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John Piper testifies

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  • John Piper testifies

    “We are less sensitive to spiritual appetites when we are in the bondage of physical ones. This means that fasting is a way of awakening us to latent spiritual appetites by pushing the domination of physical forces from the center of our lives.”

  • #2
    Fasting

    The teaching in the New Testament assumes the followers of the Lord Jesus will fast after He ascends. Matthew 6:17 states when you fast rather than if you fast. The participation in a fast ought to mean one is hungering for God and not hungering for the applause of people. According to the words of the Lord Jesus from Matthew 6:16-18, He indicates that when fasting, if the demeanor of suffering is expressed so others recognize your suffering; or if one tells others about the fast, then their reward is that people will think the one fasting is serious about being spiritual. This is the applause of people. On the other hand, the Lord Jesus suggests if the reward from the Father is what is desired, then let none know of the fast.

    Matthew 6:16-18 NASB
    16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    Fasting and Boasting

    What the Lord Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:16-18 about fasting is actually the same as what is taught about boasting and why people boast. Here are some New Testament passages on boasting.

    Romans 1:30 NASB
    slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

    2 Timothy 3:2 NASB
    For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

    1 John 2:16 NASB
    For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

    Galatians 5:22-26 NASB
    24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

    2 Corinthians 12:5 NASB
    On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.

    1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NLT
    26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

    Other passages on fasting in the NT

    Matthew 9:14-15 NASB
    14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

    Acts 13:2-3 NIV
    2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

    Acts 14:23 NIV
    23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
    ============================
    In addition to the word for fast in the Old Testament there is the Hebrew idiom "afflict your souls." These notes were constructed in response to the question what did it mean in the KJV to "afflict your souls" in Leviticus. This Hebrew idiom's meaning is so clearly demonstrable from only using scripture and the various versions which also provide examples of how different versions approach the translation of this figure of speech.

    Idiom: Afflict Your Souls or Humble Your Souls or Deny Yourselves –- Literally the translations is “humble yourselves” as in YLT or the LITV or "humble your souls" as in the NASB. By examining the context and relevant related passages it is discovered that “humble yourselves” primarily means to fast but as the HCSB translates the Hebrew, the Hebrew more generally means to “practice self-denial” by fasting and not working, etc.

    As demonstrated in the following English versions, there are variations in translations of idioms. The understanding of the Bible is aided by becoming familiar with how a particular version translates figurative language. For this reason and others, it is good advice for most of us to become familiar with a single version.

    KJV Afflict Your Souls

    Leviticus 16:29
    And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month (Day of Atonement), ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

    Leviticus 16:31
    It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

    Leviticus 23:27
    Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

    Leviticus 23:32
    It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even (Day of Atonement), from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

    Numbers 29:7
    And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:

    Isaiah 58:3

    Isaiah 58:5
    5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

    Zechariah 7:5
    5Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month (Day of Atonement), even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?

    NASB Humble Your Souls

    Leviticus 16:29
    29"This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month (Day of Atonement) , you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you;

    Leviticus 16:31
    31"It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.

    Leviticus 23:27
    27"On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire

    Leviticus 23:32
    32"It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening (Day of Atonement), from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath."

    Numbers 29:7
    7'Then on the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall humble yourselves; you shall not do any work.

    Isaiah 58:3
    3'Why have we fasted and You do not see?
    Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?'
    Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
    And drive hard all your workers.

    Isaiah 58:5
    5"Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
    Is it for bowing one's head like a reed
    And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
    Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

    Zechariah 7:5
    5"Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months (Day of Atonement) these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted?

    NIV Deny Yourselves

    Leviticus 16:31
    31 It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance

    NLT Deny Yourselves

    Leviticus 16:31
    31 It will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. This is a permanent law for you.

    YLT Humbles Yourselves

    Leviticus 16:31
    31it [is] to you a sabbath of rest, and ye have humbled yourselves -- a statute age-during.

    NLT Afflict Your Souls

    Leviticus 16:31
    31 It is a sabbath of solemn rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; it is a statute for ever.

    AMP Afflict Yourselves

    Leviticus 16:31
    31It is a sabbath of [solemn] rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves [by fasting with penitence and humiliation]; it is a statute forever.

    HCSB Practice Self-Denial

    Leviticus 16:31
    31 It is a Sabbath (A) of complete rest for you, (B) and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute.

    CEV Go Without Eating

    Leviticus 16:31
    31and from now on, it must be celebrated each year. Go without eating and make this a day of complete rest just like the Sabbath.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    It should be noted that “yourselves” is an appropriate and accurate translation for “souls” (NIV, NLT, YLT, AMP). It is physical bodies with the life giving Spirit from God that is the composition of souls or “yourselves” (For additional scripture on the composition of man see the account of the creation of man in Genesis 2:7 – see different English versions at the end of this paragraph – For a thorough commentary on the composition of man see H. Wheeler Robinson’s Commentary on Romans.).

    Creation of Man Genesis 2:7

    Note: The Hebrew word for spirit and breathed are the same word.

    KJV
    7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    ASV
    7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    NASB
    7Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    YLT
    7And Jehovah God formeth the man -- dust from the ground, and breatheth into his nostrils breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature.

    - - - - - -

    English Versions

    NIV -New International Version
    NASB - New American Standard Bible
    AMP - Amplified Bible
    NLT - New Living Translation
    KJV - King James Version
    CEV - Contemporary English Version
    ASV - American Standard Version
    YLT - Young’s Literal Translation
    HCSB - Holman Christian Standard Bible
    LITV – Literal Translation Version
    Last edited by glen smith; January 23, 2018, 11:11 PM.

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