Spiritual Rants: August 4 “How To Know You’re A Saint” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23 1 Corinthians 1:1-17 Psalm 27:1-6 Proverbs 20:20-2

Old Testament:  2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23

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2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23    Sow What?

Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:

2 Kings 23:21-27                              2 Chron. 35:1-19

2 Kings 23:28-30a                                   2 Chron. 35:20-27

2 Kings 23:30b-34                                        2 Chron. 36:1-4

2 Kings 23: 35 – 24: 7                                    2 Chron. 36:5-8

2 Kings 24:1-17                                    2 Chron. 36:9-10

2 Kings 24:18-20                                     2 Chron. 36:11-21  (Jer. 52:1-3)

Ezra 1:1-4                                                2 Chron. 36:22-23

I have written on Josiah, Amon and Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah previously here:

Blinded By The Light

Trip Counciled

Finding Nebo

I’ve written on all this before but here are the high points.  Josiah had found the book of the law and started to enforce and teach it.  It began the last revival in the OT history of Judah.  It was downhill after this.  But he did re-institute the Passover feast.  Passover speaks of Jesus.  It was Passover that was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified.  The sacrifice of His blood is what saves us.

People who hold to my position of dispensationalism are criticized because in our view of the end of the church age, things get worse spiritually.  Who would doubt that our time is very much like the time of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:14-22?   But if there was a time of revival at the end of the era of OT Judah before they were all taken into captivity, why could there not be revival at the end of this age?   There could be and we should look for it.  McGee points out that all the revivals in Judah centered around the Word.  If there is to be a revival in this age, it will also be center on the Word.  But, you may say, my church teaches the Word.  Does it? Does it teach about Romans 11 as we studied in a recent blog?  Does it teach about true spirituality like in the blogs on Romans 5-7?   Does it teach “toleration”?  Really?  Where is that in Scripture (see 1 Cor. 11:19, “do not judge,” Matt. 7:1 is followed by “do not throw pearls before swine,” v. 6)?

Notice also in this passage that Israel was punished for a specific reason when they were taken into captivity.  2Chr. 36: 21 says the purpose of the captivity was, “to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete.”  Israel had been in the Promised Land for 490 years but hadn’t observed the Sabbath years as prescribed in Lev. 25:1-7, then the penalty would be 70 years of exile so the land could enjoy its rest, one year for every seventh year missed in 490 (490 ÷ 7 = 70, cf. Lev. 26:34-35).

What was the word of Jeremiah?  In Jer. 52:2-3, Jeremiah said, “He [Zedekiah] did evil in the sight of the LORD like all that Jehoiakim had done.  For through the anger of the LORD this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence.”  But then (Jer. 29:10), “ . . . When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.”  They did return and we’ll learn that part of the story when we get to Nehemiah.

In the meantime, we see from Kings that Zedekiah who fled in the face of Nebuchadnezzar’s army.  He was captured, his children killed in front of him, and his eyes gouged out so that was the last thing he saw.

What do we learn from all of this?  God is not mocked.  We reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7).

New Testament:  1 Cor. 1:1-17

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1 Cor. 1:1-17   A Good Position

The church at Corinth makes me think maybe we don’t live in the worst time of the church in history . . .   maybe!  It was very bad in Corinth.  They combined brothels and religion in that town.  Whatever happened in Corinth stayed in Corinth . . . not!  And a lot of what happened in the town leaked over into the church as we shall see.  Yet, the believers were called “saints” there (v. 2).  They were so messed up that they become a good teaching model for all of us as Paul writes them to straighten out so many problems.

They were not lacking any spiritual gifts (v. 7a) though they had problems with the use of some of them.  They were looking for Jesus to return even in the first century (v. 7b).  Paul told them God would keep them to the end (v. 8).

The main reason Paul was writing was because there was a problem with the unity of the body there.  They were fighting about all kinds of things even though they were saints, and sanctified, and had all the spiritual gifts.  They were picking sides and there were several sides!  Some thought they were on Paul’s team, some of Chloe’s, some on Peter’s (Cephas), some Apollos, and the most spiritual were just Christians (of Christ).

Paul was glad he hadn’t hardly baptized any of them so they couldn’t use that as a badge of honor.   When Paul said he hadn’t come to baptize, he didn’t mean it wasn’t important or that no one should be baptized, he meant the most important thing was for people to trust Christ.

A note on “sanctified” in verse 2.  Paul is not saying that the Corinthians were actually holy.  Most of them were far from it.  After all they had a huge unity problem they wouldn’t have if they were in reality “sanctified” or made holy.  Paul is saying that the Corinthians were holy in God’s eyes.  God saw them as holy.  This is called “positional sanctification.”  This takes place at the point in time a believer is saved (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; 1 Cor. 6:11)

I was astonished after I was saved years and years ago that there was even a topic called sanctification in the Bible.  It was exciting.  God views believers as holy even as they work out our salvation, called technically “practical sanctification” (cf. Phil. 2:12, 13; 1 Thess. 5:23).  There is also a future sanctification or “perfect sanctification.”  It takes place when we get our new bodies in Heaven and live in a perfect environment where there is no sin (1 Tim. 4:16; James 1:21; 1 John 3:2).

 


Psalm 27:1-6    Lights Are On Home, Part 1    A Trust Psalm by David (kinda)


Proverbs 20:20-21    Winning The Lottery

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God really takes parental authority seriously.   He even made up one of ten commandments concerning moms and dads.  If a person doesn’t follow parents’ advice, they will end up falling on their faces . . .  eventually (v. 20).  It will happen.

Remember the story of the prodigal son (cf. Luke 15:11-32)?  Prodigal means wasteful and profligate.  He asked for his inheritance ahead of time.  He wasted it all and ended up slopping with the swine.  That parable is an illustration of verse 21.

People who win the lottery end up ruining their lives, too, usually.  Google the stories of their lives.

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  2 Chronicles 36:21   NASB    “How To Know You’re A Saint”

“ . . .  to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete.”   2 Chronicles 36:21

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours . . . ”   1 Corinthians 1:2

 

How can we know that we can trust Scripture?  How do we know it’s accurate?  Is it perfectly accurate?

One way we can know that we can trust the Bible and that it’s perfectly accurate is when studying verses like the one in the Old Testament today.  2Chronicles says that Jeremiah said that the Israelites’ captivity would be for seventy years to fulfill the law (cf. Jer. 52:2-3; 29:10).  What law was that?  It was the law that said that the Jews were supposed to rest their land and not grow anything every seven years (cf. Lev. 25:1-7; 26:32–35).  The Jews disobeyed so God stepped in and made sure the land got the rest that it was promised.  The Israelites had been in the land for 490 years.  The Jews violated the law of the land for that long so they were expelled for the seventy years.  Cheating the land every seventy years out of 490 resulted in seventy years of exile (490 ÷ 7 = 70; cf. Jer. 29:10; environmentalists don’t need to worry so much about the land, God looks after it even if we don’t).  The Encyclopedia Britannica says that Israel was exiled either between 608 and 538 or 586 and 516, seventy years.  (Also, check out the blog A Most Remarkable Prophecy.)

Now if the Scripture is that accurate in 2Chronicles 36 and Leviticus 25, we can trust it in other places, correct?  So when we come to 1Corinthians, the second verse, and the dippy, dirty, dysfunctional Corinthians are called “saints,” we can be sure that somehow they actually are saints, right?  Right.  The Corinthian church may have been the worst church in the New Testament.   Paul says, in 1 Cor. 6:9-10, that some of them were fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers.”  But in the next verse he says that they were “sanctified.”  In fact, in our verse today (v. 2), Paul says that they were all sanctified.  Sanctify and saint both have the same root in the Greek which means holy.  Saints are literally “holy ones.”  Sanctify means basically to set something or someone apart for holy use.

Now, if the Corinthians were saints, and they were terrible sinners, what does that make you, believer?  If we trust Scripture, then you are a saint.  And, it is hard to write, but I am a saint, too.  Now we just need to act like saints.

 

 

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application: 

You don’t need to do two miracles and be recognized by a church anywhere to be a saint.  You just need to trust Christ for salvation.  Then, technically, you are a saint in God’s eyes.  But then you need to work out your “sainthood” (cf. Phil. 2:12).

How can you do that?  Read Scripture every day.  Learn it, meditate on it, and then act it out.  Reading through the Bible in a year and reading commentaries like the one you are reading now will help.  Read other good spiritual books, too.

Here are a few to get you going:

Learn basic Bible study and some basics of the faith by using the fill-in-the-blank books by the Navigators called Design for Discipleship.

Get a good study Bible like maybe the NIV Life Application Bible.

Get a good commentary like maybe the Bible Knowledge Commentary or any of J. Vernon McGee’s or Warren Wiersbe’s commentaries.

Memorize Scripture.  Using the Topical Memory System would be a good start.

After you’ve read all those and memorized the sixty Scriptures in the TMS, let me know.  I’ll want you to be on staff at my church.  You will know more than most seminary graduates.

Why are you still here reading?  Go get those resources.  Go on!  Shew!

 

 

 

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   Sow What?

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