Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jesus-The Great I AM

August 23, 2014

Introduction
-“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ (Exodus 3:11-17 ESV)
-“For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46 ESV)


I AM…The Living Bread

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”(John 6:35)
- In John 6:1-4, Jesus went to the region of Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in order to gain repose after learning of the slaughter of His cousin John. (Matthew 14:10-13) However, multitudes assembled, leading to His sermon to the crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children. (Mark 6:34)
-Jesus miraculously fed the crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children, by using five loaves of bread and two fish. (John 6:5-13)
-After crossing the Sea of Galilee overnight and reaching Capernaum, the crowd followed Him the next morning. (John 6:22-24)
-The crowd desired to see a greater miracle in order to validate their previous idea that He was the prophet coming into the world in the line of Moses, but Jesus instead revealed their futile thinking and presented the Gospel to them. (John 6:26-29)
-In the time of Moses, the Lord miraculously provided them with manna from Heaven while they were in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:14-15; Psalm 78:23-24)
-Jesus declared that He is the true Bread from Heaven, being the Life-giver to mankind. (John 6:32-34)
-In John 6:35, Jesus declared Himself to be the great I AM of the Old Testament, and the only source of eternal life, being the fulfillment of the foreshadowing manna of the Old Testament. He is the giver of eternal life (John 17:3) and the source of all spiritual nourishment and strength throughout our lives. (John 7:37-38)


I AM…The Light of the World

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12)
-During the Feast of Tabernacles established by the Lord in Exodus 23:16, Jesus frequently dealt with confrontations from the Pharisees amidst the growing divided public opinion regarding Him. (John 7:10-13) The Pharisees sought to arrest Him, with the people knowing that His life was in danger, but He remained free from capture. (John 7:25-31)
-Amidst the political unrest regarding His teaching, Jesus proclaimed that He was the Lord of the Old Testament Scriptures that was the source of “living water” prophesied to come about by the appearance of the Messiah. (John 7:37-38; John 4:10-11; Zechariah 13:1)
-The Pharisees and the people were divided as to His identity, so they confronted Him with a question regarding whether or not He could truly be a prophet of God. (John 7:
-Jesus declared by responding that He is the I AM—the Light of the world, as foretold and foreshadowed in Scripture (Exodus 13:21-22; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 119:105) and verified by God the Father. (John 8:13-19)
-The Lord is the giver of light to His people (Isaiah 60:19-22; Revelation 21:23-24), for He is the only One they are to follow.


I AM…The Divine Savior

“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
-Jesus, having declared Himself to be the light of the world, repeated His message that He would eventually depart, which caused some to think He would commit suicide. (John 8:21-22)
-Jesus declared that He is not from this world (John 8:23), just as the Lord had said that He is not of this world in the Old Testament. (2 Corinthians 6:18; Psalm 89:6; Psalm 113:4-6)
-Jesus then declared that unless people believe that He is the I AM, they will die in their sins. (John 8:24-26)
-In the Old Testament, the Lord declared Himself to be the great I AM, who is the only Savior of man. (Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 45:5)
-In the New Testament, Christ is presented as the only Savior of man. (Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43)


I AM…The Door

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
-In John 9, Jesus encountered a man blind from birth. When Jesus healed this blind man, this sparked a controversy between the Pharisees, Jesus, the family of the blind man, and the blind man. The Pharisees were divided as to who Jesus was (John 9:16), the blind man’s family was afraid of who Jesus might be (John 9:22), but the blind man both saw and believed that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. (John 9:35-38)
-The Pharisees indignantly asked if they were spiritually blind, and Jesus soundly affirmed their guilt. (John 10:40-41)
-In the context of pasturing sheep, which was an ancient, integral identify of the Israelites from the very days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jesus used the analogy of the walled-in pastures that were guarded by a hireling or a shepherd that stood entrance at the gate of the pasture. (John 10:1-6)
-Jesus declared that He was the only entrance to true pasture and the only way for the sheep to enter in, as told in Scripture. (Psalm 118:19-21)
-Jesus is the only means of salvation, for He alone is Lord of all. (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 28:8; Psalm 118:14)


I AM…The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
-David served as the foreshadowing shepherd of Israel that pointed the way to the Shepherd who was to come. (2 Samuel 5:1-3)
-Frequently, the Lord charged the leaders of Israel with rank failure for not shepherding the people of Israel. (1 Kings 22:17; Zechariah 11:17)
-In Scripture, Yahweh was the true shepherd of His people (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; Psalm 78:52; Psalm 80:1-2), and He now incarnate declares to the people of Israel that He is their shepherd.
-It was prophesied in Scripture that the Great Shepherd would search for His Sheep (Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:11), which Jesus now does in John 10:14-18.


I AM…The Resurrection and the Life

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
-In the town of Bethany two miles from Jerusalem, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. Later, Mary would anoint the feet of Jesus as He reclined in the house of Lazarus. (John 12:1-8)
-Mary and Martha contacted Jesus, telling Him that Lazarus lay near death. (John 11:2-4)
-Earlier, the Jews had endeavored to stone Jesus to death for His declaration that He is God. (John 10:22-33) The disciples questioned Jesus as to His wisdom in travelling back to Judea, for they thought He and they would be stoned to death. (John 11:8-16)
-Upon arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus was in the tomb four days. Yet nevertheless, Martha had faith that Jesus had power from God to do whatever He wished. (John 11:20-22)
-Scripture foretold that there would be resurrection of the dead at the last day, brought about by the Lord. (Isaiah 26:19-21; Ezekiel 37:12-14)
-Jesus declared that He is Lord of death and life, for in Him is the resurrection and the life. (John 11:23-28) Hence, He simply spoke and by the power of His word, Lazarus rose from the dead. (John 11:40-44)
-Because Jesus is the I AM of the resurrection and the life, we also will be raised up on the last day. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)


I AM…The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
-Before the Passover and His soon death, Jesus gathered His disciples together to celebrate the Passover. On the first day of the feast, He instructed His disciples to prepare an upper room. (Matthew 26:17) While there, they celebrated the Last Supper together, where Jesus declared that the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) had been inaugurated by His crucifixion. (Matthew 26:26-32)
-After the Passover supper ended, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:12-15), warned them that one of the Twelve would betray Him (John 13:26-27), commanded His disciples to love one another (John 13:34-35), and foretold Peter’s denial. (John 13:36-38)
-When speaking of His imminent departure, Thomas asked Him how they could find the way to God. Jesus declared that He is the great I AM of the way, the truth, and the life, as Scripture foretold. (Isaiah 45:9; Jonah 2:9)
-Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, having appeared to the world as prophesied in the Old Testament. (Isaiah 30:21-22)
-Jesus Christ is the only source of all truth, for He is truth incarnate. (Colossians 2:1-3)
-Jesus Christ is the only source of eternal life, for in Him is everlasting life. (John 17:2; 1 John 5:11)


I AM…The Vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
-After His declaration of being the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus promised the future anointing of the Holy Spirit after His departure. (John 14:25-27)
-Jesus declared that He would leave them with His peace, which would enable them to trust in him and be courageous for Him. (John 14:27-29)
-Jesus proclaimed that He is the I AM, being the true vine in which we are all branches. In order to be part of the vine, the Father must graft them into the vine, and the branches must bear fruit. (John 15:1-5)
-In the Old Testament, the Lord presented Himself as the vinedresser of the vineyard of Israel. (Isaiah 5:1-7) However, those who were in the vineyard of God’s people will not be like the wild grapes of the old vine.
-As Christians, we glorify God by bearing fruit in Jesus Christ, so that we may know His love and be fully joyful in Him. (John 15:8-11)


I AM…Who I AM

“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
-In John 8:34, Jesus declared that men are by nature slaves to sin, but that He alone is the one with divine power to free captives from the bonds of sin and death, for the truth will set them free. (John 8:34-38)
-The Jews countered Him by declaring that they were true children of Abraham, and accused Him of being a child conceived by scandal. (John 8:39-41)
-Jesus responded by declaring that He indeed came from God, and that by rejecting Him, they rejected God. He charged them with being children of the devil, for all true children of Abraham worship Him as their Savior and God. (John 8:42-46)
-The Jews responded by accusing Him of being demon-possessed, and Jesus in turn responded by stating that those who believed in Him will never perish. The Jews repeated the charge of demon-possession, for they rightly understood Him to be stating that He was alive before the time of Abraham. (John 8:48-57)
-Jesus declared that He is the I AM of all eternity. (John 8:58-59)
-When walking on water, Jesus quelled the fear of the disciples by stating, “I Am; be not afraid.” (John 6:16-21)
-Jesus also declared Himself in the face of His arrest in John 18:5 to be the I AM.

Conclusion
-“To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.” (Deuteronomy 4:35)
-“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) 
-“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11) 

Handout
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pcKQ0pAzcQXNGMxxWsRjD2ajN08QQk-ldfvAp60Cm7s/edit

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eating, Error, and Edification-The Mindset of Christian Liberty

August 20, 2014

Introduction

-“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:13-19 ESV)

1 Corinthians 8:10-13

Context
-In the early church, conflict quickly arose between the Jews and the Gentiles regarding how Christian living should occur in Christian community. Raised in the background of Judaism, the Jews frequently argued that the Gentile believers should adhere to Mosaic traditions. (Acts 15:22-31)
-Corinth was located on the Isthmus of Corinth between the Corinthian Gulf and the Saronic Gulf. Athens, Thebes, Olympia, and Sparta were all located within the surrounding region of Corinth, with Corinth being named by Plutarch as one of the three great cities of ancient Greece. Greek philosophy was highly prized in this region, hence why Paul declared very clearly that he spoke the very words of God in the message of the Gospel, and not man’s rhetoric empowered by secular thinking. (1 Corinthians 1:18-24; 1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
- In the city of Corinth, idolatry and paganism rose to a great height in the culture. Paul declared the Corinthians to be divided (1 Corinthians 1:10-11), immature (1 Corinthians 3:1-3), proud in secular philosophy (1 Corinthians 3:18-20), complacent (1 Corinthians 4:8), prone to sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6), arrogant in their ignorance of Scripture (1 Corinthians 8:1-2), prone to idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14), prone to feminism and selfishness (1 Corinthians 11), self-seeking (1 Corinthians 12), unloving (1 Corinthians 13), and deceived about spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 14)

Verse 10
For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?
1. A Knowledgeable Decision

-“Anyone” refers to any member in the Christian community at Corinth.
-“Sees you” indicates that the testimony of the Christian is available for viewing whenever anyone might be looking.
-The Christian’s duty is to keep his or her conduct clean as a public and private testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 22:1; Philippians 1:27; Ephesians 4:1)
-The conduct of the Christian serves as a defense of the truthfulness of Scripture and the saving power of the Gospel. (Proverbs 4:18; Philippians 2:14-15; 1 Peter 2:12)
-Christians are to remember that their conduct is visible to all, and is especially visible to an omnipotent God. (Daniel 6:4; Matthew 5:14-15; 2 Peter 3:14)
-“Knowledge” (γνῶσιν) here refers to the wisdom and the intelligence gained from a knowledge of God and a right understanding of His ways.
-Paul contrasted knowledge that merely serves as intellectual pride (1 Corinthians 8:1-2) with the knowledge that declares there to be one God and one Lord. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
-In Greek culture, the pantheistic society believed that demons attached themselves to food, thereby infesting people once ingested. Sacrifice was necessary to purge the demons from the meat, and then was used in idol feasts and later sold in the marketplace.
-True knowledge, such as described in verse 6, begins by recognizing that there is one God and one Lord of all. (2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 37:20; Philippians 2:10-12)
-True knowledge recognizes that God is the Creator of all that exists. (Acts 17:24-25; Isaiah 43:15; Colossians 1:15-17)
-True knowledge recognizes that God is the one to whom all things belong. (Deuteronomy 10:14; Job 41:11; Psalm 24:1)
-An “idol’s temple” (εἰδωλείῳ) was a common sight in ancient Corinth, for the temple of Aphrodite was the prominent temple. While it was in disrepair in Paul’s day, the cult prostitutes of Corinthian young women numbered to 1,000 throughout the city based on the worship of Aphrodite, also known as Diana. Also, another prominent temple in Corinth was the temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Other temples to Apollo, Venus, Isis, and the Pantheon stood in the city as structures devoted to idolatry.
-Paul later commanded the Corinthians to flee from idolatry, (1 Corinthians 10:6-8; 1 Corinthians 10:14)
-Idolatry is a heinous sin against a holy God. (Jonah 2:8; Exodus 20:3-6; Colossians 3:5)
2. A Dangerous Encouragement
-“Encouraged” (οἰκοδομηθήσεται) means to be built up and was frequently used to refer to the building of temples. Here, it is encouragement in the sense of being emboldened to a course of action.
-In Scripture, being emboldened to a course of action can be positive or negative, depending on the course of action and the motivation.
-Christians are to build up one another towards greater unity. (1 Corinthians 1:10; Colossians 3:13-14; 1 Peter 3:8)
-Christians are to build up one another towards greater obedience towards Christ. (Titus 3:8; Hebrews 10:23-24)
-Christians are to build up one another towards greater maturity and wisdom. (Proverbs 19:20 Luke 22:32; John 21:15)
-By contrast, building up those around us to defy the Lord constitutes a wrongful encouragement. (Numbers 23:7-8; 1 Samuel 17:26; Isaiah 37:24)
-Building up those around us so as to cause them to pursue idolatry brings about judgment from God. (Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:18-23)
3. A Confusing Consumption
-“Conscience” (συνείδησις) is the inborn ability to identify on some level what is morally right and wrong, regardless if one is redeemed or not.
-God has created men in His image, and they hence have the Law of God written upon their hearts. (Romans 2:14-15)
-By nature, men have an evil conscience and suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness. (Ephesians 4:18-19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 4:1-2)
-Because of being born again by the Spirit of God, our consciences have been cleansed by Christ’s blood. (Hebrews 10:22; 1 Timothy 1:5)
-It is the responsibility of God’s people to have clear consciences in their testimony in the world by abiding by the Word of God. (1 Timothy 1:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:9; Titus 1:9)
-The Holy Spirit renews and utilizes our conscience in guiding us in the ways of the Lord. (1 John 2:27)
-An immature conscience is “weak”, due to being impure and immature. (Titus 1:15; Colossians 2:8)
-The meat in question belonged specifically to the Lord, even though men falsely attributed it to idols. (Psalm 50:9-11)
-After being charbroiled, the sacrificed animal would be portioned and divided among the crowd gathered at the temple. Eating meat sacrificed to the gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon was a very common community practice in Greek culture. Here, those who were immature in the faith and weak in conscience were erringly led astray by the well-informed conscience of mature believers.

Verse 11
And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.
1. A Destructive Knowledge

-“Your” pinpoints that Paul holds the reader personally responsible if they have caused their brother’s weak conscience to be emboldened to do what they believe is morally wrong to do.
-Knowledge holds great power for good and for evil. (Proverbs 1:22; Proverbs 2:10; Proverbs 18:15)
-Here, Paul was not stating that the knowledge was improper; in fact, he sided fully with those who claimed this knowledge that idols have no defiling power over food, for they do not exist. (1 Corinthians 8:4-7)
-Good knowledge used improperly does not honor Christ or His Word, for it does not edify His people. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
-We are to gain full knowledge so as to be discerning believers, and not to make hasty or immature decisions.
-Our full knowledge should not be used to cause those with lesser knowledge to become weakened in their faith. (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:9)
-Our knowledge should always be used in a loving manner to build others up. (1 Corinthians 14:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
-“Weak” (ἀσθενῶν) here refers to a feebleness related to illness or lack of strength.
-Weakness in the brethren is done by not fearing the Lord rightly. (Job 28:28; Psalm 34:9; Proverbs 14:27)
-Weakness in the brethren comes about by an incomplete knowledge of Scripture. (Hosea 4:5-6; Proverbs 10:21; Mark 22:29)
-Weakness in the brethren comes about from intellectual pride. (Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 26:12;    Proverbs 28:11)
-“Destroyed” (ἀπόλλυται) means to be violently brought about to death and to experience a miserable end.
-God warns His children not to return back to the ways of idolatry after they have been brought out of the kingdom of darkness. (Exodus 23:24; Deuteronomy 12:30)
-God has freed us from the condemnation of sin, but the consequences of sin remain if we do not fight against them in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 4:30)
2. A Redeemed Brother
-“Brother” (ἀδελφὸς) means to be a relative in the Christian community by the blood of Christ.
-As Christians, we are made the brethren of the Savior through His death and resurrection. (Hebrews 2:11-12; John 20:17)
-As Christians, we are called to love our Christian brethren as Christ loved us. (John 13:34; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:11)
-As Christians, we are to guard our brethren in Christ from falling prey to evil. (Romans 15:1)
-All that is done for our brothers and sisters in Christ is done for the King over all. (Matthew 25:40)
-“For whom Christ died” heightens the importance of the matter at hand, for Paul declares that his audience is to view those with weak consciences as their brothers and sisters in Christ bought by His shed blood.
-Christ died so that we might die to death, and He rose again so that we might be given eternal life. (Romans 6:4-5; Romans 8:11)
-Christ’s sacrifice through the power of the Gospel mandates our Christian unity. (Romans 15:5-6; 1 John 1:7)
-Jesus Christ and Him crucified was the very reason Paul came to Corinth and continued ministering to Corinth. (Acts 18:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Verse 12
Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

1. A Sinful Influence

-“Sinning” (ἁμαρτάνοντες) derives from the idea of “missing the mark”, and is defined by Paul as falling short of glorifying God. (Romans 3:23)
-From the fall of man, all human beings have becoming dead in sin. (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 2:13)
-Sin brings about holy judgment. (Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10)
-Sin be both of commission and omission. (Proverbs 24:11-12; Matthew 23:23; James 4:17) 
-Sinning dishonors the name of Christ in the public square. (Joshua 24:27; Proverbs 30:9; Hosea 13:6)
-Sinning brings about division in the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 11:7-8)
-The result of flaunting Christian liberty for selfish reasons is that we sin against our brothers and sisters in Christ.
-“Against your brothers” specifies the wronged party.
-To sin against an individual is to be responsible for the guilt incurred against that person and the resulting actions of that person. (Leviticus 5:1; Psalm 50:18; 1 Timothy 5:22)
2. A Wounded Weakness
-“Wounding” (τύπτοντες) means to strike, thereby inflicting injury.
-In Rome, the gladius was a short sword using for inflicting stab wounds or slash wounds. The pilum was the Roman javelin that enabled Roman armies to fight against Greek armies. Both of these weapons would inflict serious wounds in battle, and these wounds could very well prove fatal.
-In the Roman world, advances were made in wound care, such as the importance of keeping a wound site moisturized so that it would repair itself properly. Infection always poised a serious risk, however.
-In the Old Testament, men were liable for wounding their fellowmen whether intentional or unintentional. (Exodus 21:12; Deuteronomy 19:4-6; Deuteronomy 19:11-12)
-Paul declared that the Corinthians wounded their brothers when the conscience of the latter was already weak.
-To wound a person weakened by disease or illness or physical limitations is the height of ignominy. Cicero, a prominent Roman philosopher before Christ, advocated the “just war” theory, declaring that war was only acceptable for honor, for self-defense, and for maintaining national security.
-To wound a weak Christian is to cause harm to the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:26-27; 2 Corinthians 11:29)
-To wound a weak Christian is to injure the spiritual growth of fellow believers. (Romans 13:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:3)
3. A Horrifying Result
-“You sin” (ἁμαρτάνετε) is plural.
-“Against Christ” specifies that the end result of exercising knowledge wrongly so as to wound the conscience of others and embolden them to sin is to sin against Christ Himself.
-When the Corinthians exercised their liberty in the face of weak consciences, they ignored the fact that they were sinning against Christ.
-When Christ died, He paid the penalty for our sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28)
-When Christ died, He ensured that we would no longer be captives to sin. (Luke 4:18; Romans 6:18; Romans 8:2)
-When Christ died, He brought us near God by His blood on the Cross. (Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
-Sinning against Christ results in us dishonoring His blood and spurning His grace. (Hebrews 10:29)
-Sinning against Christ causes us to diminish the Cross of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:12; Revelation 12:11-12)

Verse 13
Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
1. A Stumbling Brother

-“Makes my brother stumble” (σκανδαλίζει) is the Greek “skandalizo”, and it means “to put a snare in the way of”.
-Christ Himself repeatedly warned against causing others around us to stumble and to be ensnared by sin. (Matthew 17:27; Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42)
-Sin ensnares us into danger. (Job 18:7; Proverbs 22:5; Proverbs 29:6)
-Paul taught that the Corinthians should avoid the snares of sin, just as Scripture teaches.
-Not fearing the Lord more than anything else proves to be a snare. (Proverbs 29:25; John 12:42-43)
-God enables us to be free from stumbling when we look to His salvation. (1 Samuel 2:8-9; Psalm 18:36)
-God enables us to be free from stumbling when we hold fast to His Word. (Psalm 17:5; Psalm 119:116-117)
-It is our responsibility not to lay a snare before our brothers, unlike the Corinthians in this verse. (1 Corinthians 10:32)
2. A Resolve to Edify
-“Meat” (κρέα) specifically refers to the flesh of an animal sacrificed in idol worship.
-By exercising Christian liberty, the Corinthians had caused weaker brothers to participate in that which destroyed their faith.
-Paul called those to whom he wrote to build one another up in the faith, even as he did. (1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 11:9)
-Scripture commands us to build one another up and consider others before ourselves. (Romans 15:9; Ephesians 4:29)
3. A Dangerous Liberty
-In Scripture, to ensnare someone in sin makes you equal with the wicked. (Psalm 119:110; Psalm 140:5; Psalm 141:9)
-To willingly lay a snare for someone is to wish for their destruction. (Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:13; Luke 20:10)
-Paul declared that he would not exercise his Christian liberty should it ensnare others into sin.
-As Christians, we are called to look out for the best interests of our brothers and sisters in Christ. (Philippians 2:4; Romans 15:1)
-Paul called the Corinthians to sacrifice their rights in the service of others, just as he sacrificed his rights to serve them. (1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 9:11-12; 1 Corinthians 9:15-17)
-Christians are called to be free to serve others, rather than having others serve them so that they themselves might be free to serve themselves. (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10;
-Christ did not exercise His liberties as the Son of God to serve Himself, and so are we not to use our Christian liberty to serve ourselves. (Philippians 2:5-7; Matthew 23:11; Mark 10:42-45)

Conclusion
-“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV)


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Philippians Week 25-The Glorious Lordship of Christ

July 23, 2014

Introduction
-“Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:26-29 ESV)

Philippians 2:11

Context
-In the Roman world, particularly in the imperial cults, Roman Caesars were thought as divine and were to be worshipped as divine. Not only where they considered divine, they were also thought as the saviors of Rome, according to Josephus. Therefore, Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 challenged the divine status of Caesar, for Scripture declares there to be only one God, Lord, and Savior.

Verse 11
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1. The Universal Proclamation

-“Tongue” (γλῶσσα) refers to the human tongue speaking in a language.
-God created human language in the beginning of time. (Genesis 1:3; Psalm 33:6; Psalm 33:9)
-The world spoke one language up until the Lord interjected many languages at the Tower of Babel. (Genesis 11:1-9)
-In Scripture, the word “tongue” refers to the action of speaking audibly. (Luke 1:64; 1 Corinthians 14:9; 1 Peter 3:10)
-God holds men accountable to every word their tongues utter. (Matthew 12:36-37;
-What men utter has powerful ramifications for what fruit results in their lives and in the lives of others. (Proverbs 18:21;
-Men either reveal themselves to be regenerate or unregenerate based upon what their tongues proclaim. (Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 13:2; Matthew 12:37)
-The action of speaking audibly comes from what is residing in the hearts of men. (Matthew 12:34; Matthew 15:18; Luke 6:45)
-One day in the future, the Lord promises to change the language of men to a pure speech in a reversal of the Tower of Babel during His Kingly reign. (Zephaniah 3:9-10; Zephaniah 3:15)
-“Confess” (ἐξομολογήσηται) means “to speak out the same” and refers to vocal, public recognition of a truth to be heralded before all men.
-Confessing in this context means to acknowledge publicly before an audience—usually, the audience is God Himself. (Luke 10:21; Romans 15:9; Revelation 3:5)
-For believers, confession is the vocal declaration of belief and faith in Christ and repentance of sins. (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3)
-For unbelievers, confessing Jesus as the Christ is simply a recognition of who He is, in spite of the persistent unbelief in Him and refusal to submit to Him as Lord. (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Titus 1:16)
-During Jesus’ earthly ministry, even the powers of darkness confessed openly as to who He was and is. (Matthew 8:28-29; Mark 1:23-24)
-In Heaven, the redeemed, the angels, and the elders in Heaven are constantly confessing as to the nature and person of Christ. (Revelation 5:8-9; Revelation 15:1-4)
-In human history, men and women of God confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord, and all those who will be saved prior to Jesus’ second coming will confess Him as Lord. (Psalm 40:3; 1 John 4:15)
-During Jesus’ earthly reign as King in all the earth, all the inhabitants of the world will confess Him as Lord. (Psalm 22:27; Micah 4:1; Habakkuk 2:14)
-At the Great White Throne judgment, all men throughout all of history will confess, both believers and unbelievers, that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Romans 14:9)
2. The Supreme Lord
-“Lord” (ΚΥΡΙΟΣ) is the Greek word kyrios, which was used in Greek and Roman culture to be an appellation of respect, a title for a master of slaves, or a confession of supreme authority, divinity, and majesty. In the Septuagint, which was used extensively by Jesus and the apostles in quoting the Old Testament, kyrios is the Greek word used to translate the Hebrew Yahweh (יְהוָ֣ה) and is used to refer to God’s supremely exalted, glorious, sovereign, authoritative, and majestic name.
-“Jesus Christ is Lord” (ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ) is capitalized in the Westcott and Hort and Nestle texts.
-“And every tongue shall confess that Yeshua The Messiah is THE LORD JEHOVAH to the glory of God his Father.”—Aramaic Bible in Plain English
-“And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”—Weymouth New Testament
-In Rome, Roman citizens were required under pain of criminal penalty to confess two words: “Kaiser Kurios”, or “Caesar is Lord” (ΚΥΡΙΟΣ Καίσαρι). In the first century A.D., the cult of imperial worship grew very strong, which led to a widespread exaltation of Caesar as both divine and as supreme lord. To deny this was an offense punishable by death, and many in the early church died in the arenas torn apart by wild beasts or crucified because they would not confess “Kaiser Kurious” (“Caesar is Lord”), but rather “KYRIOS IESOUS CHRISTOS” (“Jesus Christ is Lord”). Polycarp, the disciple of the apostle John and the second-century elder of Smyrna, was brought before the Roman authorities and commanded to confess that Caesar was Lord. Polycarp refused, declaring that Jesus Christ is Lord, and he was subsequently burned to death in a Roman arena as a result.
-As Lord, Jesus Christ possesses the supreme title of Yahweh. (John 8:23-24; John 11:25; John 14:6)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the first and the last. (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:8)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the King who reigns over all. (Psalm 93:10; Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the only Savior of men. (Isaiah 43:11; Hosea 13:4; Matthew 6:16-17)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One who commands our worship. (Psalm 41:13; Psalm 99:1-3; Psalm 150:6)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the only God among all those throughout history claiming to be gods. (2 Kings 19:15-19)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One who speaks with the voice of God. (Lamentations 3:27; Matthew 7:28-29; John 7:45-46)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One who judges the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:4-5)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is supremely sovereign among the affairs of human history. (Psalm 135:6; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21)
-As Lord, Jesus Christ is the One with whom we shall reign forever and ever. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Romans 8:17)
3. The Glorious God
-“Glory” (δόξαν) refers to the honor, splendor, renown, and majesty of God.
-Julius Caesar had a temple built to glorify him because some in Rome thought of him as divine. In 44 B.C., the people of Rome thought that the appearance of a comet was thought as Julius’ soul rising into the assembly of the gods. He was voted as a member of the pantheon of the gods by the Roman Senate after his death. Caesar Augustus instituted a sacrificial system in order to deify himself, and he declared that he was the “son of god” during his lifetime. He also was voted as a member of the divine pantheon after his death. Caligula, Nero, and Domitian—three of the worst emperors in Roman history—mandated that they be recognized as divine so as to bring honor and glory to themselves.
-Only God is truly glorious, and He will not yield His glory to any other. (Psalm 66:2; Isaiah 42:8-11)
-God possesses supreme renown over those who would claim such renown for themselves. (Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 22:23)
-God possesses absolute splendor, in contrast to the Roman cults that proclaimed Caesar to be glorious over all. (Psalm 68:4; Isaiah 42:12)
-God’s majesty is unmatched by anybody and is unparalleled by anyone throughout all of time. (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 8:1; Psalm 83:18)
-All that Christ did during His earthly ministry was to bring glory to His father. (John 12:27-28; John 15:8)
-Christ’s supremacy brings supreme glory to His Father as His Father’s exaltation of Him makes the Son supremely glorious. (John 8:54; Hebrews 1:1-6; Hebrews 5:4-5)
-All that God the Son will do at His second coming will glorify God the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:28)
-The glory of God is the ultimate reason as to why everything exists and occurs. (Revelation 4:11)          
-The Father is most glorified when His Son is supremely exalted above every name and is made the focus of our worship.

Conclusion
-“For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’ “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.” (Isaiah 45:18-25 ESV)


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Philippians Week 24-The Coronation of Christ

July 16, 2014

Introduction

-“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:11-14 ESV)

Philippians 2:10

Context
-The system of monarchy first developed in human history under Nimrod in Genesis 10:9-10, and his kingdom spawned much of the evil in the world that would manifest itself later in other kingdoms and religions in human history.
-The government of a monarchy existed before the time of Abraham in Mesopotamia. Israel did not have a human king until long after other kings and kingdoms had come and gone in the earth at that time.
-In the beginning of Rome’s history, kings ruled from circa 750-509 B.C. A Roman king had all supreme rights of legal, military, and decretive authority in the kingdom. He served as the chief priest, and he alone had the supposed right to mediate for the gods on behalf of the people. Only laws which he decided to introduce to Roman government could be introduced for legal discussion, and he alone had the sole power to pass or strike down laws.
-During the days of the Roman Republic in 509-27 B.C., Rome changed from absolute power by a kingly figure into a structured government with a Senate and two Consuls who oversaw the government. Civil wars erupted during the end of the Republic, as Julius Caesar declared himself the dictator over the Republic in 44 B.C.
-Upon the occasion of Julius Caesar’s assassination, the Roman Republic ended and the Roman Empire began. The Roman Senate granted   Octavian the right to be known as Augustus. Caesar Augustus did not fashion himself into a king as had occurred hundreds of years before, but did fashion himself as the “leading citizen” with himself being the Emperor. In the days of Paul’s first Roman imprisonment, Nero was the Emperor. Prior to Nero, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius were the supreme emperors of the Roman Empire.

Verse 10
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
1. A King of Majesty
-“Name” (ὀνόματι) is that used in verse 9, which states Paul had in mind more than simply the personal label of Jesus, but rather the name which encompasses His total being, nature, actions, and decrees.
-Many kings in history strove to make their names exalted throughout all time through their various deeds, but only one Name remains supreme as the exalted King throughout the ages. (Psalm 135:3).
-The coming King was prophesied in Scripture as possessing this eternally supreme name. (Psalm 72:17-19)
-In Scripture, many kings pitted the power of their names against the name of God, but never prevailed. (Exodus 5:1-2; Exodus 7:17; 2 Chronicles 32:13-15; Isaiah 37:23; Isaiah 37:28-29)
-God uses His personal name to command the highest form of respect, reverence, and awe. (Genesis 17:1; Psalm 46:10; Jeremiah 32:17)
-As King, God uses His Name as the reason for His decrees. (Genesis 28:13; Genesis 35:11; Genesis 46:3)
-As King, God uses His Name as the assurance that His royal will shall be accomplished. (Isaiah 14:24; Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 46:9-10)
-In Scripture, it was continuously prophesied that the greatest King of all would come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and the house of David. (Matthew 15:22; Matthew 20:30; Mark 10:47)
-Jesus acknowledged that He was King even during His humble state as the Slave of God and the Servant of Man. (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; John 18:37)
-In Scripture, Jesus is expressly stated as the great high King above all kings. (1 Timothy 1:16-17; 1 Timothy 6:13-14)
2. A King of Authority
-“Every knee will bow” was an act of homage in the presence of a king or ruler. It was done in the presence of majesty and authority, acknowledging the power and the presence of a king or sovereign.
-Bowing in Scripture was done out of fear for one’s life (Genesis 33:3; Genesis 42:6), in the admittance of defeat (Exodus 11:4-9), fear in the presence of mighty power (Luke 24:4-5),
-Bowing in Scripture was also done as an act of high respect for an individual (Exodus 18:7; 1 Samuel 24:8), true humility at the graciousness of a person’s actions (Ruth 2:8-10), and recognition of the presence of majesty (1 Chronicles 21:21).
-Bowing in Scripture was to be done only to the name of the Lord (2 Kings 17:36; Psalm 95:3) and not in worship of any other name. (Exodus 20:4-5)
-Bowing in the Old Testament was done in the presence of the pre-incarnate Christ and the angels of God. (Genesis 18:2; Genesis 19:1; Numbers 22:31)
-Bowing in the Old Testament was done as an act of worship in recognizing the majesty of God’s deeds. (Exodus 4:31; 2 Chronicles 20:18)
-Bowing in the Old Testament would occur whenever God’s people encountered His manifest presence. (Genesis 17:3; Joshua 5:13-15; Ezekiel 1:28)
-The godly men and women of Israel would all bow the knee before the Lord, the great high King. (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chronicles 29:30; Nehemiah 8:6)
-Scripture foretold a day in which all men would bow before the great King who had come to reign over all. (Psalm 22:29; Psalm 72:9)
-In Scripture, Jesus prophesied that one day all knees would bow before Him, recognizing Him to be King and Lord over all. (Isaiah 45:22-23; Romans 14:11)
3. A King of Heaven
-“Heaven” (ἐπουρανίων) is the abode of God Himself along with His cohorts of innumerable angels.
-Heaven is where God reigns over all of time and space. (Psalm 11:4; Psalm 47:8; Psalm 103:19)
-The throne room of God possesses supreme power and glory unparalleled to the abode of any other king that ever was, is or will be. (Daniel 7:9; Revelation 4:1-6)
-Heaven is the abode of the angels who were created by God. (Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 5:11)
-Heaven is the abode of the redeemed of God bought by His blood and saved by His grace. (Psalm 20:6; Revelation 14:13)
-Heaven is the place where we will reign forever with God and bow before Him, confessing Christ to be our Lord. (1 Peter 1:4-5)
-Heaven is far exalted above the earth, for God is far exalted above man. (Job 22:12; Isaiah 33:5;
-Christ’s Kingdom in Heaven was conferred on Him by God His Father. (Luke 22:29)
-Christ’s Kingdom in Heaven exists because it is prepared by the Father and the Son. (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2-3; Luke 12:32)
-Christ’s Kingdom in Heaven is supreme over all the kingdoms of the earth. (Psalm 66:7)
-Christ’s Kingdom in Heaven can never be shaken, unlike the kingdoms of the earth. (Psalm 10:16; Psalm 145:13)
-In Heaven, everyone will bow down to worship God and Jesus Christ. (Revelation 4:9-11; Revelation 19:4-5)
4. A King of Earth
-“Earth” (ἐπιγείων) refers directly to the planet Earth.
-In Scripture, it was foretold that God would exalt Jesus as the supreme King over all the earth. (Psalm 89:26-27)
-King Jesus is the One who gives the kingdoms of the world to those He so chooses to make kings and rulers on earth. (Colossians 1:16; Daniel 4:17)
-King Jesus is the One who possesses all authority over all kings, rulers, authorities, and powers on earth. (Matthew 28:18; Proverbs 8:15)
-King Jesus is the One whose Word is exalted over the word of any other earthly ruler. (Ecclesiastes 8:4; Daniel 4:35; Psalm 119:89)
-King Jesus is the One who is sovereign over all the kings and rulers of the earth. (Proverbs 21:1; Ezra 6:22)
-King Jesus is the One who we look to as we submit to the authorities He has established as they submit to His Law. (Romans 13:1; Proverbs 24:21; Titus 3:1-2)
-King Jesus is the One whom we hope in when we live under kings and rulers who do not submit to His Law. (Psalm 2:10-12; Psalm 119:119; Daniel 2:21)
-In Scripture, it is foretold that Christ’s Kingdom will one day be not only over the earth, but in and among all the earth—where we will reign with Him. (Isaiah 2:1-5; Revelation 11:15)
-Scripture promises that all the redeemed of the Lord will reign with Him in His earthly Kingdom. (Daniel 7:27; Revelation 5:9-10)
-One day, the Kingdom of Heaven will be manifested as every knee on earth will bow in Christ’s earthly Kingdom. (Psalm 72:9-11; Psalm 86:8-9; Revelation 15:4)
-One day, all the kings and rulers of the earth will bow before King Jesus as the supreme King in all the earth. (Psalm 72:11; Psalm 102:21-22)
-One day, Christ the Lord will return to reign in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 3:17; Ezekiel 43:6-9; Zechariah 14:8-9) when the people of Israel will be drawn back to their rightful King. (Psalm 149:2; Acts 1:6-7)
5. A King of All
-“Under the earth” (καταχθονίων) refers to those who have died.
-In secular Greek society, the term “under the earth” referred to the underworld. There was much in the way of Greek mythology connected with it. Paul uses it, however, to refer to the fact that in the Christian worldview of the afterlife, everyone will bow their knee before the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
-In their lifetimes, many will not submit to the Lordship of Christ. (Romans 8:7; 1 John 2:4)
-Throughout history, many kings and kingdoms did not acknowledge Christ as the high King whom they acknowledged. (Psalm 79:6; Jeremiah 10:25)
-Christ will judge those kings and kingdoms that refuse to bow to Him as King when He returns. (Psalm 110:5; Zephaniah 3:8; Joel 3:2; Haggai 2:22)
-In Scripture, it is told that Jesus Christ will judge everyone at the end of human history. (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5)
-All men throughout all of history, both redeemed and unredeemed, while stand before the throne of God and bow before Christ in acknowledging Him as the only exalted King over all. (Revelation 20:11-13)
-The unredeemed of the Lord will bow before Him in great fear, knowing that their lives are forfeit. (Revelation 21:8) They will bow in full admittance that their rebellion has been defeated by a Holy God, who are terrified in the presence of the King they had never believed or submitted to in their lifetime. (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
-The redeemed of the Lord will bow before Him, rejoicing in His grace that brought them safely home, worshipping His majesty, acknowledging Christ to be the only King and Savior of them all. (2 Timothy 4:18)

Conclusion
-“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV)


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