Tag Archives: Begin

Matthew 28 – The End Begins

Part 1 of all of time and life has ended.  Part 2 now begins.  Christ has risen.  He has risen indeed.  This is an interesting rendition of this his-story.  It is short and sweet.  It hits the highlights of the main story.  It tells of the reactions of the guards and the religious leaders, and it tells of the directions given to the disciples.

It’s at these directions that i want to dwell.  I learned something a long time ago.  It is something that has changed my outlook on this great commission.  It’s may not be super deep and life redefining, but it is an interesting revelation none-the-less.

First off, I love how Christ starts this.  It is classic YHWH.  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  (You) Go therefore…”  It’s just like when God spoke to Moses, “I am going to free My people Israel… now you go and tell Pharaoh to let My people go!”  YHWH says He is going to do it, then He tells us to.  It’s great!

My big note relates to vs 19-20.  Jesus tells the disciples to go and make disciples… baptizing in the name of the Father and of the the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…  Yet, when you look at the scriptures talking about the disciples baptizing in Acts, these are the statements you get (2:38) Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  (8:14-16) Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Nowhere else does it give an account of what is said during the baptism.

What you notice here is that there is nowhere in these or any other accounts in which it is said that they baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  In the accounts of water baptism the people are baptized in the name of Jesus, the Christ.  Yet when we baptize, WE say, “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  Why?  Because in the book of Matthew, Christ tells us to.  But, isn’t that what He told the disciples as well?  Is there something we’re missing here or was it something the disciples were neglecting?

The more I’ve studied this, the more I’m convinced that we’re missing something here.  For instance, no where in the great commission does it say anything about coming to God in repentance, or even to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not there.  But when you do look at what the disciples did, there was more to the story than just water baptism.  Acts 2:38 says, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”  There are three parts to this.  1) Repent  2) Water baptism in the name of Jesus, and 3) Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  So how are these connected to being baptized in the name of…

In order to understand that, you have to understand what baptism is.  Baptism is in essence the representation of a death, a burial, and a resurrection (what Christ did for us).  In water baptism you “die” are “buried” in the water (hence not sprinkled), and are “resurrected again into new life.  When we are water baptized it is a physical representation of what, that we have already done?  It is a physical representation of our repentance… 1) death of self 2) burial in God / YHWH’s grace, and 3) resurrection as a new man.  Thus repentance is a baptism.  Water baptism is an outward baptism expressing what we have already done in our heart, and baptism in the Holy Spirit is a baptism of the Holy Spirit’s power.  Thus it is baptism in the name (name represents power) of the Father (repentance) and of the Son (water baptism), and the Holy Spirit (the HS’s empowerment for the building up of the saints for the work of service).

So what does this mean for us?

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Gospels, Matthew, New Testament, Project, Purpose

Matthew 21 – Jesus & the Pharisees

Things are starting to come together.  The end is nigh and the countdown is beginning.  This chapter begins with the triumphal entry.  Jesus enters Jerusalem for His / the final passover.  The disciples find the colt as He predicts.  He rides the colt into Jerusalem with the bystanders worshiping YHWH and giving Him adoration calling for Him to fulfill His mission as Messiah to save  them and desiring Him to free them from Roman tyranny.  However, as is the case quite often, our expectations of what YHWH should do, and what He does, are two different things.  Even when we have the same message / prediction.

Christ comes in and begins the process of redemption and rescue from tyranny… He drives the money changers and the seats of those who were selling in the temple.  Those who were turning His Father’s house into a den of thieves.

The next morning he was hungry and came upon a barren fig tree.  It should have had fruit, but it didn’t.  He cursed it, and it began to wither and die.  This is a great analogy of the pharisees.  They too are not bearing fruit to righteousness.  As a result, they begin to wither and die as Christ sacrifices Himself to build the church.

The rest of this chapter is focused on this dynamic action – reaction of Jesus and the Pharisees.  They challenge His authority wanting to know what right He has to teach preach, and do these things.  Christ in turn He puts their actions and those of sinners into perspective.  He shows that knowing the law and being sinless are two very different things, and He criticizes them for it.

Jesus continues with another parable about a landowner who builds a vineyard, rents it out to vine-dressers, and sends his servants out to collect the fruits of the vineyard.  The vine-dressers instead beat the representatives and eventually kill the owner’s son.  This is the final truth of their relationship.  The pharisees will kill the landowner’s son, but the landowner will destroy the vine-dressers and redeem His people.

The relationship between Jesus and the pharisees is such a contrast.  Jesus cares for the fruit of the vine, while most of the Pharisees care more about what they can get from the fruit than they do about caring for the fruit.  They are killing the vineyard from the inside out, and they just didn’t seem to care.  This dynamic seems to define and explain all that follows.  It is  the reason and purpose for all that follows.

This is a key turning point in Jesus ministry and the pharisees focus when it comes to Jesus.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

1 Comment

Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Gospels, Matthew, New Testament, Project, Purpose

Exodus 32 – Sheep & Calf

Well, here is where it all hits the fan!  The people are tired of waiting for Moses to return from the mountain.  He has been there for 40 days and nights.  They are growing impatient with Moses and God taking their time, and they decide to do something about it.  So what do they do?  They decide to make their own god!  They convince Aaron to make them a god so that they can worship it.  Aaron makes them a golden calf and the people begin to worship it!

I have been trying to understand this.  I really have been.  I try to make it a point to understand the situations that the Israelites are going through.  I know that these are people just like you and i.  I can usually get some sort of grasp on some of the insane things that the Israelites do and make some sort of sense of it, but this one absolutely takes the cake!

God has done all of these amazing things for and with the people of Israel.  He has rescued them from Egypt.  He has done miracles and wonders to the Egyptians absolutely destroying their nation.  He brought them across the Red Sea.  He made water come out of the rock.  He even appeared in a cloud to the people and the leaders saw Him.   He spoke His 10 commandments out loud to them; the second of which was not to make for themselves a graven image!  They even agreed!  Yet here they are.  Moses has returned to the mountain, and is gone for only 40 days.  Now here they are doing one of  the most foolish and insane things they could possibly do.

I try to imagine myself in the situation.  I try to picture it and try to process what is going on in their minds, and i just don’t get it.  I mean, i can kind of get it.  When you are in that emotional high and you need a release… you need to release it some how, i can understand needing to be able to worship.  But wow!  I mean really!?!  WOW!  I think that that’s all I can say about that situation.

I look at YHWH’s response, and i am in no way surprised that He wants to destroy them all and start over.  My real amazement is in Moses response.  He sticks up for them and hold’s God’s fury at bay, but he also doesn’t really know what’s going on the time.  Once he finds out… it becomes a bloodbath.  What is a man of God to do?

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Content, Exodus, Old Testament, Person, Project, Purpose, Torah

Genesis 13 – Bigger Picture

Well it’s official, my first pen (black) has bitten the dust.  Long live the pen (purple)!  At this rate, i will be all out of my Pilot Varsitys after about Genesis 36.  I may have to make an investment into a good quality pen with lots of refills.  What kinds of pens do you guys like?

Genesis 13 brings Abram back to the bigger picture.  I was writing this out, and i love that after sojourning in Egypt for a short time (due to famine), Abram returns back to where he started in Canaan.  Not just the same area, but the same place.  He returned to the land between Bethel, meaning “house (beth) of God (el)”, and Ai.  One is a tribute to God, and the other is to become a city of mighty warriors that are strong and brave enough to rout the people of Israel (Joshua 7) even with the terror of Israel is covering the land and Israel’s God had just destroyed the great city of Jericho by having Israel march circles around it.

So while there was a time of temporarily being off course, Abram (and God) pick up where they left off.  Abram, being blessed by God while in Egypt, has grown bigger.  No longer can he and his nephew Lot be in the same place.  It’s just not big enough for the two of them.  So Lot goes to the lush Jordan valley while Abram stays in the plains of Canaan (i always want to spell it Cannan).

It is there that God expounds on His promise:

“Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” (NASB)

Wow, things just keep getting better and better!  The promise defogs a little more, Abram sees more of the bigger picture, and it becomes even more amazing.  However, more than the promise is a command.  Abram is given instruction; “Go and walk the land.”  How many of us attempt to claim and embrace the promises of God, yet we never walk the land.  We want the blessing that God has promised us, but we never lay claim to it by following His instructions.  We never fully understand what it is that He is promising to us because we never take the time to discover what it is that He is giving to us.  Laying claim to something before even knowing what it is often results in disappointment and disillusionment when it does not result in what we expect of it.  Also, how can we really appreciate or find value in anything if we don’t have to work for it.  In order to understand what it is, what it means, and what it is worth.  We must DO so… (it’s an action)

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Torah

Genesis 12 – Cost/Benefit

Well, this is where everything changes.  Abram takes his first steps into a broader world.  This promise that God makes with Abram is an amazing promise.  It requires that Abram simply go.  Go, leave your family, and your country, and your relatives.  Just go where God tells him.  Then because of that simple obedience God will bless him.  It is a huge blessing for not such as huge cost.  It all seems so unreal.

I’ve read this through many times before, but i’ve never really noticed the cost to benefit ratio before.  It’s simply, “Go.  Step out into the unknown.  I will tell you where to go, and I will bless you, and I will make you a great nation.  Just go.”  Now, to some extent, it’s just not that easy.  By going, Abram was making a huge faux pas.  In that time and day, family was everything.  You didn’t leave the nest, you made it bigger.  That’s how cities, nations, and civilizations were born.  There was security in being part of the group.  There was value in the group.  Leaving the larger family as a whole would have been considered foolhardy and dangerous in the least.  Yet, that’s what God asked of Abram.  More than that, that’s what God expected of him.  “Go, and I will bless you.”

We all know how this ends… or rather how this continues.  We all know that this is the first step and the the rest of the Bible is the fulfillment of that promise, but Abram didn’t.   How much more does God ask of us?  His Word (the Bible) is filled with the promises that He makes to us.  The benefit to cost ratio is astronomical!  He simply calls for us to give up our old and crummy life.  To remove the torn and ruined clothes of sin and our selfish desires, and to take on His new, festive clothing of His righteousness.  It’s really a very simple thing.  It’s not so simple to live out, but we aren’t doing it by ourselves.  The benefits we receive when we take the “risk” are astronomical in comparison to the cost.

And the nice things is, all we have to do is “Jump!”

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Torah

Genesis 1 – Poetry

Wow, that took longer than i anticipated.  I had figured on average 1 hour for each chapter, with the first chapter of Genesis being a shorter one, partially due to my knowing it so well.  That was not really the case.  80-90 minutes later, and i am short on time.

Overall that was a good experience and a good start.  I had some fun with this chapter.  It is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, along with chapters like Psalm 23 & 119, John 1 & 3, I Corinthians 13-14, Ephesians 6, etc.  I love the way that Genesis 1 is setup.  It is very poetic and structured.  You have an introduction and 6 days represented, but the first three days parallel the second three.  So you end up with a structure that looks like this

Introduction
Day 1  –>  Day 4
Day 2  –> Day 5
Day 3  –> Day 6

So that is how i set it up in my personal copy.  After the introduction i divided the page and put the sections parallel, so they matched up.

I love this structure too because it seems as though every new day relies on what was created the days before.  Without light and heat, the water is nothing but cold and ice.  Without the light, heat, and water, the land is a dry desolate wasteland.  Without the land and plants, the light has no purpose and no direction.  So on, and so forth.

There is so much more i want to add, but i’m out of time for now.  See you all tomorrow, and blessings in the new year!

Rev. John

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Torah

Genesis – It Begins

Genesis

This is such an amazing book.  It contains history, legend, poetry, controversy, beauty, anger, righteousness, hope, destruction, potential gained and lost, science, genealogy, worship, abuse, faith, trust, love, forgiveness, structure, integrity, failure, success, the dirt, the grime, the filth, the overcomer, the promise, the hero, the enemy, the plan, and on and on and on.

It is such a wonderful beginning to such a majestic history.  In very simple and beautiful terms it explains and describes not only how our world came to be, but how we came to fall away, and how the plan for redemption begins.  It begins the story of how God chose 1 man, 1 family, 1 line of people as His own to not only bless, but to be a blessing to the rest of the world.

It is a book that not only shows the worst of mankind (and the worst punishment), but also some of the best.  How single individuals, standing in the face of sin, corruption, and “unjust” treatment can overcome to become the best that there is.  Literally becoming the gateway to mankind’s future.  Even more than that, that those same people are still just people.  Just because they are the few and the proud, does not mean that they are the infallible.  They don’t have to be perfect to be used by God.

In 2 days, this project begins in earnest, and i am extremely excited!  How about you?

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Genesis, Introduction, Old Testament, Torah