15 New Testament Words for Life with Nijay Gupta
March 30, 2023
Righteousness, Gospel, Forgiveness, Life, Cross, Faith, Grace, Fellowship, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Religion, Holiness, Love, and Witness
These are familiar terms in the Christian vocabulary, but many don’t know the original background and theological importance of these words, and how they can be life-giving for the Christian faith and life today. To access the deep meaning of these words in the theological vocabulary of the New Testament writers, Nijay Gupta has written a helpful new book thinking through the canonical, literary, and historical contexts of these words. I enjoyed this conversation Nijay!
YouTube - https://youtu.be/Mk_1VMRFiVA
Nijay K. Gupta (PhD, University of Durham) is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary. He is the author of several academic books including 1-2 Thessalonians (Zondervan Critical Introduction to the New Testament), Paul and the Language of Faith, A Beginner's Guide to New Testament Studies and has published commentaries on Colossians, Philippians, and Galatians. He is co-editor of The State of New Testament Studies and the planned second edition of the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters.
Here’s a link to this new book - https://zondervanacademic.com/products/15-new-testament-words-of-life
Well, friends, I am glad to invite into the podcast Dr. Nij. A Gupta, who teaches New Testament at Northern Seminary. Me. J: Welcome to the
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Nijay Gupta: thanks, Andy so great to be here with you.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, I'm excited to have you in here if I've heard about you for a while, and and notice you come in some scholarly circles. But then this new book that's come out with Zandervin
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Nijay Gupta: 15 New Testament Words of life, a New Testament theology for real life. Well, how can you complain about something like that? Oh, what else? What else do you need something for real life? Tell tell me about this book. What led you to put this together?
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Yeah, you know, as part of my job. I spent a lot of time in the Bible. I've written commentaries on Colossians first, second, Thessalonians, Galatians, Philippians, I'm. Working on one now, and the Pastoral Epistles
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Nijay Gupta: and I sent a a need in the church for understanding that the Bible is written for regular people, and it's written for real life.
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Nijay Gupta: I think there's this popular impression that the Bible is
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deep theological stuff for this ether
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Nijay Gupta: you know kind of. If you have time to study, quote unquote theology, then you could read the Bible and talk about super lipsarianism, or you could talk about, You know, pre millennial eschatology
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Nijay Gupta: as I've spent time studying. For example, Paul.
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Nijay Gupta: I've just been struck by how much Paul engages with the stuff
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Nijay Gupta: of just everyday life, friendship, death.
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Nijay Gupta: work. conflict.
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Nijay Gupta: grief, suffering, I mean, he's talking about stuff that fills up our all of our minutes
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Nijay Gupta: from when we leave church to when we go to church again.
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Nijay Gupta: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So what I really wanted to hit home was, we have these terms. We use
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Nijay Gupta: that distance that from real life, like righteousness or fellowship, which are kind of Christian knees, right? Right? And the New Testament writers. By and large we're not using
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Nijay Gupta: new terms to talk about their faith. They They were using terms that were common to everyday speech. and I wanted to capture that in this book
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Andy Miller III: it's so interesting like in in part of your job, probably as a New Testament scholar working through languages and thinking about what words mean, and where they come from, and their context, and, like you said like, it's not so easy just to say
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Andy Miller III: this this word is that, you know, like it's just like it. It's certainly we are thankful we have dictionary since, and often like, there's mistakes that people can make. I teach preaching where it's like. I looked up this word, and this is what it means.
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Andy Miller III: Oh, is is that it?
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Andy Miller III: By covering almost every book in the Bible like emphasizing that that were like one particular word in one book. So I think that's interesting that it walks through the New Testament as well.
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Nijay Gupta: That was the goal. I could have done it as just kind of generic word studies. Because I talk about these 15 words.
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Nijay Gupta: I want to ground it, and at least one key text, for example, forgiveness in Luke
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Life and, John, I want to do that because I want to give readers a flavor for how that term
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Nijay Gupta: is meaningful to a person not just sort of quote unquote the Bible.
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but this one person, Luke, or this one person, Paul, or this one person, Peter.
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Nijay Gupta: to give a a kind of extended sense that that this person has something they really want to say about that word.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah. And it's interesting, because there are often intense, skyly debates about all of these words.
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Nijay Gupta: the context of several. Well, I like to just go through a few of them. Now I will take a little critique at the start.
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I don't give Romans in Galatians either. That much time they do get time. Romans doesn't get much time. so I had. I had to make some sacrifices. My. there's an ancient writer who famously said.
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Andy Miller III: A big book is a big evil or a big problem.
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Andy Miller III: But you know
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Andy Miller III: I gotta make a sacrifice, and that one little page. I understand why people can do it s0 0, yeah, I didn't even mentioned second, Peter. But there you go. Well, let's start with the very first word, you highlight is often a word that's a misunderstood righteousness. And you highlight that for
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Andy Miller III: through Matthew as well, and I I obviously won't have time to go into all of the words that you to pick by. Why, I want to pick this a few that I think are significant, and would be helpful because some people really have a confusion about
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Andy Miller III: right righteousness being connected with. Sometimes it's translated justice. And you you talked through those things. But I love to hear what? Why? This word so significant.
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Nijay Gupta: Yeah, I've always struggled with the English word righteousness, because it sounds like a religious term. Okay, right? And it's not actually a religious term. It would be the normal term that you and I would use for someone that is good and honest.
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Nijay Gupta: Okay, right. So if you're looking for a lawyer, or if you're looking for a financial planner. you know you would want to find someone that you trust. And so you're gonna ask around.
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Nijay Gupta: Is this person? Is this person good and honest? Is this person a fair-minded person.
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Nijay Gupta: and that's the word righteousness. That's the word righteous. Now, righteousness has to do with, you know, correctness or righteousness according to a person or standard. So it's going to look a specific way. We're talking about the covenant with God.
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But what I found really interesting about this is, we think, about righteousness as kind of an objective standard.
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Nijay Gupta: Yeah, and really it's a relational term, right? So we think of righteousness, maybe sometimes as this objective thing.
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Nijay Gupta: But often in the Old Testament. God is His righteous, revealed in His mercy to Israel in mercy, because he wants to do right by the promises he's made to His own people.
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Nijay Gupta: What's interesting about that is righteousness, Isn't: blind justice. We have this kind of assumption of blind justice, right? And I like the idea of unbiased in a negative way, unbiased justice.
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Nijay Gupta: But God's righteousness is biased in our favor, and I think that's kind of cool. So when we talk about
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Nijay Gupta: Jesus fulfilling all righteousness, right? And, Matthew, what are we talking about?
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Nijay Gupta: We're talking about the Covenant? We're talking about God making right His desire to reconcile with His people? And we're probably also talking about
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Nijay Gupta: holding His people to a spirit filled Jesus following you standard
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Nijay Gupta: of goodness and truth. So it is a pretty big word. It is one of these load-bearing words in the Bible.
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Nijay Gupta: and Matthew gives us a helpful glimpse
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Nijay Gupta: the many many sides of that prism.
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Andy Miller III: and he he hits that particularly Matthew does in the sense of the fulfillment of the Covenant. Is that the idea?
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Nijay Gupta: I think everything, so, you know. Let's say you're watching a movie in it and it's has 5 different sub-plots that have to have problems right. And let's say it's one thing happens at the end that brings together all 5 that resolves all 5.
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Nijay Gupta: I think this idea of Jesus, fulfilling all righteousness
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Nijay Gupta: ties together, brings together all the problems of you know alienation from God.
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alienation from each other
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Nijay Gupta: our a lack of ability and awareness to know how to do how to do what is right. I think it all comes together in that statement of righteousness.
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Andy Miller III: How do you since, like the maybe just in what you here in popular church culture? The word righteousness misused.
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Nijay Gupta: is it?
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Nijay Gupta: You know, I think one of them is, You know, some of the songs we sing about. Christ is our righteousness. Sometimes it can be used as
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Nijay Gupta: a cover to say we don't have to change, because Jesus is our righteousness.
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Nijay Gupta: and I'm. Wesley and Holiness, and you are in that camp, and we know better than that. We. We know that God expects us to become righteous right. But I I I hear that sometimes in kind of pop liturgy, this idea that Christ is our righteous. So we don't have to be righteous.
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Andy Miller III: and that's not at all what Matthew teaches. That's not at all what the Bible teaches, but
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Nijay Gupta: and and then that sense of righteousness is piety. In fact, some scholars interpret the word righteous as piety. In Matthew.
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Nijay Gupta: Sometimes Matthew uses acts of righteousness. But if we say you need to be righteous, and we mean doing specific religious activities.
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Nijay Gupta: I think that's a misunderstanding of the word right? Just right. Just means that we're gonna I think of alignment right? If the alignment on your car is off, it's going. So it's really right. This alignment with God, alignment with the ways of the kingdom. Paul talks about this is walking in the truth in step with the truth of the Gospel.
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Nijay Gupta: I think that Matthew would talk about that as righteousness.
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Andy Miller III: interesting.
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Nijay Gupta: so like the the categories, you you might know where i'd be going through this like of the imputed and parted righteousness
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Andy Miller III: like Obviously, this is not something that is from the New Testament exactly like that, that that word, and certainly the concept, but like of what, maybe what people imply now. But there, there is some challenges that come with this like that. There is like a real work that happens relationally to us to change our very being.
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Nijay Gupta: I think so, and that's where the spear comes in as a transforming agent. I think of Gordon Fe and his.
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Nijay Gupta: How could the spirit not change us right. How can we continue in sin when the Spirit has changed us now? There is forgiveness, and there is second third chances.
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Nijay Gupta: But you know one of the things I talked about in the book is the reality of judgment that we're going to be held accountable for our our actions. Yeah. And I think that gives us some responsibility for cooperating with God in the work of being people of righteousness.
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Andy Miller III: and that doesn't eliminate the what Jesus did like Jesus did he his role in this process.
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Andy Miller III: Okay, I can talk about right. This is probably the whole time. So i'm going to alright, i'm. So it's so righteous of me to do. No, n0 0kay. Faith, Faith, all right, Pistist pissed 2 0, this is the kind of this a word that gets misused often, and you know, some translations will even have a footnote. It says, faith or faithfulness.
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Andy Miller III: But
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Nijay Gupta: yeah, sometimes I come across theologians or pastors that talk about faith as passive. and what they mean by that is. God is 100%. The the change Maker, right? The transformer and I and I and I agree with that.
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Nijay Gupta: But if you listen to the Bible, if you listen to text of early Judaism.
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Nijay Gupta: then you're actually going to get a different impression of this Greek word pistis.
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Nijay Gupta: and he says you've neglected to do the way to your matters of the law, and he names
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Nijay Gupta: a few things, one of them being Pistis faithfulness or faith. So he's actually combining, doing with
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Nijay Gupta: safe.
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Nijay Gupta: Now we we sometimes say faith is not something you do it so, I believe, and that is, generally speaking, true, but Jesus Himself. From the red letters we can learn about this word relation to Chapter 5, Paul says: Neither circumcision, matters, nor uncircumcision matters. What matters is faith
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Nijay Gupta: working
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Nijay Gupta: through love? So that starts to mess with our categories? I you know, sometimes I I I was heavily involved with Cameras crusade for Christ in college. I still like their focus on missions, but
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Nijay Gupta: I remember reading the for spiritual laws, even being taught how to to, You know, to people, the poor spiritual laws, and these often give this binary of
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Nijay Gupta: salvation is about nothing that you do. It's a passive thing. It's all about faith. You rely. You trust in God. One theologian talks about the recumbency of faith, this kind of relaxing or resting into God.
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Nijay Gupta: you know, since the Super Bowl wasn't that long ago. It's helpful to use a a football analogy. Think about a receiver, a wide receiver.
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Nijay Gupta: receiving right so in that sense passive. But they're definitely not passive.
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Andy Miller III: They're definitely active because they're running for their life, and they don't want to get tackled right? Yeah.
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Nijay Gupta: And so there's some kind of mixture there of faith as vibrant. leaning in active. and at the same time recognizing that this is all the work of God.
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Nijay Gupta: You know it. It is, I I think we have to make sure that when we talk about faith, we're talking about it as a relational term.
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Nijay Gupta: right? And they're not gonna have a checklist like. Did you believe in the virgin birth? Did you believe in the Trinity? The beliefs matter for how they shape who we are right
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Nijay Gupta: when we confess the apostles create when we confess Scripture, it's not just cibral it's not mental. It's meant to actually
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Nijay Gupta: translate Eugene Peterson talks about metabolizing
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Nijay Gupta: and I think James, Chapter 2 is not a critique of Paul. but a clarification of what Paul really means. So James Chapter 2 says, You know.
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Nijay Gupta: you know you say it's all about faith, and that works. But I'm telling you
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Nijay Gupta: you can't have one without the other. I think I think James is actually clarifying what Paul really means. And so when people say, let go and like God or all you have to do is believe, let's say it's a big tech revival. All you gotta do is believe
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Nijay Gupta: that's not really what Paul meant. Paul. Says Romance Chapter 8. You'll be co-ares if you suffer with him right? Well, that doesn't sound like faith. But if faith is this robust relationship.
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Nijay Gupta: yeah of entanglement with Christ.
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Nijay Gupta: then we're going to live just like Christ that's gonna involve persecution sufferings, all kinds of things.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, absolutely. Now I see you list as a as a resource, I've been. I really enjoyed Matthew Bates work on salvation by allegiance alone. And yeah, he suggests that often allegiance to where allegiance could be used instead of faith. So it's like really helpful, I think, like.
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Andy Miller III: Consider the outcome of your leader or consider. Remember your leaders. Consider the outcome of their allegiance and
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Nijay Gupta: allegiance tends to my mind to have all kind of a political connotation. I think that makes sense sometimes.
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Nijay Gupta: So Galatians 220. I've been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life. I live by Pistis.
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Nijay Gupta: I live by the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. It's union with Christ. It's participation in Christ. It's love.
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Nijay Gupta: it's trust. It's allegiance. I would want, maybe a variety of terms. Trust is a good term.
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Andy Miller III: It's a dual function. Yeah, interesting.
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Andy Miller III: Come come through later. And of course we have this thing called the process Reformation, you know. Like
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Andy Miller III: trying to figure out like what what distinctions we're making. There is helpful. Now I like how you bring in other examples to, though from other Greco-roman literature to so what did you pick up on faith like? You quote the Iliad and a few other. What is that? How does that help inform our understanding? Yeah. The most common use of the word pistol which we translate as faith is
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Nijay Gupta: in the in the wider Greco-roman world. It's most often found in political texts to do with treaties to do with packs and
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Nijay Gupta: negotiations between nations or armies, that they will bond together, that they will show loyalty to each other. So I would say, and I wrote a book called Paul the Language of faith. So I spent a lot of time on this subject.
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Nijay Gupta: But I would say, I know that before this interview I would say
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Nijay Gupta: the way that
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the New Testament writers use the language of faith
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Andy Miller III: is very similar to how the Old Testament uses the language covenant. Okay.
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Nijay Gupta: And that is very similar to how Greco Roman treaties worked. So a treaty is a bond that you form with another group of people where there is good will and expectation or obligation.
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We see it over and over again. We even see it with Jesus that he.
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Nijay Gupta: you know, Gospel of John. He says you.
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Nijay Gupta: you will prove that you love me if you obey my commandments. Yeah, sure. Oh, wait a second, Jesus. What happened to Faith? What happened to Sola d day here?
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But I take a more holistic understanding of faith as
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Nijay Gupta: a relational dynamic and attachment of connectivity. Yeah, between us and Christ. Where there is goodwill there is love, there is forgiveness, but there is also expectation, and that corresponds pretty well to how the gross Roman world used this term
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Andy Miller III: interesting. That's really helpful.
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Andy Miller III: All right. I'll go get one more word in, I think maybe i'll see if I can get get more than that. But coming from the Salvation Army now, people are wondering what do you mean by salvation? You know
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Andy Miller III: what variety things you had to say here, and you you subtitle it, rescued, reconciled, and establish for flourishing
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Nijay Gupta: Yeah, it's.
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Nijay Gupta: I start out with an illustration that I think really sets the tone for the chapter. There was the story of this modern rescue
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Nijay Gupta: where these kids had gotten to a boat.
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Nijay Gupta: and they wanted to go travel, and they ended up shipwrecked on an island. They were there for a long time, I think. Over a year they they ran out of water. Fresh water They had to drink animal blood, bird blood, I mean. It was pretty bad, and this Sandler was was going by this merchant.
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Nijay Gupta: and you know, traditional rescue story. He sees them, he goes, he picks them up and normally rescue stories end there
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Nijay Gupta: right. He picks him up. He takes him home. But actually this story keeps going because those kids had stolen that boat.
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Nijay Gupta: So they were going to be put in jail, he actually gets them released, and then he actually invites them to work on his boat, so he can mentor them and take care of them.
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Nijay Gupta: And I love that as an image of the Gospel, because often we, on the popular level.
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Nijay Gupta: Christianity and salvation can seem like centers in the hands of an angry god, just trying to be plucked out of the fire Right Deathbed confessionals that sort of thing.
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Nijay Gupta: But when the Bible uses the language of salvation, it is. It's a kind of all in one, all-inclusive protection, care.
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Nijay Gupta: looking after and and as I mentioned flourishing. So let me give one example. You know. In modern, you know, American church
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Nijay Gupta: parlance
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Nijay Gupta: Savior tends to mean someone who died for my since
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Nijay Gupta: right. But when the Bible uses the word Savior specifically, the pastoral pistols which I talk about in that chapter.
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It really resonated with the Roman world because emperors and
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Nijay Gupta: warriors were often called so tear Savior and so terror didn't mean they ended a fight, or they rescued, but it means that they live and serve to protect their people.
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Andy Miller III: So when Caesar is hailed so tear.
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or when a deity is hailed, so tear
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Nijay Gupta: It's often translated, protector or guardian, interesting.
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Nijay Gupta: And so what if we called God? Not just Savior, but protector and guardian. Hmm
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Nijay Gupta: God, my guardian! There! There is a sense of persistence there that he's always looking after me. He's always taking care of me. We used to have like grandparents day at our kids school.
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Nijay Gupta: and then they realize some people don't have grandparents, or they have, you know, messy family situations. So they switch to guardian Guardians Day. Okay, and I love that
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Nijay Gupta: because a guarding is someone that cares for somebody on a on a person in a persistent way.
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Nijay Gupta: And what if we looked at God? And what if we looked at Jesus Christ, Who in our siege for us? What if you look at the Holy Spirit.
00:24:48.490 --> 00:24:54.240
Nijay Gupta: not as just Savior that rescued us back then. but as guarding and caretaker and protector
00:24:54.290 --> 00:24:56.070
Nijay Gupta: like, how would that change our prayer? Life?
00:24:56.380 --> 00:25:11.320
Andy Miller III: Wow! What how would that change our per in life like? What would you? How would you pray differently? Yeah, I I think, be on the lookout for how God is going to be taking care of you moment by a moment. Right? Don't be afraid to take little problems
00:25:11.490 --> 00:25:20.810
Nijay Gupta: right? We want our kids, you know. We go int0 0ur kids room at night because we want them to tell us their problems. You know what I mean, and our kids, I hope my kids never say to me, I didn't want to bother you.
00:25:20.920 --> 00:25:34.670
Nijay Gupta: Yeah, maybe while i'm on a podcast, I don't want them to bother me, but I want them to bother me with all of their problems. Sure. And and what if, what if we pray that where we thought God has
00:25:34.730 --> 00:25:41.720
Nijay Gupta: guardian wants to contribute to solving all of our problems, even the little ones.
00:25:42.290 --> 00:25:43.200
Andy Miller III: Yeah.
00:25:43.250 --> 00:25:53.030
Andy Miller III: this is like a it's like an ongoing, regular sort of work like a saving. Not just like I got it. I got my
00:25:53.240 --> 00:25:57.740
Nijay Gupta: yeah. And and first Thessalon. In chapter one, Paul talks about
00:25:58.000 --> 00:26:02.870
Nijay Gupta: the work of Jesus as the Son who rescues us
00:26:02.900 --> 00:26:04.720
Nijay Gupta: from judgment.
00:26:04.740 --> 00:26:11.180
Nijay Gupta: and a lot of translations keep that in the in the present tense versus rescued.
00:26:11.270 --> 00:26:20.220
Nijay Gupta: because he continues to rescue us. He continues to to be. It's almost like he's stocking us. He's following us around.
00:26:20.260 --> 00:26:34.360
Nijay Gupta: making sure that we're okay. It's like I. I don't know if this is appropriate, but I I I can track my kids phones. They know that, by the way, and I use it all of the time because I want to make sure they're okay.
00:26:34.500 --> 00:26:44.400
Andy Miller III: I a, and I have the same thing with my wife, and I know she knows where I am, and she's like, okay, time to come home like
00:26:44.450 --> 00:27:03.330
Andy Miller III: okay. I think I have time for one more. And when it got to Revelation section of revelation people might say, Well, what word would you use for revelation? What? What words that
00:27:03.330 --> 00:27:13.360
Nijay Gupta: so tell us about that? Yeah, the Greek word for witnesses, Martas where we get the word martyr. Yeah. And obviously revelation is full of a lot of blood.
00:27:13.370 --> 00:27:25.090
Nijay Gupta: and it's full of it's even full of the it's not full of, but it has the term martyr. but it's very interesting to me that we associate the word martyr with death.
00:27:26.010 --> 00:27:30.900
Nijay Gupta: But in the first century. when the Book of Revelation is written.
00:27:32.250 --> 00:27:35.040
Nijay Gupta: it, it really just means witness.
00:27:37.690 --> 00:27:49.680
Nijay Gupta: and it came to mean someone who dies for their faith because of the Book of Revelation. I think, because in the Book of Revelation these people who stand by Jesus
00:27:50.290 --> 00:27:53.440
Nijay Gupta: who worshiped the Lamb that was slaughtered.
00:27:53.480 --> 00:27:54.210
Andy Miller III: Yeah.
00:27:54.330 --> 00:28:00.280
Nijay Gupta: are people who witness and testify and point to
00:28:01.170 --> 00:28:02.260
Nijay Gupta: Jesus.
00:28:02.340 --> 00:28:03.970
and we talk about
00:28:03.990 --> 00:28:13.270
Nijay Gupta: evangelism is witnessing. I don't think we often mean, understand what that actually means. Hmm. Witness really is testimony that we can point
00:28:13.930 --> 00:28:19.920
Nijay Gupta: to someone who has changed our life. I I. I know that, you know, with my kids and with other people, my church.
00:28:20.080 --> 00:28:26.230
Nijay Gupta: They get stressed out about the idea of sharing their fate with other people like it's proselytizing, or it's unwelcome.
00:28:26.690 --> 00:28:44.100
Nijay Gupta: But my wife is is just a natural evangelist, and i'm kind of shy, and she's out there talking to people all the time. She'll invite a neighbor over. She barely knows, and i'm like chopping carrots or something in the kitchen, and she'll be chatting with them, and she'll just point blank. Say, what do you think about Jesus?
00:28:44.160 --> 00:28:53.200
Andy Miller III: And she she just means, Tell me your story like, and then she just so freely shares her story, but in a very non-threatening way, like she'll just
00:28:53.280 --> 00:29:01.800
Nijay Gupta: They'll just ask her about such and such and she'd be like, you know. Jesus has been really good to me. She does it a very personalized way, and if it's in I've noticed I live in Portland, Oregon.
00:29:01.910 --> 00:29:03.690
Andy Miller III: Okay, which is.
00:29:03.920 --> 00:29:13.020
Nijay Gupta: as many people know not a lot of Christians. And there's this impression that people hate Christianity here. They don't They have baggage.
00:29:13.590 --> 00:29:32.450
Nijay Gupta: but it but they're very okay with talking about it if I can talk about Jesus in personal ways.
00:29:32.450 --> 00:29:38.050
But when we read the Book of Revelation, testimony is about.
00:29:39.090 --> 00:29:42.340
Nijay Gupta: explain t0 0thers why we're covered in the blood of Jesus
00:29:42.910 --> 00:29:51.810
and revelation. That's more graphic. But I think about the man born blind and the and the Gospel of John. They they ask him. Who is this man? He says.
00:29:52.020 --> 00:29:56.140
Nijay Gupta: I don't know who he is. I don't know what he's done, but I know I was blind, and now I see.
00:29:56.610 --> 00:30:01.490
Nijay Gupta: And I think of testimony
00:30:01.730 --> 00:30:05.690
Nijay Gupta: as an arrow pointing to Jesus. Yeah.
00:30:06.010 --> 00:30:12.340
Nijay Gupta: And what if we told Christians? Evangelism is as simple as that? Witnessing is as simple as
00:30:13.310 --> 00:30:16.930
Nijay Gupta: the shape and direction and words of our life.
00:30:17.010 --> 00:30:25.100
Nijay Gupta: pointing to Jesus. Yeah. it's not hard. Sell it's not coercion. It's as simple as that.
00:30:25.160 --> 00:30:50.630
Andy Miller III: I just. I do a lot of my podcast interviews on the same day, and so I had to interview with James Brian Smith or Jim Smith.
00:30:50.630 --> 00:31:08.510
Andy Miller III: Rich Mullins. Toward the end of his life was taking a picture, and they asked them to raise his hands up the air, and they said, No, no, lower it down they'll they'll be like Jesus. Lower it down. And then the photographer said, You're You look like an arrow pointing to heaven.
00:31:08.610 --> 00:31:19.410
Nijay Gupta: Rich is one of my absolute favorites. I'll tell you a fun story since. Oh, yeah, yeah, Fan, I grew up in Ohio, and I went to college in Southern Ohio and and Richmond's died
00:31:19.600 --> 00:31:21.860
Nijay Gupta: during my junior year, I think.
00:31:21.930 --> 00:31:29.160
Nijay Gupta: and I was at that time I was in a class on rhetoric, and I was asked to do by my professor to do
00:31:29.230 --> 00:31:36.940
Nijay Gupta: to analyze a piece of rhetoric. and he had just died. So I reached out to his mother, and I asked for his eulogy.
00:31:37.160 --> 00:31:46.360
Nijay Gupta: So he had 3 eulogies, one in Nashville, where he recorded one in Wichita, where he lived, and one of Richmond, Indiana, where he was from.
00:31:46.550 --> 00:31:50.880
Nijay Gupta: and I got the one from Richmond. So it was really a really special moment.
00:31:51.040 --> 00:32:06.760
Andy Miller III: So what did you? What did you find in that like? Who did? There? Was was it from a pastor who prepared that, or I? It's been too long for me to
00:32:06.760 --> 00:32:22.640
Andy Miller III: to Scripture. But something is really unique, and his his ability to grasp concepts, and he was so far ahead of his time.
00:32:22.770 --> 00:32:36.260
Andy Miller III: I don't know I grew up in the Christian subculture like Ccm. As I I enjoyed. I, I, I I
00:32:36.500 --> 00:32:40.530
Andy Miller III: But, he said, can you think of any musical Ccm
00:32:40.550 --> 00:32:52.020
Andy Miller III: artists who you? You still sing their songs, and they're still meaningful to you from 30 years ago.
00:32:52.020 --> 00:33:04.630
Andy Miller III: and so so like. But yeah, it but rich Mullins is. And so it's. It's really
00:33:04.630 --> 00:33:18.340
Andy Miller III: what you saying this week when we talk about Jesus in these real personal ways, like Jesus is doing something for us like I have a relationship with him like i'm witnessing to someone. I have faith pissed this in someone.
00:33:18.530 --> 00:33:23.120
Andy Miller III: It it may. It implies also Jesus, and throw them in that Jesus is
00:33:23.240 --> 00:33:24.820
Andy Miller III: it? It's not just like
00:33:24.860 --> 00:33:39.800
Andy Miller III: he. He's gone someplace else he's still available, like Jesus, is available to us because of the Ascension. So I I I think there's something about that, like. What are we witnessing? We're lit witnessing to a living, real being who's a part of our world.
00:33:40.130 --> 00:33:43.530
and and part of witnessing in the Book of Revelation is
00:33:43.630 --> 00:33:48.750
Nijay Gupta: deciding whether you're going to be all in or not. Okay. whatever the consequences.
00:33:49.670 --> 00:33:54.580
Nijay Gupta: right? And and you know, the revelation
00:33:55.520 --> 00:33:58.930
really reminds us that
00:33:59.370 --> 00:34:01.400
Nijay Gupta: Christianity is not an easy choice.
00:34:01.560 --> 00:34:16.040
Andy Miller III: It should it shouldn't be an easy choice. I think of the Gospels when it talks about counting the cost.
00:34:16.170 --> 00:34:19.020
Take Jesus, it's it's it's a
00:34:19.739 --> 00:34:23.280
Nijay Gupta: you know. Jesus says, Narrow is the road, for a reason.
00:34:23.310 --> 00:34:27.260
Nijay Gupta: You know it's. It's narrow, and I think revelation plays that out.
00:34:27.550 --> 00:34:31.850
Nijay Gupta: It says there is great beauty, great great
00:34:32.130 --> 00:34:36.159
Nijay Gupta: reward. Great return!
00:34:36.590 --> 00:34:42.239
Nijay Gupta: But it's, you know it's a sacrifice. It's something that you have to
00:34:42.639 --> 00:34:49.730
Nijay Gupta: commit fully, and and the image on the throne. It's not just a lamb. It's a slaughtered lamb. Wow!
00:34:50.090 --> 00:35:01.860
Nijay Gupta: And so to accept that, you know. I I remember reading a book by Jonathan Pennington, who is a New Testament scholar, and he was talking about Luther's interpretation of the Gospels
00:35:02.240 --> 00:35:07.920
Nijay Gupta: and apparently luther had this interpretation of the Gospels that we should read it in a two-story form.
00:35:08.260 --> 00:35:13.160
Nijay Gupta: The first reading is gift. We receive the Gospels as gift
00:35:13.300 --> 00:35:16.240
Nijay Gupta: and second as calling.
00:35:16.720 --> 00:35:21.480
Nijay Gupta: calling to live like Jesus so first, Russe, the the gospel's gift, then calling.
00:35:21.590 --> 00:35:26.010
Nijay Gupta: and that's changed. How I take Communion or or the Lord's Supper.
00:35:26.110 --> 00:35:29.900
Nijay Gupta: I take it as gift, right, the broken by the
00:35:30.090 --> 00:35:35.100
Nijay Gupta: but also as a calling to be like Jesus in His sacrifice.
00:35:35.620 --> 00:35:42.490
Nijay Gupta: And I think revelation does that for the witnesses. You're not just witnessing it. You're actually being invited into
00:35:43.580 --> 00:35:45.900
Nijay Gupta: that that death
00:35:46.510 --> 00:35:47.240
Andy Miller III: Wow!
00:35:48.060 --> 00:35:53.260
Andy Miller III: I I like. I like how each of the words that we've highlighted here have that moment.
00:35:53.280 --> 00:36:08.510
Andy Miller III: and then progress that follows it.
00:36:08.540 --> 00:36:29.680
Wesley, Biblical Seminary, and I didn't even talk to you about the word holy, but any
00:36:29.690 --> 00:36:46.770
Nijay Gupta: Oh, yes, you know, in a previous life I was a worship leader and musician.
00:36:46.770 --> 00:36:51.220
Nijay Gupta: I love Soccer. So I Almost all my books have a soccer illustration, and it's okay.
00:36:51.840 --> 00:36:56.610
Andy Miller III: what? What instrument do you play? Piano and guitar? Okay.
00:36:57.530 --> 00:37:04.430
Andy Miller III: great. That's a a traditional worship leader.
00:37:04.440 --> 00:37:08.540
Nijay Gupta: No, I'm. From Ohio we didn't do tattoos in the early eighties and nineties. Yeah.
00:37:08.570 --> 00:37:15.920
Andy Miller III: Gotcha. Well, thanks for your time. Dj: we appreciate it. Appreciate this book. I'm. Per courage. People to g0 0ut and get it for zooming and academic.
00:37:15.920 --> 00:37:38.920
Nijay Gupta: It'd be a great text for a undergraduate, or like entry Level seminary course, Biblical theology, or New Testament just walks through a lot of the basic concepts. So I really and and does it in a profound way like in based on really solid research. I don't want to make it seem too simplistic. But it you had in mind you you're not. This is an academic book exactly, even though it's by Zander. Right you're You're kind of that's your audience right? You're thinking of
00:37:44.520 --> 00:37:50.580
Nijay Gupta: one is pastors for preaching series, and one is a church, a Church group study.
00:37:50.590 --> 00:37:54.730
Nijay Gupta: So I kind of wrote it with those 3 audiences of mine.
00:37:55.510 --> 00:38:03.440
Andy Miller III: Great!