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NBC Monday nights 10:00 pm - Studio 60

I do not watch much TV, but there may be something interesting here.

Someone passed on tapes of this new NBC show to me and wanted my reaction. In ths show there is a Christian character on a SNL type cast of a fictional network. I was curious as to how the network would portray this character. Would they make her a caricture? Would they make her out to be a right wing nut??? How would her Christianity be portrayed?

Well, I am still not sure what the intent was or is by the producers of the show - but there were some interesting comments made by the character with the inclusion of the name "Jesus Christ".

In the first episode, mention was made of a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" when confronted with her praying before each show.

This week when a cast member asked if Jesus was her co-pilot. The character responded,'My mother always told me - if Jesus Christ is your co-pilot - you had better switch seats.'

The ending scenes of the show showed a cast prayer before going onstage, and ended with the phrase, 'in Jesus' name'.

The prayer may have been a bit irreverant, but in this day when state legislatures, the ACLU, and others are fighting to take Christ's name out of all prayer - I found it intriguing.

Like I said, this may be interesting to follow. the character so far - seems to be a stable normal part of the ensemble. So far there does not seem to be any attempt to make her out to be a whack-o.

Philippians 1:1-6

[I recognize this place :)]

Philippians is often called the "Epistle of Joy".

Paul's tone is immediately different from letters to Corinth, Ephesus, and Galatia. He does not refer to his "apostolic status" in the intro - but rather as being a servant (Gk. doulos) of Christ.

in the "Hebrew sense which describes a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and respects (cp Ex 21:5, 6 Dt 15:12-16.....

["Doulos" or bondservant has been written on extensively in previous posts. For new preople or for a refresher see the link below:
http://www.preceptaustin.org/philippians_11-8.htm ]

Paul does not need to establish his authority with the Philippians, he comes to them as a "servant of Christ".

Why the change? Because the Philippians have been united in fellowship with Paul from the beginning.

Phil1:5 "because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" NIV

"Partnership" is Gk. "koinonia" which implies an intimate and intense fellowship. This is not a backslapping - "How was your day?" kind of thing, but something wonderfully close as befits those in the body of Christ.

Jan might have some further links or explanations on "koinonia".
Assurance of Salvation

This verse is one of the great comforts to me regarding how God operates, and is a reminder of His promise to those that believe IN Christ.

Phil 1:6
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." NIV

Paul is confident in this - the Greek denotes being "fully persuaded". What is he fully persuaded of?????

Salvation in three phases:
PAST - "he who began a good work in you"
PRESENT (ongoing) - "will carry it on to completion"
FUTURE: "until the day of Christ Jesus"

So can't we screw this up somehow??? We are imperfect humans, aren't we???? When asked if "one can lose salvation?" - Ray Pritchard's answer is:

"It depends on who saved you:
-If God saved you, you can't lose it because it depends on God.
-If you saved yourself, you can lose it because it depends on you.

Your salvation is eternally secure if God did the saving. But if you think that salvation is a cooperative venture between yourself and God-where you do a part and he does a part-then you're in big trouble because anything you start, you could mess up somewhere along the way. But if God started it, he'll also finish it."

So which is it? Did God save us, did we save ourselves, is it some kind of partnership? The implications are huge, and each person needs to study it for themselves to come to an answer.

For me, it is a simple as our Savior's name:

Jesus - Yeshua - Jehova is Salvation.

Not "Man is salvation", nor "Ceremony (ritual) is Salvation", nor "Act(s) of Goodness is Salvation", nor "Bloodline (inherit)is Salvation",....

it is of GOD.

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." NIV

Other verses:
Philippians 1:29;2:13,Acts 11:18;13:48,Thessalonians 2:13-14,Titus 3:4,James 1:18

If one can come to accept that salvation is of God, then the verse makes complete sense.

The entire Old Testament is testimony as to how God continually keeps his Word. If God started it, and His Word says He will complete it - HE will.

The idea of "beginning" and completing" in verse 6 is an interesting choice of Greek words:

"the words Paul uses for to begin (enarchomai) and for to complete (epiteleo) are technical terms for the beginning and the ending of a sacrifice....Paul’s whole sentence moves in an atmosphere of sacrifice. Paul is seeing the life of every Christian as a sacrifice ready to be offered to Jesus Christ. It is the same picture as he draws when he urges the Romans to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (see note Romans 12:1)." - Barclay
[A good link to noodle through]

Despite the attempts to associate "good work" with things the Philippians did in and for Paul's ministry - the Greek is clear - the "noble work" is "IN YOU".

"Note that the only work that is ever "good" (agathos = "good" in character or constitution and beneficial in effect) in God's sight is a work which He initiates." - ibid. {see Matt7:21-23}

So again the actions of God regarding salvation are noted in the past, present, and future in Phil1:6:

"In the past there was God’s unchangeable purpose; in the present there is God’s unlimited power; and in the future there is God’s unbreakable promise. This is God’s guarantee for the final preservation and perseverance of the saints. Salvation is all of God." - KJV Bible Commentary

Philippians 1:7-26

Some quick hits:

Phil1:9 "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight," NIV

Paul uses the term "agape" for love here. It is the "love of God" - a willed or chosen love.

How can we apply this "love" (Like God) - at first perhaps imperfectly.

"And so Paul prays that their agape love might increase. Love displays itself in knowledge and discernment. In proportion as it abounds it sharpens the moral perceptions for the discernment of what is best. Did you realize that the divine love flowing through believers is regulated by an intimate understanding of God’s Word?"

Interesting that - to me - love abounding is not a sloppy overflowing of Loving everybody, everywhere, and at all times turning into some mantra - but rather "love abounding" reflects a Christlike Christian maturity that is rooted in Scripture. Not just the reading of it, but the studying of and meditating on the Bible.

[BTW I am not there yet]
Phil 1:18
"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When Salvation is of God - the motives of preachers' of the gospel do not matter. As long as the message (of Christ) is preached, people will be saved.

As Paul tried to tell the Corinthians - it is the message - not the messenger.
Phil 1:21 "To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

1. In life

That reflects what Paul saw as the summum bonum of his life. Christ was Paul's raison d'etre--his reason for being. He wasn't merely saying that Christ was the source of his life, that Christ lived in him, or that Christ wanted Paul to submit to Him. Though all those statements are true in themselves, they are only parts of this great truth: life in its sum is Christ.

2. In death

Since Christ was Paul's whole life, dying could only be gain since it would relieve him of the burdens of his present life and free him to focus completely on glorifying his Lord. That's what he lived for in the first place--Paul truly had a one-track mind!

In William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," the young prince wondered whether to relieve the sorrows of life by suicide, musing, "To be, or not to be: that is the question" (Act III, scene I, line 61). To Paul the issue was, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21).

All John MacArthur
Phil 1:23 "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" NIV

This one is pretty explicit. Since Paul is clearly speaking of "dying" here - this is one of the verses that would dispel the notion of "soul sleep" or any idea of a "way-station" or "intermediate place" before arriving in heaven.

Other verses: 2Corinthians 5:6-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:10

Isaiah 57 (NKJV)
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “ I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.
For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him,
And restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
“ I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” says the LORD, “ and I will heal him.”
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
“ There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

This portion of verse 17, “the iniquity of his covetousness” really speaks to me.

The Hebrew word is `avon, Strong's # 5771: “iniquity”, means: “perversity, depravity, guilt or punishment of iniquity”

Note these definitions according to Webster’s online dictionary: http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/about.us/about.html

Perversity – Noun
1. Deliberate unruliness.

2. Deliberately deviating from what is good.

Depravity – Noun
1. Moral perversion; impairment (i.e., injury, harm, mutilation) of virtue and moral principles

2. A corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice:

Note the progression:
a. choosing to give into the sinful tendency and nature, thus deliberately choosing to deviate from what the person knows is good

b. this creates impairment (i.e., injury, harm, mutilation) of virtue and moral principles

c. this creates confusion, which becomes permanent if not sincerely and quickly repented of by the Grace of the Lord Jesus, depending on the Holy Spirit

d. this creates more confusion, eventually leading person to “see good and say it is evil, and to see evil and say it is good”

Such is the condition of all human hearts before God. This is the reason why we always need to:
a. walk in a continual state of repentance and total dependence on the Lord Jesus,

b. maintain our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus as we depend on the Spirit of God and the Word of God.

God is gracious. He is ever waiting to give and forgive. He must expose our sins so as to save us from its deceiving and destroying power.

I like God’s promise in verse 19: “ I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” says the LORD, “ and I will heal him.”

This promise is made to those who are teachable, who are willing to learn as led and taught by the Spirit of God and the Word of God, in fellowship with others who long for the same thing.

God creates the true fruit of lips—not the false fruit of the perverse person who sees evil and calls it good.

We can believe God’s Word, and we can pray: “Lord, I am sorry. Please forgive me. I see what I have been doing is wrong, and I need You to make me into the person who pleases You. I depend on Your Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus, and I receive all of Who You are—Your Mercy and Your power to do Your will—into my life.”

As we believe in our hearts and confess with our lips, then we are saved.

Romans 10 (NKJV)
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” [Isaiah 28:16]
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” [Joel 2:32]

Note the meaning of the word “saved” (verse 9) in the “Spirit Filled Life Bible”:

Greek word, sozo – Strong’s Greek Dictionary, 4982: “to save, to heal, to cure, preserve, keep safe and sound, rescue from danger or destruction, deliver. Sozo saves from physical death by healing, and from spiritual death by forgiving sin and its effects. Sozo in primitive cultures is translated simply, “to give new life” and “to cause to have a new heart”

Note this excellent comment about the word “confess” (verse 9) in the “Spirit Filled Life Bible”:

“The word ‘confess’ (Greek: homologeo [i.e., same the same thing as God] has the connotation of ‘a binding public declaration by which a legal relation is contractually established’ (Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the NT).“

“Thus, as our words ‘contract’ from our side the salvation God has fully provided from His [side] by Christ’s saving work and power, so we have a principle for all of life.”

God creates the fruit of lips by first enabling us to believe as we depend on Him.

Then, we confess with our mouth what we believe in our hearts—praise, worship, praying God’s Word coupled—which allows God’s salvation to be established in our lives.

In this way, we become more like the Lord Jesus Who is “the eternal Word of God”, and "the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced in us".
Let us pray for these Muslims during Ramadan:

The Tatars

The Tatar language is Turkic in origin. There are about 7 million Tartars living throughout the Russian federation and several surrounding countries (Tatarstan, Siberia, the Caucasus and Central Asia).

About 900,000 live in the Moscow area. Because of their extensive movements and intermarriage with other peoples, the Tatars have varied physical features from Mongoloid to Caucasian, blond hair to black.

The majority of Tatars are Sunni Muslims. Several Tatar tribes (e.g. the Nagajbaken and the Krjaschenen) were Christianized into Russian Orthodoxy between the 16th and 18th centuries, but truly devoted believers number far less than one percent of all Tartars.

In the last 15 years there has been a significant surge of Islam in Tatarstan, though the majority of the Tatar population remains nominally or culturally Muslim. In 1990 there were about 100 mosques in the entire Republic, and by 2004 there were over 1000.

There are only 176 Russian Orthodox churches in Tatarstan and small numbers of Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, or Charismatic churches.

Pray that the Gospel would be preached to the following cities in Tatarstan.

The Tatar inhabitants in these cities need to discover the Gospel through films, recordings, websites, the Bible, and Christian literature.

Pray for new, healthy, strong, and multiplying churches throughout Tatarstan:


This is the capital of Tatarstan with a population of about 1,150,000. Slightly over half of the city is of Russian origin, and about 43% are from a Tartar background.

The largest port on the Volga River, it is a major industrial and commercial center and the most important center of Tatar culture.

The city celebrated its 1000- year history in 2005. The ceremonies included the dedication of the Kul Sharif mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe.

Naberezhnye Chelny:

This city has a predominately Muslim population of 600,000 people, and Naberezhnye Chelny is the second largest city in Tatarstan.

Other Cities include:

Nizhnekamsk 225,399
Almetyevsk 140,000
Yelabuga 67,500
Leninogorsk 65,600
Zelenodolsk 100,000


Regarding God not giving us more than we can handle. I feel that He does ~~~ so we have to depend on Him. He is perfectly capable of handling anything, and will help us do so.

The character on Studio 60 is actually loosely based on the actress/singer/Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth. I am also interested in seeing how this Christian character is portrayed, although I have only seen one show.


For those who are batteling sexual sin, I found an excellant web site: www.christiananswers.net The site offers information, scripture and some very good resources. I had to print this information out for my husband, please pray for him. Internet porn is not something to take lightly.

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