- Category: Teachings & Articles
- Published: Sunday, 22 September 2019 10:55
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By Augusto A. Kho
September 16, 2019 (Monday); 6:55 a,m.
Revised for Bureau of Jail, Management & Penology (BJMP)
Revised: Aquino Avenue Road, Paranaque City
September 20, 2019 (Friday); 7:10 P.M.
Vigan, Ilocos Sur (Photo by Peps, 2018)
Mark 4:11/ NLT, He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God.
But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders.”
The above verse is somehow relevant to my quiet time last September 1.2019 (Sunday) at 3:29 am which I entitled “Outside the Door” in Mark 2:2/ NLT, “Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room , even outside the door.” which I preached two weeks later on a Sunday Service.
For those who are not worthy to receive the precious WORD OF GOD, Jesus uses parables to them because they are outsiders in the kingdom of God.
Outsiders are those who hears the Word but never understood mysteries of the Kingdom of God.
Who are we from there, an insider or outsider?
Then listen and obey what the Spirit of the Lord is saying (Revelation 2:7).
Genesis 19:9/NLT, “Stand back, ”they shouted. “This fellow came to us as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge!” The men of Sodom branded Lot as an outsider or being a foreigner when the latter refused his guests (angels) to be abused by the wicked men of Sodom who were then homosexuals.
There the word, outsider is first mentioned Genesis 19:9 in NLT is “sojourn” in KJV in Hebrew word “gur” i.e.” to sojourn, to abide, dwell in, remain, inhabit, be a stranger, to temporarily dwell; to seek hospitality with, to stir up trouble ,strife, quarrel, gather together, to dread, be afraid, stand in awe (Thayer).”
Strong definition it as “ fear (as a strange place), to turn aside from the road (for a lodging or any purpose); to shrink, sojourn, inhabitant, stranger, stand in awe.”
But in the context in Mark chapter 4, it can be referred to a person who got the wrong way of the road as an outsider as Strong define it. When you are in the right track of Christ’s path then you are not an outsider but an insider since Christ is the Way (John 14:6).
The outsiders are called uncircumcised or heathen or unbelievers according to Saint Paul.
Ephesians 2:11, “Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders…”
“Outsider” in Greek “ ëxo” means “without” or “outside the doors” according to Thayer. Strong define éxo’ as ‘”outside the doors” or “strange”. The root word of “exo” is from Greek “ex” meaning “out of place.”
The non-believing people to the Gospel of Christ are automatically become “out of place” from God’s Kingdom. They simply don’t deserve it no matter how often they hear the Word but never understood it.
I remember that I shared last September 3, 2019 entitled, “Outside the Door” in a Prayer Meeting held at Dagupan City then. I referred to the legislators, Malacanan or the Executive branch of the government or to thee Judiciary whether Christ and His Word is “outside the door” in the Philippine Governance since SOGIE Bill on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) is being deliberated at the Senate which is sponsored by Senator Risa Hontiveros. The same thing goes with Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage that brings havoc to the family and to the entire nation.
I find “Outside the Door” and “Outsiders” progressive in terms of God’s revelation at least to me.
When I preached “Öutside the Door” on September 3 at Dagupan City, ironically, the next day that is September 4, 2019, and I was one of the Resource Speaker at the Senate for the SOGIE Bill Deliberation and I was just representing Bishop Daniel A. Balais, the Chairman of Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP).
Ephesians 2:11 says, “Gentiles are outsiders.” Are you an outsider?
While I sharing to “Outsider,” today, September 16, 2019, ironically again, I am also invited at the Senate tomorrow, 17th September as one of the Resource Speaker on Interpolation of “Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage”. Are they accidental?
Do these bills – SOGIE or Absolute Divorce speaks of Christ as an outsider in the area of legislation?
But what about in your personal life, is He an outsider as well?
Breaking of Bread
The Lord’s Supper is not for non-believers of Christ Only those who gave their lives to Christ can take the Communion. Communion is only for the insiders and not for the outsiders.
Often you hear the Gospel here in prison wall from various religious sect and other Christian denominations. The question is – do you really understand the true Gospel of Christ? Have you truly opened your hearts to Him and Christ is never been outside the door of your lives?
Even in the Old Testament times, outsiders are not allowed inside the temple. Gentiles are merely looking outside the Presence of God. Exodus 12:43 says:
“Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron “These are the instructions for the festival of Passover. No outsiders are allowed to eat the Passover meal.”
But you see, you’re now outsiders from the world that you used to have had. You are now insider in this prison walls and as insider, you are quite far away from your home and loved ones
From here God is inviting you to come in and be inside of His perfect will and be in His side always. Jesus Christ is INVITING YOU IN, He said:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,” - Revelation 3:20
Don’t let Him just standing the door of your heart. Let Him in inside your place of loneliness, isolation and despair. Why NOT LET HIM IN? And eat with Him? Dining with the Lord is letting Him an insider, not outsider in your most difficult time.
Dining with Christ
Dining with Christ isn’t an ordinary relationship nor a regular meal.
Sup in Greek “deipno” to dine, that is the principal or evening meal; It is also called “deipnon” supper especially a formal meal held at the evening. It is used of the Messiah’s Feast, symbolizing salvation in the kingdom.
And that makes you an insider, not outsider of His abundance grace, mercy and deliverance. Only when you let Him that makes you free. We call that “grace.”
You must fine below a good material for an outsider who found the greatest find of God because of His amazing grace and great love.
Professor’s New Book Explores the Grace-Filled Stories of “Outsiders” in Scripture
by ESAU. RAHAB. NAAMAN. RUTH. What do these Bible characters have in common?
They are “outsiders” in the biblical narrative who help us to better understand the grace of God, says Seattle Pacific University Professor of Old Testament Frank Spina. His new volume, The Faith of the Outsider: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Biblical Story (Eerdmans, 2005), examines a powerful scriptural motif that, until now, had not been written about in book form.
The Old Testament is the story of Israel, “the ultimate insider community,” explains Spina in the introduction to The Faith of the Outsider, which was written for pastors, laypeople, and university students. “For reasons known only to God, Israel was chosen to be the means for the world’s salvation and blessing.”
It is in the “exclusive” context of an elected Israel that the stories of outsiders — such as a disinherited son, a Canaanite prostitute, an Aramean military officer, and a Moabite widow — are so surprising. Sprinkled throughout the Old and New Testaments, such stories reveal people who wittingly or unwittingly advance God’s agenda and often demonstrate more faith than the insiders do.
Spina calls these stories “foretastes of glory divine” and says they show that even before God fulfills his plan in Jesus, there are outsiders coming into the fold. God’s exclusive election, he argues, has an inclusive purpose.
The stories also highlight the fact that exclusivity in the Bible is not a function of superiority, but grace. “You can’t get more scandalous than grace,” states Spina. “The outsider stories say, ‘Don’t think that you’re elected because God has good taste; it’s because God is gracious.’”
The Faith of the Outsider brings together 10 years of research for Spina. SPU students and Northwest church congregations were his first audiences for the material, which bears the scholar’s signature emphasis on story. Story, he says, is the method the Bible uses most often to talk about God’s involvement in human life.
“The stories point us to something beyond themselves, namely divine action,” he notes. “You can’t use clinical, scientific language to talk about divine activity. In some sense, our grandmothers were better at this than we are, because they read the Bible with an eye to the story. That’s why they could sing the hymns of the church and recognize the allusions.”
In all, The Faith of the Outsider explores seven different biblical figures: Esau, Rahab, Naaman, Ruth, Tamar, Jonah (prophet to outsiders), and the New Testament’s woman at the well. One thing that has surprised readers about these “outsider” stories, says Spina, is their candidness:“You’d never make up stories like these just to make the chosen look good.”