Friday, February 26, 2010

The Temple Tax and the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Matthew 17:24-27)

 Matthew 17:24-27: After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

"Yes, he does," he replied.
    When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own sons or from others?"

"From others," Peter answered.
    "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."
(NIV)


Unlike the taxes levied by the Roman Empire, the temple tax is not burdensome for a devout Jew. The collection shall not go to the treasury of any foreign power, rather it would be used for the maintenance of  the temple services. It is for their religion. It is for their worship. It is for the house of God.

It is due. It must be paid immediately. Yet Jesus has not paid it yet. So the tax collectors approached the leading disciple of Jesus. They asked him, ""Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" Embedded in this question is the message that if Jesus doesn't pay the temple tax, then he is not devout in the faith. In other words, the reputation of Jesus is at stake. Every faithful Jew must pay the temple tax.

Eager to defend his teacher's honor, Peter quickly replied, "Yes, he does". Yet he was not so sure after all. When he arrived at the house where Jesus is staying, he wants to ask his Master about it. But Jesus, displaying his omniscience knew what is in Peter's heart so he spoke even before Peter could say something.

 "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own sons or from others?"
It is implied here that ancient kings collected tolls and taxes from their subjects and not from their sons. Peter replied correctly, "From others". Jesus then concluded "Then the sons are exempt".

The temple as God's house must be supported. God Almighty has levied this annual tax upon his subjects and they must comply. Yet Jesus as God's son is tax-exempt. He is the heir of all things and he is creator himself (Heb. 1:2). In Rev. 17:14, he is called King of kings. He is not subject to any tax because he is the owner of the earth and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1)

Yet during his humbled state on this earth, he laid this privilege aside. He continues, "But so that we may not offend them... " He avoided unnecessary offense that will make it difficult for people to hear his message. This same principle was followed by the Apostle Paul-- to the point of giving up some rights that would "hinder the gospel of Christ" (1 Cor.9:12).

The way he provided for the payment of the temple tax is an exciting one: "...go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

He is not only the Creator and owner of all things, he also controls them all. He summoned a fish to swallow a coin at the bottom of the lake and summoned it again to submit itself to Peter's hook. The coin inside the fish's mouth was enough to pay not just Jesus' tax but Peter's also. Elsewhere, he summoned a large school of fish to submit themselves to Peter's net in broad daylight- an unlikely time for fishing. The catch was so great that the net began to break. (Luke 5:1-6)

He could do that because he is in control over all the marine creatures. He is in control on how this earth's resources are disposed: all the pearls; all the gold; all the silver; all the oil. If you are a jeepney driver, he summons passengers for you. If you are a businessman, he summons customers and clients for you. If you are a farmer, he summons rain for your crops. Everything and everyone in the universe is under his control. "he holds all creation together" (Col. 1:17 NLT)
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Works Consulted:


Photo Credit: Christian Clipart
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Komentaryo ni Kuya Arnel sa Jer. 2:24

Ang lakas ng dating sa akin ng mensahe ni Ptr. Jun Malazo noong araw ng Linggo. Mula sa mga kabanatang 2, 3 at 4 ng Jeremias,  ipinakita niya ang kahinaan (vulnerability) ng isang taong nanlamig ang pag-ibig sa Panginoon. Tila ba nawawala ang immune system mo kapag backslider ka na. Nawawalan ka ng lakas upang labanan ang kasalanan.

Ang talagang kumintal sa isip ay ang implikasyon ng Jer.2:24:

"a wild donkey accustomed to the desert,
    sniffing the wind in her craving--
    in her heat who can restrain her?
  Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
    at mating time they will find her."
(NIV)

Dito ay inihalintulad ang kalagayan ng mga backslider sa isang inahing asno na nag-iinit naghahanap ng makakatalik. Hindi na raw mahihirapan ang mga barako na suyuin siya. Mula dito ay sinabi ni Ptr. Malazo na madaling bibigay sa kompromiso ang isang backslider. 

Sakay pa lang ako ng dyip papauwi ay gumawa na ako ng resolusyon na  magsasaliksik tungkol dito.

Malaki ang respeto ko sa mga iskolar ng bibliya kaya naman madalas akong sumangguni sa kanila. Inisip ko, anu-ano ba yung mga komentaryo sa Jeremias na accessible sa akin. Aha! Nandiyan si J. Andrew Dearman, Academic Dean sa Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Nandiyan din si Charles Feinberg, mentor lang naman siya ng kagalang-galang John Macarthur noong nag-aaral pa siya sa Talbot. Ngunit sa pagkakataong ito hindi sila ang kailangan ko. Sa Jer.2:24, may kilala akong higit na dalubhasa sa kanila. Bagamat ang nasa Jer.2:24 ay tungkol sa asno, sa aking palagay ay may mga ugali naman ang mga asno na hindi nalalayo sa mga baka.

Bago lumipad patungong Inglatera si Kuya Arnel, hilig niya talaga ang pag-aalaga ng baka. Nasa sinapupunan pa lang siya ni nanay, magkasama na silang nagpapastol ng baka.Sa katunayan, nang minsang umuwi siya dito sa Pinas, isa sa mga bida sa kanyang camera ay ang kanyang naiwang alagang baka.

Sa kabutihan ng Panginoon, nakasabay ko si Kuya Arnel Lunes ng madaling araw. Sinamantala ko ang pagkakataon upang hingin ang kanyang expert opinion. 

Ayon sa kaya, kung wala pa sa mating period and isang baka, hindi niya hahayaang makasampa ang barakong toro. Magpapakita ito ng resistance. 

Subalit 'pag nasa mating period na ang isang inahing baka, hindi ito mapapakali. Ang dating ayaw masampaan ay siya na mismong sasampa-- sa kapwa niya inahing baka; sa sarili niyang anak-- sa LAHAT ng makikita niyang baka. Kaya naman kapag inilapit mo siya sa barakong toro, walang kahirap-hirap. Game na game ang inahing baka.

Ganun pala ang kalagayan ng backslider. Maaaring malakas siya noon. Ni hindi makalapit sa kanya ang mga masasama. Subalit kapag nanlamig ang pag-ibig niya sa Panginoon. magkakaroon siya ng isang 'di mapipigilang pagnanasa na gumawa ng masama. Siya na mismo ang maghahanap ng paraan upang makagawa ng hindi kanais-nais. Kapag niyaya siya ng mga hindi mananampalataya upang maligo sa dagat ng basura, mauuna siyang lulusong.

Panginoon, pakaingatan mo ang aming mga puso.
Huwag nawa kaming humantong sa ganito.
Nawa'y ikaw lagi ang aming iibigin.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

81-year old blogger: Donn Arms explains why Jay Adams (born Jan. 30, 1929) is blogging

"... while he is enjoying a degree of good health he is not able to travel far from the 'Adams compound' in rural Spartanburg county in South Carolina. We are thankful that today’s technology enables him to continue to have a wide ministry.

The psalmist wrote:

    The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age, they shall be full of sap and very green.
                                                                        Psalm 92:12-14

I believe you will find, as you read Dr. Adams’ blog, that he is still ”full of sap and very green!” (-Donn Arms, read the whole thing here)
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Books by Dr. Jay Adams:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Roman Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin explains how the "Infallible" church handles Scripture

"Well there's not a single Catholic understanding of almost any passage in the Bible. The Church does not have an official commentary on either the Old or the New Testament. There are certain verses that the Church has said that they mean 'at least this much' but that's not to exclude other interpretations that may be there in addition. I can give you an interpretation of this that is catholic but I can't give you an official one." (Jimmy Akin, transcribed from James Swan's Xanga Audio Page)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In CASH & in KIND: an illustration of God's sacrificial love

Namumuhay na ng payapa't tahimik si Hosea. Iniwanan siya ng kanyang asawa-- ang taksil na si Gomer. Mag-isa niyang pasan-pasan ang responsibilidad ng pagpapalaki at pag-aaruga sa kanilang tatlong supling. Ngunit 'di na bale. "It's time to move on" ika nga.

Subalit pagdating sa kabanata 3, ginambala ulit ng Panginoon ang payapang buhay ni Hosea. Ang utos:

"Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." (Hosea 3:1 NIV).

Kailangan niyang tubusin ang kanyang asawa. Mangyari kasi ay ibinenta ni Gomer ang kanyang sarili bilang alipin. Ginawa iyon ni Gomer upang matustusan niya ang kanyang mga pangangailangan mula nang lisanin niya ang tahanan ni Hosea.

Bilang isang masunuring propeta, tumalima si Hosea sa tinig ng Panginoon. Habang siya'y nagbibilang, natuklasan niya na hindi sapat ang kanyang salapi. Kulang ang hawak niyang "cash". Panandaliang nag-isip si Hosea. Aha! Naalala niya ang nakatagong barley na kanyang inuunti-unting ipinapakain sa kanyang pamilya. Ngayo'y nakahanda na siyang tubusin si Gomer.

"That the payment is both in money and in kind is curious; it suggests that Hosea had difficulty in coming up with enough money to purchase her." (Duanne Garrett, Hosea, Joel; New American Commentary).

Pagdating sa pamilihan, matindi ang tawaran na naganap.

"... the Hebrew word translated as "bought" includes the idea of haggling." (Duanne Garret, NAC)

haggle- "to argue over something such as a price or contract in order to reach an agreement" (Encarta Dictionaries)

Perhaps you  are ready to spend your fortunes to save the life of a loving and deserving wife. But will you do the same for a blatantly unfaithful wife?

Remember that the story of Hosea and Gomer was meant to illustrate God's love for his people (3:1).


Romans 5:7-8 "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (NIV)


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Robert Stein: Literacy rate in biblical times

William Harris- 5-10% (Ancient Literacy)
Catherine Hezser- 10-15% (Jewish Literacy in Roman Palestine)
Harry Gamble- 15-20% (Books and Readers in the Early Church)

Col. 4:16; 1 Thess.5:27; Rev.1:3; 22:18; 1 Tim. 4:13; Acts 15:21,31; Luke 4:16-21

"These, and the other letters of the New Testament, were meant to be read aloud. If, as I assume, Paul was a careful writer, he would therefore have penned these letters more for his readers' ears than for their eyes"
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"... the New Testament writers anticipated that the members of this corporate audience would not have individual copies of their works before them, but that someone would read aloud what they have written... The main sense involved was not their eyes but their ears, and the experience was not a visual one but an auditory one.
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"... the person who brought  the gospel to them... knew the context of the work and may very well have practiced reading the goepel aloud before he read it publicly..."
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"In this respect it is probable that the bearers of Pual's various letters brought with them, not only the letters themselves, but an understanding of the content of those letters from the Apostle. Thus such messengers would have been able to provide a "commentary" and answer questions that the hearers might have had."

Robert Stein
Is Our Reading the Bible the Same As the Original Audience's Hearing It?
- A Case Study in the Gospel of Mark
 Journal of Evangelical Theological Society (March 2003)




Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dangers of and Cure for Dullness of Hearing (An Exposition of Hebrews 5:11-14)

Kasisilip pa lamang ng araw noong Disyembre 30, 1896, nakagapos si Jose Rizal kasama ang mga guardiya sibil. Sila ay naglalakad papuntang Bagumbayan kung saan siya ay babarilin bilang katuparan ng parusang kamatayan na ipinataw sa kanya. Nang kanyang matanaw ang Ateneo, kanyang sinabi: "Iyon ba ang Ateneo? Doon lumipas ang mga pinakamaliligayang araw ng buhay ko."

I love school! In my dreams, I was still in the classrooms long after graduation.

 If there is anything that the school and church shares in common, I would say that both institutions value the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning. From the earliest days, education has been regarded as an essential for a healthy relationship with God.

1. Deut. 6:1- One of Moses' roles was to teach the young nation about the commands, decrees and laws of the Lord.

2. Deut. 6:2, 6-9- Parents must learn what God says not only for themselves, not only for their sons, but for the sake of the future generations. You won't find Kobe Bryant's poster on their walls (wala rin dun ang F4 o si Hannah Montana). What you'll see are excerpts from the law.

3. Ezra 7:10- he gave priority to the study, application and teaching God's word.

4. the synagogues- New Unger's Bible Dictionary: “As only a small proportion of the people could become proficient in the study of the law under the scribes, and as it was desirable that all should have at least an elementary acquaintance therewith, the custom grew up in postexilic times of reading the Scriptures in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. It must be understood that the main object of these Sabbath day assemblages in the synagogues was not public worship in its stricter sense but religious instruction, which to an Israelite was, above all, instruction in the law.

5. Acts 2:42- the essential activities of a young church include "the apostles' teaching"

IMPARTATION OF KNOWLEDGE:
The solution to the problem of the Hebrews

In our text, there is a problem going on. The persecution is severe among the Hebrew Christians, it is almost intolerable. Because of the hardships, turning back on Christ and returning to Judaism looks enticing. They are about to abandon the precious faith. The writer of this epistle sought to strengthen their faith. His prescription: Education.

He educates them that the Jesus they are about to leave is superior over the angels (chapter 1). He informs them that the Jesus they are about to abandon is the Creator himself (also in chapter 1). He is greater than than Moses, Judaism's greatest prophet (chapter 3). The imparting of knowledge is the remedy to the threat of backsliding.

In chap.5, the writer was about to launch a massive discussion of the superiority of Christ over the priests in Judaism's temple. He was about to expound about the superiority of Melchizedek’s order of priesthood over the Levitical order... but he has to pause. THERE is something WRONG.

He cannot go on because the next topic is HARD TO TEACH.

WHAT MAKES THE LESSON HARD TO LEARN?

Mula sa mga karanasan ko sa high school at kolehiyo, may listahan ako dito ng kung bakit nagiging mahirap ang pagkatuto:

1. The lesson is inherently difficult  (for Einstein and his peers only)

2. The student’s limited ability (poor I.Q.)
I must confess something. My mathematical  skills are up to linear equations only. Higher than that level, it's hard for me. Pagdating sa Calculus, wala na akong maintindihan. Pigain mo man ang utak ko, wala ka nang magagawa kasi hanggang doon na lang talaga ang kakayahan ko.

3. The teacher lacks skill— Hindi ko hangad na siraan ang mga guro. Apat sa limang kapatid kong mga babae ay mga public school teachers. Hindi ko magagawang siraan sila. Pero meron naman talagang mga guro na hindi gaano kahusay magturo.

4. Lack of resources and tools- Sa ilang asignatura nang ako ay nasa haiskul, wala kaming ibang ginawa sa araw-araw kundi kopyahin ang nakasulat sa pisara. Paano naman kasi, naglalaan naman ng budget ang pamahalaan pero hindi nakakarating ang mga aklat sa mga estudyante. Ang mga aklat ay mabibili sa bookstore at burado na ang markang "Government Property; Not for Sale." Ang tindi talaga ng korapsyon. Mas natuto sana kami kung meron kaming mga aklat. Sa pag-aaral rin ng salita ng Diyos, mahirap maghanda ng sermon na wala ang mga tools and resources tulad ng Study Bible, Bible dictionaries, lexicons, commentaries and bible backgrounds.

Pero ang problema sa Hebrews 5:11 ay:
hindi naman yung number 1: The lesson is inherently difficult
Hindi rin problema ang number 2: The student’s limited ability (poor I.Q.)
Hindi rin problma ang number 3: The teacher lacks skill 
Hindi rin number 4 ang problema: Lack of resources and tools

The problem is this condition called DULLNESS OF HEARING

DULLNESS of HEARING

Ni hindi nakatuntong sa haiskul ang aking tatay. Pero nagmula sa kanya ang isa sa mga pinakamahalagang payong natanggap ko tungkol sa pag-aaral. Nang ako'y papasok na ng grade 1, ang bilin ni tatay, makinig akong mabuti kung may sinasabi ang aking guro.

I have not always been consistent in applying it but as I look back, I did perform well when I was applying my father's advice. That's how important listening is.

The word Greek word translated as "dullness" ("slow" in NIV) is nothros. As we seek to understand what it means allow me to go to some extra biblical sources:

1. The word was used to denote the lazy condition of a slave that causes him delay response to the call of his master.

Tawagin mo minsan, "Inday!". Hindi sasagot. Tawagin mo ulit. "Inday!", hindi pa rin sasagot. Para bang wala siyang naririnig. Sa ikatlong pagkakataon ay tatawagin mo siya at ngayon ay pasigaw na "Indaaayyyy!!!".. Sasagot na sa wakas, "opo".

2. In sports, nothros denotes the condition of an athlete who is out of shape; lazy and sluggish. Like a sprinter who comes with a body of a sumo wrestler as he competes in 100 meter dash.

3. In an inscription from Eumeneia, he calls his brother " nothros" (negligent) for failing to fulfill his responsibility in building a tomb for their sisters. Because of this, the younger brother (Eumneia) was forced to use his resources for such a task. (See George Guthrie in NIVAC)

We can also better understand the word when we look into what its antonym meant. Hebrews 6:12:

"so that you may not be SLUGGISH, but imitators of those who through FAITH and PATIENCE inherit the promises" (ESV)

It turns out that the opposite is dullness is the faith and patience of those who have persevered to the end in exercising their faith (the writer will tell more about them when he comes to 11th chapter's Hall of Faith).

So from biblical and extra biblical data, we see that "dullness of hearing" convey: sluggishness, laziness, and negligence. Dullness of hearing is not an auditory defect. It is really an attitude problem. It is lack of interest in receiving instruction.. They don’t value sound teaching.

LEARNING FROM THE TENSE OF THE VERB
1. they were not always this way. There was a time when they were not dull in hearing the Word. In fact, they did some things in the past that are worthy of the highest commendation (Hebrews 10:34).Their faith was once vibrant

2. The shift from commitment to dullness did not happen overnight—they underwent a process that has put them in this condition

When the word of God that you used to treasure is slowly losing its sweetness--  beware. It may be an indication that your ears are in the process of becoming dull. When the Apostle Paul and his epistles begin  to bore you, and James Cameron's Avatar begins to excite you, do not take it lightly. It may prove fatal to your faith.

THE DANGERS OF DULL HEARING
1. It leaves you unequipped for ministry. "by this time, you ought to be teachers"

They stayed in the church long enough that it was expected upon them that they should articulate the faith that they have (1 Peter 3:15), but because of dull hearing they were unable. This condition not only cripples you from the ministry of teaching but all other ministries as well because you have to have attentive ears in order to be equipped in all forms of spiritual service (Ephesians 4:11)

2. It robs you of the things you already know“ you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.”

Luke 8:18—Consider how you listen..even what he has will be taken away from him.

All the time you spent in the past when your faith was robust will all be wasted. You have to be taught about it all over again. There is a consensus among the scholars I consulted that "elementary truths" here are equivalent to the ABC's of the faith. You can sink that low even if you are healthy now if dullness of hearing develops in you. You think you know John 3:16; you think you know Psalm 23 and other verses you memorized as a young Christian. But even these things you think you know will all go to the garbage can when dullness of hearing takes place.

3. It leads to perpetual infancy
It makes you unready for deeper spiritual lessons. You can't tolerate adult food; you'll go for baby food and even that needs review.

Sakaling mapasyal ka sa kambingan, wala kang gana sa Kaldereta, Ginising, Kinigtot, Kilawin Sinampalokan at iba pang putahe. Tatanungin mo ang serbidora: "May Cerelac ba kayo?" The mature shall feast on the finest meats yet all you want is what's inside your Babyflo bottle.

4. It makes you unskilled in application-. The “word of righteousness” in verse 13 has been variously interpreted. One of the most common view is that it refers to the imputed righteousness of Christ. Though that sounds very orthodox, I can't see it in the immediate context. I guess Simon Kistemaker is right. We "ought to look at the phrase in question not from a theological perspective but from a contextual point of view" (Exposition of Hebrews, NTC).

I adapt Homer Kent's view: The "word of righteousness" means “God’s revelation about righteousness which is expected of every Christian” (The Epistle to the Hebrews, a commentary)

5. It may lead to Apostasy
This point is justified by the next chapter. Hebrews 6:4-6 is hotly debated. Does it teach that salvation could be lost? I firmly believe that the elect persevere to the end. Yet I do not take the warning passages lightly. I believe the threats are very real. The Canons of Dordt teaches Perseverance of the Saints yet it also teaches that God's word is a means of perseverance. Shun God's word and deny yourself of God's preserving agent.

The Cure:
1. Let them be aware of their condition.
The writer of Hebrews did. Mahirap kausap yung mga immature na ang akala nila mature sila. Buti pa yung immature na alam niyang immature siya kasi makikinig pa iyon. Pero ang immature na hindi niya alam na immature siya, hindi na makikinig yun. May opinyon siya sa lahat ng bagay, kadalasan nga lang ay mali kasi nga immature. They must know their true state.

2. Urge them to progress and give them meat… as the Lord permits
Hindi ko inaasahan na magiging ganito ang solusyon. Nang unang basa ko kasi, parang ang labas: "Dahil gatas lang ang kaya ninyo, hindi ko kayo bibigyan ng karne". Mali pala. What he did was the exact opposite. He did not stick with their favorite topics; he urged them to move to maturity (6:1-2). He went on anyway to give the meat in chapters 7,8,9 and 10 by discussing the priesthood of Melchizedek and Jesus because it is what they need in order to appreciate the Messiah that Judaism rejects.

But he does so with the recognition that they can only move in this direction as God permits (Heb.6:3).

Homer Kent comments: “It is an acknowledgment that only God can change the course of a man’s life when it is going in the opposite direction”

Leon Morris says the same thing: “This verse expresses not only a resolute determination to go ahead on these lines but also a recognition that it is only with the help of God that this can be done. We should take the words not simply as a pious nod in the direction of God but as coming out of the author's realization that without divine aid the plan he was suggesting was impossible.” (EBC)


PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Kahit merong lunas para sa dullness of hearing, bakit kailangan pa nating hintayin na dumating pa sa puntong iyon. Ito ay tulad ng kanser, nakamamatay kaya mas maigi na ito ay iwasan kaysa gamutin.

At 5:14, there are people who managed to prevent the cancer of dull hearing and moved to maturity by constant practice of what they learn from the word. It is noteworthy that the Greek word translated as "trained" here sounds like our word for "gym". I'm not a fitness buff, but I know enough for a fact that you won't benefit from the gym by going there once a year. You have to exercise regularly so there will be devlopment in your muscles.

Same is true for mature people. They have trained their senses to distinguish good from evil by constantly practicing God-given insights.

Psalm 119:34 says “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.”…

The desire to learn and the desire to obey must go together. We have no business asking God for illumination without the desire to practice what we learn.

As I was in the final stages of preparing this lesson, I came across an article by Wayne Grudem on the clarity of Scripture. He said something that reminds m that even scholars can be devoid of spiritual insight if they don’t trained their senses in application of God’s word.

“Christians who begin to practice willful, repeated sin (and ven- or especially pastors and scholars) will likely soon begin to lose sound judgment in interpretation and will become less and less able to understand Scriptures rightly". (Themelios 34.3)

kahit dalubhasa ka pa Griyego at Hebreo; kahit kasinlaki ng Astrodome ang library mo, kung hindi ka nagsasanay sa kabanalan--- bale wala rin. You will soon lose sound judgment in bible interpretation.

Why am I passionate about this? It just hurts me to see people who grew up in church who show no signs of spirituality now. By this time, they ought to be veterans in spiritual warfare but it seems that they are not enlisted in God's army. They cannot live without their i-pod; can't live without their phone; can't live without Facebook. But they CAN live without God. May God have mercy upon us and keep us away from this condition called Dullness of Hearing.