Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Category Archives: Proverbs

The ACTS Files – Eleven become Twelve – Matthias replaces Judas Iscariot – Acts 1:21-26

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The ACTS Files – Eleven become Twelve – Matthias replaces Judas Iscariot – Acts 1:21-26 – 12/21/2015

This is a series in the Book of Acts which looks to visit the text from the Book of Acts on a line by line and verse by verse teaching and Lord willing we will get through the full book of Acts, this is part of a New Testament bible study series that you can read all other studies in this section on this link.

Acts 1:21 (ESV) So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

This is the last in our article that looks at the disciples in the “pre-Pentecost” stage of their lives where we have seen that they have been growing in that since Jesus ascended to heaven they have been the following…

•       Obedient in that they went straight to Jerusalem and went to where they were supposed to be
•       They prepared their hearts and covered everything in prayer (devoted themselves to prayer)
•       Had faith that God would supply what they would need
•       Peter quoted scripture that Judas would have to be replaced

And here is where we begin this article, I have always maintained the belief that the reason such great things were done at Pentecost was because man and God were in such union and the disciples were willing tools to be used by God. Can we say the same in our day to day lives? We start midway through what Peter had said and in order to get it all in context let us look at the full text of what was said.

Acts 1:15 (ESV) In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong  he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

I had my own reasons for splitting it into two articles as there is a lot to look at and I wanted to keep it in an article that was a decent length as well as easier to read if you had never read the passage before. In this article we will focus on the last six verses and if you wish to read back on the first portion then please click “here” and you will see this article. If you have read my articles before you will know that I like to look at the text on a verse by verse basis and this article is no different.

V21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, V22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

So as we stated earlier they had direction from God’s word, the Holy Spirit was to come in chapter 2 and that is a great example to us because we would either do one of two things:

•       Procrastinate and not do Gods will because we are not confident that we are doing the right thing
•       Carry on and do what we believe but we have to make sure we have confirmation from the Word of God otherwise we would end up in error and not doing what God wants us to do.

Peter states that the candidates had to meet a certain criteria “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And this tells me that he wanted from a disciple one who had seen it with his own eyes. I believe that even although there were no Holy Spirit revelation because they were in communion with God in prayer and reading scriptures they understood the type of man that God wanted in the twelve and the qualifications that would be required for what would be a tremendously difficult task ahead.

They were about to declare to the world at the biggest Jewish festival of the year that Jesus Christ had not only been crucified but had risen from the dead and was the Son of God. They wanted that testimony to be true, accurate and from primary witnesses to the events that have happened.

V23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. V24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen V25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” V26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

They chose Matthias in the following way.

1 – In prayer
Verse 24 tells us that they first prayed, they exhorted the Lord and sought the correct foundation for this really important decision by covering it in prayer. They followed Jesus example in choosing a disciple, let’s look at that example in the Gospel of Luke:

Luke 6:12 (ESV) In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

It is fundamentally simple and easy and when we look at this we agree that that is how we should begin, however in practice how many of us start that way? This is an application question as opposed to a condemnation question. I am looking to help you correct deficiencies rather than make you feel bad.

2 – They cast lots!
So they threw dice to determine the winner! Is that an acceptable way to choose the disciple number 12? I would say that it was and here is why. First of all there is a biblical precedent for doing so in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV) The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

And here is why, the disciples were relying on the LORD to show them who of the two candidates the one to be chosen was. They did not rely on many of the methods that we use today such as emotional attachment, likability, being a team player, syncing up with the current leadership, popularity or any of the flawed methods that we use today.

3 – The lot fell on Matthias
God wanted the vacancy filled and although Paul was later named as an apostle, God was keen that when the truth was told about Jesus and the church was to begin that there was a full complement of apostles. Jesus picked 12, some say the number of completion but one came up short and betrayed him and another had to take his office.

We could be contentious all day about the use of lots or whether the disciples should have waited for the Apostle Paul or whether the criteria they used was acceptable. What I do know is that these apostles were in prayer, they had devoted themselves to the scriptures and were genuinely seeking the will of God and had prepared their hearts for Gods outpouring, they did what Jesus did in a similar situation and were in obedience to the father in a way that they never were prior to the crucifixion. Because of this God was planning something amazing and he would use them as the tools to make that happen, if the LORD wills then please join us as we look at the first four verses of Acts 2 in the next article we look at the book of the Acts of the Apostles.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

He will render to each one according to his works – Romans 2:6-11

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He will render to each one according to his works – Romans 2:6-11 – 11/29/2015

Romans 2:6 (ESV) He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

This is a series in the book of Romans, for the home page in our study and to see other studies then please click here or our main epistle page is here. My aim is to go through the Book of Romans as the LORD wills.

V6 He will render to each one according to his works:

Paul continues his letter with this statement and I don’t know about you, but I instantly have a flashback of all the wrongdoing I have done in my life. This phrase should strike fear in the hearts of the saved and the unsaved alike as well as the one who thinks he is moral as well as the one he thinks as immoral. I am grateful that this is not the end of Paul’s thought because if it was then mankind would be in a sorry state and there would be none of us who would be saved from perishing.

Thankfully that is the God I serve, he is a just God and will punish you for the sin that you have done! Regrettably the worlds philosophy about God is a poly-theistic, multi approach way to heaven philosophy that regardless of what you do, if your good outweighs your bad then you will be assured that God will take it easy on you, but if you have committed a major sin such as murder or divorce then there is nothing you can do to work your way towards salvation. That idea is preposterous and contrary to the saving message of the Bible.
 
If this was the case then what was the point of the cross? Why then did Jesus have to die for our sins in such a graphic, brutal fashion if it was not to save us from eternal damnation? Is the book of Revelation just a sham and there is no “great judgment?” The answer of course to this is that God is truth and the bible lines up and gives the answers to these questions. The answer is found in the scripture John 14:6 and John 3:16-17. Paul continues his thought in the next verse by writing…

V7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

 

Here is where Paul states what happens to those who sin and there will be two camps of people, much like the decision that Adam and Eve had to make in Genesis 3, you can either heed the word of God or not and the two camps will be those who believe and seek Gods will and those who go against him.

Paul describes the first camp as those who have the following attributes…

•       Patience
•       Well doing
•       Seeking for glory, honor and immortality
•       Rewarded with eternal life

God richly rewards those who work according to his will, Paul confirms this in the book of Romans chapter 8…

Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Does that mean that if you become a Christian then everything will be rosy in the garden and that you will have no issues and your life will be free and easy? Not quite no, the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous and the temporary things that would stress you out on a day to day basis will be the case for a Christian and non-Christian alike.

If you are bad with money before you accepted Christ then you will still be bad with money, if you struggled with alcohol or drugs before becoming a Christian then it would be better if you stayed away from them after you accept Christ into your life. You won’t suddenly be cured of the decisions that make you who you are and this is what Paul is also saying.

The human nature is that it will be self-seeking, looking for glory, looking for honor and looking for immortality, even when the motives begin with the purest of intentions such as serving the Lord, we may have personal ambition that would creep in and distort what we are doing. We can only be gifted eternal life and that is through a relationship with Jesus Christ, it is not purely by works, good or bad that will seal our eternal fate. We would not naturally follow Gods will as we are sinful creatures otherwise we would have no need for a Savior.

V8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

And that is the truth in the matter, if the people who go against God, do not seek his will and die in their sins, completely unrepentant and far from God, then they will be judged. God is a righteous judge who hates sin and wants to see you redeemed into communion with him, however if you fail to take the free gift of Salvation then you are really condemning yourself. Paul tells us in Romans chapter 3 how many can meet God’s standard for a perfect life on their own…

Romans 3:22 (ESV) the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

And that is the crux of what Paul is saying here to the most self-centered, self-serving culture that man has ever known. Culturally and you have to remember the Roman culture had many gods, so the idea of a God who would care enough to send the son of that god as a sacrifice that they could be redeemed to that god without them having to work themselves to the satisfaction of that deity, that was mind-blowing and completely against the grain of that culture. I think we could do with remembering that today in our polytheistic self-serving culture.

V9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,

Paul states that regardless of your background, regardless of your family, your culture or your ethnicity, no-one will be spared from the wrath of God if he chooses to set himself against God. Paul states that the Jew first, the will be first in line for the inheritance of God (Romans 2:10) but also they will be first in line for the judgment of God if they are not truly God’s children.

V10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

On the flip side, God will honor those who are truly his children, the Jew first and then also the Greek (or gentle or nations) those who truly accept the free gift of Salvation through the Messiah who came to save the Jews first and then the rest of the world (John 3:16-17) they will receive that reward, glory honor and peace and that is an eternal offer. They will be spared from the wrath that is spoken of in verse 9. 

V11 For God shows no partiality.

There is no favor in the sight of God, you cannot earn, buy or get into heaven by which family you were born into or what your lineage was. God knows our hearts, knows our talents and will use us to his desire. If you truly are a Christian then you are already adopted into the family of God and will be with him in heaven, if you are unsure then I would urge you to be sure of your salvation as today is the day as we read in the following scripture…

2nd Corinthians 6:1 (ESV) Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

And that is as true today as it was the Paul wrote these words some two thousand years ago, James tells us about the futility of deferring tasks until tomorrow…

James 4:13 (ESV) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

We also read in the book of Proverbs written by the King whom God bestowed immense wisdom, King Solomon… 

Proverbs 27:1 (ESV) Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

And that is the truth, I have heard countless tales over the years of those who have wanted to wait until the 11th hour to accept God into their lives and they die at 10:55. We truly have no idea how long we have on this earth and my desire in writing this article is that if I help just one more soul into heaven then this has all been worthwhile.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 23rd 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July twenty third.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Isaiah 32-34.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 9th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July ninth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 30-31.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 8th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July eighth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 27-29.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 7th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July seventh.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 24-26.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 6th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July sixth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 21-23.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 5th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July fifth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 18-20.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 4th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July fourth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 15-17.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – July 3rd 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for July check out our July page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for July third.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

Proverbs 12-14.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE