Our Own Worst Enemy?

Sure joining Bible Quiz is something like being a part of the special forces in the Lord’s army, but even we, and perhaps especially we, must guard against the more subtle attacks of the enemy.  On this journey between regeneration and glorification we are locked in a threefold battle against the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

often our worst enemy goes undetected and so unguarded against

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Of these three the Devil gets all the screen time, and the World is just the collective siren song from a world full of fallen rebel humanity encouraging us all to join in the rebellion.  But often our worst enemy goes undetected and so unguarded against.  And that enemy is what the Scripture calls the Flesh, or the Old Man.  It is that part of us that empathizes with the Devil instead of the Father, and longs to follow the crowd of the World down the broad road of destruction, and readily believes the lie of Satan that if Christ died for our sin, then we can continue to sin with impunity.  You see, spiritual warfare has to do with combating the doctrine (teachings) of demons more than the dominion (presence) of demons.  And in our in-between state of growing in righteousness we will continue to be surprised at how easily we entangle ourselves in sin.

That being said, I present these short messages as an exhortation to engage both the enemy on the outside, but more importantly the enemy within, who is without doubt our own worst enemy.

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part of us empathizes with the Devil

instead of the Father

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we readily believe the lie of Satan

that if Christ died for our sin,

then we can continue to sin with impunity

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we will continue to be surprised at

how easily we entangle ourselves in sin

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The Keys to Answering the 1 Peter 3:5-7 question.

So now that we have come face to face with a passage of Scripture that we are unsure how to apply to our lives, and we have not been shamed out of the room for questioning.  Now that we have taken the time to define our terms and become aware of our need of caution in interpreting the Bible we can go on to the guidelines we need to use as we seek to answer the question of whether 1 Peter 3:5-7 still applies to us today.  Listen carefully and study hard  to show yourselves approved workers who need not be ashamed, but who rightly handle the Word of God.

Important First Steps

Often when we are faced with a serious question we are tempted to just forget it and go on to the next distraction in our lives, or to jump on the first easy answer, or to charge forward tearing Bible verses out of context and setting them against each other.  But God would have us to love Him with all our minds, and to be patient and self-controlled in the pursuit of truth, and one of the most important things to do at the outset of an inquiry is to define our terms.  The two key terms to define in this question are “Custom” and “Principle”, in this video R.C. helps us with some clear definitions.

But we must never forget that proverb, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”  So we would be wise to head this word of caution also.

Further into the 1st Peter 3 question

What Christian doesn’t want to grow up in their faith, to become more like Jesus?  Of course as with any growth it takes time, and often includes “growing pains”.  But is there a way to grow quickly and with less pain?  Is their a short cut to our sanctification, our being conformed to Christlikeness?  While there may be no quick and easy way to become more like Jesus, there is a more focused and intentional way, and sometimes if we are intentional about our pain it makes it more bearable.

As was mentioned, once we have those places in the Bible that we find “Hard” for one reason or another, we need to go back and study them to make sure we are understanding them correctly.  To aid us in our interpretation of scripture I have this video for you to watch:

“Does 1 Peter 3:5-7 still apply to us today?”

This question came up this last Wednesday and all but derailed our practice.   At first glance some might say that is a bad thing.  However, I have believed from the beginning of this year that if any of the students began to think on, and understand the words they are memorizing they would begin to ask important questions not only about the Bible but more importantly about themselves.

As we cover this question I will be linking some short videos from teachers I have learned much from.  These first videos feature R.C. Sproul and begin the discussion at the beginning, how do we interpret the Bible.  For we cannot correctly apply what the Bible has to say to us if we do not correctly understand what it is that God is saying to us.

Again, hard questions have hard answers.  But if you really are interested in the truth, I trust you will follow through these posts to the end.

This is just the beginning of the answer, hang on through the rest of the posts to get to the final answer of whether or not 1 Peter 3:5-7 still apply to us today.

Why doesn’t my Bible have Mark 7:16 in it?

To sum up the videos about whether or not we can trust the New Testament:

There is more manuscript support for the New Testament than for any other body of ancient literature.  Over five thousand Greek, eight thousand Latin, and many more manuscripts in other languages attest to the integrity of the New Testament.  There is only one basic New Testament used by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox, by conservatives and liberals.  Minor variations in hand copying have appeared through the centuries, before mechanical printing began about A.D. 1450.
Some variations exist in spelling of Greek words, in word order, and in similar details.  These ordinarily do not show up in translation and do not affect the sense of the text in any way.
Other manuscript differences such as omission or addition of a word or clause, and two paragraphs in the Gospels, should not overshadow the overwhelming degree of agreement which exists among the ancient records.  We should rest assured that the most important differences in English translations of the New Testament of today are not due to manuscript differences, but to the way in which translators view the task of translation: How literally should the text be rendered?  How does the translator view the matter of biblical inspiration?  Does the translator adopt a paraphrase when a literal rendering would be quite clear and more to the point?

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The most important differences in English translations

of the New Testament of today are not

due to manuscript differences,

but to the way in which translators

view the task of translation

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The King James New Testament was based on the traditional text of the Greek-speaking churches, first published in 1516, and later called the Textus Receptus or Received Text.  Although based on the relatively few available manuscripts, these were representative of many more which existed at the time but only became known later.  It is now widely held that the Byzantine Text that largely supports the Textus Receptus (TR) has as much right as the Alexandrian or any other tradition to be weighed in determining the text of the New Testament.  However some readings in the TR have weak support as more ancient manuscripts have been discovered in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Since the 1880s most contemporary translations of the New Testament (NIV, NASB, ESV) have relied upon a relatively few manuscripts primarily two manuscripts called Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, because of their greater age.  The Greek obtained by using these sources and the related papyri (which are the most ancient manuscripts) is known as the Alexandrian Text.

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Since the 1880s most contemporary translations

of the New Testament (NIV, NASB, ESV) have

relied upon the Greek obtained by using

Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and the

related papyri known as the Alexandrian Text

(which are the most ancient manuscripts)

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A third viewpoint of New Testament scholarship holds that the best text is based on the consensus of the majority of existing Greek manuscripts.  This text is called the Majority Text.  Most of these manuscripts are in substantial agreement.  Even though many are late, and none is earlier than the fifth century, usually their readings are verified by papyri, ancient versions, quotations from the early church fathers, or a combination of these.  The Majority Text is similar to the TR, but it is helpful in correcting those readings of the TR which have little or no support in the Greek manuscript tradition.
A good English translation of the Bible will tell you what Greek text their translation team is using as their foundation.  Of course in a few difficult cases in manuscript tradition the translators may follow a Greek text different from the text given preference.  In this regard the FOOTNOTES that accompany your English translation are an integral part of any translation, informing the reader of textual variations and difficulties and showing how these have been resolved by the translation team.  In addition to this, the footnotes indicate significant alternative readings and occasionally provide an explanation for technical terms or for a difficult reading in the text.

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A good English translation of the Bible

will tell you what Greek text their

translation team is using as their foundation.

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Once these facts are understood, the question above is easy to answer.  The reason your English translation of the Bible doesn’t have Mark 7:16 in it is due to which Greek manuscript the translators are working from.  However, a good Bible will have footnotes that will explain these things.  And an introduction before the Biblical text will often address these issues as well.

 

To watch the videos follow the links below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

 

Can I trust the NT? part 5

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