Continually Seeking


Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.

~2 Timothy 2:15, HCSB


Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.


Joe David gave us some guides for biblical interpretation last Sunday and they are excellent:

  1. Study the verse {2 Timothy 2:15 for example}.
  2. If it does not make sense, study it in the context of the chapter {2 Timothy 2}.
  3. If you are still having problems study it in the context of the entire book {2 Timothy}
  4. If necessary, study in the context of the entire bible.
  5. Finally, interpret everything in light of the words of Jesus {red letters}. Jesus is God’s highest revelation. He is and has the final word.

This is very good advice.  One of the first verses that we are dealing with in the Winter Bible Study is Malachi 1:2…“I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you ask: “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother? ” This is the LORD’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. This verse is the John 3:16 of the Reforms who believe that God hates sinners, He hates evil people. He loves only the elect and of course, they are the elect. This view creates an inordinate pride. “God choose me but He didn’t choose you.” Is God partial? Does He hate sinners? Was Jacob chosen because he was better than Esau? Jacob cheated his brother and deceived his own father. He was sinful and evil just like you and I. So how do we interpret this verse?

We go to the N.T. and the words of Jesus: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, and even his own life — he cannot be My disciple. {Luke 14:26} Jesus used the same word ‘hate’. Did He literally mean that we are to hate our parents, our wife and our siblings? Would this not violate over half of the Ten Commandments? How can we love our neighbor as we love ourselves and hate those living in our own house? How can we ‘honor father and mother’ if we hate them? Jesus is using a hyperbole; He is stating the fact that our love for Him must be the first and primary love. We are to love HIM more than parents, spouse, or children. Ruth was a Moabite; Rahab was a Canaanite–both came from baby killing pagan cultures but they became a part of God’s family. Esau repented toward his earthy father but not toward God {Hebrews 12:17}. God saved repentant Moabites and Canaanites; would he not save a repentant Edomite?

In light of these difficult passages, Bill Patterson gives us some advice:

  1. Approach your personal bible study with a spirit of humility. We all need God’s help when it comes to discerning the truth in scripture.
  2. Be respectful and gracious, especially on issues where evangelical scholars have disagreed.
  3. Maintain a teachable heart. Continually seek to understand God’s revelation more clearly.
  4. Learn to enjoy {celebrate} the mystery of God. The Hebrews could talk about one God while recognizing that Genesis 1:26 uses the plural “Us”. Maintaining the mystery of God does not compromise our intellectual integrity. He is infinite and we are finite. If we could solve the mystery, we wouldn’t have a God big enough to worship. He would be no greater than ourselves.


I delivered two cakes: one to Bobby and Barbara and one to Chip and Carolyn. Derrick Thomas, the ALL AMERICAN linebacker from Alabama died of heart failure after being in an automobile wreck that had left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. I think he still holds the NFL record for sacks in a single game with 7. He was destined for greatness.

Derrick Thomas….January 1, 1967–February 8, 2000

The Reforms are to pure to get stained by politics. They pride themselves in their intellect but they make some ridiculous and asinine statements: This turkey {a Reform} who is heading our CHRISTIAN LIFE COMMISSION of the SBC said recently {during the presidential election}, “When confronted with the lesser of evils, choose neither.” This is such a brilliant statement. Let me ask you one question, if you refuse to choose the lesser of the evils, have you not chosen the greater of the evils? In some circumstances, I would vote for Bill Clinton. For example: If it was Clinton verses Hitler, I would vote for Clinton. I prefer a hedonistic maniac over a genocidal maniac. I am sorry folks, I have a real problem with Patterson’s second rule {being gracious}. The statement: when confronting the lesser of evils, choose neither is stupid.

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