The Bible and Science – Acceleration

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Proverbs 25:2 (NIV)

This may be a strange verse to start a devotion on acceleration. You can find words like quick, distance, faster, and many mentions of time(s) in the Bible but not acceleration.  Starting, stopping, changing direction, and falling are concepts that are found in many stories and verses in Scripture.  So, I started with Proverbs 25:2 because it is clearly something “kings” have searched out as a foundational base of the science of motion.

Acceleration covers speeding up, slowing down, falling, and changing directions while moving.  Another way to think about it is changing velocity over time.  Velocity is speed with a direction, that thought is better when you realize that when you have a speed, are moving, you are going somewhere.  That is why you can have positive (going faster and faster) or negative (going slower) acceleration.  Not moving or not changing speed means no acceleration.  (“Science Minds” please bear with me as I will be “wandering” a bit.)

Since acceleration is not a Bible term I will give three verses that show aspects of that motion:

  1. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know God. If you are to “be still” it would make sense that you were moving. So, to stop in the Lord you are decelerating.  After you have spent time with Jesus and are ready to move you will accelerate
  2. 2 Corinthians 3:18 We are transformed with ever increasing glory(NIV paraphrased) Glory to glory(KJV) Jesus meets you where you are in life, but He wants you to be increasing over the time you are His.This is an example of acceleration; gaining more of Him as you continue forward, in life, in the “Jesus life”.
  3. Deuteronomy 28:7 Come at you from one direction and leave in seven directions. As your enemies move at from one direction they will turn to flee from you.  That is an example of acceleration (changing directions). I can see them hitting angels that are shielding us and being turned aside. You could bring in several other laws of motion here but that may happen later.                                                              ∞ Jesus, help us to continue moving forward as we are spending time with You.

Things Paul Wrote On: Hope

Paul writes often about “the hope” that is part of the Gospel message.  His best-known reference is in 1 Corinthians 13 (Faith, Hope, Love) but Romans and 2 Corinthians certainly have many references to this Hope.  This theme is not new with Paul or the New Testament so for further study see: Hope and LORD God and the links at the bottom of the page.

Hope is not used in OT until Judges/Ruth (so there is no “hope” in the Law) and is not used in Revelations (Hope is being fulfilled). The word hope is used the most in Psalms and Romans.  1679/1680 (elpizo/elpis) is used sparingly in the Gospels (mostly by Luke) and most of these refer to the future or the past, from their perspective.  The KJV translates 1679 as trust, which is also used sparingly in the Gospels. (Since you could see Jesus you did not need hope.)

The use of the word is easily separated into two categories:  the “hope” of the Gospel and non-gospel “hopes”.  Below are several of the Gospel “hopes”.

*Romans 8:23-25  23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

*Romans 12:12 be joyful in hope

*Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with joy

*Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called (all scripture are from the NIV)

*Colossians 1:5, 23, 27

*1 Thessalonians 1:3; 5:8

*1 Timothy 1:1; 4:10

*Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7

Does hope have a measure?   Faith and love can be given “quantities” like: “great faith”, or as a “mustard seed”, or “greater” love hath no man.  Hope does have descriptors and is used as a descriptor of Jesus: 2 Thessalonians 2:16 – good hope;1 Timothy 1:1 Jesus Christ our hope; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7 hope of eternal life, blessed hope; 1 Peter 1:3 living hope.  If you have not quit you have some measure of hope, however little.  Maybe, that is why Paul will use terms like patience and endurance with the concept of hope.

(You will need your Bible for this!).

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:7 through the end of chapter 4, uses hope to bring together several concepts.  In verse 3:12 he talks about hope making him bold.  This refers to 3:7-11 and the “ministry that brings righteous” and how glorious this should be in comparison to the old covenant.  In 4:1 he again refers to this ministry and how he does not “lose heart”. (He repeats this term in 4:16.)  4:8-10 is showing what has happened to him and basically, he did not lose “hope” because of these problems.  He did not let them overwhelm him because he wanted Jesus.  That list includes many indicators of someone who is losing/lost hope. Because Paul worked through them he developed endurance.  Finally, in verse 4:18 he brings up the “unseen” part of hope by not losing heart (verse 16). May I suggest using Bible Gateway and use the search terms “lose hope” and “grow weary” to add to this study.

Thoughts: If you have a vision of what you are to be doing in the kingdom you have hope.

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/hope

https://bible.org/article/hope

Things Paul Wrote About – 1 Corinthians 12

Chapter 12 starts a three-chapter discussion of gifts.  The “Love Chapter” is sandwiched between gifts and offices and an explanation of prophecy and tongues.  Verses 1-3 have puzzled me in this study, it is amazing how you can read something and not think about it.  Paul clearly states why he is writing this section, “so we are not ignorant of spiritual gifts”.  He then discusses idols and what the Spirit will and won’t do.  I realized verse 2 and 3 are there because people claiming to have gifts from the Spirit were trying to make much of idols and cursing Jesus while claiming they have a spiritual gift.  They could have also been giving credit to an idol while claiming it was from God.  The test of Spiritual things is very simple – can/will/do the people proclaim Jesus as Lord! Some will not be able to say the words, others will not live the words.

Verses 4 – 6 seem to be an outline for what is coming and gives you a clear look at what the Spirit, Jesus, and Father God does for the Church.  The repeating of the word “same” might alert us to what those people in 2 +3 were doing and saying.

We like to make list and when we make those lists it seems that the reason for making the list is the first thing on it.  If we take time to edit our list how does the order change?  Do we go most important to least important or the other way around?  It always seems to me that Christians tend to take the first thing in Paul’s list as the most important and then diminish everything after that as less important. (See Things Paul Wrote About).  Since I have done that also I can’t/won’t “throw rocks”.  But, verses 12 – 26, the part done by the Lord Jesus should give us a different prospective.  One part of the body is not more important than another, all are parts of the Body.  (We should honor those who labor among us and verse 28 does show an order when God choose workers.  But does that make them more important.)  So, when verse 29 + 30 ask “are all” it is possibly in response to “people choosing” what they “wanted to be” so they could be more important. Those offices will show themselves from “doing” the work, not from self-proclamation.

Why Did I?

  1. The reason I put Jesus with the Body part (v.12-26) which is labeled “service” is our service is to the Body.
  2. I called chapters 12 -14 a unit of thought because of chapter 12 starting with “Now”. Even though there are other “now’s” before chapter 15, at fifteen the thought changes and Paul reminds them of the Gospel he preached to them.

For other references to gifts see (Passover to Pentecost – Gifts from the Spirit) and Isaiah 11:1.

Things Paul Wrote About – Reflections on Slaves

The first thing that caught my attention in this study of slaves was that the KJV only used the term once, in the Book of Revelation.  Some research I did revealed that King James’ England was a land with slaves that would have qualified as doulos.  Were the writers of James’ Bible trying to down play slavery?  I cannot answer that question but it does show that you need to study the things you read, especially the Bible.

The second thing that stood out was that our paradigm of slavery was not condemned and denounced.  Paul clearly spoke against the slave traders but not owners.  The instructions to both the owner and the slave was to do right by the other.  Paul did encourage slaves to gain their freedom, if possible.  Slavery was a complex part of society of that society.  In the Greco-Roman world it is clear that there were levels of slavery.  In Israel, by Law, you could own foreign slaves and you could have Jewish slaves.  The Jewish slaves were to be freed every seven years, that may not have been obeyed as it is one of the things that brought about the down fall of Judah in the Book of Jeremiah.  To add to this thought a Jew could choose to stay the property of someone by having his ear pierced on the owner’s door frame.

The third thing that is challenging my thoughts is the terms lord and master. Those terms are easy to throw around, but in calling Jesus Lord and Master we are identifying ourselves as His. We are His doulos and need to look to Him as the one who controls ALL aspects of our life.  That is a very deep thought and one that is very easy to down play. (see Slaves to Righteousness)

Things Paul Wrote About – (Other) Slaves

In this study the version of the Bible is a factor when you are looking for slave, servant, or bond servant; KJV renders doulos as servant while more modern translations use slave.  (See the post – Slaves) Paul used the term doulosmost of the time even when referring to his relationship with God.  But, Paul used several other terms that are translated servant/slave: 3610 – oiketesin Romans 14: 4 and once in Philemon; 1248 – diakoniain Romans 16: 1.  He also used 3000latreuo(to serve for hire, minister, worship) in Romans 1:9 and 1 Timothy 1:3; 1398 – douleuoin Romans 6:6, 7:6, 7:25, 9:12, 16:18; Galatians 5:13; Colossians 3:24; 1 Thessalonians 1:9. ( See Slaves, these are from a Strong’s Concordance KJV and the italic numbers are the New Testament references.)

Paul wrote to believers who were gentiles in a Greek and Roman world.  Many of churches had slaves or slave holders, so in a sense some of what he was writing would have been very unusually to them.