Archive for December, 2002

Every Idle Word : Matthew 12:36

Monday, December 23rd, 2002 at 12:00 am

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Often times, I’ve heard people say that we will have to give an account of every idle word that we speak. Actually, this passage tells us that every idle word that we speak will give an account for us. Read on in verse 37:

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Every idle word we speak can and will be used against us in court – God’s court.

Posted in Explanations
by Gordy

Help Meet : Genesis 2:18

Thursday, December 5th, 2002 at 12:00 am

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

I often hear people call Eve a “help meet” for Adam. I’ve heard men call their wives help meets. Eve is not a help meet. A wife is not a help meet. God said he would make a help meet – or a help suitable – for Adam. Consider the use of “meet” in this passage:

2 Timothy 2:21 (KJV) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

We are to be a vessel meet for the master’s use – a vessel suitable for the master’s use.

Meet = suitable.

Posted in Explanations
by Gordy

Gates of Hell : Matthew 16:18

Thursday, December 5th, 2002 at 12:00 am

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

A lot of people will use this passage to encourage church members. Because it says the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church, we are often told the devil can’t defeat the church. I think too many people have been influenced by Hollywood’s portrayal of hell as the kingdom of the devil. Preachers say that the church needs to go on the offensive and attack the devil and the gates of his (Satan) kingdom cannot prevail against the church’s attack. There are couple of problems with this. First, I find nowhere in the Bible where we are instructed to attack the devil. We are told to resist the devil – but that is different than attacking. Second, the devil is not in hell today. One day he will be but he is not there now. Hell is not the devil’s kingdom – it is a place of torments.

So what do the “gates of hell” mean? In the Bible, hell can refer to two places: the place of torments where lost souls go until the final judgment when they will be cast into the eternal lake of fire, and hell can also refer to the grave. When Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, he meant the church will not die when members die. This is where the idea of church perpetuity originates. Jesus promised the church would still survive when members die because he would add new members to the church.

Gates of hell = the grave.

Posted in Explanations
by Gordy

Spiritually Discerned : 1 Corinthians 2:14

Thursday, December 5th, 2002 at 12:00 am

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The commonly misunderstood part of this passage is “they are spiritually discerned.” I’ve heard several people explain that “they” refers to the natural man – or the lost person. The root of this confusion is because the meaning of discerned is misunderstood. Some think discerned means “unable to understand” and thus they equate “they” to the natural man – or the natural man is spiritually discerned. The dictionary defines discerned as: distinguished, seen, discovered. With that definition, it is now easy to see that “they” cannot mean the natural man because the natural man is not spiritually discovered. The verse is talking about receiving – or discovering – the things of God. “They are spiritually discerned” means the things of God are spiritually discovered – something the natural man cannot do.

Posted in Explanations
by Gordy

Do All Things : Philippians 4:13

Thursday, December 5th, 2002 at 12:00 am

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I see two misunderstandings with this passage. First, people think because they are saved, they have the power to do all things. But this passage really says that everything I do, I can do it through Christ – and that ought to be the goal of every saved person. Second, people believe that the Lord Jesus Christ goes around willy nilly giving them strength. But this passage really tells us that what gives us strength is doing things through Christ. To illustrate, a bodybuilder gets stronger because he exercises his body. A Christian gets stronger because he or she exercises his or her spirit. Your spirit will never get stronger if it is never exercised – if you never do things through Christ.

Posted in Explanations
by Gordy

Private Interpretation : 2 Peter 1:20

Thursday, December 5th, 2002 at 12:00 am

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

This passage is commonly quoted when a person wants to convey the idea that the Bible cannot be privately or individually interpreted – that each reader cannot say the Bible means something different for each individual. While I agree that the Bible must speak for itself and that the Bible does not mean something different for each individual, this verse does not support that. Let’s look at the surrounding passages:

2 Peter 1:19-21 (KJV) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

As you can see, the passage is talking about the origin of scripture – that the scriptures did not come about from the private interpretation of events as viewed by the penman. The scriptures came about as God moved holy men by the Holy Spirit and not as the result of the penman’s will. This passage does not address how a person can or cannot reach a conclusion as to the meaning of the scriptures.

Posted in Explanations
by Gordy