Sunday School Lesson #18

May 16, 2006 | 19 comments
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Lesson 18: Joshua 1-6, 23-24

The Story

1.    The Lord counsels Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, and Joshua prepares the people to do so. (Joshua 1)

2.    Joshua sends spies into Jericho, and Rahab hides them, receiving a promise that Israel will preserve her family. (Joshua 2)

3.    The ark of the covenant is taken into the Jordan River, where the priests remain still, holding it; the river pulls back, allowing Israel to cross on dry ground. (Joshua 3)

4.    The Lord commands Israel to build a monument of twelve stones in the river as a memorial of the miracle. (Joshua 4)

5.    The Lord commands the Israelites to circumcise the males born in the wilderness; the Israelites observe the Passover and the manna ceases; the captain of the Lord’s host visits Joshua. (Joshua 5)

6.    Israel destroys Jericho miraculously, exempting only Rahab and her household from death. (Joshua 6)

7.    After the battles involved in claiming the land for themselves, Joshua gives Israel his last instruction on the blessing or curses that await them in the new land. (Joshua 23)

8.    Joshua gives his farewell instructions and dies, as does Eleazar, the son of Aaron; the bones of Joseph are buried in Shechem. (Joshua 24)

Study Questions

Joshua 1

Verse 1: Why is Moses referred to as the Lord’s servant, but Joshua as Moses’ minister, official, or aide? Why not call Joshua Moses’ servant or, even better, the Lord’s servant? (Compare Exodus 24:13 and 33:11, as well as Numbers 11:28, but notice that in the latter two, though the King James translation uses the word “servant,” it translates the same word translated “minister” here and in Exodus 24.) According to the Word Biblical Commentary, the word translated “minister” refers to someone like a young page who attends a king. Why do these texts always use language that puts Joshua in an inferior position, even after Moses leaves?

Verses 3-4: What do you make of the fact that Israel never attained the borders described here? 1 Kings 5:1 describes Solomon as ruling this entire land, but he did so through vassal states that owed him tribute rather than directly. The people of Israel did not occupy that land even when Solomon controlled it.  

Verses 5-7: What is the connection between the admonition in verse 5—”I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee”—and the command in verse 6: “Be strong and of good courage,” a command repeated in verse 7? What does verse 5 tell us about how Israel understood the coming war?

Verse 8: Why does God tell Joshua to meditate on the law both day and night? Why would the prophet need to study the scriptures? Presumably, he has direct contact with God, making the scriptures unnecessary.

Verse 11: Is it significant that Joshua tells the Israelites to prepare for three days? The number three (like the numbers seven and twelve) is symbolically significant in the scriptures. How do we know when to understand it symbolically and when doing so is going too far?

Verse 12-15: Which of the tribes were given their land inheritance on the east side of the Jordan? If they already had their land inheritance, why did they have to cross over to the other side of the Jordan?

Verses 16-18: What was the response of the Israelites to Joshua (16-18)? What is the significance of the fact that they also tell Joshua to “be strong and of good courage”?

Joshua 2

Verse 1: Who is Rahab and where does she live? She is called Rachab in Matthew’s genealogy of Christ; she is the mother of Ruth’s husband Boaz (Matt. 1: 5). Note also that James, the brother of Jesus, uses her as an example of great faith (James 2:25). Why would the Lord choose this woman as one of his notable progenitors?

Verses 23-24: What report did these spies bring back to Joshua?

Joshua 3

The crossing of the Jordan is the central event of chapters 3-5. Why was that event so important to the Israelites? Is there anything of similar importance in our own history? What might be similarly important to a family’s or an individual’s history?

Verses 1-4: What was the signal for the camp of Israel to move toward the promise land? What was the distance they were to keep behind the ark? (Note a cubit is approximately one-half a yard.) Why were they to keep so far behind? Why are the children of Israel to follow the ark into the Promised Land?

Verse 5: When Joshua commands Israel, “Sanctify yourselves,” to prepare to cross the Jordan river, what is he commanding them to do? Why are they to do that? When and how should we sanctify ourselves before certain events and activities?

Verse 7: Why was it important that the Lord magnify Joshua in the sight of Israel? How would the miracle of crossing the Jordan river show that “as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee”?

Verses 8-17: What are Joshua’s instructions to the priests who carry the ark? to the Israelites? Of what is the miracle of the ark a sign (verse 10)? Art Bassett has pointed out that we can see in this event a prefiguration of the baptism of Jesus: the second Joshua (Jesus) comes to the same river to be baptized of John (Matt. 3: 13-17). The second Joshua (Jesus) then splits not the river, but the heavens in a metaphorical sense, revealing God’s acceptance of him (Matt. 3:16). Later Jesus also rends the veil of the temple at his death, signifying the opening of an entrance into the presence of God through the atonement that was completed with his death on the cross (Matt. 27:51).

Joshua 4

Verse 2: Here we see the reason for the twelve men chosen in the previous chapter (3: 12). Are they symbolic in the crossing? Why is symbolism at an event like this needed?

Verses 5-9: What change in Joshua do we see in these verses?

Verses 10-19: We have the same story repeated twice in these verses, though somewhat differently? What do you make of that repetition? What effect did this crossing of the Jordan have on the children of Israel, in terms of their attitude toward Joshua (verse 14)? Why is that important?

The story of this chapter is somewhat confusing, probably because of differences between ancient editors of the text. The result of the confusion is that it appears that Joshua built two stone memorials, one in the river bed of the Jordan (verse 9) and one on dry ground (verses 20-24). Is this another repetition of the same story, as in verse 10-19, or are we looking at two different stories? How would you decide?

Joshua 5

Verse 1: We see here that the heart of the kings of the Canaanites melted and they lost their spirit when they saw the Israelites? Why?

Verses 2-7: The Hebrew word translated “sharp” in the King James version could also be translated “flint.” The Israelites had metal knives. Why did they have to use flint knives for this circumcision? Why was it necessary for the male Israelites to be circumcised now?

Verse 10: How are the crossing of the Jordan river, the circumcision of all Israelite males, and the Passover connected? In other words, why do they all occur at the same time?

Verses 11-12: Why is it noteworthy that Israel could eat the produce of the land (verse 11)? When did the manna stop coming to Israel? Why? Unleavened bread and parched corn seem to have been normal food for travelers.

Verses 13-15: Compare this vision to other prophetic visions, such as that of Moses at the burning bush or that of Balaam. How are they similar? How different?

Joshua 6

Verses 2-5: What is the plan of attack for Jericho? Why do you think that this is the plan that was given? What does this plan signify? Why is the ark of covenant part of the procession around Jericho?

Verse 10: What do you think the psychological impact would be of being in the city of Jericho, watching the Israelite army marching around the walls in silence, except for their trumpets, for six days?

Verses 18-21, 24: What is to be saved and what destroyed in the siege of Jericho? What reason might one give for the brutal assault of Jericho?(See the notes below for more information about the meaning of destruction in the ancient Near East.)

Verses 22-23 and 25: What happened to Rahab and her family?

A note on destruction in the Old Testament

Almost anyone who reads the Old Testament is shocked at some of what happens, particularly at the almost total destruction that Israel wreaks on the Canaanites and others against whom it goes to war. “How can this be something that was ordained by God?” we ask. I don’t have a direct answer to that question, but I do have some information that will put these destructions in a context and, perhaps, help us better understand what the meaning of those stories is, even if we still do not completely understand what to make of the events.

The Anchor Bible Dictionary (volume 5, page 549) says:

In Mesopotamia, property that was reserved for a god or king might be placed under a taboo and was then known as asakku. To misappropriate it was to violate the taboo and incur a penalty, which apparently varied, but could be death if the circumstances warranted (Malamat 1966). A priestess who repeatedly steals the asakku is burned (Anbar 1974: 173), and a man who takes booty previously declared asakku is “not to be spared,” but possibly has his death sentence commuted (ARM 5.72).

In the Bible the same institution is called hrm, but the term is used only of taboo property reserved for God. Reservation is achieved by total destruction, as in the case of the apostate city (Deut 13:13–16), and the same applies where the enemy is declared hrm. Consequently, taking enemy property as booty instead of destroying it amounts to misappropriation of hrm, a crime that will incur divine anger (1 Sam 15:1–33).

When Achan takes booty from Jericho, in spite of the city’s having been declared hrm (Josh 6:17), divine anger manifests itself in military defeat for Israel (Josh 7:1–12). In punishment, Achan is to be stoned and burned, along with his family, livestock, and possessions, including specifically the hrm property taken by him and also the tent in which it had been concealed (Josh 7:22–25).

The word hrm, is translated as “accursed” (as in Joshua 6:17), but also as “dedicated thing” (as in Ezekiel 44:29). As we have seen, property is dedicated to God—recognized as his property—by destroying it. Thus, the destruction of the Canaanites may be an example of how ancient Near Eastern cultures recognized the sovereignty of God.

In addition, verses such as Deuteronomy 28:21-23 and Jeremiah 28:53-57 teach that if Israel apostatizes she will be destroyed, both by natural disaster and by conquering enemies. The destruction of Israel’s enemies may be a type of Israel’s destruction, a warning.

Joshua 23

The Jerome Biblical Commentary (1:147-148) notes that much of Deuteronomy follows the pattern of the covenant renewal ceremony that seems to have occurred in Shechem each year. (See Joshua 24.) That ceremony has at least these elements:

       a narrative of sacred history

       the stipulations of the covenant

       the promises that fidelity to the covenant will bring

       the curses that infidelity to the covenant will bring

Where do you see these elements in chapter 23? Where else do you see them in scripture? Where do you see them in your own religious experience?

Verses 2-16: This is the beginning of Joshua’s farewell address. Compare it to Moses’ final address in Deuteronomy. What instructions does he give to the Israelites regarding those who previously occupied the land?

Verse 3: How does Joshua define Israel in this verse? How might that definition be relevant to us?

Verse 6: Once Israel has conquered the land, what kind of courage is required? If Israel is in control of the land and is the majority in the land, why does obedience require courage?

Verse 7: The phrase “come not among” has sexual connotations? Why might that be? How are those connotations literal? How symbolic? How are “these nations, these that remain among you” a danger to Israel? What is comparable to them in our own religious experience? According to this verse, what makes Israel unique in the world?

Verse 8: Here, too, we find a phrase with sexual connotations: “cleave unto.” Why does the Lord use marriage as a symbol of his relation to Israel? What can we learn by examining the metaphor?

Verses 12-16: What does he promise Israel if they do not follow the Lord’s instruction to them?

Verses 30-35: Note that Joshua performs the ritual at Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim, as instructed by Moses, wherein the blessings of the law and the curses of the law are read in full. What was the point of this ritual?

Joshua 24

Verses 1-28: Summary: in his final address, Joshua reiterates the entire history from Abraham to his own time, and then challenges Israel to either follow the gods that Abraham’s father served and those of the Egyptians, or to follow the Lord.

Verse 2: What does “the other side of the flood” mean? Does it refer to Noah’s flood or to the Euphrates river?

Verses 26-27: What monument does Joshua build to record this event and why? Why did Joshua build so many monuments?

Verse 28: What major service did Joshua accomplish for the Israelites?

Verses 29-33: What three famous people are laid to rest in the concluding chapter of Joshua? How is that significant? In other words, why should we care? Why are all of them buried in Ephraimite territory?

Verse 32: What do you recall about the city of Shechem (Genesis 33:18-20 and chapter 34)? Joseph had been there before as a young boy. What had happened when he was there the first time?

19 Responses to Sunday School Lesson #18

  1. Bryce I on May 16, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Text of readings and podcast is available at the Millennial Star.

  2. Jim F. on May 16, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks, again, Bryce. These ought to be very helpful to folks.

  3. BrianJ on May 16, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Jim F: I really like your question: “Verse 8: Why does God tell Joshua to meditate on the law both day and night? Why would the prophet need to study the scriptures? Presumably, he has direct contact with God, making the scriptures unnecessary.� I am a week ahead of you now, but I think if you had posted this last week then this question would have been the focus of my lesson. I’ll probably spend some personal study time with this question anyway—thanks!

    “[Ch 3:1-4] What was the distance [the House of Israel] were keep behind the ark? Why were they to keep so far behind?� I found this to be very interesting after reading Ch 6:7 “Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.� In the first instance the ark leads the people, but in the other the ark follows the warriors.

    I was impressed by the way Joshua used stones as memorials/reminders throughout the book (see Ch 4:5-9; 7:25-26; 8:28-29, 30-32; 10:27; 22:10, 26-27; 24:24-27). Some stones are reminders of good things (covenants, miracles) and others mark the bad (stoning Achan, wars). It made me wonder: What are my “stones� and how do I display and use them?

    Finally: “Verses 2-16: This is the beginning of Joshua’s farewell address. Compare it to Moses’ final address in Deuteronomy.� Wouldn’t it be fun to compare all of the “farewell addresses� of prophets throughout the scriptures? I’m thinking of Moses, Joshua, King Benjamin, and Lehi, but I am sure there are many more. Who else could I add to my list?

    Thanks again for your lesson notes and for providing a place for others to discuss the scriptures.

  4. Jim F. on May 16, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    BrianJ: Thanks for your reflections and questions. The more people add to these questions, the more useful they are likely to be for scripture study.

    I’m not surprised that someone is up with me, but I am surprised that someone is ahead. but I’m trying to once again be a week or two ahead of where anyone is likely to be. A weekend trip to a famly reunion and some other matters slowed me down.

  5. Bryce I on May 16, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    I taught this lesson last Sunday as well.

    My mother noted that at the Jewish funerals that she has attended, each attendee at the graveside took a stone and placed it on the casket.

  6. Robert C. on May 17, 2006 at 12:34 am

    BrianJ (#3): In the first instance the ark leads the people, but in the other the ark follows the warriors.

    Great insight, esp. since I was thinking a lot about the tension between the gift of the land in Josh 1:2 and the faith and works Israel had to demonstrate to actually get the land. God offers us generous covenants but still requires that we hold up our end of the bargain through faith and works (symbolized by the warriors walking before the ark in Brian’s comment).

    I also esp. like Jim’s questions and comments emphasizing the importance of passing through the River Jordan. In Judges (I actually taught the Judges lesson last Sunday, but we have Stake Conference next week…), I’ve been thinking about the word transgressed in Judg 2:20 as a symbolic undoing of the crossing of the River Jordan (this word may also be significant in the story of Ehud, see these notes on Judg 3:26).

    [Since I’ve gotten ahead, I started posting some of my own notes here, which I’ll try to continue—not having Jim’s cheat sheet to teach from has sure made me appreciate them more!]

  7. Robert C. on May 17, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Art Bassett has pointed out that we can see in this event a prefiguration of the baptism of Jesus. . . .

    For some time I’ve been thinking about an observation Moshe Kline makes in an article titled The Creation Weave about the parallels between the first three and last three days of creation (Jim’s OT Lesson #3 also notes this in Moses 2). Kline suggests that our journey back to God is a reversal of the creation story. Creation starts with light, then heaven, then water, then earth. The first three days of creation go through this creation pattern in a fairly abstract way (light and darkness; then heaven, then water; then earth), the last three days go through more tangible incarnations (greater and lesser lights; then fowls in the heavens, then fishes in the water; then grass, animals and man on earth). The connection to baptism is as follows: Starting from earth, we must first descend into the waters of baptism. Then the Holy Ghost descends upon us (symbolically, the dove from the air). Then, if we continue on faithfully and endure to the end, we are prepared to strive to re-enter God’s prescence (light).

    So God tried to take the first generation of Israel through the Red Sea waters to begin a new spiritual life. They weren’t very obedient so they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Then God did the same with the second generation of Israel in crossing Jordan’s waters to the new land. Although Israel seems blessed in Joshua, things fall apart in Judges. Then, although David and Solomon bring some good days for Israel, eventually God “bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria” (Isa 8:7)….

  8. Jim F. on May 17, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Robert C: Thanks for your ruminations and thanks especially for your lesson notes.

    Any who aren’t already aware through my previous advertisements should be taking full advantage of the material on Feast Upon the Word ( http://feastupontheword.org ). You’ll find a wealth of information there, as well as an opportunity to help develp a comprehensive set of scripture notes for Latter-day Saints.

  9. BrianJ on May 17, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    Jim F: I thought you didn’t post this earlier because you had stake conference–which would have put me a week ahead of you (I already had stake conference). I see now that you were just “away” and you have already posted Lesson 19, which I will be covering this Sunday.

    Robert C: You always add so much to my scripture study! And like a true professor, you give me way more information than I could ever hope to fit in my tiny brain. Feast Upon the Word is a very appropriate title.

  10. Jim F. on May 18, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    BrianJ: I’ve tried to ignore my conference schedule and post at least once every week so as to at least keep up. As you can see, however, I’ve not always done that. I think I’m now once again ahead of wherever a person might be who is on schedule.

    If I’m wrong about that, I hope someone will let me know. I’ll do a couple more so that I am ahead.

    Finally, I have to indulge in a little fatherly pride: though Robert C has become an essential part of the Feast Upon the Word wiki and is a major contributor, my son, Matthew Faulconer, was its founder and continues to do a great deal to keep it going. There are probably others who are also actively engaged in keeping Feast going, but I don’t know who they are.

  11. BrianJ on May 19, 2006 at 8:41 pm

    Jim F: You’re well ahead of me now! I didn’t mean to detract from Matthew’s founding role at FUTW; I knew he was the mastermind behind it. His work has been very inspiring to me (and daunting). (I knew Matthew was thorough when I heard him sing 100 verses of “99 Bottles of Bear on the Wall.”)

  12. Kathy J on May 21, 2006 at 2:16 am

    Brian, I didn’t know you could bottle bear. I thought people usually skinned them and put them on the floor :^)

    Thanks for your notes Jim and everyone’s comments. I really missed your notes last week on this lesson, they always add so much, but I am teaching the second half of this lesson this week–taking a little GD teacher’s license. I won’t be talking about it in class, but I have a burning question. Does anyone know anything about the process by which Achan was discovered. It just says Judah was “chosen” then his sub-group was “chosen” then his household was “chosen” then he was “chosen.” There seems to be an assumption that everyone knows this process, but I am trying to imagine how this would be done. Did they cast lots? Did the voice of the Lord come out and say “Judah is the tribe?” (that doesn’t seem as likely because why didn’t he just say “Hey, it was that Achan guy, and it’s hidden under the rug in his tent.” Did the flame roar up as they walked past? Did Joshua just feel inspired? or do we just not know. Has anyone read anything on ancient guilt establishing rituals or something? It has no bearing on my testimony or lesson, I just am really curious.

    If not, does anyone know how they fit the bear into those bottles?

  13. Kathy J on May 21, 2006 at 2:22 am

    Oh, and thanks for pointing out Joseph being buried in Shechem. I didn’t even notice that when I read it. That is ironic. Boy, that’s a place with history, all of it seems bad though–the whole Dinah thing, Joseph being sold into slavery, did I miss anything? Interesting choice of a place to memorialize Joseph’s life and yet, a fitting one. I wish I’d known all this when I visited it. I would have paid more attention.

  14. Kimball L. Hunt on May 21, 2006 at 11:47 am

    (Ignore, if you want, my “trying to be as naturalistic as possible” commentary): The bible records events of people holding a distinct religion. Although events had once brought them into servitude to Egyptian, city-dwelling, crop-growing people, for the generation after their God had miraculously effected their freedom, they returned to being nomadic pastoralists for a generation, as they continued to be led by This Single Diety (who’d proscribed production of items indwelt [sic (lex.?)] by other dieties as He’d also proscribed physical /physically metaphorical? descriptions of Him). While pastoralists they’d just gather stuff to eat as provided by their Diety, but at the culmination of their being pastoralists, He substitutes a ritual meal including travelling-rations made of cultivated grain and a lamb that had been consecrated to Him. Although they’re iron-age folks, the ritual of circumcision is still performed (as according to long established tradition?) using a blade of flaked stone. After a generation passes, God commands they take over the cultivated fields and stationary dwellings of these colonists who’d shown up for some generations within our pastoralists’ traditional migratory area: a campaign which, although requiring brutal warfare, is yet to be carried out according to various, divine strictures. After they become farmer/ city dwellers commit more-and-more events to writing, their history begins to feature less-and-less the characteristics of oral legends. (Question: Since the spoken/written Hebrew language is virtually the same as that of the Canaanite /Phoenician colonists, had our conquering, Hebrew pastoralists come to adopt this language or had they spoken it all along?)

  15. Robert C. on May 22, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Kathy (#12): Good question. The Anchor Bible and the Word Biblical Commentary seem to think the choosing was indeed by the casting of lots. I posted some cross-references and brief discussion here.

  16. Robert C. on May 24, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    Regarding the issue of “individual guilt and communal suffering” in Joshua 7 (Ai defeating Israel b/c of Achan’s stealing), I posted some comments and links about the Sinai Covenant vs. the Davidic Covenant here (also note the link there to Kevin Burtt’s Millenial Star post which got me thinking about this).

  17. Jim F. on May 24, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    Robert C: Once again you prove that the wiki format is a better way to do lesson materials than this is! Thanks for the link and the thoughts.

    I wonder, however, whether Kevin’ Burtt’s understanding of communal punishment for individual guilt in terms of incentive is enough. It is certainly true that I would be unwilling to do some things because of the consequences they would have on my children even though I might be willing to do them without those consequences. However, that doesn’t seem to explain the very event that started the discussion: Ai defeating Israel because of Achan’s theft and the death of Achan’s family as well as Achan as punishment. Is there any reason to think that Achan had some idea of how his theft would effect either Israel or his family? Was he being made an example so that ohterIsraelites wouldn’t do what he did? That isn’t, for me, enough of an answer.

    So I still think we are left with the conundrum of guilt transferring to the community. Of course we have similar teachings about blessings and the possibility of them being transferred to the family or the community through the act(s) of one person. I think that the puzzle is the same in both cases.

  18. Robert C. on May 24, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    Jim: As I suggested on the wiki page, I think the issue goes much deeper than Kevin discusses, symbolically teaches about the way the fall and atonement work. But I need to elaborate on what I mean by Sinai vs. Davidic covenant (sorry in advance for the length):

    I’m referencing an argument that Avraham Gileadi makes in The Literary Message of Isaiah. Although there is an unconditional aspect of the Davidic covenant (viz. a righteous king will be raised through his lineage that will redeem Israel), a conditional aspect of the covenant depends on the righteousness of the Davidic king (cf. 2 Sam 7:8-9). This covenant, which culminates with Christ as the promised righteous descendant, replaces the Sinai Covenant (in the same way that the new law Christ gives replaces the Mosaic law) which requires that Israel obey God directly (and perfectly, so one person’s violation makes all of Israel guilty, like breaking one commandment makes us guilty of the whole law…).

    When God tells Samuel to go ahead and choose a king like the people desire, God expressly states , “they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam 8:7). I would argue that this was inevitable, like the Fall was inevitable, like sin in each of our lives is inevitable. And according to an unalterable law of justice (I don’t claim to understand the why of this, which I think you’re ultimately asking about…), all or our descendants must reap the consequences (i.e. Adam’s makes all of us guilty, and our individual sins make our posterity guilty). However, under the new Davidic Covenant, if Israel (the symoblic vassal/son) is obedient to the king (the symoblic suzerain/father), and the king (now the symbolic vassal/son) is obedient to God (the symoblic suzerain/father), then Israel will be protected—just like if we (the symbolic suzerain/sons or daughters) are obedient to Christ (the symbolic suzerain/father to us, but vassal/son to the Father) who is obedient to the Father, then we can obtain our inheritance/salvation.

    From this view, I would say the story of Achan should be read as a lesson about the insufficiency of the Sinai covenant, which follows from of our own inability to perfectly obey the laws of God. This is the sense that I understand Galatians 3:22-27 (which I know is tenuous reading, but nevertheless…):

    “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin [not just Adam’s transgression, but our own Achan-like picadillos, and larger transgressions], that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ [the new Davidic, mediation-type covenant] might be given to them that believe [i.e. obey the intermediator]. . . . Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ [b/c we couldn’t keep the law perfectly and were therefore damned w/out the grace of Christ], that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster [we don’t earn salvation ourselves, but through genuine faith in Christ—which entails good works—we merit salvation through Christ’s atonement]. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus [adopted as it were]. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ [that is, we enter into the suzerain/vassal aspect of the Davidic Covenant, rather than having to try to perfectly earn salvation as required under the Sinai Covenant and Mosaic law].”

  19. Jim F. on May 24, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Robert C: No need to apologize for length when you post such great stuff.