Conversations about specific texts, filled with arcs, brackets, phrases, word studies, etc.
Greek connectors help us follow the author’s intended flow of thought. Thus, they can be immensely helpful when arcing a passage. However, the four groups of propositions in John 12:24-26 lack a connector to relate the groups to one another.
How should we relate:
v.24 to v.25?
v.25 to v.26a-c?
v.26a-c to v.26d-e?
How do our decisions here affect how we understand the passage?
In my previous three posts on church discipline, we’ve seen that Jesus Christ himself has given the local church the authority to remove unrepentantly sinning members out of the church (Matt 18:15-20); that spiritual believers are to restore transgressing believers because burden-bearing is commanded by Christ (Gal 6:1-5); and that believers who sin publicly and seriously must be excommunicated so that they might be saved, because sin corrupts and believers are God’s people, and because it is the church’s job to judge its members (1 Cor 5).
This passage describes the church’s responsibility to forgive those who have sinned and been excommunicated, and to restore them.
The fact is that all of us need forgiveness; sometimes we need to give it to others, and other times we need to be forgiven. And in both giving and receiving forgiveness, you are involved in a life-or-death matter. Forgiveness is serious; it is not a game; it is not a take-it-or-leave-it part of the Christian life.
Here’s what Paul tells the Corinthian church in this passage: “Because this man hurt you more than me and you punished him enough, and because I’m testing your obedience and have already forgiven this man for your sake, reaffirm your love for him so that he won’t be overwhelmed by regret and pain.”
I created a new label, GX2, for the relationship between the three pieces of this passage (verses 5, 6-8, and 9-11). Paul gives two grounds for his command, his Inference, in verses 6-8. The first is in 5, and the second is in two pieces in 9 and 10-11.
(Please let me know what you think of this label, and if you’ve seen something similar in studying Scripture.)
Both grounds are different. The first has to do with the facts of the sin that led to the church discipline and the sinner’s repentance (5-6), and the second with Paul’s reaction to the sin and repentance (9-11).
At the heart of the passage is the Inference (7-8) drawn from both bookended grounds.
So let’s briefly summarize each section, starting with the bookends, and concluding with the Inference, and then apply this text to our lives—which is the reason we’re studying it, right?
Verses 5-6: SUMMARY: Church discipline is meant to bring the sinner to repentance, and should end when this is done.
This sinning believer had repented of his sin and ceased from it (with godly sorrow, which Paul describes in 7:9-11), and so his punishment should cease as well.
Verses 9-11: SUMMARY: Believers must forgive those who sin against them so they won’t be fooled by Satan.
Also, Paul himself, the one sinned against (it seems), had forgiven this man for the sake of the church, serving as a godly example to them. He did this so that they would not be duped by Satan into an unforgiving spirit.
Verses 7-8: SUMMARY: Therefore, believers should forgive, comfort, and reaffirm their love for those who have repented of their sin against them, lest the sinner be destroyed.
Finally, the Inference from 5-6 and 9-11 is that the Corinthians should also forgive this man, which would result in his position in Christ being affirmed, and his being welcomed back into the church with open arms. They should not only obey him in disciplining him from the church, but also in welcoming him back when the discipline had produced the desired effect!
We learn from this that church discipline is not punitive, but corrective; it is not an end, but a means to an end: moving a professing believer to repent of public, serious sin, and thus demonstrating the reality of his profession of faith.
There are two ditches we can fall into with church discipline, then: one of lazy permissiveness, allowing serious sin to go unpunished and unjudged in the church, and the other of harsh perfectionism, refusing to allow a repentant believer back into the fold of the church.
We must not be more lenient than God is with sin, or think that we can be more holy than God. After all, Jesus didn’t come to save righteous people but sinners (Luke 5:31-32).
Asking and answering doctrinal questions with specific passages, carefully studied.
However, it does seem that abstaining from blood hasn’t actually changed in the NT.
Hi, Reese. Your reply to Mildred’s question reminded me that I arced Acts 15:13-21 in answer to her question, and posted it in Theological Discussions, but never actually posted anything here. Here’s my original post, including my arc. So I’ll do that now!
To summarize (and I’m interested in your interaction on my thoughts here), the four practices in Acts 15:21 (and in verse 29, which you quoted) cannot be something necessary for obedient Christians at all times simply because they are listed here, because the whole point for James is that the church not prescribe such things as necessary for salvation for non-Jews. That is important to note.
(The exception is “sexual immorality” (v. 20 and 29), since it is condemned elsewhere in the NT. But the other members of this Series are not; in fact, several other places in the NT show that Christians are free to practice them (with the possible exception of “things polluted by idols,” depending on its exact meaning here - see 1 Corinthians 10:27-30).)
There are several passages that show that Christians are not bound by any of the food restrictions in the OT. For example, Acts 10:9-16 shows that we are not bound by Jewish food laws, since all foods are now clean to us. That means that a regulation like Deut 12:23 isn’t binding for us. Also, Colossians 2:16-17 and 20-23 says that we should not let ourselves be judged by anyone regarding “food and drink” (v. 16). There are other passages in the NT as well that are clear that believers are not under the Law as a covenant—a covenant that prescribed what not to eat and so on.
So why did this church council ask Gentile believers to abstain from these things? The likely reason was to promote peace within the church; thus the motive behind it was love.
Paul wrote about this motive elsewhere, so this idea fits in the overall context of the New Testaments and food laws. For example, in Romans 15, Paul addressed a controversy within the Roman church about this, and urged seeking the good of one’s neighbors, so that they could glorify God together in unity, in spite of their difference conclusions (v. 1-6). In 1 Corinthians 8:13, Paul stated that if eating meat offered to an idol would cause his brother to sin, he would “never eat meat” in that case! He wrote in 1 Corinthians 9 that he “became as a Jew, in order to win Jews,” doing that "
for the sake of the gospel" (see verses 19-23).
So I would say that believers are not bound today by the food regulations in verse 20; however, we are bound not to do anything that would lead a brother or sister into soul-destroying sin, which would include eating food with blood in certain circumstances, determined by wisdom.
Yes brother, thank you for that advice.
My other concern would be that 3 to 5 minutes is a short time for me to Evangelize and explain the gospel to be understandable. Is it right to make it shorter? Because I think people in the mall or in the bus terminal are all in a hurry.
Are there areas in my life where I’ve stopped looking to Scripture, where I’ve stopped being reformed by the word of God? I’m still thinking through these questions. I want the Bible to be an open book, and I want to submit my life, my doctrine, and my ministry to the life-giving words of the King. It’s amazing though, how easy it is to just drift away from this life-giving doctrine in the small, daily decisions of life and ministry. We just stop asking. We just stop looking. We just stop digging. We just stop reading.
That’s very challenging, Nate. I’ve just been thinking about this in the area of parenting boys and girls (since my wife and I have a young son, and are expecting a baby girl early next year). As I’ve thought about doing that, specifically with raising a boy to become a man and a girl to become a woman, I’ve come to feel profoundly ignorant about what Scripture says about the specific roles of men and women. What characteristics should I endeavour to train in my son, specific to his masculinity? How about my daughter, specific to her femininity? What does Scripture say about their adult lives that I should be training them towards? For “the boy is the father of the man,” as the saying goes.
So I’ve decided to do some serious study on this, and I’ll be sharing some results in upcoming FB Lives. It’s just too easy to assume the axioms and thought processes of the world, instead of assuming the principles of Scripture because I’m building my life on their bedrock, and their truths become just “the hum of the gears of my mind in neutral” (to borrow an image from John Piper). But that requires digging and hard work, as you said; we are too often lazy.
How do you live out this doctrine in life and ministry? Have you seen examples of people who know who have lived out this doctrine well? Have you seen examples of people who have functionally abandoned this doctrine even if they still affirm it on paper?
So the way I’m going to try to live out this doctrine is by not just reading and studying the Scripture verse by verse and chapter by chapter, but by exploring specific topics throughout the Scripture.
There was a man in a previous church I was a member in, when I was a teenager, who lived out the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. He would talk about various topics and bring Scriptural principles to bear on them—things I hadn’t thought of before. He helped me see how important it is to live scripturally.
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What are the core courses that they are referring to?
Good question. Those are simply all the courses that we offer at any given time—so right now, that includes our seven courses: Paraphrase, Arcing, Bracketing, Phrasing, Didactics, Greek, and Hebrew.
Get guidance for using the Biblearc toolbox. (And request new features.)
No, there isn’t a way to do this in Hebrew. The reason is because Phrasing as actually a much more helpful method to use with Hebrew than Diagramming, due to the nature of Hebrew grammar.
The end result is that we don’t plan to make the option for reversing the line templates any time soon.
Are you familiar with Phrasing?
When the author is creating or editing the page, he/she has the option of turning off comments. It appears that the author of this arc has done just this.
El amor al prójimo tiene su base en nuestra purificación.
Nuestra purificación tiene como motivación el amor fraternal sincero, y como su medio la obediencia a la verdad.
No puedo hablar de amar a mi prójimo con un corazón puro, a menos que sea un beneficiario de la purificación que la verdad de Dios causa en mí.
No puedo hablar de amar a mi prójimo con un corazón puro, a menos que, por la gracia de Dios, haya en mí una disposición a quitar el pecado que me impide hacerlo.
No había en esos días un rey para el pueblo de Dios. Cuando la figura de autoridad no estuvo presente, ellos comenzaron a hacer conforme a su propio criterio, conforme a lo que ellos les agradaba.
Algo muy similar a esto es lo que ocurre en la iglesia en nuestros tiempos, no porque carezcamos de autoridad, pues tenemos la Palabra de Dios, sino porque no queremos verla. Debido a esto la tendencia es a hacer lo que nos parece bien, no lo que Dios ha dicho, a enfocarnos en qué quiere la gente, no en qué quiere Dios, en complacer a las masas, no en darles lo que Dios tiene para ellas.
IGLESIA, existimos para ser el cuerpo de Cristo, para dar a conocer las virtudes de aquel que nos llamó de las tinieblas a Su luz admirable, y para ello, Dios nos ha equipado con Su Palabra, en la cual nos revela cuál es el tipo de adoración (y por ende adoradores) que Él busca. No haciendo lo que a nosotros nos parece bien, sino aquello que Él ha expresado que Le parece bien, que Le es agradable.
@Sebastián-Winkler Muchas gracias, creo que es correcto pues en timoteo 3 se precisa mejor.
Dios te bendiga.
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