Isaiah 22:1-24:23, Galatians 2:17-3:9, Psalms 60:1-12, Proverbs 23:15-16
Today is the 16th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it’s great to be here with you today as we cross the center of the week together, hump day, and…and move to the back half, but we’re in the middle of the week. And…well…I guess we’re not quite in the middle of the book of Isaiah yet but we’re well on our way. We’re reading from the English standard version this week. Isaiah chapters 22, 23, and 24 today.
Okay. So, in Galatians today, again we’re exploring some of the foundational understandings theologically of our faith itself and again we encountered one of the most famous passages in the Scriptures “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me.” And we should probably understand the context that was said in because…because it’s foundational to the Christian faith. And the reason that he said it, the context of it is why Paul was so controversial in his time. And admittedly, some of these concepts, they…they might sound somewhat familiar because it wasn’t too long ago that we read the letter to the Romans. And, so, a lot of this is laid out in Romans and we’re revisiting it here in another letter. This is the gospel that Paul moved around the Roman Empire preaching. So, fundamentally the problem and I say that loosely…I say that in the context of what we’re talking about. The problem was the Mosaic law, really a battle for its validity because Paul is coming against the Mosaic law, setting it aside as he believed had been revealed by Jesus. And I should probably clarify that. Not so much setting it aside, like it’s existence but setting aside its relationship to people, people who believe in Jesus. Paul’s argument was that that law was a vehicle to expose failure, to show sin. You break the law, you transgress against the law, you become aware that you have failed. And nobody, no matter how they tried, could ever succeed. They could never stop transgressing the law. So, no one would ever find their way into a righteous life before God. So, for Paul, the only way to escape it, as he explained in other letters, is to die to it, right? If your dead, then no human law that applies to alive human beings applies to you anymore. Your dead. And you remember the example that he used about marriage. Like if a person…if a woman is married and her husband dies then she’s not bound to that covenant anymore, she’s free because her husband has passed away. He’s gone now. So, for Paul, you die to the law so that you can then live for God. You release everything that you were without Christ and you surrender to His authority in your life, you believe upon Him and are resurrected into a new life that has died to those rules and regulations. Admittedly, that is a bit of a reach. Like that is a bit of a problem for a person hearing it who had been raised in this culture because the law, the Torah…I mean…you are essentially…you are essentially kind of saying like “I’m dying to the Scripture. Like I’m dying to this law that we know of as revealed by God. I’m dying to that so that I can live for God.” You can kind of see the disconnect here. And, so, some would claim…well…they did…they essentially pledged allegiance to kill Paul. Like he’s an apostate, this is a heretic. This is a person who has been trained religiously and has walked away from their faith. Like they need to die. Like they want him gone. I mean they thought he’s like reinterpreting the Scripture to the point that he’s amending a brand-new religion. So, we would all have to admit, that…I mean…that would be difficult…that would be a difficult path to follow if someone comes along and says, “new revelation from God has been given on the earth for Earth’s people and here’s what it is and here’s how it sets aside what had previously been engaged. Here is the way forward. Here’s what God is doing now.” But then we’d also have to admit that that is effectively what the Savior did, the work of Christ as we believe it. As disciples of Christ it was a game changer, like a complete revolution upon the earth in the way that we understand and relate to God and how we relate to one another and where this is all going. But we would still have a pretty hard time setting aside the Bible to get there. And yet, as Paul claimed and as the New Testament claims, I mean Jesus was fundamentally executed because they considered Him to be a lawbreaker and a blasphemer, one who was making claims that only God could make, one who was revealing the way forward. Like, we believe in Jesus and so we understand that like He is reinterpreting the law because the plot of the story had been lost, the spirit of the law had been lost. And, so, there’s only the letter of the law, there’s the rules. And the rules aren’t animated by the Spirit anymore. And, so, they don’t have the weightiness, it’s just about obeying rules. This is kind of what Paul’s arguing but as we enter into and engage with this we can see like, this is difficult, this is a difficult leap. And, so, for Paul he has to go back to the origination of the Hebrew story to prove his point. And his point was, “yeah, Moses gave us the law. God revealed through Moses, but that story had been going on for centuries before Moses was ever born and it started with Abraham and there was no Torah for Abraham to obey. There was no Torah for him to read. There was no Bible as we know it at all. So, God revealed himself to Abraham and the story began and then it continued on all the way until the time of Christ and all kinds of things had developed around it, a whole system of life had developed around it. And then Jesus comes and reinterprets things, unites things and says, “this is the way to go forward.” But in order to follow Christ then, you have to die to some of the previous things and acknowledge that God is doing something new in the world.” So, you see the hurdles. And yet for Paul, the Holy Spirit was working among people, like…like there was evidence of this spiritual renewal, this…this spiritual revolution that was happening. There was evidence for this. People were following Jesus because of the movements of the Holy Spirit, this evidence that is happening. And the Holy Spirit was working among anybody who believed. It wasn’t just Hebrews. Like everybody that the Holy Spirit came upon, everyone who believed was experiencing this. And, so, Paul at some point had to look Torah and look at what he actually was experiencing and we see the Paul chose his experience over the letter of some law, some rules that he had already done everything he could possibly do to live into only to realize it was a dead-end, like he couldn’t get there, he wasn’t going to be made righteous before God. And, so, I quote Paul from our reading today, “let me ask you only this. Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain if indeed it was in vain? Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with faith - just as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness? So, for Paul, having re-received these revelations from Jesus, and this is what he’s teaching, and this is what he’s experiencing, and like there’s no way he’s gonna turn back from what he’s experiencing no matter who calls him crazy. And like we said yesterday, he held true to this all the way to his own death. Like he was executed for believing this. So, for Paul he had already died. Like he had already died to who he was and the fact that he still walked upon the earth was a grace of God living within him to continue the mission forward. And, so, we get to enter into this and wrestle with this and sort of see now why this is so difficult, like why what we take for granted and what we understand theologically as it was being formed was such a difficulty for people in Paul’s time.
Father we thank You for that. We thank You for the opportunity to look at it with eyes wide open, understanding that what Paul said is true - it's…it’s nonsense or its heresy depending on how You’re looking at or it is the absolute truth that is borne witness in our own hearts by the power of Your Holy Spirit. And, so, we thank You for this. We thank You that we have these examples that what we are experiencing in our hearts is real. And we may not be able to prove that we’re not crazy, but we’re not. We have died to who we were. We have been raised up unified in union with You, Your spirit within us, Your divine nature is something that we get to participate and partake of, and live into. And that is good news. That is the Good News. And, so, come Holy Spirit and help us to press in and live it out and be a light in the darkness, we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hello this is Catherine calling from Maryland. I just wanted to call after listening to the September 10th episode today and I was struck by what Brian said at the very end, that this is a community that loves to pray for one another. This isn’t just a community that prays for one another, this is a community that loves to pray for one another. Maybe you’ve said that before Brian but it…that just struck me today that that was…really that is what is really special about this community, creating the beloved community that Jesus directed us to do by loving and caring for one another, helping each other bear burdens and rejoicing together. And I just thank you for this amazing community to hear God’s word every day but also to practice where you’re supposed to be. And then the first caller, you didn’t leave your name, but you sort of hit on all of these things too. What a way to start today and what a privilege and blessing it is to be a part of this community and to not only hear the word of God but to pray for one another and to be connected to one another across the continents and oceans and miles. So many of you, right, keeping prayer as does everyone else. And, of course, pray alongside each and every one of you. So, God bless you. May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you today and every day. Amen.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family this is Rebecca Joy from Illinois calling from a wonderful rainy September afternoon. Oh my gosh…and from my walk if you can hear the cars going by. I love these kinds of afternoons. I’m such a rain person. But anyway, I wanted to call in for a few prayer requests. So, I’m back in school. I am…I’m going to a university in Chicago; however, we are all online so it’s a weird weird time and I am an animation major and it’s weird do you do art at home. So, please pray for just the people at the University, for people at college, for people at school who are just doing stuff at home. It’s very hard to do it home. And please pray for the community of people that I am around. I love these people. I love art majors. There’s so…there so crazy and I love them. But please pray that I can be a good witness to them because I know a lot of them are not Christian, they don’t know Jesus and I want to love them and encourage them and…ah…I want to show in Jesus. So, please pray that I can do that. Also please pray for my two friends, they are struggling so much with their mental illnesses and I can just…I can feel it in the way they can talk and it’s so oppressive. So, please pray for healing for them. I love them so much. I just I…I know what they feel, and I don’t want to see them suffer. And also, please pray for me. Please pray for, you know, just a continuation of looking to God, trusting Him. Just pray that I can stand firm. O my gosh it’s so hard to stand firm sometimes you guys. But pray for that. Pray for just, help me to love, I guess. I really need that sometimes. But yeah, thanks guys.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family I’m Regina from California I am a new listener to the Daily Audio Bible. This is my first time calling in and I’ve been listening since the beginning of the year and I’ve really enjoyed this. It is bringing me…brought me peace of mind and wisdom through Jesus. Anyway, I’m calling in because I’m in a tough spot. I recently graduated college and, thank God I found a job and the opportunity to move in with my family…with my friend’s mom and her and I moved here out of my home with my parents yesterday and was so excited. I start my job tomorrow. Unfortunately, today, the day after I moved in, my friend’s mom decided that she no longer wants a renter in her house. So, I am in a very rough situation and to where…find out where I’m going to live, if I’m supposed to keep this job because I need to find a place to live in this area if I’m going to keep it. So, I am asking for prayer for peace in what I’m going through, discernment to figure out what to do, and just help me have grace on her mom because I…I don’t feel it right now. I don’t understand why or what just happened. I’ve been lost…so please send out prayer. I don’t even know if this is a sign that I’m not supposed to keep his job or not but please pray for me. Thank you, Daily Audio Bible.
Good morning this is Duncan the Piano Man from Fredericksburg Texas. Almighty God I just heard the request for prayer from the lady from…from the Niger…Niger region there and just here about the floods and not only the floods but the persecution that’s happening in Nigeria especially. Father I know our nation has promised to…to…to help persecuted Christians, at least they did in the beginning. Lord, we can’t go back on those promises. I’m just asking Father and I know there are a lot of others asking with me that you would please supply the needs of all those Father who are in the flooded area. I think also a people Father who are being hounded for their faith, not just in Nigeria but all over the world and even here in this country. Then I think of the fires that are burning out of control in California and Oregon and Washington and I have friends and family members who have been threatened by those fires. I ask you Lord to please have mercy and send rain. And then Lord we’re still in the grips of this albatross, this accursed 19 pandemoniac. I’m asking you God to strengthen us to get through it but also asking that you lift this awful curse in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of His shed blood. Our Lord Jesus we give this week to you, although people will be listening to it days later. Thank you for hearing our prayer Jesus. We come boldly in Your name asking and also believing Father that you may have something better for us that we don’t even know. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
This is Kathy from Kentucky to let you know we need prayer in the 12 step groups. Some of the churches…well the church we’ve been meeting at has asked us not to come back because of COVID and we didn’t do anything wrong, but we had to find a new meeting place. So, far we’ve been meeting on zoom and people are hungry for the in-person meeting. So, we are trying to start the in-person meetings again. These are very important for alcoholics. The zoom meetings are not just quiet enough for some folks. I’m gonna keep the zoom meeting going at my house and because I’m in a high-risk age group and then we’ll try to have a hybrid meeting. But the 12 step groups all over the world are struggling. Zoom is okay but is not the same as hugging a person and that’s what we need, we need that human touch. So, pray for us. A lot of relapses, overdoses, and suicides going on right now. And, so, we all need __ and pray for me as I live alone and I’m trying to hold our group together until things get better. And I am an introvert. It’s easier for me living alone but I’m also scared. Thank you. Kathy from Kentucky.
Hi family this is Dawn Rising from Michigan and I like prayed for my nephew. I feel like he’s under spiritual attack where he’s hearing demonic voices and suggestions in his head and I just ask that you pray for his deliverance. I know my sister is also leading a life of sin currently. She knows her actions are wrong, but she just is in an earthly position where she likes it. So, I feel like our families under attack. So, please pray for my nephew Vinny that he will be delivered from this and will come out strong Christian man. Thank you everybody. Bye.
Hello everybody it’s a Sunday afternoon and the sun is shining, and you notice anything different? Can you hear it? Honk your horn Peter. __. I’m out, I’m in the car. Hey! We’re going…what are we going to find Peter? Oh gosh __ cat litter. Yeah, you see I’ve got a little new hobby. I’ve been starting to collect Cacti and I’ve been reading about it and apparently cat litter is good to mix with the compost. And, so __. So, we’re going to go and find some cat litter. It has to be the clay type I believe. So, I thank God. It’s taken me til 2 o’clock in the afternoon to get showered and get up but I’m so grateful. You know, we don’t look at how long these things take us do we? And we don’t look at what we can’t do and just thankful, that even though I’m gonna jump into a wheelchair when I get out of the car, that I’m out. You know, there’s so much blessing if we can stop and look up and instead of looking down. I thank God for His life in me and then you. And Father God I ask that you would bless all my dear friends, my family, here on DAB. I thank you that Your love father, Your arms are big enough and long enough to scoop us all together and told us. And You must be smiling Father. You must be smiling as You’re looking at us as we are enjoying Brian and the Daily Audio Bible and your presence. Oh, my goodness. The time ticking away. Say bye-bye Peter. Bye-bye Peter. Bye-bye everybody. Bye.