Armor of God

Comfort & Encouragement

Sword of the Spirit

You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. Jo 23 !" #ot one word has failed of all the good promises he gave. ! $gs % &' (ave faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld. 2 )hr 2* 2* +hough he slay me, yet will - hope in him. Job !3 !& - will lie down and sleep in pea.e, for you alone, / Lord, make me dwell in safety. 0s. " % +he Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. +hose who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. . . . 1ut the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the affli.ted ever perish. 0s 2 23!*, !% )ast your .ares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. 0s && 22 4hen - am afraid, - will trust in you. 0s &' & /ne thing God has spoken, two things have - heard that you, / God, are strong, and that you, / Lord, are loving. 0s '2 !! Yet - am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your .ounsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 4hom have - in heaven but you5 6nd being with you, desire nothing on earth. 0s 73 2332& 8y soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me a..ording to your word. 0s !!2 2% 8y .omfort in my suffering is this Your promise preserves my life. 0s !!2 &* - lift up my eyes to the hills9where does my help .ome from5 8y help .omes from the L/:;, the 8aker of heaven and earth. (e will not let your foot slip9he who wat.hes over you will not slumber; indeed, he who wat.hes over -srael will neither slumber nor sleep. 0s !2! !3" - spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a par.hed land. 6nswer me <ui.kly, / L/:;; my spirit fails. ;o not hide your fa.e from me or - will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for - have put my trust in you. =how me the way - should go, for to you - lift up my soul. 0s !"3 '3% (ave no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wi.ked, for the L/:; will be your .onfiden.e and will keep your foot from being snared. 0r 3 2&32' +he Lord does not let the righteous go hungry. 0r !* 3 (e who fears the L/:; has a se.ure fortress, and for his .hildren it will be a refuge. +he fear of the L/:; is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. 0r !" 2'327

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>)ome now, let us reason together,? says the Lord. >+hough your sins are like s.arlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as .rimson, they shall be like wool.? -s ! !% =urely God is my salvation; - will trust and not be afraid. +he Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has be.ome my salvation. -s !2 2 /n this mountain the Lord 6lmighty will prepare a feast of ri.h food for all peoples, a ban<uet of aged wine9the best of meats and the finest of wines. /n this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that .overs all nations; he will swallow up death forever. +he =overeign Lord will wipe away the tears from all; he will remove the disgra.e of his people from all the earth. +he Lord has spoken. -s 2& '3%
The mountain spoken of here is Calvary or Golgotha where Jesus, the Lamb of God, sacrificed himself to pay for the world’s sin. s a result God has prepared for all people a feast of rich spiritual food! forgiveness, redemption, sanctification, eternal life. "ith his death, Jesus has swallowed up death, the shroud that enfolds all people. #aith lays hold of these truths.

Yet the Lord longs to be gra.ious to you; he rises to show you .ompassion. @or the Lord is a God of Austi.e. 1lessed are all who wait for himB -s 3* !% =o do not fear, for - am with you; do not be dismayed, for - am your God. - will strengthen you and help you; - will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -s "! !* 4hen you pass through the waters, - will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. 4hen you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaCe. @or - am the Lord, your God, the (oly /ne of -srael, your =avior. . . . You are pre.ious and honored in my sight. -s "3 23" -, even -, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. . . . - have swept away your offenses like a .loud, your sins like the morning mist. -s "3 2&, "" 22 Even to your old age and gray hairs - am he, - am he who will sustain you. - have made you and will .arry you; - will sustain you and - will res.ue you. -s "' " >@or - know the plans - have for you,? de.lares the L/:;, >plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. +hen you will .all upon me and .ome and pray to me, and - will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. will be found by you,? de.lares the L/:;, >and will bring you ba.k from .aptivity.? Jer 22 !!3 !" +he L/:; appeared to us in the past, saying >- have loved you with an everlasting love; - have drawn you with loving3kindness.? Jer 3! 3 Yet this - .all to mind and therefore - have hope 1e.ause of the L/:;Ds great love we are not .onsumed, for his .ompassions never fail. +hey are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. - say to myself, >+he L/:; is my portion; therefore - will wait for him.? +he L/:; is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait <uietly for the salvation of the L/:;. Lam 3 2!32'

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>You will know that - am the L/:;, when - deal with you for my nameDs sake and not a..ording to your evil ways and your .orrupt, / house of -srael,? de.lares the =overeign L/:;. ECk 2* "" )ome, let us return to the L/:;. (e has torn us to but he will heal us; he has inAured us but he will bind up our wounds. (os ' ! :end your heart and not your garments. :eturn to the L/:; your God, for he is gra.ious and .ompassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending .alamity. Jl 2 !3 4ho is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritan.e5 You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mer.y. You will again have .ompassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our ini<uities into the depths of the sea. 8i. 7 !%3!2 +he L/:; is good, a refuge in times of trouble. (e .ares for those who trust in him. #ah ! 7 +he L/:; your God is with you, he is mighty to save. (e will take great delight in you, he will <uiet you with his love, he will reAoi.e over you with singing. Eph 3 !7 =o he said to me, >+his is the word of the L/:; to Eerubbabel F#ot by might nor by power, but by my =pirit,D says the L/:; 6lmighty.? E.h " '
$ere, the L%&' lmighty emphasi(es that he works through small things )like his *pirit working through the gentle whisper of $is "ord to +li,ah, - .ings -/!/0-12 to accomplish great things )like rebuilding his temple, creating faith, etc.2. The angel challenges 3echariah on this in verse -4! 5"ho despises the day of small things67

>+hough the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my .ovenant of pea.e be removed,? says the Lord, who has made you. -s &" !* Your @ather knows what you need before you ask him. . . . ;o not worry about your life . . . or about your body . . . or about .lothes. . . . Your heavenly @ather knows that you need them. =eek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. +herefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Ea.h day has enough trouble of its own. 8t ' %, 2&, 2%, 3233" )ome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and - will give you rest. +ake my yoke upon you and learn from me, for - am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. @or my yoke is easy and my burden is light. 8t !! 2%33* @or where two or three .ome together in my name, there am - with them. 8t !% 2* -t is not the healthy who need a do.tor, but the si.k. - have not .ome to .all the righteous, but sinners. 8k 2 !7 @or nothing is impossible with God. Lk ! 37 G=ee also 8t !2 2'H

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6re not five sparrows sold for two pennies5 Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. -ndeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. ;onDt be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Lk !2 '37 =imon, =imon, =atan has asked to sift you GGreek you is pluralH as wheat. 1ut - have prayed for you, =imon, that your faith may not fail. 6nd when you have turned ba.k, strengthen your brothers. Lk 22 3!332 +hen Jesus de.lared, >- am the bread of life. (e who .omes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 6ll that the @ather gives me will .ome to me, and whoever .omes to me - will never drive away. @or - have .ome down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 6nd this is the will of him who sent me, that - shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. @or my @atherDs will is that everyone who looks to the =on and believes in him shall have eternal life, and - will raise him up at the last day. . . . #o one .an .ome to me unless the @ather who sent me draws him, and - will raise him up at the last day. -t is written in the 0rophets F+hey will all be taught by God.D Everyone who listens to the @ather and learns from him .omes to me. . . . (e went on to say, >+his is why - told you that no one .an .ome to me unless the @ather has enabled him.? @rom this time many of his dis.iples turned ba.k and no longer followed him. >You do not want to leave too, do you5? Jesus asked the +welve. =imon 0eter answered him, >Lord, to whom shall we go5 You have the words of eternal life. 4e believe and know that you are the (oly /ne of God.? Jn ' 3&3"*, ""3"&, '&3'2
John Chapter 8 is a difficult section of *cripture dealing with deep sub,ects! Jesus00the bread of life, the origin of faith and how many abandon their faith when they cannot 5figure out7 these deep things of God. This section of *cripture )and many others2 makes it clear that faith is never a choice or decision that we make, but rather a work of God that is to be cherished and nurtured.

;o not let your hearts be troubled. +rust in God; trust also in me. -n my @atherDs house are many rooms; if it were not so, - would have told you. - am going there to prepare a pla.e for you. 6nd if - go and prepare a pla.e for you, - will .ome ba.k and take you to be with me that you also may be where - am. You know the way to the pla.e where - am going. . . . Jesus answered, >- am the way and the truth and the life. #o one .omes to the @ather eI.ept through me.? Jn !" !3", ' 0ea.e - leave with you; my pea.e - give you. - do not give to you as the world gives. ;o not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Jn !" 27 #ow is your time of grief, but - will see you again and you will reAoi.e, and no one will take away your Aoy. . . . - have told you these things, so that in me you may have pea.e. -n this world you will have trouble. 1ut take heartB - have over.ome the world. Jn !' 22, 33 - have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. +hey were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. . . . @or - gave them the words you gave me and they a..epted them. +hey knew with .ertainty that - .ame from you, and they believed that you sent me. . . . (oly @ather, prote.t them by the power of your name9the name you gave me9so that they may be one as we are one. . . . - have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than - am of the world. 8y prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you prote.t them from the evil one. +hey are not of the world,

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even as - am not of it. Gfrom JesusD high priestly prayer for believers on 8aundy +hursdayH Jn !7 '3!' +herefore, sin.e we have been Austified through faith, we have pea.e with God through our Lord Jesus )hrist, through whom we have gained a..ess by faith into this gra.e in whi.h we now stand. 6nd we reAoi.e in the hope of the glory of God. #ot only so, but we also reAoi.e in our sufferings, be.ause we know that suffering perseveran.e; perseveran.e, .hara.ter; and .hara.ter, hope. 6nd hope does not disappoint us, be.ause God has poured out his love into our hearts by the (oly =pirit, whom he has given us. :o & !3& - .onsider that our present sufferings are not worth .omparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. :o % !% And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. @or those God foreknew he also predestined to be .onformed to the likeness of his =on, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 6nd those he predestined, he also .alled; those he .alled, he also Austified; those he Austified, he also glorified. 4hat, then, shall we say in response to this5 -f God is for us, who .an be against us5 (e who did not spare his own =on, but gave him up for us all9how will he not also, along with him, gra.iously give us all things5 4ho will bring any .harge against those whom God has .hosen5 -t is God who Austifies. 4ho is he that .ondemns5 )hrist Jesus, who died9more than that, who was raised to life9is at the right hand of God and is also inter.eding for us. 4ho shall separate us from the love of )hrist5 =hall trouble or hardship or perse.ution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword5 6s it is written >@or your sake we fa.e death all day long; we are .onsidered as sheep to be slaughtered.? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in hrist !esus our "ord. :o % 2%332
9owerful words of encouragement as we face many and various trials in life. "e must always keep in mind that the good God works in everything that happens in our lives may not necessarily mean earthly pleasure or deliverance, but the 5good7 God works will always keep us connected to his love and in his loving care until we are with him in heaven.

8ay the God who gives enduran.e and en.ouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow )hrist Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and @ather of our Lord Jesus )hrist. . . . 8ay the God of hope fill you with all Aoy and pea.e as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the (oly =pirit. :o !& &3', !3 (e will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus )hrist. God, who has .alled you into fellowship with his =on Jesus )hrist our Lord, is faithful. ! )o ! %32 0raise be to the God and @ather of our Lord Jesus )hrist, the @ather of .ompassion and the God of all .omfort, who .omforts us in all our troubles, so that we .an .omfort those in any trouble with the .omfort we ourselves have re.eived from God. @or Aust as the sufferings of )hrist flow over into our lives, so also through )hrist our .omfort overflows. 2 )o ! 33&

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6nd we, who with unveiled all refle.t the LordJs glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever3in.reasing glory, whi.h .omes from the Lord, who is the =pirit. 2 )o 3 !% +herefore we do not lose heart. +hough outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. @or our light and momentary troubles are a.hieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. =o we fiI our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. @or what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 )o " !'3!% 6nd you also were in.luded in )hrist when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. (aving believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised (oly =pirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritan.e until the redemption of those who are GodJs possession 9to the praise of his glory. Eph ! !33!" )onse<uently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow .itiCens with GodDs people and members of GodDs household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with )hrist Jesus himself as the .hief .ornerstone. -n him the whole building is Aoined together and rises to be.ome a holy temple in the Lord. 6nd in him you too are being built together to be.ome a dwelling in whi.h God lives by his =pirit. Eph 2 !2322 -n K)hristL and through faith in him we may approa.h God with freedom and .onfiden.e. . . . pray that out of his glorious ri.hes he may strengthen you with power through his =pirit in your inner being, so that )hrist may dwell in your hearts through faith. 6nd - pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of )hrist, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge 9that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. #ow to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, a..ording to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the .hur.h and in )hrist Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and everB 6men. Eph 3 !2, !'32! K- amL .onfident of this, that he who began a good work in you will .arry it on to .ompletion until the day of )hrist Jesus. 0hp ! ' @or this reason, sin.e the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 6nd we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power a..ording to his glorious might so that you may have great enduran.e and patien.e, and Aoyfully giving thanks to the @ather, who has <ualified you to share in the inheritan.e of the saints in the kingdom of light. @or he has res.ued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the =on he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. )ol ! 23!" 8ay the Lord make your love in.rease and overflow for ea.h other and for everyone else, Aust as ours does for you. 8ay he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presen.e of our God and @ather when our Lord Jesus .omes with all his holy ones. ! +h 3 !23!3 God is Aust (e will pay ba.k trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled. +his will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blaCing fire with his powerful angels. (e will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our

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Lord Jesus. +hey will be punished with everlasting destru.tion and shut out from the presen.e of the Lord and from the maAesty of his power on the day he .omes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. +his in.ludes you, be.ause you believed our testimony to you. . . . 1ut the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and prote.t you from the evil one. 2 +h ! '3!*, 3 3 4ith this in mind, we .onstantly pray for you, that our God may .ount you worthy of his .alling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every a.t prompted by your faith. 2 +h ! !! - have fought the good fight, - have finished the ra.e, - have kept the faith. #ow there is in store for me the .rown of righteousness, whi.h the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day9and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. . . . 1ut the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully pro.laimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. 6nd - was delivered from the lionJs mouth. +he Lord will res.ue me from every evil atta.k and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. +o him be glory for ever and ever. 6men. 2 +m " 73%, !73!%
=ome .omments on GodDs use of and deliveran.e from evil from Manna! 5:f you have a brush with danger, or some evil weighs you down, be sure that, so to say, the Lord first took this 5evil7 into his hand and is turning it into a blessing for you. %nly then and to that end did your faithful and gracious God impose it! for your temporal and eternal welfare. ll evil because of which your Good *hepherd has seen you sigh, he converts into blessing and salvation. *o there is in reality no evil where a Christian, a child of God, is concerned. . . . ;ut the ;ible and the testimony of the $oly *pirit assure us that God will not permit any actual evil to befall his children, but that all things, even evil, must work together for good in the case of all who love God because they are loved by God. "hat seems to be evil because of our limited vision is only fatherly chastening and a well0meant testing sent to purify and strengthen our faith and trust. $owever, because of the weakness of our sinful flesh the blessed cross God imposes is often in our eyes and to our thinking something bad. . . . 'oes not God promise his children! <=o harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent’ )9s /-!-426 %h, firmly believe that promise of God, too> $owever in cts -?!11 that same God also says! <"e must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ :f this were not so, our flesh would cast off all restraints and in its madness choke and stifle our spirit. That God really uses <evils’ in this way where his children are involved the $oly Ghost caused to be recorded in *cripture! <The Lord disciplines those he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a son’ )$eb. -1!82. *urely, you are going to accept such chastening at the hands of your heavenly #ather.7 @anna, Carl @anthey03orn, -/AA, p. ?BA0-C )supplement2, D//0844

Hope = the absolute certainty in the promises of God# 4hen God made his promise to 6braham, . . . he swore by himself, saying >- will surely bless you and give you many des.endants.? 6nd so after waiting patiently, 6braham re.eived what was promised. . . .4e have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. G=ee (e ' !332*H
&ead all of $ebrews chapter siE for the conteEt of how God’s promises foster absolute certainty in themFwhat we call Hope.

+herefore, sin.e we are surrounded by su.h a great .loud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseveran.e the ra.e marked out for us. Let us fiI our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfe.ter of our faith, who for the Aoy set before him endured the .ross, s.orning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of

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the throne of God. )onsider him who endured su.h opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (e !2 !33 8ay the God of pea.e, who through the blood of the eternal .ovenant brought ba.k from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great =hepherd of the sheep, e<uip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus )hrist, to whom be glory for ever and ever. 6men. (e !3 2*32! 1e patient, then, brothers, until the LordDs .oming. =ee how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable .rop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, be.ause the LordDs .oming is near. ;onDt grumble against ea.h other, brothers, or you will be Audged. +he Judge is standing at the doorB 1rothers, as an eIample of patien.e in the fa.e of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 6s you know, we .onsider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of JobDs perseveran.e and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. +he Lord is full of .ompassion and mer.y. Ja & 73!! (ow great is the love the @ather has lavished on us, that we should be .alled .hildren of GodB 6nd that is what we areB +he reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. ! Jn 3! +hese are they who have .ome out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. +herefore, >they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. #ever again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. +he sun will not beat upon them, nor any s.or.hing heat. @or the Lamb at the .enter of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. 6nd God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.? :e 7 !"3!7 #othing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or de.eitful, but only those whose names are written in the LambDs book of life. )5it7 G heaven2 :e 2! 27 Confessing Your Faith (Witnessing) - will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for - delight in your .ommands be.ause - love them. 0s !!2 "'3"7 4hen KJesusL saw the .rowds, he had .ompassion on them, be.ause they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. +hen he said to his dis.iples, >+he harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 6sk the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.? 8t 2 3'33% - am sending you out like sheep among wolves. +herefore be as shrewd as snakes and as inno.ent as doves. 1e on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the .oun.ils and flog you in their synagogues. /n my a..ount you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 1ut when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. 6t that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the =pirit of your @ather speaking through you. 1rother will betray brother to death, and a father his .hild; .hildren will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 6ll men will hate you be.ause of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. =o do not be afraid of

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them. +here is nothing .on.ealed that will not be dis.losed, or hidden that will not be made known. 4hat - tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, pro.laim from the roofs. ;o not be afraid of those who kill the body but .annot kill the soul. :ather, be afraid of the /ne who .an destroy both soul and body in hell. 6re not two sparrows sold for a penny5 Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your @ather. 6nd even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. =o donDt be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 4hoever a.knowledges me before men, - will also a.knowledge him before my @ather in heaven. 1ut whoever disowns me before men, - will disown him before my @ather in heaven. ;o not suppose that - have .ome to bring pea.e to the earth. - did not .ome to bring pea.e, but a sword. @or - have .ome to turn >a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter3in3law against her mother3in3law9a manDs enemies will be the members of his own household.? 6nyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his .ross and follow me is not worthy of me. 4hoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 8t !* !'332
Jesus teaches what is at stake and what to eEpect when we confess our faith to othersFthe eternal salvation of our souls and the souls of others. $e encourages us to remember that God will guard and protect us when we boldly confess him before the world.

+hen Jesus .ame to them and said, >6ll authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. +herefore go and make dis.iples of all nations, baptiCing them in the name of the @ather and of the =on and of the (oly =pirit, and tea.hing them to obey everything - have .ommanded you. 6nd surely - am with you always, to the very end of the age.? 8t 2% !%32* You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the .oun.ils and flogged in the synagogues. /n a..ount of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 6nd the gospel must first be prea.hed to all nations. 4henever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the (oly =pirit. 1rother will betray brother to death, and a father his .hild. )hildren will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 6ll men will hate you be.ause of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 8k !3 23!3 (e said to them, >Go into all the world and prea.h the good news to all .reation. 4hoever believes and is baptiCed will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be .ondemned.? 8k !' !&3!' (e who listens to you listens to me GJesusH; he who reAe.ts you reAe.ts me; but he who reAe.ts me reAe.ts him who sent me. Lk !* !' 1ut before all this, they will lay hands on you and perse.ute you. +hey will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on a..ount of my name. +his will result in your being witnesses to them. 1ut make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. @or - will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or .ontradi.t. Lk 2! !23!&
The apostles and many Christians were fiercely persecuted in the early churchFeven to the point of death. There rarely has been a lull in this. merican Christians don’t really know what that means. %ur brothers and sisters in other countries around the world give up their homes, churches and yes, even their lives rather than forsake their faith in Jesus. 9& H for

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them that they may remain faithful even to the point of death )&e 1!-42.Go to http! for more information.

+herefore, in the present .ase - advise you Leave these men aloneB Let them goB @or if their purpose or a.tivity is of human origin, it will fail. 1ut if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. . . .+he apostles left the =anhedrin, be.ause they had been .ounted worthy of suffering disgra.e for the #ame. ;ay after day, in the temple .ourts and from house to house, they never stopped tea.hing and pro.laiming the good news that Jesus is the )hrist. 6. & 3%3"2
Gamaliel’s advice about the futility of attempting to stomp out Christian witness! human endeavors inevitably fail. Christian witness will never be stopped because God and his power are behind it. Great comfort and encouragement for us when we confess our faith before men>

6nd they were all filled with the (oly =pirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 6. " 3! ;o not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. @or - am with you, and no one is going to atta.k and harm you. 6. !% 23!* 4hen this be.ame known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seiCed with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 8any of those who believed now .ame and openly .onfessed their evil deeds. 6 number who had pra.ti.ed sor.ery brought their s.rolls together and burned them 4hen they .al.ulated the value of the s.rolls, the total .ame to fifty thousand dra.hmas. -n this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. 6. !2 !732*
These verses testify to the power of faith! it seeks to right past wrongs and clean out one’s spiritual closet of all evil influences of the past. #aith knows no bounds or costsFin this case destroying evil books )scrolls2 valued at over D4,444 days wages )a drachma was worth one day’s wage2.

(ow, then, .an they .all on the one they have not believed in5 6nd how .an they believe in the one of whom they have not heard5 6nd how .an they hear without someone prea.hing to them5 6nd how .an they prea.h unless they are sent5 6s it is written, >(ow beautiful are the feet of those who bring good newsB? :o !* !"3!& 4hat, after all, is 6pollos5 6nd what is 0aul5 /nly servants, through whom you .ame to believe 9as the Lord has assigned to ea.h his task. - planted the seed, 6pollos watered it, but God made it grow. =o neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. . . . @or no one .an lay any foundation other than the one already laid, whi.h is Jesus )hrist. ! )o 3 &37, !! +herefore, sin.e through GodDs mer.y we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. :ather, we have renoun.ed se.ret and shameful ways; we do not use de.eption, nor do we distort the word of God. /n the .ontrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we .ommend ourselves to every manJs .ons.ien.e in the sight of God. 6nd even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. +he god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they .annot see the light of the gospel of the glory of )hrist, who is the image of God. @or we do not prea.h ourselves, but Jesus )hrist as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for JesusD sake. @or God, who said, >Let light shine out of darkness,? made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the fa.e of )hrist. 1ut we have this treasure in Aars of .lay

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to show that this all3surpassing power is from God and not from us. . . . -t is written >- believed; therefore - have spoken.? 4ith that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, be.ause we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presen.e. 6ll this is for your benefit, so that the gra.e that is rea.hing more and more people may .ause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 )o " !37, !33!& 0ray also for me, that whenever - open my mouth, words may be given me so that - will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for whi.h - am an ambassador in .hains. 0ray that - may de.lare it fearlessly, as - should. Eph ' !232* 1e wise in the way you a.t toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your .onversation be always full of gra.e, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. )ol " &3' 4e had previously suffered and been insulted in 0hilippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. @or the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to tri.k you. /n the .ontrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. 4e are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. ! +h 2 23" @or you know that we dealt with ea.h of you as a father deals with his own .hildren, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who .alls you into his kingdom and glory. ! +h 2 !!3!2 8y brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him ba.k, remember this 4hoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and .over over a multitude of sins. Ja & !232* 1ut in your hearts set apart )hrist as Lord. 6lways be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1ut do this with gentleness and respe.t. ! 0e 3 !& Death, Dying & Resurrection #aked - .ame from my motherDs womb, and naked - will depart. +he Lord Gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. Job ! 2! - know that my :edeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 6nd after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh - will see God; - myself will see him with my own eyes 9-, and not another. (ow my heart yearns within me. Job !2 2&327 0re.ious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. 0s !!' !' +he righteous perish and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. +hose who walk uprightly enter into pea.e; they find rest as they lie in death. -s &7 !32

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6t that time 8i.hael, the great prin.e who prote.ts your people, will arise. +here will be a time of distress su.h as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. 1ut at that time your people9everyone whose name is found written in the book9will be delivered. 8ultitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting .ontempt. +hose who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. . . . 6s for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to re.eive your allotted inheritan.e. ;n !2 !33, !3 - will ransom them from the power of the grave; - will redeem them from death. 4here, / death, are your plagues5 4here, / grave, is your destru.tion5 (os !3 !" G=ee also $ o $%#%&'%(H Jesus replied, You are in error be.ause you do not know the =.riptures or the power of God. 6t the resurre.tion people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 1ut about the resurre.tion of the dead9have you not read what God said to you, >am the God of 6braham, the God of -saa., and the God of Ja.ob?5 (e is not the God of the dead but of the living. 8t 22 22332 Signs of the End Times 8t 2" "ff !. Jesus answered 4at.h out that no one deceives you. @or many will .ome in my name, .laiming, >- am the )hrist,? and will de.eive many. 2. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. =u.h things must happen, but the end is still to .ome. 3. #ation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. ". +here will be famines and earthquakes in various 6ll these are the beginning of birth pains. &. +hen you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations be.ause of me. '. 6t that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate ea.h other, 7. and many false prophets will appear and de.eive many people. %. 1e.ause of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 2. 6nd this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will .ome. !*. -f those days had not been .ut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the ele.t those days will be shortened. !!. 6t that time if anyone says to you, >Look, here is the )hristB? or, >+here he isB? do not believe it. @or false hrists and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and mira.les to de.eive even the ele.t9if that were possible. =ee, - have told you ahead of time. =o if anyone tells you, >+here he is, out in the desert,? do not go out; or, >(ere he is, in the inner rooms,? do not believe it. @or as lightning that .omes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the .oming of the =on of 8an. !2. -mmediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. !3. 6t that time the sign of the =on of 8an will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. +hey will see the )on of *an coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. !". 6nd he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his ele.t from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

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#o one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the =on, but only the @ather. . . . +herefore keep wat.h, be.ause you do not know on what day your Lord will .ome. . . +herefore keep wat.h, be.ause you do not know the day or the hour. 8t 2" 3', "2, 2& !3 +hen the $ing GJesusH will say to those on his right GbelieversH, >)ome, you who are blessed by my @ather; take your inheritan.e, the kingdom GheavenH prepared for you sin.e the .reation of the world.? 8t 2& 3" +he .hild is not dead, but asleep. 8k & 32 Jesus replied Gto the =addu.ees who asked him to whi.h husband would a woman who had seven husbands be married in the resurre.tionH, 6re you not in error be.ause you do not know the =.riptures or the power of God5 4hen the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. #ow about the dead rising9have you not read in the book of 8oses, in the a..ount of the bush, how God said to him, >- am the God of 6braham, the God of -saa., and the God of Ja.ob5? (e is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistakenB 8k !2 2"327 Jesus said to them 4at.h out that no one de.eives you. 8any will .ome in my name, .laiming, am he, and will de.eive many. 4hen you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. =u.h things must happen, but the end is still to .ome. #ation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. +here will be earth<uakes in various, and famines. +hese are the beginning of birth pains. 8k !3 &3% 4hen he heard this Gthat LaCarus, 8ary M 8arthaDs brother, was si.kH, Jesus said, +his si.kness will not end in death. #o, it is for GodDs glory so that GodDs =on may be glorified through it. . . . Jesus said to K8arthaL, - am the resurre.tion and the life. (e who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. ;o you believe this5 Jn !! ", 2&32' +he man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 4hoever serves me must follow me; and where - am, my servant also will be. 8y @ather will honor the one who serves me. . . . +here is a Audge for the one who reAe.ts me and does not a..ept my words; that very word whi.h - spoke will .ondemn him at the last day. Jn !2 2&32', "% - de.lare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood .annot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, - tell you a mystery 4e will not all sleep, but we will all be .hanged9in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. @or the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be .hanged. @or the perishable must .lothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 4hen the perishable has been .lothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will .ome true >;eath has been swallowed up in vi.tory.? >4here, / death, is your vi.tory5 4here, / death, is your sting5? +he sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 1ut thanks be to GodB (e gives us the vi.tory through our Lord Jesus )hrist. +herefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. 6lways give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, be.ause you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ! )o !& &*3&% +lease read all of $ orinthians $%# for a full application of the ,esurrection of hrist

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1ut our .itiCenship is in heaven. 6nd we eagerly await a =avior from there, the Lord Jesus )hrist, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his .ontrol, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. 0hp 3 2*32! 1rothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 4e believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 6..ording to the LordJs own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the .oming of the Lord, will .ertainly not pre.ede those who have fallen asleep. @or the Lord himself will .ome down from heaven, with a loud .ommand, with the voi.e of the ar.hangel and with the trumpet .all of God, and the dead in )hrist will rise first. 6fter that, we who are still alive and are left will be .aught up together with them in the .louds to meet the Lord in the air. 6nd so we will be with the Lord forever. +herefore en.ourage ea.h other with these words. ! +h " !33!% 1ut now K)hristL has appeared on.e for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sa.rifi.e of himself. Just as man is destined to die on.e, and after that to fa.e Audgment, so )hrist was sa.rifi.ed on.e to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a se.ond time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (e 2 2'32% $eep your lives free from the love of money and be .ontent with what you have, be.ause God has said, >#ever will - leave you; never will - forsake you.? =o we say with .onfiden.e, >+he Lord is my helper; - will not be afraid. 4hat .an man do to me5? (e !3 &3' +hen - heard a voi.e from heaven say, >4rite 1lessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.? >Yes,? says the =pirit, >they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.? :e !" !3 +his is the first resurre.tion. 1lessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurre.tion. +he se.ond death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of )hrist and will reign with him for a thousand years. :e 2* &b3'
The 5first resurrection7 refers to the work of the $oly *pirit when he raises us from the spiritual death )first death2 we are born in )+ph 1!-2 through the power of ;aptism and the "ord. The 5second death7 )&e 1-!A2 cannot hurt those who have been thus raised )converted, saved2. This is meant to comfort those in whom God has worked his work of salvation.

(e will wipe every tear from their eyes. +here will be no more death or mourning or .rying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. :e 2! " (e said to me >-t is done. - am the 6lpha and the /mega, the 1eginning and the End. +o him who is thirsty - will give to drink without .ost from the spring of the water of life. (e who over.omes will inherit all this, and - will be his God and he will be my son.? :e 2! '37 )Jesus speaks2 >1ehold, - am .oming soonB 1lessed is he who keeps the words of the prophe.y in this book. . . . 1ehold, - am .oming soonB 8y reward is with me, and - will give to everyone a..ording to what he has done. - am the 6lpha and the /mega, the @irst and the Last, the 1eginning and the End. 1lessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the .ity.? . . . (e who testifies to these things

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says, >Yes, - am .oming soon.? 6men. )ome, Lord Jesus. :e 22 7, !23!", 2* Discipline, Testing, Trials & Tribulation 1ut he knows the way that - take; when he has tested me, - will .ome forth as gold. Job 23 !* Let a righteous man strike me9it is a kindness; let him rebuke me9it is oil on my head. 8y head will not refuse it. 0s !"! & 8y son do not despise the LordDs dis.ipline and do not resent his rebuke, be.ause the Lord dis.iplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 0r 3 !!3!2 4hoever loves dis.ipline loves knowledge, but he who hates .orre.tion is stupid. 0r !2 ! (e who listens to a life3giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. (e who ignores dis.ipline despises himself, but whoever heeds .orre.tion gains understanding. 0r !& 3!332 6 manDs wisdom gives him patien.e; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. 0r !2 !! +he rod of .orre.tion imparts wisdom, but a .hild left to himself his mother. ;is.ipline your son, and he will give you pea.e; he will bring delight to your soul. 0r 22 !&, !7 - will not die but live, and will pro.laim what the L/:; has done. +he L/:; has .hastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 0s !!% !73!% 4hen times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, .onsider God has made the one as well as the other. +herefore a man .annot dis.over anything about his future. E.. 7 !" @or men are not .ast off by the Lord forever. +hough he brings grief, he will show .ompassion, so great is his unfailing love. @or he does not willingly bring affli.tion or grief to the .hildren of men. +o .rush underfoot all prisoners in the land, to deny a man his rights before the 8ost (igh, to deprive a man of Austi.e9would not the Lord see su.h things5 4ho .an speak and have it happen if the Lord has not de.reed it5 -s it not from the mouth of the 8ost (igh that both .alamities and good things .ome5 4hy should any living man .omplain when punished for his sins5 Let us eIamine our ways and test them, and let us return to the L/:;. Lam 3 3!3"* +hen #ebu.hadneCCar said, >0raise be to the God of =hadra.h, 8esha.h and 6bednego, who has sent his angel and res.ued his servantsB +hey trusted in him and defied the kingDs .ommand and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god eI.ept their own God.? ;n 3 2% /n that day a fountain will be opened to the house of ;avid and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to .leanse them from sin and impurity. . . . +his third - will bring into the fire; - will refine them like silver and test them like gold. +hey will .all on my name and - will answer them; - will say, >+hey are my people,? and they will say, >+he L/:; is our God.? E.h !3 !, 2
The fountain that cleanses and fire that refines is Christ and the forgiveness he won for all with his death on the cross. This cleansing and refining God works through the faith he creates in hearts to trust what Christ did for us.

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-f anyone would .ome after me, he must deny himself and take up his .ross and follow me. @or whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 4hat good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul5 /r what .an a man give in eI.hange for his soul5 -f anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the =on of 8an will be ashamed of him when he .omes in his @atherJs glory with the holy angels. 8k % 3"33% -f the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. -f you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. 6s it is, you do not belong to the world, but - have .hosen you out of the world. +hat is why the world hates you. :emember the words - spoke to you >#o servant is greater than his master.? -f they perse.uted me, they will perse.ute you also. -f they obeyed my tea.hing, they will obey yours also. +hey will treat you this way be.ause of my name, for they do not know the /ne who sent me. . . . 6ll this - have told you so that you will not go astray. +hey will put you out of the synagogue; in fa.t, a time is .oming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a servi.e to God. +hey will do su.h things be.ause they have not known the @ather or me. Jn !& !%3!' 3 4e must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. 6. !" 22 - .onsider that our present sufferings are not worth .omparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. :o % !% 4e do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the provin.e of 6sia. 4e were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. -ndeed, in our hearts we felt the senten.e of death. 1ut this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (e has delivered us from su.h a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. /n him we have set our hope that he will .ontinue to deliver us. 2 )o ! %3!* +hree times - pleaded with the Lord to take Kmy thornL Gan affli.tionH away from me. 1ut he said to me, >8y gra.e is suffi.ient for you, for my power is made perfe.t in weakness.? +herefore - will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that )hristJs power may rest on me. +hat is why, for )hristJs sake, - delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in perse.utions, in diffi.ulties. @or when - am weak, then - am strong. 2 )o !2 %3!* 6nd you have forgotten that word of en.ouragement that addresses you as sons >8y son, do not make light of the LordJs dis.ipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, be.ause the Lord dis.iplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he a..epts as a son.? Endure hardship as dis.ipline; God is treating you as sons. @or what son is not dis.iplined by his father5 -f you are not dis.iplined Gand everyone undergoes dis.iplineH, then you are illegitimate .hildren and not true sons. 8oreover, we have all had human fathers who dis.iplined us and we respe.ted them for it. (ow mu.h more should we submit to the @ather of our spirits and liveB /ur fathers dis.iplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God dis.iplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. #o dis.ipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it a harvest of righteousness and pea.e for those who have been trained by it. (e !2 &3!!

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)onsider it pure Aoy, my brothers, whenever you fa.e trials of many kinds, be.ause you know that the testing of your faith develops perseveran.e. 1lessed is the man who perseveres under trial, be.ause when he has stood the test, he will re.eive the .rown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Ja ! 233, !2 +hose whom - love - rebuke and dis.ipline. =o be earnest, and repent. :e 3 !2 Earthly ife 6 man .an do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfa.tion in his work. +his too, see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who .an eat or find enAoyment. +o the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. . . . +hen - realiCed that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink and to find satisfa.tion in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him9for this is his lot. 8oreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enAoy them, to a..ept his lot and be happy in his work9this is a gift of God. (e seldom refle.ts on the days of his life, be.ause God keeps him o..upied with gladness of heart. E.. 2 2"32', & !%32* +wo are better than one, be.ause they have a good return for their work -f one falls down, his friend .an help him up. 1ut pity the man who falls and has no one to help him upB 6lso, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. 1ut how .an one keep warm alone5 +hough one may be overpowered, two .an defend themselves. 6 .ord of three strands is not <ui.kly broken. E.. " 23 !2 Faith & Trust, !uil"ing up & i#ing Your$ Faithfulness /nly be .areful and wat.h yourselves .losely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. +ea.h them to your .hildren and to their .hildren after them. ;t " 2 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. +hese .ommandments that - give you today are to be upon your hearts. -mpress them on your .hildren. +alk about them when you sit at home and when walk along the road, and when you lie down and when you get up. ;t ' &37 6nd now, -srael, what does the L/:; your God ask of you but to fear the L/:; your God, to walk in obedien.e to him, to love him, to serve the L/:; your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the L/:;Ds .ommands and de.rees that - am giving you today for your own good5 ;t !* !23!3 -f you see your brotherDs oI or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it ba.k to him. -f the brother does not live near you or if you do not know who he is, take it home with you and keep it until he .omes looking for it. +hen give it ba.k to him. ;o the same if you find your brotherDs donkey or his .loak or anything he loses. ;o not ignore it. ;t 22 !33
This verse is an eEpansion of the *eventh Commandment and our faith0bound duty to be concerned about the wellbeing of our neighbor’s property and things.

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+he se.ret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our .hildren forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. ;t 22 22 ;o not let this 1ook of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be .areful to do everything written in it. +hen you will be prosperous and su..essful. Jo !% )hoose for yourself this day whom you will serve . . . . 1ut as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Jo 2" !& 1ut be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; .onsider what great things he has done for you. ! =m !2 2" 1ut your hearts must be fully .ommitted to the Lord our God, to live by his de.rees and obey his .ommands at this time. ! $gs % '! 6.knowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord sear.hes every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. -f you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reAe.t you forever. ! )hr 2% 2 Repentance: -n his distress he sought the favor of the L/:; his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 6nd when he prayed to him, the L/:; was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him ba.k to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. +hen 8anasseh knew that the L/:; is God. 2 )hr 33 !23!3
This passage emphasi(es the importance of repentance and how long and wide is the love, mercy and forgiveness of God. &ead all of 1 Chronicles CC to understand the gravity of @anasseh’s sins that he repented from so you also understand God’s great mercy in forgiving him from such atrocities.

@ools mo.k at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. 0r !" 2 (e who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy. . . . (e who oppresses the poor shows .ontempt for their 8aker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. 0r !" 2!, 3! +he fear of the L/:; tea.hes a man wisdom, and humility .omes before honor. 0r !& 33 +he highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life. 0r !' !7 1etter a patient man than a warrior, a man who .ontrols his temper than one who takes a .ity. 0r !' 32 (e who is kind to the poor lends to the L/:;, and he will reward him for what he has done. 0r !2 !7 G=ee also -s &% 7 and Ja ! 27H
n important fruit of faith of the individual Christian that this and many other passages in the ;ible encourage is to look after the needs of the poor and the needy. @ay God bless your faith0 tree with this fruit.

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+o do what is right and Aust is more a..eptable to the L/:; than sa.rifi.e. 0r 2! 3 (e who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. 0r 2! 2! 6 generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. . . . ;o not eIploit the poor be.ause they are poor and do not .rush the needy in .ourt, for the L/:; will take up their .ase and will plunder those who plunder them. 0r 22 2, 22323 6n honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. 0r 2" 2' -f your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. -n doing this, you will heap burning .oals on his head, and the L/:; will reward you. 0r 2& 2!322 @ear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the L/:; is kept safe. 0r 22 2& =peak up for those who .annot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. =peak up and Audge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. 0r 3! %32 - desire to do your will, / my God; your law is within my heart. 0s "* % +ea.h me your way, / Lord, and - will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that may fear your name. 0s %' !! A Prayer for the e! "ear Lord, you have been our dwelling pla.e throughout all generationsN1efore the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are GodN+ea.h us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdomN=atisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for Aoy and be glad all our days. 8ake us glad for as many days as you have affli.ted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 8ay your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their .hildren. 8ay the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us9yes, establish the work of our hands. 0s 2* !3 2, !2, !"3!7
@ay God bless you this new year with many blessings and may he prosper your faith and its fruit.

+he Lord is with me; - will not be afraid. 4hat .an man do to me5 -t is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. . . . than to trust in 0s !!% ', % 1lessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk a..ording to the law of the L/:;. 1lessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. 0s !!2 !32 /h that my ways were steadfast in obeying your de.reesB 0s !!2 & (ow .an a young man keep his way pure5 1y living a..ording to your word. . . . - have hidden your word in my heart that - might not sin against you. 0s !!2 2, !! $eep me from de.eitful ways; be gra.ious to me through your law. - have .hosen the way of truth; - have set my heart on your laws. - hold fast to your statutes, / L/:;; do not let me be put to shame. - run in the path of your .ommands, for you have set my heart free. 0s !!2 22332

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- will always obey your law, forever and ever. - will walk about in freedom, for - have sought out your pre.epts. 0s !!2 ""3"& 1efore - was affli.ted - went astray, but now - obey your wordN-t is good for me to be affli.ted so that - might learn your de.reesN- know, / L/:;, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have affli.ted me. 8ay your unfailing love be my .omfort, a..ording to your promise to your servantN-f your law had not been my delight, - would have perished in my affli.tion. 0s !!2 '7, 7!, 7&37', 22 1e.ause - love your .ommands more than gold, more than pure gold, and be.ause - .onsider all your pre.epts right, - hate every wrong path. 0s !!2 !273!2% ;ire.t my footsteps a..ording to your word; let no sin rule over me. 0s !!2 !33 +ea.h me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good =pirit lead me on level ground. 0s !"3 !* +he way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advi.e. 6 fool shows his annoyan.e at on.e, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. 0r !2 !&3!' (e who .overs over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates .lose friends. 0r !7 2 6 friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. 0r !7 !7 6 man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even3tempered. 0r !7 27 +he kisses of an enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of a friend. . . . 0erfume and in.ense bring Aoy to the heart, and the pleasantness of oneDs friend springs from his earnest .ounsel. ;o not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brotherDs house when disaster strikes you9better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away. . . . 6s iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. 0r 27 ', 23!*, !7 +he man who fears God will avoid all eItremes. E.. 7 !% )ursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. . . . 1ut blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose .onfiden.e is in him. Jer !7 &, 7 - will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; - will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 6nd - will put my =pirit in you and move you to follow my de.rees and be .areful to keep my laws. . . .+hen you will remember your evil ways and wi.ked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable ECk 3' 2'327, 3! :eturn, / -srael, to the L/:; your God. Your sins have been your downfallB +ake words with you and return to the L/:;. =ay to him @orgive all our sins and re.eive us gra.iously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. (os !" !32

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You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune. /b ! !2 (e has showed you, / man, what is good. 6nd what does the L/:; re<uire of you5 +o a.t Austly and to love mer.y and to walk humbly with your God. 8i. ' % You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world. . . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your @ather in heaven. 8t & !3, !", !' You have heard that it was said, >Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.? 1ut - tell you, ;o not resist an evil person. -f someone strikes you on the right .heek, turn to him the other also. 6nd if someone wants to sue you and take your tuni., let him have your .loak as well. -f someone you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 8t & 3%3"2 G=ee also, 8t & "", Lk ' 27, :o !2 !732!H
;ut Christ teaches his Christians that there is a vast difference between the right of retaliation allowed in civil law and a Christian attitude inculcated by Christianity. . . . Christ certainly is not saying that a Christian is to permit any scoundrel to abuse and take advantage of him. :n such instances the Christian may call upon the civil authorities or resist as best he can. $owever, first and foremost, we must always bear in mind that we are Christians, and therefore should never act out of hatred or spite. =or should we ever take the law into our own hands. "e have no authority to do this. "e should rather suffer in,ustice than do that. Christian’s chief aim should be to conduct himself as a child of the heavenly #ather, and not transgress the Law which forbids taking revenge and commands gentleness. Manna, Carl @anthey03orn, -/AA, p. -48

Love your enemies and pray for those who perse.ute you. 8t & "" Gsee also 8t & 3%3"2, Lk ' 27, :o !2 !732!H 1e .areful not to do your a.ts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. 8t ' ! ;o not Audge, or you too will be Audged. @or in the same way you Audge others, you will be Audged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 4hy do you look at the spe.k of sawdust in your brotherDs eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye5 (ow .an you say to your brother, >Let me take the spe.k out of your eye,? when all the time there is a plank in your own eye5 You hypo.rite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see .learly to remove the spe.k from your brotherJs eye. 8t 7 !3&
9eople often Juote the first sentence against Christians when they try to help them by pointing out a sin ),udging2 in which they have become entangled. =ote, however, that Jesus does =%T say that we should =%T remove the speck )point out sin2 from another person’s eye. $e says that we should first do spiritual 5heart0cleaning7 at home. Then we will not 5,udge7 in a hypocritical, condescending, self0righteous way. "e will be conscious of how powerful and deceptive sin can be and so can help the other person see that also so that they repent and are forgiven by Jesus.

4at.h out for false prophets. +hey .ome to you in sheepDs .lothing, but inwardly they are fero.ious wolves. 1y their fruit you will re.ogniCe them. ;o people pi.k grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles5 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 6 good tree .annot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree .annot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is .ut down and thrown into the fire. +hus, by their fruit you will

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re.ogniCe them. #ot everyone who says to me, >Lord, Lord,? will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my @ather who is in heaven. 8any will say to me on that day, >Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many mira.les5? +hen - will tell them plainly, >- never knew you. 6way from me, you evildoersB? +herefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into pra.ti.e is like a wise man who built his house on the ro.k. +he rain .ame down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, be.ause it had its foundation on the ro.k. 1ut everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into pra.ti.e is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. +he rain .ame down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great .rash. 8t 7 !&327 +hen Jesus said to his dis.iples, >If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. @or whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 4hat good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul5 /r what .an a man give in eI.hange for his soul5 @or the =on of 8an is going to .ome in his @atherDs glory with his angels, and then he will reward ea.h person a..ording to what he has done. 8t !' 2"327
These words of Jesus in verse 1? are the heart and core, the essence of a believer’s new life. believer’s life will be all0consumed with self0denial that turns away from all that is ,ust for @+K it is self0denial by which : strive to live instead ,ust for Jesus and those he has given for me to serve. @ay Jesus’ cross move every one of us to bear our cross in this way>

-f your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, Aust between the two of you. -f he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 1ut if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. -f he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the .hur.h; and if he refuses to listen even to the .hur.h, treat him as you would a pagan or a taI .olle.tor. - tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. . . . +hen 0eter .ame to Jesus and asked, >Lord, how many times shall - forgive my brother when he sins against me5 Op to seven times5? Jesus answered, >- tell you, not seven times, but seventy3seven times.? . . . +hen the master .alled the servant in. >You wi.ked servant,? he said, >- .an.eled all that debt of yours be.ause you begged me to. =houldnDt you have had mer.y on your fellow servant Aust as - had on you5? -n anger his master turned him over to the Aailers to be tortured, until he should pay ba.k all he owed. +his is how my heavenly @ather will treat ea.h of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. 8t !% !&33& Going a little farther, KJesusL fell with his fa.e to the ground and prayed, >8y @ather, if it is possible, may this .up be taken from me. Yet not as - will, but as you will.?. . . (e went away a se.ond time and prayed, >8y @ather, if it is not possible for this .up to be taken away unless drink it, may your will be done.? 8t 2' 32, "2 4hen the ten heard about this GJames M JohnDs re<uest to sit at Jesus right and left in his gloryH, they be.ame indignant with James and John. Jesus .alled them together and said, >You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high offi.ials eIer.ise authority over them. #ot so with you. -nstead, whoever wants to be.ome great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. @or even the =on of 8an did not .ome to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.? 8k !* "!3"&

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Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who .urse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Lk ' 27 G=ee also vv. 2%33' and 8t & 3%3"2, 8t & "", :o !2 !732!H 4hy do you .all me, >Lord, Lord,? and do not do what - say5 - will show you what he is like who .omes to me and hears my words and puts them into pra.ti.e. (e is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on ro.k. 4hen a flood .ame, the torrent stru.k that house but .ould not shake it, be.ause it was well built. 1ut the one who hears my words and does not put them into pra.ti.e is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. +he moment the torrent stru.k that house, it .ollapsed and its destru.tion was .omplete. Lk ' "'3"2
Confession and action are mutually inclusive fruits of faith, as Jesus tells us. True faith does not produce one without the other. #aith in action )putting Jesus’ words into practice2 builds a firm spiritual foundation.

-f your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. -f he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times .omes ba.k to you and says, >- repent,? forgive him. Lk !7 33"
#orgiving another person is one of the most important fruits of faith. 5*even times7 is not a magic number or a limit on forgivenessFrather it points to the unconditional, unlimited, perfect forgiveness that God offers every sinner. The ;ible often uses the number 5seven7 to reference completionFGod and his creation at0one. The sinner will forgive as forgiven.

Jesus entered Jeri.ho and was passing through. 6 man was there by the name of Ea..haeus; he was a .hief taI .olle.tor and was wealthy. (e wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he .ould not, be.ause of the .rowd. =o he ran ahead and .limbed a sy.amore3fig tree to see him, sin.e Jesus was .oming that way. 4hen Jesus rea.hed the spot, he looked up and said to him, >Ea..haeus, .ome down immediately. - must stay at your house today.? =o he .ame down at on.e and wel.omed him gladly. 6ll the people saw this and began to mutter, >(e has gone to be the guest of a Fsinner.D? 1ut Ea..haeus stood up and said to the Lord, >Look, LordB (ere and now - give half of my possessions to the poor, and if - have .heated anybody out of anything, will pay ba.k four times the amount.? Jesus said to him, >+oday salvation has .ome to this house, be.ause this man, too, is a son of 6braham. @or the =on of 8an .ame to seek and to save what was lost.? Lk !2 !3!*
TaE collectors were notorious for their cheating those from whom they collected taEes, thus becoming very wealthy in the process and earning the label of the people! 5*inner.7 This account of 3acchaeus’ conversion illustrates the powerful fruits that faith and love for Jesus produces. 3acchaeus was ready and willing to give half of his possessions to the poor and pay back to anyone he had cheated four times what he had taken.

+hen neither do - .ondemn you, Jesus de.lared, Go now and leave your life of sin. Jn % !!
&ead the first ten verses to get the conteEt. These are Jesus’ empowering words to a woman caught in adultery urging her, based on his forgiveness, to lea#e her sinful lifestyle. These words empower all who believe to live to the glory of Jesus.

+o the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, >-f you hold to my tea.hing, you are really my dis.iples.? . . . Jesus replied, >- tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. . . . 4hy is my language not .lear to you5 1e.ause you are unable to hear what - say. . . . (e who belongs to God hears what God says. +he reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.? Jn % 3!, 3", "3, "7

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- have set you an eIample that you should do as - have done for you. - tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. #ow that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. . . . 6 new .ommand - give you Love one another. 6s - have loved you, so you must love one another. 1y this all men will know that you are my dis.iples, if you love one another. Jn !3 !&3!7, 3"33& -f you love me, you will obey what - .ommand. 6nd - will ask the @ather, and he will give you another )ounselor to be with you forever9the =pirit of truth. . . . 4hoever has my .ommands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. (e who loves me will be loved by my @ather, and too will love him and show myself to him. . . . Jesus replied, >-f anyone loves me, he will obey my tea.hing. 8y @ather will love him, and we will .ome to him and make our home with him. (e who does not love me will not obey my tea.hing. +hese words you hear are not my own; they belong to the @ather who sent me.? Jn !" !&3!7, 2!, 2332"
The essence of saying, 5: believe in God7 is encapsulated in these words of Jesus. :f we claim to believe in JesusFto 5love him,7 then we will obey what he has commanded )GenesisF &evelation2. "e will live in such a way that we make him 5proud.7 :f on some front in our lives we are not obeying him, we are being a hypocrite. #or this we should ask for forgiveness and seek to know and live according to his will as an obedient child of our heavenly #ather.

1ut you will re.eive power when the (oly =pirit .omes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and =amaria, and to the ends of the earth. 6. ! % 1ut 0eter and John replied, >Judge for yourselves whether it is right in GodDs sight to obey you rather than God. @or we .annot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.? 6. " !232* +hen he fell on his knees and .ried out, >Lord, do not hold this sin against them.? 6. 7 '*
*tephen’s prayer as he was being stoned to death is a wonderful eEample of forgiving others even when they’ve done the worst things to us.

6nd - have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurre.tion of both the righteous and the wi.ked. =o - strive always to keep my .ons.ien.e .lear before God and man. 6. 2" !&3!' You, therefore, have no eI.use, you who pass -udgment on someone else, for at whatever point you Audge the other, you are .ondemning yourself, be.ause you who pass Audgment do the same things. #ow we know that GodDs Audgment against those who do su.h things is based on truth. =o when you, a mere man, pass Audgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will es.ape GodDs Audgment5 /r do you show .ontempt for the ri.hes of his kindness, tolerance and patien.e, not realiCing that GodDs kindness leads you toward repentan.e5 :o 2 !3"
The 5$udging7 that God is condemning here is the self0righteous, self0elevating ,udging of others that does not have their salvation and improvement in mind. This 5,udging7 seeks only to put down and tear down. The 5tolerance7 spoken of here is not tolerance of sin, but rather the patient tolerance of the sinner with the goal of turning the sinner away from their sin and back to God.

=o, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of )hrist, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. @or when we were .ontrolled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 1ut now, by dying to what on.e bound us, we have

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been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the =pirit, and not in the old way of the written .ode. :o 7 "3' +herefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in hrist !esus, be.ause through )hrist Jesus the law of the =pirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. @or what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own =on in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. 6nd so he .ondemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live a..ording to the sinful nature but a..ording to the =pirit. +hose who live a..ording to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in a..ordan.e with the =pirit have their minds set on what the =pirit desires. +he mind of sinful man is death, but the mind .ontrolled by the =pirit is life and pea.e; the sinful mind is hostile to God. -t does not submit to GodJs law, nor .an it do so. +hose .ontrolled by the sinful nature .annot please God. You, however, are .ontrolled not by the sinful nature but by the =pirit, if the =pirit of God lives in you. 6nd if anyone does not have the =pirit of )hrist, he does not belong to )hrist. :o % !32
&omans A is a chapter overflowing with comfort, encouragement and power. These opening verses teach of how God no longer condemns those who trust in Christ’s life and death in their place. Through faith in Christ’s life for us, God has met in us $is righteous reJuirements of the law. Through faith in Christ’s sin offering for us, there is no longer any condemnation.

+herefore, - urge you, brothers, in view of GodDs mer.y, to offer your bodies as living, holy and pleasing to God9this is your spiritual a.t of worship. ;o not .onform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. +hen you will be able to test and approve what GodDs will is9his good, pleasing and perfe.t will. :o !2 !32 @or by the gra.e given me - say to every one of you .o not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober -udgment, in a..ordan.e with the measure of faith God has given you. . . . Love must be sin.ere. (ate what is evil; .ling to what is good. 1e devoted to one another in brotherly love. (onor one another above yourselves. . . . Live in harmony with one another. ;o not be proud, but be willing to asso.iate with people of low position. ;o not be .on.eited. :o !2 3, 23!*, !' #ever be la.king in Ceal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 1e Aoyful in hope, patient in affli.tion, faithful in prayer. =hare with GodDs people who are in need. 0ra.ti.e hospitality. . . . :eAoi.e with those who reAoi.e; mourn with those who mourn. :o !2 !!3!3, !& 1less those who perse.ute you; bless and do not .urse. . . . ;o not repay anyone evil for evil. 1e .areful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. -f it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at pea.e with everyone. ;o not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for GodJs wrath, for it is written >-t is mine to avenge; - will repay,? says the Lord. /n the .ontrary >-f your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. -n doing this, you will heap burning .oals on his head.? ;o not be over.ome by evil, but over.ome evil with good. :o !2 !", !732! G=ee also 8t & 3%3"2, , 8t & "", Lk ' 27H 6..ept him whose faith is weak, without passing Audgment on disputable matters. . . . +herefore let us stop passing Audgment on one another. -nstead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brotherDs way. 6s one who is in the Lord Jesus, - am fully .onvin.ed that no food is un.lean in itself. 1ut if anyone regards something as un.lean,

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then for him it is un.lean. -f your brother is distressed be.ause of what you eat, you are no longer a.ting in love. ;o not by your eating destroy your brother for whom )hrist died. ;o not allow what you .onsider good to be spoken of as evil. @or the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, pea.e and Aoy in the (oly =pirit, be.ause anyone who serves )hrist in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to pea.e and to mutual edifi.ation. ;o not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. 6ll food is .lean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that .auses someone else to stumble. -t is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will .ause your brother to fall. . . . =o whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. 1lessed is the man who does not .ondemn himself by what he approves. 1ut the man who has doubts is .ondemned if he eats, be.ause his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not .ome from faith is sin. 4e who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Ea.h of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. @or even )hrist did not please himself but, as it is written >+he insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.? :o !" !, !33!& 3
These verses address 5disputable matters7 or 5adiaphora7Fthings neither commanded nor forbidden by God. :n 5disputable mattersIadiaphora7 we are not to command or forbidFadd to or subtract from God’s commandments. "e must carefully instruct others in the Christian freedom God gives in his law. t the same time, we are =%T to run roughshod over another person’s weaknesses when it comes to these things. That would be unloving and sinful.

;onDt you know that you yourselves are GodDs temple and that GodDs =pirit lives in you5 -f anyone destroys GodDs temple, God will destroy him; for GodDs temple is, and you are that temple. ! )o 3 !'3!7 >Everything is permissible for me?9but not everything is benefi.ial. >Everything is permissible for me?9but - will not be mastered by anything. ! )o ' !2 4hat - mean, brothers, is that the time is short. @rom now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. @or this world in its present form is passing away. - would like you to be free from .on.ern. 6n unmarried man is .on.erned about the LordDs affairs9how he .an please the Lord. 1ut a married man is .on.erned about the affairs of this world9how he .an please his wife9and his interests are divided. 6n unmarried woman or virgin is .on.erned about the LordDs affairs (er aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. 1ut a married woman is .on.erned about the affairs of this world9how she .an please her husband. am saying this for your own good, not to restri.t you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. ! )o 7 2233&
=ote! 9aul is by no means bashing marriage here. $e is teaching what full devotion to the Lord means! that as we live for him we live in such a way that nothing and no one else means more to us than himFthat we are not engrossed in them. =othing will be more important to a believer than living to please his Lord and *avior.

1e .areful, however, that the eIer.ise of your freedom does not be.ome a stumbling blo.k to the weak. @or if anyone with a weak .ons.ien.e sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idolDs temple, wonDt he be emboldened to eat what has been sa.rifi.ed to idols5 =o this weak brother, for whom )hrist died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 4hen you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak .ons.ien.e, you sin against )hrist. +herefore, if what

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- eat .auses my brother to fall into sin, - will never eat meat again, so that - will not .ause him to fall. ! )o % 23!3
This passage teaches believers how they are to conduct themselves among other believers whose faith may be 5weak7 regarding their knowledge of what God has said is right and wrong. weak believer is to be treated with special care so as not to destroy their faith by the strong believer’s bra(en use of their Christian freedom.

+hough - am free and belong to no man, - make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. +o the Jews - be.ame like a Jew, to win the Jews. +o those under the law - be.ame like one under the law Gthough - myself am not under the lawH, so as to win those under the law. +o those not having the law - be.ame like one not having the law Gthough - am not free from GodDs law but am under )hristDs lawH, so as to win those not having the law. +o the weak - be.ame weak, to win the weak. - have be.ome all things to all men so that by all possible means - might save some. - do all this for the sake of the gospel that - may share in its blessings. ! )o 2 !2323 ;o you not know that in a ra.e all the runners run, but only one gets the priCe5 :un in su.h a way as to get the priCe. Everyone who .ompetes in the games goes into stri.t training. +hey do it to get a .rown that will not last; but we do it to get a .rown that will last forever. +herefore - do not run like a man running aimlessly; - do not fight like a man beating the air. #o, - beat my body and make it my slave so that after - have prea.hed to others, - myself will not be dis<ualified for the priCe. ! )o 2 2"327 >Everything is permissible?9but not everything is benefi.ial. >Everything is permissible?9but not everything is .onstru.tive. #obody should seek his own good, but the good of others. =o whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ;o not .ause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the .hur.h of God9even as - try to please everybody in every way. @or - am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. ! )o !* 2332", 3!333 Love is patient, love is kind. -t does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. -t is not rude, it is not self3seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no re.ord of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but with the truth. -t always prote.ts, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ! )o !3 "3% @or )hristDs love .ompels us, be.ause we are .onvin.ed that one died for all, and therefore all died. 6nd he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. . . . +herefore, if anyone is in )hrist, he is a new .reation; the old has gone, the new has .omeB 6ll this is from God, who re.on.iled us to himself through )hrist and gave us the ministry of re.on.iliation that God was re.on.iling the world to himself in )hrist, not .ounting menDs sins against them. 6nd he has .ommitted to us the message of re.on.iliation. . . . God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might be.ome the righteousness of God. 6s GodDs fellow workers we urge you not to re.eive GodDs gra.e in vain. @or he says, >-n the time of my favor - heard you, and in the day of salvation helped you.? - tell you, now is the time of GodDs favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 )o & !"3 !&, !73!2, 2!3' 2 EIamine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. ;o you not realiCe that )hrist Jesus is in you9unless, of .ourse, you fail the test5 . . . @or we .annot do anything against

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the truth, but only for the truth. 4e are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. 2 )o !3 &, %32
=ote! the word 5perfection7 here means 5completion7 and thus the prayer is for spiritual maturity, not perfect righteousness this side of heaven.

- have been .ru.ified with )hrist and - no longer live, but )hrist lives in me. +he life - live in the body, - live by faith in the =on of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Ga 2 2* -t is for freedom that )hrist has set us free. =tand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slaveryNYou, my brothers, were .alled to be free. 1ut do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love. Ga & !, !3 You, my brothers, were .alled to be free. 1ut do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. . . . =o - say, live by the )pirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. @or the sinful nature desires what is .ontrary to the =pirit, and the =pirit what is .ontrary to the sinful nature. +hey are in .onfli.t with ea.h other, so that you do not do what you want. 1ut if you are led by the =pirit, you are not under law. +he a.ts of the sinful nature are obvious seIual immorality, impurity and debau.hery; idolatry and wit.h.raft; hatred, dis.ord, Aealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, fa.tions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. - warn you, as - did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1ut the fruit of the =pirit is love, Aoy, pea.e, patien.e, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self3.ontrol. 6gainst su.h things there is no law. /hose who belong to hrist !esus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires . =in.e we live by the =pirit, let us keep in step with the =pirit. Let us not be.ome .on.eited, provoking and envying ea.h other. Ga & !3, !'32' 1rothers, if someone is .aught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. 1ut wat.h yourself, or you also may be tempted. )arry ea.h otherDs burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of )hrist. -f anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he de.eives himself. Ea.h one should test his own a.tions. +hen he .an take pride in himself, without .omparing himself to somebody else, for ea.h one should .arry his own load. 6nyone who re.eives instru.tion in the word must share all good things with his instru.tor. ;o not be de.eived God .annot be mo.ked. 6 man reaps what he sows. +he one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destru.tion; the one who sows to please the =pirit, from the =pirit will reap eternal life. Let us not be.ome weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. +herefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, espe.ially to those who belong to the family of believers. Ga ' !3!* - urge you to live a life worthy of the .alling you have re.eived. 1e .ompletely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 8ake every effort to keep the unity of the =pirit through the bond of pea.e. +here is one body and one =pirit9Aust as you were .alled to one hope when you were .alled9 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and @ather of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 1ut to ea.h one of us gra.e has been given as )hrist apportioned it. Eph " !37 -t was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and tea.hers, to prepare GodDs people for works of servi.e, so that the body of )hrist may be built up until we all rea.h unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the =on of God and be.ome mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of )hrist. +hen we will

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no longer be infants, tossed ba.k and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of tea.hing and by the .unning and .raftiness of men in their de.eitful s.heming. -nstead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the (ead, that is, )hrist. @rom him the whole body, Aoined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as ea.h part does its work. Eph " !!3!' 1e imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved .hildren and live a life of love, Aust as )hrist loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sa.rifi.e to God. 1ut among you there must not be even a hint of se0ual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, be.ause these are improper for GodDs holy people. #or should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse -oking, whi.h are out of pla.e, but rather thanksgiving. @or of this you .an be sure #o immoral, impure or greedy person9su.h a man is an idolater9has any inheritan.e in the kingdom of )hrist and of God. Let no one de.eive you with empty words, for be.ause of su.h things GodDs wrath .omes on those who are disobedient. +herefore do not be partners with them. @or you were on.e darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as .hildren of light Gfor the fruit of the light .onsists in all goodness, righteousness and truthH and find out what pleases the Lord. (ave nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather eIpose them. @or it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in se.ret. 1ut everything eIposed by the light be.omes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. +his is why it is said >4ake up, / sleeper, rise from the dead, and )hrist will shine on you.? 1e very .areful, then, how you live9 not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, be.ause the days are evil. +herefore do not be foolish, but understand what the LordDs will is. ;o not get drunk on wine, whi.h leads to debau.hery. -nstead, be filled with the =pirit. =peak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. =ing and make musi. in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the @ather for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus )hrist. Eph & !32*
Christ’s death redeemed you from such a life. Hour faith, created and fanned into flame by the $oly *pirit empowers you to avoid all the things 9aul mentions here. large task indeed, but possible with the $oly *pirit’s help. =ote that much of this has to do with our use of our mouths. God’s directives are clear! not even a hint of immoral words from the mouth of a child of God.

@or to me, to live is )hrist and to die is gain. . . . 4hatever happens, .ondu.t yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of )hrist. 0hp ! 2!, 27 -f you have any en.ouragement from being united with )hrist, if any .omfort from his love, if any fellowship with the =pirit, if any tenderness and .ompassion, then make my Aoy .omplete by being like3minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. ;o nothing out of selfish ambition or vain .on.eit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 1ach of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others . 0hp 2 !3" +herefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed9not only in my presen.e, but now mu.h more in my absen.e9.ontinue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to a.t a..ording to his good purpose. 0hp 2 !23!3 :eAoi.e in the Lord always. - will say it again :eAoi.eB Let your gentleness be evident to all. +he Lord is near. ;o not be anIious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your re<uests to God. 6nd the pea.e of God, whi.h trans.ends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in )hrist Jesus. @inally, brothers,

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whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable9if anything is eI.ellent or praiseworthy9think about su.h things. 0hp " "3% =o then, Aust as you re.eived )hrist Jesus as Lord, .ontinue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. )ol 2 '37 +herefore, as GodDs .hosen people, holy and dearly loved, .lothe yourselves with .ompassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patien.e. 1ear with ea.h other and forgive whatever you may have against one another. @orgive as the Lord forgave you. 6nd over all these virtues put on love, whi.h binds them all together in perfe.t unity. Let the pea.e of )hrist rule in your hearts, sin.e as members of one body you were .alled to pea.e. 6nd be thankful. Let the word of )hrist dwell in you ri.hly as you tea.h and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 6nd whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the @ather through him. )ol 3 !23!7 0ut to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature seIual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, whi.h is idolatry. 1e.ause of these, the wrath of God is .oming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you on.e lived. 1ut now you must rid yourselves of all su.h things as these anger, rage, mali.e, slander, and filthy language from your lips. ;o not lie to ea.h other, sin.e you have taken off your old self with its and have put on the new self, whi.h is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its )reator. )ol 3 &3!* 4e .ontinually remember before our God and @ather your work produ.ed by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your enduran.e inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus )hrist. ! +h ! 3 @inally, brothers, we instru.ted you how to live in order to please God, as in fa.t you are living. #ow we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. @or you know what instru.tions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. -t is GodDs will that you should be san.tified that you should avoid seIual immorality; that ea.h of you should learn to .ontrol his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. +he Lord will punish men for all su.h sins, as we have already told you and warned you. @or God did not .all us to be impure, but to live a holy life. ! +h " !37 1ut sin.e we belong to the day, let us be self3.ontrolled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. @or God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to re.eive salvation through our Lord Jesus )hrist. (e died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. +herefore en.ourage one another and build ea.h other up, Aust as in fa.t you are doing. ! +h & %3!! 6nd we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, en.ourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 8ake sure that nobody pays ba.k wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to ea.h other and to everyone else. 1e Aoyful always; pray .ontinually; give thanks in all, for this is GodDs will for you in )hrist Jesus. ;o not put out the =piritDs fire; do not treat prophe.ies with .ontempt. +est everything. (old on to the good. 6void every kind of evil. 8ay God himself, the God of pea.e, san.tify you through and through. 8ay your whole

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spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the .oming of our Lord Jesus )hrist. +he one who .alls you is faithful and he will do it. ! +h & !"32" . . . @ight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good .ons.ien.e. =ome have reAe.ted these and so have shipwre.ked their faith. ! +m ! !%3!2 - also want women to dress modestly, with de.en.y and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or eIpensive .lothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. . . . Your beauty should not .ome from outward adornment, su.h as braided hair and the wearing of gold Aewelry and fine .lothes. -nstead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and <uiet spirit, whi.h is of great worth in GodJs sight. @or this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. ! +m 2 23!*, ! 0e 3 33&
These verses teach Christian women how they are to make themselves truly beautifulFthrough the good deeds of faith and a gentle, Juiet spirit molded by God himself. God is not saying women should not dress this way, but that their T&L+ ;+ LTH should not come from outward adornment.

(ave nothing to do with godless myths and old wivesD tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. @or training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to .ome. ! +m " 73% ;o not rebuke an older man harshly, but eIhort him as if he were your father. +reat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. ! +m & !32 6ll who are under the yoke of slavery should .onsider their masters worthy of full respe.t, so that GodJs name and our tea.hing may not be slandered. +hose who have believing masters are not to show less respe.t for them be.ause they are brothers. -nstead, they are to serve them even better, be.ause those who benefit from their servi.e are believers, and dear to them. +hese are the things you are to tea.h and urge on them. ! +m ' !32
These verses regarding slaves and their masters apply today to the relationship God wants to eEist between employee and employer. =ot the slaveImaster relationship, but the respect and service principles God teaches here. God says in another place that we are to do our best for our employer as though we were serving God himself. 9icture Jesus standing there instead of your boss or foreman.

1ut you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, enduran.e and gentleness. @ight the good fight of the faith. +ake hold of the eternal life to whi.h you were .alled when you made your good .onfession in the presen.e of many witnesses. ! +m ' !!3!2 - remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, whi.h is in you through the laying on of my hands. @or God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self3 dis.ipline. 2 +im ! '37 @lee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and pea.e, along with those who .all on the Lord out of a pure heart. ;onDt have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, be.ause you know they produ.e <uarrels. 6nd the LordDs servant must not <uarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to tea.h, not resentful. +hose who oppose him he must

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gently instru.t, in the hope that God will grant them repentan.e leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will .ome to their senses and es.ape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them .aptive to do his will. 2 +m 2 2232' -n fa.t, everyone who wants to live a godly life in )hrist Jesus will be perse.uted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, de.eiving and being de.eived. 1ut as for you, .ontinue in what you have learned and have be.ome .onvin.ed of, be.ause you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infan.y you have known the (oly =.riptures, whi.h are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in )hrist Jesus. 2 +m 3 !23!& @or the gra.e of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. -t tea.hes us to say >#o? to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self3.ontrolled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope9the glorious appearing of our great God and =avior, Jesus )hrist, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wi.kedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. +itus 2 !!3!" :emind the people to be subAe.t to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be pea.eable and .onsiderate, and to show true humility toward all men. +itus 3 !32 - pray that you may be a.tive in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in )hrist. 0hilemon ! ' 4e must pay more .areful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (eb 2 ! +herefore, sin.e we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the =on of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. @or we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathiCe with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, Aust as we are9yet was without sin. Let us then approa.h the throne of gra.e with .onfiden.e, so that we may re.eive mer.y and find gra.e to help us in our time of need. (e " !"3!' 4e want ea.h of you to show this same diligen.e to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 4e do not want you to be.ome laCy, but to imitate those who through faith and patien.e inherit what has been promised. (e ' !!3!2 Let us draw near to God with a sin.ere heart in full assuran.e of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to .leanse us from a guilty .ons.ien.e and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 6nd let us .onsider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us en.ourage one another9and all the more as you see the ;ay approa.hing. (e !* 2232& +herefore, sin.e we are re.eiving a kingdom that .annot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God a..eptably with reveren.e and awe, for >our God is a .onsuming fire.? (e !2 2%322 :emember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. )onsider the out.ome of their way of life and imitate their faith. . . . /bey your leaders and submit to their authority. +hey keep

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wat.h over you as men who must give an a..ount. /bey them so that their work will be a Aoy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (e !3 7, !7 +hrough Jesus, therefore, let us .ontinually offer to God a sa.rifi.e of praise9the fruit of lips that .onfess his name. 6nd do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with su.h God is pleased. (e !3 !&3!' 8y dear brothers, take note of this Everyone should be <ui.k to listen, slow to speak and slow to be.ome angry, for manDs anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Ja ! !23 2* ;o not merely listen to the word, and so de.eive yourselves. ;o what it says. Ja ! 22 Like newborn babies, .rave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. ! 0e 2 233 @or this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self3.ontrol; and to self3.ontrol, perseveran.e; and to perseveran.e, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. @or if you possess these <ualities in in.reasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffe.tive and unprodu.tive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus )hrist. 2 0e ! &3% +herefore, dear friends, sin.e you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be .arried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your se.ure position. 1ut grow in the gra.e and knowledge of our Lord and =avior Jesus )hrist. +o him be glory both now and foreverB 6men. 2 0e 3 !73!% 4e know that we have .ome to know him if we obey his .ommands. +he man who says, >know him,? but does not do what he .ommands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1ut if anyone obeys his word, GodDs love is truly made .omplete in him. +his is how we know we are in him 4hoever .laims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. ! Jn 2 33' ;ear friends, let us love one another, for love .omes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. ! Jn " 7 +his is love for God to obey his .ommands. 6nd his .ommands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God over.omes the world. +his is the vi.tory that has over.ome the world, even our faith. ! Jn & 33" 1ut you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the (oly =pirit. $eep yourselves in GodJs love as you wait for the mer.y of our Lord Jesus )hrist to bring you to eternal life. 1e mer.iful to those who doubt; snat.h others from the fire and save them; to others show mer.y, miIed with fear9hating even the .lothing stained by .orrupted flesh. +o him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presen.e without fault and with great Aoy9to the only God our =avior be glory, maAesty, power and authority, through Jesus )hrist our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermoreB 6men. Jd 2*32& 1e faithful, even to the point of death, and - will give you the .rown of life. :e 2 !*

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/nly hold on to what you have until - .ome. . . . 4ake upB =trengthen what remains and is about to die, for - have not found your deeds .omplete in the sight of my God. :e 2 2&, 3 2
Jesus warns and encourages the believers in two congregations to hold onto and strengthen their faith with God’s "ord so that it does not die. &ead these chapters for the conteEt.

Faith%s Essence & &tatus @rom the lips of .hildren and infants you have ordained praise. 0s % 2 %ear of the &ord P reverent faith in actionK consider 0salm !!2 !2* 8y flesh trembles in fear of you; - stand in awe of your laws, and, 0s 33 % Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. +he fear of the "ord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his pre.epts have good understanding. 0s !!! !* +he fear of the "ord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and dis.ipline. 0r ! 7 )=ote! $ebrew for 5fool7 here means one who is morally deficient2 +rust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways a.knowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 0r 3 &3' +his is the one - esteem he who is humble and .ontrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. -s '' 2 Leaving that pla.e, Jesus withdrew to the region of +yre and =idon. 6 )anaanite woman from that vi.inity .ame to him, .rying out, >Lord, =on of ;avid, have mer.y on meB 8y daughter is suffering terribly from demon9possession.? Jesus did not answer a word. =o his dis.iples .ame to him and urged him, >=end her away, for she keeps .rying out after us.? (e answered, >- was sent only to the lost sheep of -srael.? +he woman .ame and knelt before him. >Lord, help meB? she said. (e replied, >-t is not right to take the .hildrenJs bread and toss it to their dogs.? >Yes, Lord,? she said, >but even the dogs eat the .rumbs that fall from their masterDs table.? +hen Jesus answered, >4oman, you have great faithB Your re<uest is granted.? 6nd her daughter was healed from that very hour. 8t !& 2!32%
The greatness of this woman’s faith is seen in her faith’s refusal to take 5=o7 for an answer from Jesus. *he trusted completely in his compassion and mercy.

+hen the dis.iples .ame to Jesus in private and asked, >4hy .ouldnDt we drive Kthe demonL out5? (e replied, >1e.ause you have so little faith. - tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you .an say to this mountain, F8ove from here to thereD and it will move. #othing will be impossible for you.? 8t !7 !232! 6nd Jesus said >- tell you the truth, unless you .hange and be.ome like little .hildren, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. +herefore, whoever humbles himself like this .hild is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 6nd whoever wel.omes a little .hild like this in my name wel.omes me.? 8t !% 33&

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=ee that you do not look down on one of these little ones. @or - tell you that their angels in heaven always see the fa.e of my @ather in heaven. . . . -n the same way your @ather in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. 8t !% !*, !" Jesus said, >Let the little .hildren .ome to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to su.h as these.? 8t !2 !" 4hen the ten heard about this GJames M JohnDs motherDs re<uest that they sit on JesusD right and left hand in heavenH, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus .alled them together and said, >You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high offi.ials eIer.ise authority over them. #ot so with you. -nstead, whoever wants to be.ome great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave9Aust as the =on of 8an did not .ome to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.? 8t 2* 2"32% 4hy are you so afraid5 ;o you still have no faith5 . . . . ;onDt be afraid, Aust believe. 8k " "*, & 3' KJesusL replied, >-saiah was right when he prophesied about you hypo.rites; as it is written F+hese people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. +hey worship me in vain; their tea.hings are but rules taught by men.D You have let go of the .ommands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.? 8k 7 '3%
Jesus warns us about hypocrisy, lips supposedly honoring God, but heart detached. *ee ! Jn 2 33' for a parallel passage and Jn !" !&32" for Jesus’ antidote to hypocrisy.

6ware of their dis.ussion, Jesus asked them >4hy are you talking about having no bread5 ;o you still not see or understand5 6re your hearts hardened5 ;o you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear5? 8k % !73!%
Jesus rebukes $is disciples for sluggish growth in faith or lack thereof.

>-f you .an5? said Jesus. >Everything is possible for him who believes.? -mmediately the boyDs father eI.laimed, >- do believe; help me over.ome my unbeliefB? 8k 2 2332" Ea.h tree is re.ogniCed by its own fruit. 0eople do not pi.k figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. +he good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. @or out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Lk ' ""3"& +herefore .onsider .arefully how you listen. 4hoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him. Lk % !%
5$aving7 here refers to spiritual possessions )faith, love, hope, etc.2 that come from 5carefully listening7 to God’s "ord, taking it to heart, and 5doing what it says7 ) Ja ! 222.

(e replied, >8y mother and brothers are those who hear God2s word and put it into practice.? Lk % 2! +hen he said to them all >-f anyone would .ome after me, he must deny himself and take up his .ross daily and follow me. @or whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 4hat good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit

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his very self5 -f anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the =on of 8an will be ashamed of him when he .omes in his glory and in the glory of the @ather and of the holy angels.? Lk 2 2332' =till another said, >- will follow you, Lord; but first let me go ba.k and say good bye to my family.? Jesus replied, >#o one who puts his hand to the plow and looks ba.k is fit for servi.e in the kingdom of God.? Lk 2 '!3'2 (owever, do not reAoi.e that the spirits submit to you, but reAoi.e that your names are written in heaven. Lk !* 2* 6ll things have been .ommitted to me by my @ather. #o one knows who the =on is eI.ept the @ather, and no one knows who the @ather is eI.ept the =on and those to whom the =on .hooses to reveal him. Lk !* 22 -f anyone .omes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and .hildren, his brothers and sisters9yes, even his own life9he .annot be my dis.iple. 6nd anyone who does not .arry his .ross and follow me .annot be my dis.iple. . . . -n the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has .annot be my dis.iple. Lk !" 2'327, 33
Jesus uses hyperbole a form of eEaggeration to emphasi(e a point to indicate that faith’s essence makes God more important than anyone or anything in the world.

=o you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, >4e are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.? Lk !7 !* /o some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable +wo men went up to the temple to pray, one a 0harisee and the other a taI .olle.tor. +he 0harisee stood up and prayed about himself >God, - thank you that - am not like other men9robbers, evildoers, adulterers9or even like this taI .olle.tor. - fast twi.e a week and give a tenth of all - get.? 1ut the taI .olle.tor stood at a distan.e. (e would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, >God, have mer.y on me, a sinner.? - tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home Austified before God. @or everyone who eIalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be eIalted. Lk !% 23!" Yet to all who re.eived him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be.ome .hildren of God. Jn ! !2 >;o not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, whi.h the =on of 8an will give you. /n him God the @ather has pla.ed his seal of approval.? +hen they asked him, >4hat must we do to do the works God re<uires5? Jesus answered, >+he work of God is this to believe in the one he has sent.? Jn ' 27322 /n the last and greatest day of the @east, Jesus stood and said in a loud voi.e, -f anyone is thirsty, let him .ome to me and drink. 4hoever believes in me, as the =.ripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. 1y this he meant the =pirit, whom those who believed in him were later to re.eive. Jn 7 37332 - am the vine; you are the bran.hes. -f a man remains in me and - in him, he will bear mu.h fruit; apart from me you .an do nothing. -f anyone does not remain in me, he is like a bran.h that is thrown away and withers; su.h bran.hes are pi.ked up, thrown into the fire and burned. -f you

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remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. +his is to my @atherDs glory, that you bear mu.h fruit, showing yourselves to be my dis.iples. . . . 8y .ommand is this Love ea.h other as - have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what - .ommand. - no longer .all you servants, be.ause a servant does not know his masterJs business. -nstead, - have .alled you friends, for everything that - learned from my @ather - have made known to you. You did not .hoose me, but - .hose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit9fruit that will last. +hen the @ather will give you whatever you ask in my name. Jn !& &3!' 6gain Jesus said, 0ea.e be with youB 6s the @ather has sent me, - am sending you. 6nd with that he breathed on them and said, :e.eive the (oly =pirit. -f you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. Jn 2* 2!323 +hen Jesus told K+homasL, 1e.ause you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Jesus did many other mira.ulous signs in the presen.e of his dis.iples, whi.h are not re.orded in this book. 1ut these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the )hrist, the =on of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. Jn 2* 2233! +hen the .hur.h throughout Judea, Galilee and =amaria enAoyed a time of pea.e. -t was strengthened; and en.ouraged by the (oly =pirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. 6. 2 3! +hen 0eter began to speak >- now realiCe how true it is that God does not show favoritism but a..epts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.? 6. !* 3"33& 6 man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is merely outward and #o, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and is of the heart, by the =pirit, not by the written .ode. =u.h a manJs praise is not from men, but from God. :o 2 2%322
;ecoming a Jew inwardly and having one’s heart circumcised by the $oly *pirit happens when the $oly *pirit reveals the sin in our heart with the Law and cuts it away with the Gospel’s announcement of forgiveness. This is the $oly *pirit’s work of conversion, when he changes a sinner, by faith in the Gospel’s proclamation, into a 5Jew7Fa child of God.

1ut now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to whi.h the Law and the 0rophets testify. +his righteousness from God .omes through faith in Jesus )hrist to all who believe. +here is no differen.e, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are Austified freely by his gra.e through the redemption that .ame by )hrist Jesus. . . . @or we maintain that a man is Austified by faith apart from observing the law. . . . ;o we, then, nullify the law by this faith5 #ot at allB :ather, we uphold the law. :o 3 2!32", 2%, 3! (owever, to the man who does not work but trusts God who Austifies the wi.ked, his faith is .redited as righteousness. . . . +herefore, the promise .omes by faith, so that it may be by gra.e and may be guaranteed to all 6brahamDs offspring9not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of 6braham. (e is the father of us all. :o " &, !'
This passage emphasi(es that faithFcreated M sustained alone by God’s graceFis what saves a person, =%T works.

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@or - .an testify about them that they 3Israel4 are 5ealous for God, but their 5eal is not based on knowledge. =in.e they did not know the righteousness that .omes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to GodDs righteousness. )hrist is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. :o !* 23"
This passage points out that 5(eal for God7 can be misplaced or not based on true knowledge of God that comes only from his revealed will in $oly *cripture. @isguided (eal for God often results in people 5establishing their own religion of self0righteousness.7

1ut the righteousness that is by faith says. . . .+he word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are pro.laiming +hat if you .onfess with your mouth, >Jesus is Lord,? and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. @or it is with your heart that you believe and are Austified, and it is with your mouth that you .onfess and are saved. 6s the =.ripture says, >6nyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.? @or there is no differen.e between Jew and Gentile9the same Lord is Lord of all and ri.hly blesses all who .all on him, for, >Everyone who .alls on the name of the Lord will be saved.? . . . )onse<uently, faith .omes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of )hrist. :o !* 'a, %3!3, !7 +he man without the =pirit does not a..ept the things that .ome from the =pirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he .annot understand them, be.ause they are spiritually dis.erned. ! )o 2 !" #o one .an say, >Jesus is Lord,? eI.ept by the (oly =pirit. ! )o !2 3b
This passage states that faith, which confesses trust in God and Jesus as Lord and *avior, is produced by the $oly *pirit through the written "ord of God.

6nd in the .hur.h God has appointed first of all apostles, se.ond prophets, third tea.hers, then workers of mira.les, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 6re all apostles5 6re all prophets5 6re all tea.hers5 ;o all work mira.les5 ;o all have gifts of healing5 ;o all speak in tongues5 ;o all interpret5 1ut eagerly desire the greater gifts. ! )o !2 2%33! G=ee the whole .hapter on spiritual giftsH
9aul summari(ed at the end of - Co -1 how believers are to view the use of spiritual giftsFnot all are given spiritual gifts and not in the same measure. The gifts are given to edify others not draw attention to the one with the gift.

#ow we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 8eanwhile we groan, longing to be .lothed with our heavenly dwelling, be.ause when we are .lothed, we will not be found naked. @or while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, be.ause we do not wish to be un.lothed but to be .lothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. #ow it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the =pirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to .ome. +herefore we are always .onfident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 6e live by faith, not by sight. 2 )o & !37 You are all sons of God through faith in )hrist Jesus, for all of you who were baptiCed into )hrist have .lothed yourselves with )hrist. Ga 3 2'

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You who are trying to be Austified by law have been alienated from )hrist; you have fallen away from gra.e. 1ut by faith we eagerly await through the =pirit the righteousness for whi.h we hope. @or in )hrist Jesus neither nor has any value. +he only thing that .ounts is faith eIpressing itself through love. Ga & "3'
)=ote! #aith and works are mutually inclusiveK *ee also Ja 1!-B M 142

1ut whatever was to my profit - now .onsider loss for the sake of )hrist. 4hat is more, .onsider everything a loss .ompared to the surpassing greatness of knowing )hrist Jesus my Lord, for whose sake - have lost all things. - .onsider them rubbish, that - may gain )hrist and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that .omes from the law, but that whi.h is through faith in )hrist9the righteousness that .omes from God and is by faith. - want to know )hrist and the power of his resurre.tion and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, be.oming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurre.tion from the dead. #ot that have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfe.t, but - press on to take hold of that for whi.h )hrist Jesus took hold of me. 1rothers, - do not .onsider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 1ut one thing - do @orgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the priCe for whi.h God has .alled me heavenward in )hrist Jesus. 6ll of us who are mature should take su.h a view of things. 6nd if on some point you think differently, that too God will make .lear to you. /nly let us live up to what we have already attained. 0hp 3 73!' - am not ashamed be.ause - know whom - have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what - have entrusted to him for that day. 2 +m ! !2
6 .omment on faithDs .ore essen.e from the devotional book @anna! 5The most characteristic thing about faith is certainty, and faith trusts God’s "ord and as you read and hear that "ord, God, the $oly *pirit, will increase and strengthen your faith in God. . . . diamond in the hand of a weak child is no less a diamond than it would be in the hand of the strongest man. *o too, your faith has forgiveness of sins, whether that faith be weak or strong.7 @anna, Carl @anthey03orn, -/AA, p. D8C08?

#ow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. . . . 6nd without faith it is impossible to please God, be.ause anyone who .omes to him must believe that he eIists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. . . . 6ll these people were still living by faith when they died. +hey did not re.eive the things promised; they only saw them and wel.omed them from a distan.e. 6nd they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. . . . -nstead, they were longing for a better .ountry9a heavenly one. +herefore God is not ashamed to be .alled their God, for he has prepared a .ity for them. (e !! !, ', !3, !' @aith by itself, if it is not a..ompanied by a.tion, is dead. Ja 2 !7 Family'(arriage @or this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will be.ome one flesh. Gn 2 2" =ons are a heritage from the Lord, .hildren a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born - oneDs youth. 1lessed is the man whose <uiver is full of them. 0s !27 33&

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(e who finds a wife finds what is good and re.eives favor from the Lord. . . . a prudent wife is from the Lord. 0r !% 22, !2 !" ;is.ipline your son for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his deathN;o not withhold dis.ipline from a .hild; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. 0unish him with the rod and save his soul from death. 0r !2 !%, 23 !33!" +rain a .hild in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. 0r 22 ' 8any women do noble things, but you surpass them all. )harm is de.eptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 0r 3! 2233* )&ead all of 9roverbs C-!-40C- God’s "ord on the wife of noble character2 6nother thing you do You flood the L/:;Ds altar with tears. You weep and wail be.ause he no longer pays attention to your offerings or a..epts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, >4hy5? -t is be.ause the L/:; is a.ting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, be.ause you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage .ovenant. (as not the L/:; made them one5 -n flesh and spirit they are his. 6nd why one5 1e.ause he was seeking godly offspring. =o guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. >- hate divor.e,? says the L/:; God of -srael. 8al 2 !33!'
=ote! @al 1!-C0-8 is a powerful passage describing how G%' feels about oneNs relationship with oneNs spouse. :n a nutshell! God hates divorce00divorce is a sin. "ith that in mind also remember that God forgives all sins including divorce. God wants sinners, including divorced people, to repent of their sins and repair the damage done by their sins whenever and however possible, all by the power of the grace of God.

=ome 0harisees .ame to KJesusL to test him. +hey asked, >-s it lawful for a man to divor.e his wife for any and every reason5? >(avenDt you read,? he replied, >that at the beginning the )reator Fmade them male and female,D and said, F@or this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will be.ome one flesh5D =o they are no longer two, but one. +herefore what God has Aoined together, let man not separate.? 8t !2 33' )&egarding marriage2 Jesus replied, 1ut at the beginning of .reation God made them male and female. @or this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will be.ome one flesh. =o they are no longer two, but one. +herefore what God has Aoined together, let man not separate. 8k !* '32 0eople were bringing little .hildren to Jesus to have him tou.h them, but the dis.iples rebuked them. 4hen Jesus saw this, he was indignant. (e said to them, >Let the little .hildren .ome to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to su.h as these. - tell you the truth, anyone who will not re.eive the kingdom of God like a little .hild will never enter it.? 6nd he took the .hildren in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. 8k !* !33!' #ow for the matters you wrote about -t is good for a man not to marry. 1ut sin.e there is so mu.h immorality, ea.h man should have his own wife, and ea.h woman her own husband. +he husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. +he wifeDs body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. -n the same way, the husbandDs body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. ;o not deprive ea.h other eI.ept by mutual .onsent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. +hen .ome together

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again so that =atan will not tempt you be.ause of your la.k of self3.ontrol. . . . #ow to the unmarried and the widows - say -t is good for them to stay unmarried, as - am. 1ut if they .annot .ontrol themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. +o the married - give this .ommand Gnot -, but the LordH 6 wife must not separate from her husband. 1ut if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be re.on.iled to her husband. 6nd a husband must not divor.e his wife. . . . +o the rest - say this G-, not the LordH -f any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divor.e her. 6nd if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divor.e him. @or the unbelieving husband has been san.tified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been san.tified through her believing husband. /therwise your .hildren would be un.lean, but as it is, they are holy. 1ut if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. 6 believing man or woman is not bound in su.h; God has .alled us to live in pea.e. (ow do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband5 /r, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife5 #evertheless, ea.h one should retain the pla.e in life that the Lord assigned to him and to whi.h God has .alled him. +his is the rule - lay down in all the .hur.hes. ! )o 7 !3&, %3!7 @or the husband is the head of the wife as )hrist is the head of the .hur.h, his body, of whi.h he is the =avior. #ow as the .hur.h submits to )hrist, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (usbands, love your wives, Aust as )hrist loved the .hur.h and gave himself up for her to make her holy, .leansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant .hur.h, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. -n this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. (e who loves his wife loves himself. 6fter all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and .ares for it, Aust as )hrist does the .hur.h9for we are members of his body. >@or this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will be.ome one flesh.? Eph & 2333!
=ote! This passage is one of a number of passages that establish God’s plan for the loving and orderly relationship in marriage. The word 5head7 is applied in the ;ible also to God, not as a harsh, uncaring dictator, but rather as our loving protector, provider and leader. The motivation for both husbands and wives to love, lead and submit, as God has prescribed the roles of each, is Christ’s submission to $is #ather’s will, which was! that $e, Christ, out of love for his bride, the church )all believers2, lay down his life for her. @ay husbands and wives seek to live in these roles as they follow the lead of their common 5spiritual husband7 Christ.

)hildren, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. >(onor your father and mother?9 whi.h is the first .ommandment with a promise9>that it may go well with you and that you may enAoy long life on the earth.? @athers, do not eIasperate your .hildren; instead, bring them up in the training and instru.tion of the Lord. Eph ' !3" -f anyone does not provide for his relatives, and espe.ially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ! +m & % 8arriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will Audge the adulterer and all the seIually immoral. (e !3 " Fighting )ff Temptation, &in & the De#il

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-f you do not do what is right, sin is .rou.hing at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. Gn " 7 (ow then .ould - do su.h a wi.ked thing and sin against my God. Gn 32 2 - made a .ovenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. Job 3! ! 1lessed is the man who does not walk in the .ounsel of the wi.ked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mo.kers. 1ut his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. 0s ! !32 -f - had .herished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 0s '' !% - will be .areful to lead a blameless life . . . - will set before my eyes no vile thing . . . - will have nothing to do with evil. 0s !*! 23" =et a guard over my mouth, / Lord; keep wat.h over the door of my lips. 0s !"! 3 8y son, if sinners enti.e you, do not give in to them. 0r ! !* 6bove all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 0ut away perversity from your mouth; keep .orrupt talk far from your lips. 0r " 2332" +o fear the L/:; is to hate evil; - hate pride and arrogan.e, evil behavior and perverse spee.h. 0r % !3 (atred stirs up dissension, but love .overs over all wrongs. . . . (e who .on.eals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. 0r !* !2, !% 4hen words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. 0r !* !2 6 man who la.ks Audgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. 6 gossip betrays a .onfiden.e, but a trustworthy man keeps a se.ret. 0r !! !23!3 +he Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. 0r !2 22 (e who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will .ome to ruin. 0r !3 3 0ride only breeds <uarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advi.e. 0r !3 !* (e who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is .areful to dis.ipline him. 0r !3 2" +here is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 0r !" !2 6 simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. 6 wise man fears the L/:; and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and re.kless. 6 <ui.k3tempered man does foolish things, and a .rafty man is hated. 0r !" !&3!7 6 heart at pea.e gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. 0r !" 3*

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6 gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word sirs up anger. 0r !& ! 6 hot3tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man .alms a <uarrel. 0r !& !% 6ll a manDs ways seem inno.ent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. )ommit to the L/:; whatever you do, and your plans will su..eed. . . . +he lot is .ast into the lap, but its every de.ision is from the L/:;. 0r !' 233, 33 ;o not say, >-Dll pay you ba.k for this wrongB? 4ait for the L/:;, and he will deliver you. 0r 2* 22 ;o not make friends with a hot3tempered man, do not asso.iate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared. 0r 22 2"32& ;o not wear yourself out to get ri.h; have the wisdom to show restraint. )ast but a glan.e at ri.hes, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. 0r 23 "3& ;o not move an an.ient boundary stone or en.roa.h on the fields of the fatherless, for their ;efender is strong; he will take up their .ase against you. 0r 23 !*3!! ;o not let your heart envy sinners, but always be Cealous for the fear of the L/:;. . . . ;o not Aoin those who drink too mu.h wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons be.ome poor, and drowsiness .lothes them in rags. 0r 23 !7, 2*32! ;o not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart reAoi.e, or the L/:; will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him. 0r 2" !73!% ;o not fret be.ause of evil men or be envious of the wi.ked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wi.ked will be snuffed out. @ear the L/:; and the king, my son, and do not Aoin with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destru.tion upon them, and who knows what .alamities they .an bring5 0r 2" !2322 -f you argue your .ase with a neighbor, do not betray another manDs .onfiden.e, or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation. 0r 2& 23!* (e who .on.eals his sins does not prosper, but whoever .onfesses and them finds mer.y. 0r 2% !3 6 fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under .ontrol. 0r 22 !! $eep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor ri.hes, but give me only my daily bread. /therwise, - may have too mu.h and disown you and say, >4ho is the Lord5? /r may be.ome poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. 0r 3* %32 +herefore, / house of -srael, - will Audge you, ea.h one a..ording to his ways, de.lares the =overeign L/:;. :epentB +urn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. :id yourselves of all the offenses you have .ommitted, and get a new heart and a new spirit.

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4hy will you die, / house of -srael5 @or - take no pleasure in the death of anyone, de.lares the =overeign L/:;. :epent and liveB ECk !% 3*332 =eek good, not evil, that you may live. +hen the L/:; God 6lmighty will be with you, Aust as you say he is. (ate evil, love good. 6m & !" 1ut they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their ba.ks and stopped up their ears. +hey made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the L/:; 6lmighty had sent by his =pirit through the earlier prophets. =o the L/:; 6lmighty was very angry. E.h 7 !!3!2 0rodu.e fruit in keeping with repentan.e. 8t 3 % 6nyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already .ommitted adultery with her in his heart. 8t & 2% ;o not swear at all . . . .=imply let your >Yes? be >Yes,? and your >#o,? >#o?; anything beyond this .omes from the evil one. 8t & 3", 37 +he eye is the lamp of the body. -f your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 8t ' 22
Just as a lamp fills a whole room with light what you allow to enter your mind through your eyes will influence everything in your life.

1ut if anyone .auses one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his ne.k and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 4oe to the world be.ause of the things that .ause people to sinB =u.h things must .ome, but woe to the man through whom they .omeB -f your hand or your foot .auses you to sin, .ut it off and throw it away. -t is better for you to enter life maimed or .rippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 6nd if your eye .auses you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. -t is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. 8t !% '32 4at.h and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. +he spirit is willing, but the body is weak. 8t 2' "! 6nd if anyone .auses one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his ne.k. -f your hand .auses you to sin, .ut it off. -t is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 6nd if your foot .auses you to sin, .ut it off. -t is better for you to enter life .rippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 6nd if your eye .auses you to sin, plu.k it out. -t is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not <uen.hed. Everyone will be salted with fire. =alt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how .an you make it salty again5 (ave salt in yourselves, and be at pea.e with ea.h other. 8k 2 "23&*
Jesus warns about giving offenseFcausing someone to sin by following our eEample. "e sin if our eEample leads )causes2 someone else to sin. *ee also &omans -? and - Corinthians A.

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+hen he returned to his dis.iples and found them sleeping. >=imon,? he said to 0eter, >are you asleep5 )ould you not keep wat.h for one hour5 4at.h and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. +he spirit is willing, but the body is weak.? 8k !" 3733% Jesus answered K=atanL >-t is written . . . -t is written . . . -t says . . .? Lk " ", %, !2
=ote! %ur *avior shows us how to fight off and defeat *atan’s attacks and temptations! use the *word of the *piritFthe "ord of God. @artin Luther correctly applied this in his hymn, 5 @ighty #ortress is our God,7 when he said of the effect of God’s "ord on *atan, 5%ne little word can fell him.7

7our eye is the lamp of your body. 4hen your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. 1ut when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. )ee to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. +herefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be .ompletely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you. Lk !! 3"33'
$ere Jesus encourages care given to how we use our 5eyes7 as they are one of the main portals of entry into our hearts and minds. "hat we let in through our eyes will shape us mentally and spiritually either good or bad. " TC$ "$ T H%L " TC$>

Jesus said to his dis.iples +hings that .ause people to sin are bound to .ome, but woe to that person through whom they .ome. -t would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his ne.k than for him to .ause one of these little ones to sin. =o wat.h yourselves. Lk !7 !32
;eing guilty of sin is bad enough. Jesus says being guilty of causing someone else to sin is worse. $e would have us watch carefully how we speak, live and act so we don’t lead others to sin.

1e .areful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anIieties of life, and that day will .lose on you uneIpe.tedly like a trap. @or it will .ome upon all those who live on the fa.e of the whole earth. 1e always on the wat.h, and pray that you may be able to es.ape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the =on of 8an. Lk 2! 3"33' 0eter answered G=imonH >8ay your money perish with you, be.ause you thought you .ould buy the gift of God with moneyB You have no part or share in this ministry, be.ause your heart is not right before God. :epent of this wi.kedness and pray to the Lord. 0erhaps he will forgive you for having su.h a thought in your heart. @or - see that you are full of bitterness and .aptive to sin.? 6. % 2*323
stern warning against greed and evil ambitions. *piritual laEness leads to bitterness and being a captive to sin. &epentance and cherishing Christ’s mercy and forgiveness banishes all of this.

4hat shall we say, then5 =hall we go on sinning so that gra.e may in.rease5 1y no meansB 4e died to sin; how .an we live in it any longer5 /r donDt you know that all of us who were baptiCed into )hrist Jesus were baptiCed into his death5 4e were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, Aust as )hrist was raised from the dead through the glory of the @ather, we too may live a new life. . . . For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin9be.ause anyone who has died has been freed from sin. #ow if we died with )hrist, we believe that we will also live with him. @or we know that sin.e )hrist was raised from the dead, he .annot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. +he death he died, he died to sin on.e

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for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in hrist !esus. /herefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. ;o not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wi.kedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. You have been set free from sin and have be.ome slaves to righteousness. :o ' !3", '3!", !% @or when we were .ontrolled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 1ut now, by dying to what on.e bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the =pirit, and not in the old way of the written .ode. 4hat shall we say, then5 -s the law sin5 )ertainly notB -ndeed - would not have known what sin was eI.ept through the law. @or - would not have known what .oveting really was if the law had not said, >;o not .ovet.? 1ut sin, seiCing the opportunity afforded by the .ommandment, produ.ed in me every kind of .ovetous desire. @or apart from law, sin is dead. /n.e - was alive apart from law; but when the .ommandment .ame, sin sprang to life and died. - found that the very .ommandment that was intended to bring life a.tually brought death. @or sin, seiCing the opportunity afforded by the .ommandment, de.eived me, and through the .ommandment put me to death. =o then, the law is holy, and the .ommandment is holy, righteous and good. ;id that whi.h is good, then, be.ome death to me5 1y no meansB 1ut in order that sin might be re.ogniCed as sin, it produ.ed death in me through what was good, so that through the .ommandment sin might be.ome utterly sinful. 4e know that the law is spiritual; but - am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 6nd if - do what - do not want to do, - agree that the law is good. 6s it is, it is no longer - myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. @or - have the desire to do what is good, but .annot .arry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do8 no, the evil I do not want to do9this I keep on doing. #ow if - do what - do not want to do, it is no longer - who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. =o - find this law at work 4hen - want to do good, evil is right there with me. @or in my inner being - delight in GodDs law; but - see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 6hat a wretched man I am: 6ho will rescue me from this body of death; /hanks be to God9through !esus hrist our "ordB =o then, - myself in my mind am a slave to GodDs law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. :o 7 &32&
This passage is Juite long, but describes very well the struggle between the 5=ew @an7 created by God to live for him through faith and the 5%ld @an7 or 5sinful nature7 which only wants to pursue pleasure with no limitations. Christ’s death is our victory over our sinful nature. "e can fight and defeat our sinful nature with God’s "ord of forgiveness.

6nd do this, understanding the present time. +he hour has .ome for you to wake up from your slumber, be.ause our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. +he night is nearly over; the day is almost here. =o let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave de.ently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in seIual immorality and debau.hery, not in dissension and Aealousy. ,ather, clothe yourselves with the "ord !esus hrist, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature . :o !3 !!3!" ;o you not know that the wi.ked will not inherit the kingdom of God5 ;o not be de.eived #either the seIually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homoseIual

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offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 6nd that is what some of you were. 1ut you were washed, you were san.tified, you were Austified in the name of the Lord Jesus )hrist and by the =pirit of our God. ! )o ' 23!! 1y his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. ;o you not know that your bodies are members of )hrist himself5 =hall - then take the members of )hrist and unite them with a prostitute5 #everB ;o you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body5 @or it is said, >+he two will be.ome one flesh.? 1ut he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. @lee from seIual immorality. 6ll other sins a man .ommits are outside his body, but he who sins seIually sins against his own body. ;o you not know that your body is a temple of the (oly =pirit, who is in you, whom you have re.eived from God5 You are not your own; you were bought at a pri.e. +herefore honor God with your body. ! )o ' !"32* #ow these things o..urred as eIamples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they G-sraelH did. ;o not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written >+he people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.? 4e should not .ommit seIual immorality, as some of them did9and in one day twenty3three thousand of them died. 4e should not test the Lord, as some of them did9and were killed by snakes. 6nd do not grumble, as some of them did 9and were killed by the destroying angel. +hese things happened to them as eIamples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has .ome. =o, if you think you are standing firm, be .areful that you donJt fallB #o temptation has seiCed you eI.ept what is .ommon to man. 6nd God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you .an bear. 1ut when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you .an stand up under it. ! )o !* '3!3 ;o not be misled >1ad .ompany .orrupts good .hara.ter.? ! )o !& 33 Godly sorrow brings repentan.e that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. =ee what this godly sorrow has produ.ed in you what earnestness, what eagerness to .lear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what .on.ern, what readiness to see Austi.e done. 2 )o 7 !*3!! @or though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. +he weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. /n the .ontrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 4e demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take .aptive every thought to make it obedient to )hrist. 2 )or !* 33& =o - tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. +hey are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God be.ause of the ignoran.e that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. (aving lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a .ontinual lust for more. You, however, did not .ome to know )hrist that way. =urely you heard of him and were taught in him in a..ordan.e with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, whi.h is being .orrupted by its de.eitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, .reated to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph " !732"

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+herefore ea.h of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. -n your anger do not sin ;o not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (e who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. ;o not let any unwholesome talk .ome out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up a..ording to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 6nd do not grieve the (oly =pirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of mali.e. 1e kind and .ompassionate to one another, forgiving ea.h other, Aust as in )hrist God forgave you. Eph " 2&332 Finally, be strong in the "ord and in his mighty power. +ut on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil<s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. /herefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. )tand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can e0tinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. /ake the helmet of salvation and the sword of the )pirit, which is the word of God. 1ph =#$&'$> =in.e the .hildren have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death9that is, the devil9 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. . . . 1e.ause he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (e 2 !"3!&, !% =ee to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 1ut en.ourage one another daily, as long as it is .alled +oday, so that none of you may be hardened by sinJs de.eitfulness. (e 3 !23!3 +herefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly a..ept the word planted in you, whi.h .an save you. Ja ! 2! +he tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. -t .orrupts the whole person, sets the whole .ourse of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. Ja 3 ' =ubmit yourselves, then, to God. :esist the devil, and he will flee from you. )ome near to God and he will .ome near to you. Ja " 73% 6bove all, my brothers, do not swear9not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your >Yes? be yes, and your >#o,? no, or you will be .ondemned. Ja & !2 6s obedient .hildren, do not .onform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignoran.e. ! 0e ! !" ;ear friends, - urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, whi.h war against your soul. ! 0e 2 !!

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1e self3.ontrolled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. :esist him, standing firm in the faith, be.ause you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. ! 0e & %32 -f we .laim to be without sin, we de.eive ourselves and the truth is not in us. -f we .onfess our sins, he is faithful and Aust and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -f we .laim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no pla.e in our lives. ! Jn ! %3!* Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fa.t, sin is lawlessness. 1ut you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. 6nd in him is no sin. #o one who lives in him keeps on sinning. #o one who .ontinues to sin has either seen him or known him. . . . (e who does what is sinful is of the devil, be.ause the devil has been sinning from the beginning. +he reason the =on of God appeared was to destroy the devilJs work. #o one who is born of God will .ontinue to sin, be.ause GodJs seed remains in him; he .annot go on sinning, be.ause he has been born of God. ! Jn 3 "3', %32 +hen - heard a loud voi.e in heaven say >#ow have .ome the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his )hrist. @or the a..user of our brothers, who a..uses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. +hey over.ame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so mu.h as to shrink from death. +herefore reAoi.e, you heavens and you who dwell in themB 1ut woe to the earth and the sea, be.ause the devil has gone down to youB (e is filled with fury, be.ause he knows that his time is short.? :e !2 !*3!2 +hen the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring9those who obey GodJs .ommandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. :e !2 !7
The 5dragon7 symboli(es *atan and the 5woman7 symboli(es the Christian Church. $er 5offspring7 are all believers. *atan wages war endlessly against believers )the woman’s offspring2 because he knows his time is short. ;ut Jesus promises believers that 5The gates of $ades )hell, *atan2 will not overcome Ohis churchP.7

*o", +ature of +he Lord, the Lord, the .ompassionate and gra.ious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wi.kedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the .hildren and their .hildren for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation. EI 3" '37 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should .hange his mind. ;oes he speak and then not a.t5 ;oes he promise and not fulfill5 #u 23 !2 (e who is the Glory of -srael does not lie or .hange his mind; for he is not a man that he should .hange his mind. ! =m !& 22 +he Lord does not look at the things man looks at. 8an looks at the outward appearan.e, but the Lord looks at the heart. ! =m !' 7

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4ith the Lord our God there is no inAusti.e or partiality or bribery. 2 )hr !2 7 +hey refused to listen and failed to remember the mira.les you performed among them. +hey be.ame stiff3ne.ked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. 1ut you are a forgiving God, gra.ious and .ompassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. +herefore you did not desert them, even when they .ast for themselves an image of a .alf and said, >+his is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,? or when they .ommitted awful blasphemies. . . . @or many years you were patient with them. 1y your =pirit you admonished them through your prophets. -n all that has happened to us, you have been Aust; you have a.ted faithfully, while we did wrong. #e 2 !73!%, 3*, 33 - know that you GGodH .an do all things; no plan of yours .an be thwarted. Job " 22 1ut you remain the same, and your years will never end. 0s !*2 27 /ur God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 0s !!& 3 - know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. +he Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. 0s !3& &3' +he eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping wat.h on the wi.ked and the good. . . . ;eath and ;estru.tion lie open before the Lord9how mu.h more the hearts of menB 0r !& 3, !! 6s you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a motherDs womb, so you .annot understand the work of God, the 8aker of all things. E.. !! & >You are my witnesses,? de.lares the Lord, >and my servant whom - have .hosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that - am he. 1efore me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. -, even -, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. - have revealed and saved and pro.laimed9-, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,? de.lares the Lord, >that - am God. Yes, and from an.ient days - am he. #o one .an deliver out of my hand. 4hen - a.t, who .an reverse it5? -s "3 !*3!3 Galso "" %, "& &H @or my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, de.lares the Lord. 6s the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -s && %32 >6m - only a God nearby,? de.lares the L/:;, >and not a God far away5? >)an anyone hide in se.ret so that - .annot see him5? de.lares the L/:;. >;o not - fill heaven and earth5? de.lares the L/:;. Jer 23 2332" ;o - take any pleasure in the death of the wi.ked5 de.lares the =overeign L/:;. :ather, am not pleased when they turn from their ways and live5 ECk !% 23 @or the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the L/:;, as the waters .over the sea. . . . 1ut the L/:; is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. (ab 2 !", 2* 4ith man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. 8k !* 27

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/n.e, having been asked by the 0harisees when the kingdom of God would .ome, Jesus replied, +he kingdom of God does not .ome with your .areful observation, nor will people say, >(ere it is,? or >+here it is,? be.ause the kingdom of God is within you. Lk !7 2*32! Yet a time is .oming and has now .ome when the true worshipers will worship the @ather in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the @ather seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth. Jn " 2332" /h, the depth of the ri.hes of the wisdom and knowledge of GodB (ow unsear.hable his Audgments, and his paths beyond outB >4ho has known the mind of the Lord5 /r who has been his .ounselor5? >4ho has ever given to God, that God should repay him5? @or from him and through him and to him are all things. +o him be the glory foreverB 6men. :o !! 3333' -n him we were also .hosen, having been predestined a..ording to the plan of him who works out everything in .onformity with the purpose of his will. Eph ! !! Jesus )hrist is the same yesterday and today and forever. (e !3 % *o"%s Relationship to (an,in" @or the eyes of the L/:; range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully .ommitted to him. 2 )hr !' 2 K+he LordDsL eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step. Job 3" 2! 4ho is this that darkens my .ounsel with words without knowledge5 GGod is speaking to JobH Job 3% 2 4ho then is able to stand against me5 4ho has a .laim against me that - must pay5 Everything under heaven belongs to me. Job "! !*3!! +he Lord is .ompassionate and gra.ious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (e will not always a..use, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us a..ording to our ini<uities. @or as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 0s !*3 %3!2 / Lord, you have sear.hed me and you know me. You know when - sit and when - rise; you per.eive my thoughts from afar. You dis.ern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 1efore a word is on my tongue you know it .ompletely. . . . =ear.h me, / God and know my heart; test me and know my anIious thoughts. =ee if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 0s !32 !3", 2332" @or a manDs ways are in full view of the Lord, and he eIamines all his paths. 0r & 2! +his is what the Lord says >Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the ri.h man boast of his ri.hes, but let him who boasts boast about this that he understands and knows me, that - am the Lord, who eIer.ises kindness, Austi.e and righteousness on earth, for in these - delight,? de.lares the Lord. Jer 2 2332"

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- the Lord sear.h the heart and eIamine the mind, to reward a man a..ording to his .ondu.t, a..ording to what his deeds deserve. Jer !7 !*
=ote! This passage is not advocating that one is ,ustified or saved by what he does )good works2K see &o C!1-01?, 1A, C-. God does reward people with physical blessings in this life based on what they do, but the only spiritual, eternal rewardFsalvationFcomes through faith in Jesus Christ.

8y eyes will wat.h over them for their good, and - will bring them ba.k to this land. - will build them up and not tear them down; - will plant them and not uproot them. - will give them a heart to know me, that - am the L/:;. +hey will be my people, and - will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jer 2" '37 >+his is the .ovenant - will make with the house of -srael after that time,? de.lares the L/:;. >will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. - will be their God, and they will be my people. #o longer will a man tea.h his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, F$now the L/:;,D be.ause they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,? de.lares the L/:;. >@or - will forgive their wi.kedness and will remember their sins no more.? Jer 3! 3333" +hey will be my people, and - will be their God. - will give them singleness of heart and a.tion, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their .hildren after them. will make an everlasting .ovenant with them - will never stop doing good to them, and - will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. Jer 32 3%3"* - will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; - will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. +hen they will follow my de.rees and be .areful to keep my laws. +hey will be my people, and - will be their God. ECk !! !232* @or - desire mer.y, not sa.rifi.e, and a.knowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (os '' You shall a.knowledge no God but me, no =avior eI.ept me. . . . 4hen - fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they be.ame proud; then they forgot me. (os !3 ", ' - am the good shepherd; - know my sheep and my sheep know me9 Aust as the @ather knows me and - know the @ather9and - lay down my life for the sheep. . . . Jesus answered, >- did tell you, but you do not believe. +he mira.les - do in my @atherDs name speak for me, but you do not believe be.ause you are not my sheep. 8y sheep listen to my voi.e; - know them, and they follow me. - give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one .an snat.h them out of my hand. . . . and the =.ripture .annot be broken. Jn !* !", 2&322, 3& Jesus said, 8y kingdom is not of this world. -f it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. 1ut now my kingdom is from another pla.e. Jn !% 3' +he God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 6nd he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, be.ause he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. @rom one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the eIa.t where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and

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perhaps rea.h out for him and find him, though he is not far from ea.h one of us. @or in him we live and move and have our being. 6s some of your own poets have said, 4e are his offspring. +herefore sin.e we are GodDs offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone9an image made by manDs design and skill. -n the past God overlooked su.h ignoran.e, but now he .ommands all people everywhere to repent. @or he has set a day when he will Audge the world with Austi.e by the man he has appointed. (e has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead. 6. !7 2"33! #othing in all .reation is hidden from GodDs sight. Everything is un.overed and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give a..ount. (e " !3 6t this - GJohnH fell at his feet GangelH to worship him. 1ut he said to me, >;o not do itB - am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. 4orship GodB @or the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophe.y.? :e !2 !* Gsee also ,e ??#$('$@H The Promise of 'hristmas(%oretold ) %ulfilled +herefore the Lord himself will give you a sign +he virgin will .on.eive and give birth to a son, and will .all him -mmanuel. -s 7 !"N N@or to us a .hild is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. 6nd he will be .alled 4onderful )ounselor, 8ighty God, Everlasting @ather, 0rin.e of 0ea.e. -s 2 'N N1ut when the set time had fully .ome, God sent his =on, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might re.eive adoption to sonship. Ga " "3&N N4hile they were there, the time .ame for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. =he wrapped him in .loths and pla.ed him in a manger, be.ause there was no guest room available for themN6nd there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping wat.h over their flo.ks at night. 6n angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 1ut the angel said to them, >;o not be afraid. - bring you good news that will .ause great Aoy for all the people. +oday in the town of ;avid a =avior has been born to you; he is the 8essiah, the Lord.? Lk 2 '3!!
@ay God bless you and yours as you celebrate the greatest story ever toldFGod sending $is *on to our world to save us from the punishment of our sins.

*race, Time of$ &al#ation :emember, / Lord, your great mer.y and love, for they are from of old. :emember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; a..ording to your love remember me, for you are good, / Lord. . . . @or the sake of our name, / Lord, forgive my ini<uity, though it is great. 0s 2& '37, !! +he stone the builders reAe.ted has be.ome the .apstone; the L/:; has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. +his is the day the L/:; has made; let us reAoi.e and be glad in it. 0s !!% 2232" =eek the Lord while he may be found; .all on him while he is near. Let the wi.ked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mer.y on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. @or my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your

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ways my ways, de.lares the Lord. 6s the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -s && '32 - delight greatly in the Lord; my soul in my God. @or he has .lothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her Aewels. -s '! !* >+he days are .oming,? de.lares the L/:;, >when - will raise up to ;avid a righteous 1ran.h, a $ing who will reign wisely and do what is Aust and right in the land. -n his days Judah will be saved and -srael will live in safety. +his is the name by whi.h he will be .alled +he L/:; /ur :ighteousness.? Jer 23 &3' >+he days are .oming,? de.lares the L/:;, >when - will fulfill the gra.ious promise - made to the house of -srael and to the house of Judah. -n those days and at that time - will make a righteous 1ran.h sprout from ;avidDs line; he will do what is Aust and right in the land. -n those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. +his is the name by whi.h it will be .alled +he L/:; /ur :ighteousness.? Jer 33 !"3!' >6s surely as - live,? de.lares the =overeign L/:;, >- take no pleasure in the death of the wi.ked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. +urnB +urn from your evil waysB 4hy will you die, / house of -srael5? ECk 33 !! +hey will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for - will save them from all their sinful ba.ksliding, and - will .leanse them. +hey will be my people, and - will be their God. 8y servant ;avid Greferring to )hristH will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. +hey will follow my laws and be .areful to keep my de.rees. . . . - will make a .ovenant of pea.e with them; it will be an everlasting .ovenant. - will establish them and in.rease their numbers, and - will put my san.tuary among them forever. 8y dwelling pla.e will be with them; - will be their God, and they will be my people. +hen the nations will know that - the L/:; make -srael holy, when my san.tuary is among them forever. ECk 37 2332", 2'32%
"hen +(ekiel wrote these verses, 'avid was long dead and :srael was in captivity due to their 5sinful backsliding.7 These verses all point ahead )prophesy2 to God’s establishment of $is =ew Testament church on earth. 5@y servant 'avid will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd7 is referring to Jesus as the @essiah .ing over the whole church on earth. *alvation is not ,ust for :srael alone, but for 5the nations7 who 5will know that : the L%&' make :srael holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.7

The Se#en *ords from the 'ross(Spo+en by ,esus as He died for our sins !. -%ather. forgi#e them. for they do not +no! !hat they are doing/0 Lk 23 3" 2. Jesus answered Kthe thiefL, -1 tell you the truth. today you !ill be !ith me in paradise/0 Lk 23 "3 3. 4hen Jesus saw his mother there, and the dis.iple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, -2ear !oman. here is your son.0 and to the disciple. -Here is your mother/0 Jn !2 2'327 ". 6bout the ninth hour Jesus .ried out in a loud voi.e, -Eloi. Eloi. lama sabachthani30( !hich means. -My God. my God. !hy ha#e you forsa+en me/0 8t 27 "' M 8k !& 3" &. Later knowing that all was now .ompleted, and so that the =.ripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, -1 am thirsty/0 Jn !2 2%

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'. Jesus said, -1t is finished/0 Jn !2 3* 7. Jesus .alled out with a loud voi.e, -%ather. into your hands 1 commit my spirit/0 Lk 23 "' Jesus said, >-t is not the healthy who need a do.tor, but the si.k. 1ut go and learn what this means F- desire mer.y, not sa.rifi.e.D @or - have not .ome to .all the righteous, but sinners.? 8t 2 !23!3 Jesus answered, - tell you the truth, no one .an enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the =pirit. . . . @or God so loved the world that he gave his one and only =on, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. @or God did not send his =on into the world to .ondemn the world, but to save the world through him. 4hoever believes in him is not .ondemned, but whoever does not believe stands .ondemned already be.ause he has not believed in the name of GodJs one and only =on. Jn 3 &, !'3!% - tell you the truth, whoever hears my GJesusH word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be .ondemned; he has .rossed over from death to life. Jn & 2" #ow this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus )hrist, whom you have sent. Jn !7 3 :epent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may .ome from the Lord, and that he may send the )hrist, who has been appointed for you9even Jesus. 6. 3 !232* =alvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by whi.h we must be saved. 6. " !2 KJesusL .ommanded us to prea.h to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as Audge of the living and the dead. 6ll the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him re.eives forgiveness of sins through his name. 6. !* "23"3 K+he Aailer at 0hilippiL then brought them out and asked, >=irs, what must - do to be saved5? +hey replied, >1elieve in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved9you and your household.? +hen they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 6t that hour of the night the Aailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptiCed. +he Aailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with Aoy be.ause he had .ome to believe in God9he and his whole family. 6. !' 3*33" (e was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our Austifi.ation. :o " 2& 1ut God demonstrates his own love for us in this 4hile we were still sinners, )hrist died for us. :o & % @or the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in )hrist Jesus our Lord. :o ' 23 4hat then shall we say5 -s God unAust5 #ot at allB @or he says to 8oses, >- will have mer.y on whom - have mer.y, and - will have .ompassion on whom - have .ompassion.? -t does not, therefore, depend on manDs desire or effort, but on GodDs mer.y. @or the =.ripture says to 0haraoh >- raised you up for this very purpose, that - might display my power in you and that my name might be pro.laimed in all the earth.? +herefore God has mer.y on whom he wants to

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have mer.y, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. /ne of you will say to me >+hen why does God still blame us5 @or who resists his will5? 1ut who are you, / man, to talk ba.k to God5 =hall what is formed say to him who formed it, 4hy did you make me like this5 :o 2 !"32* )onsider therefore the kindness and sternness of God sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you .ontinue in his kindness. /therwise, you also will be .ut off. :o !! 22 1ut by the gra.e of God - am what - am, and his gra.e to me was not without effe.t. #o, worked harder than all of them9yet not -, but the gra.e of God that was with me. ! )o !& !* 6s GodDs fellow workers we urge you not to re.eive GodDs gra.e in vain. @or he says, >-n the time of my favor - heard you, and in the day of salvation - helped you.? - tell you, now is the time of GodDs favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 )o ' !32 @or it is by gra.e you have been saved, through faith9and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God9not by works, so that no one .an boast. @or we are GodDs workmanship, .reated in )hrist Jesus to do good works, whi.h God prepared in advan.e for us to do. Eph 2 %3!* /n.e you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds be.ause of your evil behavior. 1ut now he has re.on.iled you by )hristDs body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from a..usation9if you .ontinue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. +his is the gospel that you heard and that has been pro.laimed to every .reature under heaven, and of whi.h -, 0aul, have be.ome a servant. )ol ! 2!323 =ee to it that no one takes you .aptive through hollow and de.eptive philosophy, whi.h depends on human tradition and the basi. prin.iples of this world rather than on )hrist. @or in )hrist all the fullness of the ;eity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in )hrist, who is the head over every power and authority. -n him you were also, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a done by the hands of men but with the done by )hrist, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 4hen you were dead in your sins and in the of your sinful nature, God made you alive with )hrist. (e forgave us all our sins, having .an.eled the written .ode, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the .ross. )ol 2 %3!" (ere is a trustworthy saying that deserves full a..eptan.e )hrist Jesus .ame into the world to save sinners9of whom - am the worst. ! +im ! !& @or you know that it was not with perishable things su.h as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the pre.ious blood of )hrist, a lamb without blemish or defe.t. . . . @or you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. ! 0e ! !%3!2, 23 1ut you are a .hosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may de.lare the praises of him who .alled you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ! 0e 22

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+he Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. (e is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to .ome to repentan.e. 2 0e 3 2 (ere - amB - stand at the door and kno.k. -f anyone hears my voi.e and opens the door, - will .ome in and eat with him, and he with me. :e 3 2* +hey will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will over.ome them be.ause he is Lord of lords and $ing of kings9and with him will be his .alled, .hosen and faithful followers. :e !7 !" +he =pirit and the bride say, >)omeB? 6nd let him who hears say, >)omeB? 4hoever is thirsty, let him .ome; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. :e 22 !7 a- of *o", Comman"ments God4s Ten 'ommandments embellished: See E5odus chapters 67869 6nd for your lifeblood - will surely demand an a..ounting. - will demand an a..ounting from every animal. 6nd from ea.h man, too, - will demand an a..ounting for the life of his fellow man. 4hoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. Gn 2 &3'
%ne of several passages in *cripture that establish the authority God has given to 5society,7 usually through its governing authorities to take the life of a human who has taken the life of another human. )*ee also :o !3 !372

;o not add to what - .ommand you and do not subtra.t from it, but keep the .ommands of the Lord your God that - give you. ;t " 2 4ho .an say, >- have kept my heart pure; - am .lean and without sin5? 0r 2* 2 +hen some 0harisees and tea.hers of the law .ame to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, >4hy do your dis.iples break the tradition of the elders5 +hey donDt wash their hands before they eatB? Jesus replied, >6nd why do you break the .ommand of God for the sake of your tradition5 @or God said, F(onor your father and motherD and F6nyone who .urses his father or mother must be put to death.D 1ut you say that if a man says to his father or mother, F4hatever help you might otherwise have re.eived from me is a gift devoted to God,D he is not to Fhonor his fatherD with it. +hus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypo.ritesB -saiah was right when he prophesied about you +hese people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. +hey worship me in vain; their tea.hings are but rules taught by men.? 8t !& !32 +hen KJesusL said to Kthe 0harisees who <uestioned him on whether it was right to pay taIes or notL, >Give to )aesar what is )aesarDs, and to God what is GodDs.? 8t 22 2!
Jesus teaches us that we are to pay taEes and give offerings of money to further God’s kingdom.

/ne of the tea.hers of the law .ame and heard them debating. that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, >/f all the .ommandments, whi.h is the most important5? >+he most important one,? answered Jesus, is this >(ear, / -srael, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and

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with all your strength.? +he se.ond is this >Love your neighbor as yourself.? +here is no .ommandment greater than these. 8k !2 2%33! #ow we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silen.ed and the whole world held a..ountable to God. +herefore no one will be de.lared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we be.ome .ons.ious of sin. :o 3 !232* Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority eI.ept that whi.h God has established. +he authorities that eIist have been established by God. )onse<uently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring Audgment on themselves. @or rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. ;o you want to be free from fear of the one in authority5 +hen do what is right and he will .ommend you. @or he is GodDs servant to do you good. 1ut if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. (e is GodDs servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. +herefore, it is ne.essary to submit to the authorities, not only be.ause of possible punishment but also be.ause of .ons.ien.e. +his is also why you pay taIes, for the authorities are GodDs servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him -f you owe taIes, pay taIes; if revenue, then revenue; if respe.t, then respe.t; if honor, then honor. :o !3 !37
The commandment to honor parents eEtends to others God places over us, such as authorities in government. God uses them to bless and protect us and eEpects us to honor them as we would him. God reminds us that he establishes those in authority, that $e has placed them in the positions they hold to bless us or punish us, which may include 5capital punishment.7 )*ee also Gn 2 &3'2

6 man is not Austified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus )hrist. =o we, too, have put our faith in )hrist Jesus that we may be Austified by faith in )hrist and not by observing the law, be.ause by observing the law no one will be Austified. Ga 2 !&3!' @or whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at Aust one point is guilty of breaking all of it. Ja 2 !* 6nyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesnDt do it, sins. Ja " !7 .rayer /hen I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the kingN6nd be.ause the gra.ious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my re<uests. #e 2 ", %
"e are encouraged by the $oly *pirit through the eEample of =ehemiah to pray to God, not ,ust occasionally, but before every task and venture in our lives. nd we have God’s promise that $is gracious hand will be upon us to bless us and what we do. &ead all of =ehemiah 1 for the details on why =ehemiah was answering the king and why he prayed about it.


+salm $&& A psalm. For giving thanks.
! 2

=hout for Aoy to the L/:;, all the earth. 4orship the L/:; with gladness;

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.ome before him with Aoyful songs. $now that the L/:; is God. -t is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.


Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his .ourts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. & @or the L/:; is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness .ontinues through all generations. 8ay my prayer be set before you like in.ense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sa.rifi.e. 0s !"! 2 +he Lord is near to all who .all on him, to all who .all on him in truth. 0s !"& !% Give ear, / God, and hear. . . 4e do not make re<uests of you be.ause we are righteous, but be.ause of your great mer.y. ;n 2 !% 6sk and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; kno.k and the door will be opened to you. @or everyone who asks re.eives; he who seeks finds; and to him who kno.ks, the door will be opened. 8t 7 73% (ave faith in God, Jesus answered. - tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, >Go, throw yourself into the sea,? and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. +herefore - tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have re.eived it, and it will be yours. 6nd when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your @ather in heaven may forgive you your sins. 8k !! 223 2' G1ut see also ! Jn & !"H 6bba, @ather, KJesusL said, everything is possible for you. +ake this .up from me. Yet not what will, but what you will. 8k !" 3' =o - say to you 6sk and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; kno.k and the door will be opened to you. Lk !! 2 +hen Jesus told his dis.iples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (e said -n a .ertain town there was a Audge who neither feared God nor .ared about men. 6nd there was a widow in that town who kept .oming to him with the plea, >Grant me Austi.e against my adversary.? @or some time he refused. 1ut finally he said to himself, >Even though donDt fear God or .are about men, yet be.ause this widow keeps bothering me, - will see that she gets Austi.e, so that she wonDt eventually wear me out with her .omingB? 6nd the Lord said, >Listen to what the unAust Audge says. 6nd will not God bring about Austi.e for his .hosen ones, who .ry out to him day and night5 4ill he keep putting them off5 - tell you, he will see that they get Austi.e, and <ui.kly.? Lk !% !3%a 6nd pray in the =pirit on all o..asions with all kinds of prayers and re<uests. 4ith this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 0ray also for me, that whenever - open my mouth, words may be given me so that - will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,

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for whi.h - am an ambassador in .hains. 0ray that - may de.lare it fearlessly, as - should. Eph ' !%32* You do not have, be.ause you do not ask God. 4hen you ask, you do not re.eive, be.ause you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Ja " 233
James eEplains a couple of reasons why believers sometimes do not receive blessings from God! they don’t as+ and they ask with selfish motives. As+ God for everything you need and then if he blesses you with more than you need, don’t selfishly spend all of it on yourself )support his ministry, help the poor, etc.2.

-s any one of you in trouble5 (e should pray. -s anyone happy5 Let him sing songs of praise. -s any one of you si.k5 (e should .all the elders of the .hur.h to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 6nd the prayer offered in faith will make the si.k person well; the Lord will raise him up. -f he has sinned, he will be forgiven. +herefore .onfess your sins to ea.h other and pray for ea.h other so that you may be healed. +he prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effe.tive. Ja & !33!' - urge, then, first of all, that re<uests, prayers, inter.ession and thanksgiving be made for everyone9for kings and all those in authority, that we may live pea.eful and <uiet lives in all godliness and holiness. +his is good, and pleases God our =avior, who wants all men to be saved and to .ome to a knowledge of the truth. @or there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man )hrist Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men9the testimony given in its proper time. ! +m 2 !3' )ast all your anIiety on him be.ause he .ares for you. ! 0e & 7 +his is the .onfiden.e we have in approa.hing God that if we ask anything a..ording to his will, he hears us. ! Jn & !" .ro#i"ence of *o" ;onDt be afraid. 6m - in the pla.e of God5 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to a..omplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. GJoseph to his brothersH Gn &* !232* +he hand of our God was on us, and he prote.ted us from enemies and bandits along the way. EC % 3! 6nd who knows but that you have .ome to royal position for su.h a time as this5 Est " !"
+sther’s cousin, @ordecai, is encouraging her to see God’s hand in her being chosen to be the neEt Jueen of 9ersia in order to save her people, the Jews. The $oly *pirit reminds us through these words of God’s providence in our livesFcaring for our every need and using us to care for others.

8anDs days are determined; you have de.reed the number of his months and have set limits he .annot eI.eed. Jb !" & -n his heart a man plans his .ourse, but the Lord determines his steps. . . . 8any are the plans in a manDs heart, but it is the LordDs purpose that prevails. 0r !' 2, !2 2!

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- know, / Lord, that a manDs life is not his own; it is not for man to dire.t his steps. )orre.t me, Lord, but only with Austi.e9not in your anger, lest you redu.e me to nothing. Jer !* 2332" =eek the pea.e and prosperity of the .ity to whi.h - have .arried you into eIile. 0ray to the Lord for it, be.ause if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jer 22 7 6sk the L/:; for rain in the springtime; it is the L/:; who makes the storm .louds. (e gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone. E.h !* ! -n the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony (e has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and .rops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with Aoy. 6. !" !'3!7 @or every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. (e 3 " &in & /ts Conse0uences$ 1nbelief$ Wic,e" & Wic,e"ness postasy! falling from the faithFan irreversible hardening of the heart =ee (e ' "3!2 Every in.lination of the thoughts of KmanDsL heart was only evil all the time. . . . every in.lination of KmanDsL heart is evil from .hildhood. Gn ' &, % 2! 4hy did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes5...1y doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter .ontempt. 2 =m !2 2, !" +he fool says in his heart, >+here is no God.? +hey are .orrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. +he Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 6ll have turned aside, they have together be.ome .orrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. 0s !" !33
"e have absolutely =% chance for salvation in and of ourselvesF%ur only hope of salvation is through faith in Jesus and his payment for our sins with his death.

You know my folly, / God; my guilt is not hidden from you. 0s '2 & &ead ll of 9salm B4hen - tried to understand all this Gthe seeming prosperity of the wi.kedH, it was oppressive to me till - entered the san.tuary of God; then - understood their final destiny. 0s 73 !', !7 ;o not bring your servant into Audgment, for no one living is righteous before God. 0s !"3 2 +here are siI things the L/:; hates, seven that are detestable to him haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed inno.ent blood, a heart that devises wi.ked s.hemes, feet that are <ui.k to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. 0r ' !'3!2 1e sure of this +he wi.ked will not go unpunished. 0r !! 2! +he L/:; detests the sa.rifi.e of the wi.ked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. 0r !& %

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0ride goes before destru.tion, a haughty spirit before a fall. 0r !' !% 6 perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates .lose friends. . . . (e who loves a <uarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destru.tion. 0r !' 2%, !7 !2 (e who mo.ks the poor shows .ontempt for their 8aker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. 0r !7 & (e who answers before listening9that is his folly and his shame. 0r !% !3 6n offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified .ity, and disputes are like the barred gates of a .itadel. 0r !% !2 4ine is a mo.ker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. 0r 2* ! +here is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that .an su..eed against the L/:;. 0r 2! 3* Like one who seiCes a dog by the ears is a passer3by who meddles in a <uarrel not his own. 0r 2' !7 Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who de.eives his neighbor and says, >- was only AokingB? 0r 2' !%3!2 4ithout wood a fire goes out; without gossip a <uarrel dies down. 6s .har.oal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a <uarrelsome man for kindling strife. 0r 2' 2*32! +hose who forsake the law praise the wi.ked, but those who keep the law resist them. . . . -f anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable. 0r 2% ", 2 6 man who remains stiff3ne.ked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed9without remedy. 0r 22 ! 6n angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot3tempered one .ommits many sins. 0r 22 22 6lthough a wi.ked man .ommits a hundred .rimes and still lives a long time, - know that it will go better with God3fearing men, who are reverent before God. E.. % !2 +he earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting .ovenant. +herefore a .urse .onsumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. -s 2" &3' +hese people .ome near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. +heir worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. -s 22 !3 =urely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 1ut your ini<uities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his fa.e from you, so that he will not hear. -s &2 !32

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stern warning from God! if we 5live7 in sin, not repenting, not changing, not 5leaving our life of sin,7 that sin will separate us from God and cause him to hide his face from us. @ay Jesus’ death on the cross which earned forgiveness for our sin lead us to be done with it>

6ll of us have be.ome like one who is un.lean, and all our righteous a.ts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. -s '" '
:saiah reminds us that all of us are totally unworthy before GodFdoomed to be swept away to hell by our sins. The cleansing of our filthy attempts to appease God is the appeasement Jesus accomplished with his faultless life and his guiltless death which strips our sins of their power to sweep us away.

;oes a maiden forget her Aewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments5 Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. Jer 2 32 +hey have lied about the Lord; they said, >(e will do nothingB #o harm will .ome to us; we will never see sword or famine.? Jer & !2
#alse prophets foretell peace when God has promised punishment to all who refuse to repent.

+hey dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. >0ea.e, pea.e,? they say, when there is no pea.e. Jer % !!
God is chastising his people for glossing over sin and proclaiming forgiveness and peace where there is no repentance. *in :* serious and should not be dressed with down0playing or dismissing. :t @L*T be addressed for what it is, so the sinner repents. Then the healing of forgiveness can be applied and peace be had.

+he heart is de.eitful above all things and beyond .ure. 4ho .an understand it5 Jer !7 2 /ur God has not deserted us in our bondage. (e has shown us kindness. . . . (e has granted us new life. . . . 4hat has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved and have given us a remnant like this. EC 2 2, !3
God’s kindnessFhis mercy is unfailing. ;ut he warns us that if we don’t keep our sinful nature in check, our evil deeds and guilt can result in physical conseJuences. $e promises us 5new life7 through the forgiveness Jesus won for us with his life, death and resurrection.

+he soul who sins is the one who will die. +he son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. +he righteousness of the righteous man will be .redited to him, and the wi.kedness of the wi.ked will be .harged against him. ECk !% 2* +herefore this is what the =overeign L/:; says >=in.e you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your ba.k, you must bear the .onse< of your lewdness and prostitution. . . . =o will put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you. You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the .onse< of your sins of idolatry. +hen you will know that - am the =overeign L/:;.? ECk 23 3&, "%3"2
=ote! :n the %ld Testament, God likened his relationship with :srael to that of a husband to his wife. :n describing :srael’s rebellion and sin against him God often referred to it as 5adultery,7 5fornication7 and 5prostitution7 in the spiritual sense as in this passage.

(e who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me s.atters. 6nd so - tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the )pirit will

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not be forgiven. 6nyone who speaks a word against the =on of 8an will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the (oly =pirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to .ome. 8t !2 3*332
This passage and @k C!1/ and Lk -1!80B warn against the 5sin against the Holy Spirit,7 which essentially is when a person stubbornly resists the $oly *pirit’s work in himIher and hardens hisIher heart against the *pirit. :f a believer in Christ is genuinely concerned about this it is likely they have not committed this sin because if they had, they wouldn’t care.

/ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often - have longed to gather your .hildren together, as a hen gathers her .hi.ks under her wings, but you were not willing. 8t 23 37 4hoever blasphemes against the Aoly )pirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin. 8k 3 22
This passage and Lk -1!80B warn against the 5sin against the Holy Spirit,7 which essentially is when a person stubbornly resists the $oly *pirit’s work in himIher and hardens hisIher heart against the *pirit. :f a person is genuinely concerned about this it is likely they have not committed this sin.

8ake a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is re.ogniCed by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how .an you who are evil say anything good5 @or out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. +he good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 1ut tell you that men will have to give a..ount on the day of Audgment for every .areless word they have spoken. @or by your words you will be a.<uitted, and by your words you will be .ondemned. 8t !2 33337 +hen some of the 0harisees and tea.hers of the law said to him, >+ea.her, we want to see a mira.ulous sign from you.? (e answered, >6 wi.ked and adulterous generation asks for a mira.ulous signB 1ut none will be given it eI.ept the sign of the prophet Jonah.? 8t !2 3%332
Miracles are acts of God that go beyond and are not restricted by the bounds of nature. @iracles are acts that God works when and where he pleases, but they are not the norm. Christian may respectfully ask God to graciously work a miracle, such as healing a disease that natural medicine is not capable of curing. ;ut as Jesus indicates here, it is wicked to demand that God work a miracle.

Jesus began to speak first to his dis.iples, saying 1e on your guard against the yeast of the 0harisees, whi.h is hypo.risy. Lk !2 ! (owever, when the =on of 8an .omes, will he find faith on the earth5 Lk !% %b
Jesus uses hyperbole a form of eEaggeration to emphasi(e a point. Jesus has promised that he will preserve his churchFwhich means he will find faith when he returns. $e is warning us that wickedness and unbelief will get so bad before he returns that it will appear that no faith eEists on the earth.

6s KJesusL went along, he saw a man blind from birth. (is dis.iples asked him, >:abbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind5? >#either this man nor his parents sinned,? said Jesus, >but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.? Jn 2 !33

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Jesus teaches that while all hardships are the result of sin’s effect on creation and creatures alike, not all hardships we suffer are the direct result or 5punishment7 for a specific sin we committed.

Jesus said, >@or Audgment - have .ome into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will be.ome blind.? =ome 0harisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, >4hat5 6re we blind too5? Jesus said, >-f you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you .laim you .an see, your guilt remains.? Jn 2 323"!
Jesus is speaking about 5spiritual blindness7 which results from resisting the $oly *pirit and a refusal to listen to and apply God’s "ord to one’s life.

6s for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in whi.h you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 6ll of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the .ravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature obAe.ts of wrath. Eph 2 !33 +he =pirit .learly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow de.eiving spirits and things taught by demons. =u.h tea.hings .ome through liars, whose have been seared as with a hot iron. +hey forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from .ertain foods, whi.h God .reated to be re.eived with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. @or everything God .reated is good, and nothing is to be reAe.ted if it is re.eived with thanksgiving, be.ause it is .onse.rated by the word of God and prayer. ! +m " !3&
These verses teach a number of things! -2 what it will be like on earth before Jesus returns, 12 that the conscience can become desensiti(ed to sin by repeated sinning or adherence to false teaching, and, C2 that false teaching often includes human commands never given by God or reJuired by him.

-f anyone tea.hes false do.trines and does not agree to the sound instru.tion of our Lord Jesus )hrist and to godly tea.hing, he is .on.eited and understands nothing. (e has an unhealthy interest in .ontroversies and <uarrels about words that result in envy, strife, mali.ious talk, evil suspi.ions and .onstant fri.tion between men of .orrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to finan.ial gain. ! +m ' 33& 1ut mark this +here will be terrible times in the last days. 0eople will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self3.ontrol, brutal, not lovers of the good, trea.herous, rash, .on.eited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God9having a form of godliness but denying its power. (ave nothing to do with them. 2 +m 3 !3& +his is espe.ially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. . . . +hey promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity9for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. -f they have es.aped the .orruption of the world by knowing our Lord and =avior Jesus )hrist and are again entangled in it and over.ome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 2 0e 2 !*, !232*
This passage makes it clear that one can easily fall from faith and lose salvation if one is spiritually la(y and gives in to the 5corrupt desire of one’s sinful nature.7 "e must fight the good fight of faith e#ery second of our lives.

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+he rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronCe, stone and wood9 idols that .annot see or hear or walk. #or did they repent of their murders, their magi. arts, their seIual immorality or their thefts. :e 2 2*32!
This passage reveals the hardness and grip that sin can have on one if not battled against with the Grace of GodK none of us are eEempt from sin’s powerful influenceK only God’s grace can empower us to overcome it’s control.

KJesusL said to KJohnL >-t is done. - am the 6lpha and the /mega, the 1eginning and the End. 1ut the .owardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the seIually immoral, those who pra.ti.e magi. arts, the idolaters and all liars9their pla.e will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. +his is the se.ond death.? :e 2! 'a3%
=ote! The 5second death7 is the consummation of eternal death. These verses remind us of the end result of a life of sin apart from faith in Jesus as the *avior. 9raise be to God who saves us through his *on.

*tewardship is the believer’s management and use of the blessings God has given him )on loan from God2! time, talents and treasures. The following passages reveal how God would have believers be good stewards of his blessings. =ote that the =ew Testament relieves believers from an eEact amount for their money offering like the %ld Testament 5tithe7 )-4Q2. The =ew Testament commands only faith0produced cheerful generosity in one’s offerings to the Lord.

Aonor the "ord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your .rops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. 0r 3 23!* >Dring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. +est me in this,? says the L/:; 6lmighty, >and see if - will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so mu.h blessing that you will not have room enough for it.? 8al 3 !*
lthough the %ld Testament command to give a 5tithe7 )-4Q2 is replaced in the =ew Testament with the Gospel command to be generous, the tithe is a good goal to work toward and beyond.

#ow about the .olle.tion for GodDs people ;o what - told the Galatian .hur.hes to do. En the first day of every week Gfirst fruits; regularlyH, ea.h one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income Gper.entageH, saving it up, so that when - .ome no .olle.tions will have to be made. ! )o !' !32 @or - testify that they gave as mu.h as they were able, and even beyond their ability. . . . 6nd they did not do as we eIpe.ted, but they gave themselves first to the "ord and then to us in keeping with GodJs will. . . . 1ut Aust as you eI.el in everything9in faith, in spee.h, in knowledge, in .omplete earnestness and in your love for us9see that you also e0cel in this grace of giving. . . . @or you know the gra.e of our Lord Jesus )hrist, that though he was ri.h, yet for your sakes he be.ame poor, so that you through his poverty might be.ome ri.h. . . . #ow finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be mat.hed by your .ompletion of it, according to your means. @or if the willingness is there, the gift is a..eptable a..ording to what one has, not a..ording to what he does not have. 2 )o % 3, &, 7, 2, !!3!2
This passage eEplains how God would have believers serve him with a generous portion of the blessings he gave them! time, talents and treasures. =ote that the =ew Testament relieves

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believers from an eEact amount for their offering like the %ld Testament 5tithe7 )-4Q2. The =ew Testament commands only faith0produced cheerful generosity in one’s offerings to the Lord.

:emember this 4hoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 1ach man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 6nd God is able to make all gra.e abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. . . . 1e.ause of the servi.e by whi.h you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of hrist, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 6nd in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, be.ause of the surpassing gra.e God has given you. +hanks be to God for his indes.ribable giftB 2 )o 2 '3%, !33!& =laves, obey your earthly masters with respe.t and fear, and with sin.erity of heart, Aust as you would obey )hrist. /bey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of )hrist, doing the will of God from your heart. =erve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, be.ause you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 6nd masters, treat your slaves in the same way. ;o not threaten them, sin.e you know that he who is both their 8aster and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Eph ' &32 This passage and ol F#?F describe the duties and relationship of slaves and masters, which
in our day and age would mean employers )bosses2 and employees. *o whenever you read 5slaves7 insert 5employees7 and when you read 5masters7 insert 5employers.7 These verses encourage a Christian work ethicFthat all we do is service to our Lord and *avior.

4hatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. )ol 3 23 This passage and 1ph =#%'@ describe the duties and relationship of slaves and masters, which
in our day and age would mean employers )bosses2 and employees. *o whenever you read 5slaves7 insert 5employees7 and when you read 5masters7 insert 5employers.7 These verses encourage a Christian work ethicFthat all we do is service to our Lord and *avior.

Wis"om, &piritual 8y son, keep my words and store up my .ommands within you. $eep my .ommands and you will live; guard my tea.hings as the apple of your eye. 1ind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 0r 7 !33 Gray hair is a .rown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. 0r !' 3! -t is not good to have Ceal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. 0r !2 2 Listen to advi.e and a..ept instru.tion, and in the end you will be wise. 0r !2 2* 6 manDs steps are dire.ted by the L/:;. (ow then .an anyone understand his own way5 0r 2* 2" 6ll a manDs ways seem right to him, but the L/:; weighs the heart. 0r 2! 2 6pply your heart to instru.tion and your ears to words of knowledge. 0r 23 !2

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Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 0r 23 22 6 word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 0r 2& !! +hrough patien.e a ruler .an be persuaded, and a gentle tongue .an break a bone. 0r 2& !& -f you find honey, eat Aust enough9too mu.h of it, and you will vomit. =eldom set foot in your neighborJs house9too mu.h of you, and he will hate you. 0r 2& !'3!7 -t is not good to eat too mu.h honey, nor is it honorable to seek oneDs own honor. 0r 2& 27 ;o not answer a fool a..ording to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. 6nswer a fool a..ording to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. 0r 2' "3& ;o you see a man wise in his own eyes5 +here is more hope for a fool than for him. 0r 2' !2 ;o not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. 0r 27 ! Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips. 0r 27 2 You asked >4ho is this that darkens my .ounsel with words without knowledge5? =urely spoke of things - did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Job "2 3 #ow listen, you who say, >+oday or tomorrow we will go to this or that .ity, spend a year there, .arry on business and make money.? 4hy, you donDt even know what will happen tomorrow. 4hat is your life5 You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. -nstead, you ought to say, >-f it is the LordDs will, we will live and do this or that.? Ja " !33!& Wor" of *o" @or ECra had devoted himself to the study and observan.e of the Law of the Lord, and to tea.hing its de.rees and laws in -srael. EC 7 !* -f a prophet . . . says, >Let us follow other gods? Ggods you have not knownH >and let us worship them,? you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. +he L/:; your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. -t is the L/:; your God you must follow, and him you must revere. $eep his .ommands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. +hat prophet . . . prea.hed rebellion against the L/:; your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the L/:; your God .ommanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. ;t !3 !3&
59rophet7 here refers to anyone who proclaims or teaches about God. prophet like this is teaching about a god not from the ;ible, but from his imagination or from other godless religions. 5#ollowing7 God, 5revering7 him, 5keeping his commands,7 5obeying him,7 5serving him,7 and 5holding fast to him7 all refer to following and obeying everything the :1:&E has to say about God and not inserting our own or anyone else’s ideas about who or what God is or what he eEpects of us.

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6nd the words of the Lord are flawless. 0s !2 ' 1etter is one day in your .ourts than a thousand elsewhere; - would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wi.ked. 0s %" !* - meditate on your pre.epts and .onsider your ways. - delight in your de.rees; - will not negle.t your word. 0s !!2 !&3!' /pen my eyes that - may see wonderful things in your law. 0s !!2 !% Your statutes are my delight; they are my .ounselors. 0s !!2 2" - am laid low in the dust; preserve my life a..ording to your word. 0s !!2 2& - re.ounted my ways and you answered me; tea.h me your de.rees. 0s !!2 2' Let me understand the tea.hing of your pre.epts; then - will meditate on your wonders. 0s !!2 27 +ea.h me, / L/:;, to follow your de.rees; then - will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and - will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. ;ire.t me in the path of your .ommands, for there - find delight. +urn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. +urn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life a..ording to your word. @ulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. +ake away the disgra.e - dread, for your laws are good. (ow - long for your pre.eptsB 0reserve my life in your righteousness. 0s !!2 333"* 8ay your unfailing love .ome to me, / L/:;, your salvation a..ording to your promise; then will answer the one who taunts me, for - trust in your word. ;o not snat.h the word of truth from my mouth, for - have put my hope in your laws. 0s !!2 "!3"3 - lift up my hands to your .ommands, whi.h - love, and - meditate on your de.rees. 0s !!2 "% Your word, / L/:;, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. . . /h, how - love your lawB meditate on it all day long. . . (ow sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouthB Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. . . . Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. 0s !!2 %2, 27, !*3, !*&, !"* - reAoi.ed with those who said to me, >Let us go to the house of the Lord.? 0s !22 ! +he name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. 0r !% !* Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. ;o not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. 0r 3* &3' Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sa.rifi.e of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. E.. & !

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4hen men tell you to .onsult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people in<uire of their God5 4hy .onsult the dead on behalf of the Living5 +o the law and to the testimonyB -f they do not speak a..ording to this word, they have no light of dawn. -s % !232* +he grass withers and the flowers fall, but the 4ord of our God stands forever. -s "* % 6s the rain and the snow .ome down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my 4ord that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty but will a..omplish what - desire and a.hieve the purpose for whi.h - sent it. -s && !*3!! 4hen your words .ame, - ate them; they were my Aoy and my heartDs delight, for - bear your name, / Lord God 6lmighty. Jer !& !' >- have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. +hey say, F- had a dreamB had a dreamBD (ow long will this .ontinue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds5 +hey think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, Aust as their fathers forgot my name through 1aal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. @or what has straw to do with grain5? de.lares the L/:;. -s not my word like fire,? de.lares the L/:;, >and like a hammer that breaks a ro.k in pie.es5? >+herefore,? de.lares the L/:;, >am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.? >Yes,? de.lares the L/:;, >- am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet de.lare, F+he L/:; de.lares.D -ndeed, - am against those who prophesy false dreams,? de.lares the L/:;. >+hey tell them and lead my people astray with their re.kless lies, yet - did not send or appoint them. +hey do not benefit these people in the least,? de.lares the L/:;. Jer 23 2&332 (e replied, Go your way, ;aniel, be.ause the words are .losed up and sealed until the time of the end. 8any will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wi.ked will .ontinue to be wi.ked. #one of the wi.ked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. ;n !2 23!* ;o two walk together unless they have agreed to do so5 6m 3 3
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint spiritual activities )worship, prayer, etc.2. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

+he days are .oming, de.lares the =overeign L/:;, when - will send a famine through the land 9not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the L/:;. 6m % !!
The follo!ing passages are the !ords of our Sa#ior as he instituted the Sacrament of the &ord4s Supper! 4hile they were eating Gthe 0assover meal, the night before Jesus died on the .rossH , Jesus took bread,

gave thanks and broke it, and give it to his dis.iples, saying, >+ake and eat; this is my body, given for you; do this in remembran.e of me.? +hen he took the .up and gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, >;rink from it, all of you. +his is my blood of the new .ovenant, whi.h is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembran.e

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of me.? @or whenever you eat this bread and drink this .up, you pro.laim the LordDs death until he .omes. 8t 2' 2'32%, Lk 22 !232*, ! )o !! 2332' +he dis.iples .ame to him and asked, >4hy do you speak to the people in parables5? . . . +his is why - speak to them in parables +hough seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. -n them is fulfilled the prophe.y of -saiah >You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never per.eiving. @or this peopleDs heart has be.ome .alloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have .losed their eyes. /therwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and would heal them.? 1ut blessed are your eyes be.ause they see, and your ears be.ause they hear. @or - tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 8t !3 !*, !33!7 1e .areful, Jesus said to them. 1e on your guard against the yeast of the 0harisees and =addu.ees. . . . +hen they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the tea.hing of the 0harisees and =addu.ees. 8t !' ', !2
Jesus comparison of false teaching to 5yeast7 aptly illustrates how false teaching permeates one’s heart with its destructive lies.

4hen Jesus .ame to the region of )aesarea 0hilippi, he asked his dis.iples, >4ho do people say the =on of 8an is5? +hey replied, >=ome say John the 1aptist; others say EliAah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.? >1ut what about you5? he asked. >4ho do you say - am5? =imon 0eter answered, >7ou are the hrist, the )on of the living God.? Jesus replied, >1lessed are you, =imon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my @ather in heaven. 6nd - tell you that you are 0eter, and on this rock - will build my .hur.h, and the gates of (ades will not over.ome it. - will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.? 8t !' !33!2
The 5rock7 on which Jesus founds and builds his church is the knowledge that $e is the Christ, the *on of the Living GodFwhich knowledge is based on the "ord of God.

(eaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 8k !3 3! K8arthaL had a sister .alled 8ary, who sat at the LordDs feet listening to what he said. 1ut 8artha was distra.ted by all the preparations that had to be made. =he .ame to him and asked, >Lord, donDt you .are that my sister has left me to do the work by myself5 +ell her to help meB? >8artha, 8artha,? the Lord answered, >you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. *ary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.? Lk !* 323"2 6s Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the .rowd .alled out, 1lessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you. (e replied, Dlessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. Lk !! 2732% - have .ome to bring fire on the earth, and how - wish it were already kindledB 1ut - have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed - am until it is .ompletedB ;o you think - .ame to bring pea.e on earth5 #o, - tell you, but division. @rom now on there will be five in one family divided against ea.h other, three against two and two against three. +hey will be divided, father against

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son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother3in3law against daughter3in3law and daughter3in3law against mother3in3law. Lk !2 "23&3
The truth about Jesus divides many relationships. %ne either believes Jesus is the eternal *on of God who came into the world to save sinners from eternal punishment %& they believe he was an ordinary human and a fake. This truth will often divide whole families, one believing he is the *avior, the other he is the fake.

K+he ri.h manL answered, >+hen - beg you, father G6brahamH, send LaCarus to my fatherDs house, for - have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also .ome to this pla.e of torment.? 6braham replied, >/hey have *oses and the +rophets8 let them listen to them.? >#o, father 6braham,? he said, >but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.? (e said to him, >If they do not listen to *oses and the +rophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.? Lk !' 2733!
Jesus is Juite clear here! T$+ *C&:9TL&+* &+ LL *L##:C:+=T. :n other words, God does not need to give us any other revelations, if we will not listen to God’s prophets as recorded in the ;ible, nothing else will save us.

Jesus said to them, >(ow foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spokenB ;id not the )hrist have to suffer these things and then enter his glory5? 6nd beginning with 8oses and all the 0rophets, he eIplained to them what was said in all the =.riptures .on.erning himself. . . . +hen their eyes were opened and they re.ogniCed him, and he disappeared from their sight. +hey asked ea.h other, >4ere not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the =.riptures to us5? . . . +hen he opened their minds so they .ould understand the =.riptures. Lk 2" 2&327, 3!332, "& ;iligently study the =.riptures be.ause you think that by them you possess eternal life. +hese are the =.riptures that testify about me. Jn & 32 6ll this - have spoken while still with you. 1ut the )ounselor, the (oly =pirit, whom the @ather will send in my name, will tea.h you all things and will remind you of everything - have said to you. Jn !" 2&32' - have mu.h more to say to you, more than you .an now bear. 1ut when he, the =pirit of truth, .omes, he will guide you into all truth. (e will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to .ome. (e will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 6ll that belongs to the @ather is mine. +hat is why - said the =pirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. Jn !' !23!& =an.tify them by the truth; your word is truth. Jn !7 !7 0eter replied, ,epent and be bapti5ed, every one of you, in the name of !esus hrist for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Aoly )pirit. /he promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off9for all whom the "ord our God will call. 6. 2 3%332 +hey devoted themselves to the apostlesD tea.hing and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 6. 2 "2 0eter and the other apostles replied 4e must obey God rather than menB 6. & 22

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These words of 9eter, inspired by the $oly *pirit, emphasi(e a basic Christian principle! ny order or command given to a Christian must be in line with God’s will prescribed in the ;ible. :f it is not, the Christian must obey God’s will not man’s command.

#ow the 1ereans were of more noble .hara.ter than the +hessalonians, for they re.eived the message with great eagerness and e0amined the )criptures every day to see if what +aul said was true. 6. !7 !! You know that - have not hesitated to prea.h anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you and from house to house. - have de.lared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentan.e and have faith in our Lord Jesus. . . . (owever, - .onsider my life worth nothing to me, if only - may finish the ra.e and .omplete the task the Lord Jesus has given me9the task of testifying to the gospel of GodDs gra.e. . . . @or - have not hesitated to pro.laim to you the whole will of God. $eep wat.h over yourselves and all the flo.k of whi.h the (oly =pirit has made you overseers. 1e shepherds of the .hur.h of God, whi.h he bought with his own blood. - know that after - leave, savage wolves will .ome in among you and will not spare the flo.k. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away dis.iples after them. =o be on your guardB :emember that for three years - never stopped warning ea.h of you night and day with tears. #ow - .ommit you to God and to the word of his gra.e, whi.h .an build you up and give you an inheritan.e among all those who are san.tified. 6. 2* 2*332
GJesus says to 0aul in his .onversion vision on the road to ;amas.usH -

am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of =atan to God, so that they may re.eive forgiveness of sins and a pla.e among those who are san.tified by faith in me. . . . prea.hed that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentan.e by their deeds. 6. 2' !732* - am not ashamed of the gospel, be.ause it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, Aust as it is written >+he righteous will live by faith. :o ! !'3!7 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the )criptures we might have hope. :o !& " I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Beep away from them. @or su.h people are not serving our Lord )hrist, but their own appetites. 1y smooth talk and flattery they de.eive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedien.e, so - am full of Aoy over you; but - want you to be wise about what is good, and inno.ent about what is evil. :o !' !73!2
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint worship activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no T&L+ and #LLL unity in doctrine, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

@or the message of the .ross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . @or sin.e in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom

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did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was prea.hed to save those who believe. ! )o ! !%, 2! 4hen - .ame to you, brothers, - did not .ome with elo<uen.e or superior wisdom as - pro.laimed to you the testimony about God. @or - resolved to know nothing while - was with you eI.ept Jesus )hrist and him .ru.ified. - .ame to you in weakness and fear, and with mu.h trembling. 8y message and my prea.hing were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the =piritDs power, so that your faith might not rest on menDs wisdom, but on GodDs power. ! )o 2 !3& (owever, as it is written >#o eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has .on.eived what God has prepared for those who love him?9but God has revealed it to us by his =pirit. +he =pirit sear.hes all things, even the deep things of God. ! )o 2 23!* #ow, brothers, - have applied these things to myself and 6pollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, >.o not go beyond what is written.? +hen you will not take pride in one man over against another. ! )o " '
"ith those siE words in Juotes, God tells us in simple words! *cripture is sufficient and complete. :n the ;ible, God has told us everything we need to know to live our life here and to have eternal life with him in heaven. 'on’t look for special dreams, visions or revelations. Hou don’t need them and God won’t give them. *ee also "k $=#?>'F$.

-t is a.tually reported that there is seIual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not o..ur even among pagans 6 man has his fatherJs wife. 6nd you are proudB =houldnDt you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this5 . . . hand this man over to =atan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. ;onDt you know that a little yeast works through the whole bat.h of dough5 . . . - have written you in my letter not to asso.iate with seIually immoral people9not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. -n that .ase you would have to leave this world. 1ut now - am writing you that you must not asso.iate with anyone who .alls himself a brother but is seIually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. 4ith su.h a man do not even eat. 4hat business is it of mine to Audge those outside the .hur.h5 6re you not to Audge those inside5 God will Audge those outside. >EIpel the wi.ked man from among you.? GQerse !3 ;t !7 7; !2 !2; 2! 2!; 22 2!, 2"; 2" 7H ! )o & !32, &3', 23!3
- Corinthians D addresses how to handle unrepented sin in a congregation. :t is not to be ignored. The unrepentant sinner is to be admonished so that he may repent. :f he refuses to repent he is to be eEpelled from the congregation as testimony to his refusal and hard heart. The admonishing is called 'hurch 2iscipline and the eEpelling is called e5communication. :t is always to be done in love, in following Jesus’ instructions in @atthew -A. :t is done out of love for! God’s "ord, which must be obeyed, the soul of the offender, that it might be saved, and the souls of others, who might be tempted to follow the offender’s bad eEample.

@ollow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, espe.ially the gift of prophecy. @or anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. -ndeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. 1ut everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, en.ouragement and .omfort. (e who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the .hur.h. - would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but - would rather have you prophesy. (e who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless

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he interprets, so that the .hur.h may be edified. . . . Onless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying5 You will Aust be speaking into the air. Ondoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. -f then - do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, - am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. =o it is with you. =in.e you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to eI.el in gifts that build up the .hur.h. . . . 1ut in the .hur.h - would rather speak five intelligible words to instru.t others than ten thousand words in a tongue. . . . @or God is not a God of disorder but of pea.e. . . . 1ut everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. ! )o !" !3 &, 23!2, !2, 33, "*
:n these verses, God instructs believers how to use the spiritual gifts $e has given to them, here specifically 5prophecy7 and 5tongues.7 59rophecy7 M 5prophesying7 in the original Greek of this teEt means 5to proclaim the revelation of GodF$is "ord.7 5Tongues7 can also be translated and mean 5other languages.7 =ote what God says about the importance of using one’s gifts to edify the church rather than to draw attention to oneself. God elevates prophesying above other gifts in importance because it gives glory to God by revealing $is grace and mercy in Christ’s work of salvation. 9lease read all of - Corinthians -? to get the full meaning of what God is saying.

@or no matter how many promises God has made, they are >Yes? in )hrist. 6nd so through him the >6men? is spoken by us to the glory of God. #ow it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in )hrist. (e anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his =pirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to .ome. 2 )o ! 2*322 ;o not be yoked together with unbelievers. @or what do righteousness and wi.kedness have in .ommon5 /r what fellowship .an light have with darkness5 4hat harmony is there between )hrist and 1elial5 4hat does a believer have in .ommon with an unbeliever5 4hat agreement is there between the temple of God and idols5 @or we are the temple of the living God. 6s God has said >- will live with them and walk among them, and - will be their God, and they will be my people.? >+herefore .ome out from them and be separate, says the Lord. +ou.h no un.lean thing, and - will re.eive you.? >- will be a @ather to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord 6lmighty.? =in.e we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that .ontaminates body and spirit, perfe.ting holiness out of reveren.e for God. 2 )o ' !"37 !
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint worship activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised. These verses also warn of the grave spiritual dangers to believers who associate with unbelievers. This association is not the casual or business association, but rather the kind that leaves you susceptible to the corrupting influence of your unbelieving associates.

@or if someone .omes to you and prea.hes a Jesus other than the Jesus we prea.hed, or if you re.eive a different spirit from the one you re.eived, or a different gospel from the one you a..epted, you put up with it easily enough. . . . @or su.h men are false apostles, de.eitful workmen, mas<uerading as apostles of )hrist. 6nd no wonder, for =atan himself mas<uerades as an angel of light. -t is not surprising, then, if his servants mas<uerade as servants of righteousness. +heir end will be what their a.tions deserve. 2 )o !! ", !33!& 6 little yeast works through the whole bat.h of dough. Ga & 2 G=ee also 8t !' ', !2, Lk !2 !, ! )o
& &3'H This verse refers to the method and the eEtent to which false doctrine works its evil.

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+herefore do not let anyone Audge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a #ew 8oon .elebration or a =abbath day. +hese are a shadow of the things that were to .ome; the reality, however, is found in )hrist. ;o not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels dis<ualify you for the priCe. =u.h a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. (e has lost .onne.tion with the (ead, from whom the whole body Gthe )hur.hH, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God .auses it to grow. =in.e you died with )hrist to the basi. prin.iples of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules >;o not handleB ;o not tasteB ;o not tou.hB?5 +hese are all destined to perish with use, be.ause they are based on human .ommands and tea.hings. =u.h regulations indeed have an appearan.e of wisdom, with their self3imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they la.k any value in restraining sensual indulgen.e. )ol 2 !'323
These verses teach us what constitutes true spiritual growthFnot outward displays of 5self0 imposed worship, false humility and harsh treatment of the body7 that come from an 5unspiritual mind puffed up with idle notions.7 True spiritual growth comes from connection to the $ead, that is, Christ Jesus, through daily nourishment from $is "ord and *acraments. The only basis for what constitutes true spiritual growth and eEperiences is what the ;ible says.

/ur gospel .ame to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the (oly =pirit and with deep .onvi.tion. . . . 6nd we also thank God .ontinually be.ause, when you re.eived the word of God, whi.h you heard from us, you a..epted it not as the word of men, but as it a.tually is, the word of God, whi.h is at work in you who believe. ! +h ! &, 2 !3
6 .omment on the sour.e of GodDs 4ord from @anna! 5 s to when and how these angels became evil, God tells us very little in the *criptures. *ince our salvation does not depend on Juestions of mere curiosity and their answer, and might even be endangered by them, God does not oblige us in that regard. :f the ;ible were, what unbelievers blasphemously say, ,ust a patchwork of human superstitions, then you can be sure that it would contain rather lengthy reports on this and other eEtraneous matters.7 @anna, Carl @anthey03orn, -/AA, p. ?8/

-n the name of the Lord Jesus )hrist, we .ommand you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live a..ording to the tea.hing you re.eived from us. . . . -f anyone does not obey our instru.tion in this letter, take spe.ial note of him. ;o not asso.iate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. 2 +h 3 ', !"3!&
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint worship activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

4hat you heard from me )9aul, inspired by the $oly *pirit G *cripture2, keep as the pattern of sound tea.hing, with faith and love in )hrist Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you9guard it with the help of the (oly =pirit who lives in us. 2 +m ! !33!" ;o your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who .orre.tly handles the word of truth. 6void godless .hatter, be.ause those who indulge in it will be.ome more and more ungodly. +heir tea.hing will spread like gangrene.

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6mong them are (ymenaeus and 0hiletus, who have wandered away from the truth. +hey say that the resurre.tion has already taken pla.e, and they destroy the faith of some. 2 +m 2 !&3!%
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint worship activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

All )cripture is God'breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 +m 3 !'3!7 -n the presen.e of God and of )hrist Jesus, who will Audge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, - give you this .harge 0rea.h the 4ord; be prepared in season and out of season; .orre.t, rebuke and en.ourage9with great patien.e and .areful instru.tion. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. /hey will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 +m " !3" You must tea.h what is in a..ord with sound do.trine. . . . -n everything set them an eIample by doing what is good. -n your tea.hing show integrity, seriousness and soundness of spee.h that .annot be .ondemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed be.ause they have nothing bad to say about us. +itus 2 !, 73% 1ut avoid foolish .ontroversies and genealogies and arguments and <uarrels about the law, be.ause these are unprofitable and useless. 4arn a divisive person on.e, and then warn him a se.ond time. 6fter that, have nothing to do with him. +itus 3 23!*
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint worship activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no true unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

For the word of God is living and active. )harper than any double'edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, -oints and marrow8 it -udges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (e " !2 6nyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not a.<uainted with the tea.hing about righteousness. 1ut solid food is for the mature, who by .onstant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. +herefore let us leave the elementary tea.hings about )hrist and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentan.e from a.ts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instru.tion about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurre.tion of the dead, and eternal Audgment. (e & !33' 2 ;o not be .arried away by all kinds of strange tea.hings. -t is good for our hearts to be strengthened by gra.e, not by .eremonial foods, whi.h are of no value to those who eat them. (e !3 2 @or prophe.y never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were .arried along by the (oly =pirit. 2 0e ! 2!

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;ear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, be.ause many false prophets have gone out into the world. ! Jn " !
God urges us to 5test7 those who claim to bring a message from him because many bring 5false7 messages of their own, which are not God’s messages. *ee also -s % !232* where God tells us that 5messages7 that are claimed to come from him must come only from his "ord in the ;ible.

-f anyone .omes to you and does not bring this tea.hing, do not take him into your house or wel.ome him. 6nyone who wel.omes him shares in his wi.ked work. 2 Jn !*3!!
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint worship activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

+hen - heard another voi.e from heaven say >)ome out of her G1abylon, i.e. the sinful, unbelieving worldH, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not re.eive any of her plagues.? :e !% "
These verses speak of spiritual fellowshipFthe like0mindedness of believers that results in mutual, ,oint activities. :n order for this spiritual fellowship to be put into practice, God mandates that all parties be united in their adherence to the "ord of God. "here there is no unity, true spiritual fellowship cannot be eEercised.

- warn everyone who hears the words of the prophe.y of this book -f anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues des.ribed in this book. 6nd if anyone takes words away from this book of prophe.y, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy .ity, whi.h are des.ribed in this book. :e 22 !%3!2
This passage applies not only to the words of &evelation but to the whole ;ible. *ee also ;t " 2 and -1!C1

Worl"liness (Living of the world—the world is god) You may say to yourself, >8y power and the strength of my hands have produ.ed this wealth for me.? 1ut remember the Lord your God for it is he who gives you the ability to produ.e wealth, and so .onfirms his .ovenant. ;t % !73!% 4hoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his in.ome. . . . #aked a man .omes from his motherDs womb, and as he .omes, so he departs. E.. & !*, !" ;o not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. Jer !* 2 1etter a little with the fear of the L/:; than great wealth with turmoil. 1etter a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened .alf with hatred. 0r !& !'3!7 6 greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the L/:; will prosper. 0r 2% 2& @or where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . #o one .an serve two masters. You .annot serve both God and money )GreekG wealth, property2. 8t ' 2!, 2"

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+herefore - tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. -s not life more important than food, and the body more important than .lothes5 . . . . 6nd why do you worry about .lothes5 =ee how the lilies of the field grow. +hey do not labor or spin. . . . . @or the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly @ather knows that you need them. 1ut seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. +herefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Ea.h day has enough trouble of its own. 8t ' 2&, 2%, 3233" +hen Jesus said to his dis.iples, >- tell you the truth, it is hard for a ri.h man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 6gain - tell you, it is easier for a .amel to go through the eye of a needle than for a ri.h man to enter the kingdom of God.? 4hen the dis.iples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, >4ho then .an be saved5? Jesus looked at them and said, >4ith man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.? 8t !2 2332' 6t this the manDs fa.e fell. (e went away sad, be.ause he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his dis.iples, >(ow hard it is for the ri.h to enter the kingdom of GodB? +he dis.iples were amaCed at his words. 1ut Jesus said again, >)hildren, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of GodB -t is easier for a .amel to go through the eye of a needle than for a ri.h man to enter the kingdom of God.? +he dis.iples were even more amaCed, and said to ea.h other, >4ho then .an be saved5? Jesus looked at them and said, >4ith man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.? 8k !* 22327 +hen he said to them, 4at.h outB 1e on your guard against all kinds of greed; a manDs life does not .onsist in the abundan.e of his possessions. 6nd he told them this parable +he ground of a .ertain ri.h man produ.ed a good .rop. (e thought to himself, 4hat shall - do5 - have no pla.e to store my .rops. +hen he said, +his is what -Dll do. - will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there - will store all my grain and my goods. 6nd -Dll say to myself, You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. +ake life easy; eat, drink and be merry. 1ut God said to him, You foolB +his very night your life will be demanded from you. +hen who will get what you have prepared for yourself5 +his is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not ri.h toward God. Lk !2 !&32! I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. - know what it is to be in need, and - know what it is to have plenty. - have learned the se.ret of being .ontent in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. . . . And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in hrist !esus. 0hp " !!3!3, !2 1ut godliness with contentment is great gain. @or we brought nothing into the world, and we .an take nothing out of it. 1ut if we have food and .lothing, we will be .ontent with that. 0eople who want to get ri.h fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destru.tion. @or the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. =ome people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pier.ed themselves with many griefs. . . . )ommand those who are ri.h in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, whi.h is so un.ertain, but to put their hope in God, who ri.hly provides us with everything for our enAoyment. )ommand them to do good, to be ri.h in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. -n this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm

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foundation for the .oming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ! +m ' '3 !*, !73!2 =ee also (e !3 &3' You adulterous people, donDt you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God5 6nyone who .hooses to be a friend of the world be.omes an enemy of God. /r do you think =.ripture says without reason that the =pirit he .aused to live in us longs Aealously5 1ut he gives us more gra.e. +hat is why =.ripture says >God opposes the proud but gives gra.e to the humble.? Ja " "3' ;o not love the world or anything in the world. -f anyone loves the world, the love of the @ather is not in him. @or everything in the world9the .ravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does9.omes not from the @ather but from the world. +he world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. ! Jn 2 !&3!7

Armor of God  Sword of the Spirit ~ 81

/n"e2 of &cripture .assages G'23H Click on the passage lin+ below to go to the passage
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0s !!2 '7, 7!, 7&37', 22

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Armor of God  Sword of the Spirit ~ 82

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Armor of God  Sword of the Spirit ~ 83

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0hp ! 2!, 27 0hp 2 !3" 0hp 2 !23!3 0hp 3 73!' 0hp 3 2*32! 0hp " "3% 0hp " !!3!3, !2 )ol ! 23!" )ol ! 2!323 )ol 2 '37 )ol 2 %3!" )ol 2 !'323 )ol 3 &3!* )ol 3 !23!7 )ol 3 23 )ol " &3' ! +h ! 3 ! +h ! & ! +h 2 23" ! +h 2 !!3!2 ! +h 2 !3 ! +h 3 !23!3 ! +h " !37 ! +h " !33!% ! +h & %3!! ! +h & !"32" 2 +h ! '3!*, 3 3 2 +h ! !! 2 +h 3 ', !"3!& ! +im ! !& ! +m ! !%3!2 ! +m 2 !3' ! +m 2 23!* ! +m " !3& ! +m " 73% ! +m & !32 ! +m & % ! +m ' !32 ! +m ' 33& ! +m ' '3!*, !73!2 ! +m ' !!3!2 2 +im ! '37 2 +m ! !2 2 +m ! !33!" 2 +m 2 !&3!% 2 +m 2 2232' 2 +m 3 !23!& 2 +m 3 !'3!7 2 +m " !3" 2 +m " 73%, !73!% +itus 2 !, 73% +itus 2 !!3!" +itus 3 !32

Armor of God  Sword of the Spirit ~ 84

+itus 3 23!* 0hilemon ! ' (e 2 ! (e 2 !"3!&, !% (e 3 " (e 3 !23!3 (e " !2 (e " !3 (e " !"3!' (e & !33' 2 (e ' !!3!2 (e ' !332* (e 2 2'32% (e !* 2232& (e !! !, ', !3, !' (e !2 !33 (e !2 &3!! (e !2 2%322 (e !3 " (e !3 &3' (e !3 7, !7 (e !3 % (e !3 2 (e !3 !&3!' (e !3 2*32! Ja ! 233,!2 Ja ! !232* Ja ! 2! Ja ! 22 Ja 2 !* Ja 2 !7 Ja 3 ' Ja " 233 Ja " "3' Ja " 73% Ja " !& Ja " !7 Ja & 73!! Ja & !2 Ja & !33!' Ja & !232* ! 0e ! !" ! 0e ! !%3!2, 23 ! 0e 2 233 ! 0e 2 2 ! 0e 2 !! ! 0e 3 33& ! 0e 3 !& ! 0e & 7 ! 0e & %32 2 0e ! &3% 2 0e 2 !*, !232* 2 0e 3 2

2 0e 3 !73!% ! Jn ! %3!* ! Jn 2 33' ! Jn 2 !&3!7 ! Jn 3 ! ! Jn 3 "3', %32 ! Jn " ! ! Jn " 7 ! Jn & 33" ! Jn & !" 2 Jn !*3!! Jd 2*32& :e 2 !* :e 2 2&, 3 2 :e 3 !2 :e 3 2* :e 2 2*32! :e !2 !*3!2 :e !2 !7 :e !" !3 :e !7 !" :e !% " :e !2 !* :e 2* &b3' :e 2! '37 :e 2! 'a3% :e 2! 27 :e 22 7, !23!", 2* ,e ??#$('$@
"ord2s )upper
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Ether )ources ited 8anna pp. "7%3!3 suppl, &223'** )omfort M En..; 8anna p. "'2 4ord of God; 8anna p. &'33'" @aithDs Essen.e Back to Topics

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