Devotional Notes Psalm 115+John 3

Psalm 115
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Among many reasons to praise God are His love and faithfulness.
C2 Note the difference between “gods” and Yahweh.
C3 God is living, thinks, acts, talks, decides, moves, etc.
C4 Verses 9-11 speak to those who should praise God: Jews, Priests, and everyone else.
C5 The opposite of praising God is seen in Romans 1:
D1 Romans 1:21 NET For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.
D2 Most often people do not give God the credit for what He has done, is doing, and will do.
D3 Not only that, but they are not thankful either.
C6 The fear of God is
D1 Recognizing that He is the Judge.
D2 Thanking Him for forgiveness and salvation, for perfect love cancels fear. 1 John 4:18 GNB92 There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.
C7 Verse 17
D1 The dead refers to those who cannot praise God in the flesh, because the flesh has composted.
D2 Others
E1 Adam Clarke: The dead praise not the Lord – המתים hammethim, those dead men who worshipped as gods dumb idols, dying in their sins, worship not Jehovah; nor can any of those who go down into silence praise thee: earth is the place in which to praise the Lord for his mercies, and get a preparation for his glory.
E2 Dake (exercise discernment):
dead praise not the LORD The dead-those who are dead physically. Only the body dies at physical death (James 2:26). It returns to dust at death and can’t praise the Lord (Gen 2:7; 3:19; Eccl 3:19-21). This doesn’t refer to soul-sleep (see No Soul-Sleep Taught in Scripture). This could also refer to the spiritually dead-the idolaters of Psa 115:8 who don’t worship God in life or praise Him after death. One must meet God’s terms of salvation in this life if he expects to be saved, for there will be no opportunity in the intermediate state or after the resurrection. After this, the judgment (Heb 9:27).
go down into silence This refers to physical death, not spiritual (Psa 94:17). In Sheol/Hades there is no silence (see Hell).
D3 Scripture never teaches the temporary existence of humans.
D4 Death is not extinction, it is living in a different mode (earth versus hades and finally heaven versus lake of fire (hell)).
D5 Most who believe in annilationism/conditional mortality redefine eternal, soul, justice, punishment, etc. We must believe God and interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Read and study the Bible in its plain, normal sense. Praise God. Give God credit.
John 3
B1 What does this mean?
C1 Nicodemus
D1 A respected leader of the Sanhedrin. See John 7:50-52.
D2 He was a Pharisee. William Barclay (exercise discernment) describes the Pharisees, their devotion to the Law of Moses, and examples of how they changed the law by adding their ideas. Keeping their definition did not and could bring citizenship in the Kingdom of God.
D3 Along with Joseph of Arimathea, he did not vote to condemn Jesus. See John 19:38-39.
D4 Didn’t understand exactly who Jesus was.
E1 He acknowledged that he did miracles and that he could not have done so unless God was the source.
E2 That’s better understanding than the others who claimed the source of miracles was the devil (Matthew 9:34).
E3 There were others also who acknowledged Jesus as being from God (John 9:16-17).
C2 Born again
D1 Physical birth (especially as a Jew) does not guarantee a place in the Kingdom of God.
D2 The Kingdom of God is where God reigns. The Jews of that day expected a warrior messiah who would overthrow the Romans and re-establish the Kingdom of Israel.
D3 Verse 5 is explained by verse 6. There is a physical birth and there needs to be a spiritual birth as well.
D4 2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
D5 Verse 8: The new birth from above (God) is from the Holy Spirit.
C3 Jesus begins to describe the importance of belief in God. We have the Scriptures (to be understood in it plain, normal sense) which teach us God’s ways, His standards, He desires, His decisions, He deeds, etc. We must be God. Jesus is God, and we must believe Him. Nicodemus struggled with the idea here.
C4 Verse 13 is questioned by many people, so they teach that this was teaching that Jesus is not in heaven and earth at the same but after His ascension, He was in heaven. Wilbur Pickering writes in his Bible translation:
About 1% of the Greek manuscripts, of inferior quality, omit “who is in Heaven” (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.). Presumably those copyists couldn’t figure out how Jesus could be on earth and in Heaven at the same time, so they altered the Text. But let’s stop and think about what this verse says—Jehovah the Son came down out of Heaven all right, but when did He go up? If “the Angel of Jehovah” in the O.T. was Jehovah the Son, as I believe, then He had been back and forth many times. In Joh 5:19 Jesus said that He could only do what He saw the Father do—so when and how could Jesus see the Father? Even though Jehovah the Son was in the human body of Jesus Christ, evidently there was some sense in which He was also in Heaven; He existed there. Well, that’s what 1:18 says, “who exists in the bosom of the Father.
C5 Verse 14. Believing God when they were bitten by serpents would mean those who looked at the bronze snake would be healed. Those who didn’t look would die. One believed; the other did not. See Numbers 21. As the bronze snake needed to be lifted up, so Jesus would be lifted up on the cross. Those who believe are saved; those who refuse are not.
C6 Verse 21: we must acknowledge we are sinners, we are not good in God’s sight, and we need God’s salvation because we cannot do it ourselves.
C7 Jesus and John the Baptist baptizing.
D1 John’s disciples had a question about Jesus and His baptizing.
D2 John explained that he had testified that Jesus was the one who is greater, so we should expect these things.
D3 Verse 32: those who believe Jesus’s testimony affirms that God (Jesus) is true.
D4 Verse 34: God (the Father) sent God (the Son), who is Jesus. Jesus teaches the words of God. Those who believe have everlasting life and those who do not have God’s fierce anger. We have been warned.
B2 How do I apply this to my life? We have not reason to not believe, so I believe. Jesus’s existence, teaching, deeds, etc. are a reasonable faith.


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