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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 18:54
1 John 3:17 - But he who has this world's living, and sees his brother in need and shuts off his inward parts from him: how does the love of God dwell in him?

The Greek word 'splanchna', which is translated "inward parts" here, translates Hebrew words in the Septuagint such as 'beten' (belly) and 'rechem' (womb). This word is considered to be allegorical in describing the emotions. The KJV translated 'splanchna' as "inward affection" in 2 Corinthians 7:15. In Philippians 1:8, Paul said: "I long after you all in the splanchna of Jesus Christ." Another similar anatomical word, used in John 7:38 to describe the Holy Spirit flowing out of the belly, is the word 'koilia', from which "colon" is derived. Its usage in classical Greek implies deep passion and emotions.

Though some have attempted to distinguish between the allegorical meanings of splanchna (intestines), kolia (belly), and nefros (kidney), it is extremely doubtful whether this is really possible or practical. The semantic focus in the use of these terms is clearly the deeper and more intimate feelings and emotions. What is certain is that the realms of God flow forth from the deepest regions of our feelings, leaving nothing superficial or fake about our actions. We no longer do things out of a legal obligation, but are motivated and moved by the Holy Spirit in our deepest desires. In some languages one can use a term which literally means "belly" or "bowels;" but more often than not, these emotions are associated with some particular organ of the body such as heart, spleen, liver, etc. Rather than attempting to employ a figurative expression which may or may not be fully equivalent, it is often preferable to refer to the emotional content by using terms such as "feelings," "intents," "desires," or "compassion;" depending upon the context. (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains, (New York: United Bible Societies) 1988, 1989).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 08:22
1 John 3:9 - Everyone who has been begotten of God does not sin, because His seed abides in him and he cannot sin; because he is born of God.

The Greek word 'sperma', which is translated "seed," is used to represent the word of God. Another very familiar scripture that uses this Greek word is in the parable of the sower, who "went forth to sow seed (sperma)" (Matthew 13:24). Similarly, we read in James 1:18 and 1 Peter 1:23 that we were begotten by the word (spora) of God. Understanding the usage of this very potent word 'sperma', both here and in Matthew 13:24, causes us to see that the word of God is the life-giving reproductive power of God at work in us. If we remain in submission to the word of God and the Spirit of God (John 3:6), and walk in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17) that we received when we were born of God; then we cannot sin. Why? Because in this state of surrender and submission to God, we would only do His will. Both the Spirit of God and the word of God only lead us into truth and righteousness. However, this does not negate the fact that we can choose not to be submitted to God's Spirit and word. Because of God's unfailing mercy, if we choose to be disobedient and sin; then we have a means of forgiveness (1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:1-2).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 05 April 2010 09:43
1 John 3:9-10 - Everyone who has been begotten of God does not sin, because
His seed abides in him and he cannot sin; because he is born of God. In this
is manifested the children of God and the children of the devil: everyone
who does not act righteously is not of God, neither is he who does not love
his brother.

The seed or word of God produces a new spirit and heart within the believer
(Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:5-6). The new spirit and the new heart that we have
received are joined unto the Lord Jesus. It is the Spirit and nature of
Christ Jesus that are formed in us through the new birth (Colossians 1:27,
Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 3:24, Romans 8:9-10; Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27;
Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 4:4). It is because of the new birth
that the divine nature resides in us. It is His nature that produces the
ability to please God, and empowers us with the ability to escape the
corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 4:24).
Paul makes a similar connection between Christ Jesus and the word; proving
that the word of God is in our heart and in our mouth (Romans 10:8). As
those begotten of God and ruled by the Spirit of God, the word of God, and
Christ Jesus; we cannot sin.

As John previously said, the anointing that we have received of Him teaches
us to abide in Him; and abiding in Him will only produce righteousness (1
John 2:27). So long as we remain submitted and yielded to His rulership, we
will find ourselves enjoying His abundant life of purity, joy,
righteousness, and peace. In reality, abiding in the word and keeping the
word are one and the same. Those who keep His word have the love of God
perfected in them (1 John 2:5). Abiding in the word, doing righteousness,
and loving the brethren are reemphasized in the following two verses. We may
understand from both the preceding and following verses that those who are
born of God cannot hate their brothers.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 03 April 2010 13:03
2 Kings 18:19 - And Rabshakeh said to them, "Speak now to Hezekiah, this is
what the king the great king of Assyria has to say: 'What is this trust in
which you are confident?'"

The things that we trust in make us confident that we will succeed. There
are many things that we may trust in within ourselves, or from our
governments or others that we may consider powerful and rich; however, there
is nothing permanent about these things. The only thing that is permanent is
the Kingdom of God. The only one that is unfailing is the Almighty One. Our
gaze falls short of reality and truth when we think that we can determine
our own destiny, and that those earthly things that we hold onto will always
be there to help us. When we let truth take hold of our thoughts, we realize
that to put our trust in anything else but the Lord is foolishness. The Lord
desires to break us free from every false hope, and turn our hearts towards
reality. He invites us to participate in His kingdom, and put our trust in
Him, and follow His leadership. It is only in His unfailing love and
unchanging existence that we can truly be confident.

The Assyrian Empire had become the greatest kingdom on earth in the days of
Hezekiah. The Assyrian kingdom had destroyed many nations, including the
Northern kingdom of Israel; and why was the Southern kingdom of Judah to
think that it would be any different? Therefore, one of the great generals
of King Sennacherib had come to inform Hezekiah that his kingdom would fall
just like all the other nations. The gods that the other nations had trusted
in were not able to save them, so why did Hezekiah think that his nation
would withstand the great power of his mighty army? Hezekiah's unwavering
confidence provoked Rabshakeh to ask him what it was that he trusted in that
made him so confident. Did he trust in Egypt? Or was it that he trusted in
the God of Israel?

Hezekiah made no pretense about his position before the Lord; but
immediately turned to the word of God, and inquired of the Lord's prophet
Isaiah. He was able to stand strong only up to a point; and finally sunk
down into a state where he was as one who was ready to bring forth a child,
but had no strength left to push (2 Kings 19:3). The word of the Lord
comforted him when everything looked hopeless and impossible: God's promise
of success had not changed for those who would put their trust in Him.

Has no one remembered who the living God is - and what great things He has
done for His people? He is the one who has formed the heavens and the earth!
It is God only who raises up kings and pulls them down. It is God who rules
in the kingdoms of men. To Him belongs all of the wealth and the riches of
the world, and He gives them to whosoever He wills. He commands the sea and
it obeys Him. The stormy winds and the fire are His servants. He rebukes the
waters, and they return to their place. He sets the bounds and the limits of
the tide, and appoints the inheritance to every tribe and nation. He
discovers a path in the midst of the sea, and commands the Jordan to stack
up to the heavens like a pillar. If His people rebel against Him, then He
gives their enemies power over them; if they repent and return to Him, then
in His faithfulness He restores them and gives them the place of greatness,
which He has ordained. Christ Jesus has now secured the place of authority
for all those who will put their trust in God. Yet who will lose their life,
that they might find the one that God has purchased for them in Christ
Jesus? Jesus is head over all principalities, powers, and dominions; if we
will turn to Him with all of our hearts and put our trust in Him, then
surely we will see the salvation of our God - and the great things which He
has promised to do!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 02 April 2010 09:29
Ephesians 2:15 - Abolishing the law of commandments in ordinances; so that
in Himself He created of the two one new man, making peace.

Paul calls this the "certificate of indebtedness" in Colossians 2:14,
instead of the "the law of commandments in ordinances." In both cases, this
was removed through the death of Jesus Christ at the cross. These ordinances
were abolished and blotted out when Jesus spoiled principalities and powers.
These powers refer to the domination of Satan, and his evil effects over
man. Now there remains no more sacrifice for sin, because Jesus has paid for
the sins of man in full with His own blood. To continue on making sacrifices
and carrying out the cultic ritual for sin described in the Law is an
offense to Christ, and an obvious rejection of His redeeming blood. The need
for the temple ritual of sacrifices and offerings was brought to an end by
Christ Jesus, when He died and arose again. The keeping of the law in any
form is no longer to be for righteousness; but now all who will believe will
possess the righteousness of God, that comes by faith in the Lord Jesus
Christ alone.

God has provided a new covenant in Christ Jesus, so that both the
uncircumcised and circumcised are given the same opportunity. Therefore, God
has provided a level playing field where there is neither Jew nor Greek,
circumcision nor uncircumcision, but a "new creation" (Galatians 6:15;
Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 7:19). The new covenant allows all to come
boldly into the Holies of Holies, which before was forbidden to anyone
except the High Priest; and that only once a year (Hebrews 10:19). Both the
Jew and the Gentile come to God the same way; and there is no difference
between them, now or in the future. If they are going to walk with God, then
they must be born from above and made a new creature. When Adam sinned and
was separated from God, it was not the Law that God desired to restore to
man; rather it was fellowship. The fellowship that God wants to have with
man could not come by the Law, because the Law could not impart the life of
God into man (Galatians 3:21). The Law was just, good, and holy; but it
could only point out to man his sin nature.

Paul, speaking of "one new man," certainly refers to the believer becoming
partakers with Christ, so that we become those who are "in Him;" thus
establishing in Himself perfect fellowship and union for us. The "one new
man" may be understood as a "single new man" made from both Jew and Gentile.
Both are referred to as one new man, because all must be in Christ Jesus in
order to be saved and established in the new covenant. The one new man may
also be understood as the church; which is His body. The church has already
been mentioned in Ephesians 1:22-23, and is being alluded to in view of the
fact that Jesus is described as the cornerstone of the house that God has
built. Therefore, Jesus is both the head from which the whole body (His
Church) functions; and the cornerstone that holds the whole building (His
Church) in place. That which Jesus created in his person - from both Jew and
Gentile - may be understood as the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6), the new
creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and the new man of Ephesians 4:24; all of
which are the glorious newness given in Christ Jesus.
 
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