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Daily Bread - January 2, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 09:21
1 John 2:4 - The one who says, I know Him but does not keep His
commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.

Jesus spoke a number of different times about the commandment that He
received of the Father to lay down His life (John 10:18; John 12:49,50;
John 14:31; John 15:10). Jesus also gave commandments to his disciples.
These commandments were directed at their love one for another among other
things (John 13:34; John 15:12; John 14:15,21; John 15:10; 1 John 2:7-8; 1
John 3:23; 1 John 4:21; 2 John 1:5-6). When we understand that God's
commandments to love one another is to love as He loved us we should also
recognize that He is describing divine love for which we will need divine
power to fulfill. Such a command to walk in divine love is only possible by
being made a new creation and then yielding to the leadership and
inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The key to walking in all the ways of God is to be ruled by divine love.
The only way to be ruled by divine love is to be first committed to it and
allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. If we are determined to obey
God, then the Holy Spirit will supply what we need so that we can do it
from the heart and fulfill Gods command. Walking in the love of God should
be the focus and consecration of our hearts for in it we fulfill the whole
Law, and obviously fulfilling the whole Law is important to God (Romans
13:10; Romans 8:4). To walk in love is to walk in the Light, which is the
glory of God being revealed in His people (2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 Peter 2:9;
Ephesians 5:1).

The commandments of Jesus are not just a set of rules, but rather insight
to a whole new way of life that is possible only through the power of the
new creation. The word of God that created the universe will speak into
those who will receive and bring forth those things that God demands. The
Holy Spirit that is given to us will then work to establish us in all that
God has spoken (2 Timothy 1:16). The New Testament believer is called to
obey Gods commandments! There is a higher order of commandments that goes
far beyond the 10 Commandments of the Old Testament. Through the divine
nature we are empowered to walk in all the ways of God, and fulfill all
that is revealed in His word (Romans 8:4; 2 Peter 1:4). Many people are
hung up on the idea of obeying God's commandments. They would classify all
such commitment as legalism, but this is wrong. When we obey His word we
are obeying His commandments. One may correctly view 'logos' (word) as
interchangeable with 'entole' (commandment); in both the Old and New
Testament (John 8:51; John 8:55; John 14:23, 24; John 15:20; 1 John 2:5).
Keeping all the words of the Lord Jesus is the same as keeping all of the
commandments of Jesus (John 14:15,21, 15:10). The technical name for the
Ten Commandments is "The Decalogue," which means "The Ten Words" (Exodus
20:1; Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:4). In Deuteronomy for
example, the whole of the Law refers to "all the words of this Law;"
translated by the Septuagint as "all these commandments." Also, the opening
statement of this verse serves to further equate commandment with word:
"But whoever keeps His words...." We are commanded by God to keep all the
words of God which are His commandments. These commandments are not a
grievous thing to do but are the ways of life and communion with God, for
how can two walk together unless they agree?

Be Blessed!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
Daily Bread - January 1, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 01 January 2018 09:30
1 John 2:2 - And He is the means of forgiveness for our sins, and not for
ours only but also for the whole world.

Though some traditional translations render 'hilasmos' as 'propitiation,'
this involves a wrong interpretation of the term in question. Propitiation
is essentially a process by which one does a favor to a person in order to
make him or her favorably disposed, but in the New Testament, God is never
the object of propitiation since He is already on the side of mankind.
'Hilasmos' and 'hilasterion' denote the means of forgiveness and not
propitiation, (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic
Domains, (New York: United Bible Societies) 1988, 1989). Hilasmos occurs 2
times in the New Testament and both occurrences are in 1 John, 2:2 and
4:10. Its first occurrence in the Septuagint is in Leviticus 25:9 where it
is translated from the Hebrew 'Kippurim', for "day of atonement". An
example of a similar use of 'hilasmos' is found in Psalms 130:4, "There is
forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared", KJV. Another example is
found in Daniel 9:9, "To the Lord our God belongs mercy and forgiveness,
though we have rebelled against him." An argument can be made that this
Greek word could be translated 'wiping away' because of its association
with the mercy seat and Yom Kippur (The Day of Purgation). Our sins have
been forgiven because they have been erased and washed away by the blood of
Jesus.

The Hebrew verb 'kipper' (atonement) is most often rendered 'exilaskesthai'
in the Septuagint. The Hebrew word 'kipper', (atone) is found 44 times in
Leviticus. It is translated every time in the Septuagint by
'exilaskesthai', which does not occur a single time in the New Testament.
Atonement is an Old Testament word and concept that was transitory between
the Promise given to Abraham and the New Covenant. The Old Testament cultic
ritual of kipper was powerless to remove sin; this is best understood by
the description given in Hebrews 10: 4, "It is not possible that the blood
of bulls and goats should take away sin. The 'atonement' was only a
covering as the Hebrew word 'kipper', 'cover over', suggest. The Akkadian
equivalent is 'kuppuru' which means to 'rub' or 'rub off'. Although the
word 'kipper' is not used in Genesis chapter 3 it may actually be the first
time that the rite is observed. In Genesis 3:21 God made clothing for Adam
and Eve so that they could cover themselves. He made their clothing from
skins or hides of animals. The Hebrew noun 'or' is used 46 times in
Leviticus. In each case it is used to describe the hides of the sacrificial
animals used for atonement. In effect when God made clothing from the
animal hides for Adam and Eve He was making atonement or a means of
covering for their sin and shame. Their sin was not taken away it was only
"covered over". Finally, it should be noted that atonement does not result
in forgiveness for if it did then there would also be the removal of sin.
The Hebrew word used in Leviticus for forgiveness with respect to atonement
is ''salach', Leviticus 4:22. The word 'salach' does not really mean
'forgive' in the sense that the transgression was removed. When God granted
'salach' to Israel at the request of Moses in Numbers 14:19-20, He did not
forgive Israel of their sin for everyone of them died for their sins in the
wilderness. Rather, God reconciled Himself not to abandon them.

Be Blessed!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
Daily Bread - December 30, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 30 December 2017 08:42
1 John 2:1 - My little children I write these things to you so that you
do not sin. But if anyone sins we have a Paraclete at the Fathers side,
Jesus Christ the Righteous.

The authority of the Word of God provides power over sin. The Psalmist
said, "Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you."
We can be certain that John is not saying, "believe that you are sinners
and have sin so you will not sin." Rather, he is saying, "God who is Light
is walking in the Light and has no fellowship with darkness, and He has
provided fellowship for you but you are a liar if you walk in darkness, so
do not sin." Jesus places the same absolute demand on the paralytic man
that was healed, "sin no more," John 5:14; Jesus also gave the same command
to the woman caught in the act of adultery, " sin no more", John 8:11.
Similarly, Paul writes in Romans, "Shall we continue in sin that Grace may
abound, God Forbid!", Romans 6:1-2.

The word 'Paraclete', means more than simply intercessor, advocate or
spokesman. The Paraclete (Holy Spirit) that is first mentioned in the
Gospel of John is closely modeled to Jesus. Jesus also said Himself that he
would send "another Paraclete", John 14:16-17 thus implying that He also is
a Paraclete. Although, Paraclete means more than intercessor Jesus indeed
stands before the Father as both intercessor and advocate, Romans 8:34.
Some Old Testament background for Christ Jesus' role as intercessor is
Abraham's intercession for Sodom, Genesis 18:20-33 and Moses' for Pharaoh,
Exodus 8:28-29.

Be Blessed!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
Daily Bread - December 29, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 29 December 2017 09:16
1 John 1:9 - If we should confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous
to forgive us of the sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The problem with those addressed in verses 8 and 10 is that they were
unwilling to recognize there sin and therefore unwilling to confess it. In
the priestly manual, the book of Leviticus, a person had to be aware of his
sin and confess it while presenting his Sin-Offering in order to have
atonement made for his sin. The concept of confessing sin over the sin
offering is well established in the Old Testament. The showpiece example
for this is in the hand leaning rite of Leviticus 16.

The High Priest would take the goat that was set apart to go into the
wilderness and he would lay his hands upon the goat confessing the sins of
the people. This act of confession then placed the sins of the people of
Israel upon the head of the goat and the goat would bear all of the
iniquities into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:21-22). Jesus took our sins in
his own body on the cross and carried them away into death thus paying the
full price for sin. However, after an individual has been crucified with
Christ and his sins blotted out if that one sins they are commanded to
confess their sins so that Jesus may cleanse him once again. In fact,
according to the type in the Old Testament it was not only the sinner who
became contaminated by his sin but the altar and in some instances even the
Holy of Holies itself.

Jesus who ever lives to make intercession for the saints is in the presence
of the Father now to intercede for us. It is the blood that cleanses from
all sin (Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:14,22; Revelation 1:5).
It only took one offering to take care of the sins of man for all eternity
and that was the offering that Jesus as the Lamb of God made at the cross
2000 years ago (Hebrews 9:26; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 1:3; 1 Peter 1:19). Even
though this is the only scripture in the New Testament that mention this
act which echo's back to the Old Testament hand leaning right we have other
scriptures that relate the death of Jesus to the ritual that took place on
the Day of Atonement. Hebrews chapter 9 compares the sacrifice of Jesus to
the Day of Atonement; also, Jesus is referred to as the kapporet (Mercy
Seat) or propitiation, which is where the blood was applied on the Day of
Atonement (Romans 3:25). Thus we may understand that our sins today are
laid upon Jesus even as they were laid upon the goat that was sent into the
wilderness. And Jesus who stands before the Father as a Lamb that was slain
takes his blood and applies it to our sin so that it is cleansed and all
unrighteousness is removed (Revelation 5:6).

Be Blessed!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
Daily Bread - December 28, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 28 December 2017 09:02
1 John 1:8 - If we should say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and
the truth is not in us.

Many people today, as well as in the time of John, would say that they do
not need the blood of Jesus to cleanse them from sin. In fact, there have
been many different cultures that regarded their immorality as virtue
instead of sin. The Greek culture would stand out as a shining example of
such a people. There are also those who trust in their own good deeds and
religious beliefs, such as the Jews, who would argue that they do not need
Jesus to set them free because they have Abraham and the Law for their
righteousness (John 8:33). Therefore, Jesus said because they claim to
understand the ways of redemption and yet they refuse to see their sin and
need for Him, their sin remains, John 9:41, 8:24. However, it is so easy to
be set free from sin and receive the abundant life that is in Christ Jesus
for all one must do is call on His name and He will save them. Everyone who
has the truth abiding in them would admit that sin is the evidence that all
are in need of redemption. Therefore those who have received God's
testimony recognize their sin and reach out to Him to be cleansed from
their sin. Those who have listened to the Spirit of God have felt His
conviction and reproof because He has come to convince the world of sin and
of righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).

John continues to develop this idea so that by the third chapter sin will
be the evidence that a person is not of God but of the devil. For now a
contrast is being made between those who only say they know God and those
who in fact do know Him. In verses, 6,8,10 there is the "if we say" clause:
vs. 6 - if we say we have communion with Him and we walk in darkness (sin)
we lie and do not the truth. vs. 8 - If we should say we have no sin we
deceive ourselves. vs. 10 - If we say we have not sinned we make Him (God)
a liar. However, those who indeed know Him are qualified in verses 7, 9 and
2:1 as those who have been cleansed from their sin and empowered to live
free from sin (John 8:36).

Be Blessed!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
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