Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016


Embed or link this publication


Bible instruction from members of churches of Christ - this is the final issue.

Popular Pages

p. 1

1 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 2

2 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 3

EXPOSITORY FILES 23.12, DEC. 2016 TABLE OF CONTENTS {HYPERLINKS MAY NOT WORK ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS} {IF VIEWING WITH YOUBLISHER, YOU MUST DOWNLOAD THE PDF, THEN LINKS SHOULD WORK} Expository Files Announcement Front Page, Final Page, Jon W. Quinn Replying to the call of a fallen world, Dan. 3:16-18, Jon W. Quinn “If the Lord Wills,” Jas. 4:13-17, Nathan Quinn Through Faith in Christ, Gal. 2:15-21 Gal. 2:20, Johnny Felker Pagan Idolatry, Isa. 36, Drew Nelson Spiritual Disciplines: Resisting Temptation, Jon W. Quinn Plan of Salvation Final Page, Final Page, Warren E. Berkley PRESSING ON MAGAZINE – Highly Recommended 3 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 4

Expository Files 23.12, Dec. 2016 Edited by Jon W. Quinn & Warren E. Berkley ____________________________________ Expository Files Ceasing Monthly Publication This December issue (23.12) will be the final monthly issue of Expository Files. The editors are saddened, but our sadness is diminished by the knowledge that we have provided exposition of Bible texts for 23 years, still archived and available through our website which links to the Canadian server owned by Steve Rudd. In the summer of 2015, the editors met in Texas. Jon has experienced serious illness with his vision. While he still awaits a potential remedy (for which we all pray), there is the continuing strain on his eyes doing publishing work and especially the tedious html editing. And Jon’s future visual capacity is uncertain. Aware of this in our 2015 meeting, we agreed that we had worked so well together over 23 years, it would just not seem right to break up the team. Warren told Jon, “if I can’t do this with you, I’m not doing it alone or with anyone else.” The time has come. This issue will be the final monthly publication. Other words of reflection will appear in the Front Page and Final Page. And, in the Final Page, Warren will highlight some of the initial plans to keep the EF imprint alive in other forms. Thanks to all our writers, our wives, proofreaders and readers. We are thankful to God for the opportunities afforded us over 23 years of continuous monthly publication. Click Here To Visit A Magazine We Recommend, Pressing On, edited by Mark Roberts. Click Here For A Sample Issue Of Pressing On (PDF Link) 4 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 5

Back to Table of Contents 5 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 6

The Front Page (For the final time) Expository Files 23.12 By Jon W. Quinn I will say that the decision to cease publication of Expository Files has been a difficult decision for me. I will explain why the decision needed to be made in a moment. I appreciate Warren being so understanding as I hesitated between the decision to continue or to cease editing Expository Files. 22 years is quite a long time to regularly do a thing. To be working on our last issue is sad thing for me. It will be strange not putting together an issue next month. I am so thankful that Warren approached me with his idea back in 1993. A monthly electronic publication! No postal regulations or costs. No spoiled or lost issues. Not a whole lot of expense involved. Will this internet thing ever catch on? Let’s do this! Neither of us had any idea how many people we would reach or how long it would last. I cannot begin to express how much I have enjoyed working with Warren through the years. I still wonder why he asked me to co-edit EF with him. We had been friends since the late 70’s when we were both located with churches in Kansas. But we had never lived very close to one another since then. He knew many men more capable than I. But, it worked! Warren has always been such an encouragement. I love and respect him as a brother and friend. Without question, He is a loyal soldier of our King. He has helped make me a better disciple of Jesus. I also want to thank all those who have written for our publication over the years, several of them posthumously. We could not have done it without them (well, we could have, but the issues would have been much shorter!). The problem I have been dealing with over the past year and a half which has led to this decision is a disease of the cornea. At one point last year, the cells started detaching from the surface of the cornea and this was extremely painful. Various medications and treatments were tried, but ultimately I had to have surgery. The remaining cells were scraped off and allowed to grow back. Unfortunately, they did not grow back as smoothly as we had hoped. The slight imperfections in the 6 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 7

rounded shape of the cornea meant continued vision impairment, though much improved over what it had been. Reading and editing, as well as formatting for the web became very difficult and even frustrating. It had always taken quite a bit of time to index all the articles for the archives, but now it was taking much longer still. During this time I have also been preaching from outlines with large fonts; 18 point fonts at first. And with difficulty. That has since come down to a 16 point font presently, and I am comfortable with that and could probably go 14. I will have another surgery soon. I am also dealing with some eye pressure issues. So, that is where I am right now. I want to say that it could have been much worse. I continue to preach, teach both public and private Bible classes and publish a weekly bulletin. I can drive, but generally do so only in the daytime. I can actually see at a distance without glasses better now than I have been able to my whole adult life, but not quite as well with glasses. I just wanted to explain why we came to this decision. I also wanted to express my thanks to God for the opportunity that I have had over the past 22 years to work with Warren in this endeavor. Glory to His name! So, a heartfelt thank you to my friends, Warren and Paula. Also to my wife Barbara. She has been so supportive in so many ways. Actually, I am a very blessed person. Very blessed! Back to Table of Contents 7 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 8

“We Will Not” Replying to the call of a fallen world (Daniel 3:16-18) By Jon W. Quinn To have “integrity” is to be honest while doing what is right regardless of the costs. The Old Testament book of Daniel teaches us much about integrity, not only in the example of the book's namesake, but also in his three contemporaries; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. In addition to the examples of faith, courage and commitment, there are other themes running throughout the book as well. One theme is that the Hebrews were not in captivity because the gods of Babylon were stronger than Jehovah, but rather because of the unfaithfulness of God's people; "Indeed all Israel has transgressed Thy law and turned aside, not obeying Thy voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.” (Daniel 9:11). Another message of the book is that the people would soon be allowed to return home and rebuild Jerusalem, and that a Messianic kingdom was coming, but it would not be established immediately upon their return home from captivity, but about 490 years in the future (Daniel 2:44; 9:24-26). This, of course, speaks of that which was fulfilled in Jesus and His kingdom (Colossians 1:13). But let us turn our attention to the example of faith seen in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The King's Selection “...youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding, and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king's court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily ration from the king's choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king's personal service.” (Daniel 1:4,5). These were not three young men with nothing to live for. They were mentally, physically and socially qualified. They were to be trained for three years and then serve on the highest court of advisors in the land. The policies of a world empire would be formed 8 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 9

based on their input. The honesty, dedication and integrity of these three men was no accident. Spiritual mindedness and seeking to please God goes hand in hand with being the best you can be. The King's Decree “...that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.” (Daniel 3:5). A new law was passed that required worship of an idol. Now these three young men have an opportunity to do what so many are willing to do; compromise a bit to maintain their favored position. A report reached the king that the three Hebrew youths refused to worship the king's idol (Daniel 3:12). The king reacted with anger and summoned the three youths and ordered them to worship the image as commanded, or they would be burned alive. They were given every opportunity to compromise. Everyone waited to see the outcome. Would they do the sensible thing? Would they crack? Are they so fanatical that they won't even just agree to do what everyone else has already done? What's wrong with them? Do they think they are better than everyone else? “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18). Well, that did not go over well with the king! “Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.” He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. (Daniel 3:19). The end result was that they were thrown into the fire which was so hot that those who threw them in were killed by the heat. But God did not allow the flames to harm these young men. Upon seeing such power behind the three, “Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.'” (Daniel 3:28). He also decreed that no one throughout the empire was to say anything derogatory about Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews. 9 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 10

The Temptation to Compromise First, these were young men. One thing that stands out in the Bible is the blessing of being faithful to God in ones youth. Age is not an excuse to compromise with the world in matters contrary to God's will. The principle of reaping what is sown applies to the young and the old (Galatians 6:7,8; cf. 2 Timothy 2:21-22; 2:1-3; 1 Tim 4:12 and Ecclesiastes 12:1,12-13). Also, these young men were far from home. Being in a strange place is sometimes seen as a cloak for participating in evil. Perhaps those back home would never hear of transgressions, but God always sees. We cannot hide behind a cloak so thick that God does not see (Job 34:21,22). Finally, we see the proper answer to the invitation to compromise our faith. It is “no” even when it will cost us plenty. These young men did not have to be given a second opportunity to sin against God, because their answer would be the same, whether God delivered them from harm or not. It did not matter. It would be worse to reject God than to suffer the cruelest of hardships caused by faithfulness. There is simply no other proper response to the world than this same bold response. Back to Table of Contents 10 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 11

“If the Lord Wills” James 4:13-17 The Rich and the Poor in James #4 By Nathan E. Quinn In the book of James there are multiple instructions that deal with how godly people should view wealth. There have been warnings of dangers that relate to pride and worldliness that should give us pause as we reflect on our life and the goals we make. Work is a part of life and there is a need to make money. In fact, providing for “one’s own” is a commandment of God. Building an inheritance to leave to ones children is something a good man will strive to do (Proverbs 13:22). Making plans, work and business are a basic part of life. Yet even with this necessary pursuit James gives a clear warning about our priorities and encourages us to be more concerned about accomplishing what is right. “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” (James 4:13) James calls out to the entrepreneur to consider what he is about to write. He describes the great lengths of careful planning that one will go through in order to make a profit. All the details are worked out and all the right questions have been answered! The when, where, how long and what have been carefully considered and there is a great anticipation of the productive outcome. Now it is just time to work the plan and enjoy the fruit of the labors. “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) The reality is, even the most well thought out plan rarely works out to exact expectation. Questions about tomorrow are never completely answered today. There will always be parts of our life that are entirely out of our control. We can never know what our life will be like tomorrow. We can assume and we may be right, but just as a vapor appears and then vanishes our life can change or come to an end without any warning whatsoever. 11 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 12

Too often in one’s pursuit of wealth the Lord is either neglected or left out all together. While careful planning is made for “profit” sake, the Lord’s will is not considered. God’s plans and providence may or may not allow us to go to such and such a city. James goes on to point out that it is arrogant to make these plans without recognizing the possibility that the Lord may or may not allow it (James 4:16). “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” In a pursuit of financial profit it becomes easy to forget to plan on diligently serving the Lord. While we assume tomorrow we put off what needs to be done today. While we are careful to ensure the greatest chance of success in our business endeavor, we neglect the needs of our soul as well as the souls of those around us. Too often our plans to make money result in a neglect of doing what is right; When we neglect doing “right” for any reason (including business endeavors) we commit sin. It is always the Lord’s will to do what is right today. This passage is about prioritizing “the right thing to do” above going “to such and such a city”. For these reasons we live our life with a “what we ought to say” mentality. We approach every decision saying “if the Lord wills” we will do what we plan to do. As we do this, we prioritize the revealed aspects of God’s will above the plans and uncertainty of the future. Since tomorrow can only be assumed, we take care of our spiritual needs today. We ask questions like does God want me to do this? Is there something in the word of God that suggests something else would be better to do? Have I neglected a responsibility that God has given me? When we “know” the right things, we do it. We are to never let our business plans interrupt the commands and instructions of scripture for when we do, to us it is sin. Back to Table of Contents 12 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 13

Through Faith in Christ Galatians 2:15-21 Warren E. Berkley 15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. This is a follow-up from Paul’s encounter with Peter. Peter and others had acted hypocritically in relation to Gentiles (after certain Jews arrived they wanted to impress). Paul dealt with Peter and others about that. This is a follow-up. “Jews by birth” should know, after hearing the gospel, that one’s birth, race or nationality is not a pathway to justification. And, doing the works of the law of Moses is not awarded with access to God. Access to God after the resurrection and today is “through faith in Christ.” That phrase needs to be marked, underlined, highlighted and considered as the main idea of this section. It is not race, nationality or obedience to the law that takes sin away and brings the forgiven sinner into fellowship with God. It is “through faith in Christ.” 13 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 14

To know what this means, please read everything in the New Testament that is before this phrase and everything after. Especially, engage in a good reading of the book of Acts. All that is involved in “faith in Christ” emerges right on the pages. Hearing the gospel, believing in Christ, confessing that belief with repentance followed by baptism – makes you a Christian, no matter if you were/are Jew or Gentile. This question comes up (verse 17): “But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!” Sins committed by Christians (i.e., Peter’s hypocrisy at Antioch) never reflect on Christ. The fact that one becomes associated with Christ in baptism, does not imply that all future mistakes are attributed to Christ. Paul wanted it to be known, Peter’s mistake belonged to Peter, not Christ. Paul applied this to himself: “For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.” The sins of the servant do not reflect on the Master. To this Paul added: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Christ lives in His followers, as long as His followers are living “by faith in the Son of God.” This leads Paul to praise God for His grace, in contrast to keeping the law of Moses. Christ died for the express purpose of making the way to God accessible to all. Back to Table of Contents 14 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue


p. 15

“It Is No Longer I Who Live, But Christ Lives In Me” —Galatians 2:20 Johnny Felker How would you describe the ultimate priority of your life? What principle knits together the activities of your life into a unified purpose? For Paul, that priority and principle is expressed in his loving challenge to Peter recorded in the epistle to the Galatians: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). This one window into the heart of Paul is the basis of all his life’s efforts as a Christian. For in the integrity of a good conscience and through the working of God’s grace, Saul of Tarsus became a follower of Jesus Christ. Understanding Paul’s Statement For years Paul had sought to merit righteousness by works of obedience to the Law. Motivated by the strictest devotion to the traditions of the rabbis, he earned the reputation of one “blameless” (Philippians 3:6). However, after becoming a Christian, he realized how inadequate his efforts had been to earn righteousness before God in this way. For the law that was intended to impart life to him (through perfect obedience) called instead for his death because of sin (Romans 7:10). Indeed through the Law, Paul died to the Law in order that he might live to God (Galatians 2:19). Touched by the love of the Savior who died for him, Paul crucified the old man and freely accepted the righteousness that is “through faith in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:9). In baptism he began a new life in which Christ lived in him (Romans 6:3ff). It is this single purpose that forged the many statements we read from Paul’s pen and that defined his attitudes and activities. It was the appeal of all his letters: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14). It was the grounds of his hope for those he taught: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Consequently at Antioch, when some were advocating that conditions of righteousness by the Law be 15 Expository Files 23.12 Dec. 2016 Final Issue



no comments yet