Untitled

Howdy!  This is one of those posts by me that has absolutely no focus but is solely me rambling on about whatever pops into my head.  As a general rule, my stream-of-consciousness posts tend to be some of my favorites, but I make no promises on this one being any good.  Not to mention, it is getting kinda late, and I have to be up early in the morning, so this can’t be super long or have any profound analogies like previous off-the-cuff posts have had.  I, in my nerdy little English mind, think it’s funny that both words describing the spontaneity of my posts are hyphenated words.  Yep, that’s me for ya.

Lately, my life has been pretty busy.  I have been working five days a week as a teacher’s assistant in a summer school.  I essentially do crowd control for kindergartners through third graders.  It’s….  exhausting.  I’m up every morning at six, and I’m working by seven thirty.  It’s pretty fun, I love the kids, it just wears me down by mid-week.  The school only runs for a month, and I have the rest of this week and one more week before it’s over.  I am going to miss the kids dearly, but I will greatly appreciate being able to hang out late into the night again.  I have learned a lot working with kids, and I can’t get into all of it tonight, but I will say that they are some of the most selfish beings I have ever encountered.  I am probably the most selfish person I know, but man, I don’t even want to imagine what I was like as a kid.  I mean holy cow, these kids don’t care about anything or anyone but themselves.  It’s incredible.  I love ’em though.  They’re pretty fun and behave for the most part.

I am having a great summer with my guys from youth group.  It has been an amazing summer of fun, relaxation, and most of all, growth in Christ with these guys.  I am truly enjoying the time I am spending with these guys.  And while I am excited for school to start back up again, I am valuing every minute I spend with these guys because I know I will dearly miss them when I go back to TU.

I figure I should add a bit of what I’m learning on here so it is worth reading at least partly…  So here is a little bit of what I’ve been learning (I have been learning many different things and developing my theology a lot this summer.  So I’m sorry if it seems all over the place.  I cannot possibly explain all I have been learning in this short blog post, but message me on Facebook if you want to hear more sometime.):

“We, as Christians and obligatory teachers of gospel of Jesus Christ, must always remember to keep the gospel at the center of what we teach and share with others.  The minute we begin to stray away from the foot of the cross, in thinking its too basic or the like, is the minute we, as obligatory teachers, lose sight of the big picture and stray from the main idea of the Bible and Christianity.”  (That’s how I would write it, if I was scholarly and stuff).

I will attempt to unpack this statement a bit for you.  The word “obligatory” that I throw in front of the word “teacher” a couple of times in that statement above may be somewhat alarming or confusing to some of you (the word some assumes that more than one person actually reads this thing, ha!).  I say obligatory because I could not think of a better way to say “we are all called to teach in some capacity” in adjective form.  The reason I say that we are all called to teach in some capacity lies in Titus 2:1-6.  It says:

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.  (Titus 2:1-6 ESV)
The people who are being addressed as teachers in this passage include:  older men, older women, younger women, and younger men.  That pretty much encompasses everyone.
Next, as far as not straying from the foot of the cross goes, Paul shows a great example of preaching/teaching effectively without losing sight of the main thing (being the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ a.k.a the gospel).  Any time Paul, in any of his letters, strays from the basic fundamentals of the gospel, he is exhorting the people to whom he is writing.  Paul always wants to talk about the gospel in its most pure form.  However, sometimes he talks about other subjects.  Let’s take sexual immorality., for example.  1 Corinthians 5:1-13 is Paul telling the Corinthians the the impure sexual lifestyles they are developing defile the church.  He does not present this topic solely to talk about how sexual immorality is bad and needs to be fixed.  Paul is saying to the Corinthians, “You are living sexually impure lives, this is hindering you from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is a problem that needs to be fixed.  Not by what you can do, but by submission to the Holy Spirit.  Paul, in the middle of the passage regarding sexual immorality, writes this, “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.   (1 Corinthians 5:7 ESV)
This is Paul connecting his exhortation regarding sexual immorality to the gospel.  Paul never writes about a topic without somehow connecting it to the main idea, the cross of Christ and his resurrection.
I gotta stop.  I gotta go to bed.  Haha, I could keep going for a while, but there is just a bit of a taste of what I’ve been learning.  I hope you got something out of it.  It was all “off-the-cuff.”  Hahaha… oh geez.
Have a great night.
-Chris
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John 10

Hey guys.  This is a blog post I wrote for another blog I write for called, “What the Blind See.”  I know, I’m cheating on Fall Write in Love…  forgive me.  I tried to fix the formatting, it won’t let me….  sorry bout that.

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Howdy.  It’s good to be back posting on What the Blind See.  My name is Chris Martin and I am a sophomore Bible major at Taylor University in Upland, IN.  I am looking to pursue further education in BIblical Counseling or some other seminary field.  When Cookie emailed the writers about needing someone to write about John 10, I thought I would take him up on the offer.  I have been struggling to write on one specific topic lately because of the wide variety of things I am learning in my life recently.  I figured writing on one specific passage would be easier than trying to articulate exactly what I’ve been learning (I need to tackle that one for my first general blog post… oh boy).
Before we even start reading John 10, we need to understand what the purpose of the book of John is.  It is a gospel, so we would be correct in assuming that the book is about Jesus.  However, what part about Jesus does the book of John cover?  The header, in the ESV at least, preceding John 20:30 helps.  It reads, “The Purpose of this Book.”  If that isn’t straightforward enough for you, I don’t know what would be.
Here is what John says is the purpose of his book:
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. “
(John 20:30-31 ESV)
I kinda see John as the first apologetic.  Unlike our modern day apologetics, he doesn’t present historical proof or the like because this gospel is more like CNN than the History Channel.  John presents the gospel in such a way that says, “Here is the God-man Jesus.  He is the Christ, and here is why.”  That’s kinda the vibe I get from it.  And know, you need to take my interpretations with a grain of salt.  I am not a Biblical scholar.  Cookie encourages the writers to think for themselves about a passage before they consult commentaries.  So all of this that I write is personal interpretation, not scholarly by any means.
In this post I want to analyze John 10:1-21, but I am going to focus on one verse more than the entire passage itself.  The passage is primarily Jesus painting the illustration of him being the good shepherd.  Here is a passage we are going to break down today:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
(John 10:1-5 ESV)
I was a bit troubled when I read this passage.  I thought this illustration was going to be somewhat difficult to break down.  But then, as I read on, I realized Jesus broke it down for me!  (to a point…)  Here is a brief overview of what each image in the illustration represents:
Heaven/eternal life with God = sheepfold
Jesus = gate
False prophets = thieves and robbers
Jesus (spiritual leaders?) = good shepherd
??? = hired hand
Gentiles? = other sheep
United church = one flock
Some parts of the illustration that I listed above (hired hand, other sheep, etc.) are not mentioned in the passage I copied above, but later in the chapter when Jesus breaks down the illustration.  Let’s begin to digest what’s going on here exactly.
Jesus doesn’t explicitly say this, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the sheepfold he speaks of, to which he is the gate, is heaven, or eternal life with God.  Jesus is the gate to heaven, the only way to become part of the sheepfold.  False prophets, or false teachers of God’s word are the thieves and robbers that try to enter the sheepfold (heaven) by means other than the one gate (Jesus).  These would be people who preach gospels of works-based salvation, prosperity gospel goons, etc.
Next is a point that is somewhat puzzling, but one I think I may have somewhat of a clue on.  Jesus calls himself the good shepherd, the shepherd who leads the sheep through the gate, to the sheepfold.  Initially, I thought to myself, how on earth is Jesus the gate and the shepherd?  I mean I know he is God, and he can do anything, but logically, in the illustration, it didn’t make sense.  Then, it hit me, and I was rather surprised that I didn’t figure it out earlier.  Jesus is simply explaining his spiritual leadership.  I think, again, my personal interpretation, that the “good shepherd” is a Biblically-centered spiritual leader leading people to Christ.  I think another stipulation for this “good shepherd” is that he must be willing to “lay his life down for his sheep.”  Aside from Jesus, Moses and David are also called good shepherds in the Scriptures.  I may not be correct in thinking that a self-sacrificing spiritual leader can be the shepherd, but it just kinda makes sense.
Besides that, I think that in this illustration, Jesus is simply showing that not only is he the gate by which we enter into eternal life with God, but also that he leads us to himself.  Above, I put “???” next to the hired hand.  I am somewhat confused as to what a hired hand would look like in the deciphering of this illustration.  I think that it may be someone who considers himself a leader but bails when times get tough?  I am not sure, maybe a friendly commenter could help me out on this one.
Next, Jesus starts talking about “other sheep” and how his sheep and these other sheep will form “one flock.”  I think this should be an easy one to break down.
The other sheep Jesus speaks of are obviously the Gentiles.  This makes the most sense, as he is addressing Jews.  The one flock is the mix of Jews and Gentiles to form one church.  if you want to know more about this topic, read Ephesians, there, Paul writes about the unity of the Church in Christ, not ethnicities.
Well, that part of my post turned out to be a lot longer than I planned on it being, so I’ll make my rant on this one verse shorter than I thought it would be initially.  Here is the verse I want to write about:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10 ESV)
This is one of the most-taken-out-of-context verse EVERRR!!!  Particularly by one, Joel Osteen.  Jesus did not come so that you may have a Ferrari and an in-ground pool.  Rather, Jesus came so that you may find abundance in him.  Abundant joy.  I could write on this for days, so I won’t go into much depth.  But please, I beg of you, don’t take this verse out of context.  Jesus did not come so that we may be worldly rich, but that we may be abundantly joyful in him.
Thanks, post any questions you may have.
-Chris

Howdy.  It’s good to be back posting on What the Blind See.  My name is Chris Martin and I am a sophomore Bible major at Taylor University in Upland, IN.  I am looking to pursue further education in BIblical Counseling or some other seminary field.  When Cookie emailed the writers about needing someone to write about John 10, I thought I would take him up on the offer.  I have been struggling to write on one specific topic lately because of the wide variety of things I am learning in my life recently.  I figured writing on one specific passage would be easier than trying to articulate exactly what I’ve been learning (I need to tackle that one for my first general blog post… oh boy).
Before we even start reading John 10, we need to understand what the purpose of the book of John is.  It is a gospel, so we would be correct in assuming that the book is about Jesus.  However, what part about Jesus does the book of John cover?  The header, in the ESV at least, preceding John 20:30 helps.  It reads, “The Purpose of this Book.”  If that isn’t straightforward enough for you, I don’t know what would be.
Here is what John says is the purpose of his book:
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. “(John 20:30-31 ESV)
I kinda see John as the first apologetic.  Unlike our modern day apologetics, he doesn’t present historical proof or the like because this gospel is more like CNN than the History Channel.  John presents the gospel in such a way that says, “Here is the God-man Jesus.  He is the Christ, and here is why.”  That’s kinda the vibe I get from it.  And know, you need to take my interpretations with a grain of salt.  I am not a Biblical scholar.  Cookie encourages the writers to think for themselves about a passage before they consult commentaries.  So all of this that I write is personal interpretation, not scholarly by any means.
In this post I want to analyze John 10:1-21, but I am going to focus on one verse more than the entire passage itself.  The passage is primarily Jesus painting the illustration of him being the good shepherd.  Here is a passage we are going to break down today:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:1-5 ESV)
I was a bit troubled when I read this passage.  I thought this illustration was going to be somewhat difficult to break down.  But then, as I read on, I realized Jesus broke it down for me!  (to a point…)  Here is a brief overview of what each image in the illustration represents:
Heaven/eternal life with God = sheepfoldJesus = gateFalse prophets = thieves and robbersJesus (spiritual leaders?) = good shepherd??? = hired handGentiles? = other sheepUnited church = one flock
Some parts of the illustration that I listed above (hired hand, other sheep, etc.) are not mentioned in the passage I copied above, but later in the chapter when Jesus breaks down the illustration.  Let’s begin to digest what’s going on here exactly.
Jesus doesn’t explicitly say this, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the sheepfold he speaks of, to which he is the gate, is heaven, or eternal life with God.  Jesus is the gate to heaven, the only way to become part of the sheepfold.  False prophets, or false teachers of God’s word are the thieves and robbers that try to enter the sheepfold (heaven) by means other than the one gate (Jesus).  These would be people who preach gospels of works-based salvation, prosperity gospel goons, etc.
Next is a point that is somewhat puzzling, but one I think I may have somewhat of a clue on.  Jesus calls himself the good shepherd, the shepherd who leads the sheep through the gate, to the sheepfold.  Initially, I thought to myself, how on earth is Jesus the gate and the shepherd?  I mean I know he is God, and he can do anything, but logically, in the illustration, it didn’t make sense.  Then, it hit me, and I was rather surprised that I didn’t figure it out earlier.  Jesus is simply explaining his spiritual leadership.  I think, again, my personal interpretation, that the “good shepherd” is a Biblically-centered spiritual leader leading people to Christ.  I think another stipulation for this “good shepherd” is that he must be willing to “lay his life down for his sheep.”  Aside from Jesus, Moses and David are also called good shepherds in the Scriptures.  I may not be correct in thinking that a self-sacrificing spiritual leader can be the shepherd, but it just kinda makes sense.
Besides that, I think that in this illustration, Jesus is simply showing that not only is he the gate by which we enter into eternal life with God, but also that he leads us to himself.  Above, I put “???” next to the hired hand.  I am somewhat confused as to what a hired hand would look like in the deciphering of this illustration.  I think that it may be someone who considers himself a leader but bails when times get tough?  I am not sure, maybe a friendly commenter could help me out on this one.
Next, Jesus starts talking about “other sheep” and how his sheep and these other sheep will form “one flock.”  I think this should be an easy one to break down.
The other sheep Jesus speaks of are obviously the Gentiles.  This makes the most sense, as he is addressing Jews.  The one flock is the mix of Jews and Gentiles to form one church.  if you want to know more about this topic, read Ephesians, there, Paul writes about the unity of the Church in Christ, not ethnicities.
Well, that part of my post turned out to be a lot longer than I planned on it being, so I’ll make my rant on this one verse shorter than I thought it would be initially.  Here is the verse I want to write about:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”(John 10:10 ESV)
This is one of the most-taken-out-of-context verse EVERRR!!!  Particularly by one, Joel Osteen.  Jesus did not come so that you may have a Ferrari and an in-ground pool.  Rather, Jesus came so that you may find abundance in him.  Abundant joy.  I could write on this for days, so I won’t go into much depth.  But please, I beg of you, don’t take this verse out of context.  Jesus did not come so that we may be worldly rich, but that we may be abundantly joyful in him.
Thanks, post any questions you may have.
-Chris