Tag Archives: scripture of the day

“Whatever Was Written In Former Days”

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 – Scripture of the Day (February 14, 2014)

A lot of us misunderstand the Old Testament.

Some of us think it records the story of a vengeful, unmerciful, wrathful God, whereas the New Testament talks about a God of love and grace…even though the Psalms sing repeatedly of God’s everlasting love and mercy and Acts 5 informs us of him killing a husband and wife on what we would perceive to be a minor offense.

Some of us think that some of the Old Testament commandments and practices are still binding today…some of them, but not all of them, in spite of what the apostle said (Gal. 5:3).

Some of us recognize the truth that the Old Testament foretold of its replacement with a New Testament (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:7-13) which took place at the cross (Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 2:13-17)…but as a result hardly study the Old Testament and resent it when sermons are preached from it, thinking a study of Genesis through Malachi to be irrelevant.

Yet, even though the Old Law was taken out of the way at the cross, the Holy Spirit still inspired Paul both in today’s scripture passage and also in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 to declare to Christians that they need to study it.  The Old Testament (“whatever was written in former days”) was written “for OUR instruction.”  Ours.  Christians.  The Old Testament instructs us.  To see how, read the book of Proverbs alone.  In addition, take note of how God reacted when men disobeyed the laws he had for them in that covenant (e.g., Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, Adam and Eve, Saul, Moses, David).  See how patient he was with them while they sinned and how quick he was to forgive them when they repented (David comes to mind when he repented of the sin with Bathsheba.)  See these great men and women of faith shine as examples of faithful obedience (Noah building the ark, Eli’s charitable taking in of Samuel)…and yet still sin in terrible ways at times (Noah getting drunk, Eli being a terrible parent).  The Psalms teach us not only about God’s mercy and blessings, but also how to praise him and pray to him in good times and bad.  Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, has 176 verses, all of which extol the virtues and blessings that surround studying and obeying the Word of God.
All of these examples and more are found in the Old Testament, and when we read them and commit them to our hearts and minds…what happens?  We learn more about God and his will for us.  We learn how to endure through difficult times, and we are encouraged to keep on keeping on.  In short, we get hope.

You Are Not Your Own…

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Scripture of the Day (February 6, 2014 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!)

Before I begin my commentary for today’s Scripture of the Day, I want to give a shout-out to my father, Mike Mitchell, a sound gospel preacher and the best father for which anyone could ask.  Today is his birthday.  I won’t reveal how old he is, except to say that he looks younger than he is.  I love you very much, Dad.  I would not be preaching the gospel from the pulpit or trying to reach people with the Bible on this blog if you and Mom had not raised me to love God from my childhood (Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15; Deut. 6:6-9).  I would not be trying my best to be a good husband and father if you and Mom had not set that example before me throughout my life.  Thank you.  I wish I could see you face-to-face today and tell you this in person, but I guess we’ll have to settle for me informing the folks on the Internet.  I miss you, and I really wish you were with me today, but I know that you are in spirit and that your prayers, love, and support are always with me.  For that and for a lifetime of your love and strength, my gratitude knows no bounds.  Happy birthday.

Excuse me for a second, folks.  I have something in my eye… 😉

Okay, on with today’s Scripture of the Day…

Contextually, the apostle is in the midst of condemning the sin of fornication, with a prostitute or otherwise (6:13-20).  As Christians, we are members of the body of Christ, his church (Eph. 1:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:12ff).  We are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (Rom. 12:1).  While that is commonly and rightly interpreted to mean that our entire lives belong to God and his service, let us not forget that includes our physical bodies and how we use them also.  Earlier, the apostle alluded to food and how it was meant for our bodies and our bodies were meant for food (6:13a), but even then we must practice self-control with regards to what we eat and how much we eat of it so that we do not commit the sin of gluttony (Prov. 23:20-21; Phil. 3:19; Tit. 1:12-13).  But though our physical bodies are meant for food, they are not meant for fornication (v. 13b).  They are meant for the Lord, and the Lord for them (v. 13c; cf. Rom. 12:1).

So shall we take our bodies – which are meant for the Lord and not meant for fornication, which are part of the body of Christ, his church for which he died – and use them to commit fornication with a prostitute and thus become one body, one flesh, with her rather than with our spouse as God intended (6:15-16; cf. Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:8; Eph. 5:31)?  We were joined to the Lord (6:17) when we were baptized into him (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Eph. 1:22-23).  This unity with God which God desires us to have is violated when he use our bodies sinfully by fornicating, which is why God wants us to flee from this sin (vs. 17-18a).

Not only that, but we sin against our own bodies when we commit the sin of fornication (6:18b).  While talking about the act of fornication which is homosexuality, God talked about how those who committed such acts would be “receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom. 1:26-27), an allusion to the venereal diseases that come about primarily as a result of heterosexual and homosexual fornication.  By committing fornication, we sin against our own bodies by opening the door for those diseases.  Even more so, we sin against own bodies by using them in a way that is blatantly against the wishes of the Lord for whom they exist, and the Holy Spirit which dwells within them (6:19a).

It’s easy to forget that we as Christians are not our own (6:19b).  When we obeyed the gospel, we gave our lives to Christ.  More than that, he bought us with his own blood (6:20a; Acts 20:28).  He gave his life for us.  We are HIS slaves, not the slaves of sin (Rom. 6:17-18).  So let us glorify him by using our bodies the way he wants (6:20b).

All Scripture Is Breathed Out By God…

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – Scripture of the Day (February 5, 2014)

Let’s break this passage down:

“All Scripture” – that would be from Genesis to Revelation.  Even though the laws of the Old Testament were taken out of the way at the cross (Eph. 2:14-16; Col. 2:13-15), the Old Testament must still be studied for there is much God wants Christians to learn from it and be encouraged and strengthened by it (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:1-11).  And of course, the New Testament is the covenant under which we are, and contains the laws of Christ which we must obey (Heb. 8:7-13; Rom. 6:17-18; Gal. 6:2; John 14:15; Heb. 5:8-9).

“is breathed out by God” – inspired by God.  The Holy Spirit of God inspired the writers (2 Pet. 2:19-21; Eph. 3:3-5; cf. 1 Cor. 14:37).  So when you read your Bible, you’re reading God’s Word.  A message from God.  Not necessarily from Paul, Peter, James, John, etc., but ultimately from God.  And when your preacher preaches God’s Word in its entirety on a particular matter, you’re not hearing a message from him.  You’re hearing a message from God (1 Thess. 2:13).

“and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” – Want to be taught correctly?  All you need is the Bible.  Need to reprove or correct someone?  It better be because they violated Scripture, and not your opinion.  Want to be trained on how to be righteous in the sight of God?  All you need is the Bible.  No wonder God wants us to study it every single day (Ps. 1:1-3).

“that the man of God” – It’s easy to call yourself a Christian, but only followers of the Bible and the Bible alone are true men and women of God.

“may be competent”artios in the Greek, meaning perfect or complete.  Want to be cleansed from your sins so you may be found perfect in God’s sight?  Want to be truly complete as far as your Creator is concerned?  Want God to consider you competent?  Follow the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone.

“equipped for every good work” – On Judgment Day Christ will condemn many who were involved in a lot of good works in his name because in reality they did not obey his Father (Matt. 7:21-23), so that leads me to question whether those good works were in fact good works in the sight of God.  A sobering thought.  Car washes and bake sales to raise money for the church sound like a good work, but you don’t read in Scripture that the church raised money in those ways (1 Cor. 16:1-2)…so are they really good works?  Having a choir backed by a rock band sing to the congregation during worship sounds like a great thing to be involved with, but you don’t read of choirs or instrumental accompaniment in New Testament worship (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)…so is it really a good work?  Do you want to know how to do any and all works that God would consider good?  Read and follow your Bibles.