PerryDox

Biblical truth standing on its spiritual head to get our eternal attention.
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    Perrydox.com is devoted to the pursuit of truth, whether plain or paradoxical, whether simple or sublime, or simply absurd yet absolute.

    Our Lord came down from life to suffer death; the Bread came down, to hunger; the Way came down, on the way to weariness; the Fount came down, to thirst. —Augustine, Sermon 78
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    "It is refreshing to see the truth unfold from God's word about this most important subject."
  • Isaiah 42-53 – The Servant Songs

    Posted By on February 14, 2017

    The Servant Songs of Isaiah
    In studying the Servant Songs there is a definite and surprisng move from brightness to darkness.
    The first sings of God’s pleasure in His Servant and how the Servant will not break a bruised reed (Isa.42:1-4).
    The second has the Servant singing a melancholy song of depression; while questioning His mission. This leads to God then extending the outreach (Isa.49:1-4, esp.v.4). Sadly, He himself is now the bruised reed in danger of breaking.
    The third sings about the physical abuse that comes from the Servant speaking the words of His Master; and yet He will not let the response bring humiliation (Isa.50:4-11). Unexpectedly we see how the increased outward pressure leads to inward strength and resolve.
    The final song is the one singing of finality, of the Servant’s atoning death and rewarding resurrection (Isa.52:13-53:12).
    Did you notice how the songs sing the same tune as the gospels? In fact, Jesus’ church sings even today both in music, and in living the Servant Songs. So if you are living the despondency of verse 2, know strength comes from serving through suffering which leads to blessing.

    Matthew 22:39 – How To Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

    Posted By on February 14, 2017

    Everyone knows the Second Great Command as listed by Jesus and lifted from Leviticus; but do we know how to love others as ourselves? Pragmatically, a Jewish Rabbi focused on “as yourselves”: “Just as we love ourselves despite the faults we know we have, so should we love our neighbors despite the faults we see in them” (Israel Baal Shem Tov). So whether you are married, single and loving it, or looking; know you can celebrate Valentine’s Day every day by loving others as you love yourself – forgivingly.

    Acts 17:1 – An Eugenics Program

    Posted By on February 13, 2017

    Each church needs a eugenics program. Properly defined, eugenics is, “the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis.” If you like Star Trek, think, “The Wrath of Khan.” Spiritually defined, this describes a certain group of people in the Bible, who I have to admit, I never really understood their description until now.

    In Acts 17:11, the Bereans are describes as “noble-minded.” This comes from the Greek “eugenes” which literally means noble. Translations which aim for accuracy over literalness translate this as “open-minded” which is the point of Luke. Philip’s translation has “generous-minded” which is based upon nobles having the characteristic of generosity. So why did Luke choose “eugenes” and how does this apply to the Bereans?

    Luke chooses this word as an example of that society and cause and effect. Literally it refers to someone who is of high or noble birth and therefore the effect is one who has the mindset of nobility. Remember to whom this society it was written to, which was not a republican democracy. It was ruled by nobles. They, in theory, ruled for the benefit of the society including making judgments about right and wrong. Think of in Jewish times royalty and elders sitting at the gates (Proverbs 31:8-9,23). In that sense, Freiberg defines it as “as a commendable attitude, open-minded, without prejudice.” In this sense, “Eugenes is used not only for noble birth but also for noble sentiments, character, morals” (preceptaustin.org/acts_17_commentary#nm).

    In this sense of “eugenes,” each church needs to seek for those who are looking for the truthMonday’; and to cultivate being generous of mind about others and the scriptures. As to studying, this means being open-minded and able to make proper judgments based upon God’s evidence. This is how the Bereans were noble-minded. In this sense, the church needs a eugenics program.

    Isaiah 49:4 – Did Jesus Ever Get Depressed?

    Posted By on February 11, 2017

    Did Jesus ever get depressed, despondent, or at least disappointed in His impact on others? Last night we had an enlightening and hopefully uplifting – because misery loves company – time with the 2nd Servant Song (Isaiah 49:1ff). We recalled the many NT passages which gave reality to the first two lines of v.4 which have the servant (Jesus) sharing his woes: But I myself said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and futility.” I’ve been there, how about you?
    The good news is God speaks to His Servant promising a greater victory than the apparent failure. I’ll be there too, one day; how about you?

    Acts 2 – The New Exodus

    Posted By on February 11, 2017

    Jewish tradition states the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 took place on the same calendar day as God came down on Sinai to deliver the Law to Israel. Historically then in order: 1) the Israelites “plundered” the Egyptians; 2) The Israelites crossed the Red Sea; 3) The Israelites received the Law.
    When we come to Pentecost the order is reversed: 3) The Jews heard the Gospel message; 2) Those who received the message were baptized (Paul compares baptism to crossing – 1 Cor.10:1ff); 1) The Christians share all their belongings together. The Day of Pentecost is the New Exodus.

     

    Mark 1; 8,9

    Posted By on February 3, 2017

    In Mark 1, immediately after His Father confesses Jesus, we see Him at His most human. Jesus is in the wilderness, hungry, surrounded by wild animals. When Jesus leaves the wilderness, He casts out a demon.

    Later in Mark 8-9, immediately after Peter confesses Jesus, we see Him at His most divine. Jesus is on the mountain, transfigured, surrounded by 3 apostles. When Jesus leaves the mountain, He casts out a demon.

    There is of course the Father’s confession again which is one clue that Mark leaves for us that these story-lines are connected. But there is so much more connecting the narratives: confession, geography, one-sided views of Jesus’ identity, “witnesses”, and demons. One at the beginning of the first part; the other at the beginning of the second part. There is a beautiful symmetry. Mark’s message is, “Pay attention, the second part of my gospel is beginning.”

    Isaiah 42:6; 49:8 – Jesus Is Our Covenant

    Posted By on February 3, 2017

    How much better is the New Covenant than the Old? Excluding all the “betters” of Hebrews, the Servant Songs of Isaiah say Yahweh will appoint Jesus to be a covenant for the people (42:6; 49:8). Just think about that. We don’t have a covenant with God. Jesus is God’s covenant with us, and our covenant with God!

    The base meaning of the Hebrew translated covenant is “to cut.” Jesus was cut for our sins; and in initiating the Lord’s Supper He said about the fruit of the vine, “this is my blood of the covenant” (Matthew 26:28).

    2 Timothy 3:14-17 – Keep On Studying

    Posted By on February 3, 2017

    Here’s a good exercise to keep you studying: 1) Get a piece of paper and pen; 2) Write down all the things that are wrong that you believe; 3) After you figure out it is impossible to know what you don’t know, you now have a reminder to keep learning.

    2 Timothy 3:14-17 (HCSB) (14) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, (15) and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (16) All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, (17) so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

    Luke 23:40-41 – The Faith of the Thief

    Posted By on February 3, 2017

    “What about the thief on the cross? He had no outward manifestation of his faith.” This statement was made to me when doing evangelism at our Coffeehouse Evangelism by someone who believed baptism was not necessary. So we revisited the thief on the cross.
    That believer said, “Don’t you even fear God, since we are undergoing the same punishment?” (Luke 23:40). Who is undergoing the same punishment according to the thief? “God”.Who is he suffering with on the cross? Jesus. This thief confesses Jesus to be divine. Then the confessor says, “We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did. But this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). Now this man confesses his sin showing repentance. He also confesses Jesus to be a man showing his belief in the incarnation, however elementary.
    While obviously he was not baptized while hanging on the cross, and that can be further investigated, the argument that there was not outward manifestation of his faith is shown to be wrong by looking at the evidence. Faith is not just in the head. Faith is lived, even if as with thief, with his last breaths.

    The New Exodus – Acts 2

    Posted By on February 3, 2017

    Jewish tradition states the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 took place on the same calendar day as God came down on Sinai to deliver the Law to Israel. Historically then in order: 1) the Israelites “plundered” the Egyptians; 2) The Israelites crossed the Red Sea; 3) The Israelites received the Law.
    When we come to Pentecost the order is reversed: 3) The Jews heard the Gospel message; 2) Those who received the message were baptized (Paul compares baptism to crossing – 1 Cor.10:1ff); 1) The Christians share all their belongings together. The Day of Pentecost is the New Exodus.