Friday, May 31, 2013

BIBLE! | Acts, Romans and 1 Corinthians

I read this quote last night in Eugene Peterson's "The Pastor"

Are you still reading along with me?  Here's my thoughts on the three books we've read in the past two weeks...

I'm going to have to blaze through my thoughts here really fast since I'm trying to cram two weeks worth of reading into one blog post.  

Acts - The history book of the New Testament   The second half of Luke.  Written to show that the Kingdom of God is kingdom NOT looking to take over Rome.  Here we see Peter as the lead character and then transitioning to Paul.  

I like that Peter is running with his leadership role, he's not licking his wounds from denying Jesus, he got back up and is going for it.  

I like that in Acts 6 it describes the need for deacons and names Stephen as one of the deacons then it talks about Stephen doing signs and wonders and preaching the gospel.  Just because he was a deacon didn't mean he wasn't still out on the front lines.  

A huge theme that we're going to see repeatedly in the New Testament is Gentile believers.  This caused quite a stir, but the Holy Spirit was poured out on them and Peter had the "everything is clean" vision.  Acts 10.

Paul's conversion is pretty important.  

Acts 16:10 is the first use of "WE" meaning that Luke is now with them.  We have a first hand account.  

And the rest of Acts goes on to document Paul's missionary journeys and imprisonments.  

Something I do want to point out is Acts 2:42-47.  I see this verse quoted a lot about how our communities should be.  I think that we're asking the wrong question when we are thinking "How do we form community"  The early church wasn't trying to form community, their community was the outcome of people living radically for Jesus and preaching the gospel at all costs. 

I feel like I know a lot of people who LOVE Romans.  Romans is hard to just "read" through because its so deep.  I found myself often just having no clue what Paul was talking about.  I think the chapter breaks here mess me up a bit... I expect each chapter break to be an end of a thought, but it's usually not.  So I'm thinking Paul is moving on... when he might be building on something he previously said.  

Repeated words I saw, justification, righteousness  faith, circumcision.  

I think again a huge theme that Paul is dealing with is the Jew/Gentile Christian thing.  

Romans 12 switches from theology to application and gets a lot easier to understand.  

At the end of Romans 1, you're feeling pretty good about yourself .. yeah dang sinners... and then you read chapter 2 and it's like oh yeah... lets take the log out of our own eye before we take the speck out of our brothers... 

Romans is a book that I should probably go back and study and know pretty well.  Have you ever studied Romans?  

1 Corinthians 

A much more direct and seemingly "lighter" book than Romans.  A lot of application here.  Paul is writing to this church with a lot of instructions on how not to do things.  

There's still some difficult passages.  1 corinthians 12 and 14 talk about spiritual gifts.  Something I didn't grow up learning about.  

However... here's the BEST teaching on Speaking In Tongues that I've ever heard.  If you've got 90 minutes and want to hear a great teaching based right out of scripture please take a listen.  This is Steve Gregg who teaches in our School of Biblical Studies.  

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is another difficult passage that talks about women needing to remain silent.  I think this is cultural and context helps us here.  The church in Corinth was a very spiritually gifted church, coming out of pagan worship.  The practice for Pagan women was to be prostitutes, and go into ecstatic trances during worship.  I've also heard it said that women were seated on the opposite side as the men so to have them asking questions to their husbands would be a disruption.  

The centrality of the book is all about love.  


There that was pretty brief.  

Engage:  What do you think?  What did God show you through these books?  Share with us in the comments.  

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