Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 91. This treasure in "earthen vessels" reveals the surpassing greatness of the power of God. Part 3. .

Thursday, September 22, 2005

JOH 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
PRO 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And as a brother is born for times of adversity.
1JO 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Hermeneutics is the science and methodology of interpreting the Scriptures.

The first mention principle is that principle by which God indicates in the first mention of a subject, the truth with which that subject stands connected in the mind of God.

Newton said, “I find in Scripture this principle of interpretation, which I believe, if conscientiously adopted, will serve as an unfailing guide to what was in the mind of God.”

Dr. A. T. Pierson - “This is a law we have long since noted, and have never yet found it to fail. The first occurrence of a word, expression, or utterance, is the key to its subsequent meaning, or it will be a guide to ascertaining the essential truth connected with it.”

“13” in Scripture is used in connection with rebellion. All through Scripture, 13 is a number that has in it the note of rebellion against God. It foreshadows apostasy.

There is the subtlety of Satan, GEN 3:1.
Expect subtlety every time you meet him, 2CO 11:3.

There is the business of Satan indicated in the first words recorded,
“Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

The first words recorded of our Lord -
LUK 2:49 “Did you not know that I had to be about my Father’s business?”
HEB 10:7 “Behold, I have come to do Thy will, O God.”

The same thing can be said about the first mention of Faith, Holiness, Spirit of God, the Son of Man, the Day of the Lord, the city of Jerusalem, Babylon, etc.

“To man, friendship is indispensable and to that one who has no need and feels no need for it, he must be either much above the human nature or much below it.”

“Take a ladder,” was Constantine’s advice to such a one, “and climb up to heaven by thyself.”

1CO 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
1CO 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

EPH 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
1PE 5:8 Be of sober {spirit,} be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

This principle also rebukes the religious solitaire, that isolated being who belongs to no Church, because no Church is perfect enough for him or her.
1CO 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”

But our self-confidence is our stumbling block.

He wears down our noble determination through the frustrations of life and He squeezes out of us every piece of our self-confidence by disappointment and defeat.

He allows our goals and dreams to fall apart or sink in the swamp of human power and strength.

When “can-do” can’t, He shows us that He can, and therefore we can.
(“I can’t” then becomes blasphemy.)

JOB 23:14 For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.
1TH 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

The demands that have been placed on us are now demands on Him.
PHI 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

To persuade ourselves that we are something when we are nothing is terrible loss; to confess that we are nothing is to lay the foundation of being something.
GAL 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

We move through the day in our distracted way, assuming that our compulsions and motivations are mandates from God.

Paul seemed to know exactly what he was doing and believed that what he was doing was thoroughly worthwhile.
He was with people and he taught them.

Paul was with others, befriending, socializing, getting to know them, entering into their lives.

He reminds us of TLJC, Emmanuel, “God with us,” who spent a seemingly inordinate amount of time eating, fishing, strolling by the sea, chatting, going to parties, being neighborly.

A friend is merely someone we befriend.
The way to make a friend is to be one.
PRO 18:24 “A man that desires friends must show himself friendly.”

The other element in Paul’s work was impartation: “I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house,” verse 20.

Friendship entails telling another what we ourselves have come to know about God-nothing more and nothing less.

2CO 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Like Jonathan, who went to David at Horesh and “helped him find strength in God,” 1SA 23:16, a real friend is one who leaves another with a word that strengthens his grip on God.

The simplest things are often the most spiritual things of all, 2CO 11:3-4.

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