Date:         Tue, 12 Jul 1994 09:38:38 CET
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 1
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
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