What is the Gospel for today? part three
- NOW AFTER [Paul and Silas] had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
- And Paul entered, as he usually did, and for three Sabbaths he reasoned and argued with them from the Scriptures,
- Explaining [them] and [quoting passages] setting forth and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, Whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ (the Messiah).
It was a custom in the days of Paul for him and the apostles to go into the local synagogues of each town that they preached in and preach the suffering, death and resurrection of the Christ. During Paul's time, men did not use last names as we do today. Men were known by their occupations (Simon the tanner, Acts 10:6), by their father's name (Simon, Bar [son of] Jonah, Matthew 16:17), or by their tribe (Aaron, the Levite, Exodus 4:14). When we see the name Jesus Christ, it is not a first and last name as we know it today.
In the Greek language, the word for Christ is Christos, which mean "anointed". In the Hebrew language, the word for Christ is Mashiach, which means "Messiah". Therefore, Jesus the Christ is Jesus, the anointed one of God.
In Biblical times, when God chose a man who would be the king, the prophets would "anoint" that man with sacred oil, thus proving to the man himself and all the people that the man was ordained by God. Jesus is our "anointed King" chosen by God to bring restoration to all mankind.
Whom did you expect?
Jesus was not what the people expected Him to be. The people, the Jews, expected their messiah to come as a "political" messiah who would tear down the tyranny of the Roman government. When Jesus was born, He was laid in a manger where sheep and cattle ate their straw and hay. He did not grow up wearing the royal robes of an earthly king. His education didn't come from the best royal teachers in the palace. When He entered His ministry, he taught, humbly, about love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He taught repentance and forgiveness. The Jews wanted their "messiah" to come bearing a sword and shield. Jesus, the Christ came bearing the Word of God.
God WILL do what He promises to do!
Depending on who you ask, there are 3,000-7,000 promises given to mankind in the Bible. Can you imagine; 3,000 promises given to you, to me. And the one common thread in each promise given is God. He will always do what he promises to do.
1 Chronicles 17:26--"And now, Lord, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant."
I want to spend a few moments to relay a personal testimony of a promise God has given to me. Without going into too much detail, I need to relay some history. I have a daughter, who is now 17, who lives with her father, and has since she was 5. My fault, his fault, nobody's fault; it's just the way it was through our final divorce. Over the years, my daughter and I have fallen away from each other. Either I did or said something that hurt her feelings, or she did or said something that would hurt my feelings. This last falling out was extremely hard for both of us. I grieved, my heart grieved, my soul grieved. I cried out every day to God for the reconciliation of our relationship.
One night I had a dream: Mark (my husband) and I were having a celebration; I can only assume it was for an anniversary because all of our family and friends were there congratulating us and we were always shown in the front of the room. During this celebration, each one of my eight children, along with their spouses and children, came up to us to hug us and give us their love. My daughter was in my dream, along with her husband and several children; she did hug my neck but did not kiss me and did say to me, "I love you, Mom."
It was at this point that I woke up from my sleep, and laying in my bed, I prayed for the meaning of what I dreamed. I fell back asleep before gaining an answer to my dream, and when I awoke to the morning sun, I felt a tremendous peace within my spirit. I knew at that point, I had been given an answer. As I drank my coffee and prepared for my day, I pondered the dream still.
This is the promise given to me in my dream: I would one day have a reconciliation with my daughter. The condition set upon me was that I had to be patient and wait, and not obsess on what would be or the timing for the promise to be fulfilled. About a month passed and I started feeling a foggy "funk" within my heart about my daughter. One thing that I have always struggled with; but, have gotten better with, is being patient. I knew I had been given that dream. I knew that I had been given a promise. And here I was, doing what God had told me not to do...grieve and be impatient about the timing for the fulfillment of the promise. I had to repent and ask God for forgiveness. I had to remember that God works in HIS timing, NOT mine.
Another month passed, and the day of fulfillment came. I remember asking to talk to my daughter when the conversations had been finished with the other children. She readily accepted a conversation with me that day. And though the way has seemed long and strained at times between her and I, we are at a better place today with, and for, each other.
This was my promise. One promise given from many. What has God promised you today? Are you waiting for an answer to a job? Are you hoping for a saved marriage/family? God will do what He promises to do...continue in your faith and continue to trust.
AMP (Amplified Bible)
For this article I utilized the AMP (Amplified Bible). I have learned of several people who use this as a side-study Bible; meaning, they use in in compliment to another version in order to gain greater knowledge of a word or phrase. It is used mostly as a counterpart to study because it is about three to four times the length as another Bible version; but, must always be used carefully.
The AMP is an English translation Bible produced by Zondervan, along with The Lockman Foundation. The AMP's main job is to "amplify" or "give more details about" the texts of the original manuscripts. The translators did so through a system of punctuation and typographical features, bringing forth a variety of meaning from the original texts.
The AMP was published in a series of six (6) stages:
- The Gospel of John (found in the New Testament) was published in 1954.
- The entirety of the New Testament was published in 1958.
- (going out of order)...Volume Two of the Old Testament was published in 1962. This included the books of the Old Testament from Job through Malachi.)
- Then came Volume One of the Old Testament in 1964. (Genesis to Esther)
- The complete AMP came out in 1965. And...
- There was an updated version published in 1987.
There are seven specific punctuations to be noted when using the AMP during your Bible study time:
- There is the use of parenthesis ( ) and dashes -- to signify the addition of phrases or meanings for the words found in the original texts.
- Brackets [ ] are used to clarify certain words or comments that are not expressed in the original texts.
- Titles used for God, Jesus the Christ, or the Holy Spirit are offset with commas.
- When the use of italics are used, it is to point out a familiar passage; used for "readability".
- Names and personal pronouns referring to God, Jesus the Christ, or the Holy Spirit are found in all CAPITAL letters; but, are used sparingly for most everything else.
- Many verses will have references to them to provide extra clarity. And...
- Synonym usage is greatly limited to what the texts actually warrants.