Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why does Peter Believe that as a Christian or Believer of Jesus Christ One has to Endure Undeserved Punishment?” What is the Reward in one’s Suffering?

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Pain is the Christian way of life , it can sometimes feel as though it keeps some christian’s incapable of moving forward.  Christian’s who deal with such battles as these are accustomed to such sayings, “Thank you God for my pain,” “I’m going through,” “Lord give me strength to overcome this trial,” “ I am glad  I can still feel pain, ” and lastly,  “Thank God I’m going through.” All my life I have heard many of my family and friends talk about pain and embrace it with these such sayings and I admit I tend to say them also. Most of these saying are summed up result of an individuals  struggles in life, marriage, work, finances, and other difficulties faced which in some instances are pain. The fact that pain is a normal way of  life for the Christian household or fellow  believers in Jesus is a question that cannot and has not been answered in one word.Why does dealing with pain connect one closer to God? In 1 Peter, there are multiple subjects but the one that draw curiosity are the ones found in chapters 2 verse 19. In this verse, Peter discusses personal relationships with authority and  how  ones character should carry on in this position. In 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 19, Peter writes; “that there is merit in if, in awareness of God, you put up with the pains of undeserved punishment.” After reading this, I felt that it was impartial, and a bit cruel that one side would respect the feelings of one who with cruelty rules over another and causes pain. I didn’t really understand the benefits of this’ “undeserve punishment,”so I researched what Peter meant . Many Christians such as myself, have ignorantly assumed that we know because it seems self explanatory , but  not so much. While searching this question of what Peter meant by enduring pain, I did not find much but was taken to the “denial of peter,” during his discipleship with Jesus. There had been no information that would bring me to answering this question so I wondered did Peter call Jesus his master because masters are usually associated with striking or responsible for pain. I raise this question, altough we are no longer in this section of the bible would it be okay to reference back if it  will help me answer my question? Well Peter did however call Jesus his master upon meeting him at the sea when he was first called which is actually questioned by many scholars. In the article by Charles Spurgeon called The Contradictory calls to Peter he writes;              John tells us that Peter was called by Christ through the preaching of John the Baptist, who bore witness that Jesus was Christ, the Messiah (John 1:37). Matthew, on the other hand, tells us that Peter and his brother were fishing, that Christ was walking by the lake of Galilee, and that as He passed by He saw these men fishing, called them by name, and said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:18-19). However the third call, and that afterwards Jesus called not Peter and Andrew alone, but the whole twelve of His disciples and set them apart to be Apostles (Matthew 10:1-2). “ Spurgeon believes that this last call is different from the other. Coming to look at the subject we find that the first call was the call at Peter’s conversion, which called him to be a disciple while still at his daily work as a fisherman” (http://www.jesus.org/life-of-jesus/disciples/three-contradictory-calls-to-peter.html). I mention this because it leads to my question with Peters actions and behavior later on as a servant or better yet a disciple of Jesus. While at the sea when peter is exhausted and tired, he is asked by Jesus to fish a little more after a long day of fishing and no catch. Think about this pulling in nets is hard work , the ropes drenched in water, and not to mention, the sun beaming down on his face draining his energy.  When I think of this, I think of a long hard day at the gym or at work and after this I am ready to go home, my feet are in pain , sweating profusely and a little more would mentally and physically exhaust me. Peter had been fishing all day ,  “it was near night” and  “Jesus” ask him to fish a little more and that he does. I would imagine myself saying, “now Jesus, all these fish here, I know you see my net is empty, so master I havent caught any so lets come back tomorrow when I have rested.” hi-res image of No matter what happens in %23life, be %23good to people. Being %23good to people is a %23%23wonderful legacy to leave behind. Luke 5:4-7, English Standard Version (ESV) , 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. After this I thought on what a little more can mean, “Just a little more suffering” because that is what peter talks about later in 1 peter chapter 4 versus 12-14. He would know somewhat of what a little suffering may mean. He was of course a disciple and had many enemies but some friends and he was outside for hours fishing for his master. This then lead me to why should a Christian endure suffering and how does it affect them, because they are constantly looking for that reward mention in chapter 2 of  1Peter. I researched and I actually found three explanations and they were the best answers among many. Beth Davies-Stofka wrote in his article Suffering and the Problem of Evil three significant reasons to what suffering means by key historical figures, “The first, “ Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons and a Church Father, believed that evil is necessary for human moral and spiritual development and is part of God’s purpose. God created humans in a morally and spiritually imperfect state so that they can strive in response to suffering, in order to grow into full fellowship with God. This argument continues to influence Christian thought and belief.” The second, “theologian Augustine, born in 354, who became the Bishop of Hippo in north Africa. Augustine proposed that, since God endowed people with free will, we were able to freely choose to do evil as well as good. Simply stated, there is evil in the world because humans choose to do evil things. “Free” will is not free if we can only choose the good, so God does not prevent us from choosing evil. Suffering is the price we pay for this freedom to choose.”The third, mention in his article is,“18th-century philosopher G.W. Leibniz who believed that despite our suffering, and the tragic and catastrophic events in our lives, we are living in the best of all possible worlds. God is in control, Leibniz believed. When something terrible happens, it is not because God is not involved. God allowed it in order to prevent an even more terrible event from occurring. God is able to anticipate and prevent consequences that we cannot see. Since God is good and loving, we can trust that God creates and sustains the best possible world (http://www.patheos.com/Library/Christianity/Beliefs/Suffering-and-the-Problem-of-Evil?offset=1&max=1).” “His explanations really were knowledgeable and useful and I could now mention the reward Peter spoke of now. In the words of  MISS E. M. LEATHES “ a Reward is a payment for service rendered; a prize gained by conduct; a wage paid for labor accomplished.  “Do good,” our Lord says, “and your reward shall be great” (Luke 6: 35).  “To him that worketh,” says the Apostle, “the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt” (Rom. 4: 4): that is, if he has worked for it, he has earned it, and the reward is his due.  But [eternal] salvation is exactly opposite. “By grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is.the gift” – not the reward – “of God: not of works, that no man should glory” (Eph. 2: 8).  No man has ever lived, or ever will live, that earned his salvation through works: it is a gift given purely and solely on the abandonment of all self-righteousness” (http://www.themillennialkingdom.org.uk/RewardThroughSuffering.htm). It is one thing to endure for grace because as a christian many can be ignorant of why they endure pain, therefore, it is also a matter of their decisions and whether they are the cause of their own pain and suffering. When peter said, “undeserved punishment,” he meant things out of ones control because you cannot control what others do to you but i is possible to control what we do to ourselves ad others. Do not be ignorant in your own knowledge but learn from your suffering.

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What was the author’s goal in writing such a small book as the book of Jude?

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What was the author’s goal in writing such a small book as the book of Jude?

While reading the books for my class project, I was apprehensive as to what I would find to write about this week. Interesting enough, I actually stumbled upon, well had to read the book of Jude as a part of my project. The book of Jude is a short book, I felt if I start reading why not start with the shortest books and go from there. While reading the book of Jude , I schemed thoroughly up and down the pages, looking for things that were unfamiliar and also unusual words that posed a question that I could not answer. Though there were multiple things worthy of being topics of discussion but the message behind Jude seemed especially important. Though I did not write about this part of Jude , I wanted to list a unique I read in the book of Jude. It is the story of the archangel Michael and the devil, “Michael and the devil had  an argument earlier in the text. It only gives us a small insert of what happened early during the time of Moses death, however I do not remember this story at all or have knowledge of it. More importantly, it goes on to describe how the archangel Michael was engaged in argument with the devil about the corpse of Moses. Both were arguing on who would have his body, this was so weird what would they need with a dead corpse anyway. The commentary expressed, however, that this argument was about who would claim Moses’s body after death,” (New Jeresalem Bible Jude. 1.8-9). This is amazing and something new to me, yet it was certainly not the main focus of my paper. Prematurely, I wanted to know who is the author of this book and  what were the characteristics that made him important to add in the biblical text.  The book was a of course pretty straight forward and  to the point in expressing something that was going on at this time, which is evident in the Jude verses 3-7. In reading you can perceive that something is bothering  the author and he is addressing a situation and this this made me typically want to know more.

Of course the writer of this books name is Judas, and in short Jude, he is also believed to be the half brother of Jesus” (insight.org). As insight.org explains, “The author identified himself as the “brother of James” (Jude 1:1), importantly enough that he was probably not the apostle named Jude, a man who was called “the son of James” (Luke 6:16). That the author of the book of Jude identified himself as the brother of James likely aligns him with the family of Jesus” (insight.org). “The half brother of Jesus is only speculation because of the opening text which explains that he is the servant of Jesus and brother of James” (insight.org). How they get that he is the brother, comes from the genealogy of James which he is believed to be the brother of Jesus and his older brother to be exact, he is not the apostle James which is ruled out because this book was written after the Apostles death in A.D. 44 (biblestudytools). “Also to add, the book of Jude is said to be written in A.D. 67 and 80” (insight.org)

This now answers my question on why this book was important. If the brother of  Jesus wrote the book, it would definitely be important because this was someone who grew up with Jesus and probably watched him during his exploits. It is said that Jude was not a follower of Jesus, however,  until after his  brother’s death, which the same is said for James, both did not follow their brother until after his death (insight.org). This is sad to know, you watch your brother your whole life and maybe witness  him do marvelous acts, yet not follow him until after his crucifixion, typically families.

Next order of business is finding out who was the author addressing in Jude,  there are multiple stories out there that speak that he was speaking against Gnostic beliefs (atheism.about.com). Around this time many we going around preaching and giving false messages “leading people astray and encouraging the practice of moral libertinism” (atheism.about.com).  “Gnosticism comes from the Greek gnosis, which means ‘knowledge,’ and applied to various religious beliefs on different forms of their reality (atheism.about.com). These realities are multiple beliefs on ‘Phenomenon:’ of one God creator of all things; or a spiritual knowledge given through mystical powers (demiurge);or of God the creator of the real world who  opposes demiurge”(atheism.about.com). “Libertinism are practices or habits of life; disregard of authority or convention in sexual or religious matters” (dictionary.com). These people were known for their indulgence in physical pleasures and free spirited individuals who could care less about morality and Jesus belief of saving and sinning no more. Jude’s audience were Christians, whom he desired to have knowledge of what would come from ignorance. His objective was to save  Christians (Jesus followers) from the likes of false teacher, yet help individuals who were trying to stand in strong in their faith, but could waver because of teaching like that of “libertinism” (insight.org). As I finished reading the the article from insight .org, it really expressed the author’s intent of the book of Jude. The book of Jude in short, is straight to the point and did need useless words or to waste words. “Jude had no space or time to dance around the issue, these heresies were worthy of condemnation because they were rejecting authority and pleasing themselves” (insight.org).