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Work Out Your Salvation #2 (Philippians 2:12-13)

Words of Encouragement After offering grave words, warning us to continue working out our salvation with fear and trembling, Paul continues: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” For Paul to say this cannot mean that God is doing it for you. Otherwise, the warning does not make any sense if God has taken control of my life to such an extent that I have no choice in the…

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Work Out Your Salvation #1 (Philippians 2:12-13)

The first eleven verses of Philippians 2 are fairly well known. This is the section where Paul commands that disciples have the same attitude that Christ exhibited. Paul goes on to reveal how Jesus sacrificed himself even to the point of death on the cross. God raised Jesus from the dead and highly exalted him so that every knee will bow before him. Verse 12 begins with the words “therefore.” The point is that the apostle Paul is now drawing…

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The Scourge of Chronological Bibles?

I am quite surprised to read the complaining of some about the rise of chronological Bibles. For those who do not know, a chronological Bible simply puts the books of the Bible in order they were written or occurred. For example, the New Testament books are placed in order in which they were written. Typically, the Old Testament is sorted based upon when the events actually took place chronologically. Therefore, the Psalms are broken up and placed with books associated…

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NLT and 2 Corinthians 5:21

I think 2 Corinthians 5:21 has been a greatly misunderstood text. Most translations read something like this: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21; NIV) The problem immediately arises: What does it mean that Jesus was made to be sin? How can a person be made sin? Perhaps more importantly, how can the perfect Son of God be made sin? Unfortunately,…

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New Living Translation (NLT) 2007- A Pleasant Surprise

I never thought that I would say this: I really like the latest release of the New Living Translation. A few weeks ago I decided to purchase a NLT because of its growing popularity. I had tried the NLT that was first published in 1996 and was less than thrilled. I believe it is appropriate to say that the 1996 NLT was much closer to being a paraphrase than a translation. When the 2004 edition came out, I checked Acts…

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Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage (2)

Jesus not only taught on marriage in Matthew 19, but also addressed this subject earlier in his teaching that is often called the sermon on the mount. 31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32; ESV) Jesus is…

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Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage (1)

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore…

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Tongues vs. Languages (1 Corinthians 12-14)

With so many updates to translations and arrival of new translations in the past ten years, it is interesting to compare the translations for accuracy and ease of understanding. There are many in the Bible blog world who argue the need to pick one translation and use only one translation. Thus, the ESV is pitted against the TNIV or the NRSV is pitted against NASB. It is useful to know where there may be deficiencies in a translation. But to…

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God’s Marriage Law (2)

Implications of Marriage "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24; ESV) While not explicitly stated, there are a number of things that are implied by God’s marriage law. No Divorce. The leaving from one family unit and the creation of the new family unit is to be permanent. They become one flesh. They are no longer two. Marriage is not about convenience but…

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The Sinful Nature

As I have been reintroducing myself to the NLT, I noticed that that the NLT also uses the phrase "sinful nature" rather than the literal translation "flesh." This follows the NIV and TNIV which also use "sinful nature" rather than "flesh" in Romans and Galatians. The NLT, NIV, and TNIV all footnote that the Greek literally means "flesh." I understand the translators are attempting to offer clarity to those who do not understand what Paul means when he speaks of…

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