la reconnaissance. Bien sûr, pour les incroyants qui ne croient pas aux miracles, le chapitre poétique leur donne une excuse pour jeter l’aspect historique de tout le livre par-dessus bord.

En plus du genre littéraire, nous devons être conscients de tout formule littéraire que l’auteur pourrait utiliser, telles que les figures de styles comme la métaphore, la comparaison, et l’hyperbole. Lorsque ces formules sont utilisées, elles affectent la manière dont nous interprétons et comprenons le texte.

C. Un Sens Unique, Plusieurs Applications

Notez ce principe, s’il vous plaît: “Un sens unique; plusieurs applications.” Nous croyons que chaque passage de l’Ecriture a un seul sens, non pas plusieurs sens, si on le lit et l’interprète comme écrit et voulu par l’auteur. Il ne signifie pas une chose pour vous et une autre chose pour moi. Chaque passage de l’Ecriture a un seul et unique sens. Nous pouvons avoir beaucoup d’options d’interprétation simplement à cause des limitations de la traduction et la communication écrite, mais il y a un seul et unique sens voulu par l’auteur. Cependant; chaque Ecriture peut avoir plusieurs applications. A partir du seul et unique sens d’un passage de l’Ecriture, nous pouvons tirer plusieurs applications qui influencent notre conduit, langage, nos relations, etc.

Mais notez cette qualification: A cause de la nature progressive de la révélation scripturaire, un sens plus profound et plus étendu qui n’a pas été évident pour les auteurs et les auditoires humains initiaux, pourrait nous être évident. Cela ne change pas le sens initial, mais l’étend.

Nous devons toujours nous rappeler que même s’il ya plusieurs auteurs humains de la Bible, il n’y a qu’un seul Auteur Divin. Ainsi, ce qui peut n’avoir pas été évident pour l’auteur humain ou qui n’a pas été son intention, était évident et voulu par l’Auteur Divin. Mais nous devons avoir des fondements bibliques pour attribuer au Saint Esprit le sens plus complet, plus étentdu et plus clair que ce dont les auteurs humains ont pu être conscients. (Pour plus de detail là-dessus, voir l’Edition de l’hivers 2020 de ce journal).

D. L’impact de la Culture sur Notre Compréhension

Certains érudits bibliques et prédicateurs essayent de moderniser la Bible en l’interprétant à la lumière du sens des mots et des standards culturels contemporains. Effectivement, il s’agit de réinterpréter la Bible pour qu’elle signifie ce qu’ils veulent qu’elle signifie aujourd’hui. Mais la Bible n’a pas été écrite aujourd’hui, et ses enseignements non plus ne peuvent être changes pour s’accorder avec l’éthique et les pratique contemporaines.

Toutefois, nous devons admettre que la Bible contient beaucoup de pratiques anciennes qui nous sont étrangères (c’est peu dire) et qui n’ont aucun sens pour nontre culture. Ainsi, notre défi est d’une part, de ne pas interpréter la Bible pour la rendre pertinente à la culture d’aujourd’hui, mais, d’autre part à distinguer entre les principes universels de la Bible (qui sont applicables à tous les peoples de toutes les cultures dans tous les âges) et ses anciennes pratiques (qui étaient limitées à cette ancienne culture).

Premièrement, qu’entendons-nous par “culture”? La culture de toute organization est essentiellement la manière dont les choses sont faites ou les attitudes expimées qui sont construites avec le temps. Cet environnement peut avoir été développé à cause de décisions prises dans le passé, de personnes qui ont été influentes, des crises qui sont arrivées, une histoire qui s’est produite, des situations expériementées, des principes qui ont été adoptés, etc. C’est vraiment la personalité et le caractère de l’organisation exprimés en valeurs, priorités, style de leadership, ce pour quoi elle tient, comment elle réagit, pourquoi elle existe, en quoi elle croit, etc.

Les familles ont leurs cultures. C’est là que vous apprenez vos toutes premières coonvictions et peut être les plus ptofondement enracinées concernant la vie, le comportement, vos valeurs, priorités, votre vision du monde, vos relations (ex. vos parents et frères et soeurs). Votre gouvernement a sa culture; votre église a sa culture; votre lieu de travail a sa culture. Tout ce conditionnement culturel affecte la manière dont nous lisons, interprétons et mettons en pratique la Bible.

1. La Culture Ancienne

L’un des défis de l’interprétation biblique est de déterminer les pratiques qui sont applicables uniquement à une ancienne socéié et qui lui est réfléchissant (c’est-à-dire culturel) et quelles pratiques sont applicables à tous les âges (cest-à-dire, transculturel)

La question principale est: “Comment appliquons-nous l’Ecriture?” De tous les commandements et les pratiques que nous lisons dans la Bible, lesquels sont encore applicables aujourd’hui et doivent être mis en pratique par nous? Et devraient-ils être appliqués comme ils l’étaient dans l’ancienne culture ou d’une certaine forme modifiée?

Quelques Exemples de l’A.T.

(a) La dîme – les dîmes agricoles (Lev. 27:30-33); les dîmes pour les lévites et le travail des prêtres dans le tabernacle (Nom. 18:21ss.); la dîmes agricole annuelle et de la prêtrise (Deut. 14:22ss.); les dîmes pour les lévites, les étrangers, les orphélins sans pères, les veuves (Deut. 26:12 15).

(b) Viol – ex. Deut. 22:28-29. Cette exigence est-elle valide aujourd’hui de sorte que quelqu’un viole une fille, tout ce qu’il a à faire c’est de payer au père 50 shékels d’argent pour l’épouser?

(c) L’homosexualité – ex. Lev. 18:22. Ce commandement de l’A.T contre l’homosexualité, est-ce un commandement auquel nous devons adhérer aujourd’hui?

(d) La bastialité – ex. Lev. 18:23. Est-ce normal aujourd’hui que quelqu’un ait des rapports sexuels avec des animaux?

(e) Vêtements aux matières melangées – ex. Lev. 19:19. Sommes-nous contraints aujourd’hui de porter des vêtements aux matières melangées comme la laine et le lin?

(f) La loi du Sabbat – ex. Ex. 20:9-10. Devons-nous littérallement “ne faire aucun travail” le jour du Sabbat? S’il en est ainsi, quelle est la définition du “travail”? Quel jour est le Sabbat pour nous? Qu’a voulu dire Jésus quand il a dit: “Le Sabbat a été fait pour l’homme et non l’homme pour le Sabbat” (Mk. 2:27)?

(g) la Circoncision – ex. Gen. 17:10. La circoncision est-elle une pratique religieuse pour nous?

(h) Les tatouages – ex. Lev. 19:28. Sommes-nous astreints à la prohibitions des marques de tatouages sur le corps, de sortes à devoir y obéir aujourd’hui?

(i) Styles d’habillement – e.g. Deut. 22:5, “Un femme ne poretera pas un habillement d’homme, et un homme ne mettra point de vêtement de femme.” De quel habillement parle-t-on? Qui est astreint à cela, pourquoi et comment?

Quelques Exemples du N.T

(a) Le voilement de la tête pour les femmes et non pour les hommes (1 Cor. 11:1-16). Les femmes doivent-elles se voiler la tête aujourd’hui pendant l’adoration, ou y a-t-il ici un ordre qui serait exprimé différemment de manière plus appropriée dans un autre culture? En d’autres termes, le voilement de la tête était-il simplement une expression culturelle à cette époque d’un principe constant qui serait mieux exprimé différemment aujourd’hui?

(b) Le silence des femmes dans l’église (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 14:34). L’instruction de Paul selon laquelle les femmes devraient garder le “silence” dans l’église était-elle culturelle ou transculturelle. Est-ce une instruction adressée spécifiquement et uniquement à des femmes d’une certaine église (ex. Ephèse) pour arrêter leurs chamalleries et leurs perturbations des cultes de l’église? Ou bien est-ce une pratique des femmes de tous les âges? Si le silence lui-même est le réflet de la manière dont l’ancien monde pratiquait un certain principe, quel est le principe qu’il démontre et comment nous devrions pratiquer ce principe dans notre culture?

(c) La soumission des épouses à leurs maris (Eph. 5:22). Comment devons-nous appliquer l’intruction de Pierre selon laquelle les épouses doivent se soumettre à leurs maris “comme Sara, qui obéissait à Abraham et qui l’appelait son Seigneur” (1 Pet. 3:5-6)?

(d) Prier les main levées (1 Tim. 2:8). L’injonction de Paul était-elle culturelle ou transculturelle?

(e) L’évangélisation (Lk. 10:4). Devons-nous littéralement “ne porter ni bourse, ni sac, ni souliers et ne saluer personne en chemin”? Ou bien Jésus déclare un principe qui doit être exprimé d’une manière appropriée dans notre culture?

(f) Se saluer avec un saint baiser (1 Cor. 16:20). Devons-nous nous saluer de cette manière aujourd’hui? Si tel est le cas, à quoi ressemblerait le baiser de deux hommes pour le monde? Et que dire d’un homme embrassant une femme qui n’est pas sont épouse? Que dire de deux femmes qui s’embrasseraient?

(g) Boir du vin (1 Tim. 5:23). L’instruction de Paul à Timothée selon laquelle il devrait prendre “un peu de vin pour ses fréquentes indispositions” est-elle une exigence pour nous? Est-ce là un traitment médical standard? Ou est-ce là une instruction pour timothée seulement.

(h) L’onction avec de l’huile (Jac 5:14; Mk. 6:13). Oindre les malades avce de l’huile est-il une pratique exigée de nous? Si tel est cas, quel en est le but et le sens? Est-ce une pratique médicale ou religieuse?

(i) Vendre vos possessions pour le donner aux pauvres (Lk. 12:33). Comment appliquons-nous cette instruction de Jésus?

(j) Les cheveux longs sont une disgrâce pour l’homme (1 Cor. 11:14). Quelle est la définition de longs chéveux? Comment pratiquons-nous cela aujourd’hui?

Conclusions

Ces aspects de l’enseignement biblique qui réflètent des pratiues culturelles anciennes doivent être examiner pour déterminer:

1. Quels principes inchangeables sont derrière eux? Notez bien: Qaund nous préparons un message, l’une des premières choses que nous cherchons sont les vérités éternelles, ses principes inchangeables. Ce sont là, les points principaux de notre sermon.

2. Comment est ce prinicipe à mettre en pratique aujourd’hui? Puisque le Bible a été écrite par des hommes du passé dans le langage, l’imagerie et la culture d’alors (pour des gens spécifiquess pour régler des situation spécifiques à un moment spécifique), il y a évidemment un accent culturel. Notre tâche est de déterminer si la Bible enseigne que la pratique culturelle est la norme pour tous les âges, ou si le prinicipe sous-jascent est une prtaique pour tous les âges.

2. Notre Culture Contemporaine

Non seulement nous devons être capables d’identifier l’influence de l’ancienne culture sur les auteurs bibliques, mais nous devons également être capables d’identifier notre propre conditionnement culturel en lisant la Bible. Nous devons reconnaître que nous lisons et interprétons avec des yeux et une compréhension conditionnés par notre propre culture. C’est pourquoi, les gens d’autres cultures que la nôtre lisent souvent des parties de la Bible avec une vision du monde et une compréhension différente de la nôtre.

Certains facteurs contemporains qui influencent sérieusement notre compréhension du texte ancient comprennent: (a) les methodes contemporaines de communication (ex. Le téléphone, le courriel, les journaux, etc.); le voyage (ex. Les avions); le style de vie (ex. L’individualisme et le matérialisme); l’habillement; la vision du monde.

En étudiant la Bible en préparation d’un enseignement ou d’une prédication, nous devons chercher à lire comme un lecteur non biaisé (même si cela n’est probablement pas totalement possible). C’est pourquoi, nous devons nous discipliner dans “l’exégèse” (amener ce qui est là à la lumière), pas “l’éiségèse” (lire en la Bible ce qui n’y est pas. C’est pourquoi, nous devons suivre un certain nombre de principes basiques d’interprétation, que j’essaie d’expliquer dans cette série intitulée “Renforcer l’Interprétation Biblique: Comment lire et comprendre la Bible”. Je vais continuer cette série dans la prochaine édition de ce journal.

II. Les Limites de la Liberté Chrétienne

1 Corinthiens 6:12-20

Par: le Dr. Stephen F. Olford

C’est la suite d’une série que nous avons publié dernièrement dans lédition de l’hivers 2019 de ce journal.

Introduction

Le troisième désordre spécifique dans l’église de Corinthe était celui de l’impureté. Le problème est soulevé par l’enseignement populaire concernant le corps humain. Les Grecs méprisaient toujours le corps. Il y avait un dicton populaire selon lequel: “le corps est la tombe.” L’élément important de la personnalité humaine est l’âme et l’esprit, tandis que le corps n’était vraiment important.

De cette façon de réfléchir résultent deux formes de comportement. La première était un ascétisme rigoureux dans lequel tout est faite pour assujétir et humilier les désires et les instincts du corps. La deuxième, qui était si prévalent dans la ville de Corinthe, était l’utilisation du corps comme moyen de satisfaction des appétits et des envies le plus possible. Cette philosophie de la vie était renforcée par une interprétation erronée de la doctrine de la liberté Chrétienne que Paul a prêchée. La conséquence est que, la licence et l’immoralité de la ville de Corinthe avait fait des incursions dans la vie de l’église. En gardant cela à l’esprit, Paul traite de la doctrine du corps du croyant.

A. La Liberté du Corps du Croyant

“Tout m’est permis, mais tout ne m’est pas utile.” (1 Corinthiens 6:12, 13). Paul introduit le sujet de la liberté du corps du croyant en citant deux proverbes ou slogans qui exigent notre attention très accentuée. C’est parfaitement vrai que le Chrétien est “appélé à la liberté;” mais il est également vrai que nous ne devons pas utiliser cette liberté comme une occasion pour la chaire” (Galates 5:13). La liberté chrétienne n’est pas le désir de faire ce nous voulons, mais plutôt le pouvoir de faire ce que nous devons faire. Ainsi, Paul nous dit deux choses concernant la liberté chrétienne:

1) La Liberté Chrétienne est Divinement Gardée. “Tout m’est permis, mais tout ne m’est pas utile. Tout m’est permis, mais je ne me laisserai asservir par quoi que ce soit” (1 Corinthiens 6:12). Ce que Paul dit ici, c’est que parce que nous ne sommes plus sous la loi mais sous la grâce, nous sommes des hommes et des femmes libres, mais une telle liberté ne justifie en aucune manière l’anarchie, “car toute uniquité est un péché…” (1 Jean 5:17). Pour ce faire, même si le Chrétien est libre d’utiliser son corps, il doit respecter deux principes gardiens.

La première est que même si toutes choses sont permises, toutes ne sont pas oportunes. Le mot “opportun” signifie “ce qui est utile aux autres.” Nous pouvons voir quel contrôle cela impose à notre comportement de Chrétien, parce qu’il est clair que si tout ce que nous faisons avec et par notre corps est utile aux autres, nous ne devons jamais être coupables de prostituer notre liberté Chrétienne.

Le deuxième principe est simplement aussi fort. Paul déclare, “tout m’est permis, mais je ne me laisserai asservir par quoique ce soit” (1 Corinthiens 6:12). Si le premier principe nous relie aux autres, le second nous concerne nous-mêmes. Tout ce que nous faisons qui a tendance à nous asservir n’est pas de la liberté, mais de la servitude. Nous abusons de notre liberté, si en l’utilisant, nous dimunions le fruit de la maîtrise de soi.

Nous entendons beaucoup parler “d’amour libre” de nos jours, mais si seulement les gens qui parlent ainsi savaient de quoi il s’agissait, ils se rendraient compte qu’ils sont esclaves de ce dont ils revendiquent comme liberté. Prenez garde que votre liberté ne devienne de la servitude. Ainsi, nous voyons que la vraie liberté Chrétienne est divinement gardée, mais notez en plus:

2) La Liberté Chrétienne est Divinement Guidée. “Les aliments sont pour le ventre et le ventre pour les aliments; et Dieu détruira l’un comme l’autre. Mais le corps n’est pas pour l’impudicité. Il est pour le Seigneur, et le Seigneur pour le corps” (1 Corinthiens 6:13). Voici un second slogan que Paul utilise pour illustrer sa doctrine de la liberté Chrétienne. Les gens argumentent que puisque les aliments sont pour le ventre et le ventre pour les aliments, de la même manière toute autre faim doit est être satisfaite. Mais, il y a une erreur grave dans cette façon de raisonner. En effet, comme le Bishop Lightfoot l’a dit: “c’est une grande confusion morale.” A la lumière de la sainte loi de Dieu, nous pouvons certainement accepter que les aliments sont essentiels au ventre, mais qui d’entre nous oserais étendre cette déclaration pour ajouter que la fornication est essentiellement pour le corps? Ainsi donc, Paul nous montre qu’autant que la nourriture est pour le ventre, Dieu les détruira tous les deux; parce qu’ils subsistent seulement durant notre vie terrestre.

Mais pour ce qui est du corps du croyant, il en est autrement. Notre corps est conçu pour le Seigneur aussi bien dans le temps présent que dans l’éternité. Comme nous le voyons présentement, il est le véhicule de l’expression divine actuellement, et un jour, il sera revêtu de l’immortalité. Il sera Son instrument de gloire et de service à travers les âges de l’éternité.

Par conséquent, soutenir que tout ce qui se manifeste comme faim doit être satisfait, n’est ni logique, ni biblique. Il est vrai que la nourriture est pour le ventre, mais le corps est pour le Seigneur, et pour cela, il n’est pour aucune forme d’immoralité ou d’impureté. Ainsi, nous concluons que tandis que la liberté du corps du croyant est une bénédiction dont il faut jouir, il faut ajouter que cette liberté est à la foi gardée et guidée. A partir de cet aspect du sujet, Paul procède maintenant à une discussion que nous pouvons appeler:

B. La Sainteté du Corps du coryant

“Et Dieu qui a ressuscité le Seigneur, nous ressuscitera aussi par sa puissance. Ne savez-vous pas que vos corps sont des membres de Christ? … Ne savez-vous pas que vos corps sont le temple du Saint-Esprit qui est en vous, que vous avez reçu de Dieu, et que vous ne vous appartenez point à vous-mêmes?” (1 Corinthiens 6:14, 15, 19). Avec une grande perspicacité, Paul confronte ses lecteurs avec la doctrine de la santeté du corps du croyant. En effet, il exprime son étonnement qu’ils ne soient pas conscients de cette vérité. Ainsi, il demande encore et encore, comme il l’a fait dans les deux chapitres précédents: “Ne savez-vous pas?” (v. 15); “Ne savez-vous pas?” (v. 16); “Ne savez-vous pas?” (v. 19). Oui, le corps du croyant a été sanctifié une fois et pour toujours par:

1) Dieu le Père. “Et Dieu qui a ressuscité le Seigneur, nous ressuscitera aussi par Sa puissance” (1 Corinthiens 6:14). Le Père qui a fait le ventre, va le détruire; mais le Père qui a fait le corps le ressuscitera. La destinée du corps est éternelle. Souvenons-nous que “… Dieu…nous a fait” et non pas nous-mêmes … (Psaumes 100:3). Le Psalmiste nous rappele enore que nous sommes “…une créature merveilleuse” (Psaumes 139:14). Avec toutes les inventions scientifiques autour de nous, rien n’a encore été produit qui puisse être comparer à la merveille que représente le corsp humain. Et Paul nous dit que Celui qui nous a créé, va nous ressusciter. Dans une autre passage, il nous rappelle que “Notre cité à nous, est dans les cieux, d’où nous attendons aussi comme Sauveur le Seigneur Jésus Christ, qui transformera le corps de notre humiliation, en le rendant semblable au corps de Sa gloire …” (Philippiens 3:20, 21). C’est là la destinée suprême de ton corps et du mien, et à la lumière de cela, nous ne pouvons pas, nous n’osons pas prostituer son usage. Dieu a sanctifié notre corps pour toujours par la création, et un jour par la résurrection. Ce qui est plus important, nos corps sont sanctifié par:

2) Dieu le Fils. “Ne savez-vous pas que vos corps sont des membres de Christ? Prendrai-je le donc les membres de Christ pour en faire les membres d’une prostitué? Loin de là!” (1 Corinthiens 6:15). Dans un premier temps nous n’avons pas été “rachetés par des choses périssables,” tells “de l’argent ou de l’or...” (1 Pierre 1:18, 19). En d’autres mots, nous avons été “rachetés et on a payé le prix pour nous” (Bonne vitesse). À la luière de cela, Christ a daigné s’identifier à nous. C’est là toute la signification du verset 15. Littéralement on peut lire: “Ne savez-vous pas que vos corps sont des branches de Christ?” Notre pensée est Sa pensée; nos yeux sont Ses yeux; nos lèvres sont Ses lèvres; nos mains sont ses mains; nos pieds sont ses pieds; nos corps sont vraiment les membres du Seigneur Ressuscité.

Plutard, Paul développe ce thème Glorieux dans le 12ème chapitre, mais il introduit le sujet ici pour montrer l’incompatibilité et l’immoralité du croyant qui utilise les membres de Christ pour un but tout autre que celui voulu par Dieu. En réalité, l’emploi de nos membres pour des pratiques non saintes est décrit dans l’original comme un rapport sexuel illicite, ou un “viol.” Ainsi l’apôtre s’exclame, “…Ne savez-vous pas que celui qui s’attache à une prostitué est un seul corps avec elle? Car il est dit, ‘les deux deviendront une seule chair.’’” (1 Corinthiens 6:16). Comme W.E. Vine l’a souligné, “amener un homme et une femme dans une relation si proche et si puissante pour former un personnalité complexe sur le plan inférieur.

C’est donc cela l’argument que Paul utilise pour souligner la sainteté absolue du corps du croyant. Mais en troisième position, notez que le corps du croyant est sanctifié, non seulement par Dieu le Père et Dieu le Fils, mais aussi par:

3) Dieu le Saint Esprit. “Ne savez-vous pas que votre corps est le temple du Saint Esprit, qui est en vous, que vous avez reçu de Dieu et que vous ne vous appartenez pas à vous même?” (1 Corinthiens 6:19). Les Corinthiens on dû comprendre plus promptement ce que Paul a voulu dire par cette déclaration. Il y avait des temples pour chaque déité païen à Corinthe. Beaucoup de ces temples étaient associés à des praiques immorales; mais dans ce contexte précis, Paul introduit un nouveau concept de la vie. Il dit: “Ne savez-vous pas que votre corps st le temple du Saint Esprit?” En Grec, l’accent est mis sur le mot “Saint.” Le temple de Dieu où Il demeure par le Saint Esprit, n’est pas seulement l’église en tant que corporation, mais ton corps et le mien individuellement. Donc, bien que vous pensez que votre corps vous appartient, en réalité, il ne vous appartient pas: il appartient à Dieu. Apprécier correctement cette vérité étonnante révolutionnera notre manière de vivre. En réalité, cela donne une dignité à l’ensemble de la vie tel que rien d’autre ne le peut. Où que nous allions et quoique nous fassions, nous sommes les porteurs du Saint Esprit. Cela nessecite l’évacuation de toute conduite qui n’est pas appropriée au royaume de Dieu. Certainement, la fornication serait impensable. Mais le principe impliqué a une application bien plus large. Rien qui pourrait être de travers dans le temple de Dieu pourrait nous empêcher de devenir de enfant de Dieu.

C. La Pureté du Corps du Croyant

“Fuyez l’impudicité. Quelque autre péché qu’un homme commette, ce péché est hors de son corps, mais celui qui se livre à l’impudicité pèche contre son propre corps …Car vous avez été racheté à un grand prix. Glorifiez donc Dieu dans votre corps et dans votre esprit qui appartiennent à Dieu” (1 Corinthiens 6:18, 20). Les deux exhortations opératoires dans ces verset sont “fuyez l’impudicité” et “glorifiez Dieu.” L’une est négative et l’autre positive. Ainsi, pour maintenir la pureté du corps du croyant, il doit y avoir:

1) Un Evitement Total du Péché. “Fuyez l’impudicité…” (1 Corinthiens 6:18). Le verbe à l’impératif présent indique une action habituelle. Littéralement on pourrait lire: “Faites de ‘fuire’ votre habitude.” C’est la seule manière de traiter le péché. Quand la tentation vient se présenter, vous ne devez pas vous arrêter pour débatre, argumenter ou même permettre aux pensée impures de prendre racine dans votre esprit. En temps d’atttaque satanique, le mot qui vaille est “fuir.” L’une des illustrations les plus belles vivantes se trouve dans le vie de Joseph. Vous vous souviendrez que dans la cour de Potiphar, lorsque la maîtresse de la maison a essayé de le séduire pour qu’il pèche, il s’est exclamé: “…comment ferais-je un aussi grand mal et péchérais-je contre Dieu?” (Genèse 39:9), et instantanément, il a pris le fuite et est sorti de la maison (v. 12).

Pour renforcer son point de vue, Paul ajoute que contrairement aux autres péchés, l’immoralité est un péché contre le corps. “Quelque péché qu’un homme commette, ce péché est hors de son corps, mais celui qui se livre à l’impudicité pèche contre son propre corps …” (1 Corinthiens 6:18). La raison en est que l’immoralité de ce genre est une offense contre la personnalité d’un homme ou d’une femme. De plus, ce péché particulier dévie le corps de son but divin. Ainsi Paul dit, “Fuyez l’impudicité:” et à un autre endroit il dit: “n’ayez pas soin de la chair pour en satisfaire les désirs (Romains 13:14). Cela veut simplement dire, “N’y pensez pas” et ne faites pas des calculs pour faire du péché une possibilité, ni même une réalité.”

C’est un exhortation négative. L’exhortation positive implique:

2) Une allégeance totale à Dieu. “…glorifiez Dieu dans votre corps …” (1 Corinthiens 6:20). Notez que ce commandement est lié immédiatement avec le sacrifice de Jésus Christ qui rachète. Paul dit: “…vous avez été racheté à un grand prix; pour cela, glorifiez Dieu dans vos corps …” (v. 20). Glorifier Christ dans nos corps est non seulement une obligation, mais aussi une gratitude et une dévotion à Celui qui a donné Sa vie, pour que, ayant été libérés de la servitude de satan, nous manifestions par notre corps mortel toute la gloire du Père, du Fils et du Saint Esprit en nous. La gloire éclatante de son caratère, et si nos corps sont complètement possédés et controlés par la gloire Dieu habite en nous, là il y a une pureté qui sera vue et sentie. C’est ce que le Psalmiste appelle “la beauté de sa sainteté.” Dans leur chute, Adam et Eve n’étaient pas couverts de cette gloire, mais ils l’ont perdu quand ils ont changé l’objet de leur confiance de Dieu pour le fixer sur eux-même. L’ayant perdu, ils ont su pour la première fois qu’ils étaient nus. Comme c’est merveilleux de savoir que même dans ces corps déchus qui sont les nôtres, Jésus Christ peut être magnifiés jour après jour, que ce soit par la vie ou par la mort (Philippiens 1:20). C’est cette pureté qui convainc le monde pécheur et qui convainc l’âme à la recherche de la vérité. C’est une pureté qui donne la preuve que nous sommes avec Christ et que nous apprenons de Lui.

Conclusion:

C’est là donc que se trouve la doctrine biblique du corps du croyant. Il y a une liberté du corps qui est divinement gardée et guidée. Il y a une sainteté du corps qui est consacrée par la le Père, le Fils et le Saint Esprit, et par conséquent, il y a une pureté du corps, qui est caractérisée par un évitement total du péché et une totale allégeance à Dieu. Personne ne peut voir une vie vraiment pure sans savoir que cet homme ou cette femme est consacré(e) à Dieu.

La seule manière dont nous pouvons conclure notre étude sur ce sujet c’est de nous rappeler cette grande parole de l’apôtre, qui l’a écrite au croyants à Rome: “Je vous exhorte donc, frères, par les compassions de Dieu, à offrir vos corps comme un sacrifice vivant, saint, agréable à Dieu, ce qui sera de votre part un culte raisonnable” (Romains 12:1).

III. Plan du Message

Pour écouter la version audio de ces message, cliquez sur ces liens: Link 1 - Rév. 2:12-13; Link 2 - Rév. 2:14-15; Link 3 - Rév. 2:16; Link 4 - Rév. 2:17

Titre: Lettres au Sept Eglise: Pergam – Perséverant mais Compromettant

Thème: Tenir bon pour la vérité dans une culture de la compromission

Point #1: Christ commande la fidélité (13)

Point #2: Christ comdamne la compromission (14-15)

Point #3: Christ commande la repentance (16)

Point #4: Christ apporte une promesse (17)


1 Duvall and Hays, Grasping God’s Word, 187.

2 Charles Ryrie, The Essentials of Dispensationalism” (Israel My Glory, May/June 2007), 29.

Related Topics: Pastors

Jurnalul Electronic Al Păstorilor, Rom Ed 35, Editia de primăvară 2020

A ministry of…

Author: Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,
Email: [email protected]

I. Consolidarea interpretării biblice
„Cum să citim și să înțelegem Biblia” (Partea a 2-a)

Introducere

Deși interpretarea biblică („hermeneutica”) este un subiect vast și uneori poate fi destul de complicat, este deosebit de important pentru noi să îl studiem pentru a putea predica Cuvântul în mod corect și clar și pentru a putea transmite ceea ce el spune și înseamnă, precum și modul în care se aplică la viețile noastre.

Studiind Scriptura, întâlnim adesea expresii, fraze și texte greu de înțeles și de interpretat pentru a afla ce a vrut să transmită autorul inspirat. Tocmai pentru aceste situații avem nevoie de reguli și principii care ne ajută să înțelegem un text cât mai bine cu putință, ținând cont de faptul că noi trăim într-o altă epocă, într-o cultură total diferită și vorbim o cu totul altă limbă.

În prima parte a capitolului „Cum să citim și să înțelegem Biblia” (vezi Ediția de iarnă, 2020, a acestui jurnal), am discutat despre:

1. Trei sarcini de bază în procesul de interpretare biblică:

(a) Determină sensul exact al textului (exegeză);

(b) Aplică principii corecte de interpretare a textului (hermeneutică);

(c) Fă legătura între textul antic, limba, cultura și destinatarii de atunci și limba, cultura și ascultătorii din zilele noastre.

2. Două întrebări hermeneutice importante:

(a) Autorii inspirați ai Vechiului Testament au înțeles pe deplin lucrurile despre care scriau?

(b) Autorii inspirați ai Noului Testament au înțeles pe deplin lucrurile despre care scriau?

Acum, în partea a doua a acestui capitol, continuăm să privim la alte aspecte importante ale interpretării biblice.

A. Interpretarea literală

Unii spun că nu poți interpreta Biblia literal pentru că (1) Biblia folosește figuri de stil (metafore, hiperbole etc.) și (2) pentru că Biblia folosește limbaj poetic, precum și alte genuri literare care nu pot fi interpretate literal (ex. genul apocaliptic). Aceasta este o încercare de a diminua adevărul Bibliei. Noi, de fapt, interpretăm Biblia folosind aceleași principii pe care le folosim și în cazul altor texte literare.

Ce înseamnă „literal”? Dacă „literal” înseamnă o traducere rigidă cuvânt cu cuvânt, ce nu ține cont de limbajul figurat sau metaforic, atunci „nu”, nu interpretăm Biblia în mod literal. Însă dacă interpretarea „literală” înseamnă că luăm Biblia în serios; că noi credem că tot ceea ce ea afirmă este adevărat și că relatările sale sunt precise; că citim și interpretăm Biblia conform cu sensul său propriu și direct și cu intenția autorilor inspirați (ținând cont de stilul lor literar, de procedeele stilistice, genul literar folosit, gramatică, sensul cuvintelor în momentul scrierii, precum și de contextul istoric, economic, social, geografic și politic la momentul scrierii), atunci „da”, citim și interpretăm Biblia în mod literal.

Poate că ar fi mai bine să spunem sensul „literar” decât sensul „literal”. Sensul literar este o interpretare care „… reflectă tipul de literatură folosit, contextul, gramatica, contextul istoric și sensul cuvintelor” 1 – adică se bazează pe metoda de interpretare „gramatical-contextual-teologică”. Sau, am putea spune că sensul literar este o „interpretare care nu spiritualizează sau alegorizează” 2 ceea ce autorul nu a vrut să fie spiritualizat sau alegorizat – adică sensul „propriu”.

Interpretarea literală, prin urmare, înseamnă să interpretăm Biblia conform cu sensul său literal / literar – adică așa cum interpretăm orice scriere literară, „conform cu regulile obișnuite de gramatică, de vorbire, sintaxă și context.” 3 Interpretarea literală nu exclude, așadar, folosirea figurilor de stil sau a ilustrațiilor, nici a genurilor literare bazate pe imaginar sau pe simboluri ilustrative (ex. genul apocaliptic). Interpretarea literală nu exclude interpretarea obișnuită bazată pe o citire naturală (normală, simplă) a textului. Un prieten de-al meu, pastor, spunea: „Când sensul propriu are sens, atunci orice alt sens este nonsens.”

Interpretarea literală se află în opoziție față de alte metode de interpretare, cum ar fi alegorizarea, spiritualizarea, moralizarea și interpretarea pe baza tipologiilor. Sau, cu alte cuvinte, în spatele mijloacelor literare, a imaginilor, genurilor literare și a stilului folosit de autorul biblic se află o idee sau un concept. Și asta căutăm noi atunci când citim Biblia.

Deși Biblia este o carte unică, pentru că este inspirată de Duhul Sfânt, aceasta nu schimbă faptul că ea este folosește cuvinte din limbajul uman obișnuit și structuri gramaticale obișnuite. Prin urmare, felul în care o înțelegem se bazează pe aceleași reguli pe care le aplicăm atunci când citim și interpretăm orice altă piesă literară. Interpretarea literală nu înseamnă că aderăm la o literalitate „de lemn”, care pune textul biblic într-o cămașă de forță, ce ar putea să-l facă neinteligibil.

De aceea este atât de importantă metoda de studiere „gramatical-contextual-teologică”. Atunci când încerci să interpretezi textul în mod literal, trebuie să poți identifica: (a) diferitele componente gramaticale ale textului; (b) ideea sa teologică; (c) contextul său; și (d) genul său literar și procedeele stilistice folosite. Toate aceste aspecte au un impact asupra înțelegerii și interpretării textului. 

Așadar, pentru a interpreta Biblia în mod corect, trebuie să analizăm și să înțelegem...

1. Gramatica – diferite structuri sintactice (propoziții și fraze) și cuvinte folosite – tipul lor și partea de vorbire (ex. substantiv, verb etc.), forma (ex. cazul; timpul verbal) și înțelesul lor.

2. Teologia. Ce spune autorul despre Dumnezeu (scopurile, caracterul, natura, planurile Lui etc.) și despre relația noastră cu Dumnezeu?

3. Contextul – istoric, politic, economic, social și cultural.

4. Genul literar și procedeele stilistice – stilul scrierii și figurile de stil.

Toată această analiză are un impact asupra modului în care înțelegem ideile (adevărul, teologia) pe care autorul inspirat a vrut să le transmită și este parte integrantă a procesului de interpretare literară.

B.  Cum interpretăm anumite genuri literare și procedee stilistice

Fără îndoială, interpretarea oricărei scrieri este puternic influențată de genul său literar și tot așa este și cu Biblia, care conține multe genuri literare diferite. Genul literar se referă la stilul în care este scris un text, și poate fi proză, poezie, proverb, gen epistolar, apocaliptic, evanghelie (care are pilda ca subcategorie), narațiune istorică, profetică etc.

Un text este interpretat în funcție de genul său literar. Dacă este scris, de exemplu, în limbaj apocaliptic, cu tot felul de imagini grozave, aproape halucinante și cu descrieri de scene escatologice, atunci textul trebuie interpretat în lumina aceasta.

Însă dacă identificăm genul literar al unui text, aceasta nu înseamnă că interpretarea devine evidentă. De exemplu, genul literar nu rezolvă problema istoricității. Cartea lui Iona este un exemplu grăitor. Cartea lui Iona este parțial o narațiune istorică, însă capitolul 2 este scris sub formă de poezie; din această cauză, părerile teologilor au fost împărțite, unii considerând că este o narațiune istorică, pe când alții au considerat că este doar o descriere alegorică a experienței lui Iona, capitolul poetic fiind rugăciunea de mulțumire a lui Iona. Bineînțeles, pentru necredincioșii care nu cred în miracole, capitolul poetic este o scuză pentru a arunca peste bord întreaga relatare istorică a cărții.

Pe lângă genurile literare, trebuie să recunoaștem procedeele stilistice folosite de autor, cum ar fi figurile de stil (metafora, comparația, hiperbola). Când sunt folosite, aceste procedee stilistice influențează modul în care interpretăm și înțelegem textul.

C.  Un singur sens; mai multe aplicații

Vă rog să vă notați acest principiu: „Un singur sens; mai multe aplicații.” Credem că orice text din Scriptură are un singur sens, nu mai multe, atunci când este citit și interpretat așa cum a fost scris și intenționat de autor. Un text nu poate însemna ceva pentru tine și altceva pentru mine. Ce e scris, e scris. Orice text din Scriptură are un singur înțeles pentru totdeauna. Poate că există mai multe opțiuni de interpretare din cauza limitărilor ce apar în procesul de traducere și comunicare în scris, însă există un singur sens pe care autorul textului a vrut să îl transmită. Orice text din Scriptură poate să aibă, însă, mai multe aplicații. Din acel sens unic al textului biblic putem deriva mai multe aplicații, care au impact asupra comportamentului nostru, asupra vorbirii, asupra relațiilor noastre etc.

Să mai observăm un lucru: Datorită naturii progresive a revelației biblice, noi putem descoperi sensuri extinse și mai profunde ale textului, care nu au fost cunoscute de autorii inspirați și nici de destinatarii lor inițiali. Aceasta nu schimbă sensul original, ci îl dezvoltă.

Trebuie să ținem minte că, deși Biblia are mai mulți autori umani, totuși există un singur Autor Divin. Prin urmare, lucrurile care nu au fost cunoscute sau intenționate de autorul uman, au fost cunoscute și intenționate de Autorul Divin. Însă trebuie să avem o bază biblică atunci când atribuim Duhului Sfânt o semnificație extinsă, mai clară și mai profundă decât cea cunoscută de autorii umani. (Pentru mai multe informații, vezi Ediția de iarnă, 2020, a acestui jurnal.)

D. Impactul culturii asupra înțelegerii noastre

Unii teologi și predicatori încearcă să modernizeze Biblia, interpretând-o în lumina semnificației contemporane a cuvintelor și a standardelor culturale contemporane. Astfel ei reinterpretează, practic, Biblia și îi conferă semnificația pe care ei vor să o aibă astăzi. Însă Biblia nu a fost scrisă în zilele noastre, iar învățăturile ei nu trebuie schimbate pentru a se potrivi cu etica și practicile contemporane.

Totuși, trebuie să recunoaștem că Biblia conține multe practici antice care sunt ciudate pentru noi (ca să nu spunem mai mult) și care nu au nici un sens în cultura noastră. Așadar, provocarea pentru noi este, pe de o parte, să nu interpretăm Biblia astfel încât să fie relevantă în cultura noastră, ci, pe de altă parte, să facem diferența dintre principiile universale ale Bibliei (care se aplică tuturor oamenilor din toate timpurile și din toate vremurile) și practicile sale antice (care se limitează la cultura antică respectivă).

Totuși, la ce ne referim atunci când folosim termenul „cultură”? Cultura oricărei societăți este, esențialmente, modul în care se fac lucrurile și se exprimă atitudinile în respectiva societate, mod care s-a dezvoltat în timp. Mediul acesta poate că s-a dezvoltat în modul respectiv datorită unor decizii luate în trecut, datorită unor oameni cu influență, datorită unor crize sau unor situații care au avut loc, datorită felului în care a decurs istoria sa, datorită principiilor adoptate etc. Personalitatea și caracterul societății sunt exprimate prin valorile, prioritățile, activitățile sale, prin ceea ce agreează sau nu agreează, prin stilul de conducere, prin ceea ce susține, prin felul în care reacționează, prin rațiunea existenței sale, prin ceea ce crede etc.

Familiile au o cultură proprie. Acolo dobândim cele mai timpurii și poate cele mai adânc înrădăcinate convingeri despre viață și comportament, despre valori, priorități, relații (ex. relația cu părinții și cu frații), concepția despre lume și viață. Guvernul are o cultură; biserica ta are o cultură; locul tău de muncă are o cultură. Toată această condiționare culturală afectează modul în care citim, interpretăm și aplicăm Biblia.

1.  Cultura antică

Una dintre provocările pe care le întâmpinăm în interpretarea Scripturii este să înțelegem ce practici reflectă doar societatea antică (i.e. practici culturale) și se aplică doar la aceasta și care se aplică în toate vremurile (i.e. practici transculturale).

Întrebarea prioritară este: „Cum aplicăm Scriptura?” Din toate poruncile și practicile pe care le citim în Biblie, care se aplică și astăzi și pe care ar trebui să le practicăm și noi? Iar acestea ar trebui practicate ca în cultura antică sau într-o formă modificată?

Câteva exemple din VT

(a) Zeciuiala – zeciuielile agricole (Lev. 27:30-33); zeciuielile pentru leviți și pentru munca preoțească de la cort (Num. 18:21 și urm.); zeciuiala agricolă și preoțească anuală (Deut. 14:22 și urm.); zeciuielile pentru levit, pentru străin, orfan și văduvă (Deut. 26:12 15).

(b) Violul – ex. Deut. 22:28-29. Reglementarea aceasta este valabilă și astăzi? Adică, dacă cineva violează o fată, trebuie doar ca violatorul să îi plătească tatălui fetei 50 șecheli de argint și să se căsătorească cu ea?

(c) Homosexualitatea – ex. Lev. 18:22. Această poruncă din VT împotriva homosexualității trebuie respectată și astăzi?

(d)  Zoofilia – ex. Lev. 18:23. În zilele noastre este imoral ca un om să aibă relații sexuale cu animale?

(e)  Hainele din materiale diferite – ex. Lev. 19:19. Este obligatoriu și pentru noi astăzi să nu purtăm haine confecționate din materiale diferite, cum ar fi din lână și in?

(f)  Legea sabatului – ex. Ex. 20:9-10. Literalmente trebuie „să nu facem nicio lucrare” în ziua de sabat? Dacă da, care este definiția termenului „lucrare”? Care zi este sabatul pentru noi? Ce a vrut să spună Isus atunci când a zis: „Sabatul a fost făcut pentru om, nu omul pentru Sabat” (Mc. 2:27)?

(g)  Circumcizia – ex. Gen. 17:10. Circumcizia este o practică religioasă care ni se cere și nouă astăzi?

(h)  Tatuajele – ex. Lev. 19:28. Trebuie să respectăm și noi interdicția împotriva tatuajelor pe corp?

(i)  Stiluri de îmbrăcăminte – ex. Deut. 22:5: „Femeia să nu se îmbrace cu haine bărbătești, iar bărbatul să nu se îmbrace cu îmbrăcăminte femeiască.” La ce îmbrăcăminte se referă? Pentru cine este obligatorie această poruncă, de ce și în ce fel?

Câteva exemple din N.T.

(a)  Acoperirea capului la femei și descoperirea capului la bărbați (1 Cor. 11:1-16). În zilele noastre, femeile trebuie să își acopere literalmente capul la închinare sau este un principiu aici care ar fi mai bine exprimat într-un alt mod în cultura noastră? Cu alte cuvinte, acoperirea capului era doar o expresie culturală din vremea aceea a unui principiu care astăzi ar fi mai bine exprimat într-un alt mod?

(b)  Tăcerea femeilor în biserică (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 14:34). Învățătura lui Pavel cu privire la „tăcerea” femeilor în biserică este un principiu cultural sau transcultural?  Este o învățătură specifică și se referă numai la femeile dintr-o anumită biserică (ex. biserica din Efes) pentru a opri pălăvrăgeala lor prin care deranjau serviciile bisericii? Sau este o practică ce se aplică tuturor femeilor din toate timpurile? Dacă tăcerea în sine este o reflecție a modului în care se practica un anumit principiu în lumea antică, care este principiul acela și cum ar trebui să-l aplicăm în cultura noastră?

(c) Supunerea soțiilor față de soții lor (Ef. 5:22). Cum trebuie să aplicăm învățătura lui Petru, conform căreia soțiile trebuie să se supună soților lor „precum Sara, care l-a ascultat pe Avraam și l-a numit domn” (1 Pet. 3:5-6)?

(d) Rugăciunea cu mâinile ridicate (1 Tim. 2:8). Porunca lui Pavel este culturală sau transculturală?

(e) Evanghelism  (Lc. 10:4). Trebuie literalmente „să nu luați cu voi nici pungă cu bani, nici traistă, nici sandale, și să nu salutați pe nimeni pe drum”? Sau Isus afirmă un principiu care trebuie exprimat în mod adecvat în cultura noastră?

(f) Salutarea cu o sărutare sfântă (1 Cor. 16:20). Trebuie să ne salutăm așa astăzi? Dacă da, cum ar privi lumea doi bărbați care se sărută?  Sau un bărbat sărutând o femeie care nu este soția lui? Sau două femei care se sărută?

(g) A bea vin (1 Tim. 5:23). Învățătura lui Pavel pentru Timotei: „…folosește și puțin vin, din pricina stomacului tău și a deselor tale îmbolnăviri” este o cerință și pentru noi?  Este un tratament medical standard? Sau este o învățătură ce se adresează doar lui Timotei?

(h)  Ungerea cu untdelemn (Iacov 5:14; Mc. 6:13). Ni se cere să practicăm și noi ungerea bolnavilor cu untdelemn? Dacă da, care este scopul și semnificația acestei practici? Este o practică medicală sau religioasă?

(i)  A vinde averile și a da banii săracilor (Lc. 12:33). Cum aplicăm astăzi învățătura lui Isus?

(j)  Părul lung la bărbat este o rușine (1 Cor. 11:14). Care este definiția părului lung? Cum practicăm astăzi lucrul acesta?

Concluzii

Acele aspecte ale învățăturilor biblice care reflectă practici culturale antice trebuie analizate pentru a determina:

1. Ce principiu neschimbător se află în spatele lor? Nu uita: Atunci când pregătim o predică, printre primele lucruri pe care le căutăm sunt adevărurile universale, principiile neschimbătoare. Acestea sunt punctele principale ale predicii.

2. Cum trebuie practicat acel principiu astăzi? Întreaga Biblie a fost scrisă de oameni din trecut, care au folosit limbajul, imaginile și cultura din zilele lor (adresându-se anumitor oameni și tratând anumite situații dintr-un moment anume), prin urmare elementul cultural este, cu siguranță, foarte puternic. Sarcina noastră este să aflăm dacă Biblia spune că acea practică culturală în sine este norma pentru toate vremurile sau dacă principiul din spatele practicii respective este, de fapt, norma pentru toate vremurile.

2. Cultura noastră contemporană

Pe lângă faptul că trebuie să identificăm impactul culturii antice asupra autorilor biblici, trebuie să identificăm și condiționarea noastră culturală atunci când citim Biblia. Trebuie să recunoaștem că, atunci când o citim și o interpretăm, înțelegerea noastră este condiționată de cultura în care trăim. De aceea oamenii din alte culturi adesea citesc părți din Biblie având o înțelegere diferită de a noastră.

Câțiva factori contemporani care influențează în mare măsură modul în care înțelegem textele antice sunt următorii: (a) metodele contemporane de comunicare (ex. telefon, e-mail, ziare etc.); (b) călătoritul (ex. avioane); (c) stilul de viață (ex. individualism și materialism); (d) îmbrăcămintea; (e) concepția despre lume și viață.

Atunci când studiem Biblia, pregătindu-ne să predicăm sau să dăm învățătură, trebuie să căutăm să o citim ca un cititor imparțial (deși probabil nu este posibil pe de-a-ntregul). De aceea, trebuie să ne disciplinăm în procesul de „exegeză” (prin care aducem la suprafață ceea ce se află în text), și nu în cel de „eisegeză” (prin care citim în text ceva ce nu există acolo). Acesta este motivul pentru care trebuie să urmăm anumite principii de bază în interpretare, pe care încerc să le explic în această serie de articole reunite sub titlul „Consolidarea interpretării biblice: Cum să citim și să înțelegem Biblia”. Seria va continua în următoarea ediție a acestui jurnal.

II. Limitele libertății creștine

1 Corinteni 6:12-20

De: Dr. Stephen F. Olford

Aceasta este o continuare a seriei întrerupte în ediția de iarnă, 2019, a acestui jurnal.

Introducere

Cea de-a treia neorânduială specifică bisericii din Corint era necurăția. Această problemă a luat naștere din învățătura larg răspândită pe atunci cu privire la trupul omenesc. Grecii întotdeauna au disprețuit trupul. Aveau chiar un proverb care spunea: „Trupul este un mormânt.” Elementele importante ale personalității umane erau sufletul și spiritul, în timp ce trupul nu avea nicio importanță.

Acest mod de gândire a dus la două tipuri de comportament. Primul tip a fost un ascetism foarte strict, care urmărea supunerea și umilirea dorințelor și instinctelor trupești. Cel de-al doilea tip de comportament, larg răspândit în orașul Corint, era folosirea trupului ca mijloc de satisfacere a tuturor poftelor sale la maxim. Această filozofie de viață era întărită de o interpretare greșită a învățăturii creștine cu privire la libertatea creștinului, predicată de Pavel. Ca urmare, imoralitatea orașului Corint pătrunsese și în viața bisericii. Cu aceste lucruri în minte, Pavel se adresează bisericii pe tema învățăturii despre trupul credinciosului.

A. Libertatea credinciosului cu privire la trupul său

„Toate lucrurile îmi sunt îngăduite, dar nu toate sunt de folos” (1 Corinteni 6:12, 13).  Pavel introduce subiectul libertății trupului credinciosului, citând două proverbe sau slogane, care ne solicită o atenție sporită. Este perfect adevărat faptul că creștinul este „chemat la slobozenie”, însă la fel de adevărat este faptul că nu trebuie să folosiți această libertate ca „o pricină ca să trăiți pentru firea pământească” (Galateni 5:13). Libertatea creștină nu este dorința de a face ceea ce vrem, ci mai degrabă puterea de a face ceea ce trebuie. Așa că Pavel ne spune două lucruri despre libertatea creștină:

1) Libertatea creștină este păzită în mod divin. „Toate lucrurile îmi sunt îngăduite, dar nu toate sunt de folos; toate lucrurile îmi sunt îngăduite, dar nimic nu trebuie să pună stăpânire pe mine” (1 Corinteni 6:12).  Ceea ce spune Pavel aici este că, deoarece nu mai suntem sub lege, ci sub har, suntem oameni liberi, dar că această libertate nu justifică în niciun fel nelegiuirea, căci „orice nelegiuire este păcat…” (1 Ioan 5:17).  Așadar, deși creștinul este liber să își folosească trupul, totuși trebuie să respecte două principii călăuzitoare.

Primul principiu este că, deși toate lucrurile sunt îngăduite, nu toate sunt de folos, iar sensul expresiei „de folos” este „a fi de ajutor altor oameni”. Ne putem da imediat seama ce restricție impune acest lucru asupra comportamentului creștin, căci este evident că, dacă tot ce facem cu și prin trupurile noastre este pentru a-i ajuta pe alții, nu ne vom face vinovați niciodată de pângărirea libertății creștine.

Cel de-al doilea principiu este la fel de puternic.  Pavel spune: „… toate lucrurile îmi sunt îngăduite, dar nimic nu trebuie să pună stăpânire pe mine.” (1 Corinteni 6:12).  Dacă primul principiu are de-a face cu ceilalți, cel de-al doilea are de-a face cu noi înșine. Tot ceea ce facem și are tendința de a pune stăpânire pe noi nu este libertate, ci sclavie. Facem abuz de libertatea noastră dacă, atunci când facem uz de ea, ne diminuăm rodul spiritual al înfrânării.

Auzim astăzi adesea vorbindu-se despre „dragostea liberă”, însă dacă oamenii care vorbesc despre asta ar înțelege cum stau cu adevărat lucrurile, și-ar da seama că sunt sclavii acelor lucruri pe care susțin că au libertatea să le facă. Ai grijă ca libertatea ta să nu devină sclavie! Așadar, vedem că adevărata libertate creștină este păzită în mod divin, însă observăm mai departe că…

2) Libertatea creștină este călăuzită în mod divin. „Mâncărurile sunt pentru pântece și pântecele este pentru mâncăruri. Și Dumnezeu va nimici și pe unul, și pe celelalte. Dar trupul nu este pentru curvie: el este pentru Domnul și Domnul este pentru trup.” (1 Corinteni 6:13).  Aici apare cel de-al doilea slogan folosit de Pavel pentru a ilustra învățătura despre libertatea creștină. Oamenii spun că dacă mâncarea este pentru stomac și stomacul pentru mâncare, orice altă foame trebuie astâmpărată în același fel. Însă există o eroare gravă în această argumentare. Într-adevăr, după cum spune episcopul Lightfoot: „Este o confuzie morală crasă.”  În lumina legii sfinte a lui Dumnezeu, cu siguranță putem accepta faptul că mâncarea este esențială pentru stomac, însă cine ar îndrăzni să extindă această afirmație și să spună că adulterul este esențial pentru trup? De fapt, Pavel ne arată că, în ce privește stomacul și mâncarea, Dumnezeu le va distruge pe ambele; căci ele vor exista numai în timpul vieții noastre pământești.

Însă în ce privește trupul unui credincios, lucrurile stau altfel. Trupul nostru este al Domnului, atât aici, cât și în eternitate. După cum vedem în prezent, trupul este acum un mijloc al exprimării divine și, într-o zi, îmbrăcat în imortalitate, va fi instrumentul Său de glorie și slujire de-a lungul veacurilor veșniciei.

Așadar, a susține că toate poftele sunt egale și trebuie satisfăcute după bunul plac nu este nici logic, nici biblic. Este adevărat că mâncarea este pentru stomac, însă trupul este pentru Domnul și, prin urmare, nu este pentru nicio formă de imoralitate sau necurăție. Astfel, ajungem la concluzia că libertatea credinciosului cu privire la trupul său este o binecuvântare de care ne bucurăm; de asemenea, trebuie să mai spunem că această libertate este atât păzită, cât și călăuzită în mod divin. De la acest aspect al subiectului, Pavel merge apoi mai departe și vorbește despre ceea ce am putea numi:

B. Sacralitatea trupului credinciosului

„Și Dumnezeu, care a înviat pe Domnul, ne va învia și pe noi cu puterea Sa. Nu știți că trupurile voastre sunt mădulare ale lui Hristos? Nu știți că trupul vostru este Templul Duhului Sfânt care locuiește în voi și pe care L-ați primit de la Dumnezeu? Și că voi nu sunteți ai voștri?” (1 Corinteni 6:14, 15, 19).  Cu o gândire pătrunzătoare, Pavel își confruntă cititorii cu învățătura despre sacralitatea trupului credinciosului.  Într-adevăr, își exprimă uimirea că ei nu cunoșteau acest adevăr.  Așa că el întreabă mereu, așa cum a făcut de-a lungul ultimelor două capitole:  „Nu știți?” (v. 15); „Nu știți?” (v. 16); „Nu știți?” (v. 19).  Da, trupul credinciosului a fost sfințit o dată pentru totdeauna de:

1) Dumnezeu Tatăl. „Și Dumnezeu, care a înviat pe Domnul, ne va învia și pe noi cu puterea Sa” (1 Corinteni 6:14).  Tatăl, Cel care a făcut stomacul, îl va și distruge; însă Tatăl, care a făcut trupul, îl va învia.  Destinul trupului este veșnic.  Să ne amintim că „… Dumnezeu… ne-a făcut, ai Lui suntem…” (Psalmul 100:3).  Psalmistul ne amintește mai departe că suntem „…o făptură așa de minunată” (Psalmul 139:14).  Cu toate invențiile științifice din zilele noastre, încă nu a fost făcut nimic care să se poată compara cu minunea trupului omenesc.  Și Pavel ne spune că Cel care ne-a făcut ne va și învia.  Într-un alt loc el ne amintește că „… cetățenia noastră este în ceruri, de unde și așteptăm ca Mântuitor pe Domnul Isus Hristos. El va schimba trupul stării noastre smerite și-l va face asemenea trupului slavei Sale…” (Filipeni 3:20, 21).  Acesta este destinul suprem al trupului meu și al trupului tău și, știind lucrul acesta, nu putem, nu îndrăznim să pângărim modul în care îl folosim.  Dumnezeu a sfințit trupurile noastre prin creație pentru totdeauna, și într-o zi le va sfinți prin înviere.  Mai mult, trupurile noastre sunt sfințite de:

2) Dumnezeu Fiul. „Nu știți că trupurile voastre sunt mădulare ale lui Hristos? Voi lua eu mădularele lui Hristos și voi face din ele mădulare ale unei curve? Nicidecum!” (1 Corinteni 6:15).  În primul rând, „nu cu lucruri pieritoare, cu argint sau cu aur, ați fost răscumpărați … ci cu sângele scump al lui Hristos …” (1 Petru 1:18, 19).  Cu alte cuvinte, am fost cumpărați cu un preț, sau cum spune un comentator: am fost „cumpărați și plătiți” (Goodspeed).  Pentru aceasta, Hristos a binevoit să se identifice cu noi.  Aceasta este semnificația versetului 15.  Versetul spune literalmente: „Nu știți că trupurile voastre sunt mădulare ale lui Hristos?”  Mintea noastră este mintea Lui; ochii noștri sunt ochii Lui; buzele noastre sunt buzele Lui; mâinile noastre sunt mâinile Lui; picioarele noastre sunt picioarele Lui; trupurile noastre sunt mădularele Capului nostru Înviat.

Pavel dezvoltă mai târziu această temă minunată în capitolul 12, însă o introduce aici pentru a arăta incompatibilitatea totală și imoralitatea unui credincios care folosește mădularele lui Hristos pentru orice alt scop decât cel pentru care Dumnezeu le-a făcut. De fapt, folosirea mădularelor noastre pentru lucruri păcătoase este descrisă în original ca relație sexuală ilicită sau „viol”. Așadar, apostolul exclamă: „… Nu știți că cine se lipește de o curvă este un singur trup cu ea? Căci este zis: «Cei doi se vor face un singur trup.»” (1 Corinteni 6:16).  „Adulterul,” după cum arată W. E. Vine, „aduce bărbatul și femeia într-o relație atât de apropiată și puternică încât aceștia formează o persoană complexă la un nivel inferior.”

Acesta este, așadar, argumentul pe care Pavel îl folosește pentru a sublinia sacralitatea trupului credinciosului. Însă, în al treilea rând, să observăm că trupul credinciosului nu este sfințit numai de Dumnezeu Tatăl și Dumnezeu Fiul, ci și de:

3) Dumnezeu Duhul Sfânt. „Nu știți că trupul vostru este Templul Duhului Sfânt care locuiește în voi și pe care L-ați primit de la Dumnezeu? Și că voi nu sunteți ai voștri?” (1 Corinteni 6:19).  Corintenii au înțeles imediat la ce se referea Pavel când a făcut această afirmație. În Corint existau altare pentru fiecare zeitate păgână. Mare parte a închinării în aceste temple era asociată cu practici imorale; însă, chiar în acest context, Pavel introduce un nou concept de viață. El spune: „Nu știți că trupul vostru este Templul Duhului Sfânt?”  În greacă, accentul cade pe cuvântul „Sfânt”. Templul lui Dumnezeu, în care El locuiește prin Duhul Sfânt, nu este doar biserica, ci și trupul tău și trupul meu. Deci, chiar dacă spui că trupul tău este al tău, de fapt nu este chiar al tău, ci Îi aparține lui Dumnezeu. Dacă prețuim acest adevăr remarcabil la adevărata sa valoare, el ne va revoluționa modul de viață. Într-adevăr, lucrul acesta conferă demnitate vieții în totalitatea sa, așa cum nimic n-o poate face. Oriunde mergem și orice facem, noi suntem purtătorii Duhului Sfânt. Aceasta necesită eliminarea oricărui comportament care nu este potrivit pentru Împărăția lui Dumnezeu. Cu siguranță, adulterul este de neconceput. Însă principiul acesta are o aplicabilitate mult mai largă. Orice este nepotrivit în templul lui Dumnezeu devine nepotrivit pentru copilul lui Dumnezeu.

C. Puritatea trupului credinciosului

„Fugiți de curvie! Orice alt păcat pe care-l face omul este un păcat săvârșit afară din trup, dar cine curveşte păcătuiește împotriva trupului său. … Căci ați fost cumpărați cu un preț. Proslăviți dar pe Dumnezeu în trupul și în duhul vostru, care sunt ale lui Dumnezeu” (1 Corinteni 6:18, 20).  Cele două îndemnuri importante din aceste versete sunt: „fugiți de curvie” și „proslăviți pe Dumnezeu.”  Unul este negativ, iar celălalt este pozitiv.  Așadar, pentru a păstra puritatea trupului credinciosului trebuie să existe: 

1) Evitarea totală a păcatului. „Fugiți de curvie…” (1 Corinteni 6:18).  Verbul la imperativ prezent indică o acțiune repetată, constantă. Ar trebui să sune cam așa: „Faceți-vă un obicei din a fugi!” Acesta este singurul mod în care trebuie să tratăm păcatul. Când vine ispita, nu trebuie să te oprești să dezbați, să argumentezi sau să permiți gândurilor necurate să zăbovească în mintea ta. În momentul acela, când te afli sub atacul satanic, ceea ce trebuie să faci este „să fugi”. Una din cele mai frumoase și mai vii ilustrări a acestui adevăr o vedem în viața lui Iosif. Vă amintiți că, pe când se afla în casa lui Potifar, stăpâna casei a căutat să îl seducă și să îl facă să păcătuiască, însă Iosif a exclamat: „… Cum aș putea să fac eu un rău atât de mare și să păcătuiesc împotriva lui Dumnezeu?” (Genesa 39:9) și a fugit din casă chiar în clipa aceea (v. 12).

Pentru a-și întări argumentul, Pavel mai spune că, spre deosebire de alte păcate, imoralitatea este un păcat împotriva trupului.  „Orice alt păcat pe care-l face omul este un păcat săvârșit afară din trup, dar cine curveşte păcătuiește împotriva trupului său…” (1 Corinteni 6:18).  Motivul este că acest tip de imoralitate este o ofensă împotriva persoanei însăși. Mai mult, acest păcat îndepărtează trupul de scopul și destinul său divin. Așa că Pavel spune: „Fugiți de curvie;” și în altă parte: „… nu purtați grijă de firea pământească, pentru ca să-i treziți poftele” (Romani 13:14), care nu înseamnă altceva decât „nu vă îngrijiți și nu luați măsuri pentru a face păcatul posibil sau chiar real.”

Acesta este îndemnul negativ.  Cel pozitiv implică:

2) Supunere totală față de Dumnezeu. „… proslăviți dar pe Dumnezeu în trupul vostru …” (1 Corinteni 6:20).  Observați că această poruncă este strâns legată de jertfa răscumpărătoare a lui Isus Hristos.  Pavel spune: „… ați fost cumpărați cu un preț. Proslăviți dar pe Dumnezeu în trupul vostru…” (v. 20).  A-L glorifica pe Dumnezeu în trupurile noastre nu este o chestiune doar de obligație, ci și de recunoștință și devotament față de Cel care Și-a dat viața, pentru ca, fiind eliberați din robia lui Satan, să putem arăta prin trupurile noastre muritoare toată gloria Tatălui, a Fiului și a Duhului care locuiesc în noi. Gloria este strălucirea caracterului și, când trupurile noastre sunt pe deplin în posesia și sub controlul lui Dumnezeu care locuiește în noi, există o puritate care poate fi atât văzută, cât și simțită.  Este ceea ce psalmistul numește „podoabe sfinte.”  Înainte de căderea în păcat, Adam și Eva erau acoperiți cu gloria aceasta, însă au pierdut-o când nu s-au mai încrezut în Dumnezeu, ci în ei înșiși. După ce au pierdut-o, au cunoscut pentru prima dată că erau goi.  Ce minunat este să știm că și în trupurile noastre supuse slăbiciunii, Isus Hristos poate fi glorificat zi de zi, fie prin viața sau prin moartea noastră (Filipeni 1:20).  Aceasta este puritatea care condamnă lumea păcătoasă și convinge sufletul care caută. Este o puritate care dovedește că am fost cu Isus și am învățat de la El.

Concluzie:

Aceasta este, așadar, învățătura biblică despre trupul credinciosului. Există o libertate a credinciosului cu privire la trupul său, care este păzită și călăuzită în mod divin. Există o sacralitate a trupului, care este dată de Tatăl, Fiul și Duhul Sfânt și, ca urmare, există puritatea trupului, caracterizată de o evitare completă a păcatului și o supunere totală față de Dumnezeu. Oricine va vedea un om trăind o viață curată cu adevărat va ști că acel om este vândut lui Dumnezeu.

Singurul mod în care putem încheia studiul pe această temă este să ne amintim cuvintele apostolului, pe care le-a scris credincioșilor din Roma: „Vă îndemn dar, fraților, pentru îndurarea lui Dumnezeu, să aduceți trupurile voastre ca o jertfă vie, sfântă, plăcută lui Dumnezeu; aceasta va fi din partea voastră o slujbă duhovnicească” (Romani 12:1).

III. Schițe de predici

Pentru versiunea audio a acestor predici în limba engleză, dați click pe link-urile următoare:Link 1 - Rev. 2:12-13; Link 2 - Rev. 2:14-15; Link 3 - Rev. 2:16; Link 4 - Rev. 2:17

Titlu: Scrisori către cele șapte biserici: Pergam – Perseverență și compromis

Subiect: Apărarea adevărului într-o cultură a compromisului

Punctul #1: Hristos laudă credincioșia (13)

Punctul #2: Hristos condamnă compromisul (14-15)

Punctul #3: Hristos poruncește pocăință (16)

Punctul #4: Hristos face o promisiune (17)


1 Duvall și Hays, Grasping God’s Word [Cum să înțelegem Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu], 187.

2 Charles Ryrie, “The Essentials of Dispensationalism [Principiile dispensaționalismului]” (Israel My Glory, May/June 2007), 29.

3 R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture [Cunoașterea Scripturii], 48-49.

Related Topics: Pastors

Журнал для пасторов Net, Rus Ed 35, весеннее издание 2020

Служение Библейского Проповедования…

Автор: Проф. Роджер Паскоу, Президент,
Email: [email protected]

I. Усиление библейского толкования
«Как читать и понимать Библию» (Часть 2)

Введение

Хотя тема библейского толкования («герменевтика») обширна и временами может быть несколько сложной, для нас жизненно важно изучить ее, чтобы быть точными и понятными проповедниками Слова, которые добросовестно заявляют, что оно говорит и что означает, и как его применять в нашей жизни.

Так часто, когда мы изучаем Священное Писание, мы сталкиваемся с фразами, предложениями и отрывками, которые трудно понять и толковать относительно того, что первоначальный автор намеревался передать. Именно для этих ситуаций нам нужны толковательные руководящие принципы и принципы, которые помогут нам лучше понять отрывок, который мы можем, учитывая, что мы живем в совершенно другой эпохе и культуре и говорим на совершенно другом языке.

В 1 части издания “Как читать и понимать Библию” (см. зимнее издание журнала 2020), мы обсуждали:

1. Три основных задачи библейского толкования:

a) Определить четкое значение отрывка (экзегезис);

б) Применить нужные принципы толкования к отрывку Писания (герменевтика);

в) Соединить древний текст, язык, культуру и аудиторию нашего времени и наш язык и культуру.

2. Два важных герменевтических вопроса:

а) Осознавали ли авторы Ветхого Завета, о чем писали?

б) Осознавали ли авторы Нового Завета, о чем писали?

Теперь, в этой 2-й части той же темы, мы продолжаем исследовать некоторые другие важные аспекты библейского толкования.

А. Буквальное толкование

Некоторые люди говорят, что вы не можете воспринимать Библию буквально, потому что 1) библия использует переносный смысл (метафора, гипербола и т. д.), и 2) потому что библия использует поэтический язык и другие литературные жанры, которые не могут быть истолкованы буквально ( например, апокалипсис). Это действительно попытка умалить истину Библии. Фактически мы толкуем Библию, используя те же принципы, что и для любой другой литературы.

Что мы подразумеваем под «буквальным»? Если под «буквальным» вы подразумеваете дословный перевод, который не учитывает образный или метафорический язык, то «нет» мы не интерпретируем библию буквально. Но если под «буквальным» вы подразумеваете, что мы принимаем библию за чистую монету; что мы верим, что библия истинна во всем, что она утверждает, и точна во всем, что она записывает; что мы читаем и толкуем библию в соответствии с ее простым, естественным значением и намерениями ее авторов (принимая во внимание их литературный стиль, литературные приемы, литературный жанр, грамматику, значение слов в то время, когда она была написана, и исторический, экономический, социальный, географический и политический контекст, в котором она была написана), тогда «да» мы читаем и толкуем библию буквально.

Вероятно, лучшим термином, чем «буквальное» значение, является «литературное» значение. Литературное значение - это толкование, которое «… отражает тип используемой литературы, контекст, исторический фон, грамматику и значения слов»1, т. е. тот тип, который основан на «грамматически-контекстуально-богословском» методе толкования. Или мы могли бы сказать, что литературное значение - это «толкование, которое не одухотворяет и не делает аллегорий», что автор не намерен одухотворять или делать аллегории2 - то есть либо «нормальное», либо «простое» значение.

Таким образом, буквальное толкование означает толкование библии в соответствии с ее буквальным / литературным смыслом - то есть, как вы толкуете любую литературу, «в соответствии с обычными правилами грамматики, речи, синтаксиса и контекста»3. Таким образом, буквальное толкование не исключает использование типов или иллюстраций; ни литературные жанры, основанные на мнимых или иллюстративных символах (например, апокалиптические). Буквальное толкование не исключает нормального толкования, основанного на естественном (номинальном, простом) прочтении текста. Как говорил мой друг-пастор: «Когда здравый смысл имеет здравый смысл, тогда любой другой смысл - это ерунда».

Буквальное толкование отличается от других толковательных методов, таких как аллегоризация, одухотворение, морализирование и типологизация. Или, другими словами, за литературными приемами, образами, жанрами и стилем, которые мог использовать библейский автор, лежит буквальная идея или концепция. Вот этого мы и ищем, когда читаем библию.

Хотя библия является уникальной книгой в том смысле, что она вдохновлена Святым Духом, она не меняет того факта, что она написана словами обычного человеческого языка и с обычной грамматической конструкцией. Поэтому наше понимание этого основано на тех же правилах, которые мы применили бы к чтению и пониманию любой другой литературы. Буквальное толкование не означает, что мы придерживаемся «деревянного» буквализма, который помещает библейский текст в прямоугольную форму, что может сделать его неразборчивым.

Вот почему так важен «грамматико-контекстуально-богословский» подход к изучению текста. Пытаясь истолковывать текст буквально, вы должны быть в состоянии определить: а) различные грамматические компоненты текста; б) его богословскую направленность; в) его контекст; и г) его литературный жанр и приемы. Все эти аспекты влияют на понимание и толкование.

Поэтому, чтобы правильно истолковать Библию, нам нужно проанализировать и понять ...

1. Грамматику - различные синтаксические структуры (простые предложения и сложные предложения) и используемые слова - их тип и часть речи (например, существительное, глагол и т. д.), Форма (например, падеж; время) и значение.

2. Богословие. Что автор говорит о Боге (его целях, его характере, его природе, его планах и т. д.) и о наших отношениях с Богом?

3. Контекст - исторический, политический, экономический, социальный и культурный.

4. Литературный жанр и приемы - стиль написания и переносный смысл значения слов.

Весь этот анализ влияет на наше понимание идей (истины, богословия), которые первоначальный автор намеревался передать, и является неотъемлемой частью буквального толкования.

Б. Толкование некоторых литературных жанров и приемов

Очевидно, литературный жанр оказывает большое влияние на то, как мы толкуем любой документ, не последним из которых является библия, поскольку он содержит так много разных жанров. Литературный жанр относится к стилю написания отрывка, например, прозе, поэзии, пословице, посланию, апокалипсису, евангелию (с притчей в качестве подкатегории), историческому повествованию, пророческому и т. д.

Литературный жанр влияет на то, как мы толкуем отрывок. Если он написано на апокалиптическом языке, например, со всевозможными дикими, почти галлюцинаторными изображениями и описаниями эсхатологических сцен, то тогда его нужно толковать соответственно.

Однако, определение литературного жанра не обязательно толкует очевидное. Например, литературный жанр не решает проблему историчности содержания текста. Книга Ионы является тому примером. Поскольку часть Ионы написана в историческом повествовании, а другая часть (глава 2) написана в поэтической форме, ученые разделились во мнении, предназначена ли книга для исторического описания или просто для аллегорического изображения опыта Ионы, а также поэтическая глава, которая отражает молитву благодарения Ионы. Конечно, для неверующих, которые не верят в чудеса, поэтическая глава дает им повод не брать в счет историческое повествование всей книги.

В дополнение к литературным жанрам мы должны знать о любых литературных приемах, которые может использовать автор, таких как переносный смысл значения слов, таких, как метафора, сравнение и гипербола. Эти приемы, когда они используются, влияют на то, как мы толкуем и понимаем текст.

В. Одно значение. Многообразные применения

Пожалуйста, обратите внимание на этот принцип: «Одно значение; много применений». Мы считаем, что каждый отрывок из Писания имеет только одно значение, а не множественные значения, когда оно читается и толкуется, как написанное, и как задуманное автором. Это не значит одно - для тебя, а другое - для меня. То, что написано, написано. Любое отдельное Писание имеет только одно значение. У нас может быть много вариантов толкования только из-за ограничений перевода и письменного общения, но есть только одно значение, как задумано первоначальным автором. Однако, у каждого Писания может быть много применений. Исходя из единственного значения отрывка из Писания, мы можем извлечь несколько применений, которые влияют на наше поведение, речь, отношения и т. д.

Но обратите внимание на это уточнение: из-за прогрессивного характера библейского откровения может стать очевидным дальнейшее, более глубокое, расширенное значение, которое не было очевидно для первоначальных авторов и людей того времени. Это не меняет первоначального значения, но расширяет его.

Нам всегда нужно помнить, что, хотя существует множество авторов Библии, существует только один Божественный Автор. Следовательно, то, что, возможно, не было очевидно или предназначено человеческим автором, было очевидно и предназначено Божественным Автором. Но у нас должны быть библейские основания приписывать Святому Духу более полное, расширенное, более ясное значение, чем, возможно, знали человеческие авторы. (Подробнее об этом читайте в. зимнем издании 2020 года в этом журнале).

Г. Влияние культуры на наше понимание

Некоторые библейские теологи и проповедники пытаются осовременить Библию, интерпретируя ее в свете современного значения слов и современных культурных стандартов. Это, по сути, переосмысливает Библию, чтобы означать то, что они хотят, чтобы это означало сегодня. Но Библия не была написана сегодня, и ее учения не должны быть изменены, чтобы соответствовать современной этике и практике.

Тем не менее, мы должны признать, что Библия содержит много древних практик, которые свойственны нам (если не сказать больше) и ничего не значат в нашей культуре. Таким образом, наша задача, с одной стороны, состоит не в том, чтобы толковать Библию, как имеющую отношение к современной культуре, а, с другой стороны, в том, чтобы различать универсальные принципы Библии (которые применимы ко всем людям, во всех культурах, во всех эпохах). и его древние практики (которые были ограничены этой древней культурой).

Во-первых, что мы подразумеваем под «культурой»? Культура любой организации - это, по сути, то, как все делается в ней, или выраженные взгляды, которые сложились со временем. Эта среда, возможно, развивалась благодаря решениям, принятым в прошлом; людям, которые были влиятельными; кризисам, которые могли произойти; истории, которая произошла; ситуациям, которые были испытаны; принципам, которые были приняты и т.д. Это действительно личность и характер организации, выраженной в ее ценностях, приоритетах, симпатиях и антипатиях, деятельности, стиле руководства, о том, что она обозначает, как она реагирует, почему она существует, во что она верит и т. д.

Семьи имеют свою культуру. Именно здесь вы узнаете свои самые ранние и, возможно, самые глубокие убеждения о жизни и поведении, ваши ценности, приоритеты, ваше мировоззрение, ваши отношения (например, с вашими родителями, и братьями, и сестрами). У вашего правительства есть культура; в вашей церкви есть культура; Ваше место работы имеет культуру. Все эти культурные условия влияют на то, как вы читаете, толкуете и применяете Библию.

1. Древняя культура

Одна из проблем библейского толкования состоит в том, чтобы определить, какие практики применимы и отражают только древнее общество (т.е. культурное) и какие практики применимы ко всем возрастам (то есть межкультурным).

Главный вопрос: «Как мы применяем Писание?» Из всех заповедей и практик, которые мы читаем в Библии, какие из них все еще применимы к нам сегодня и должны ли мы их выполнять? И должны ли они практиковаться так же, как в древней культуре или в какой-то измененной форме?

Некоторые примеры из В.З.

a) десятина – десятая часть от урожая (Лев. 27:30-33); десятина для левитов и их священнослужителей в скинии (Чис. 18: 21 и далее); ежегодная сельскохозяйственная и священническая десятина (Втор. 14: 22 и далее); десятина для левита, незнакомца, сироты и вдовы (Втор. 26:12-15).

б) изнасилование – н-р, Втор. 22: 28-29. Действительно ли это требование на сегодняшний день таково, что если кто-то изнасилует девушку, все, что ему нужно сделать, это заплатить ее отцу 50 шекелей серебра и жениться на ней?

в) гомосексуализм – н-р, Левит 18:22. Это В.З. запрет против гомосексуализма, тот, которого мы должны придерживаться сегодня?

г) скотоложство – н-р, Лев. 18:23. Разве сегодня не аморально иметь сексуальные отношения с животными?

д) смешанные ткани одежды – н-р, Лев. 19:19. Обязательно ли для нас сегодня не носить одежду из смешанных тканей, таких как шерстяные и льняные?

е) закон субботы – н-р, Исх. 20:9-10. Должны ли мы в буквальном смысле «не делать никакой работы» в субботу? Если да, то каково определение «работа»? Какой день для нас суббота? Что имел в виду Иисус, когда сказал, что «суббота создана для человека, а не человек для субботы» (Мк. 2:27)?

ж) обрезание – н-р, Быт. 17:10. Является ли обрезание обязательной религиозной практикой для нас?

з) татуировки – н-р, Лев. 19:28. Должен ли соблюдаться запрет на нанесение татуировок на теле?

и) стиль в одежде – н-р, Втор. 22:5, “Женщина не должна носить мужскую одежду, а мужчина не должен носить женскую одежду». К какой одежде это относится? С чем это связано, почему и как это понять?

Некоторые примеры из Н.З.

a) Головные уборы для женщин, а не для мужчин (1 Кор. 11: 1-16). Должны ли женщины сегодня буквально скрывать свои головы в поклонении, или здесь есть принцип, который будет более подходящим образом выражен в нашей культуре по-другому? Другими словами, были ли головные повязки просто культурным выражением того времени и постоянным принципом, который сегодня будет лучше выражен по-другому?

б) Молчание женщин в церкви (1 Тим. 2:11-15; 1 Кор. 14:34). Было ли наставление Павла о том, что женщины «молчат» в церкви, было ли культурным или межкультурным наставлением? Является ли это указанием специальным и только для женщин определенной церкви (например, Ефеса), чтобы они прекратили свои ссоры и беспорядки в церковных службах? Или это практика для всех женщин всех времен? Если само молчание является отражением того, как древний мир практиковал определенный принцип, то какой принцип он демонстрирует и как мы должны применять этот принцип в нашей культуре?

в) Подчинение жен своим мужьям (Еф. 5:22). Как нам применять наставления Петра о том, что жены должны подчиняться своим мужьям «как Сарра повиновалась Аврааму, называя его господином» (1 Пет. 3: 5-6)?

г) Молиться ли с поднятыми руками (1 Тим. 2: 8). Предписание Павла культурно или межкультурно?

д) Евангелизация (Лк. 10: 4). Должны ли мы буквально «не ,брать ни мешка, ни сумы, ни обуви и никого на дороге не приветствовать»? Или Иисус утверждает принцип, который должен быть выражен соответствующим образом в нашей культуре?

е) Приветствовать друг друга святым целованием (1 Кор. 16:20). Должны ли мы приветствовать друг друга сегодня? Если так, то как бы поцелуи выглядели в мире? Как насчет мужчины, целующего женщину, которая не является его женой? Как насчет двух женщин, целующих друг друга?

ж) Пить вино (1 Тим. 5:23). Требуется ли от Павла наставление Тимофею «употреблять немного вина ради желудка и частых твоих недугов»? Это стандартное лекарственное лечение? Или это инструкция только для Тимофея?

з) Помазание елеем (Иакова 5:14; Мк 6:13). Является ли помазание больных людей маслом необходимостью для нас? Если так, каково его назначение и значение? Это медицинская практика или религиозная?

и) Продажа вашего имущества, чтобы отдать его бедным (Лк. 12:33). Как мы применяем наставления Иисуса сегодня?

к) Длинные волосы для мужчины - это позор (1 Кор. 11:14). Какое определение для длинных волос? Как мы практикуем это сегодня?

Вывод:

Те аспекты библейского учения, которые отражают древние культурные обычаи, должны быть изучены, чтобы нам определить:

1. Какой неизменный принцип лежит за ними? Примечание: когда мы готовим проповеди, одной из первых вещей, которые мы ищем, являются неизменные истины, их неизменные принципы. Это основные пункты нашей проповеди.

2. Как этот принцип должен практиковаться сегодня? Поскольку вся Библия была написана древними людьми на языке, образах и культуре того времени (для конкретных людей, которые могли бы обратиться к конкретным ситуациям в определенное время), очевидно, в этом есть сильный культурный элемент. Наша задача состоит в том, чтобы определить, учит ли Библия тому, что сама культурная практика является нормой для всех возрастов, или же принцип, лежащий в основе этой практики, является нормой для всех возрастов.

2. Наша современная культура

Нам нужно не только уметь определять влияние древней культуры на библейских авторов, но и уметь определять нашу собственную культурную обусловленность, когда мы читаем Библию. Нам нужно признать, что мы читаем и толкуем ее глазами и пониманием, которые обусловлены нашей собственной культурой. Вот почему люди из других культур, кроме нашей, часто читают части Библии с другим мировоззрением и пониманием, чем у нас.

Некоторые современные факторы, которые в значительной степени влияют на наше понимание древнего текста, включают: а) современные методы общения (например, телефон, электронная почта, газеты и т. д.); путешествия (например, самолеты); образ жизни (например, индивидуальность и материализм); одежда; мировоззрение.

Поскольку мы изучаем Библию в процессе подготовки к обучению и проповеди, мы должны стремиться читать ее, как беспристрастные читатели (хотя это, вероятно, не совсем возможно). Вот почему мы должны дисциплинировать себя в «экзегезисе» (учитывая то, что там есть), а не в «эйзегезисе» (читая в нем то, чего там нет). Вот почему мы должны следовать определенным базовым принципам толкования, которые я пытаюсь объяснить в этой серии «Усиление библейского толкования: как читать и понимать Библию». Я продолжу эту тему в следующем издании этого журнала.

II. Ограничения Христианской Свободы

1 Коринфянам 6:12-20

Проф. Стивен Олфорд

Это продолжение темы, которую мы в последний раз публиковали в зимнем издании этого журнала.

Вступление

Третьим специфическим беспорядком в церкви в Коринфе было нечистота. Проблема возникла из популярного учения о человеческом теле. Греки всегда презирали тело. Поговорка гласила: «Тело - могила». Важным элементом человеческой личности была душа и дух, тогда как тело на самом деле не имело значения.

Такое мышление привело к двум формам поведения. Первой был самый строгий аскетизм, в котором все было сделано, чтобы подчинить и унизить желания и инстинкты тела. Вторым, который был так распространен в городе Коринфе, было использование тела, как средства удовлетворения его аппетитов и вожделений в полной мере. Эта философия жизни была усилена неправильным толкованием учения о христианской свободе, которое проповедовал Павел. Как следствие, распущенность и аморальность города Коринфа вторглись также и в жизнь церкви. Имея это в виду, Павел обращается к учению о теле верующего.

А. Свобода в теле верующего

«Для меня все законно, но все бесполезно. (1 Коринфянам 6:12, 13). Павел вводит тему свободы тела верующего, цитируя две пословицы или лозунги, которые требуют нашего самого пристального внимания. Совершенно верно, что христианин «призван к свободе», но также верно и то, что мы не должны использовать эту свободу «как возможность для плоти» (Галатам 5:13). Христианская свобода - это не желание делать то, что мы хотим, а сила делать то, что мы должны. Итак, Павел говорит нам две вещи о христианской свободе:

1) Христианская свобода охраняется Богом. «Для меня все законно, но все бесполезно. Все законно для меня, но я не буду подчинен какой-либо власти » (1 Коринфянам 6:12). Павел говорит здесь о том, что, поскольку мы больше не находимся под законом, но под благодатью, мы свободные мужчины и женщины, но такая свобода никоим образом не оправдывает беззаконие, ибо всякая неправедность является грехом... » (1-е Иоанна 5:17). Поэтому, хотя христианин может свободно использовать свое тело, он должен уважать и следовать двум принципам защиты.

Во-первых, все вещи законны, но не все целесообразны. Слово «целесообразно» означает «то, что полезно другим людям». Мы можем сразу увидеть, какую проверку это накладывает на наше христианское поведение, поскольку очевидно, что, если все, что мы делаем с нашими телами и через них, делается для помощи другим, мы никогда не будем виновны в “проституировании” нашей христианской свободы.

Второй принцип так же силен. Павел говорит: «Все мне позволительно, но ничто не должно обладать мною» (1 Коринфянам 6:12). Если первый принцип относится к другим, второй касается нас. Все, что мы делаем, чтобы порабощать себя, - это не свобода, а рабство. Мы злоупотребляем своей свободой, если при ее использовании мы уменьшаем наши плоды воздержания и самоконтроля.

Сегодня мы много слышим о «свободной любви», но если бы люди, говорящие таким образом, только знали об этом, они бы поняли, что являются рабами тех самых вещей, которые, по их утверждению, имеют право делать. Остерегайтесь, чтобы свобода не стала рабством. Итак, мы видим, что истинная христианская свобода охраняется Богом, но обратите внимание на следующее:

2) Христианская Свобода направлена Богом. «Пища для чрева и чрево для пищи, но Бог уничтожит и то, и другое. Тело же не для блуда, а для Господа, и Господь - для тела » (1 Коринфянам 6:13). Вот второй лозунг, который Павел использует для иллюстрации своей доктрины христианской свободы. Люди утверждают, что, поскольку пища предназначена для желудка, а желудок для еды, любой другой голод должен быть одинаково удовлетворен. Но в таких рассуждениях есть серьезная ошибка. Действительно, как говорит епископ Лайтфут: «Это грубая моральная путаница». В свете Божьего святого закона мы, безусловно, можем принять тот факт, что пища необходима для желудка, но кто из нас осмелится расширить это утверждение и добавить, что блуд по существу для тела? Фактически, Павел показывает нам, что в отношении пищи и желудка Бог уничтожит и то и другое; ибо они существуют только в течение нашей земной жизни.

А вот с телом верующего все обстоит иначе. Наше тело предназначено для Господа, как во времени, так и в вечности. Как мы видим сейчас, теперь это средство для Его божественного выражения, и однажды, облаченный в бессмертие, он станет Его орудием славы и служения на протяжении веков вечности.

Поэтому утверждать, что все голодные равны и должны быть удовлетворены по желанию, не является ни логичным, ни библейским. Это правда, что пища предназначена для желудка, а тело - для Господа, и поэтому не для какой-либо аморальности или нечистоты. Таким образом, мы приходим к выводу, что, хотя свобода тела верующего является благословением, которым нужно пользоваться, следует добавить, что эта свобода охраняется и направляется Богом. От этого аспекта темы Павел теперь продолжает обсуждать то, что мы можем назвать:

Б. Святость тела верующего

«И Бог воскресил Господа и также воскресит нас Своей силой. Разве вы не знаете, что ваши тела являются членами Христа? ... Или вы не знаете, что ваше тело - это храм Святого Духа, который в вас, которого вы имеете от Бога, а вы не свои? » (1 Коринфянам 6:14, 15, 19). С проницательным пониманием Павел сталкивает своих читателей с доктриной о святости тела верующего. Действительно, он выражает удивление, что они не знали об этой истине. Поэтому он спрашивает снова и снова, как он делал в течение этих двух последних глав. "Разве ты не знаешь?" (ст. 15); "Разве ты не знаешь?" (ст. 16); "Разве ты не знаешь?" (ст. 19). Да, тело верующего было освящено раз и навсегда:

1) Богом Отцом. «И Бог воскресил Господа и также воскресит нас силой Своей» (1 Коринфянам 6:14). Отец, который создал желудок, разрушит его; но Отец, который создал тело, собирается воскресить его. Судьба тела вечна. Давайте вспомним, что «… Бог создал нас, а не мы самих себя» (Псалом 100: 3). Псалмист далее напоминает нам, что мы «... дивно сотворены» (Псалом 138: 14). Со всеми научными разработками и изобретениями, которые нас окружают, еще не было произведено ничего, что могло бы сравниться с чудом человеческого тела. И Павел говорит нам, что Тот, Кто сотворил нас, воскресит нас. В другом месте он напоминает нам, что «… наше гражданство на небесах; откуда и мы ожидаем Спасителя, Господа Иисуса Христа, который преобразит наше уничиженное тело, чтобы оно будет сообразно Его славному телу… » (Филиппийцам 3:20, 21). Это - высшая судьба вашего тела и моего, и в свете этого мы не можем, мы не осмеливаемся, “проституировать” его использование. Бог навсегда освятил наши тела сотворением и однажды воскресением. Более того, наши тела освящены:

2) Богом Сыном. «Разве вы не знаете, что ваши тела являются членами Христа? Должен ли я взять члены Христа и сделать их членами блудницы? Конечно, нет! (1 Коринфянам 6:15). Во-первых, мы были «искуплены не тленными вещами, такими как серебро и золото… но драгоценной кровью Христа…» (1 Петра 1:18, 19). Другими словами, нас купили по высокой цене, или, как сказал один комментатор: «Мы были куплены и выкуплены» В свете этого Христос соизволил отождествить Себя с нами. В этом весь смысл стиха 15. Буквально слова гласили: «Разве вы не знаете, что ваши тела являются членами Христа?» Наш разум - это Его разум; наши глаза - это Его глаза; наши губы - это Его губы; наши руки - Его руки; наши ноги - Его ноги; наши тела - это члены нашего Воскресшего Главы.

Позже Павел развивает эту славную тему в 12-й главе, но он вводит эту тему здесь, чтобы показать полную несовместимость и аморальность верующего, использующего члены Христа для любой другой цели, кроме той, которую задумал Бог. Фактически, использование наших членов для нечестивых действий в оригинале описывается, как незаконный половой акт или «изнасилование». Итак, восклицает апостол: «… Разве ты не знаешь, что тот, кто присоединяется к блуднице, является одним телом с ней? Ибо «двое, - говорит Он, - станут одной плотью» (1 Коринфянам 6:16). «Блуд», как указывает В. Э. Вайн, «приводит мужчину и женщину к таким близким и сильным отношениям, что формирует сложную личность на более низком уровне.

Это аргумент, который Павел использует, чтобы подчеркнуть абсолютную святость тела верующего. Но, в-третьих, обратите внимание, что тело верующего освящается не только Богом Отцом и Богом Сыном, но и:

3) Божьим Духом. «Или вы не знаете, что ваше тело - это храм Святого Духа, который в вас, которого вы имеете от Бога, и вы не свои?» (1 Коринфянам 6:19). Коринфянам легко понять, что Павел имел в виду под этим утверждением. В Коринфе были святыни для каждого языческого божества. Большая часть поклонения в этих храмах была связана с аморальными практиками; но именно в этом контексте Павел вводит новую концепцию. Он говорит: «Разве вы не знаете, что ваше тело - это храм Святого Духа?» В греческом языке упор делается на слово «Святой». Храм Бога, в котором Он живет Духом Святым, - это не только церковь в целом, но и ваше тело, и мое отдельно. Поэтому, хотя вы и называете свое тело своим собственным, оно на самом деле - не ваше собственное, оно принадлежит Богу. Чтобы правильно оценить эту удивительную истину, мы должны бы изменить наш образ жизни. Действительно, это дает достоинство всей жизни, что ничто иное не может сделать. Куда бы мы ни шли, и что бы мы ни делали, мы являемся носителями Святого Духа. Это требует исключить всякое поведение, которое не соответствует Царству Божьему. Конечно, блуд был бы немыслим тогда. Но этот принцип имеет гораздо более широкое применение. Ничто из того, что было бы неправильным в Божьем храме, не становится Божьим ребенком.

В. Чистота тела верующего

«Беги от сексуальной безнравственности. Каждый грех, совершаемый человеком, находится за пределами тела, но тот, кто совершает сексуальную безнравственность, грешит против своего собственного тела… Потому что вы были куплены дорогой ценой, поэтому прославляйте Бога в вашем теле и в вашем духе, которые принадлежат Богу » (1 Коринфянам 6:18, 20). В этих стихах есть два оперативных наставления: «избегай сексуальной безнравственности» и «прославляй Бога». Один отрицательный, а другой положительный. Поэтому для поддержания чистоты тела верующего должны быть:

1) Полный побег от греха. «Избегайте сексуальной безнравственности…» (1 Коринфянам 6:18). Существующий повелительный глагол указывает на привычное действие. Буквально он должен звучать так: «Привыкни всегда убегать от греха». Это - единственный способ разобраться с грехом. Когда приходит искушение, вы не должны останавливаться, чтобы поспорить, и порассуждать, или даже позволить нечистым мыслям задерживаться в вашем уме. В этот момент сатанинской атаки важно одно слово - «убегай». Одна из самых ярких и красивых иллюстраций видна в жизни Иосифа. Вы помните, что когда в доме Потифара его жена стремилась соблазнить его к греху Иосиф воскликнул: «… как же тогда я могу совершить это великое злодеяние и согрешить против Бога?» (Бытие 39: 9), и тотчас же он убежал из дома (ст. 12).

В подтверждение своей точки зрения Павел добавляет, что, в отличие от других грехов, безнравственность является грехом против тела. «Каждый грех, совершаемый человеком, находится вне тела, но тот, кто совершает сексуальную безнравственность, грешит против своего собственного тела…» (1 Коринфянам 6:18). Причина этого заключается в том, что такого рода аморальность является оскорблением мужчины или самой женщины. Кроме того, этот конкретный грех отчуждает тело от его божественного предназначения и судьбы. Поэтому Павел говорит: “Избегайте сексуальной безнравственности”. и в другом месте: … попечение о плоти не превращайте в похоти» (Римлянам 13:14), что просто означает «не задумывайся» и не делай никаких расчетливых мер, чтобы сделать грех возможным и актуальным”.

Это - отрицательный призыв. Положительный включает в себя:

2. Полная верность Богу. «... прославляй Бога в своем теле ...» (1 Кор. 6:20). Обратите внимание, что эта заповедь неукоснительно связана с искупительной жертвой Иисуса Христа. Павел говорит: «… вы были куплены дорогой ценой; посему прославляйте Бога в своем теле ... » (ст. 20). Прославление Бога в наших телах - это не только обязанность, но и благодарность и преданность Тому, Кто положил Свою жизнь, что, теперь освободившись от рабства сатаны, мы можем проявить через свою смертную плоть всю славу пребывающего в нас Отца, Сына и Святого Духа. Слава - это превосходящий характер, и когда наши тела полностью контролируются внутри Богом, мы видим и ощущаем чистоту и святость. Это то, что псалмопевец называет «красотой святости». В своем падшем состоянии Адам и Ева были покрыты этой славой, но они потеряли ее, когда сместили свой центр доверия с Бога на себя. Потеряв его, они впервые узнали, что они голые. Как замечательно знать, что даже в этих наших падших телах Иисус Христос может возноситься день за днем, будь то жизнью или смертью (Филиппийцам 1:20). Это чистота, которая обличает грешный мир, и в то же время убеждает ищущую душу. Это чистота, которая свидетельствует о том, что мы были с Иисусом и узнали о Нем.

Вывод:

Вот такова библейская доктрина о теле верующего. Есть свобода тела, которое божественно охраняется и направляется. Есть святость тела, которая освящается Отцом, Сыном и Святым Духом, и в результате чистота тела, которая характеризуется полным побегом от греха и полным доверием Богу. Никто не может увидеть по-настоящему чистую жизнь, не зная, что такой мужчина или женщина полностью посвятили себя Богу.

Единственный способ, которым мы можем завершить наше исследование на эту тему, - это напомнить себе о великих словах апостола, которые он написал верующим в Риме: «Поэтому я, умоляю вас, братия, милосердием Божьим, представьте тела ваши в жертву живую, святую, благоугодную Богу для разумного служения вашего» (Римлянам 12: 1).

III. План проповеди

Чтобы прослушать аудиоверсию этих проповедей на английском языке, нажмите на следующие ссылки: Link 1 - Откр. 2:12-13; Link 2 - Откр. 2:14-15; Link 3 - Откр. 2:16; Link 4 - Откр. 2:17

Название: Письма семи церквям: Пергамская церковь - держится, но идет на компромисс

Тема: Отстаивание истины в культуре компромисса.

Пункт № 1: Христос одобряет верность (стих 13)

Пункт № 2: Христос осуждает компромисс (стихи 14-15)

Пункт № 3: Христос повелевает покаянию (стих 16)

Пункт № 4: Христос дает обещание (стих 17)


1 Дюваль и Хэйс, “Ухватываясь за Божье Слово”, с. 187.

2 Дюваль и Хэйс, “Ухватываясь за Божье Слово”, с. 187.

3 Р.С. Спраул, “Зная Писания” с. 48-49.

Related Topics: Pastors

Mwongozo Wa Kujifunza Kukua Kiroho: Maombi

Related Media

I. Mwendelezo Mpya: Ni Nini Kinahitajika Ili Mtu Akue? Ni Maombi.

Tulianza mwendelezo mpya juma lililopita juu ya swali hili, “Ni nini kinahitajika ili mtu akue?

Tuliona kwamba kuijua na kuitii Biblia hakuna mjadala kwamba ni muhimu sana ikiwa unataka kukua hadi kufikia kuwa Mkristo aliyekomaa.

Ni matumaini yangu kwamba uliangalia orodha ya mapendekezo yaliyotolewa ili kukusaidia kubobea katika eneo la kujifunza Biblia kwa ufanisi. Natumaini pia kwamba ulichagua nafasi mmojawapo na kuhakikisha kuwa unajitahidi kuweka moyoni kwa wingi Neno la Mungu juma hili na mwezi huu.

A. Shabaha: Ujenge Tabia Zinazohitajika Ili Kukomaa Kiroho

Aya ya Ujumbe: 2 Pet. 3:18 Lakini kueni katika neema na katika kumjua Bwana wetu na Mwokozi Yesu Kristo. Utukufu una yeye sasa na hata milele. Amina.

Je, uliwahi kutambua kuwa Mungu anataka ukue? Mungu haridhiki kwamba umempokea Yesu Kristo kama Mwokozi, anataka sasa umfuate na kumtii kama Bwana wa maisha yako. Umtii yeye.

B. Kukomaa Kiroho Huwa Kunachukua Muda Gani?

Je, maandiko yana dokezo lolote la kuonyesha kuwa inachukua muda gani hadi tuambiwe kuwa “tumekomaa”? Naam. Dokezo lipo. Paulo aliandika barua kwa 1 Wakorintho miaka minne hadi mitano baada ya kuwa ametoa huduma katika mji wa Korintho. Huenda alifika pale mwaka 51 A.D. na akakaa pale hadi mwaka 53 A.D. aliandika waraka wa 1 Wakorintho kama mwaka 56 – 57 A.D. Alitarajia kwamba miaka 4 – 5 ingetosha kwa Wakorintho kuwa wamefikia kiwango cha kukomaa.

Hapa ndivyo anavyosema katika 1 Wakorintho 3:

1Lakini ndugu zangu, mimi sikuweza kusema nanyi kama na watu wenye tabia ya rohoni, bali kama na watu wenye tabia ya mwilini, kama na watoto wachanga katika Kristo. 2Naliwanywesha maziwa, sikuwalisha chakula; kwa kuwa mlikuwa hamjakiweza. Naam, hata sasa hamkiwezi, 3kwa maana hata sasa ninyi ni watu wa tabia ya mwilini. Maana, ikiwa kwenu kuna husuda na fitina, je! Si watu wa tabia ya mwilini ninyi; tena mnaenenda kwa jinsi ya kibinadamu? Mnaishi kana kwamba ninyi sio watu wa Bwana. Kama umekuwa Mkristo kwa chini ya miaka mitano, usiharakishe kukomaa lakini unaweza kujitahidi kukua kawaida tu.

Da! Miaka mitano! Je hili linakufanya ujisikie vibaya? Labda umekuwa Mkristo kwa zaidi ya miaka 5. Unafahamu kwamba ulipaswa kuwa mbali kuliko mahali uliko sasa, lakini unaifariji dhamiri yako kwa kusema, “Nadhani naendelea vizuri na siku moja nitakuwa mkomavu na hakuna ajuaye kuwa ni lini.” Kukomaa kiroho sio lengo lililoko mbali na la kufikirika ambalo huwezi kulifikia au utalifikia mwezi mmoja kabla ya kufa. Kwa mujibu wa Paulo kukomaa ni shabaha ya kawaida na nyeti ambayo unaweza kuifikia kwa muda ambao ni mfupi. Wewe unaendeleaje kiroho?

C. Mapitio Ya Tabia Saba Za Mkristo Anayekomaa

Hapa tunaangalia Tabia Saba za Msingi ambazo kila Mkristo anahitaji kuwa nazo ili aweze kukua hadi kukomaa. Tutakachofanya hapa ni…

  • Kukupa stadi unazozihitaji ili kuanza tabia hizi.
  • Kuelezea zana unazozihitaji ili kuendeleza tabia hizi.
  1. Ili Uweze Kukua Unahitaji Kula – Biblia
  2. Ili Uweze Kukua Unahitaji Kupumua – Maombi
  3. Ili Uweze Kukua Unahitaji Usafi Wa Kiroho –Kuungama Dhambi
  4. Ili Uweze Kukua Unahitaji Familia Inayojali – Ushirika
  5. Ili Uweze Kukua Kupata Mazoezi Kila Mara – Huduma
  6. Ili Uweze Kukua Unahitaji Ulinzi – Majaribu
  7. Ili Uweze Kukua Unahitaji Kutoa – Uwakili

Tabia Ya Maombi

“Iwekeni furaha yenu katika Tumaini lenu katika Kristo. Majaribu yakija, myastahimili kwa uvumilivu; mkidumisha tabia ya maombi.” Warumi 12:12 (Imetafsiriwa)

II. Je Wewe Uko Sehemu Gani Katika Ukuaji Wako Wa Maombi?

A. Uombaji Wa Mazoea

Kuomba wakati wa kula, Wakati wa kulala. Wakati unapolazimika. Wakati unapotarajiwa kuomba. Hii sio mbaya lakini maombi yanakuwa ni mazoea tu na tena ni ya haraka.

B. Maombi Ya Kujitoa

Haya ni maombi ambayo mwombaji amedhamiria na ana malengo maalum. Unakuwa makini kuhusu kuomba kwako kwa sababu kuna mzigo moyoni mwako unaokufanya upige magoti na kuomba. Hii ni aina ya maombi unayoomba wakati kijana wako anafanya mitihani wa kupata cheti.

C. Maombi Ya VIta

Hapa ndipo Paulo anamzungumzia mtenda-kazi mwenzake,

Wakolosai 4:12 Epafra, aliye mtu wa kwenu, mtumwa wa Yesu Kristo, awasalimu, akifanya bidii siku zote kwa ajili yenu katika maombi yake, ili kwamba msimamo wakamilifu na kuthibitika sana katika mapenzi yote ya Mungu.

Epafra alipigana vita katika maombi kwa ajili ya Wakristo wa Kolosai. Hapa kuna mzigo wa maombi na bidii kubwa. Aina hii ya maombi ni yale maombi ambayo baba huwa anayofanya anaposikia kuwa binti yake amemwacha Mungu, na anaishi kinyumba na mvulana. Hii ni aina ya maombi ambayo mama huwa anayofanya anaposikia kuwa kijana wake amejiunga na kanisa la Mashetani ili aweze kumwoa msichana mrembo kutoka kwenye kanisa hilo.

Katika aina hizi wewe je uko wapi? Uko kwenye ngazi gani katika maisha yako ya maombi?

Je tnawezaje kushinda matatizo yanayovikumba vikundi vya maombi?

III. Jifunze Na Kutumia Vipengele Sita Vya Maombi Yenye Tija.

Hii inatoka katika Mathayo 6:9 – 15, ambayo hujulikana kama Sala ya Bwana. Katika maombi haya Yesu alisema, “Basi ninyi salini hivi” sio kwamba haya ndio mambo ya kuombea. Anatoa kielelezo cha mambo tutakayokuwa tunayatumia wakati wa maombi.

Kuna Vipengele Sita Muhimu vya Maombi yenye Tija

A. Kipengele Cha Kwanza Muhimu Cha Maombi Yenye Tija Ni Sifa. Unaanza Kwa Kuelezea Upendo Wako Kwa Mungu

Baba Yetu uliye mbinguni, jina lako litukuzwe (m. 9)

Unapoanza maombi ungependa kuanza kwa kuuelezea upendo wako kwa Mungu. Anza kumwambia, “Bwana, nataka nikutazame Wewe.” Nikaingia kwenye maombi huku nikijiangalia mimi na mahitaji yangu kwanza, nitamaliza maombi yangu nikiwa nimechoka moyoni na kukata tamaa kuliko wakati nilipoanza. Lakini kama nikija kwenye maombi nikiwa namtazama Mungu, nitakachokiona kwake, nitakachojifunza kwake, anachoweza kunionyesha, ndipo badala ya kuondoka hapo nikiwaza jinsi matatizo yangu yalivyo, nitaondoka nikiwaza jinsi Mungu wangu alivyo mkubwa!

Je, unamsifuje Mungu?

1. Kwanza, Unaweza Kumsifu Kwa Jinsi Alivyo – Tabia Yake

Kipengele cha kwanza muhimu katika maombi ni tabia ya Mungu. Tabia ya Mungu ndio msingi wa maombi yanayojibiwa. Mungu hujibu maombi yanayotambua kuwa yeye ni nani.

Wiki iliyopita nilipoteza kifaa changu cha kuandikia. Yaani ilikuwa ni sawa na kuipoteza akili yangu. Nilijaribu kukitafuta kila mahali ndani ya nyumba hadi nikamtuhumu mke wangu kwamba amekichukua. Nilikitafuta sana kila mahali lakini wapi! Sikuona kitu. Nilijaribu kwenda ofisini na kupindua kila kitu lakini sikukiona. Nilisimama kando ya dawati langu la ofisi nikaomba, Ee Mungu, wewe unajua kilipo. Kwa kweli mimi sijui. Nakusihi sana Ee Bwana unisaidie! Niliinama na kufunika Biblia na tazama! Hiki hapa kifaa! Kilikuwa chini ya Biblia niliyokuwa nimeifungua.

2. Pili, Unaweza Kumsifu Kwa Yale Anayoyatenda – Matendo Yake

Zaburi zote zimejikita katika jambo hili – yaani kumsifu Mungu kwa matendo yake ya ajabu kwa watu wake. Je unatunza kumbukumbu ya jambo hili katika maisha yako? Maisha ya familia yako? Ukombozi wa Mungu? Maombi Mungu aliyoyajibu?

Ijumaa hii iliyopita nilimwomba Mungu anisaidie katika mambo mawili mahsusi. Redio kaseti yangu ilipasuka. Hili halionekani kama ni jambo kubwa, na kwa kweli sio kubwa, lakini kila asubuhi wakati nanyoa ndevu na kuoga, huwa nasikiliza kitabu cha Mithali katika redio kaseti yangu. Nilihitaji kutafuta nyingine ambayo ni ya bei nafuu. Jambo jingine ni kwamba, kwa kama miaka 20 iliyopita Nilikuwa na viatu vizuri vya kupanda milima. Kipindi hiki cha baridi niligundua kuwa soli zake zilikuwa zinabanduka. Nilivipeleka kwa fundi na nikaambiwa ingenigharimu dola 65 za Marekani kuvitengeneza. Kwa hiyo nikamwomba Mungu anisaidie kupata viatu vingine vizuri na kwa bei nafuu na redio kaseti nzuri. Hadi kufikia Ijumaa saa nne asubuhi nilipata redio kaseti kwa dola saba na viatu ambavyo vilinikaa vizuri kwa dola 13! Na leo namsifu Mungu kwa kujishughulisha sana na mimi hasa kwa mambo madogo kama haya na akanijibu.

Zaburi 100:4 inasema, “Ingieni malangoni mwake kwa kushukuru; nyuani mwake kwa kusifu. Mshukuruni, lihimidini jina lake”

  • Nimedhamiria kwamba nitamsifu Mungu kwa yale anayoyafanya.

B. Kipengele Cha Pili Cha Maombi Yenye Tija Ni Kusudi: Jitoe Kikamilifu Kwa Ajili Ya Kusudi La Mungu Katika Maisha Yako

Sehemu inayofuata ya sala ya Bwana inasema,

10Ufalme wako uje. Mapenzi yako yatimizwe , hapa duniani kama mbinguni

Huku ni kukubali kwamba Mungu ni Mungu na mimi sio. Sehemu hii inanilazimisha kutafakari kama kweli mimi ninataka kusudi la Mungu litimizwe katika maisha yangu, familia yangu, kazini mwangu shuleni kwangu au nchini kwangu.

Je, umewahi kufikiri kwa kina kwamba jambo hili likoje, kumwambia Mungu, “Fanya lolote unanolitaka katika eneo na jambo lolote katika maisha yangu. Nataka yale unayoyataka kuliko yale ninayoyataka.”

Unataka gari jipya. Mungu amekuwa akisema, “Lile la zamani linatosha. Bado linaweza kukusaidia kusafiri toka sehemu moja hadi nyingine, hita inafanya kazi na bima yake iko chini kuilipa. Itunze! Kisha tumia pesa ulizo nazo kusaidia kumaliza kazi yangu kule India kwenye shirika linalohubiri kule Asia.” Hii ndiyo maana hasa ya kuomba kwamba, :Mapenzi yako yatimizwe”.

Unapenda pipi za chocolate. Mungu amekuwa akikuambia, “Achana na pipi za chocolate. Tumia hizo pesa kwenye huduma ya udiakonia.” Hii ndio maana ya kuomba, “Mapenzi yako yafanyike.”

Wewe na rafiki yako wa kike mmekuwa mkifanya ngono. Mmevuka mipaka, lakini hamtaki kuacha hiyo tabia. Mungu amekuwa akisema, “Vunjeni hayo mahusiano. Mnajua wazi kuwa hayo mahusiano yanawaumiza ninyi nyote wawili. Achaneni sasa.”

Hii ndiyo maana ya kuomba, “Mapenzi yako yatimizwe.”

Umekuwa mara nyingi kila ukija nyumbani unatumia muda mwingi kuangalia tamthilia kwenye runinga. Mungu amekuwa akisema, “Familia yako inakuhitaji. Zima hiyo runinga. Punguza muda uangalie masaa matatu tu kwa wiki.”

Hii ndiyo maana ya kuomba, “Mapenzi yako yatimizwe.”

Warumi 12:1 inatuhimiza “Itoeni miili yenu iwe dhabihu iliyo hai na takatifu ya kumpendeza Mungu, ndiyo ibada yenu yenye maana.”

  • Dhamira yangu: Nitamtii Mungu kwa lolote atakaloniagiza

C. Kipengele Cha Tatu Kwa Maombi Yenye Tija Ni Mahitaji Yetu: Mwombe Mungu Akupatie Mahitaji Yako.

11Utupe leo riziki yetu

Ni mahitaji gani ninayoyaombea? Kwa kweli ni mahitaji yote. Hakuna jambo kubwa sana kwa Mungu ambalo atalishindwa na hakuna jambo dogo sana kwa Mungu ambalo atalipuuza. Kwa hiyo mahitaji yangu yote nitayaombea.

Kanuni hasa ni hii: mambo yaliyo makubwa yanayokuhangaisha, ndio mambo makubwa kwako kuyaombea. Nakushauri upitie mambo yote yanayokusumbua katika siku uyaandike na uyaweke katika orodha yako ya kuyaombea. Mambo yanayokuhangaisha ndiyo yanayopaswa kuwa mahitaji yako ya kuyaombea.

Wafilipi 4:6 “Msijisumbue kwa neno lolote, bali katika kila neno kwa kusali na kuomba pamoja na kumshukuru, haja zenu zijulikane na Mungu.”

Wafilipi 4:19 inasema “Na Mungu wangu atawajazeni kila mnachokihitaji kwa kadiri ya utajiri wake katika utukufu, ndani ya Kristo Yesu.

Maombi ni tangazo langu kwamba namtegemea Mungu. Ninapomwendea ninasema, “Mimi ninakutegemea Wewe tu, Mungu kwa ajili ya mahitaji yangu.”

  • Dhamira: Nitamtegemea Mungu pekee kwa ajili ya mahitaji yangu yote.

D. Kipengele Cha Nne Kwa Maombi Yenye Tija Ni Msamaha: Mwombe Mungu Akusamehe Dhambi Zako.

12Utusamehe dhambi zetu.

Sehemu hii ya sala ya Bwana inasema, Utusamehe deni zetu kama sisi nasi tuwasamehevyo wadeni wetu..”

Kuna hatua nne za msamaha:

A. Mwombe Roho Mtakatifu Afunue Kila Dhambi.

Zaburi 139 inasema “Ee Mungu unichunguze, uujue moyo wangu, unijaribu, uyajue mawazo yangu. Uone kama kuna uovu wowote ndani yangu.”

Mwombe Roho Mtakatifu kufunua dhambi.

B. Ungama Kila Dhambi Kipekee.

Mara nyingine huwa tunaacha kuungama kwa kuamua kusema, “Nisamehe dhambi zangu zote.” Hizo dhambi ulizifanya moja-moja, ni vizuri zaidi kuomba msamaha kwa dhambi moja-moja. Hakuna blanketi la kuzifunika zote.

Mithali 28:13 “Afichaye dhambi zake hatafanikiwa; Bali yeye aziungamaye na kuziacha atapata rehema.”

C. Tengeneza Kwa Wengine Pale Inapobidi

Mathayo 5:23-24 “Ukikumbuka kuwa ndugu yako ana neno juu yako, iache sadaka yako mbele ya madhabahu, uende zako, upatane kwanza na ndugu yako, kisha urudi uitoe sadaka yako.”

Kwa hiyo Mungu akifunua jambo ambalo umemfanyia mtu, nenda katengeneze ili litokee katika dhamiri yako.

D. Pokea Msamaha Wa Mungu Kwa Imani

“Tukiziungama dhambi zetu yeye ni mwaminifu na wa haki hata atuondolee dhambi zetu, na kutusafisha na udhalimu wote.” I Yoh. 1:9

Dhamira: Nitaungama dhambi zangu kwa Mungu kwa jinsi Mungu anavyozifunua na kuupokea msamaha Wake.

E. Kipengele Muhimu Cha Tano Kwa Maombi Yenye Tija Ni Usafi: Achilia VInyongo Na Uchungu

Sala ya Bwana inasema, “kama sisi nasi tunavyowasamehe waliotutenda dhambi.”

Kristo anachukulia kwamba sisi tutawasamehe wengine kwa sababu sisi nasi tumesamehewa. Mungu hatajibu maombi yako kama utaendelea kuweka vinyongo na uchungu moyoni. Sikiliza kitu Biblia inachosema,

I Yoh 3:21 Wapenzi, mioyo yetu isipotuhukumu tuna ujasiri kwa Mungu. Na lolote tuombalo, twalipokea kwake, kwa kuwa twazishika amri zake, na kuyatenda yapendezayo machoni pake.

Zaburi 66:18 Kama singaliungama dhambi katika moyo wangu, Bwana wangu asingenisikia. Lakini Mungu alisikia! Ametegea sikio maombi yangu.

Dhamira: Nitawaachilia wale walionikosea kwa sababu Mungu amenisamehe.

F. Kipengele Muhimu Cha Sita Kwa Maombi Yenye Tija Ni Ulinzi: Omba Ulinzi Wa Mungu

13Na usitutie majaribuni, lakini utuokoe na yule mwovu.

Sisi kama waamini, tunakumbana na vita ya kiroho kila siku na shetani anataka kutushinda kupitia majaribu na hofu. Kama nikiianza siku bila kumwomba Mungu anipe nguvu zake, nitapigana kwa kutumia vile nilivyo navo na haitoshi kitu!

Ukiomba maombi haya unahitaji kupeleleza katika moyo wako na maisha yako ili uone ni wapi unaelekea kuanguka. Unahitaji kujifahamu, kwa sababu Shetani, ambaye ni adui wa nafsi yako, ni mjanja kiasi cha kufahamu madhaifu yetu, na anayatumia ili kutuangusha.

I Kor. 10:13 Lakini kumbukeni kwamba majaribu yanayowapata sio tofauti na yale yanayowapata wengine. Na Mungu ni mwaminifu. Atazuia jaribu lisiwe kubwa kuliko mwezavyo. Mtakapojaribiwa atawaonyesha njia ya kutokea ili lisiwaangushe.

  • Dhamira: Nitajifunza maeneo niliyo na udhaifu na kutegemea ulinzi wa Mungu.

G. Mahusiano

Sala hii inaanza katika mazingira ya mahusiano – Baba Yetu. Kama nikishindwa kuona kwamba nina mahusiano na baba wa mbinguni, maombi yangu yatakuwa yanadhoofu.

Msingi wa maombi yenye tija ni mahusiano na Baba wa Mbinguni mwenye upendo. Mahusiano hushamiri katika mawasiliano na hudhoofika kama mawasiliano hayapo. Sasa Mungu anasikiliza, je wewe unazungumza?

IV. IV. Hitimisho

Kwa dakika 15 zijazo timu ya Kusifu itatuongoza, na tutaenda kutendea kazi kile nilichokuwa nakihubiri. Inaweza ikawa kwamba unapenda kuketi kwenye kiti chako na kuimba huku ukiomba kimya. Hiyo ni sawa kabisa.

Inawezekana uataka kupiga magoti kwenye kiti chako na kuomba. Hiyo pia ni sawa!

Inawezekana kwamba unataka kutoka mbele na uombe pamoja na mzee wa kanisa au mkewe. Watakuwa hapa tayari kukuombea. Wako tayari kukupaka mafuta na kukuombea kama utataka.

Viongozi wetu wa vikundi wapo hapa na watakuwa wanaongoza vikundi vidogo katika kuomba. Kama unapendelea kujiunga na kikundi ili uombe na wengine wachache, chagua kikundi kimoja ujiunge. Sio lazima uombe kwa sauti kubwa. Uko huru kuingia kimya-kimya wakati wengine wakiendelea kuomba.

Basi na tulitendee kazi lile ambalo Bwana Yesu Kristo alilotupa. Tuombe!

Related Topics: Prayer, Teaching the Bible

Doing Discipleship for Real (The beginnings of the KnowingGod.org Project)

Unfunded Project 001: Helping Christians be more effective at Disciple-making (first published in 2015)

1.     Project description: To come alongside the global Church and build a set of discipleship tools that it can use to help it fulfill Christ’s Great Commission commandment.

1.1.  This tool set will be both a mobile friendly technology platform (smart phones) and sample content that global churches/groups can use or modify to teach disciple making (Matthew 28:18-20 )to those who fit the qualifications of 2 Tim 2:2 with the end goal to see the fulfillment of Matt 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (NET)..

1.2.  The targeted audience is all the people on the planet which means the content and the platform needs to support literate and non-literate means of communications and the project needs to work with other ministry partners who are already working in those areas of the world.

What do we mean by the term DiscipleshipThe term Discipleship is the model used by Jesus as He called His disciples and what He expected of them. The meaning of a “disciple of Christ,” is more fully described in appendix 3 and summarized here as one who has been called first to know Christ; then to follow him; and then to make disciples of all nations. That is, in our knowing Christ we are becoming like him—thinking, feeling, and living as he commands. In this spiritual ambience of a personal relationship with him, that is, in light of our experience of the kingdom, he summons us to be his disciples. We are to follow him, through thick and thin, knowing that he is there and that he will reward us in his time; after all, he is God incarnate. But discipleship not only involves being with him, being like him, and following him, it also means that we make it our goal to disciple others—indeed, every nation under the sun. The Great Commission is not just another good idea—though it is that—it is the church’s marching order. There is no other plan, No plan B. Matthew 28:18-20which includes Matt 24:14is the one and only plan.

·       Point of contact for more information about the project:  David Austin

·       Background, Need and Projected Benefit: to the community of users

o   The need:The church and Christians are falling behind in our ability to meet and fulfillthe Great Commissioncommandment from Christ. The Pew Research Center did a study[1] and found that the number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%). So unlike the first century church where experts say Christianity experienced a growth rate of about 40%/decade we are now seeing Christianity just keeping up with population growth worldwide. We need to pray that we take things out of our schedule to focus on seeing the world reached for Christ.

o    The Benefit- What would happen if this changed and all Christians in churches did the Matt 28:19-20 plan?

§  What is a sample plan has the Holy Spirit use in the 21st century to support the exponential growth that was demonstrated in the 1st century? (watch this short 4 min video for one answer http://youtu.be/2jrok2GE8I8 )

·       Approach:

Facts to consider:

●      If we are to be obedient to the commandment we must come to grip with the growing world’s population. There are 7.125 billion people on earth now with a projected rise to 11b in 2100[2] with an illiteracy rate of 12% or 775m illiterate[3]. Therefore, it is critical that we plan and produce ministry tools to fit not only the literate but the non-literate.

●      How can we affordably reach them? The answer lies in harnessing the tools of the Internet and Mobile as an aid to those doing outreach.  Internet world stats[4] show that 3 billion or 42% have internet access andin 2014, the number of worldwide mobile users will reach over 5.6 billion. By the end of 2018, the number is expected to increase to over 6.2 billion or about 84% of the world[5].

●      With thousands of discipleship books and programs in the marketplace why is the Church not having greater success in making disciples? One reason is as we read in John 3:19, people love the darkness rather than the Light of God, and perhaps  the following changes need to be incorporated (in parentheses below) into the proposed church discipleship tools project

o       Needs a focus on Fervent Prayeras we said above people love darkness rather than light and we are attacking the Devil’s domain. It is an overwhelming task and we can only do it through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Christians and leading others to Christ (technology isn’t the answer, it’s a heart problem and Obedience to Christ is the answer).

o       (It needs to be action oriented)The bulk of discipleship material is based on the transfer of information from an expert to the student and not on apprenticeship or “doing it”, which was Christ’s model.

o        (It needs to be Bible focused and not an expert at the head of the class telling people “what to think” but teaching them “how to think biblically”)The focus will be less on answering questions the students don’t have but more on learning on how to find the answer to the questions they do have. It must utilize the Bible trusting confidentially that God has the answers. It means learning patience to wait on the Lord for answers as not all the student’s questions will have quick answers. With the Bible as the focus and central authority, wenot only can but will expect the Holy Spirit to teach a person “How to think biblically” (which is His job). We expect that they will interact and be subject to their local church but that we will need to supply coaches to be available to the group to answer questions or to get the answers for them and suggest next areas to study based on their questions.

o       (It needs to set the expectations up front to see if the people will put Christ as the first priority in their lives)The Bible tells us that Christ challenged His disciples to a transformed life. This meant a life change process to make choices that would lead them to live their Christian life much differently than what they were doing. He set the bar high to see if they would change their priorities and put Him first.  We recall that some chose to trust, obey and followed. Others said “this is a hard saying, who can understand it.” Still others chose to “quit following and not accompany him anymore.” The 12 who did stay found that was not an easy thing to just add one more thing to their schedule. But, Christ demanded then and demands now that He be first place in our lives. He challenged them by saying things like: to be my disciple you need to “take up your cross;” or as to the rich man “sell all you have and give to the poor.” To the man who had his family first he said “let the dead bury the dead”. Peter reminds us in 1 Pet 4:12-13 that the Christian should expect suffering for the cause of Christ. Suffering is to be considered as joy (James 1:2). Yet not all is suffering! Jesus gave his promise in Matt 11:28-30 that in following Him we can find rest:“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”(NET)

o       (It needs to be group based)Christ’s discipleship training happened in a small group-- less on one to one. The group is important for the discussion of the teaching, mutual accountability practice and exercise of spiritual gifts for the benefit of the group. Paul taught in 1 Cor 12 that this is the role of the church utilizing the gifts from the Spirit. Note: vit says:“To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all.” This is a key teaching, we believe, that discipleship should take place in a group/church setting so the gifts of the group can be brought to bear in the Great commission commandment of discipleship, and teaching the all things that Christ taught them.(NET).

The question we all need to ask ourselves is what are we going to do different to make disciples and reach the world for Christ, or as we read in the Pew study, do we continue to do the same thing we have done for the last 100 years? Perhaps Einstein said it best: If we want something we have never had, we must be willing to do something we have never done.

What is the something different in your ministry or Church?

For Bible.org a couple big things stand out. We are now primarily targeted at the literate world that is on the internet. But if we are to assist the whole church in the great commission we need to partner with those whose focus is in non-literate ministry and work on oral storying and develop a set of tools that fit in a framework that any ministry or church can add content to which is both internet accessible and mobile friendly. To finish the great commission it should be effective where there is internet as well as areas with no internet connectivity (using SD memory cards as they support audio/video).

As we look for partners we will be asking you to assist us in looking at our mutual list of different things we need to do and those we need to do differently. We are asking this question: What can we together offer the local church and others in the body of Christ?  A first step is that it begins with prayer. What others would you add?

●      Prayer

●      Other items for you to fill in below

●      ___________________

How do we get started and how do those who are interested in helping in the proposed Church Discipleship project get more information?

Phase 0.1 Bible.org is proposing the following:

 

1.     Rapidly build a little and use a little

1.1.  This will allow us to test the concept on real users and provide early feedback from those users to build on the framework and content requirements 

1.2.  Select the methodology that incorporates the characteristics needed in the approach described above To review: (It needs to be action oriented), (Bible focused and not an expert at the head of the class teaching how to think biblically),   (It needs to be group based), (It needs to set the expectations up front to see if the people will put Christ as first priority in their lives) due 6/1/15 (draft completed)

1.1.1.     Bible.org reviewed many approaches and talked with various ministries about what the Holy Spirit was blessing by exponential growth in closed Muslim countries where freedoms of movement are limited and Christians are at risk and decided to base our initial course on the Bible Discovery Method as was presented in the previous 4 min video http://youtu.be/2jrok2GE8I8 you watch above.

1.2.  Select 2  churches to pilot a  6 week course and a leadership module due 7/1/15 (completed)

At this point you may be asking what does this look like? We have started a pilot project with the expectations that funding will come to expand the staff to continue and to work with other ministries. IF you want more information email us

 

Related Topics: Discipleship

Doing Discipleship for Real (The beginnings of the KnowingGod.org Project).

Unfunded Project 001: Helping Christians be more effective at Disciple-making (first published in 2015)

1.     Project description: To come alongside the global Church and build a set of discipleship tools that it can use to help it fulfill Christ’s Great Commission commandment.

1.1.  This tool set will be both a mobile friendly technology platform (smart phones) and sample content that global churches/groups can use or modify to teach disciple making (Matthew 28:18-20 )to those who fit the qualifications of 2 Tim 2:2 with the end goal to see the fulfillment of Matt 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (NET)..

1.2.  The targeted audience is all the people on the planet which means the content and the platform needs to support literate and non-literate means of communications and the project needs to work with other ministry partners who are already working in those areas of the world.

What do we mean by the term DiscipleshipThe term Discipleship is the model used by Jesus as He called His disciples and what He expected of them. The meaning of a “disciple of Christ,” is more fully described in appendix 3 and summarized here as one who has been called first to know Christ; then to follow him; and then to make disciples of all nations. That is, in our knowing Christ we are becoming like him—thinking, feeling, and living as he commands. In this spiritual ambience of a personal relationship with him, that is, in light of our experience of the kingdom, he summons us to be his disciples. We are to follow him, through thick and thin, knowing that he is there and that he will reward us in his time; after all, he is God incarnate. But discipleship not only involves being with him, being like him, and following him, it also means that we make it our goal to disciple others—indeed, every nation under the sun. The Great Commission is not just another good idea—though it is that—it is the church’s marching order. There is no other plan, No plan B. Matthew 28:18-20which includes Matt 24:14is the one and only plan.

·       Point of contact for more information about the project:  David Austin

·       Background, Need and Projected Benefit: to the community of users

o   The need:The church and Christians are falling behind in our ability to meet and fulfillthe Great Commissioncommandment from Christ. The Pew Research Center did a study[1] and found that the number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%). So unlike the first century church where experts say Christianity experienced a growth rate of about 40%/decade we are now seeing Christianity just keeping up with population growth worldwide. We need to pray that we take things out of our schedule to focus on seeing the world reached for Christ.

o    The Benefit- What would happen if this changed and all Christians in churches did the Matt 28:19-20 plan?

§  What is a sample plan has the Holy Spirit use in the 21st century to support the exponential growth that was demonstrated in the 1st century? (watch this short 4 min video for one answer http://youtu.be/2jrok2GE8I8 )

·       Approach:

Facts to consider:

●      If we are to be obedient to the commandment we must come to grip with the growing world’s population. There are 7.125 billion people on earth now with a projected rise to 11b in 2100[2] with an illiteracy rate of 12% or 775m illiterate[3]. Therefore, it is critical that we plan and produce ministry tools to fit not only the literate but the non-literate.

●      How can we affordably reach them? The answer lies in harnessing the tools of the Internet and Mobile as an aid to those doing outreach.  Internet world stats[4] show that 3 billion or 42% have internet access andin 2014, the number of worldwide mobile users will reach over 5.6 billion. By the end of 2018, the number is expected to increase to over 6.2 billion or about 84% of the world[5].

●      With thousands of discipleship books and programs in the marketplace why is the Church not having greater success in making disciples? One reason is as we read in John 3:19, people love the darkness rather than the Light of God, and perhaps  the following changes need to be incorporated (in parentheses below) into the proposed church discipleship tools project

o       Needs a focus on Fervent Prayeras we said above people love darkness rather than light and we are attacking the Devil’s domain. It is an overwhelming task and we can only do it through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Christians and leading others to Christ (technology isn’t the answer, it’s a heart problem and Obedience to Christ is the answer).

o       (It needs to be action oriented)The bulk of discipleship material is based on the transfer of information from an expert to the student and not on apprenticeship or “doing it”, which was Christ’s model.

o        (It needs to be Bible focused and not an expert at the head of the class telling people “what to think” but teaching them “how to think biblically”)The focus will be less on answering questions the students don’t have but more on learning on how to find the answer to the questions they do have. It must utilize the Bible trusting confidentially that God has the answers. It means learning patience to wait on the Lord for answers as not all the student’s questions will have quick answers. With the Bible as the focus and central authority, wenot only can but will expect the Holy Spirit to teach a person “How to think biblically” (which is His job). We expect that they will interact and be subject to their local church but that we will need to supply coaches to be available to the group to answer questions or to get the answers for them and suggest next areas to study based on their questions.

o       (It needs to set the expectations up front to see if the people will put Christ as the first priority in their lives)The Bible tells us that Christ challenged His disciples to a transformed life. This meant a life change process to make choices that would lead them to live their Christian life much differently than what they were doing. He set the bar high to see if they would change their priorities and put Him first.  We recall that some chose to trust, obey and followed. Others said “this is a hard saying, who can understand it.” Still others chose to “quit following and not accompany him anymore.” The 12 who did stay found that was not an easy thing to just add one more thing to their schedule. But, Christ demanded then and demands now that He be first place in our lives. He challenged them by saying things like: to be my disciple you need to “take up your cross;” or as to the rich man “sell all you have and give to the poor.” To the man who had his family first he said “let the dead bury the dead”. Peter reminds us in 1 Pet 4:12-13 that the Christian should expect suffering for the cause of Christ. Suffering is to be considered as joy (James 1:2). Yet not all is suffering! Jesus gave his promise in Matt 11:28-30 that in following Him we can find rest:“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”(NET)

o       (It needs to be group based)Christ’s discipleship training happened in a small group-- less on one to one. The group is important for the discussion of the teaching, mutual accountability practice and exercise of spiritual gifts for the benefit of the group. Paul taught in 1 Cor 12 that this is the role of the church utilizing the gifts from the Spirit. Note: vit says:“To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all.” This is a key teaching, we believe, that discipleship should take place in a group/church setting so the gifts of the group can be brought to bear in the Great commission commandment of discipleship, and teaching the all things that Christ taught them.(NET).

The question we all need to ask ourselves is what are we going to do different to make disciples and reach the world for Christ, or as we read in the Pew study, do we continue to do the same thing we have done for the last 100 years? Perhaps Einstein said it best: If we want something we have never had, we must be willing to do something we have never done.

What is the something different in your ministry or Church?

For Bible.org a couple big things stand out. We are now primarily targeted at the literate world that is on the internet. But if we are to assist the whole church in the great commission we need to partner with those whose focus is in non-literate ministry and work on oral storying and develop a set of tools that fit in a framework that any ministry or church can add content to which is both internet accessible and mobile friendly. To finish the great commission it should be effective where there is internet as well as areas with no internet connectivity (using SD memory cards as they support audio/video).

As we look for partners we will be asking you to assist us in looking at our mutual list of different things we need to do and those we need to do differently. We are asking this question: What can we together offer the local church and others in the body of Christ?  A first step is that it begins with prayer. What others would you add?

●      Prayer

●      Other items for you to fill in below

●      ___________________

How do we get started and how do those who are interested in helping in the proposed Church Discipleship project get more information?

Phase 0.1 Bible.org is proposing the following:

 

1.     Rapidly build a little and use a little

1.1.  This will allow us to test the concept on real users and provide early feedback from those users to build on the framework and content requirements 

1.2.  Select the methodology that incorporates the characteristics needed in the approach described above To review: (It needs to be action oriented), (Bible focused and not an expert at the head of the class teaching how to think biblically),   (It needs to be group based), (It needs to set the expectations up front to see if the people will put Christ as first priority in their lives) due 6/1/15 (draft completed)

1.1.1.     Bible.org reviewed many approaches and talked with various ministries about what the Holy Spirit was blessing by exponential growth in closed Muslim countries where freedoms of movement are limited and Christians are at risk and decided to base our initial course on the Bible Discovery Method as was presented in the previous 4 min video http://youtu.be/2jrok2GE8I8 you watch above.

1.2.  Select 2  churches to pilot a  6 week course and a leadership module due 7/1/15 (completed)

At this point you may be asking what does this look like? We have started a pilot project with the expectations that funding will come to expand the staff to continue and to work with other ministries. IF you want more information email us

 

Related Topics: Discipleship

Kinachohitajika Ili Mtu Akue

Related Media

I. Ni Nini Kinahitajika Ili Mtu Akue Na Kukomaa? – Biblia

Tunaanza mfululizo mpya leo unaouliza swali: “Ni nini kinahitajika ili mtu akue?” Hii ni kama sehemu muhimu sana ya utafiti (ambapo unaweza kung’oa mmea na kukung’uta udongo wote kwenye mizizi na kuuweka mezani). Hapo lengo ni kuona kama ni kweli mmea unahitaji maji na udongo ili kukua au kama ni dhana tu inayoaminiwa na watu duniani.

A. Kusudi La Mfululizo Huu:

Kusudi ni lengo lilelile alilokuwa nalo Epafra kwa ajili ya Wakristo wa Kanisa la Kolosai. Aliwaombea,

“ili kwamba msimame wakamilifu na kuthibitika sana katika mapenzi yote ya Mungu.” Wakolosai 4:12

Hilo ndilo Mungu analolitaka kwetu. Anataka kwamba sisi tukue na kuthibitika. Unaweza kuchorea mstari hayo maneno ya “kuthibitika” na “Mapenzi ya Mungu”. Yote hayo yameandikwa katika hili neno. Ni mapenzi ya Mungu kwamba tukue.

Sikiliza mstari huu kutoka kwa mtume Paulo:

Waefeso 4:14-15 “ili tusiwe tena watoto wachanga, …bali tukue hata tumfikie yeye aliye kichwa Kristo.”

Je uliwahi kutambua kuwa Mungu anakutaka ukue? Nina rafiki yangu ambaye anafanya kazi katika Kituo cha Afya kwa ajili ya walemavu wa akili. Siku moja nilikwenda naye hapo kituoni na nikawaona watu wa kiume na wa kike ambao wamekomaa miili yao lakini akili zao zilikuwa hazijakomaa. Ilikuwa ni shida! Kuna kijana mmoja ambaye alionekana kama alikuwa na miaka 20 akiwa katika kiti-mwendo. Msaidizi wake alikuwa akijaribu kuweka mpira mapajani mwake lakini yeye aliupiga kwa mikono yake ili utoke. Wakati mwingine ilimchukua dakika nzima kufanya hivyo. Wakati mwingine hata dakika 3 au 4.

Kama tukiuangalia ukuaji uliochelewa kiakili na kimwili tunaushangaa na kusema, “Ni shida!” Je, Mungu Baba atakuwa anatufikiriaje anapotuangalia na kuona na sisi tulivyochelewa kukua kiroho? Hapa sasa nikuulize swali…

B. Je, Ukomavu Wa Kiroho Ni Nini? Kuwa Kama Kristo!

Waefeso 4:13 hata na sisi sote tutakapoufikia Umoja wa imani na kumfahamu sana Mwana wa Mungu, hata kuwa mtu mkamilifu, hata kufika kwenye cheo cha kimo cha utimilifu wa Kristo.

Kwa jinsi huu mstari ulivyo, unaweza kuuelezea ukomavu wa kiroho kwa sentensi moja: Ukomavu wa kiroho ni kuwa kama Kristo.

Wengi wetu tunataka kukua. Wengi wetu tunataka kukomaa. Wengi wetu tunataka kuwa kama Kristo. Mara nyingi hatujui namna ya kuanza.

C. Mapitio: Tabia Saba Za Wakristo Wanaokomaa

Tutajikita katika kuangalia Tabia Saba za Msingi ambazo kila Mkristo anahitaji kuwa nazo ili aweze kukua hadi kufikia ukomavu wa kiroho. Lengo langu ni …

Kukuwezesha kupata stadi au maarifa unayoyahitaji kwa ajili ya tabia hizi.

Kueleza vitu unavyovihitaji ili kuendeleza tabia hizi.

  1. Ili ukue unahitaji kula—Biblia
  2. Ili ukue unahitaji kupumua—Maombi
  3. Ili ukue unahitaji usafi wa kiroho—Kuungama dhambi
  4. Ili ukue unahitaji familia inayojali—Ushirika
  5. Ili ukue unahitaji mazoezi ya mara kwa mara—Huduma
  6. Ili ukue unahitaji ulinzi—Majaribu
  7. Ili ukue unahitaji kutoa—Uwakili

D. Kweli Juu Ya Ukuaji Wa Kiroho

1. Kukua Kiroho Hakutokei Tu Otomatiki.

Je, umewahi kujua kwamba unaweza kuwa Mkristo na ukashindwa kukua kiroho?

Waebrania 5:12-13 “Mmekuwa Wakristo kwa muda mrefu sasa, na mlipaswa kuwa mnafundisha wengine. Lakini badala yake mnahitaji kufundishwa na mtu mafundisho ya kwanza ya maneno ya Mungu. Mmekuwa kama watoto wachanga ambao wanahitaji maziwa na hawawezi kula chakula kigumu. 13Mtu anayeishi kwa maziwa hajui sana neno la haki, kwa maana ni mtoto mchanga” (imetafsiriwa).

Huu ni ukuaji uliodumazwa. Hawa wanapaswa kukomaa. Walikuwa na muda wa kutosha. Lakini ni shida sasa kwamba hawajakomaa! Ukomavu hauji wenyewe. Unahitaji muda, kujibidisha na kadhalika.

2. Ukomavu Wa Kiroho Hautokei Kwa Haraka

Biblia inasema katika 2 Petro 3:18, “Lakini kueni katika neema, na katika kumjua Bwana wetu na Mwokozi Yesu Kristo.” Hapa inaonyesha kwamba ni mchakato. Inachukua muda. Sio jambo la mara moja.

Je unakumbuka zile hisabati za shuleni kwamba Mwendo x Muda = Umbali?

Hii kanuni ina maana kwamba ukisafiri kwa mwendo wa kilometa 5 kwa saa kwa masaa 100 utasafiri umbali wa kilometa 500

Ukisafiri kwa mwendo wa kilometa 50 kwa saa, kwa masaa 10 utasafiri umbali wa kilometa 500

Ukisafiri kwa mwendo wa kilometa 500 kwa saa, kwa masaa 10 utasafiri umbali wa kilometa 500

Kuna Wakristo ambao wamemfahamu Kristo kwa miaka 50. Kwa sasa walipaswa kuwa wamekomaa. Lakini ndio hao wanaenda kwa mwendo wa kilometa 1 kwa saa. Wengine hata hizo kilometa hazipo! Wamesimama tu, hawaendi popote. Wameketi tu, wanazuia wengine kusonga mbele maana wanasababisha msongamano nyuma yao.

Mstari wetu Mkuu: 2 Petro 3:18, “Lakini kueni katika neema, na katika kumjua Bwana wetu na Mwokozi Yesu Kristo. Utukufu una yeye sasa na hata milele! Amina”

Hakuna njia ya mkato ya kukua kiroho. Hakuna kidonge au dawa ambayo ningeweza kukupa ili ukishainywa leo na kesho uwe umekomaa kiroho. Ni jambo linalochukua muda. Linahitaji juhudi za makusudi. Haliji lenyewe wala haliji haraka.

Watu hujaribu njia nyingi za mkato. Wengine hutafuta tu kuhamasisha hisia zao—“Nikipata kitu hiki ‘fulani’ matatizo yangu yote yanakwisha na nitakuwa Mkristo aliyekomaa.” Watu wengine husema, “Nikihudhuria semina hii…Nikisoma kitabu hiki…Nikisikiliza kanda hii…” Watu wengine husema, “Nikifuata kanuni hizi, basi nitakuwa kama Mungu anavyonitaka niwe.”

Lakini Biblia inasema, hapana. Ni mchakato endelevu. Ni lazima ujifunze ili ukomae. Lakini kuna maarifa ambayo unatakiwa ujifunze ili uweze kukua.

3. Ukomavu Wa Kiroho Hauji Bila Nidhamu Binafsi

1 Timotheo 4:7 “Jitahidi na chukua muda kupata utauwa”(imetafsiriwa).

Je uimara wa kimwili hutokea wenyewe? Hapana. Ndivyo ilivyo hata kwa mazoezi ya nguvu za mwili. Inachukua muda na kufanya kazi. Ndivyo ilivyo kwa masuala ya kiroho, kuna mazoezi yanayohitajika kukujengea tabia za msingi katika maisha ya kiroho. Biblia inasema, “Jibidishe kwa lengo la kupata utauwa.” Kujibidisha hapa ndio kujenga nidhamu binafsi.

Unapozungumzia nidhamu binafsi unahitaji kuzungumzia pia ufuasi kwa sababu haya mawili yanakwenda pamoja. Kuna kweli sita za msingi ambazo nakutaka uzielewe kupata picha ya huko tunakoelekea.

1. Biblia inafundisha kuwa waamini waliokomaa wanaitwa wanafunzi. Hilo ni neno Biblia inalotumia kuelezea mwamini aliyekomaa—mwanafunzi.

2. Biblia inafundisha kuwa siwezi kuwa mwanafunzi bila kujenga nidhamu. Maneno haya mawili huwa yanaenda pamoja—mwanafunzi na nidhamu.

3. Biblia pia inafundisha kwamba kwa jinsi ninavyojengewa nidhamu ndivyo Mungu anavyoweza kunitumia.

4. Alama ya mwanafunzi ni kubeba msalaba.

Luka 14:27, Yesu alisema, “Mtu yeyote asiyeuchukua msalaba wake na kunifuata hawezi kuwa mwanafunzi wangu.” Mungu anatutaka tubebe msalaba wetu. Tutaelezea maana ya maneno haya.

5. Haya mambo ninatakiwa niyafanye mara ngapi? Biblia inasema kila siku.

Luka 9:23 Akawaambia wote, “Mtu yeyote akitaka kunifuata, na ajikane mwenyewe, ajitwike msalaba wake kila siku, anifuate.”

Hili ndilo tutakalokwenda kulizungumzia. Katika hali ya vitendo kubeba msalaba ina maana gani?

6. Hivi kubeba msalaba kunahusisha nini hasa? Imeshaelezwa: inahusisha jambo lolote linalompa Kristo nafasi ya kwanza katika maisha yangu.

E. Lengo: Kudhamiria Kuwa Na Tabia Zinazohitajika Kukomaa Kiroho

II. Sababu Zinazokufanya Uihitaji Biblia Yako.

A. Biblia Ni Kama Kitabu Cha Maelekezo Cha Mmiliki Wa Gari. Bila Hicho Maisha Yatakuwa Magumu Sana.

Kila andiko, lenye pumzi ya Mungu, lafaa kwa mafundisho, na kwa kuwaonya watu makosa yao, na kwa kuwaongoza, na kwa kuwaadibisha katika haki; ili mtu wa Mungu awe kamili, amekamilishwa apate kutenda kila tendo jema. 2 Timotheo 3:16-17

Kama una gari jipya, miongoni mwa mambo utakayofanya ni kusoma kitabu cha maelekezo. Utaangalia magurudumu kama yameisha. Utakagua mafuta (oili) kama yanahitaji kubadilishwa na utaangalia kama gari inahitaji kufanyiwa huduma mara ngapi. Unaangalia pia kwamba uende mwendo gani katika kilometa 200 za mwanzo. Ukishindwa kufanya haya yote, utaiharibu injini na kuua gari lako.

Mungu huwa anajali sana na hakututupa tu huku duniani na kusema, “Fanya vizuri kwa jinsi utakavyoweza! Natumaini kuwa utagundua kila kitu! Nakutakia kila la heri!”

Alitupatia kitabu cha maelekezo ya mtumiaji. Kitabu hicho kinatuambia kila kitu tunachokihitaji kumhusu Yeye, kuhusu sisi, na kuhusu maisha. Lakini haitusaidii chochote hadi tumeisoma!! Soma kitabu cha Mungu cha maelekezo!

B. Biblia Ni Kama Tochi Kwa Ajili Ya Giza. Bila Hiyo Lazima Utajikwaa Na Kuumia, Au Kutangatanga Na Kupotea.

Neno lako ni taa ya miguu yangu na mwanga wa njia yangu. Zaburi 119:105

Wewe uko katika kambi mpya. Ni usiku wa manane. Unajisikia kujisaidia. Halafu unatokea mlango wa nyuma bila tochi, na kujigonga kwenye meza halafu unaanguka. Ndio kusema bila mwanga njiani utajikwaa na kuumia au utangetange na kupotea.

Maisha ndio kama hivyo. Unajisikia kama vile unajikwaa, unatangatanga. Unavurugwa. Mungu hakukusudia kuwa maisha yawe hivyo. Alitupatia tochi. Lakini tochi haiwezi kutusaidia kama hatuitumii! Washa tochi ya Mungu!

C. Biblia Ni Kama Silaha Kwa Askari. Bila Hiyo Utakamatwa Au Kuuawa.

Tena ipokeeni chapeo ya wokovu, na upanga wa Roho ambao ni neno la Mungu. Waefeso 6:17.

Nimekuwa nikifundisha masomo ya Biblia kwa miaka mingi. Mara nyingine unakutana na wanafunzi ambao wanapenda kujifunza wakiwa wamehamasika sana. Wakati mwingine unakutana na wanafunzi waliochoka wasiokuwa na hamu kabisa na wala hawazingatii unachowafundisha.

Mara nyingi nimewaza, “Hawa wanafunzi hawajui kwamba wako katika vita. Hawatambui kwamba kitabu hiki ndiyo silaha yao pekee. Hawajui kwamba wasipojifunza ndani yake, wakajifunza namna ya kuitumia, watakufa na kusahaulika. Watasomwa kwenye orodha ya majeruhi wa kesho, wakiwa katika hali mbaya sana.”

Tuko katika vita ya kiroho. Kama wewe ni Mkristo basi wewe ndio mlengwa. Na usipojua kutumia upanga wa Roho, yaani Neno la Mungu, utakufa! Mungu hajakusudia kuwa uuawe au uwe majeruhi. Mungu amekusudia kuwa wewe uwe mpiganaji mshindi, sio majeruhi. Mungu alikupa upanga, lakini hautafanya kazi wenyewe bila wewe kuutumia! Uwe basi mjuzi wa kutumia upanga wa Mungu!

D. Biblia Ni Kama Kioo Kwa Mtendaji. Bila Hiyo Hutajua Kuwa Wewe Ukoje Wala Hutabadilisha Matendo Yako.

Lakini iweni watendaji wa neno, wala si wasikiaji tu, hali mkijidanganya nafsi zenu. Kwa sababu mtu akiwa ni msikiaji wa neno tu, wala si mtendaji, mtu huyo ni kama mtu anayejiangalia uso wake katika kioo. Maana hujiangalia, kisha huenda zake, mara akasahau jinsi alivyo. Lakini aliyeitazama sheria kamilifu iliyo ya uhuru, na kukaa humo, asiwe msikiaji msahaulifu, bali mtendaji wa kazi, huyo atakuwa heri katika kutenda kwake. Yakobo 1:22-25

Kioo huwa kinafanya nini? Kinakuonyesha jinsi wewe ulivyo. Asubuhi ya leo nilikaa kwa muda mbele ya kioo. Wengine hufikiri, “Huo muda hautoshi!”

Katika aya hii Yakobo anaeleza kuwa ni mwanaume anayejiangalia na kuondoka huku akisahau jinsi alivyo. Mwanamke hawezi kufanya hivyo. Yeye atafanya kila njia ili arudishe uso wake katika utukufu wa mwanzo ambao Mungu alimuumba nao!

Kazi ya kioo ni kuonyesha hasa jinsi tunavyoonekana, ili tuweze kufanya mabadiliko yanayotakiwa. Kazi ya Biblia ni kutuonyesha jinsi hasa tulivyo ili kwamba, kwa msaada wa Mungu, tufanye mabadiliko yanayotakiwa.

Ni shida sana wakati kila mtu anajua kuwa John anasengenya, lakini John mwenyewe halijui hilo. Ni shida pia wakati kila mtu anajua kuwa Betty ana ulimi wa mafarakano lakini Betty mwenyewe halijui hilo. Ni shida sana wakati kila mtu anajua kuwa Bosco anatumia pesa vibaya lakini Bosco mwenyewe halijui hilo.

Biblia ni kama kioo. Inaonyesha jinsi tulivyo. Inaonyesha mahali tunapohitaji kubadilika. Sio tu kuwa inatuonyesha hitaji, lakini pia inatusaidia kubadilika! Lakini kioo hakikusaidii chochote kama hukitumii! Jitazame katika kioo cha Mungu!

E. Biblia Ni Kama Virutubisho Na Maji Kwa Mmea. Bila Hivyo Utanyauka Na Kufa

Heri mtu yule asiyekwenda katika shauri la wasio haki, wala hakusimama katika njia ya wakosaji wala hakuketi barazani pa wenye mizaha. Bali sheria ya Bwana ndiyo impendezayo, na sheria yake huitafakari mchana na usiku. Naye atakuwa kama mti uliopandwa kandokando ya vijito vya maji, uzaao matunda yake kwa majira yake, Wala jani lake halinyauki; Na kila alifanyalo litafanikiwa. Zaburi 1:1-3

Sasa turudi nyuma na kuangalia mawazo yangu hapa juu ya mmea. Halionekani kama jambo baya sana. Lakini kama nikiuacha mmea hapa hadi wiki ijayo, hivihivi bila maji na bila mbolea si unajua kitakachotokea? Mmea utakuwa umekufa na kuwa ni takataka.

Hii ndiyo shida. Kuna baadhi yenu mnaojaribu kuishi kwa namna hii. Kila Jumapili mnajaribu kupata chakula cha kiroho na maji mnayoyahitaji kwa wiki yote ijayo. Huwezi kufanya hivyo. Haiwezekani. Itakuwa kama huu mmea ambao unajaribu kuupa maji na virutubisho kwa saa moja tu kwa wiki. Sasa hii itasaidia nini kwa mmea huu? Hiyo itasaidia nini kwenye maisha yako ya kiroho? Hapa ndipo shida ilipo. Wengi wenu mnaufikiria mmea huu kuliko kufikiria juu ya maisha yenu ya kiroho. Mnajiwazia wenyewe, “Nafikiri huo mmea utaishi tu.”

Kama unaujali sana huu mmea, je, si zaidi sana ujali juu ya roho yako? Roho yako inahitaji maji yaliyoko katika Neno. Roho yako inahitaji chakula ambacho ni hiki Kitabu pekee kinaweza kukupa. Cha ajabu ni kwamba wewe unabaki kufa na njaa! Unakula mara moja kwa wiki, halafu unashangaa ni kwa nini maisha yako ya kiroho ni magumu! Unashangaa kwa nini unaendelea kuanguka katika dhambi. Unashangaa kwa nini maendeleo yako hayaonekani. Nitakueleza sababu—roho yako inakufa kwa njaa! Ningaliweza kukuandalia meza yenye vyakula vizuri sana unavyoweza kuwaza, lakini havitakusaidia kama hutakula! Sasa kula chakula cha Mungu!

Mathayo 4:2-4

2 Akafunga siku arobaini mchana na usiku, mwisho akaona njaa.
3 Mjaribu akamjia akamwambia, “Ukiwa ndiwe Mwana wa Mungu, amuru kwamba mawe haya yawe mikate.”
4 Naye Yesu akajibu akasema, “Imeandikwa: ‘Mtu hataishi kwa mkate tu, ila kwa kila neno litokalo katika kinywa cha Mungu.’”

Kula chakula cha Mungu!

III. Hitimisho

Ningependa kukuhimiza kuchukua hatua nyingine ya kudhamiria kujifunza Neno la Mungu. Hapa kuna mambo yanayowezekana kuyafanya. Je uko tayari kuangalia mambo haya na kuchagua hapo moja ili ulifanye kwa mwaka huu?

A. Mapendekezo Kwa Ajili Ya Ukuaji Binafsi

1. Kwa Anayeanza

___Nitatumia mwongozo wa kusoma Biblia kila siku na Biblia yangu kwa siku_____kwa wiki.

___Nitasoma Biblia yangu dakika___kila siku, siku ___kwa wiki kwa mwaka huu.

___Nitasikiliza Biblia kwenye kaseti kwa dakika___kwa wiki mwaka huu.

___Nitakariri mistari___ya Maandiko kila wiki kwa mwaka huu.

___Nitanunua aina tofauti za Biblia na kuzitumia mwaka huu.

___Nitakuwa nikihudhuria masomo ya Biblia kila Jumapili kila saa tatu asubuhi.

___Nitajiunga na vikundi vya Kujifunza Biblia na kuwaomba wanisaidie kufikia malengo yangu ya kusoma Biblia mwaka huu.

2. Kwa Wanaoendelea

___Nitapanga kuhudhuria mafunzo ya kwenye mtandao mwezi Machi, na kufanyia mazoezi njia mpya za kujifunza Biblia mwaka huu.

___Nitasoma kitabu mwaka huu kuhusu jinsi ya kujifunza Biblia.

___Nitapunguza baadhi ya shughuli katika ratiba yangu ili nipate saa___ kwa wiki za kujifunza Biblia mwaka huu.

___Nitajifunza na kufanya mazoezi ya kutafakari Maandiko kwa dakika ___ kwa wiki mwaka huu.

___Nitajiandikisha kupata mafunzo juu ya kujifunza Biblia katika Umoja wa Kujisomea Biblia.

___Nitaandika malengo yangu ya kujifunza Biblia kwenye Kadi ndogo, kisha nimpatie rafiki yangu, na kumwomba anikumbushe na kuniuliza maendeleo yangu (Kwa mfano, “Lengo langu: Dakika 15 kwa siku, siku tano kwa wiki”)

3. Walioendelea

___Nitaandika mawazo ninayopata katika Biblia kwenye Daftari siku____ kwa wiki mwaka huu.

___Nitanunua na kutumia zana za kujifunza Biblia (kama Kamusi ya Biblia, Itifaki ya Biblia, Rejea Muhimu n.k.)

___Nitahudhuria vikundi vya kujifunza Biblia (Faragha, vikundi vya akina mama, Moms n.k. nijifunze nao Biblia mwaka huu.

___Nitanunua program ya Computer ya kujifunza Biblia kwa mwaka huu.

B. Mapendekezo Kwa Ajili Ya Ukuaji Wa Familia

___Tutafanya Mpango wa Familia wa kujifunza Biblia wiki hii.

___Tutaanza Maktaba ya Biblia kwa ajili ya Familia.

___Tutakariri kifungu cha Biblia pamoja kila wiki mwaka huu.

___Tutasoma kitabu kizima cha Biblia mwaka huu.

___Tutaulizana mara moja kwa wiki, “Umejifunza nini kwenye Biblia kwa wiki hii?

___Tutahudhuria Kambi ya Biblia kwa ajili ya Familia au Kongamano kwa Mwaka huu.

Na. John Underhill Imetafsiriwa kutoka Kiingereza na Mwl. Emmanuel Lyatuu

John Underhill ni Mchungaji katika Kanisa la South Hill Bible Church, lililoko Spokane, Washington, Marekani.

Related Topics: Basics for Christians, Bibliology (The Written Word)

Pages