Please can you offer me an exposition on this passage? "For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." (Mark 9:48-50)
This Scripture is often used to defend the doctrine of predestination to hell and to heaven. "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you" (John 10:26) I was looking at the original Greek word for "Because", and I discovered that the same Greek word "???" or "gar" can also be translated, " and, as, because(that),but, even, for, indeed, no doubt, seeing, then, therefore, verily, what, why, yet." Therefore I was wandering if any of these words would be better suited, in replace of "because."
Please help me interpret Proverbs 31:6-7 "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."
Can you interpret this passage for me: "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:43-45)
Would you give me a biblically accurate explanation of this verse? "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32-33)
Please explain this passage. "No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved." (Matthew 9:16-17)
Matthew 5:29-30 seems to teach a works salvation. Will you interpret this for me? "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29-30)
Jesus then tells the young rule to keep the commandments. The man's answer reveals his heart as he asked "which." In other words, what law should I keep to inherit or merit eternal life. He was looking for a particular work to perform.
The young man believed in a works salvation which meant he though he could perform some deed and thus inherit eternal life. Jesus refers him to four of the most known moral laws, not to murder, commit adultery, steal, and bear false witness. These the young man said he had always done these. Jesus then tells him to go and sell all he has and give to the poor and then.....follow Him. In other words if you want to be "perfect" (teleios meaning complete in moral character) the young man must turn from trusting his wealth and devote himself wholly to the Lord Jesus by following Him. Salvation is found in a complete commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. We are to trust him alone. Therefore by abandoning his wealth and putting his trust in following the Lord Jesus he would have salvation and treasure in heaven. The thing that meant the most to the young ruler was not really inheriting eternal life, but his riches was his god and what he trusted in. He was willing to do some self righteous act, he was not willing to give himself wholly to the Lord in faith. It is a simple thing to perform some work or deed, but another thing to commit oneself wholly to the Lord. The principle Jesus was stressing was that works do not save. Jesus was pointing out the gross error of religion of the Pharisees, scribes and the rulers, which was self righteousness in keeping the rabbinical laws would merit them eternal life.
Contextually, the passage is a record of Jesus healed and casting a demon out of a man who was both blind and dumb. The scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demon in the name of Beelzebub, (Baalzebub) the prince of demons which was a idol god of Ekron (2 Kings 1:2) which is a reference to Satan.
Jesus told them that Satan would not cast out a demon from a man because he would be acting against himself. The disciples of the Pharisees cast out demons which is hard to understand, but obviously possible. The Roman Catholic priests who are not saved practice exorcism, so it is possible for the unsaved to cast out a demon.
Jesus then ask the Pharisees the pointed question, "In whose power did their disciples cast out demons?"
He then stated He cast out demons in the Spirit of God. As the discourse continued Jesus make the point that demons cast out by the human means of the unsaved only leave a man empty of the demon. But those cast out by the Holy Spirit cannot return because the man is now spiritually filled. The demon who leaves an unsaved man can return because he is not spiritually born. His last statement was "Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:45)
Many Jews were baptized (John's baptism) and said they had repented of their sins. However, for most it was only lip service as they did not truly believe or accept Jesus as the Messiah and Savior. Their hatred and call for the crucifixion of Jesus showed that. Thus this wicked generation of Jews were lost and were spiritual worse after their false baptism of repentance.
In interpreting a passage you must consider the context of the statement. My article at http://bible-truth.org/Principles.htm "Biblical Principles for Interpreting God's Word" would help you in interpreting scripture.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
Publicly confessing Jesus Christ is not necessary for salvation, but as good works is the natural result of being saved so is publicly acknowledges that they are Christians and are not ashamed of their salvation.
Note Verse 10 of Ephesians 2: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. " (Ephesians 2:8-10)
Note that Matthew 9:14 states the question that John's disciples were asking, which was what Jesus was responding. The question was ". . . Why do we (John's disciples) and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? (Matthew 9:14) That is the context....and verses 15-17 are Jesus' answer.
John's disciples and the Pharisees were following the Talmud or the writings of the rabbis ("rabbanim") written during the 400 Inter-Testamental period between Malachi and Jesus' ministry as recorded in the Gospels. The Old Testament does not contain nor teach the strict "laws" that the Pharisees had added to the law and that John's disciples as were most Jews were following.
Jesus is referring to Himself in verse 15 as the Bridegroom. Fasting (v14) was a practice of being sorrowful or mourning over sin. The allusion is to wedding feast, which is a time of joy and feasting, and not of sorrow and fasting. Jesus was with His disciples and therefore it was not a time to be sorrowful. Mourning and fasting was done when someone died or was taken away and Jesus was neither.
Jesus was using the illustration that if you put new wine in an old wineskin it would break the old stiff wineskin (made of animal skins). The same was true of putting new cloth in an old deteriorated garment. The new cloth would be strong the old cloth weak as to not hold the threads that sewed them together.
The Pharisees were not saved spiritual people, but in a sense old and calloused in their self righteousness and pride of keeping the laws which were vain works. Jesus was making the comparison that His disciples were believing, spiritual men who were living by faith and not old dead works. Keeping the law, mourning and fasting, was old dead works. He was showing them what true salvation and spiritual living was and saying you do not take those that are spiritually alive and living by faith and burden them with putting them under the old and inferior law that never saved anyone. Specifically He was referring to the laws of the rabbis which produced on self righteousness and pride.
We must understand that the Jews thought keeping the laws, the rabbinical laws, would save them and make the righteous. Of course that is not true and Jesus throughout His ministry made this abundantly clear. Jesus was showing them the grace of God that saves, which they did not understand because of their pride.
If God's true of salvation by faith through grace alone is given and received by new believers who are saved by this truth it has a proper setting in which to flourish and grow. God's grace cannot flourish under the dictates of the law. Christians are not under the law. "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Galatians 3:10)
Thus when the Gospel is truly received, believers enjoy the spiritual blessings and liberty of it; and so both the Gospel, which is the grace of God, and the believer are preserved.
However, Jesus was not telling them how to be saved, but how to live in the Kingdom that God had promised to Israel. He was offering them the Kingdom which that they rejected. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus preached and told the Jews to "repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand." This sets the context of the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7 is addressing the promised Kingdom (Millennium). In the beginning of the Millennium (kingdom) everyone will be saved....Jesus was warning those that are to be born to those who go into the Millennial Kingdom. Those born to the believers who survive the Tribulation ...must believe and be saved like everyone whom God has saved....by faith in Jesus Christ.
Those who refuse to live righteous lives in the Millennium will show they are not believers and are unsaved. Thus Jesus was saying that those who lived unrighteous lives were in danger of hell....not because they did not keep the law, but because they were not saved, and in unbelief did not obey the Lord.
This passage, as well as many others, show that Jesus was offering the promised Kingdom to the Jews. This discourse was instructions as to the rule and character of the Kingdom. Jesus clearly presented Himself as the Messiah who would fulfilled the promises that God made to Israel in the Old Testament period. However, the Jews rejected Jesus and thus rejected the Kingdom. Even though Israel rebelled against God, He did not do away with His promises to them, but postponed them. Jesus will return at the end of the Tribulation and purge the earth of sinners who are in open rebellion against Him. He will end the Old Testament dispensation and establish the Millennial kingdom thus fulfilling His promise to the Jews as a nation.
The context is Jesus addressing self righteous Jews who in pride thought themselves worthy of eternal life because they outwardly kept the law. In this verse "because" was used to properly explain why they did not believe. They were not His sheep because they did not believe. They did not believe because even though they were Jews by nationality, they were not of Israel as God purposed them to be. Jesus addressed this with Nicodemus in John 3. They were Israel in name only, not in spirit. They were suppose to be God's chosen people. However, they only had the name of God, supposedly worshiped Him, but in truth had a false religion based on their pride and self righteousness. That is the key to understanding Jesus' statement. He was saying they were not truly God's people, or His sheep by their own choice. His sheep were those that believed and followed God. Their belief was in their false religion based on works and keeping the law.
Verse 41 and 42 show the contrast between believers and the unsaved. Verses 43-48 are addressing the unsaved so the "everyone" are the unsaved.
Salt is a preservative it keeps flesh from rotting or decaying. The fires of hell will not consume the lost. This is further instruction as to the characteristics and circumstances of those who are condemned to hell.
Verse 50. Salt is good as long as it is salty. It is no good if it has lost its saltness. The Jews had, as God's chosen people, the truth of God. However, Israel as a nation had perverted, changed and watered it down until the truth they had was ineffective. Jesus in Matthew 5:13 had told the Jesus they were the salt of the earth. They were God's witnesses to reveal Himself to the world, but they in unbelief had become "unsalty" and no witness for the Lord. Jesus is saying to the individual Jew to have "salt" in yourselves. In other words, although the nation was in error and rejecting God, the individual could accept and believe the truth and be saved and fulfill God's will.
There were bitter contentions among the Jews. The Pharisee, scribes, lawyers and others had their own views of things which made them at odds with each other. Basically Jesus was saying, believe the truth and put an end to the contention. The basis of the contention were false beliefs....believe the truth and stop the division. The truth was God's word, and that He was the Messiah.
Often we tend to think of this in emotional terms. A true believer will wish all men God's best and further in their personal relationships also. However, even though a believer may wish the best for someone (love them), he may be emotionally at odds over some disagreement. Therefore, emotionally one may not be in good fellowship. However, the true believer will still wants the best even for someone who has mistreated them and can forgive them. However, the believer's forgiveness is not conditioned on the forgiveness or response of the other person. (See Matthew 18:20-35) The point is the believer has a heart to love which comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the new nature of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Verse 15 sheds light on verse 14 by mentioning a murderer. A murderer has no regard for the person to whom he murders. To "hate" means to persecute or detest another which shows they selfishly have no regard for the well being of others. There is no love in the murderer's heart for the other persons. A murder may have a "phileo" verb) that means "'to have ardent affection and feeling'?a type of impulsive love" (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1995, "Love"). It would be the love for a mate, family or friend, but this is an emotional love, not a spiritual one as the word "agape" would indicate. The grammar of these two verses are written in strong language and are emphatic statements. The present of biblical love in a person's heart is a test for salvation.
Two degrees of a lack of love are found in these two verses. One Verse 14 ..."He that loveth not." There maybe times when a believers will sin giving in to his carnal nature, but he will be under conviction when in that state. It is abnormal for a believer to not love those around him. Verse 15, is different and more severe saying, "He that hateth his brother." This emphatically indicates an unregenerate heart. A believer could experience the first for a period, but not the second. The murderer seeks revenge and/or wishes to see the other person suffer or destroyed and is consumed by hatred. One's brother is the same as a neighbor and does not necessarily mean just another believer.
Of course a believer could resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit and have an unloving and hateful attitude towards someone. Believers still have the old carnal nature and can fall into sin. If they will not repent (turn from their sin) God will chasten them which could even end in God taking their life to end their rebellion. A sin against a brother is a sin against God. ( See Hebrews 12:6-13, 1 Cor. 11:29-31, 1 John 5:16-17).