When reading through the seventeenth chapter of Jeremiah you can feel like you’ve unknowingly started to read the opening chapter of the psalter. There we also read of the blessed man whose leaf will be green because it does not wither. God apparently did not relegate that imagery to one book of the Bible; rather, He developed it further, as we see here in Jeremiah. by contrasting the blessed man with the cursed man.
Tag: salvation (Page 1 of 4)
‘At least it can’t get any worse’ is an expression usually stated by some fictional character who is on the precipice of finding out that he or she was mistaken – it can indeed get worse. And if you thought chapter seven described how Judah’s obscene religion brought them to the bottom of the barrel of judicially-imposed indignity, well, the opening verses of Jeremiah chapter eight correct that assessment by depicting greater indignity still.
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Rom. 4:2-3)
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Jas 2:21)
If someone isolates these verses outside of their context they could understandably say, ‘It looks like the Bible is saying in one place that Abraham was not justified by works and in another place that Abraham was justified by works.’ As is the case with many of these alleged discrepancies the issue concerns isolating Bible verses and setting them against each other as opposed to realizing that sentences fit within paragraphs, paragraphs fit within chapters, chapters fit within books, and when contexts are examined verses like the ones above are seen to be complementary not contradictory.
49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” (Lk. 9:49,50)
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Lk. 11:23)
Shortly after the familiar apostolic debate – ‘which one of us is the greatest?’ (Lk. 9:46) – and shortly after Jesus perceived the thoughts of His disciples and gave them an illustration, along with some instruction, about true greatness (vs.47-48), John, for whatever reason, called Jesus’ attention to something He and the others had seen at some earlier time; namely, a man who wasn’t among them but was casting out demons in Jesus’ name (vs.49). A quick glance at the verse reminds us that this guy was being used in this way. This was not a case like in the book of Acts where the seven sons of Sceva tried to cast out a demon in the name of “Jesus whom Paul preaches” and it didn’t work (Acts 19:13b). Here, the guy was actually casting out demons in Jesus’ name. So all we know about this man, which is very little, suggests that he believed in Jesus and was being used by God to advance the kingdom of God.
From an outside perspective it might have seemed as though Satan was going to be successful in his attempt to frustrate God’s plan to have the seed of the woman crush his seed (Gen. 3:15). However one splices the relationship between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” of Genesis 6:2, it clearly was not a good thing and it did not produce worshippers (see also 2 Pet. 2:4-5; Jd. 6); brutal men (i.e. the nephilim) were the “men of renown” (cf. vs.4); every thought of men’s hearts were continually wicked (vs.5); and so, not surprisingly, the earth was corrupt and filled with violence (vs.11). It was indeed a world made well-rotten by sin and Satan.