OYB November 19

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 17, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Ezekiel 39, Ezekiel 40:1-27
NT: James 2:18-26, James 3:1-18
Ps: Psalm 118:1-18
Pr: Proverbs 28:2

Today´s notable verses:

In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city.

Ezekiel 40:2 (NIV)

I was having some difficulty envisioning the temple described by Ezekiel. I found this scale-model and description to be helpful:

Ezekiel's Temple

Model of Ezekiel's vision of the New Temple
Photo and model© Paul Jablonowski

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:26 (NIV)

These teachings of James can be difficult and confusing, especially in light of the teachings of Paul in Romans 3-5. My take is that, according to Paul's teaching, man is justified in Christ by grace alone, through faith; and according to James' teaching, man's internal faith must and will be evidenced by outward manifestations. That is, the outward deeds of man do not justify, but rather are the evidence of the inward faith through which man is justified.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

James 3:17 (NIV)

These characteristics of wisdom remind of the Fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22. This association makes perfect sense, since the Holy Spirit is the personification of Wisdom (see Proverbs 8, for example).

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.