Posted by: Brad Beaman | April 3, 2016

The Righteous Branch

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The Righteous Branch    Jeremiah 23:5-6

What do you think of when you see a tree stump? Well, for one thing you probably think that tree has seen better days. The glory days for that tree that is now just a stump lie in the past not the future. You would probably not look at that stump and think that great and wonderful days of fruitful seed bearing lie ahead. After all the tree is dead and gone and all that remains now is a stump.

The Old Testament prophets used the imagery of a stump as a prophetic promise. Isaiah spoke of the coming messiah with imagery of a stump in Isaiah 11: 1.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

A similar imagery of the righteous branch with the same basic message of the coming messiah is found here in Jeremiah 23:5-6

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’

Jeremiah is the prophetic voice of the Lord in 600 BC calling the Lords people to righteousness. Judah the Southern kingdom is in a disastrous mess politically and spiritually. Their leaders have failed them. Jeremiah was the prophet during the last five kings of Judah that came in quick succession: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. There was a revival during the reign of Josiah but that was short-lived.

The last and final king of Judah was Zedekiah. Ironically Zedekiah’s name meant ‘The LORD is my Righteousness.’ He ruled unjustly and was unrighteous and did not live up to his name. Jeremiah 23:1-4 speaks of these leaders like shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep.

Jeremiah prophesied that unrighteous Babylon would defeat Judah the Southern Kingdom and it would be the conquest of the Lord’s people. It was the unthinkable for Judah that God would use pagan Babylon to punish them for their disobedience.

When the Babylonians seized and eventually conquered Jerusalem they exiled King Zedekiah and killed his descendents. The royal line was cut down. It really was like a magnificent tree with nothing left but a stump.

But the message of hope is there because from the stump that is cut off a righteous branch will come. The days are coming,” declares the Lord,  “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely  and do what is just and right in the land.

There was a violent overthrow of Judah and the fall of Zedekiah. It was the end of the line for the Kings of Israel. The royal lineage has been cut down like a tree with only a stump remaining. But a prophecy for what seems only like a dead stump. A shoot will grow from the stump said Isaiah. A righteous branch will be raised up Jeremiah proclaims. Jeremiah speaks the word of the Lord. It is the hope of the Lord’s people, a messiah will come. A righteous ruler. A shepherd that does not scatter the sheep but instead tends them.

This is the name of the coming one, “LORD Our Righteousness”, in Hebrew ‘Jehovah-tsidkenu.’ The coming messiah King from the line of David will be everything their leaders had not. The messiah will be called our righteousness. The meaning is a ‘Right standing” with God.

It took 600 years but the branch came. In the fullness of time a baby was born and a shoot sprang out of what appears to be a dead stump. The righteous branch is Jesus. He is our righteousness. He is the Christ the righteous king foretold by Jeremiah. Through faith in Jesus Christ you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30) Jesus is the righteous one. Our righteousness is in Him. ‘The LORD our Righteousness!’

A lot of what Jeremiah foretold comes clear from Romans 3. Read Romans 3:21-26 with the context of Jeremiah’s prophesy of the Righteous Branch who will be called our righteousness.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)

All have sinned. No one is righteous. We are all a spiritual dead stump. Our standing before God is only possible in The Lord our righteousness. The death burial and resurrection of Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah.

For 600 years that kingly line was cut and there was only a stump. The Israelites returned from captivity and rebuilt their temple, but it remained a stump until Jesus the Christ came and died on the cross.

The good news of exceeding great joy for all the people is Jesus Christ is Lord our Righteousness and he came to save sinners. While we were still sinners Christ dies for us righteous for the unrighteousness. Jesus takes our punishment and becomes the LORD Our Righteousness, (‘Jehovah-tsidkenu). Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)

This prophecy is for Israel and Judah. The messiah a king from the line of David will come and reign wisely and do what is just and right. This is fulfilled in Jesus Christ who came not to establish an earthly kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom. But it is also importantly a prophecy for every sinner who needs a savior. And from Romans 3:23 we read that is everybody. No one is righteous, no not one. We all need the Lord our Righteousness. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Jesus the LORD Our Righteousness.

 

Posted by: Brad Beaman | March 30, 2016

The Word “Day” in the Creation Story

Posted by: Brad Beaman | March 14, 2016

Open Billed Storks

Open Bill Storks

I was riding my bicycle in Calcutta this morning and saw these Open Bill Storks in the Rajarhat area.

Posted by: Brad Beaman | March 7, 2016

Caleb: Follow the Lord Wholeheartedly

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Caleb was lifted up as one who had a different spirit and followed God fully. His name means “whole hearted.”

When the band of spies was sent from Israel’s wilderness encampment Caleb represents the tribe of Judah. The majority of the men bring back a bad report. Caleb with the support of Joshua advise the invasion of the Promised Land. This minority report was rejected by the people who were intimidated by the report of the other spies of fortified cities and powerful opponents.

This reaction by the people who was regarded as rebellion against God. Because of it the entire adult population with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, was excluded from entering the Promised Land.

Caleb received an inheritance around Hebron. The area was inhabited and Caleb must thwart the Anakim who were in possession of the city. Caleb’s younger brother Othniel conquered Dabir just southwest of Hebron. As a result Caleb’s brother received Acheah, Caleb’s daughter in marriage. Acheah is given a portion of land by her father, but she requests more fruitful piece of land with springs of water.

Outline of Caleb’s life

The spy mission in Cannan

  1. Caleb was chosen from the tribe of Judah (Num 1:6)
  2. Caleb and other spies complete the mission and bring back fruit (Num:13:26-33)

Outcome of the spy mission in Cannan

  1. Only Caleb and Joshua bring back a favorable report (Num. 13:26-33)
  2. The people receive the majority report and grumble against God (Num. 14:30-38)
  3. All the spies were struck with a plague except Caleb and Joshua (Num. 1430-38)
  4. Only Joshua and Caleb of the adults would enter the Promised Land (Num. 14:30-38)

Entering Cannan

  1. Only Caleb and Joshua remain from the wilderness group (Num. 26:65)
  2. The new group resisted crossing the Jordan and Caleb reminds the of what happened to their fathers (Num. 32:12)
  3. Caleb receives an inheritance of land in Cannan (Num. 34:19

Taking the land

  1. An now old Caleb states that he is still strong and ready for battle. (Josh. 14:6-14)
  2. Caleb marches out to take Hebron (Josh (15:13-14)
  3. Caleb’s relative Othniel makes a great accomplishment in battle Josh. 15:17)
  4. Othniel receives Caleb’s daughter in marriage (Josh 15:17)
  5. Caleb’s daughter asks for and receives a field with streams of water (Josh. 15:18-19)

Lessons from Caleb’s life

Caleb believed God would undertake on behalf of his children even when this went against the majority view. Caleb was not swayed by the majority view, but instead held to his convictions even when all the people accepted the majority view that to take the land of Cannon would be difficult.

Caleb served God with his whole heart. Because of his obedience Caleb was rewarded with a long life and with an inheritance of land. If we serve God with our whole heart and stand for God even when the majority does not, God will honor us with abundantly.

see also Caleb’s relative  

Scriptures involving Caleb and observations

Numbers 13:6: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of JephunnehMoses send Caleb as a representative from the tribe of Judah to explore Cannan according to the Lord’s command.

Numbers 13:26-33:  They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

The representatives explored the land as Moses commanded. They brought back fruit and made a report. The land flows with milk and honey, also the people who live there are powerful with fortified cities. Caleb advised to take possession of the land. Those who were with Caleb advised against it.

Numbers 14:6: Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.

Joshua and Caleb plead with the people not to listen to the majority report.

Numbers 14: 24: But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.Caleb had a different spirit than the majority. He reflects his name meaning wholehearted.

 

Numbers 14:30-38: Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.” 36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

The people grumbled against God because of the report from the pessimistic explorers. As a result none would enter the land to make their home except Caleb and Joshua. All those who explored the land were struck down with a plague, except Caleb and Joshua.

Numbers 26:65: For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

When a census was taken across the Jordan near Jericho only Caleb and Joshua remained from those at the Desert of Sinai.

Numbers 32:12:  not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’

The new group resisted crossing the Jordan. They were reminded of what happened to their fathers and that only Caleb and Joshua remained. There is Caleb’s wholehearted quality coming out again.

Numbers 34:19: These are the names of the men: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.

Caleb is chosen as one of the twelve men to assign the inheritance to the Israelites in the land of Canaan.

Deuteronomy 1:36: except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.”

Another account is given of God’s anger with Israel and Caleb allowed to enter the Promised Land because he wholeheartedly follows the Lord.

Joshua 14:6-14: Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’ Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’ 10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.

Caleb recounts at the age of eighty-five the experience of his exploration in Canna at age forty. He states that he was spared to enter the land because he followed God wholeheartedly. Caleb was strong for battle to take his inheritance.

Joshua 15:13-19 Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the Lord to Joshua, namely, Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron). 14 Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. 16 And Caleb said, “The one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” 17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. 18 It came about that when she came to him, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she alighted from the donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 Then she said, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

Caleb marches out to take Hebron. Caleb’s brother Othniel received Caleb’s daughter in marriage because of his accomplishments in the battle.

Joshua 21:12 But the fields and villages around the city they had given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.

Caleb is mentioned in regard to how his inheritance was situated with the Levites allotment.

Judges 1:12-20: And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 13 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.14 One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?” 15 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. 16 The descendants of Moses’ father-in-law, the Kenite, went up from the City of Palms with the people of Judah to live among the inhabitants of the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad. 17 Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their fellow Israelites and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah. 18 Judah also took Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron—each city with its territory. 19 The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron. 20 As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak.

Caleb’s daughter given to Othniel is retold in a slightly different context.

1 Samuel 25:3: His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.

Nabel was a descendant of Caleb (not a good one).

1 Samuel 30:13-14 : David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?” He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”

David inquires of an Egyptian about the raiding of the territory belonging to Caleb.

1 Chronicles 2:18-2:50 Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah (and by Jerioth). These were her sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur was the father of Uri, and Uri the father of Bezalel. 21 Later, Hezron, when he was sixty years old, married the daughter of Makir the father of Gilead. He made love to her, and she bore him Segub. 22 Segub was the father of Jair, who controlled twenty-three towns in Gilead. 23 (But Geshur and Aram captured Havvoth Jair, as well as Kenath with its surrounding settlements—sixty towns.) All these were descendants of Makir the father of Gilead. 24 After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Abijah the wife of Hezron bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa. 25 The sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron: Ram his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27 The sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin and Eker. 28 The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. 29 Abishur’s wife was named Abihail, who bore him Ahban and Molid. 30 The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim. Seled died without children. 31 The son of Appaim: Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan. Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. 32 The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother: Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without children. 33 The sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel. 34 Sheshan had no sons—only daughters. He had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. 35 Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his servant Jarha, and she bore him Attai. 36 Attai was the father of Nathan, Nathan the father of Zabad, 37 Zabad the father of Ephlal, Ephlal the father of Obed, 38 Obed the father of Jehu, Jehu the father of Azariah, 39 Azariah the father of Helez, Helez the father of Eleasah, 40 Eleasah the father of Sismai, Sismai the father of Shallum, 41 Shallum the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah the father of Elishama. The Clans of Caleb 42 The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and his son Mareshah, who was the father of Hebron. 43 The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44 Shema was the father of Raham, and Raham the father of Jorkeam. Rekem was the father of Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Beth Zur. 46 Caleb’s concubine Ephah was the mother of Haran, Moza and Gazez. Haran was the father of Gazez. 47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48 Caleb’s concubine Maakah was the mother of Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also gave birth to Shaaph the father of Madmannah and to Sheva the father of Makbenah and Gibea. Caleb’s daughter was Aksah. 50 These were the descendants of Caleb.

Caleb and his family are mentioned in the genealogy account from Adam to Abraham.

1 Chronicles 4:15 The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah and Naam. The son of Elah: Kenaz.

Caleb is mentioned as a decedent of Judah.

1 Chronicles 6:56  But the fields and villages around the city were given to Caleb son of Jephunneh.

Caleb’s inheritance was mentioned in relation to Aaron’s inheritance.

see also Caleb’s relative 

Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 28, 2016

Penang Photo Essay

To the beach first day

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And on to shopping in the evening

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Watching parasailing on the beach

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You watched the King and I, Anna’s husband was buried here and then she went to work for the King of Siam.

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Loved the Penang botanical garden

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Interesting blooms

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skyline

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fountain as sun sets

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Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 17, 2016

Aristarchus the Awsome leader

3I am in the midst of a study of those who were partners with the Apostle Paul. Aristarchus is mentioned five times by name in the Bible. With just this small glimpse we can piece together quite a bit about him. His name means “awesome leader”. This kind of meaning of names did not come lightly. Our first assumption is Aristarchus really was an awesome leader just like his name says. The little we read about him in the Bible bears this out.

Aristarchus was a Thessalonian (Acts 20:4). Now for the assumption. He was either in Thessalonica (refer to Acts 17:1-9) when the gospel took root there and a riot broke out or if that is not where he met Paul it would have been soon after on one of the nearby Greek cities like Berea, Athens or Corinth. By the time Paul was caught up in a riot in Ephesus Aristarchus was caught up in it right along with Paul.

Since Aristarchus was in Ephesus during this riot then he may have been with Paul for much or all of Paul’s two year Hall of Tyrannus School just outside the city. Maybe even as much as four years if he was with him from Paul’s visit to Thessalonica all the way to the riot in Ephesus.

After this riot Paul planned for some of his key disciples to meet him in Troas. Aristarchus attended the seven day Troas meeting (Acts 20:4). This is the meeting that at least one of the seven days went all night and the young man named Eutychus fell asleep and right out of a third story window and was restored to life.

Aristarchus must have accompanied Paul on the ship back to Jerusalem because he is with Paul when Paul sails to Rome. (Acts 27:2) Aristarchus was with the Paul again on his journey to Rome. So Aristarchus was privileged to the shipwreck and the incredible ministry at Malta.

Whether or not Aristarchus got on the ship with Paul as a prisoner he ended up a prisoner by the time he reached Rome. He was Paul’s fellow prisoner in Rome (Colossians 4:10)
Aristarchus is mentioned by Paul from his Roman prison as a fellow worker with Paul. (Philemon 1:124) He gave his greeting to the believers in Colosse which indicates he spent enough time with Paul in Ephesus to get to know the Colossians and possibly visit there.

All in all Aristarchus may have spent ten years with Paul and been right there when he raised the dead, shook off a poisonous serpent and accomplished much of his celebrated ministry. Aristarchus may have been with Paul as much as anyone was the last ten years of his life. He was very possibly there with Paul until Paul’s death in Rome. What an amazing life for a man only mentioned briefly five times in the Bible.

Here are the verses that mention Aristarchus by name.
Acts 19:29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together.

Acts 20:4-6 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven

Acts 27:1-2 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.

Colossians 4: 10-12 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Philemon 1:24-25 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 5, 2016

Outline of 1 Peter

Rejoice in Suffering for Christ

golgotha

Chapter 1   Remember you salvation in Christ

Peter encourages his readers in their persecution to fear God and love others. There are several appeals to the reader to remember your salvation.

Vs. 1-2 Peter addresses his readers and states his purpose is to encourage obedience in Christ.

Vs. 3-5 Remember and bless God who caused us to be born again and gives future hope.

Vs. 6-9 Your persecution brings glory to Christ.

Vs. 10-12 The prophets predicted the suffering of Christ.

Vs. 13-16 Be holy for God is holy.

Vs. 17 -21 Conduct yourself in fear remembering your salvation.

Vs. 22-25 Love one another remembering your salvation.

Chapter 2   Grow in your salvation.

Grow in your salvation, submit to human institutions and keep your behavior upright before men. Remember the suffering of Christ on the Cross.

Vs. 1-10 Grow in aspect of salvation. Two illustrations are used, a new born baby and building a house. Each demonstrates how a believer should grow.

Vs. 11-17 Submit to human institutions and keep your behavior upright before men. Remember your freedom in Christ, do not abuse it.

Vs. 18-20 Servants be in submission to masters.

Vs. 21-25 Remember the suffering of Christ that He bore that we might die to sin and live in righteousness.

Chapter 3 Christ suffered and died the just for the unjust.

Wives let your gentile heart in submission be observed by your husband, husbands understand your wives. Be kindhearted to all returning good for evil.

Vs. 1-6 Wives let your beauty be inward submitting to your husbands. Let your gentile heart be observed be your husband.

Vs. 7 Husbands be understanding to your wives.

Vs. 8-12 Be kind hearted to those who treat you evil.

Vs. 13-17 It is good to suffer for doing right.

Vs. 18-22 Christ suffered and died for the sake of the unjust.

Chapter 4 Be ready to suffer

Be ready to suffer as Christ himself suffered. Be string in love and serving others. Rejoice in your suffering for in it you obey the gospel.

Vs. 1-6 As Christ has suffered you too be ready to suffer. You followed your fleshly desires previously. Now the Gentiles will be surprised when you do not join them.

Vs. 7-11 Be strong in love and employ your spiritual gift in serving others.

Vs. 12-14 Do not be surprised at your suffering rather rejoice in them.

Vs 15-19 Your reaction to suffering will be accounted for at the time if judgment.

Chapter 5 Stand firm in you suffering

Elders give leadership and young people will be willing to submit. All be humble and serve others. Be alert to the devil and stand firm in you suffering.

Vs. 1-4 Elders willingly give leadership in so doing you will receive a crown.

Vs. 5 Younger men be subject to your elders.

Vs. 6-8 Humble yourselves for God opposes the proud. Give your cares to the Lord.

Vs. 8-11 Be alert the devil is seeking to devour you.

Vs. 10-14 Stand in suffering and you will know the grace of God. Good bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 10, 2016

Introduction to Romans

20150925_094902Author

The epistle asserts the apostle Paul (1:1) as the author. This assertion is not a disputed fact. For this reason the subject of authorship receives little attention in most commentaries. It is understood and well received that Paul was the author.

Date and Place of Writing

Most place the date of Romans in the mid 50’s A.D. “The cumulative evidence of those passages suggests that Romans was written sometime between A.D. 55 and 58, near the close of his third missionary journey while the apostle was in Corinth. 1 The date and place of writing are based upon chapter 16. There is difficulty in fixing a specific date because of the uncertainty of Acts 24:27, “when two years had passed,” which plays a factor in fixing a date. Corinth is the likely place a factor in fixing a date. Corinth is the likely place of writing because of the mention of Phoebe, a minister of the church at Cenchreae (the eastern port of Corinth). There are greetings from Erastus the city treasurer of Corinth.

Occasion

Although Paul was a Roman citizen he had never seen the city. He wanted and intended to see the city, but had been prevented. There was a church flourishing in Rome and Paul’s desire was to visit the church. He desired to preach the gospel to them and impart to them some spiritual gift (Rom 1:11, 15).

“He has just completed his collection for the poverty-stricken believers at Jerusalem (Rom 15:25), after having preached the gospel throughout the district from Jerusalem to Illyricum.”2 He was about to depart for Jerusalem with the collection for the poor (Rom 15:25). His plans included delivering the collection and then heading to Spain and visit the church in Rome on his way to Spain.

There is a danger of heresy in the church that Paul is addressing. The latter was written partly in combat of Judaism which at least part of the church embraced. Another danger to the church in Rome was that of unbelieving Jews. Paul is writing in response to this attack placed on the church from these hostile Jews.

The Church of Rome

The church in Rome was founded primarily of Jewish Christians. By the time of Paul’s writing he reminds the Gentile Christians that they ae but the branches and not to act arrogant to the Jewish Christians who are the root (Rom 11:18). The majority of Jews in Rome however viewed the Christian church as a distasteful sect. The church was unpopular in Rome and this became the setting for the later persecution by Nero.

It is commonly held that the church in Rome was not founded by any apostle. “It was not through Paul’s own missionary activity that the church at Rome had been established. And the only reasonable inference to be drawn from Paul’s own witness that he would not ‘build on another man’s foundation’ (Rom 15:20) is that the church had not been founded by the labours of another apostle.”3

Purpose

The traditional view for the purpose of Romans is that Paul is writing a general epistle of theological treatise without major consideration to the circumstances in Rome. In this view Paul is putting forth a theological treatise in systematic fashion. Those who question the traditional view hold that Paul wrote Romans to gain support for his upcoming missionary journey to Spain. “Gilford believes that ‘As the main purpose of the whole Epistle we can acknowledge nothing less comprehensive than the desire of the Apostle, at a momentous crisis in his own life’s work and in the history of those fundamental principles of the Gospel, which render it the one true religion for all the nations of the earth, and meet especially those deepest wants of human nature, which Judaism could not satisfy, righteousness in the sight of God, and deliverance from the power of sin and death.’ “4

Theme

Of Paul’s epistle the theme of Romans is that most similar to Galatians. In Romans Paul puts an emphasis on faith. He nullifies the teaching that salvation is attained by works, but rather bestowed by grace and received by faith. Paul emphasizes his faith theme with the example of Abraham and his acceptance to God by his faith in God. There is a message of freedom and liberty throughout this Gospel. “The very contrast between his former activity as a persecutor and his new life as a bond-slave of Jesus Christ magnified the grace of God which had been bestowed so abundantly upon him, wiping his slate clean and making him what he now was.”5 Paul puts his theme of faith in sharp contrast to the doctrine of works. There is a clear message that salvation is independent of works.

Paul’s theme in Romans is also to contrast “flesh” and “spirit” as a type of ongoing battle. “The flesh,” the human nature which is ours ‘in Adam,’ us corrupted by sin; but the sins of the flesh have much wider range in Paul’s thought than thy have tended to have in Christian moral theology.”6 Paul’s idea of flesh would include sins of the mind.

The contrasting idea of the “Spirit” is what gives the believer life in the present. The idea of Spirit is carried further that the presence of the “spirit” guarantees the resurrection life on the day to come.

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 End Notes

1 Curtis Vaughn and Bruce Corley, Romans, Lamplighter Books (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), page 14.

2 Donald Guthrie, The Pauline Epistles New Testament Introduction (Chicago: Intervarsity Press, 1961), page 24.

3 John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans: New International Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), XVII.

4 Curtis Vaughn and Bruce Corley, Romans, Lamplighter Books (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), page 15.

5 F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963), page 38.

6 Ibid., page 45.

 

Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 7, 2016

Outline of Ephesians

In Christ

I) Greeting (1:1-2)
Paul’s reference to himself is more general than in other letters. Paul is not seeking to establish his authority of his apostleship. Paul mentions both Jesus Christ and God the Father as a source of grace and peace.

II) Redemption in Christ (1:3-14)
1. Election (3-6)
Paul speaks of our election in Christ. Paul emphasizes that this choice was made “in love.” Paul also stresses the end result of our election is for us to be blameless before God.
2. Redemption (7-14)
Our redemption is through the blood of Christ according to the riches of God’s grace.

III) Paul’s First Prayer (1:15-23)
1. Thanksgiving (15-16)
Paul makes mention of his thankfulness because of his readers’ faith in the Lord.
2. Enlightenment (17-18)
Paul asks for enlightenment from God for his readers to know the hope of their calling.
3. The Power of God (19-23)
a. Power for those who believe
b. Power which raised Christ
c. Power to glorify Christ

IV) Remember your salvation (2:1-22)
1. You Were Dead (1-3)
You walked according to the world, the prince of the power of the air and your flesh. You were spiritually dead.
2. You Received new life in Christ (4-10)
You were dead, but were made alive in Christ.
3. You Were Reconciled
a. You were separate from Christ (11-12)
b. You were brought near to Christ (13)
c. Dividing walls broken down (14-17)
d. Access in one Spirit (18)
e. You are built together in one dwelling (19-22)

V) The Mystery of the Gospel (3:1-13)
1. The mystery was revealed to Paul (1-5)
2. What the mystery is (6-7)
The Gentiles are joint heirs in Christ with the Jews.
3. Do not lose heart (8-13)

VI) Paul’s Second Prayer (3:14-21)
1. Prayer for inner strength of readers (14-19)
2. To God be the glory (20-21)

VII) Christian Living (4:1-6:9)
1. Unity 4:1-16)
2. Gifts 4:7-16)
The gifts are given in order that the saints may be equipped for service.
3. Your Old and New Life (4:17-32)
a. Old life laid aside (17-22)
b. Put on the new self (23-5:2)
1. New self is the likeness of God (24)
2. New self gives the devil no opportunity (25-29)
3. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (30-32)
4. Darkness and Light (5:1-20)
a. You were formerly darkness (1-8a)
b. You are now light (8b-20)
5. The Christian Home (5:21-6:9)
a. Husbands and Wives (5:21-6:9)
1. Wives respect your husbands for he is the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church.
2. Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church.
b. Children and Parents (6:1-4)
1. Children must obey your parents which is the right thing to do.
2. Fathers you must not provoke your children to anger.
c. Slaves and Masters (6:5-9)
1. Slaves be obedient to your masters as if serving Christ.
2. Masters remember your slaves has same heavenly master as you

VIII) Spiritual Warfare (6:10-20)
1. Who is our enemy (10-11)
2. Know the schemes of the enemy (12)
3. Know your armor (13)
a. Belt of truth (14)
b. Breast plate of righteousness (14)
c. Shoes of the Gospel of peace (15)
d. Shield of faith
e. Helmet of salvation (17)
f. Sword of the Spirit
4. Prayer is the action of warfare (18-20)

IX) Closing Words (6:21-24)
1. Explanation of circumstances (21-22)
2. Blessing (23-24)

Posted by: Brad Beaman | December 5, 2015

Calcutta Rash Behari Avenue Photo Essay

My daughter and I took a walk down old Calcutta Rash Behari Avenue and this photo essay came out of walk.

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The epic Calcutta tram. India’s only operating tram.

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We loved character of all the gates and doors along Rash Behari Avenue.

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The open air market was just getting set up for the day.

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Even the shop locks look like antique classics.

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Office on the Avenue.

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It was an interesting walk and we even stopped at the Banana Leaf for idly Wada for breakfast.

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