Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

God has given evidence of Himself to all people that He exists and is good to all!

Confused Greek WordsCorrectly learning the basic vocabulary words used in the Greek NT is a vital part of learning NT Greek. I developed a list of 91 commonly confused Greek words many years ago when I was a graduate assistant teaching Elementary Greek classes. Studying this list and learning their different meanings should help you in mastering these commonly confused words.

Luke wrote his Gospel to Theophilus for a very specific purpose:

Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

In Acts 1, Luke informs Theophilus what his Gospel comprised:

Act 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

By correlating these two statements, we learn that the Gospel of Luke was written to give Theophilus certainty about what he had been instructed about all that Jesus began both to do and to teach.

Applying this understanding to what we find in the Gospel of Luke reveals a striking truth when we examine it for information about what Jesus began to do and teach—Luke 2:41-52 is the first information about what Jesus did and taught! Based on this fact, we understand that the narrative of what Jesus did and said when He was a twelve-year old boy in the temple is foundational for our having the certainty that God wants us to have about all of Jesus’ acts and sayings about which we have been taught!

 

 

 

 

The nation of Israel is the only nation in the history of the world that God Himself took out from another nation and consecrated to Himself (2 Sam. 7:23; 1 Chron. 17:21). To the Israelites, God gave detailed directives in His Law about every important facet of their lives (Deut. 4:7-8).

At the heart of Israel’s calling as a nation set apart to God was their calling to be distinctively excellent for His sake:

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Among the nation that was called to be such a distinctive nation, God set apart the priesthood that He Himself ordained for ministering to Him (Exod. 28:1; 30:30; Jer. 33:22) in a special way even among all His people. Of all the people of Israel, the priests were called to have the closest access to God that He permitted to any of His people (Heb. 9:6).

By divine ordinance, all the priests in Israel were males. For these chief servants of His, God gave explicit directives concerning their marriages:

Lev 21:7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.

Among the priests, the high priest was the sole person in the entire nation who was ever allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and he could do so only once a year (Heb. 9:7). The high priest was called of God to be the person in Israel who enjoyed unique access to the presence of God.

Concerning whom the high priest was to marry, God gave even more definitive instruction than He did for the other priests:

Lev 21:13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.

 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.

 15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him.

This revelation shows that God explicitly defined what marriage would be for all His priests in His chosen nation that was to be a testimony for Him to the entire world. In connection with Genesis 1-2 and Genesis 6-9, Leviticus 21:7 and Leviticus 21:13-15 make clear that God’s mind concerning marriage for His people throughout their history was that marriage would be exactly the same as it was when He originated marriage beginning with Adam and Eve.

As Israel was called to be of old, believers today are called to be distinctive for the sake of His name:

1 Pet. 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Concerning His ministers among His people today, God has plainly stated that their marriages are to be the same (1 Tim. 3:2, 12) as they were for His priests of old. Moreover, these ministers are the examples for all the rest of His saints (1 Tim. 4:12).

The plain revelation concerning what God has ordained concerning biblical marriage for His priests and ministers confirms for His servants today that His will for their marriages is the same today as it always has been.

El libro de los Salmos es la única colección de canciones inspirada por Dios. Por lo tanto, este libro tiene autoridad divina que debemos obedecer entendiendo lo que Dios quiere para nuestra música. Si queremos ser discípulos en cada área de nuestras vidas, debemos prestar especial atención a los mandamientos que Dios da a su pueblo con relación a la música. Al respecto, el Salmo 33 es un pasaje muy importante para entender los pensamientos de Dios en relación a la música, ya que éste registra varios mandamientos y explica sus fundamentos.

El Salmo 33:1-5 presenta cinco mandamientos de Dios en relación a nuestra música. Los justos se deben regocijar en el Señor porque la alabanza es apropiada para los rectos (33:1). Aquellos que cumplan todas sus obligaciones para con Dios y con el hombre deben deleitarse continuamente en Dios, especialmente en su música, porque Él se merece tal alabanza por lo que ha hecho por ellos (cf. 33:18-22), y porque tal actividad le conviene al recto delante de Él.

Los justos también deben alabarle y cantarle con múltiples instrumentos de cuerda (33:2). Ambos mandamientos dejan claro que Dios quiere que usemos instrumentos de cuerda cuando le adoramos (o en nuestra adoración a Él).

Por otra parte, hemos de cantar para él una “nueva canción” (33:3a), que es un mandato de frescura de la calidad de la música que se canta a Él: “La alabanza debe ser espontánea y fresca; nuevas misericordias exigen nuevas canciones” (BKC: OT, 819). Estos mandamientos y declaraciones acerca de estas canciones ser repiten (Sal 40: 3; 96: 1.; 98: 1; 144: 9; 149: 1; Isa 42:10; Ap. 5: 9; 14: 3) y muestran que se trata de un elemento vital de la música piadosa.

Estos cuatro mandamientos enseñan que Dios demanda una adoración alegre con música de calidad que consiste en el canto de palabras acompañadas de instrumentos de cuerda. Repetidas referencias al Señor ( “en el Señor” [33:1a]; “Jehová” [33:2a]; “a Él” [33:2b; 3a]) hacen hincapié en que Él ha de ser el objeto de tal adoración.

Por último, hay que tocar bien y con jubilo (33:3b). Este mandamiento transmite el mandato de Dios, que los creyentes toquen hábilmente los instrumentos de cuerda, lo que exige una preparación diligente para tal adoración a Dios. También ordena tocarlos con energía para que los instrumentos produzcan “un fuerte ruido.” Para satisfacer esta demanda, debemos adorar a Dios con todas nuestras fuerzas (cf. 2 Samuel 6:14; Ecl 9:10) y hacer lo mejor que podamos al tocar habilmente.

Este mandamiento es ampliado considerablemente en el pasaje; los dos siguientes versos sirven de explicación de la base para el mandamiento (33:4-5). Cuatro declaraciones constituyen la base del mandato de adorar a Dios con habilidad con música instrumental:

  • La palabra de Jehová es justa
  • Todas sus obras son verdaderas
  • Él ama la justicia y el juicio
  • La tierra está llena de la bondad del Señor

Estas declaraciones ponen de relieve las perfecciones de su palabra y sus obras. También exponen su excelente carácter, especialmente en como se manifiesta abundantemente en la tierra.

Por otra parte, esta enseñanza (33:4-5) puede ser la base no sólo de este mandamiento, sino también para todos los mandamientos anteriores. De cualquier manera, la gran elaboración de la base de su dirección autoritativa sobre nuestra música muestra que debemos destacarnos en nuestra música porque Él exige que sea acorde con la excelencia de su palabra, su obra y su persona!

Sobre la base de esta enseñanza, los creyentes deben estar continuamente involucrados en actividades para ser diestros en tocar instrumentos de cuerda para la gloria de Dios. Al renovar nuestra mente con estas verdades, nuestras casas, iglesias y escuelas deben proporcionar oportunidades adecuadas para el discipulado continuo de los músicos cristianos de primera calidad de la mano de quienes ya son músicos cristianos habilidosos y consagrados.

(Trasladado con la ayuda de Reinaldo Useche y Google Translate.)

En íngles

King Hezekiah prayed to God, “I pray thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight” (2 Kings 20:3).

Of King Josiah, the Bible says, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2).

Of an unsaved Roman centurion, Cornelius, the Bible says that he was “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). His servants testified about him, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews” (Acts 10:22).

Anybody who says that we cannot really expect to find godly political leaders, whether they are believers or not, because we are all sinners needs to read his Bible and stop lowering the bar. We can and should look for godly political leaders.

Verb Conjugation ComparisonsA key to learning NT Greek well is to carefully compare the various verb conjugations for the different tenses. This Verb Conjugation Comparisons chart shows how closely related the imperfect, 1st aorist, and 2nd aorist forms are in the active and middle voices.

Greek Prep Pie ChartIf you’ve ever studied elementary NT Greek, you probably found it at least somewhat challenging to learn and memorize what the basic Greek prepositions mean when they take their objects in different cases. My new Basic Greek Prepositions Pie Chart helps make that task easier by pictorially separating the prepositions according to their meanings with the three different cases, accusative, genitive, and dative, in which they take their objects!

Three biblical accounts point to the correct answer to the important question of whether Christians should seek to influence secular governmental official to do right and to make righteous policies.

First, Haman, a wicked high official in a secular government, plotted to kill all the Jews in the empire by influencing king Ahasuerus to write into law provisions that would authorize exterminating the Jews. Under the evil influence of Haman, the king enacted a law authorizing the killing of all Jews and the plundering of their possessions (Esther 4:13-14).

Mordecai and Esther, righteous Jews, sought to influence the king to change the law that he had put into place because it was an unrighteous edict (Esther 8:3). They did not merely submit themselves to that law and allow themselves and all the other Jews to be martyred because Haman and Ahasuerus were high-level governmental leaders over them in the providence of God.

Through their actions, Esther and Mordecai were able to influence the king to authorize additional laws that turned the tables on those who sought to kill the Jews and the Jews experienced a great deliverance (Esther 8-10).

Second, King Nebuchadnezzar was the supreme authority over the greatest empire in human history. In God’s providence, Daniel was a top official in that secular government. Daniel sought to have the king change his evil actions and policies that were oppressing the poor (Daniel 4:27). Daniel advised the king that his doing so would put him in a position to receive mercy from God, should God see fit to grant it. Just because Nebuchadnezzar was a secular ruler over a secular empire did not mean that it was right for him to go against God’s laws concerning oppressing the poor.

Third, Herod was an evil king who was put into his position by the Roman government. Even though Herod was in authority by the actions of a secular government, John the Baptist confronted him about his flouting the laws of God concerning marriage. John rebuked Herod by charging him that it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife (Matt. 14:4). Just because Herod was in power in a secular government did not mean that he was free to violate God’s laws concerning marriage.

These biblical accounts show that it is right for God’s people to challenge secular authorities about the laws that they enact and about their practices when those laws and practices are unrighteous according to God’s standards.

While tutoring Greek today, I came up with an idea for a pictorial help for learning common third-declension Greek nouns that I think could help students master these nouns better and faster. I simply put all the nouns of each gender within a separate circle and ordered them within the circles by other similarities.

Third Declension Nouns

By coding the circles with colors according to gender in the PDF of this chart, you should be able to remember better the genders of the nouns. Learning the genders of these nouns is a key to mastering them so I hope that many people will profit from this simple idea!