Archive for November, 2009

Lucifer and Angels’ Names

November 30, 2009

JohnFrancis left this comment on an earlier blog post:

Harold Camping has recently taught that Jerome translated the Hebrew word “hyll” to be the angel “Lucifer” when it should read “praise”(root word) or “boaster(er)”. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
I think I am beginning to understand that this “son of the morning” is the same “son of perdition (or “Boaster” /”Lucifer”(?) who did not (at least at the time of the 7 seals being opened by Christ) know the time of the end. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father.” Since Jesus said that if you have seen Him (Jesus) you have seen the Father, this scripture cannot refer to the Son of man but the “son of perdion or “Boaster” Besides, Jesus told HIS disciples the sign to look for and what to do,so Christ had to know, but obviously this passage was not for them to know as they were commanded to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (begin the churches task).
So the angels in Heaven could not know,neither mankind, and certainly NOT Satan. Can it be any clearer that Jerome obscured the “son” by naming Lucifer” incorrectly? Mr. Camping has stated that the Bible does not give angels proper names??? Any rebuttal?? Thanks – John

In context, Isaiah 14:12 is referring to the king of Babylon. See verses 4 and 22.

The Hebrew word translated “Lucifer” in the KJV (because of the Vulgate, no doubt) is “הילל” (hêylêl). It is a hapax word, that is to say, it occurs only once (here) in the Old Testament. Most translators that I’ve heard of think that it means brightness/morning star. But yes, it does come from “הלל” (hâlal) which can mean, among other things, “to boast.”

The prophecy’s immediate fulfillment was on the king of Babylon, but it may have an ultimate fulfillment against the man of sin. I don’t pretend to have special insight on this matter.

As for naming angels, Jude 9 states: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

And Luke reports:

Luke 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

Which angel we had seen before:

Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

Furthermore “Satan” is the proper name of a fallen angel (there are too many passages here that use that name, to list them all). And he may be the same or different (it is sometimes hard to be sure) from another fallen angel named Abaddon (Hebrew) or Apollyon (Greek).

Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Some have claimed that Michael is actually another name for Jesus. Regardless of that, Gabriel is certainly the name of an angel and Satan and Apollyon are names of fallen angels (or of just one fallen angel), notwithstanding Mr. Camping’s teachings.


Thanksgiving Verses – Part 30

November 30, 2009

This is the conclusion post to the series on thanksgiving in Scripture. It may be possible to add a few more passages where thanksgiving is implied rather than stated. However, I think that this series should provide the reader with a very thorough overview of the treatment of thanksgiving in Scripture. The key is this: thank God in Psalm and prayer regularly. Thank God for your food before eating. Thank God especially for your salvation and the salvation of your Christian brethren. Integrate thanksgiving into all your prayers, so that you can thank unceasingly, as the Scriptures command.

Part 1 – Institution of Thank Offering
Part 2 – Joab Thanks David for David’s Grace to Him
Part 3 – David’s Thanksgiving Song for Deliverance from Saul – Prose and Poetry Versions
Part 4 – David’s Thanksgiving Song for the Return of the Ark – Prose and Poetry Versions
Part 5 – Levites’ Duty to Thank God Twice Daily in Song
Part 6 – Specialization Among the Levites – Special Thanksgiving Group
Part 7 – David Giving Thanks At Solomon’s Coronation
Part 8 – Thanks at Ark Entering Solomon’s Temple
Part 9 – Thanks at the Re-Opening of the Temple under Hezekiah
Part 10 – Thanks at the Opening of the Ezra/Nehemiah Temple
Part 11 – Continued Specialization in the Giving of Thanks Among the Levites
Part 12 – Psalms of Thanksgiving (other than those previously mentioned)
Part 13 – Psalms that Mention Thanksgiving
Part 14 – God Calls People to Joy and Thanksgiving in Isaiah
Part 15 – Jeremiah Prophesies Thanksgiving
Part 16 – Daniel Giving Examples of Thanksgiving
Part 17 – Thanksgiving in the Minor Prophets
Part 18 – Jesus Thanking the Father for Concealing from Wise and Showing to Babes
Part 19 – Jesus and Paul Thanking God for Food
Part 20 – Other People Giving Thanks in the Gospels
Part 21 – Thanks Not Given for Simply Doing Duty
Part 22 – Thanks at the Resurrection of Lazarus
Part 23 – Examples of Thanks in Acts (other than what has already been mentioned)
Part 24 – Paul Giving Thanks
Part 25 – The Unthankfulness of the Ungodly
Part 26 – Paul’s Commands to Give Thanks
Part 27 – Remaining Mentions of Thanks and Thanksgiving in Paul’s Epistles
Part 28 – Thanks in the Catholic Epistles
Part 29 – Thanks in Revelation

Manhattan Declaration – Partial Roundup

November 29, 2009

Much has been said on the ‘net regarding the Manhattan Declaration. This is a partial roundup, with my brief thoughts on the thoughts of others, in no particular order (though, perhaps, there is a generally newest-to-oldest bias):

1. William Watson Birch (Arminian) Birch unsurprisingly signed. He oddly wrote:

By holding hands with other followers of Christ in this endeavor, I am only committing myself to do what is right, not forming an alliance on doctrinal issues or of the proper understanding of the Gospel with others with whom I may disagree. We all may debate doctrinal issues with one another. But the one thing that is not up for debate is to “promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God” (Micah 6:8 NET Bible).

Apparently for Birch the gospel is debatable, while the sense of Micah 6:8 is not.

2. Ronald di Giacomo (Reformed and Presbyterian) Mr. di Giacomo won’t sign, but he’s willing to respect the liberty of others to sign.

3. Daniel J. Phillips (Calvinistic Baptist) Mr. Philips won’t sign because signing appears to compromise the gospel.

4. Alistair Begg (Calvinistic Baptist) Pastor Begg refuses to sign saying (among other things), “Are we wise to lay aside crucial historical differences of eternal significance so as to secure temporal advantages? George Smeaton, in his classic work on the atonement observes, “To convert one sinner from his way is an event of greater importance than the deliverance of a whole kingdom from temporal evil.””

5. John MacArthur (Calvinistic Baptist) Pastor MacArthur refuses to sign, noting (among other things): “the document falls far short of identifying the one true and ultimate remedy for all of humanity’s moral ills: the gospel.”

6. Brian Maclaren (Emergent) He doesn’t particularly like the document because it’s signed by old white males and it minimizes the things that are important to him. The word “gospel” naturally does not appear in his article.

7. Steve Camp (Calvinistic Baptist) He won’t sign it because “It is nothing more than ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) and Justice Sunday revisited.”

8. Dr. James White (Reformed Baptist) He won’t sign it, noting (among other interesting things): “Great damage has been done to the cause of Christ by those who have sought to promote the Kingdom by compromising the gospel, the only power given to the church that can change hearts, and hence change societies. “

9. Tim Challies (Calvinist Baptist) Challies won’t sign, noting (in addition to large quotations from others): “It is good to speak of the gospel, but what does the term mean if used by Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox? Each has their own understanding of the term—the term that stands at the very heart of the faith. I just cannot see past this issue.”

10. Albert Mohler (Calvinistic Baptist) He signed the declaration because he “believe[s] we are facing an inevitable and culture-determining decision on the three issues centrally identified in this statement.” However, he insists:

My beliefs concerning the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches have not changed. The Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that I find both unbiblical and abhorrent — and these doctrines define nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But The Manhattan Declaration does not attempt to establish common ground on these doctrines. We remain who we are, and we concede no doctrinal ground.

11. Mark aka johnMark (Reformed and Southern Baptist) Mark will not sign and explains, “If these “ecclesial” lines can line up together in the Gospel without confusion then this statement and the others make sense. If not, where does the real agreement lie? My vote based on the way the MD is written brings confusion rather than clarity.”

12. T at First Word (Reformed and Presbyterian) He opposes the declaration and adds: “I would only add, that if the particular points of this manifesto are all they could come up with, then why not become even more ecumenical and invite like-minded Unitarians and atheists? True, they sign it “as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” but that comes at the end of the short statement, there is no attempt to show implication, and they are not signing it as authorized agents of the representative church of any of their branches.”

13. L P Cruz (Lutheran) He mischaracterize’s Dr. White’s and Pastor Macarthur’s reasons for not signing, but would prefer not to sign because it would label him an “Evangelical.”

14. Kevin DeYoung (RCA) Mr. DeYoung wishes he hadn’t signed it, but still abides by his decision. He thinks: “The debate is about whether The Manhattan Declaration implies that there are no essential core-gospel differences among us. After reading the criticisms that have come out I understand how the Declaration could be seen as minimizing our differences. I have great respect for those who read the document in that way. But I still think the Declaration can be read as a statement that simply says “We all as individuals stand in the tradition of Nicene Christianity and we speak together on these three crucial issues of our day.””

15. Doug Wilson (CREC) Says he applauds the document, but cannot sign it. He does not cite doctrinal reasons, but strategic reasons:

The second strategic concern has to do with the actual deployment of the gospel (if I may speak that way), as distinct from mere abstract definitions of it. The only way our nation is going to be saved is if preachers of the gospel get out there and start preaching it in a way that calls this nation to true repentance and sincere faith in Jesus Christ. In order for that to happen, the gospel that we train young men to preach must be studied, lived, taught, defined, and preached. If we want the Word to cut between joint and marrow, then our task should be one of sharpening, not dulling and blunting. Please note that the concern here is not how accurate a man must be in his understanding of the gospel to be saved (an interesting doctrinal question), but rather how much anointed precision must come upon the preaching of the gospel such that a preacher becomes an effective servant in a day such as ours. This is the strategic question.

16. Jason Engwer (Reformed, I think) He thinks it is “a mostly good document that probably will do more good than harm.”

17. Steve Hays (Reformed) He thinks: “The basic problem with the Manhattan Declaration is that it has more than one target audience. As the document itself says, the framers are speaking both “to and from” their respective faith “communities.””

Thanksgiving Verses – Part 29

November 29, 2009

This segment provides the references to thanksgiving in Revelation. There are three such references. It is interesting to note that in each case the twenty-four elders are involved in giving thanks to God.

In the first passage the elders give the thanks together with glory and honour – they also ascribe power to God. Technically, the four beasts are explicitly described as giving thanks, but it should be clear from the context that the elders are joining in with the beasts. In the second passage the elders give not only thanks, glory, and honour to God but also ascribe wisdom, and power, and might to him. In the third passage the elders give thanks to God for having power and reigning.

These passages should remind us that our thanksgiving should never cease – not only in this life, but in the life to come as well.

Revelation 4:6-11
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 7:9-12
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 11:15-17
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Regeneration – Baptism – Circumcision

November 28, 2009

In a recent post responding to some comments from R. Scott Clark, Dr. White states:

In the same way, once we see that fulfillment of circumcision in the New Covenant is regeneration, not baptism, the consistency of the biblical revelation is seen.


I have heard Dr. White make this claim repeatedly, but it seems odd to me for two reasons:

1) The claim from his Presbyterian brethren is not that baptism is the fulfillment of circumcision, but that it is the replacement. The unbloody sign of baptism replaces the bloody sign of circumcision (just as the unbloody Lord’s Supper replaces the bloody Passover).

2) Regeneration is the the thing symbolized by both Circumcision and Baptism. I guess one could call it the “fulfillment” of the sign, but it is properly speaking the antitype of which both circumcision and baptism are the type. Both the type and the antitype coexisted in the Old Testament, and there was an incomplete overlap then as now. For example, Abraham believed (demonstrating regeneration) before he was circumcised, whereas we can question whether Ishmael ever believed – yet he was circumcised.

So, I find Dr. White’s claim puzzling. It doesn’t make sense to me to say that “fulfillment of circumcision in the New Covenant is regeneration” because on the one hand it would be more appropriate to say “fulfillment of circumcision in the Old Covenant was regeneration” or on the other hand “fulfillment of baptism in the New Covenant is regeneration.”


Is Jesus’ Divinity Clearly Revealed in Scripture?

November 28, 2009

Over in the ever-growing comment box at Called to Communion (a Roman Catholic blog), there is at least one man, Mr. Ciatoris, who is trying to argue that the Scriptures do not clearly teach that Jesus is God. (link to the comment box in question)

John Cassian (lived about A.D. 360 – 435) thought differently:

As we have finished three books with the most certain and the most valuable witnesses, whose truth is substantiated not only by human but also by Divine evidences, they would abundantly suffice to prove our case by Divine authority, especially as the Divine authority of the case itself would be enough for this. But still as the whole mass of the sacred Scriptures is full of these evidences, and where there are so many witnesses, there are so many opinions to be urged— nay where Holy Scripture itself gives its witness so to speak with one Divine mouth— we have thought it well to add some others still, not from any need of confirmation, but because of the supply of material at our disposal; so that anything which might be unnecessary for purposes of defense, might be useful by way of ornamentation. Therefore since in the earlier books we proved the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ while He was in the flesh by the evidence not only of prophets and apostles, but of evangelists and angels as well, let us now show that He who was born in the flesh was God even before His Incarnation; that you may understand by the harmony and concord of the evidences from the sacred Scriptures, that you ought to believe that at His birth in the body He was both God and man, who before His birth was only God, and that He who after He had been brought forth by the Virgin in the body was God, was before His birth from the Virgin, God the Word.

– John Cassian, On the Incarnation, Book IV, Chapter 1

John Cassian goes on to give this as his first example:

Learn then first of all from the Apostle the teacher of the whole world, that He who is without beginning, God, the Son of God, became the Son of man at the end of the world, i.e., in the fullness of the times. For he says: “But when the fullness of the times had come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” [Galatians 4:4] Tell me then, before the Lord Jesus Christ was born of His mother Mary, had God a Son or had He not? You cannot deny that He had, for never yet was there either a son without a father, or a father without a son: because as a son is so called with reference to a father, so is a father so named with reference to a son.

– John Cassian, On the Incarnation, Book IV, Chapter 1

After some discussion of the text, John Cassian states:

And so as it is clear from the above testimony that God sent His own Son, and that He who was ever the Son of God became the Son of man, let us see whether the same Apostle gives any other testimony of the same sort elsewhere, that the truth which is already clear enough in itself, may be rendered still more clear by the light of a twofold testimony. So then the same Apostle says: “God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” [Romans 8:3] You see that the Apostle certainly did not use these words by chance or at random, as he repeated what he had already said once— for indeed there could not be found in him chance or want of consideration as the fullness of Divine counsel and speech had taken up its abode in him.

– John Cassian, On the Incarnation, Book IV, Chapter 3

But even leaving aside the fact that Mr. Ciatoris has a different view of Scripture than the fathers did, one has to wonder how Mr. Ciatoris cannot clearly see the divinity of Christ in this verse:

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Or in the comparison of Jesus’ teachings here:

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

With the practices here:

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Scriptures do clearly teach the divinity of Christ, which is why they are sometimes accused of corruption by our Muslim opponents, who refuse to accept Jesus’ claim to be the “I AM.”

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.


UPDATE: Mr. Ciatoris thinks I’m posting a “flimsy straw man” of his position. His own words, however, were: “I suppose I’m glad that Nicene orthodoxy is perspicuous to you. Without the Church’s authoritative guidance, it’s not to me.”

And later:

I was not giving examples of proof-texting, but taking examples of possible pro-Nicene proof-texts (one of which you’d used yourself in a pretty proof-text-y way in #290, the other of which, I admit, I tacked on gratis) and showing that an Arian could answer these. The possibility that an Arian could respond coherently and plausibly demonstrates the insufficiency of proof-texting. I was by no means endorsing the practice, though I can understand why you might have taken me to mean that proof-texting was a legitimate theater for theological battle—I didn’t mean that.

Another comment of his that seems relevant is this:

I’m having trouble seeing a principled difference between you and an Arian who might say, “Look, guys, we all agree that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of the world through His cross and resurrection. He’s the Son of God, the perfect image of the Father, indeed he is God – just not in the same way the Father is, you know, not consubstantial. You’re all obsessing about non-essentials when you insist on this silly homoousios language. It’s not biblical – we Arians stick with biblical language – and I’m not going to let these bishops try to tell me that their reading of Scripture is guided by the Holy Spirit.” What’s the difference, lojahw? Why draw the line in the fourth century? Why pick on all those poor Bible-reading Arians but give a free pass to the Bible-reading reformers of the 16th century?

Thanksgiving Verses – Part 28

November 28, 2009

This segment deals with thanksgiving in the catholic epistles, so called because they are universally directed. The only time some version of the English word “thank” shows up in these epistles is in 1 Peter 2.

In this passage, Peter is commanding servants (slaves, he means, of course) to obey not only their good masters but also their evil masters. He points out that what is worthy of thanks is when a slave suffers wrongfully because of his obedience of God in his conscience.

Peter mentions the example of Christ who suffered for wrong that he did not commit. It should be noted that Peter mentions that Christ bore in his body our sins. This is one of the many verses that help to establish the doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement.

If servants who put up with bad masters are thankworthy, how much more Christ who bore the punishment due to our sins! Let us thank and praise Him!

1 Peter 2:17-24
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Thanksgiving Verses – Part 27

November 27, 2009

This post addresses the remaining mentions of thanks and thanksgiving in Paul’s epistles. In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul comes close to one of those introductory thanksgivings we saw before. Paul essentially indirectly gives thanks for their salvation, attributing it solely to grace.

In 2 Corinthians 4, there is related mention of thanksgiving. Here, however, we note that Paul connects us giving thanks and God being glorified. Furthermore, the thanksgiving is motivated by the grace of God – his unmerited favor of us.

In the final passage, in 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul asks how enough thanks can be given to God for the Thessalonians – and that is even despite their imperfect faith! All of these relate to the same theme as the introductory passage: Paul’s thanksgiving to God for the salvation of those to whom he preached.

2 Corinthians 1:8-12
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

2 Corinthians 4:13-16
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-10
But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Thanksgiving Verses – Part 26

November 26, 2009

This set of passages are focused on Paul’s (counting Hebrews’ as Paul’s for simplicity’s sake) commands explicit or implicit to give thanks.

The first passage is from Romans 14. This passage mentions that we are to give thanks when we eat. It does so implicitly by assuming that that those who eat give thanks.

The second passage, from 1 Timothy 4, makes the matter more specific. It explains that God has created food to be received with thanks. Furthermore, we are told that the thanksgiving sanctifies the food to us. This provides something of a rationale for the giving of thanks, which we would still do without a reason being provided, but much more so seeing the reason. When you eat, give thanks for the food and thereby render it appropriate for your consumption.

The next passage turns to another topic, namely the salvation of men. We have seen that Paul gives thanks to God for everyone’s salvation in a previous segment. In 1 Timothy 2, Paul commands that we not only offer “supplications, prayers, [and] intercessions,” but also “giving of thanks,” for all men. This reinforces to us the fact that we have a duty to thank God when He answers our prayers of salvation for men. He is the one who changes the heart, and he deserves the thanks when men are saved.

The passage from Colossians 1 has a similar theme. We are to thank God not only for the salvation of others, but for our own salvation as well.

The remaining passages generally commend thanksgiving to us: we are to thank God “always for all things” (Ephesians 5); “in every thing” (Philippians 4; accompanying “whatsoever ye do in word or deed” (Colossians 3); and 1 Thessalonians 5); and “continually” (Hebrews 13). Lastly, two passages in Colossians similarly commend thanksgiving in general without more specific qualification.

Nevertheless, we can still learn additional information about thanksgiving from these passages. In the first of the Colossians passages, we see that thanksgiving abounds out of the root of Christ. Thanksgiving is the fruit of the root of Jesus. We are thankful because of Him.

Finally, the second of the Colossians passages links thanksgiving integrally with prayer. While, of course, there are other ways that we can give thanks (such as by singing psalms), our prayers should not omit thanksgiving. It is an important aspect of prayer to thank God. If possible, we should do so naturally, out of the root of gratitude in us. However, one may train this in oneself by making it a practice never to end one’s prayer without thanking God for something, no matter how dire the situation. In this way, one will become accustomed to giving thanks to God unceasingly and it will become more natural.

Romans 14:1-9
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

1 Timothy 4:1-5
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Colossians 1:9-17
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Ephesians 5:1-21
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15-17
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Hebrew 13:12-16
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Colossians 2:6-7
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 4:2-3
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.


Thanksgiving Verses – Part 25

November 25, 2009

Today’s passages commend thanksgiving to us by way of negative example, namely the unthankfulness of the ungodly.

The first passage, from Romans, is a condemnation of men who do not worship God. They, in some sense, knew God, but they did not give him thanks. Instead, they worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator.

The second passage is similar. It describes certain men whom we should avoid as being, among many other things, unthankful. These are men who “hav[e] a form of godliness but deny[] the power thereof.”

If we understand the power of God we should give thanks to Him. We should thank Him for his works of Creation and Providence and general, for his salvation of his elect, and for his mercies to us in particular. Such thanksgiving is a proper recognition of the power of God.

Romans 1:18-25
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.


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