Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 09:38:38 CET Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 1 Contents 1 Weekly reading 2 Psalm 3 New Testament 4 From the editor 1 Weekly reading Bereshit 28:12,13 Bereshit 28:12,13 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Avraham thy father, and the God of Yitzchak: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. Yaakov had to flee because of his lying. He deceived both Esau and his father Yitzchak. We see the result of the sins: fleeing from the house of his father, from the land that God had promised to Avraham. What would God do with such a man? Yaakov was worth to be abandoned by God, because he had transgressed His commandment. When we, people, had such a man in our community, who deceived his old and blind father, we would have chased him away. But God is totally else. In His great grace, He came to Yaakov in a dream. Although Yaakov was worth to be rejected by God, nevertheless God comes in grace to him. We see that God is not like the people. Yaakov "dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth". Many people think to set up a ladder on the earth, and to climb by that to heaven. They make a ladder of good works. The better they are, the more sure they will come in heaven, they think. However, here, it is totally else. This ladder here was not set up by people, but by God. Also, Yaakov was not a good man, but a liar. God came in His grace to this great sinner. He stood at the top of the ladder, and spoke to Yaakov. While Yaakov was a sinner, God stayed faithful. He had promised this land to Avraham. While Yaakov was a great sinner, nevertheless God is his God. He said: "the land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed". In this story, we see Yaakov, who had done all things wrong. We see also God, Who is full of grace. Let we not think, that we can earn this grace. No, surely not. God's grace is for them, to whom He will give it. He gives it not to them, who are it worth. He gives it to them whom He loves. Let we stop setting our own ladder on the earth, to climb into heaven. This will never succeed. Let we keep in mind: "I am the LORD" and I give the land because I am faithful to My covenant with Avraham. 2 Psalm 40:4 Thilliem 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust; cursed is the man who makes himself his trust. Blessed is the man who relies on God; cursed is the man who relies on himself. Blessed is the man who goes to God's house to love God; cursed is the man who goes to the house of God to feel himself the righteous. Blessed is the man who expects all his help from God; cursed is he who expects his help from his money, health, wife, the army, without God. This man is blessed, who trusts God, and nothing besides Him. The distress may be very high, but who even then trusts God, he is called blessed. Trusting God when we do not see God's help is very difficult, yes, it is impossible for us. Only God can give this. He will give this to His beloved. Other people, who are not blessed are "the proud" and "such as turn aside to lies". Many are proud on their good job, their good car, and so on. Many are proud on their religious behaviour, but God will reject them. Many do not turn to God with a penitent heart, but they turn aside to lies. Some lies are: you are righteous before God, even when you sin now and then. Or: when you pray often, God will forgive you. Many rely not on God, but on this kind of lies. Through the grace of God, David did totally else. To him applies: "O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee". (Thilliem 84:12) 3 New Testament Romans 4:2,3 Romans 4:2,3 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. "If Abraham were justified by works, he had whereof to glory". If Abraham had been righteous before God by his own good works, then he could glory in himself. In that case he could say: I am a good man and therefore righteous before God. Many people say this about themselves. They think that they are righteous for God, and that God has to give heaven to them. If this is true, they may glory in themselves. But this is not true; they are erring. If Abraham was justified by works, he had glory, "but not before God". Being justified by our works (if it was possible) takes the glory away from God. This is not the goal of the people. The people have to bring glory to God, not to themselves. So, when one thinks that he has any worth before God, he does not honour God. Being justified by works is impossible. "For what says the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness". This is taken from the Tanach: "And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness." (Gen.15:6) Abraham believed God to be righteous. He was not righteous by working, but by believing. Through this belief, a righteousness is counted unto him. This means that another righteousness is counted unto him. A righteousness, which he not had earned by works. Where did this righteousness come from? It was the righteousness, which was earned by Jesus Christ. He earned by His total obedience to God, a righteousness. It was this righteousness, which was counted unto Abraham. Not only to Abraham, but to all who believe in Him to their justification. 4 From the editor This is the first issue of a list called "Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel". It has been my wish and prayer for a long time that there may be an opportunity to say to Israel that there is no life without the belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (Joh.17:3) What can you expect on this list? There will be explanations of the Scriptures as the main contents. You can also ask questions to the editor/teacher, which will be answered. Other useful things will also be mentioned, as information about books. There are no copyrights on the contents. You may freely distribute and copy it. The organisation who is giving out this list is called Institution Practical Bible-education. We take the Bible as the infallible Word of God, according to the testimony that the Bible gives to itself, and which God gives to His servants. May God give His grace to many, so that they turn away from their sins and turn to God. -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-001.txt .