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Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:31: The Son of man shall come in his glory

“ “Further, when the glorious Son of Humankind returns with all his angels, at that time he will sit down upon his glorious throne of judgment.” (Mt 25:31 mhm)

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Matthew 25:31. Now when the Son of man shall come in his glory.

Christ follows out the same doctrine, and what he formerly described under parables, he now explains clearly and without figures. The sum of what is said is, that believers, in order to encourage themselves to a holy and upright conduct, ought to contemplate with the eyes of faith the heavenly life, which, though it is now concealed, will at length be manifested at the last coming of Christ. For, when he declares that, when he shall come with the angels, then will he sit on the throne of his glory, he contrasts this last revelation with the disorders and agitations of earthly warfare; as if he had said, that he did not appear for the purpose of immediately setting up his kingdom, and therefore that there was need of hope and patience, lest the disciples might be discouraged by long delay. Hence we infer that this was again added, in order that the disciples, being freed from mistake about immediate and sudden happiness, might keep their minds in warfare till Christ’s second coming, and might not give way, or be discouraged, on account of his absence.

This is the reason why he says that he will then assume the title of King; for though he commenced his reign on the earth, and now sits at the right hand of the Father, so as to exercise the supreme government of heaven and earth; yet he has not yet erected before the eyes of men that throne, from which his divine majesty will be far more fully displayed than it now is at the last day; for that, of which we now obtain by faith nothing more than a taste, will then have its full effect. So then Christ now sits on his heavenly throne, as fir as it is necessary that he shall reign for restraining his enemies and protecting the Church; but then he will appear openly, to establish perfect order in heaven and earth, to crush his enemies under his feet, to assemble his believing people to partake of an everlasting and blessed life, to ascend his judgment-seat; and, in a word, there will be a visible manifestation of the reason why the kingdom was given to him by the Father. He says that he will come in his glory; because, while he dwelt in this world as a mortal man, he appeared in the despised form of a servant. And he calls it his glory, though he elsewhere ascribes it to his Father, but the meaning is the same; for he means simply the divine glory, which at that time shone in the Father only, for in himself it was concealed. {1 }

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{1 } “Pource qu’en Christ elle estoit cachee et ne se monstroit”;  — ” because in Christ it was concealed, and was not exhibited.”

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Preceding

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Matthew 25:31-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment on the Realm of Heaven #1 Matthew 25:31-34

Calvin looking at Matthew 25:1-12: The kingdom of heaven and foolishness

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:15: To every one according to his own ability

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:20: And he who had received five talents

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:24: A harsh man

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:24: A harsh man

“ “Finally, the slave given the one talent approached and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a difficult person. You reaped where you did not sow and you gathered grain you have never scattered.” (Mt 25:24 mhm)

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24. I knew thee, that thou art a harsh man.

This harshness has nothing to do with the substance of the parable; and it is an idle speculation in which those indulge, who reason from this passage, how severely and rigorously God deals with his own people. For Christ did not intend to describe such rigor, any more than to applaud usury, when he represents the master of the house as saying, that the money ought to have been deposited with a banker, that it might, at least, gain interest. Christ only means, that there will be no excuse for the indolence of those who both conceal the gifts of God, and waste their time in idleness. Hence also we infer that no manner of life is more praiseworthy in the sight of God, than that which yields some advantage to human society.

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Preceding

Calvin looking at Matthew 25:1-12: The kingdom of heaven and foolishness

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:15: To every one according to his own ability

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:20: And he who had received five talents

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:20: And he who had received five talents

“ First the slave with five talents approached and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents; see here, I have gained five more.’” (Mt 25:20 mhm)

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20. And he who had received five talents.

Those who employ usefully whatever God has committed to them are said to be engaged in trading. The life of the godly, {1 } is justly compared to trading, for they ought naturally to exchange and barter with each other, in order to maintain intercourse; and the industry with which every mall discharges the office assigned him, the calling itself, the power of acting properly, and other gifts, are reckoned to be so many kinds of merchandise; because the use or object which they have in view is, to promote mutual intercourse among men.

Now the gain which Christ mentions is general usefulness, {2 } which illustrates the glory of God. For, though God is not enriched, and makes no gain, by our labors, yet when every one is highly profitable to his brethren, and applies advantageously, for their salvation, the gifts which he has received from God, he is said to yield profit, or gain, to God himself. So highly does our heavenly Father value the salvation of men, that whatever contributes to it he chooses to place to his own account. That we may not become weary in doing well, (#Ga 6:9), Christ declares that the labor of those who are faithfully employed in their calling will not be useless.

According to Luke, he says that he who gained five pounds obtains the government of five cities; by which words he informs them, that the glory of his kingdom will be very different at his last coming from what it now appears. For now {3 } we have labor and anxiety in managing, as it were, the affairs of an absent master; but then he will have at his command an ample and copious supply of honors, to ennoble and enrich us. The form of expression employed by Matthew is more simple, Enter thou into the joy of thy master; by which he means that faithful servants, whose discharge of duty shall meet with his approbation, will share with himself a blessed abundance of all good things.

But it is asked, What is meant by what is added, Take from him the talent, and give it to him who hath ten talents? For every kind of trading will then be at an end.
I reply, We ought to keep in remembrance what I formerly mentioned, that those who insist on explaining, with exactness, every minute phrase, are mistaken. The true meaning is, though slothful and unprofitable servants are now endued with the gifts of the Spirit, yet they will at length be deprived of them all, that their wretched and shameful poverty may redound to the glory of the good. Now these slothful persons, Christ tells us, hide either the talent or the pound in the earth; because, while they consult their own ease and gratifications, they refuse to submit to any uneasiness; as we see very many who, while they are privately devoted to themselves and to their own advantage, avoid all the duties of charity, and have no regard to the general edification. When it is said that the master of the house, after his return, called the servants to account; as this ought to impart courage to the good, when they understand that they do not lose their pains, so the indolent and careless, on the other hand, ought to be struck with no small terror. Let us therefore learn to call ourselves daily to account, before the Lord come, and make a reckoning with us.

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{1 } “Des fideles”;  — ” of believers.”

{2 } “C’est le profit ou l’avancement de toute la compagnie des fideles en commun”;  — ” it is the profit or advancement of the whole company of believers in common.”

{3 } “En ce monde”;  — ” in this world.”

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Preceding

Calvin looking at Matthew 25:1-12: The kingdom of heaven and foolishness

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:15: To every one according to his own ability

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:15: To every one according to his own ability

The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed five thousand coins to the first servant, two thousand to the second, and one thousand to the third. Then he left the country.
(Mat 25:14-15 CEV)

“14  “For this may be compared to a Master about to go on a long journey, who called his slaves and handed over to them his possessions.15 To one slave he gave five talents, to another two, and to yet another, one talent–all according to their ability. Then he left on his trip abroad. (Mt 25:14-15 mhm)

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Matthew 25:15.

To every one according to his own ability. By this term Christ does not distinguish between natural gifts and the gifts of the Spirit; for we have neither power nor skill {1 } which ought not to be acknowledged as having been received from God; and, therefore, whoever shall determine to give God his share will leave nothing for himself.

What then is meant by saying, that the master of the house gives to each person more or less, according to his own ability?

It is because God, as he has assigned to every one his place, and has bestowed on him natural gifts, gives him also this or the other injunction, employs him in the management of affairs, raises him to various offices, furnishes him with abundant means of eminent usefulness, and presents to him the opportunity.

It is absurd, however, in the Papists to infer from this, that the gifts of God are conferred on every man according to the measure which he deserves. For, though the old translator, {2 } employed the word virtus, {3 } he did not mean that God bestows his gifts, according as men have acquitted themselves well, and obtained the praise of virtue, but only so far as the master of the house has judged them to be suitable. Now we know that no man is found by God to be suitable till He has made him so; and the Greek word δυναμις, ( power, ability,) which Christ employed, is free from all ambiguity.

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{1 } “Il n’y a ne puissance, ne industrie, ou dexterit”;  —  “there is neither power, nor industry, nor skill.”

{2 } “Le translateur Latin ancien”;  — ” the old Latin translator.”

{3 } An interpreter who was willing to twist a passage, so as to bring out of it any meaning that he chose, would find the vagueness of the Latin word virtus to be well suited to his purpose. Its derivation from vir, a man, shows that it originally signified manliness, from which it easily passed to denote courage, and, from the high estimation in which courage was held among warlike nations, became the general expression for moral excellence, out of which arose the application of it to other kinds of excellence, as in the phrase, virtutes orationis, the ornaments of style. Again, from denoting manly vigor it came naturally to denote ability; and it is undoubtedly in this sense, with which our English version accords, that rirtus is employed by the Vulgate in this passage.  —  Ed.

 

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Preceding

Calvin looking at Matthew 25:1-12: The kingdom of heaven and foolishness

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Matthew 25:31-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment on the Realm of Heaven #2 Matthew 25:34-36

Matthew 25:31-46 – Judgment on the Realm of Heaven

MT25:31 “Further,[1] when the glorious Son of Humankind returns[2] with all his angels,[3] at that time he will sit down upon his glorious throne [of judgment].[4] MT25:32 He will gather together right in front of him[5] all those from the nations[6] and he will separate these persons from each other[7] just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.[8] [Ezekiel 34:17] MT25:33 He will make the sheep stand at his right-hand, but the goats at his left-hand.

MT25:34 “At that time the King will say to those on his right-hand: ‘Approach, those blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom[9] prepared for you from the world’s foundation.[10] MT25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.[11] [Isaiah 58:7] [I was] thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. MT25:36 [I was] ill-clad and you clothed me. I fell sick and you took care of me.[12] I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

MT25:37 “Then the righteous persons[13] will answer the King, asking, ‘Master, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Or, thirsty, and give you drink? MT25:38 Also, when did we see you a stranger and take you in? Or, ill-clad and clothed you? MT25:39 Or, when did we see you sick, or in prison, and went to visit you?’ MT25:40 And the King will answer them: ‘I tell you this truth: Depending on how much you did to a single one of my humblest brothers, you did it to me.’[14]

MT25:41 “Then the King will also speak to those persons on his left-hand: ‘Depart from me, those who are cursed into the everlasting fire[15] prepared for the Devil and his angels! MT25:42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing[16] to eat. And, I got thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. MT25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take me in; ill-clad and you gave me no clothes; sick and in prison, and you did not look after me.’ MT25:44 Then [the goats] will respond: ‘Master,[17] when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or ill-clad or sick or in prison – and refused to minister to you?’ MT25:45 At this the King will tell them: ‘I tell you this truth: Depending on how much you refused to do to a single one of my humblest brothers, you refused to do it to me.’ MT25:46 And these goats will depart into an everlasting pruning;[18] but the righteous into everlasting life.”

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[9] Inherit the Kingdom: The Greek KLERONOMESATE TEN BASILEIAN is nearly identical to BASILEIAN KLERONOMESAI at 1 Corinthians 15:50 where the “kingdom” is heavenly. Note also Ephesians 5:5, KLERONOMIAN EN TE BASILEIA (See also Ephesians 1:18, 21, 22). The evidence points to the inheritance of the heavenly Kingdom of the Father (Matthew 13:43; Daniel 12:3).

“ Now this I tell you, brothers, that flesh and blood are unable to inherit God’s Kingdom. Nor can that which is corruptible inherit incorruption.” (1Co 15:50 mhm)

“ the eyes of your heart illuminated to some idea of the hope of His invitation–the glorious riches of His inheritance for the Saints–” (Eph 1:18 mhm)

“21 over and above every hierarchy and authority and power and lordship and every name named–not only in this time period but also in the New Age to come– 22 everything God subjected under the feet of Jesus and gave him headship over everything to the Church,” (Eph 1:21-22 mhm)

“ For you realize this that every sexually immoral or unclean person–or one who desires more (which amounts to idol-worship) –has no inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.” (Eph 5:5 mhm)

“ Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Realm of their Father. Let the one with ears, hear.”” (Mt 13:43 mhm)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Da 12:3 NIV)

[10] Prepared for you from the world’s foundation: See notes elsewhere on KATABOLE. Compare Ephesians 1:3, 4. This would also seem to focus the judgment on the Church.

“3  Blessed be The God and Father of our Master Jesus Christ. He is the One who pronounced a blessing upon all of us including every spiritual blessing in the Celestialum incorporate in Christ. 4 This was done incorporate in Christ when The God chose us before the beginning of the world of humanity. He chose us to be holy and flawless under His loving view” (Eph 1:3-4 mhm)

[11] Hungry and you gave me something to eat: See Isaiah 58:7.

“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isa 58:7 NIV)

[12] You took care of me: The whole series is about charity and hospitality. The sheep are those who live the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12). Read and prayerfully meditate upon Hebrews 13:3, 4, 16, James 2:15-17, and 1 John 3:16-18. It is very possible Jesus’ parabolic imagery comes from Isaiah 58:7.

“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isa 58:7 NIV)

“ “So, everything you want others to do to you, you also do to them. For this is the Torah and the Prophets.” (Mt 7:12 mhm)

“3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were bound with them. For you are still in a body and may also be treated badly. 4 All honor marriage, and the bed undefiled, because The God will judge the sexual immoral and adulterers.” (Heb 13:3-4 mhm)

“ Also, do not forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices The God is favorably pleased.” (Heb 13:16 mhm)

“15 For example, if a brother or sister is living without adequate clothing and lacks daily food, 16 and anyone of you says, “Go in peace. Keep warm and well fed” –but do not give them their bodily necessities–what good does that do? 17 Just so, conviction without works is dead by itself.” (Jas 2:15-17 mhm)

“16 By this we know what real love is, because that One surrendered his soul for us; and we owe it to the fellowship to surrender our souls for them. 17 But whoever has the worldly means of maintaining life and beholds a fellow member having a need and yet slams the doors of benevolent empathy–how does God’s love remain in such a person? 18 Little children, may we continue showing compassionate affection not in just word nor by the tongue but in work and truth.” (1Jo 3:16-18 mhm)

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Preceding

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 25:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment by the King and Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep on the Watch

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Matthew 25:31-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment on the Realm of Heaven #1 Matthew 25:31-34

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