"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

2 more books -- Being Arab & Bible Commentary

Being Arab was written by the late Samir Kassir, a Lebanese journalist who was killed by a car bomb in 2005. This short book (92 pages) was translated from French and it deals with "the current political and intellectual stagnation of the Arab world." As the cover sums it up: "Being Arab is a clarion call, urging Arabs to embrace their own history, to reject Western double standards and Islamism alike, and to take the future of the region into their own hands." It was interesting reading the thoughts of a leftist, secular Arab as he spoke of his world. I found this in my local public library.

The Bible Exposition Commentary, Volume I
is a commentary by Dr. Warren Wiersbe on Matthew through Galatians. I started this 728-paged volume on November 20, 2007 and finally finished July 26, 2008 (TODAY!!!). I did not read diligently during all those months or I would have finished much quicker. There were so many wonderful explanations and reminders of truths. I made note of some of my favorites on a sheet of paper I kept nearby. Just today I finished reading of the power of the cross. In the time of Jesus' death, the cross was not a beautiful piece of jewelry that people wore around their necks or on lapel pins. Rather it represented the most shameful death and was not talked about in polite company. The Judaizers tried to keep things legalistic according to Moses' law (salvation by works) in order to avoid the shame of the cross. However, it is through the work Christ did on the cross that we have liberty from the law and our sins and self! No wonder today Christians call it a wonderful cross! By Christ's work there, we are saved and have peace with God! Another great teaching from today was instead of asking "who is my neighbor?" ask "to whom can I be a neighbor?" For Christians ... "As we abound in love for one another, we overflow in love for all men (I Thes. 3:12). This is how it was meant to be" (page 734).

I Corinthians 1:18-31

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[a]

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."[b]

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