Friday, November 13, 2015

ENDING WITH THE BEGINNING


Sermon on the Mount (pt. 22)

THEREFORE...
in consequence of that; as a result; consequently:
I think; therefore I am. (click here for source)

“Therefore” (for this or that reason) and “wherefore” (for which reason) imply exactness of reasoning; they are especially used in logic, law, mathematics, etc., and in a formal style of speaking or writing.

A simple rule of biblical interpretation that any person reading the Bible should follow is this:
Whenever you see a “therefore,” find out what it’s there for.

As noted in the definition and usage applications above, “therefore” introduces a conclusion based on the reasoning previously presented.

I operate from the place of belief that there are no superfluous, meaningless, nor extra words in the Bible. (redundancy helps to drive the point home)

Therefore, when the holy record declares that Jesus said, “Therefore,” I believe He had a reason for saying such. Therefore, I want to know what "therefore" is there for.

It is there so that we may be perfectly sure that the following statement is a conclusion based on what He had just uttered.
Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. [Matt 7:24-27]
The immediate context of this particular “therefore” is that of which I wrote last time—knowing Him.

The context is easy to find. Open your Bible to Matt. 7:24, and you will find (in most translations) that the first word is “Therefore.” Now, using your finger to help you, go backwards through the text until you find the next concluding remark.

That should have you at verse 20 with the word “wherefore.” Since “wherefore” also introduces a conclusion, we can read that conclusion in verse 20 and recognize that we are at the end of that particular section of false prophets.

You have now isolated the context for the “therefore” of verse 24 to be in verses 21-23.

Easy, don’t you think?
SIDE NOTE: just in case I have a theologian or two reading this, yes, I am aware that the entire context begins at verse 13 and takes us all the way through to the end of verse 27; and it should all be presented together for a complete understanding of what Jesus was presenting here.
Therefore, in case you have lost the train of thought within my ramblings here, read again Matt. 7:24-27.

QUESTION: Can you now see the link between doing what He says and knowing Him?
The two are inseparable.

  • 1 Jo. 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.
  • 1 Jo. 3:24 And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
  • 1 Jo. 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.
  • 1 Jo. 4:8 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
  • 1 Jo. 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
  • 1 Jo. 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.
  • John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
John wrote his first epistle with the expressly stated purpose that we “may know that (we) have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13b) He gave us specific criteria by which we can “examine ourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5) to prove that we are in the faith.

John also records that Jesus set a standard by which we can judge ourselves, ie, keeping His commandments. (John 14:15)

Jesus ends His short but powerful sermon by telling us that if we hear what He says, and put His teachings into practice in our own life, then we are like a wise person. If we do not put His teachings into practice in our own life, then we are like a foolish person.

The choice is yours.
Foolish or wise.

Choose wisely.

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