Often times, as I am considering all of the blog world, and the people who following this blog around the globe, it is easy for me to get my dates confused. As I rose from last night’s I sleep, I realized that the day that greeted me was actually June 20, 2014, and not June 21, that I had stated on the post that I published last night (060914). I also realized that there two very important passages of scripture that I had omitted from that post. So, here it goes again. The added verses are Psalm 103:19 and Ezekiel 36:24-28. Also, another song of worship and praise is provided. But first, to those of you who are reading my thoughts on June 20, and prior to sunset, let me wish you a prosperous Day of Preparation and a blessed Lord’s Sabbath. John 19:13-42 shows a transition from the Day of Preparation on Friday morning, until the Sabbath Day, which began on that same Friday at sunset. That text also shows the events that led to the crucifixion and burial of Jesus on the Day of Preparation, before the arrival of the Sabbath, of that same day, Friday. Please be a Berean, Acts 17:11, as follows below.
Acts 17:11, New International Version (NIV)
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
The following outline of scriptures is for our congregation’s June 20, 2014 Friday evening Sabbath time of worship.
God’s Purposes and Promises, June 20, 2014, Old Testament Scriptures.
Genesis 1:1, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Psalm 103:19, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
19 The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens, and His Kingdom ruleth over all.
Genesis 3:14-15, New Life Version (NLV)
14 Then the Lord God said to the snake, “Because you have done this, you will be hated and will suffer more than all cattle, and more than every animal of the field. You will go on your stomach and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will make you and the woman hate each other, and your seed and her seed will hate each other. He will crush your head, and you will crush his heel.”
Genesis 12:1-3, New Living Translation (NLT)
The Call of Abram
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 13:14-17, New Living Translation (NLT)
14 After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. 15 I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants[a] as a permanent possession. 16 And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted! 17 Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.”
Deuteronomy 7:6-9, New Living Translation (NLT)
6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.
7 “The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! 8 Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. 9 Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.
Ezekiel 36:24-28, New International Version (NIV)
24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
God’s Purposes and Promises, June 20, 2014, New Testament Scriptures
John 4:22, English Standard Version (ESV)
22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
Romans 8:28-30, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
1 Peter 2:9, New King James Version (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
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3:14 cursed. Cursed, the opposite of blessed (1:22and note), denotes a breaking of the serpent’s powers.
dust you shall eat all the days. Dust is the symbol of abject humiliation (Ps. 44:25; 72:9), an indignity lasting forever. Satan’s final defeat under the heel of the Messiah (v. 15) is delayed so that God’s program of redemption through the promised Seed of the woman may be accomplished
3:15 I will put enmity. God graciously converts the depraved woman’s affections from Satan to Himself.
your offspring and her offspring. Humanity is now divided into two communities: the redeemed, who love God, and the reprobate, who love self (John 8:33, 44; 1 John 3:8). The division finds immediate expression in the hostility of Cain against Abel (ch. 4). This prophecy finds ultimate fulfillment in the triumph of the Second Adam, and the community united with Him, over the forces of sin, death, and the devil (Dan. 7:13, 14;Rom. 5:12–19; 16:20; 1 Cor. 15:45–49; Heb. 2:14, 15).
12:1 said. The call came to Abraham in Ur before his father died, not in Haran (15:7).
the land. The scope of this land grant will be progressively defined (12:7; 13:14–17; 15:18–21).
12:2 bless. Crucial elements of divine blessing and promise in Genesis—fruitfulness and dominion—are evident here and are further spelled out in 22:17(9:1 note).
make your name great. What the city builders at Babel sought in their own strength (11:4 note), God gave in sovereign grace. Subsequent history confirmed God’s promise—the great names of Abraham and David (2 Sam. 7:9) prefigured that of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:9–11).
you will be a blessing. This last occurrence of the verb “to bless” is an imperative. Abraham will not only be blessed, but is to be a blessing to others (v. 3).
12:3 bless those . . . him . . . I will curse. The extent of God’s merciful and gracious intention is indicated in the Hebrew by a switch from the plural object of blessing to the singular object of cursing. Many are to receive God’s blessing through the Seed of Abraham (18:18; Gal. 3:8;Rev. 7:9, 10).
those who bless. Those who acknowledge Abraham and his offspring as God’s agent of blessing.
him who dishonors you I will curse. The Hebrew words here translated “dishonors” and “curse” differ: the second means “to disdain”; the first often has the sense of “to weaken” (3:14). God will be an effective adversary of those who curse Abraham and his seed.
in you. In Jesus Christ, the Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), and in the spiritual Israel of all ages united with Him (Gal. 3:29; Phil. 3:3 note), rather than in unbelieving ethnic Israel (John 8:39; Rom. 9:6–8).
shall be blessed. Some have argued that the Hebrew verb should be translated reflexively: “shall bless themselves” (i.e., will desire the blessing of Abraham). While grammatically possible, this proposed reading hardly does justice to the context of this divine promise, and the passive translation here (“be blessed”) presents no real linguistic difficulties. In addition, the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) rendered it as passive. We are fully justified in viewing this promise as a reference to God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
13:14 look . . . westward. The Lord invited Moses to a similar panoramic overview of the land (Deut. 34:1–4). In each case, the invitation was given to confirm the promise to one who himself would not participate in dispossessing the Canaanites.
13:15 land . . . forever. See 12:1 and note. The promises of land were fulfilled several times but never consummated. God fulfilled the promise through Joshua (Josh. 21:43–45), but not completely (Josh. 13:1–7); even more so through David and Solomon (1 Kin. 4:20–25; Neh. 9:8), but still not completely (Ps. 95:11; Heb. 4:6–8; 11:39,40). As Israel’s Exodus from Egypt through the Passover (Ex. 12:1) is a type of the church’s exodus from the condemned world through Christ (1 Cor. 5:7; 10:1–4), so also old Israel’s life in the land is a type of New Israel’s life in Christ. Both are a gift (15:7, 18; Deut. 1:8; Rom. 6:23), and are received by faith (Num. 14:26–44; Josh. 7 and John 3:16). Both uniquely possess the blessed presence, life, and rest of God (Ex. 23:20–31; Deut. 11:12;12:9,10; 28:1–14; John 1:51; 14:9; Matt. 11:28), and demand persevering faith (Deut. 28:15–19;Heb. 6). The land promises are consummated forever in the new heaven and new earth (Heb. 11:39, 40; Rev. 21:1–22:6).
13:16 as the dust. See 32:12. The promise of offspring also finds fulfillment in old Israel (Num. 23:10; 1 Kin. 4:20; 2 Chr. 1:9) and consummation in the New Israel, composed of Jew and Gentile (12:3 and note; Rom. 4:16–18; Gal. 3:29; Rev. 7:9).
13:17 Arise, walk. According to ancient custom, a property transfer was finalized by the new owner’s visit to the tract. God commands Abraham to lay symbolic claim to the Promised Land (12:7 and note; Josh. 1:3; 18:4; 24:3).
7:8 loves you . . . keeping the oath. The election of Israel as a holy nation set apart for God (vv. 6,7) was grounded, not in any merit or intrinsic goodness in Israel, but in God’s love and in His faithfulness to the covenant promises made to the patriarchs (6:10). God’s election of the church is based on His oath to Jesus, the son of Abraham, the Son of God (Ps. 110:4; John 17:6). See “God’s Covenant of Grace” at Gen. 12:1.
36:25 sprinkle. The sprinkling or pouring of water refers to the ritual purifications for removing religious defilement (Ex. 30:17–21; Lev. 14:52;Num. 19:17–19). It is also used as a symbol for the gift of God’s Spirit, in the anointing of kings and priests and in the prophetic call (Joel 2:28, 29). The outpouring of God’s Spirit is a sign of the messianic age (37:14; 39:29; Is. 42:1; 44:3; 59:21). This rich symbolism attaches to baptism in the New Testament. The language of vv. 25–27 is closely paralleled in Ps. 51:7–11.
36:26 new heart . . . new spirit. See 11:19 and note on 18:31. Instead of a heart of stone, unable to respond to God with love and obedience, God will provide a new heart and a new spirit. Note that these come as the result of divine initiative and not human attainment. Jeremiah describes the new covenant in the same way (Jer. 31:33; and Prov. 3:3; 7:3; Rom. 2:15, 29; 2 Cor. 3:3).
36:27 my Spirit. The new spirit would be the Spirit of God transforming those in whom He dwells and enabling them to obey the law of God. Cf. Rom. 7:6; 8:2–17; Gal. 5:16–18, 22; 1 John 3:24.
8:28 And we know. Christians assess the present in the light of their assurance about the future. As true Israelites, in whom the first and great commandment is fulfilled (Matt. 22:37, 38), our love for God is evoked by knowledge of His love for us (5:5–8).
called. Brought to faith (v. 30; cf. 1:6).
according to his purpose. The purpose of God guarantees “good” for His people. For them this is not necessarily ease and quiet, but being like Christ (vv. 17–23, 29). God’s providence rules in such a way as to ensure everything that happens to us is working for our ultimate good.
8:29 foreknew . . . predestined. See “The Purpose of God: Predestination and Foreknowledge” at Mal. 1:2. Vv. 29, 30 explain God’s “purpose” (v. 28). It is a plan of sovereign saving grace, entitling all who now believe to trace their faith and salvation back to an eternal decision by God to bring them to glory, and to look forward to that glory as a guaranteed certainty. The destiny appointed for believers (conformity to Christ and glorification with Him) flows from divine foreknowledge. Here it is persons, not facts or events, that God is said to foreknow. God does foresee events, but Paul’s point is that God has of His own initiative chosen the objects of His active, saving love. “Know” implies intimate personal relationship, not merely awareness of facts and circumstances (Gen. 4:1;Amos 3:2; Matt. 1:25); it is virtually the equivalent of “elect.”
8:30 Those predestined are, in due time, “called,” or effectively summoned through the gospel into saving fellowship with Christ (1:6; cf. 1 Cor. 1:9). We note that all of those “called” are also “justified.” The call cannot refer to the outward call of the gospel that many reject. It is an inward call of God that performs what He intends. All who are predestined are called in this way. Predestination includes God’s determination that a person will receive such an effective call (that is, the “effectual call”). Predestination is not based on God’s knowing beforehand how people will respond to the gospel. Just as the predestined are called, so the called are both justified and certain to be finally glorified. The past tense of “glorified” indicates that from God’s standpoint the work is as good as done. He will complete it as planned. See theological note “The Perseverance of the Saints.”
1 Peter 2 -The Priesthood of Believers; The Calling For Salvation And Service,The Anchor Holds Both Callings
2:9 But you. This marks a sharp contrast between the destiny of unbelievers (v. 8) and the status of the elect. The theme of God’s sovereign choice of both Christ and the church is prominent in this passage (vv. 6, 9).
that you may proclaim. The election and calling of God’s people is not only for salvation but for service as well. All believers are called to bear joyful witness to the saving acts of God.
Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the five hundred member choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.
Unto The Lamb
Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor
Philippians 3:10, “That I May Know Him…”