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Monday: Grounded in Scripture — 17 Comments

  1. The Bible, whole Bible is inspired (God-breathed ) .One thing that make me conclude this is because every time I read it ,it inspire me to allow Jesus portrayed therein to change me to a better person. And still the Spirit of prophecy had the same effect on me. Both the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy are God-breathed .Try studying them on a serious note and Jesus you will encounter thereof will change you from inside out.

    • Be careful when stating an opinion that makes the Bible and writings from others equal. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God," not "all writings". The spirit of prophecy books can not be substituted for the Bible, therefore, they are not equally God-breathed. Remember: sola scriptura, the Bible only?

      • Lecates, as I recall the Greek word is "graphia' which means "writings". 2 Timothy 3:16 is difficult to translate. Check several translations.

      • That the Spirit of Prophecy is not God breathed wayward.

        What do you understand by God breathed or Spirit of Prophecy?

        Is the Spirit of Prophecy not the Testimony of Jesus Christ?

      • Lecates, when God calls a prophet, that prophet speaks and writes in His name. and that person is "inspired." If they are not inspired, then that person is not a prophet. It's a clear either/or choice. That said, I believe the term "God-breathed" sometimes gives the wrong idea - i.e. that the actual words were dictated by the Holy Spirit. But Seventh-day Adventists believe that the *persons* were inspired with thoughts, and they used their own, human words to communicate these thoughts.

        We now recognize the New Testament as part of the Scriptures communicated through inspired writers, but they were simply writings of contemporary apostles at the time. The "Scriptures" of the time (Old Testament) were the test by which to judge these writings. When the church had sufficiently judged these writings, they were accepted as "Scripture," even as early as the lifetime as Peter, but formally adopted hundreds of years later.

        Fast-forward to our time: Either Ellen White was a messenger of the Lord, or she was not. Either her formal writings (as opposed to casual writings not addressed to the church) were inspired or they were not. There is no middle ground or levels of inspiration. (At the same time we need to recognize that minor discrepancies between accounts are the natural result of imperfect human understanding or communication.) However, she consistently taught that the Scriptures were primary, and if we respect her inspiration, we will also see the Scriptures as primary. She taught that her writings were intended to illuminate the Scriptures - to help us understand them. But that does not make her writings less inspired.

  2. The Law itself and the whole Scripture are models for us to live by. They are based on love. It's a matter of choice, wether we want to follow their principles or not! We are also free to investigate them!

  3. I think that the "God breathed" Scriptures must be associated with the Spirit of Prophecy in us in order to reveal truth to us. The Bible and any other "God breathed" writings must be properly interpreted in our own hearts to produce the true gospel for us. This requires the same Spirit that was in the Breath of God to be written in sctripture to be impressed properly in our hearts.

  4. In yesterday's lesson, it was pointed out how the New Testament was the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Paul used the Old Testament to balance his gospel. This shows continuity from the Old Testament gospel right up to Christ's era and after. Jesus Christ too used the scripture to prove He was that long awaited Messiah {Luke 24:25-27}. There is also consistency in what Paul preached to that what Jesus Christ taught ["I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6]
    and the prophecies [ Isaiah 53:1-12]. As seen here he emphasizes the authority of the whole scriptures "All Scripture is God-breathed [given by His inspiration] and profitable for instruction[ teaching and doctrine], for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness [in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action] 2 Tim 3:16. Here Paul demonstrates how valuable and authoritative the scriptures are in moulding a round Christian. They are infallible revelation of God's will to mankind "So that the man of God may perfect, thoroughly furnished[be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped] unto all good work.[17]. It is in the scriptures that God communicates with us through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.[John 16:7-14]. Thus the scriptures are the full living embodiment of the knowledge of God.

  5. Let us not forget that at the time Paul wrote to the Galatians there was no New Testament. When he quotes "scriptures" he quotes the Old Testament. In other words in his writings scriptures refer to the Old Testament. To us scriptures go beyond the Old Testament because we have proved that Holy Spirit is the author of both the Old and New Testament. Using the same method we have no fear to trust and believe with confidence and receive instruction and blessings from every word which the Holy Spirit gave to human messengers in any generation as long as we have tested and proved that the Spirit is of God.(1 John 4:1)

  6. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...John 1:14. The Bible is the Testimony of Jesus Christ. How He overcame sin and this world for us all. Through the Holy Spirit showing us this testimony we become eyewitnesses of His Glory that He is fulled up of Grace and Truth. I hunger and thirst for His Righteousness. Glory to God!

  7. Lecates Shorter ,I just gave a testimony on the effect I get from reading the Bible and Spirit of prophecy books. I didn't place the two in the same level. But ,let me state this ; a prophet is called into prophetic office by God himself and deliver messages which are inspired by God.If at all his messages are from God ,they are God-breathed.Those prophets can be those mentioned in the bible or they that the bible prophesied that the will come during the time of the end.

  8. Do you notice, like I do, how definitions or concepts of justification, grace, and gospel are presented in Sabbath school or church without using scriptures or even SOP support?
    ie: Grace= "God's riches at Christ's expense"
    Justification= "God treats us just as if we never sinned"
    Gospel= "God kept His promise"
    Notice how Paul taught so that listeners like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) could be grounded in scriptures and not by any person spouting any doctrine they liked.

  9. We use different terminologies to identify particular subjects. I would like to know what a Judaizer is? This terminology has been introduced several times in the lessons so far and to compare Jews and Judaizers leaves me to ponder. Supposedly the argument over circumcision is between Jews and Gentiles. If the Apostles from Judea are labeled as a Judaizers, that is not biblical, but?

    • Truly it is not biblical. I feel it's even derogatory. This is the same that was used by those half converted apostate man to set aside the Sabbath of God as a day of Worship confusing the whole gospel of the Kingdom. This also took me by surprise. Below is what the man of sin said when apostatizing:

      Canon 29 reads: " Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, [Sabbato, the Sabbath], but they shall work on that day, but the Lord's day they shall especially ,honour, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.. " Charles Joseph Hafele, A History of the Council of the Church. vol 2 (2896 ,English ed.).p.316.
      The Puritan William Prynne said (1655) that "The Council of Laodicea...set[t]led the observation of the Lord's day and prohibited ...the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath under Anathema." A Bridge Polemical Dissertation... the lordsday Sabbath, p. 44. Also Geiermann's Catholic catechism says that "the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea." made the change .p.194.

    • Paul, not all terms we use nowadays to help us communicate clearly are used in the Bible. The term "Judaizer" is used to identify the Jewish faction in the young Christian church that believed that in order to experience the blessings of salvation brought by the Messiah, people needed to become Jews first. This belief is rational because Jesus, the Messiah, is called the "Messenger of the Covenant" in the Malachi 3:1, and circumcision was the sign of the "everlasting covenant" given to Abraham (Gen 17:7-14)

      I believe that Paul was so adamant in opposing the Judaizers because they essentially taught that grace plus some kind of works (circumcision, etc.) was necessary for salvation. By contrast, Paul taught that salvation was only by grace through faith alone. (See last week's lesson, particularly Monday: Works of the Law and Tuesday: The Basis of Our Justification. Also see Eph 2:8-9) Is it possible that today we may make the same error as the Judaizers?

      The Judaizers were what one would now call conservative Christians. But the Holy Spirit led in a different direction, which must surely have been both a problem and a puzzle to them. Could there be situations in the church today in which we should pay more attention to the Holy Spirit's leading?

  10. Inge, You have covered a number of possibilities well. I was looking for a definition of three identities.Jews, judaizers, and gentiles, that Paul was arguing over with Peter. One of those seems out of place. Is not the young Christian church two possibilities? The church "the "way" persecuted by Paul, or the converts created by Paul such a Galatians? Trying not to complicate the question, just trying understand the scenario.

  11. The early church comprised:

    Jews: people who described themselves and descendants of Abraham. At the times described in the New Testament there were essentially two groups of ethnic Jews; Those whose families had lived in palestine, and those who were living elsewhere as a result of dispersion but who still considered themselves as Jews.

    Gentiles: people who were not of Jewish descent. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians etc who lived in countries around the Mediterranean who had the potential to be in contact with Jews.

    The early Christian Church was initially Jewish, comprising Jews living in Palestine, but of course it spread to Jews living in other places (Notice that Paul first went to the Jewish Synagogues to interact with Jews when he visited other places). But the Gospel quickly spread to non-Jews as well. The essential problem that arose at that time was the Jewish Christians saw early Christianity as essentially an extension of the Jewish faith and by inference Jewish culture. They expected Gentile converts to become Jewish. This created problems of course. Those that actively promoted the idea that the Gentiles had to become Jewish are know to us as Judaizers.

    The problem continued to afflict the church for some time and the history of Jewish Christians is a rather sad one and often overlooked because we become engrossed in the theology and forget about the people involved.

    Paul was not immune from the efforts of the Judaizers and it is worth rereading how Paul got involved in Jewish ceremonial activity before he was imprisoned an ultimately sent to Rome. I wonder sometimes whether Paul sold himself short by participating in this event.


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