Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More of the Spirit or 'filled with the Spirit' (part 2)

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

It is important to note that when a believer is ‘filled with the Spirit’ that it does not mean that he receives more of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5-6 declares to us that God has given us the Holy Spirit the moment we get saved. Now the Holy Spirit lives in every believer (Jn. 14:16-17; Rom. 8:9,11). So when we say be ‘filled with the Spirit’ it ought not to be taken as though we mean that you must receive more of the Holy Spirit. Every believer has the opportunity to live a Spirit-filled life. The question is not ‘do you have more of the Holy Spirit,’ rather does the Holy Spirit have all of you? This is not to say that we are void of responsibilities and become totally passive. We must work in relation to and accordance with the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16). We must get rid of known sin because we know that sin grieves the Holy Spirit of God (Eph. 4:30) we do this through genuine confession and repentance (1 Jn 1:7-9). Then we must be totally given over to Him as He leads us (Rom. 8:14), and avoid ‘quenching’ Him (1 Thess. 5:19) or putting Him off or disregarding His clear leading. Finally, we must be obedient Christians. Obedience to God and His Word is the key (Col. 3:16). Indeed a Spirit-filled believer is also a Word-enriched believer.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Are you 'filled with the Spirit?'

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

I believe that to be filled with the Spirit means to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God. The first part of the verse deals with the pagan worship of Bacchus the ‘wine god.’ It was accompanied by drinking intoxicating beverages. The Bible calls it ‘excess.’ The word for ‘excess’ in the original is ἀσωτία (asotia) which is also translated ‘riot’ in other places in our New Testament (Titus 1:6 and 1 Peter 4:4). Drunkenness should obviously be avoided and also drink that leads to that as well. In contrast to being under the influence of wine we are commanded to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t any Christian want to be Spirit-filled? Some have exaggerated this phrase to mean some Charismatic experience of ‘speaking in tongues’ and other false doctrines. This is bad Pneumatology (or study of the Holy Spirit). Being Spirit-filled is not some bizarre experience, rather it is a command to be obeyed. God commands us to be filled with the Spirit.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bible Study Tools (part 7) - Bible Software and misc. computer "stuff"

It is amazing what the computer age has brought to the church age. There are numerous computer programs that can help in Bible study ranging from free to expensive. Here are a few that I am aware of that may be of some help to you.

1. Helpful Websites:

A. Bible Gateway - www.biblegateway.org

B. The Blue Letter Bible - www.blueletterbible.org

C. Christian Classics Ethereal Library - www.ccel.org

D. e-sword - www.e-sword.net - an unbelievable resource! Thanks to Mr. Meyers.

E. Just Bible - www.justbible.com - an online KJV concordance.

F. Way of Life Literature - www.wayoflife.org - great tool thanks to Dr. David Cloud.

G. Sermon Audio - www.sermonaudio.com - This may not necessarily be for "Bible Study" per se, but it sure is a great resource that can aid along those lines. My church is a broadcaster (www.sermonaudio.com/mzbc).

H. Teknia (Learn Greek) -$- www.teknia.com

2. Helpful Bible Software:

A. Quick Verse -$- www.quickverse.com

B. Power Bible CD -$- www.powerbible.com - Excellent and powerful concordance

C. Sword Searcher -$- www.swordsearcher.com

Really the list can just go on and on, please feel free to comment and add to this list. WARNING: I wouldn’t use the internet without a filter. I use “Integrity Online.” You may know of other good ones out there, Clean Internet, or Safe Eyes. They are all good.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Bible Study Tools (part 6) - Commentaries

Commentaries are very helpful resources to use when studying a verse or a section of Scripture. There are many kinds of commentaries ranging from basics to critical. For practical purposes I will only mention a few that I know of and I would recommend. Of course mentioning these commentaries does not necessarily mean endorsing their doctrines. I guess the key is let the Scriptures correct the commentary, rather than the other way around. Having mention this here are some thoughts on Commentaries and some personal recommendations.

Some tips for using Commentaries Effectively

1. The commentaries must be written by men who are sound in the faith. There are conservative commentaries as well as critical.
2. Do not lean on commentaries. As a matter of fact they are the last to be consulted after you have done your study.
3. Commentaries must be judged by Scriptures. No commentator is infallible. A wise student will line up the Commentary with the light of Scriptures.
4. Bible Commentaries have strengths and weaknesses. For example Matthew Henry believes in baby sprinkling.

Exposition of the Old and New Testament (Matthew Henry)
He lived from (1662-1714). This set of early 18th century commentaries (first published in part in 1708-10) remains one of the most helpful in print. He was a non-conformist Presbyterian pastor, a master of Biblical languages. Henry died before finishing the rest so from Romans to Revelation 14 dissenting preachers from the Church of England compiled the rest. Spurgeon points out that George Whitefield read Henry 4 times in his life. Hendrickson Publishers created a One Volume unabridged version of this commentary.

Barnes’ Notes on the Old and New Testament (Albert Barnes)
Albert Barnes (1798-1870); Frederic C. Cook (1810-1889); and James Murphy. There are 14 volumes in this invaluable set of commentaries. Barnes was a Presbyterian preacher and Bible expositor. He was brought to trial in 1835 for his rejection of the unscriptural doctrine of limited atonement. He advocated total abstinence of alcoholic beverages, was a soul-winner, and promoted Sunday Schools.

Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (John Gill) (1697-1771)
Renowned British Bible Scholar and Baptist pastor. For over 50 years he pastored the Particular Baptist Church of Horselydown, Southwark, London. The church eventually moved its location and became known as the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, of Spurgeon’s fame.

Jameison-Fausset-Brown Complete Commentary
By Robert Jameison (1802-1880); Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910), and David Brown (1803-1897). First published in 1871, this three volume set is frequently critical to the received text and KJV, but it contains practical thoughts on the Bible text.

Other good ones....
Commentary On The Old Testament by C.F. Keil & F. Delitzsch
The Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon - this one is a classic on Psalms
Word Pictures in the New Testament by A.T. Robertson

Other good commentators that I like - Anything by any of these guys....
Dr. M.R. Dehaan
Harry Ironside
Lehman Strauss
Oliver Greene
W.E. Vine
Irving Jensen
The Puritans (the more conservative and anti-Catholic ones are awesome!)
John Philipp's "Exploring..." series is useful.