A History of Worship – Part 17


Worship Words

In our last study about the History of Worship (Exodus 21), we saw how God dealt with the issue of violence and the part it played in worship. Now we’ll see what God taught Moses and Israel about moral precepts in their service (worship) to Him.

“If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins. ‘You shall not permit a sorceress to live. ‘Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death. ‘He who sacrifices to any god, except to the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed. ‘You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. ‘You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. ‘If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down. For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious. ‘You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. ‘You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. Likewise you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me. ‘And you shall be holy men to Me: you shall not eat meat torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.” Exodus 22:16-31

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 15)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:1-4

Paul, like other Christian Apostles, makes a strong case for Christ’s eternal position as the Son of God. Paul appealed to Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. Those who claim that Paul never spoke or wrote about the Virgin Birth of Christ apparently missed this verse in Romans 1 where he declares that Jesus Christ was “born of the seed of David according to the flesh.” In his second letter to Timothy, Paul repeated his affirmation of the Virgin Birth – “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” (2 Timothy 2:8) It’s important to note that in both Romans and 2 Timothy, Paul connected Christ’s birth to His resurrection. Both of these truths are at the core of Christianity.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 11)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:1-3

God has made many promises to people through the centuries, most of them through His spokespeople (prophets). God’s promises were often in the form of future blessings. He promised blessings to Noah and his descendants – “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1) He promised blessings to Abraham and his descendants – “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

So, what does this have to do with Jesus? Everything! All spiritual blessings flow through Jesus. That’s what the prophets foretold.

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The Blessings of Christmas

Being a Christian has so many wonderful blessings attached to it. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us that we are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings began when God chose us in Christ “before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Here are some thoughts about the blessing of Christmas I wrote more than 30 years ago.

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On A Journey Of Thanksgiving

What should our response be to God’s continual provision and protection? Thanksgiving! God has called His people to be thankful in all we do and say. It’s at the heart of how we should respond to God in our lives “in everything.”

Here’s a brief journey of thanksgiving, beginning with Israel after God freed them from slavery in Egypt and continuing until the day we are all together in Heaven under the eternal care of our Heavenly Father.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 10)

SAMSUNG“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” Galatians 3:5-9

As we saw in the last part of our study in Romans, God “preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand.” Abraham knew the “gospel of God” and preached it himself. Did any other Hebrew prophet preach the Gospel before Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:2 that God promised the Gospel of Jesus Christ beforehand through His “prophets” (plural). That should mean we can look through the Old Testament and find other prophets preaching the “gospel” centuries before Jesus Christ began His preaching ministry on earth. So, can we? Can we find other Hebrew prophets preaching the “gospel?”

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 9)

SAMSUNG“… which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures …” Romans 1:2

ho proepangellomai dia ton propheton autou en graphais hagiais – “which he promised beforehand through the prophets of him in writings holy”

The word “which” is a relative pronoun that points back to the words “gospel of God” in verse 1. The “gospel of God” is what “He” promised “before.” Who is He? The context of verses 2 and 3 are clear that it is God the Father Who promised – “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This is a powerful and amazing statement. God the Father promised His “gospel” at a prior time (beforehand) “through” His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The Greek word proepangellomai  is translated “promised beforehand.” It’s in the middle voice and carries the idea of the “subject” of the promising of old through proclamation participating in the results of the action. The subject of the action had a vested interest in the outcome of the action. Think about that for a minute. Who proclaimed the Gospel beforehand? God. Who participated in the Gospel during Paul’s preaching of it? God. Thus, “the gospel of God.” It’s all of God!

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