God

Idolatrous Worship of the Sun, Moon and Stars

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God gave them up, judicially abandoning the people to their sin and idolatry.  The context here is Israel’s idolatrous worship of the sun, moon and stars (the host of heaven), which began in the wilderness and lasted through the Babylonian captivity.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Acts 7:42.

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The Greatest Wonder of All

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Rather than being so enthralled with extraordinary manifestations such as power over demons and the ability to work miracles, they should have realized that the greatest wonder of all is the reality of salvation-the whole point of the gospel message and the central issue to which all the miracles pointed.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:20.

Who is my neighbor?

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This reveals the man’s self-righteous character.  The prevailing opinion among scribes and Pharisees was that one’s neighbors were the righteous alone.  According to them, the wicked-including rank sinners (such as tax collectors and prostitutes), Gentiles, and especially Samaritans-were to be hated because they were the enemies of God.  They cited Psalm 139:21,22 to justify their position.  As that passage suggests, hatred of evil is the natural corollary of loving righteousness.  But the truly righteous person’s “hatred” for sinners is not a malevolent enmity.  It is a righteous abhorrence of all that is base and corrupt-not a spiteful, personal loathing of individuals.  Godly hatred is marked by broken-hearted grieving over the condition of the sinner.  And Jesus taught here and elsewhere (Luke 6:27-36; Matthew 5:44-48), it is also tempered by a genuine love.  The Pharisees had elevated hostility toward the wicked to the status of a virtue, in effect nullifying the second Great Commandment.  Jesus’ answer to this lawyer demolished the pharisaical excuse for hating one’s enemies.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:29.

The aroma of death and of life

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Paul used the style of Hebrew superlatives to emphasize the twofold effect of gospel preaching.  To some, the message brings eternal life and ultimate glorification.  To others, it is a stumbling stone of offense that brings eternal death.  No one in his own strength is adequate or competent to serve God in the ways and with the power that Paul has been describing.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 2 Corinthians 2:16.