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Discussion 5 on Meditation 176
Are the Biblical references relevant?

by Gord Barker

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I am always concerned when I see a biblical reference to a small number of verses and wonder if the reference is taken out of context for the benefit of the author rather than as a clear reference to the idea being discussed.  From the post of Ko Pow then, let’s look at the references being used.

Philippians 1:15-17

Paul is preaching to the deacons and bishops of the Phillipian Church .  He prays to God on their behalf, implying his belief in intercessory prayer.  He states that the relationship between him and the Phillipian Church is based on belief in the gospel. He also states that he (Paul) thinks they (the Phillipians)  are doing it right which he “witnesses” to God.

Verses 9-11 constitute a prayer which he ends with a reference to his “house arrest” when he was under what was apparently protective custody, and how that coupled with his attachment to Christ has embolden many others to speak of Christ more boldly than they would have otherwise.

Here is the reference you make.  Some preachers at the time preach from envy, some from good.

The reference you are really making is verse 18, which says that it doesn’t matter what the speakers motives are, he was happy that Christ was preached.

That probably doesn’t fit the point you are making.

Matthew 13:10-17

This is the first point in which Jesus talks to the multitude in parables only, rather than a sermon peppered with earthy parables to enhance the meaning.  His disciples are confused by this and the reason they are given is that the people, who have listened week after week and have not accepted (or understood) the teachings, Jesus is taking away even the opportunity to hear, and he will now speak to them only in parables to confound them because they have bin obstinate in unbelief.  The parables are a judgement on the unbelief of those who have refused to believe in him.

The disciples understand the parables because they have seen the truth or been shown the truth by God.

Before I can disclaim anything about this passage I would have to understand how it fits in with your post.  I have no such idea right now.

Matthew 13:7,22

In these two references, Jesus is referring to Christian faith failing in a person who is concerned with materialism and that in this environment will choke spiritual growth and make him/her unfruitful. 

Don’t talk to me about materialism, talk to that guy who runs the crystal cathedral in California that I see on Sunday mornings.

Romans 10:17

This is Paul preaching (remember Paul?) again saying that being zealous about God doesn’t get you anywhere unless you believe correctly.  There are two types of righteousness; God’s version and a personal version.  The personal version comes from trying to fulfill the commands of the Old Testament law.  Failure to comply with Old Testament law does not bring about punishments but compliance does not bring the blessing of God either.  Trying to get to salvation by following the righteousness of law places the burden on shoulders of the individual.  This is imperfect and will not work in the end.  It also denies the role that Jesus plays (currently) in heaven making intercessions for everyone. 

Paul says that who ever believes in Jesus to the extent that they are willing to change their actions accordingly and confess that He is Lord God and witness this (say it out loud I guess) can be saved.  You don’t have to join a religion to be saved.  There is no difference between religious and non-religious people, moral or non-moral people, etc.  Everyone is a sinner and needs saving.  So to save people there must be preachers to preach.  But don’t expect everyone to accept your message.

Finally, here is the reference.  Faith only comes from continually hearing and believing what God’s word is saying.

As to the reference about Jesus making a blind eye see and a seeing eye blind, well, if that was made after the point of time that Mathew 13 referenced then we’re not supposed to understand it because Jesus had already judged us too obstinate to be told the truth anymore and we would have to do with “dark sayings”.

After looking at your references and the story behind them I have no idea what you are talking about.